The visit of a senior IDF officer to the Jaimu and Kashmir provinces of India has triggered a major row in Kashmir, with mainstream and separatist parties calling it a “dangerous liaison” that could send wrong signals among the people of the Muslim-majority state. — from this article
The many non-Muslims of India have always been the recipients of the “wrong signals” from the Muslims there. This has been true of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, and even the handful of Jews (there are a few, including a former chief of staff, and as everyone knows, non-Muslim India never offered a hint of antisemitism or any other venerable form of intolerance, for Hinduism was less an ideology than a way of life that one could, but need not, accept).
However, until the Muslim conquerors brought Islam, India was the most tolerant of countries. Those who like to adduce what they consider to be examples of “Hindu fanaticism,” generally fail to note that that “fanaticism” is mostly a justified response to the long history of Muslim depredations, persecution, and murder. Some may here and there find examples of intolerance exhibited toward Christian missionaries, but such intolerance is not part of Hinduism. Rather, it reflects the belief that such missionaries always target Hindus, never Muslims, and furthermore, what intolerance has been exhibited unwontedly by Hindus, has been learned from Muslim example, Muslim tutelage.
Surely the non-Muslim government in India, and especially those in the all-important governments of the individual states, such as Gujarat or Uttar Pradesh or Kerala — and the importance of those states, and their separate ways, is insufficiently understood by foreign makers of policy — should take note of Islam’s tenets and the history of Jihad-conquest. They should note the demographic conquest that India is now enduring in slow motion. The government and people of India should know, and keep constantly in mind, and make known elsewhere, the results of the discrimination, persecution, and even murder of Hindus by Muslims in Pakistan, where the Hindu percentage of the population has become one-tenth of what it was when Pakistan was formed. In Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) that population is one-fifth what it was, and has gone down steadily in both parts of Kashmir, where 400,000 Kashmiri pandits were driven out by the Muslims, and in India itself, where the Muslim share of the population steadily rises. And they should not hesitate to act decisively to make sure that the policy of appeasement of Islam, reflected in India’s past foreign and domestic policies, does not continue.
Mrs. Gandhi, and to some extent Sonia Gandhi, seem determined to pretend that Islam is fine, that there is no problem, no menace posted to the Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, Buddhists (there are some), and Jews (there are a few) by the Muslims in India. This is false, and it is absurd for mainstream political figures, and all those Indians of Hindu descent who go abroad, become famous abroad, to strive to show Westerners that they are free of any “taint of communalism,” by which is meant — any hint of belief that there is a distinct problem posed by the Total Belief-System of Islam.
For every mordant truth-teller such as Naipaul, or for that matter such apostates as Anwar Shaikh and Ibn Warraq, there are a hundred, such as Amartya Sen, who acquire a reputation in one field, and then proceed, as natives of India, to present themselves as experts on Islam, its tenets, and the history of Islam. See Sen’s article two years ago on “democracy and Islam,” that should, but does not, embarrass him. In Amartya Sen’s case, his self-assured presentations on Islam may, as a model to be emulated, have had an influence on his former close friend, Martha Nussbaum. Nussbaum, who like Jeffery Sachs and a few others has become an academic Irwin-Corey (“World’s Greatest Authority”), has now, after a few lightning visits to India, become so much of an expert on India and on Islam as to have begun — it doesn’t take much prompting — to set down her definitive and authoritative thoughts on the matter.
That should make Hindus going on pilgrimages to this or that village or shrine of Ganesh feel a whole lot better. Nothing to worry about, if only they rein in, those Hindus, their own “crazies.” Islam itself is hunky-dory. Ask Martha Nussbaum. She knows.