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Terror debate: The real issue is with the silent Muslim majority

Thanks to the media, many commentators and politicians are getting away with their deceitful arguments on terrorism

analysis Updated: Mar 27, 2016 23:13 IST
Men walk past a graffiti wall made by Kazakhstani artist called 'ChemiS' in Prague after the recent terror attacks in Brussels.
Men walk past a graffiti wall made by Kazakhstani artist called 'ChemiS' in Prague after the recent terror attacks in Brussels.(AP)

In the aftermath of the Brussels terrorist attacks, we saw again many intellectuals, directly or indirectly, justifying them in an unacceptable manner.

One of those extreme justifications was a tweet by a very well known Indian intellectual, Tehseen Poonawalla, who happens to be a National Indian Congress spokesperson.

In this tweet, Poonawalla said, “With democracies the world over starting to fail giving rise to Trumps & Modis the counter product will be in human extremists”.

Mr Poonawalla is obviously someone who is educated and fairly intelligent — and we need to analyse his statement in a dispassionate manner, because what he is basically saying is that Donald Trump and Narendra Modi are responsible for the Brussels attacks.

Read | After Brussels, netizens ask why people didn’t pray for Turkey too

We will deal briefly with Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, as he is not really relevant to India. First, Trump is a by-product of the Islamic onslaught on the western world. Otherwise he wouldn’t exist, as he only gets support because ordinary people are fed up with their politically correct politicians who refuse to see the danger. Second, even if we agree that Trump is obnoxious, outrageous and offensive — which he often is — has he rammed planes full of innocent people against towers full of other innocent people, has he bombed airports, machine gunned cafés, blown himself up in stadiums? No. But the trick of Islamists and Leftists is to always compare what cannot be compared — and get away with it.

Let us now come to Narendra Modi, the democratically elected Prime Minister of India, a country of over 1.2 billion people. How is Modi responsible for the Brussels bombings? Of course, Poonawalla implies that the prime minister was accused of having waited to call the army during the 2002 Gujarat anti-Muslim riots. But first, all the courts have cleared Modi of any wrongdoing and second, Poonawalla, of course, is carefully omitting the fact that these riots were triggered by the horrifying murder of 57 Hindus, 36 of them innocent women and children, burnt like animals in the Sabarmati Express. On top of that, since Modi has been elected, he has proven that he is the prime minister for all Indians, reaching out to Muslims, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, etc.

Not only is it intolerable to render Modi responsible for the Brussels bombings, but you also have to note the fact that real problem is not so much with the jihadists — eventually, like Hitler, they will lose the battle, as they cannot take on the whole of the democratic world — the real issue is with the silent Muslim majority, which after every bombing, says ‘yes, but’. The whole hitch is in the ‘but’.

“Yes we condemn violence, ‘but’ Narendra Modi”;

“Yes, these are misguided Muslims, ‘but’ Palestine (or Kashmir)”;

“Yes, Brussels attacks are wrong, ‘but’ they happened because of poverty and government neglect of Belgium Muslims”.

This is totally illogical, as it implies that if you are poor, it’s okay to bomb, maim, kill and rape.

In fact, it is not even true. I know for a fact that the Belgium and French governments do not differentiate between French and French Muslims. They get the same social benefits (more so for the Muslims as they have more children and thus receive more social perks).

It is mostly the Muslims who chose to live together in ghettos, as they do in Brussels.

The hitch is that Poonawalla and many others, including politicians, are getting away with these totally deceitful arguments, which do not stand ground when closely scrutinised. Why? Because the media sides with them. Poonawalla is a regular chronicler in many newspapers and often appears on television shows to comment on issues. Just before the Brussels attacks, CNN did a long documentary in Brussels to show that radicalism is born out of social ostracising.

The lone journalists who have seen the truth have witnessed what happened, for instance, to the Kashmiri Hindus who fled their ancestral homes and lands in the valley of Kashmir and became refugees in their own country, and are accused of Islamophobia.

The difficulty is that 99% of people make their opinion by what they read in the press or watch on television. This is why these untruths are still so widespread in the world, amongst your friends and family, and it will take time before people see the light.