The ‘problem’ with Islam – a short analysis

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Every religion has broadly three aspects:

Mystical: Pertaining to mythology and supernatural aspects of religion. This could be the basis of creativity as well as of blind faith and non-scientific temper.

Socio-political: Pertains to how the society should behave and be governed. This aspect gives rise to civil and criminal laws and deals with people on an aggregate level.

Philosophical: Pertains to ideas like ethics and morality. The socio-political aspect is in a way dependent on this, after factoring time, and together they form culture. Continue reading

Where is the Ambedkar that Islam needs? And it needs one badly

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Every time there is some news report on caste atrocity by the so-called upper castes, our “liberals” never fail to remind us of the ‘ugly reality’ of our society and the Hindu religion. Hinduism is reduced just to caste. And due to the evils of caste-system, Hinduism is declared the most violent society in the history of human civilization.

Now contrast the reactions to those when every time there is some news report about an act of terror carried out by a Muslim group or an individual. The same set of people never fails to remind us that all religions are the same. Islam is reduced to ‘peace’ (even though its literal meaning is ‘submission’, not peace). And due to merits of peace, Islam is declared just as peaceful or violent a religion as any other in the history of human civilization.

The reactions might appear totally diverse but there is one commonality – the response (attack on Hinduism in the former case and defense of Islam in the latter case) is carried out ostensibly to protect a set of people (the lower castes in the former case and the Muslims in the latter case).

The victim in a case of caste-atrocity is the person from lower caste (obviously), while the victim in a case of terrorism becomes the Muslim who might have to face persecutions due to ensuing Islamophobia (umm…).

Essentially the liberals end up fighting the crime yet to be committed when it comes to Islamic terrorism.

And this is why the problems within and around Islam are never discussed. Those who raise the issues with Islam after a terror attack are painted as perpetrators of Islamophobia – a crime the liberals were already geared up to fight. It works like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Continue reading

If we are done critiquing the cartoons, can we now critique the faith?

Je Suis Charlie
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Almost a week has passed since 12 employees at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were killed in a terror attack, and since then we have seen widespread condemnations of the attack, fringe celebrations of the attack, critique of the magazine’s cartoons, and a unity rally by some world leaders.

While widespread condemnations and fringe celebrations have now become “natural reactions” to any terror attack (yes, that’s the world we live in), the new aspect this time was critique of the cartoons drawn by those mercilessly murdered, which was virtually victim blaming.

And it was done almost immediately, almost as a natural reaction, not as an afterthought.

Earlier today, Charlie Hebdo released front page of their next issue, which is a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad – very mild and constructive by their acerbic and disruptive standards – and people are critiquing that too.

The terrorists, and their apologists, must be smiling.
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Love Jihad – let’s not love this jihad

A Hindi newspaper report on Love Jihad
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Much has been written and spoken about “Love Jihad” in the political and media circus, I mean, circles, so I thought one more by me won’t be such a bad idea.

Out of dozens of articles there, including a ridiculous “data backed” NDTV report, I would start with pointing out two articles to which I largely agree with. These are by R Jagannathan and were published on Firstpost.

The first one argues that the theory that Muslim groups, in an organized way, are targeting Hindu girls to hurt or convert them is logically not sound, for it will be fraught with risks of failure when compared with other means of organized attempts at religious conversions.

The second one concedes that there could be small and isolated attempts, but Hindus first need to worry about their own failings – such as patriarchy, casteism, and lack of efforts to propagate Hinduism – and put their own house in order before losing sleep over something called “Love Jihad”.

As I said earlier, while I largely agree with these points, these still don’t show the complete picture. Continue reading