Moorthy Muthuswamy, June 2003
There is a correlation between Islamic extremists’ war with the civilized world and Muslim majority nations’ backwardness. The trillion-dollar question of the new century: what weaknesses in Islamic extremism can the civilization exploit to emerge victorious?
Islam in Early India
It is pertinent to review here how Buddhism was vanquished in India. When
Muslim conquerors invaded India many hundred years ago, they found Buddhism
taking root mostly in cities, -- close to the centers of power. Like Islam, it
too was institutionalized with its monasteries and monks. Muslim swords took a
heavy toll of monk's heads. With its power structure gone, so was Buddhism, to
the most part.
Hinduism survived this period because there was very little institutionalization and because, there were too many Hindus scattered through a wide area. Back then, as the Muslim ruling class realized, it made no economic sense to kill most Hindus, -- with Hindus providing a cheap and copious labor for a few Muslim ruling elite. Nevertheless, the Muslim invaders still managed to kill many millions of infidels Hindus and convert many more. As the Muslim population increased, there was no need for Hindus or other non-Muslims. Most were either killed or expelled. This is what we have seen in every Muslim majority area of South Asia, namely, -- Pakistan, Kashmir valley, or now, in Bangladesh.
Structure and Outlook of Islam
Islam is a highly institutionalized religion, with maulvis or mullahs -- the Islamic clergy, holding control of Muslim masses. Typically, there is a mosque manned by a clergy in every nook and corner of population centers. Most adult males at least attend the Friday sermon.
The mullahs themselves graduate from religious seminaries. They get virtually no modern education. Their education revolves around the Koran, the Hadiths and a glorified history of infidel conquest (jihad) by Muslims, since the days of Prophet Mohammed.
The only rigid interpretation accepted by almost all Muslims is one in which the Koran is the word of God; most, if not all, useful knowledge is in the Koran.
This interpretation has several consequences: Muslims are less likely to be open to modern knowledge and the clergy, due to their command of the Koran, are the only people qualified interpret it and hence guide Muslim masses.
Conclusion: Medieval Islamic clerics rule Muslim masses. Since, according to most clergy, there is no new knowledge to be acquired, they channel the energy and attention of Muslim masses into worldwide jihad – the unfinished chapter of infidel conquest started by Prophet Mohammed. The focus of sermon in mosques, in one way or the other, is connected with jihad. Thus, mosques have become centers of warfare waged on infidels and mullahs, the generals of the new war imposed on civilization.
Islamic Civilization Stands Out
I am going to discuss in detail here how Islam as an ideology has performed in the recent times. Most clerics want to bring Muslims the life style that existed during the time of Prophet Mohammed. Hence, progress is not considered among the desired by Islamic clergy. Muslims, to the most part, have not progressed. Progress requires, figuring out new ways of doing things and seeking out new knowledge. Also, such an approach contradicts the presumption of the Koran being the dominant source of all useful knowledge – making it unacceptable to most Muslim clergies. This has made Islamic civilization extraordinarily non-performing. The evidence is there for all to see, in the from a lack of scientific, manufacturing, art outputs. Except for oil, the contemporary Islamic civilization, to the most part, has become incapable to generating wealth. With a rapidly growing population brought on by modern medicine, Islamic civilization is becoming ever poorer.
Muslim populations, deprived of joy, innovation, knowledge, and fun, have their energies now channeled into never ending conflict with civilization in the form of jihad.
Typically, Muslim communities are led by medieval clerics. When a community develops a "blame everyone else for my ills, but me" type of an outlook (thanks to clerical indoctrination), it tends to become self-centered and uncaring about others. This leads to cruel treatment of infidel non-Muslims in the hands of Islamic civilization.
Most Islamic states are constitutionally Islamic and do not give equal status to non-Muslims or their beliefs. No surprise, most of these states have meager indigenous non-Muslim populations. South Asia is one example of what could happen to non-Muslims in Muslim majority areas in the very recent times. It is nothing short of extermination. This is discussed in detail in one of my previous publications, "New Ideas for a New War".
If one person can become evil, so can vast majority of people from a community. All available evidence, as discussed in this previous publication, points to a majority of South Asian Muslims having evil designs over non-Muslims, -- thanks to the ideology. The South Asian Muslim community’s outlook towards non-Muslims resembles that of a "Smallpox Civilization" (New Ideas for a New War).
Even American Muslims stand out and identify with a most fascist version of Islam – while disowning America’s very own democratic, tolerant, and pluralistic values. An April 2001 survey (reference: "A Safe Heaven", Newsweek, September 30, 2002) by the Council on American-Islamic Relations found 69 percent of Muslims in America saying it is "absolutely fundamental" or "very important" to have Salafi (similar to the fascist Wahhabi) teachings at their mosques (67 percent of respondents also expressed agreement with the statement that "America is an immoral, corrupt society"). To quote Newsweek: "The problem investigators face is that, with so many U.S.-based Muslims apparently in sympathy with fundamentalist views, it's often difficult to determine who is a knowing accomplice and who is an unwitting one. "
How could such an ideology, incapable of generating wealth, but mostly hatred, survive this long? Even in places it is surviving, it is doing so on the basis of wealth extracted from mother earth in the form of oil. In most other places, Islamic societies are disintegrating under the grip of the repressive Islamic ideology.
In India, with a long history of Islam, there exists no version of Islam that is progressive (reference: http://www.saag.org/papers6/paper599.html).
Even Soviet communism, as an ideology, didn’t perform this poorly. The Soviets were known for technological and scientific creativity. But it still lost out to American capitalism due to a lack of liberty.
The relevancy of comparing Islamic ideology with Soviet communist ideology was pointed out in a letter of mine published in the Washington Times on December 8, 2002.
Waffling on Islamic ideology
With the ongoing debate on what Islam stands for intensifying ("Bush praises Islam for its 'morality,'" Page 1, Friday), it is critical for us to understand how Soviet communism was discredited and eventually defeated as an ideology.
First, it failed to bring progress to the people it ruled. But what made it collapse was when the United States informed people of the Eastern Bloc why the system did not work and showed them alternatives that did: namely, the democracy and freedom embodied in America and many Western countries.
Islam, too, is an ideology that clearly needs reform. In fact, the future of civilization depends on that. This can be brought about only through critical analysis of Islam and showing alternatives to Muslims. Because such a discussion obviously is not possible in most Muslim countries under Islamic rule, shouldn't the Bush administration take the initiative?
Imagine where we all would be if past American leadership had characterized communism as a "moral" ideology that merely treats people equally. This is something the Bush administration needs to keep in mind.
Democracy and Islam
Islam being a repressive ideology has two consequences with respect to governing.
It sustains mostly repressive regimes and is unable to sustain democracy. Pakistan is a classic case that tells us why. Below is a letter of mine published in the Washington Times on November 22, 2002.
Pakistan's undemocratic underpinnings
The conclusions found in "Studies say elites spurred to terror" (Business, Wednesday) are incomplete. The question should be, what causes political repression?
Pakistan and India were created in 1947 British-ruled India. When the British left, both of these nations inherited democracy. Hindu-majority India has remained secular and democratic, but Muslim-majority Pakistan couldn't sustain democracy and is now a dictatorship. Pakistan also has become a dominant source and sponsor of Islamic terrorism.
Pakistan couldn't sustain democracy because the retrogressive political
indoctrination taught in its mosques does not allow the separation of church
and state. This has led to political repression amid a flowering of Islamic
This conclusion tells us that if the United States wants to make any Islamic state a model nation for democracy, it must first address the issue of the hateful and retrogressive preaching in its mosques.
What the Scripture Says
As agreed even by most Islamic scholars, the Koran was put together in the current format at least one hundred years after the death of Prophet Mohammed. It is said that when the Prophet recited the Koran, notes were taken in leaves and other material. An obvious question is recently making rounds: How complete, accurate or well-preserved these notes were by various families who inherited them and kept them for well over one hundred years?
Not a Faith
Given its structure, history or performance, Islam appears to be an ideology that was designed to quickly and totally conquer land and subjugate people. It seeks to root out, and has done so, indigenous ideas and the way of life. It’s continued focus on jihad betrays its original military intentions. No surprise, Prophet Mohammed was a successful military commander. Although it does so in the name of God, some of the main attributes one would associate with God, such as kindness, progress, morality, or freedom are rarely seen to be part of Islam’s practical structure. Hence, it couldn’t be considered as a faith on par with other faiths of the world. It must be seen as an ideology, similar to communism.
Ideology as an Intoxicant
As we have seen, the impact of Islam as an ideology, is one, in which people are indoctrinated to wage jihad on infidels is an effect similar to that induced by substance abuse. Pol Pot version of communism, a dethroned genocidal Cambodian regime, was yet another form of an ideological intoxicant. Conclusion: Civilized nations are responsible for protecting their populations not only from physical (as they do now), but also from non-physical (ideological) forms of intoxicants.
Future of Islam
I think, in the next stage of the war on terror, western civilization led by America will work toward discrediting Islamic ideology, similar to the strategy they used in their successful defeat of Soviet communist ideology.
This, coupled with the ongoing military defeats of Islamic extremists will start an exodus from Islam, especially, in western countries. This will create a number of opportunities for many civilized nations to liberate their Muslim populations from Islamic ideology.
Options for India
I am going to focus here on specific steps India could take to liberate its populations from Islamic ideology. India is a unique case in the sense that it has already been once been divided in the name of Islam, portions of its ancient lands permanently lost, and is now being devastated systematically by jihad. It is a prime target country, being at the boundary of where the civilization ends and Islamic fascism begins.
The influence of the clerics extends across the spectrum of Muslim populations, making it very difficult to reform Islam from within. No wonder, there is now a growing realization even in western countries that hands off policy vis-à-vis their resident Muslim population is counter productive, as resident Muslims continue to sink in every measure of progress. Many of these nations are now poised to actively intervene in the religious and cultural affairs of their resident Muslims.
Fifty years of hands off and sometimes, even appeasing policy by various Indian governments has seen the Indian Muslim population only continue to sink, grow, and radicalize. As noted before, with no version of reformed Indian Islam to be found, the necessary approach should be toward total liberation. This is also among the best ways of bringing intellectual and religious freedom to Muslim masses.
The developed western countries have the ability to implement meaningful strategies. But India with a history of poor governing must take on a different approach toward liberating Muslims. I had discussed in my previous publication (Beyond Fatal Democracy), the kind of leadership and mode of governing that is most appropriate to solve this problem. With Hinduism being weakly institutionalized, and obviously unable to stop slaughter of Hindus, the future of Hindu majority India lies in getting a capable and visionary leader as soon as possible.
The key is to destroy the power structure of Islam permanently, -- its seminaries, and the buildings that form the basis for indoctrination, and liquidate violent and unrepentant Islamic extremists, by deploying the Religious Freedom Force (New Ideas for a New War). This power structure, Islam’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness (like Buddhism in early India – first section). Without the power structure, I predict, more than 95% of the ability of Muslim extremists to launch a counter offensive is gone. Given the total domination of Islamic fascism, to achieve success, Muslims must not be allowed to organize themselves in any form. With that, Indian Muslim masses, left repressed and made poor, uneducated, and unorganized by the Islamic ideology, are now ready for liberation. I contend that most Islamic insurgencies have not been tamed because nothing has been done to weaken or neutralize Islam’s power structure.
Civilized societies have enacted laws to shield populations from individuals under substance abuse, through laws that can deny employment under the influence. Convicted criminal offenders are not given the right to vote. Such policies are implemented in America. With intoxicating effects and violent fascism of Islamic ideology well-established, the next step I am proposing involves banning Indian Muslims from any form of employment or business and prevent them from voting – unless they revert to Hinduism, the religion of Muslim ancestors. With ideology discredited, the fascist power structure destroyed, I am certain that most Indian Muslims can be liberated to Hinduism in a matter of months. The ones in border areas will take longer time to tame, but determined Muslim extremists should be pushed to Bangladesh and Pakistan, the lands created for them in the name of Islam. I can’t think of a more civilized and least violent way of liberating Indian Muslims, and stop India from becoming the last graveyard of non-Muslims in South Asia through the relentless jihad.
In the mean time, India needs to be honest in its representation of Islam – no more undeserving glorification of Islam! Bollywood must be made to portray the real Islam and be rid of its Muslim extremist elements, if need be. The decisive Tinnamen Square crack down by the Chinese government in 1991 brought condemnation from the outside world. But it also sustained stability and convinced investors to pour more money into China. Lesson learnt: India has to do whatever it takes to defeat jihad permanently.
Vision for the Rest of South Asia and Beyond
Pakistan has become the fountainhead of worldwide Islamic terrorism. Musharraf’s support for "self-determination" of Muslims in Kashmir, but ignoring the connected issue of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing is an indication that he is really a self-centered pan-Islamist – wanting to achieve the glory of his kind at the expense of others. Thus, Musharraf is part and parcel of the problem and not the solution, as some people in America seem to believe.
Not only in South Asia, there exist little evidence of a reformed version of Islam in practice anywhere. Those who seek to reform Islam as a way of winning the war on terror, in the long run, are staring at an unknown destiny. However, liberation of Muslims to other progressive faiths is one of surer destiny, -- that of peace and progress.
If the US wants to make Iraq a democratic country, perhaps, Iraq needs to become a Christian majority nation. Palestinians must be made to embrace Judaism for them to progress and for a Jewish civilization to thrive deservedly in the region. In South Asia, Pakistan and Bangladesh must be made to embrace Hinduism, the religion of their ancestors, and the underlying culture and language.