Future Outlook: The Indian Muslim Problem

By Moorthy Muthuswamy, March 2001

The recent alleged burning of the Koran in India is being used as pretext by an Islamic terrorist outfit, SIMI (Student Islamic Movement of India) to transform entire India into a battlefield beyond Kashmir.

How wrongly Muslims have been handled until now becomes clear by looking at Kashmir. A recent Indian report indicates that the percentage of the Kashmir Valley Muslims living below the poverty line is 3.5% as opposed to the national average of 25%. Obviously, the Kashmiri Muslims are being given handouts at the expense of India’s development. The Muslims of Kashmir have prevented the revocation of Article 370 that is essential for investment leading to development and jobs in the State. Many would rather send their children to Islamic schools that do not provide necessary skills than the schools with modern curriculum. During most of the last 50 years, Kashmir has been under the self-rule. Thus, these people have little justification in pointing a finger at India, and their "grievances" are indeed self-inflicted. Besides, there is also a criminal element to the Valley Muslims. They, by and large, participated in ethnic cleansing of Hindu Pundits who had lived among them for thousands of years and are now aiding and sponsoring Islamic terrorists who are using Kashmir as a staging post to destroy India. Dangerously, all of these attributes are now steadily creeping into the minds of Muslims in the rest of India as well.

It is thus becoming clear that if India were to survive and eventually prosper, it must use more of stick and less of carrot in dealing with the likes of Kashmiri Muslims. Specifically, what can be done?

In order to answer the above question, let us analyze these issues in a larger context. India’s neighbor, Islamic Pakistan now manages to survive on handouts from international donors. Muslims in Britain are at the bottom levels of the society unlike the British Hindus in income and education levels and many Muslims rely on handouts from the government. In the Middle East, countries such as the Islamic Saudi Arabia rely on Nature for a handout, – in the form of oil.

The 1999 Nobel laureate in Chemistry, Professor Ahmed Zewail of California Institute of Technology is a Muslim brought up in Egypt. He summed it best when he said along the lines that most Muslim nations are well on their way to becoming banana republics due to a much lesser emphasis placed on imparting scientific knowledge compared to the knowledge of the medieval Islamic history. This is substantiated by the fact that none of the Islamic nations have excelled in the fields of science and technology.

Whilst there is one Koran, there exist many interpretations of it. Unfortunately, most interpretations by Islamic scholars are literal and extreme. Progressive interpretations of the Koran such as the one practiced by the educated class in Turkey, is a rarity. Islam, as it is practiced in South Asia, has been proven to keep its followers from progressing and has made them violently intolerant toward other cultures and beliefs. This is exemplified by the Taliban’s recent wanton destruction of Buddha statues aided by the relative inaction of Taliban’s main backers – Islamic Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Evidently, most of Islam’s followers in South Asia would rather blame others for their ills – as grievances, rather than discovering and fixing their own faults.

What are the possibilities of a meaningful Islamic reform taking place in South Asia in the foreseeable future? As the birthplace of Islam and the country that uses about 5% of its massive oil revenues for promoting the Saudi version of "Islamic culture" around the world, Saudi Arabia has dominant say in the evolving outlook of Muslims. The Saudi version of Islam is considered among the most retrogressive and intolerant, that counts the Afghan Taliban among its followers. At the current production levels, using the existing reserves, Saudi Arabia is expected to generate strong revenues from oil sales for another at least 80 years. Unfortunately, this wealth gives Saudi Arabia little reason to change. Using the 1951, 1991 census and CIA fact file figures, by 2070, the Indian Muslim population would likely rise to at least 30%, leading to an irreversible destruction of what is left of India. Long before that extreme Islam would have destroyed Pakistan – going in the way of Afghanistan. It is notable that before the British ruled India was partitioned in 1947, it had about 25% Muslim population.

It has become clear that a strong and sustained Indian economic growth is unlikely when so much resources go into fighting an escalating Islamic terrorism. This clearly places India’s future under jeopardy. More than that, the terrorism in the name of Islam, especially in South Asia, has "extermination of non-Muslims" written all over it.

Muslims sought and got lands for themselves in 1947. Since then, Muslim majority regions, including Kashmir valley, are now virtually non-Muslim free. This non-Muslim ethnic cleansing in Muslim majority regions has been achieved through violence and constitution based second class treatment of non-Muslims. Thus, we reach an important conclusion: In South Asia, coexistence with Muslims is nearly impossible when Muslims are in majority and difficult when in substantial minority. India has a fundamental human rights issue in its favor -- it’s right to exist as the only secular land for non-Muslims, who can live there freely and prosper. Since a meaningful reform of Islam is unlikely in near future, if India were to survive, it must, and has every right, to nudge Indian Muslims to leave Islam. 

Specifically, Indians should launch a long-term propaganda portraying Islam, as is practiced in South Asia, a failed civilization that keeps the Muslims backward. Indian Muslims must be made to realize the above fact – a critical requirement for a meaningful change. India should help it's Muslims revert to their indigenous ancestral religion(s) by placing a special tax on Muslims to fund security related expenses on fighting Islamic terrorism; disfranchising Muslims from voting and holding important positions etc. Leaving Islam is also good for Muslims – providing a better future for their children. In addition, Muslims in border lying areas need to be driven to Islamic Pakistan and Bangladesh, -- lands created for them in 1947. 

It is no less important to emphasize that these steps are necessary to complete the 1947 partition that started in the name of Islam and to correct the ethnic cleansing imbalance imposed on India through military means by Pakistan. Such a division, by separating populations in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India on the basis of Muslims and non-Muslims is probably the only means of reducing Indo-Pak tensions. 

In summary, a timely intervention is essential to stop, and eventually, reverse Indian Muslims from the path of collective suicide they have undertaken, that will most definitely take the rest of India along. Since the Muslim problem on India was imposed through military means, some use of force is unavoidable.