What do all these mean?
What policies should we adopt to fight effectively the Islamic strategy to conquer the world by these three arms of Da’wah, Jihad and Hijrah? There are several important recommendations as a working policy:
1) Deal with the issue of immigration. Demographic conquest is the most permanent form of Islamic Da’wah and Jihad in history; the religious cloak is the Trojan Horse Islam uses to infiltrate the cultures and nations it seeks to destroy from within. Unfortunately, our worst enemy is the belief the Muslims wish to assimilate and will integrate in Western societies. Indeed, Europe is running adrift: not because of fanatics who occupy the land, but because of cowards who let them do it.
When you have an immigration policy that allows for the importation of millions of Muslims, you are also importing their ideology, an ideology that is fundamentally hostile to the foundations of western democracy, such as gender equality, pluralism, and individual liberties and freedoms. The best way to safeguard Europe and the US against the destructive effects of this poisonous reality is to enact laws that would bar the entry of foreign nationals who advocate the Sharī’ah, and for those already inside the borders, this should be a deportable offense. The other side is the annihilation of the U.S. Constitution, and consequently all freedoms.
One has to consider Theodore Roosevelt’s 1907 declaration: “Immigrants who come here in good faith become Americans and assimilate themselves in every facet to us… there can be no divided allegiance here. We have room for, but one flag – the American flag, but one language – the English language, but one sole loyalty – to the American institutions and people.” One should also consider the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard: Immigrants, not Australians, must adapt. It is take it or leave it… This is our country, our land, and our lifestyle you have to adapt with. It was Oriana Fallaci who observed so aptly: “Don’t let the multiculturalists fool you: it has never been about race or ethnicity, but about the threat of Islam’s monoculture; the threat to our minds; the threat to our very existence as a free society.”
Soeren Kern depicts the severe situation of the migration crisis from Hungary’s perspective. Europe’s migration crisis begins to expose the deep divisions exist within the European Union members. The EU is no longer being a model for post-nationalism and global citizenship. In 2014, more than 60,000 people have entered Hungary illegally; during the first six months of 2015, a nearly 900% increase over the same period in 2014. Approximately 95% of the migrants entering Hungary are coming from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Kosovo. On July 6, 2015, Hungary’s parliament approved the construction of a massive border fence with Serbia along the 175-kilometer frontier as part of an anti-immigration law that tightens the asylum rules. The move is aimed at stopping tens of thousands of migrants from entering Hungary, which has become a key gateway for illegal immigration into the European Union.
The Hungarian Foreign Minister has justified the moves as necessary to defend his country. “The Hungarian government is committed to defending Hungary and defending the Hungarian people from the immigration pressure. Hungary cannot allow itself to wait any longer.” Hungary is not alone. Bulgaria has built a 33-km barbed-wire fence along its border with Turkey, and more than one thousand police officers patrol the Turkish border. Greece has also erected a 10.5-km, barbed-wire fence along part of its border with Turkey. Spain has fortified fences in the North African exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. This is not a solution, nor the beginning of it. This has brought Chancellor Angela Merkel to warn that the waves of refugees are a bigger challenge than the debt crisis of Europe. Indeed, unless drastic steps are taken, Europe is becoming a province of Islam, an Islamic lebensraum.
Islamic aspirations to dominate the world politically by also enforcing the Sharī’ah as the only legitimate religion in the world are set to happen by the numbers of demography. In 1900 the entire Muslim population was almost 200 million, while the Christian population of the world was bigger almost by three times. According to data, in 2070, there will be more Muslims than Christians in the world. The number of Muslims will increase at more than double the rate of the world’s population.
There is also the persecution, massacre, enslavement, rape and annihilation of Christians in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Raymond Ibrahim, in his monthly reports and in his research proves very clearly the plight of the Christians. There is seemingly not a day goes by without Christian girls being abducted, enslaved, raped, and forced to convert, with the Islamic doctrinal justification for the Muslims’ horrific actions. It is to recall that Christian girls are considered goods to be damaged at leisure. Abusing them is a Muslim right, spoils of war, not to be considered as a crime. London and Sweden have become the capitals of rape, with no authorities’ answer. While unfortunately nobody pays attention to the many patterns of abuse against Christian minorities in the Muslim world, it is now occurring in the West in huge quantities. This is a new kind of Jihad the Free World is witnessing, without retaliation. Can one imagine what will happen when the Muslims become a majority or even 30 percent in the Western world?
2) Ban the application of the Sharī’ah as the state legal system. The first task is to try to ban the Sharī’ah as a legitimate law. It is the law in the Muslim countries, but its application in Non-Islamic states means no less than total disaster. It is possible to understand this when comparing its teachings to the US Constitution. In the US there is the separation of church and state, which was meant to protect the integrity of both, and to avoid religious power struggles. It sanctifies the separation of powers and checks and balances system. It makes the individual freedoms and civil right as a hallmark of the political processes. Islam exactly contradicts these and many more basic issues. Moreover, Islam and its teachings totally violate the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which protects the freedoms of speech and the press and praises individualism. Islam means the total submission and devotion to Allah, orders collectivism, denies that man is at the center and logic is the focus of human life. It also contradicts human freedoms and civil rights.
Islam and the Constitution of the US are incompatible, exactly like the communist and the Nazi ideologies. That is why it is easy to deny the adoption of the Sharī’ah. In Islam, freedoms and civil rights are absolutely missing; discriminating against women and disappearance of minorities are pervasive; and hatred of the other and incitement against him are the main characteristics. Islamic history and contemporary history clearly demonstrate that it spread by force and violence, which violates James Madison’s, fundamental and undeniable truth, in 1785: “We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth that religion or the duty which we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” No wonder he has been known as Father of the Constitution.
The question is how to stop Islam from being imposed on the Free World as the formal religion? Muslims can practice their religion as all other religions do, but Muslims must abide by the laws of their benevolent states’ laws and constitutions. The best way to begin with is to spread the truth about it. If we tell the truth about the bloody violent history of Islam; if we clearly observe and analyse the current Islamic politics with its extremist variations; if we tell the truth about the Sharī’ah, then Islam will be stopped in its march of occupation of the Free World. Instead of hatred and fear, so dominant in Islamic religion and way of life, one has to recall Thomas Jefferson’s: “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Truth will also set the Free World’s peoples free and stick to the separation between the state and the religion. In our democracies man is at the centre and the rule of logic is at focus; while in Islam Allah is at the centre and submission to Allah is at focus.
The problem is that the majority of the peoples of the Free World are ignorant about the Islamic message and targets, and they are stupid enough not to learn its contents. They are naïve about the Islamic mission and they do not know about the real essence of Islam, because they do not bother to read and to learn. Instead, they act according to their own mirror image, believing the Muslims will become and behave like them. They are stunned by their failure when they watch the radicalization and extremism of the ‘third generation’ Muslims, and still they continue failing to connect the dots and come to the right conclusions. Unfortunately, they get their facts from the media; but the contemporary media is busy with a totally different agenda than conveying the Free World’s interests; and it also disseminates totally different messages.
The question is how to indoctrinate and socialize people about the deep hazards coming from Islam, about what endangers the Free World’s existence. Here comes the successful contribution of the Muslims with their diplomacy of deceit by Da’wah. When one quotes passages from the Qur’an to show how vile and evil they are, the Muslim propagators say that he quotes them out of context; and that he does not understand the meaning: that he does not even know Arabic; and that he reads the Qur’an from dubious translations, and other strange accusations. But they never tell us in what context the hundreds of verses can mean something else, and they never give another meaning. However, the fact is that those very scant verses in the Qur’an that they quote as peaceful are not only out of context, they have nothing to do with tolerance and peacefulness and compassion.
This is crucially important since it is the Islamic Da’wah’s highest strategy. It has been raised in the Netherlands; in Canada; Australia; and it is applied in Britain, after the Archbishop of Canterbury said that adoption of certain aspects of Sharī’ah in UK “seems unavoidable.” This is suicidal. The example to be taken is the Oklahoma House of Representatives which passed a Joint Resolution, 1056, to prohibit Oklahoma courts from considering Sharī’ah law in their court rulings.
If Western civilization really wants to get tough, its nations should outlaw the Sharī’ah. Public funds should be cut off immediately to Muslim groups that refuse to condemn and directly act against Muslim extremism. Muslim local imams who preach Jihad or hatred should be jailed, and those coming mainly from Saudi-Arabia, Qatar and Iran must be expelled and ban entering Western states, and their mosques closed.
c) Ban The harassing Islamic lawsuits. Western laws and values have become a weapon of war against its own by Islamic organizations. For that, it is crucially vital to protect our liberties by enacting laws prohibiting the degrading reality of Islamic lawsuits. Freedom of speech is under threat all over the Free World. The Muslim terrorists want to kill us, and Western governments want to silence us by legal or political harassment, out of intimidation and ignorance. A free society should not grant freedom to those who want to destroy it. As Abraham Lincoln said: “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”. We are not only confronted with the threat of Islamization by adopting the Sharī’ah, but also with the folly of cultural relativism and the appeasement mentality of our political leaders.
In the name of freedom, we have to speak out. No matter what the consequences are. Free speech is a fragile thing that must be boldly and courageously defended. The West’s political, academic, and media establishment are concealing the truth from their own people about the scope of the Islamic threat. Truth is our only weapon, and as long as we are free to speak, we can tell people the truth and make them realize what is at stake. However, when we defend the Judeo-Christian values and speak the truth about Islam it must not be labeled as “hate speech.” Criticizing Islam is considered ‘hate speech’ nowadays, but this attitude is anti-democratic. Criticism is the hallmark of a free society. Freedoms exist and are strengthened by criticism.
We are in the middle of the Third World War, and the battleground is not with tanks and airplanes (although this might come later on), but it is a conflict between freedom and tyranny staged on all fronts. We must spread the message about Islam. That is our first and most important duty. We have to stop pretending that Islam is only a religion. It is political more than it is a religion. It aims to occupy the world, and the Muslims declare it quite clearly, as it is written in the Qur’an. We must speak out the truth without censoring ourselves; draw the conclusions without the hedonism of the politically correct and the vicious slogans of multiculturalism and relativism; and we must act upon these conclusions courageously. If we allow ourselves to be self-censored about anything we say about Islam, soon Islam will start telling us how to live. We should never allow ourselves to be intimidated. That is how civilizations are led into political decay.
d) Change the lenient policy towards Muslim extremists, mainly Imāms that spread incitement and hatred among their followers. Michael Radu relates to the core issue of Islamic radicalism in Europe: Imāms and mosques. Without radical imāms, the entire ideological, political, psychological edifice of Islamism would crumble. No jihadist terrorist act has ever been committed without theological sanction from a cleric. Any solution has to start with the radical Imāms. The Free World states must act to deport the thousands of visiting Imāms, who mostly are financed by Saudi-Arabia and Qatar, and partly by Iran. Every investigation clearly reveals the crucial role of the Imāms in radicalizing the masses, and their role in antagonizing the Muslim communities towards and in Europe and the US. Unfortunately, Oriana Fallaci was so correct to observe that behind every Islamic terrorist there is an Imām. A life-wishing state must begin with this.
Not all Muslims are terrorists but, regrettably, the majority of the terrorists in the world are Muslims. For over 10 years, we have warned against the dangers of leniency in handling the extremism that is now spreading like a plague among Muslim immigrants. The battle is against the ideology that spreads propaganda of hatred and incitement among the Muslims. In the past, we told you: ‘Stop them!’ Today, we tell you: ‘Expel them.’ Immigration must be stopped and strict rules should be passed and enforced.
e) Ban the petro-dollar money flow of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The so-called “charity money,” Zakat, goes mainly to Da’wah’s hate and incitement organizations. Money is the blood that maintains and nurtures the Islamic occupation of Europe. Between 1982 and 2002, 1,500 mosques, 210 Islamic centers and 2,000 Muslim schools were established in non-Muslim countries. There are 200 mosques and 90 imams in Austria; 1,600 Mosques and 1,250 Imams in France; 1,000 mosques and 1,500 Imams in Germany; 500 mosques and 2,000 Imams in Britain. Academic chairs for Islamic studies and Islamic research institutes exist in many universities throughout the world. Hundreds of billions of dollars were spent by Saudi charities to “propagate” Islam worldwide.
Reza Safa estimates that since 1973, the Saudi government has spent an unbelievable 87 Billion dollars to promote the ideology of Wahhabism in the US and Europe. He brings official Saudi information that shows Saudi funds have been used to build and maintain over 1,500 mosques, 202 colleges, 210 Islamic centers, and almost 2,000 schools for educating Muslim children in non-Islamic countries in Europe and the US.
In 2002, The Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP) undertook a survey of Saudi Arabian textbooks and its Wahhabi outlook on the West as well as Saudi notions of government and other political issues. The Report analyzes 93 school textbooks taught in grades 1-10, mostly from the years 1999-2002 and presents the religious and political worldview to school students between the ages of 6 and 16. In these Wahhabi texts, Islam is presented as the only true religion while all other religions are presented as false. “Islam is the only religion leading its followers to Paradise, whereas all other religions destroy their believers in Hell. Muslims are, consequently, superior to followers of all other religions, in both this world and the next.” The message is clear: Wahhabi Islam must dominate the entire world. There is no democratization and no modernization, as Wahhabism stands as a monument to stagnation and decline.
Muslims are obliged to consider all infidels the enemy. The West is the source of all misfortunes of the Muslim world, its most dangerous effect on Muslim society being “its cultural and intellectual influence in all fields of life.” An estimated 30,000 Muslim children attend Saudi-funded Wahhabi day schools in America. Intolerance and outright rejection of American values and democratic ideals are taught. The Saudis have also directed considerable outreach toward the American Afro-American Muslim community, and they have special programs aimed at converting blacks in US prisons.
The preaching of hatred of the Kuffār is part of demonizing and dehumanizing them, and this has been re-enforced in the mosques and Madāris all along Islamic history. Since the mid-1960s the Saudi royal family has funded Islamic radicalization around the world. The Saudi government spends billions of dollars to spread Islam to every corner of the earth deliberately and purposely. This conception resembles the Nazi indoctrination and hatred schooling of beliefs in Germany, which was proven to be so effective. Indeed, beliefs can be modified massively through propagating policy intervention. There is no pause in the Islamist hate propaganda and indoctrination among Muslim communities in the West, and it is a must, a deadly one, to find and to execute immediately effective means to de-radicalize this plague.
The Islamic doctrine of assaulting the world took place in two large waves: first, the conquests of the Middle East, Andalusia and Asia, mainly through the years 632-712, which is the period of occupations of the Arab Empire; second, through the years 1453-1683 by the Ottoman Empire. The result was horrific: civilizations have been annihilated, coerced into conversion and subjugation; the Middle East was predominantly Christian; Iran mostly Zoroastrian; Afghanistan and Central Asia were Buddhist; Pakistan was Hindu, and the Balkans were Christian. All have fallen prey to the invasion of Islam, and they are a vivid example of the standards of Islamic way of life.
Now, a third wave is taking place: the Islamic encroachment and occupation of the Free World. It uses the familiar Jihad, all sorts of intimidation, violence, and terrorism; it uses Da’wah, all means of propagation, aiming at deceiving, confusing and misleading the infidels, and to pave the way to Islamization; and it uses Hijrah, of immigration and demography, a lethal threat to flood the Free World’s territories with Muslims, and to convert their inhabitants. This is a calculated strategy by all means to achieve Islam’s universal goals to subdue and to cause Western civilization to capitulate. In the words of Oriana Fallaci, the Free World has become an outpost of an Islamic province, and in each of our cities lies a second city: a Muslim city, a city run by the Qur’an, a stage in the Islamic expansionism.
This situation is exemplified by the words of Abdallah Azzam, al-Qaeda’s founder and Bin Laden’s mentor: The life of the Islamic Ummah is solely dependent on the ink of its scholars, which is Da’wah, and the blood of its Mujāhidīn, which is Jihad, and the Muslim women’s womb, which is Hijrah. What is more beautiful than delineating the map of Islamic history with the black color that writes the Ummah’s history by its scholars, and the red color that shapes its borders by the Mujāhidīn’s blood?
The problem is that the Free World’s leaders, the media and cultural elites do not understand the situation and do not connect the dots clearly as they appear on the picture. They do not see the combined strategy of Jihad Da’wah and Hijrah. They concentrate on fighting Islamic terrorism while they totally ignore the Da’wah propagation, naively believing in a false sense of mutual friendship with Muslims, and they see the Hijrah as a social issue as the immigrants will eventually be assimilated and integrated. However, this is not only a myth, this is one of the greatest misconceptions of the millennium, and this is the worst nightmare ever, because all these groups are working, although separately and with different tactics and timetables, to achieve the same Islamic universal targets. The Free World’s leaders do not connect the dots and in fact they do work for Islam’s sake. What we do not understand is that securing our freedoms means sobriety in understanding reality and vigilance in pro-active vision. Vigilance means identifying and defining the enemy; clearly understanding the situation; and making the right, beneficial and insightful decisions. This is the first commandment of existence.
Indeed, there are moments in life when keeping silent becomes a fault, and speaking becomes an obligation, a civic duty, a moral challenge, and a categorical imperative from which we cannot escape. The moment one gives up his principles, values, and his freedoms, he is dead; his culture and way of life are dead, and his civilization is dead. Muslims who refuse to accept the Free World’s culture and way of life have the alternative not to live there. They must not try to impose their culture and way of life on us. To reject Islamic culture and way of life is an uppermost duty towards our culture, values, principles, and in fact our civilization. Europe is no longer Europe, it is Eurabia, where the Islamic invasion does not proceed only in a physical sense, but also in mental and cultural senses. The colonization of Europe by tens of millions of Muslims is on a scale unmatched in human history. The states of Western Europe today face a large, angry, separatist population, a third and even a fourth generation of young, radical and fanatical Muslims who are ready to tear down and wreak havoc in their benevolent generous hosts’ countries.
While analyzing these spheres, it is crucially important to understand the Islamic grand strategy. It works on all the spectrums with all available means, with no orderly schemes, but according to the ‘vacuum theory’. This strategy is real, imminent and lethal. While we spend most of our energies, attention, and expenditures on fighting Jihad and thwarting terrorism, we, out of oblivion and complacency, fail to comprehend and internalize the real fronts we face, which are Da’wah and Hijrah.
Islam commands its followers to spread the religion by force of Jihad as much as by propagation of Da’wah, and the demography of Hijrah. Conquests, conversion and subduing and immigration are legitimized and justified as the means to the utmost target. The Islamic empire must continually expand, and no grain of the earth is exempted. Islam insists that the first and utmost allegiance of the believer is to Islam. More than his family, his tribe, or his country, dying for the sake of Allah is the only way to guarantee entrance into Paradise, which is the utmost motivation for creating fearless, enthusiastic, zealots warriors of Islam.
How can we explain the Free World’s ill-suited reaction; its hypnotized paralysis? Is it hedonism alone? Is it the petro-dollar? Is it the guilt and remorse of the imperialist-colonialist past? Is it the unawareness of the implications of the stealth politics of the Da’wah? The fatal errors of policy-makers, public opinion molders and the media communications can be explained by the following components: a) the distorted mirror image, which is scientifically oriented and denotes cultural fallacies; b) the politically correctness, so pervasive in the West and deeply rooted in its social behavior; c) the oblivion and opacity of policy-makers, which is the march of folly, of ignorance and stupidity; d) the mental blindness and selective hearing of the political leaders and the media concerning the situation; e) the politics of denial and mental inhibition of Western leaders. This reality causes a combined politics of appeasement and subjection to intimidation that stems out of a deep fear that runs rampant causing leadership to act as if there is nothing wrong with Islam. Tragically, truth has become the new hate speech. It exemplifies George Orwell’s: “during times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
We are frightened; intimidated; horrified; and terrorized in front of the violent, the villain and the savage, and we want to come back to our sanity out of this madness — by running away; by giving in and paying “protection money;” and by accommodating ourselves to their demands. An indication of this horrific situation comes from Tim Benson, Head of the Cartoonists Union in Britain: after smearing Israeli politicians so many times, in a purely anti-Semite approach, he was asked why he does not even try to blame the Muslims. His answer is the best for unmasking the issue: “the Jews do not issue killing Fatawā.”
This is the whole story: ‘the Jews do not issue killing Fatwahs;’ and the Christians too do not issue killing Fatwahs; only Muslims issue killing Fatwahs. And the horrible thing is that there are so many among the Muslims who run enthusiastically to perform and execute these atrocious obscene Fatwahs. In the same vein, here is the proof: a couple of Danish artists produced an ‘artistic’ exhibition in Berlin in April 2010, by drawing the map of the Middle East without the existence of Israel. Jews and Christians are persecuted, harassed, and at the same time are pictured as demons and the epitome of evil, without any fear of a ‘killing Fatawā.’
However, this is nothing compared to the main issue. Islam would have not won without the close assistance of the empty, unscientific, pseudo-academic ideas of the anarchist-Bolshevik production of multiculturalism and moral relativism. Islam would have not won without the naïve, ignorant, false beliefs, political correctness, and misconceptions of the Free World. The result is horrific: we live in an world turned upside-down, as Melanie Phillips asserts: the rejection of the Judeo-Christian tradition and the victory of post-modernism have paved the way for and facilitated the dooming of Western culture. Europe becomes more and more a province of Islam, a colony of Islam, an Islamic lebensraum, as much as the entire Free World.
That is, if the Free World does not wake up and sober up very soon; if it does not leave behind its political correctness and complacency; if it continues its ignorance and stupidity about what Islam really means; if it continues its intoxicated slumber and its idiot-fool beliefs about the good in every human being — then there is a high probability that the highest modern technological society will perish. But there is also a great paradox: Islam cannot live on its own. Muslims need others to sustain and to activate modern life. From the very first days, Muslims used to live by raids (Ghazawāt) plundering the others and taking booty (Ghanā’im) from them. What future is left for them without raids on the other and without their booty? That is, a double tragedy occurs: as long as Islam continues its encroachment, the Free World is weakening; and as it weakens, Islam becomes stronger to the point of annihilating the Free World, it being Kuffār. But this annihilation also means the destruction of Islam. This is the pure embodiment of the Pyrrhic victory, a tragedy to all participants.
Winston Churchill has written the following, in his book from 1899:
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.”
Indeed, this is exactly how civilization dies. In the struggle for our free democratic existence, we must reiterate the quotation of old Cato in the Roman Senate: Ceterum senseo Carthago esse delendam. It was Winston Churchill, to declare in his May 1940 speech in the British Parliament:
“You ask: what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory; victory at all costs; victory in spite of all terror, however long or hard the road may be. For without victory there is no survival.”
Religious Tourism in Pakistan: The Case of Sikhism & Buddhism
Religious tourism plays an important role in reviving the country’s economic activity through promoting religious-based tourism. Realizing the economic and political importance of this sector, the Government has taken ample measures to support this industry. Hence, with Government support and improved law and order situation, religious-based tourism in Pakistan is flourishing and attracting different communities.
Pakistan is situated in a region that has been home to diverging civilizations, the world’s two major religions Buddhism and Sikhism have been dominant in this land for many centuries. Besides, this region also hosted followers of pre-historic religions such as the Aryan, Barhaman, and ancient Iranian and Greeks dated back to 5,000 years. Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab provinces of Pakistan, therefore, have plenty of historical sites linked to the two religions.
According to various global traveling planners, Buddhist tourism has an estimated market of 100 million dollars across the world. Pakistan’s Gandhara region comprising Mardan, Taxila, and Swat holds a special value for them. Large to medium-sized stupas of Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and other heritage sites in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt, from the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region to the tourist valley of Swat are very famous among Buddhist tourists from across the globe. A 2016 Gallup survey of the Buddhist population across a selected pool of countries identified 58 million “interested visitors”, out of which 5pc (2.9 million) were “likely to visit” Pakistan.
Importantly, all the Buddhist heritage sites are fully protected and got the status of heritage. Pakistan has seen a significant increase in the number of Buddhist tourists from Japan, Korea, Hongkong, China, and Sri Lanka in the last few years. Pakistan is home to thousands of Buddhists who enjoy all types of perks, privileges, and rights and enjoy liberty like other citizens. The most visited and holiest places for Buddhism in Pakistan are Dharmarajika Stupa, Sleeping Buddha, Takht-i-Bhai, Stupa of Mankiala, and Gandhara civilization.
Takhtbai is a small scenic town located, around 160 kilometers from the capital Islamabad, is the most visited site by the Buddhists, who flock to see the ancient monastery dated back to the 1st century. Takht-i-Bahi alone has the potential to attract a major proportion of the 50 million Mahayana Buddhists in Korea, China, and Japan.
Another very important site located at Taxila in Punjab is also considered a very sacred site for Buddhists, this site includes a Mesolithic cave and the archaeological remains of several Buddhist monasteries.
Korean Buddhists in particular trace their religious origin to the area that is now Pakistan, where Korean monk Hyecho traveled 1,300 years ago. A few years back, a 48-feet-long Buddha was also unearthed in Haripur Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, making it the world’s oldest sleeping Buddha statue.
Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh faith and Darbar Sahib was his last resting place, therefore, Sikhs consider Pakistan as a holy place. The five most important pilgrimage sites for Sikhs include Kartarpur Sahib, Gurdwara Panja Sahib, Gurdwara Dera Sahib Lahore, Nankana Sahib, and Samadhi of Ranjit Singh Lahore. Sikh tourism, heritage, cultural and religious tourism are the gems of Punjab.
The successful opening of the Kartarpur corridor has encouraged many in the global Sikh community to consider visiting the holy Sikh site in the heart of Pakistan. The Kartarpur Corridor, an initiative by the current civil-military leadership of Pakistan is intended to link a Gurudwara Darbar Sahib across the Indian side. The opening of the Kartarpur corridor (Narowal) attracted more religious tourists to Pakistan.
Pakistan knows how to respect other religions and recognizes the need for religious freedom. According to Article 36, the Constitution of Pakistan enshrines that the state will protect the legal rights and interests of ethnic minorities.
The development of the Kartarpur Corridor is part of the same effort to promote religious freedom and harmony of ethnic minorities. In November 2021, more than 8000 Sikh pilgrims from all over the world visited Pakistan to celebrate the birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, out of which 3000 entries were allowed by Pakistan High Commission in India.
To facilitate the tourists; Pakistan, in 2019 launched an online visa application process, easing the lengthy process of visa. It has shortened the visa process considerably, which is a major improvement over the traditional visa application process. Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) also holds roadshows and seminars through Pakistani embassies across the world to attract religious tourism. Pakistan has massive potential for religious tourism especially in the case of Sikhs and Buddhists. The federal government has also planned to use the country’s potential for religious tourism and developed special strategies for preserving religious places and providing services to tourists who come here to visit holy places. Adequate hospitality for believers, in addition to generating income, is also helping to improve Pakistan’s soft image. Pakistan is focused to provide all the facilities to religious tourists like simple visa processing, their stay, hoteling, transportation, etc. Pakistan has become the torchbearer of religious tourism and inter-faith harmony across the globe.
Santa Claus rueful at imminent Christmas in India
Ahead of Christmas, Indian police raided a shishu bhavan (infant house or orphanage) in Kolcatta (West Bengal) and another at Vdodra (Gujarat), Indian prime minister’s home state. The Kolkatta orphanage was established by Mother Teresa herself, and was being run by the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata since February11, 2014. The raiding police claimed that the orphanages were forcibly converting Hindu children to Christianity. They were forced to wear cross, recite the Holy Bible, and eat pork. The orphanage administrations deny the charges and call them “trumped up. For instance a nun at the Kolkatta orphanage pointed out that the police acted upon complaint of the estranged father of an infant whose mother worked in the kitchen. The orphanage served only vegetarian food and chicken once a week (Indian police probe Mother Teresa’s charity, raid orphanage for ‘forced conversion’ , Licas News, December 15, 2021).
The persecution of Christians rose by leaps and bounds after Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory and. appointment of Narendra Modi’sas prime minister of India. The raids were not isolated events. During the year 2021, there were over 300 attacks on Christians.
In its reportage dated December 23, 2021, the prestigious Dawn demanded Modi “should be prosecuted for not prosecuting and restricting religious freedom”. It added, “Many human rights groups in India have documented over 300 incidents of Christian persecution in the first nine months of the current year, warning that the Christmas this year might be the worst. The US Commission on Religious Freedom has requested the State Department to label India as a “country of particular concern. The persecution against Christians and other religious minorities have increased since 2014 when the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power, and Narendra Modi became the prime minister. Christians in India brace for persecution as Christmas approaches. However, there are serious concerns over hate against Christians’ places of worship in India. In recent months, there has been a surge of violence against Christians who make only 2.3 per cent of India’s population. India has been ranked the 10th worst country globally by the Open Doors USA 2021 World Watch List when it comes to Christian persecution (Minorities in India facing persecution, Dawn, December 23, 2021).
As incriminating evidence, the raiding police mention “13 Bibles were found in the library of the institute and girls staying there were forced to read the religious text”. The Missionaries of Charity, founded in 1950 by the late Mother Teresa, denied the allegations.
In Madhya Pradesh state, authorities also, authorities raided an orphanage, The St Francis Sevadham (charity home) orphanage in Shyampura area (Sagar district) on suspicion that children were fed beef and made to read the Bible. Father Shinto Varghese, director of St. Francis Sevadham orphanage said beef is not even available in the state and only chicken is served once a week and “other nutritious substitutes for vegetarians.”
The priest also clarified that denied that scriptures of all faiths were placed in the prayer room, not bibles only, and that no one was forced to read the Bible as claimed. Father Varghese, who had taken, said the real issue is the 277-acre land that was leased to the orphanage in 1875 for a period of 99 years.
He alleged that upon pressure of Hindu hardliners the state government now wants to take the land.
Earlier there were attacks on churches in New Delhi on February 5, 2015. Following the attack, Christians demonstrated outside the Sacred Heart Cathedral. Christians say they have been feeling very insecure since 2014 when Narendra Modi came to.
In 2020, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom listed India as a “country of particular concern” for the first time since 2004.
Attacks on Christian-managed schools
Such attacks are seldom reported. But, the recent attack by a Hindu mob of 200 to 300 people in Madhya Pradesh came into limelight. According to Brother Anthony Tynumkal, principal of St Joseph School, the mob pelted stones at the building. They later barged into the school while students were taking their exam.
Sister Clarissa, speaking from the house in Vadodara, said: “We are in shock, what they say is not true at all and the investigations are ongoing.”
Archbishop Felix MachadoVasai, secretary general of the Indian Bishops’ Conference, told the Asia News agency that he was “deeply distressed” by the investigation.
Although nearly 80 per cent of the country’s one billion population are Hindu, there are also 28 million Christians, who make up 2.3 per cent of its population. Some Christian communities in India were established by St Thomas, the Apostle, in the first century.
Hindu nationalist politicians often stoke hatred against Christians and other minorities (dalit, Muslims, etc) castigating them as outsiders who cannot be trusted. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Sangh Parivar, BJP and other Hindu outfits ‘ slogan is “Hindustan is for the Hindus”. They want Christians and Muslims to leave India as they look towards Vatican City or Mecca. The country in 2020 was ranked the 10th worst in the world for the persecution of Christians by Open Doors, the human rights group.
Why Hindus convert to Christianity
Hindus, particularly the low castes, embrace Christianity or Islam because of the regressive Hindu caste system (Varna, averna, saverna). There are no forceful conversions though several states have outlawed coercive conversions.
Disgusted with religio-economic extremism, more and more people, including dalit (down-trodden) are converting to Christianity, a class-less community. Dalits are not allowed to enter even high-caste Hindu temples. Some dalits were even killed at doorsteps of temples for daring tread foot-steps to temples. According to religious tables in India’s Census Report, 24 million Christians constitute 2.3 percent of India’s total population of 1,028 million. The Christian population includes 14 million Christian dalits. Dalits are Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist members of “untouchable” castes who convert to Christianity. The “untouchable” (sudra) Christians are the most neglected community in India.
Roots of Christianity in India
Christianity is India’s third-most followed religion after Hinduism and Islam. According to religious tables in India’s 2011 census of population, excepting counting, errors and omissions, about 28 million Christians live in India. They constitute 2.3 percent of India’s population. Thomas the Apostle introduced Christianity to India. He reached the Malabar Coast (Kerala) in 52 AD. And, he carried on preaching in every nook and corner of India until martyred.
Today, Christians live all across particularly in South India and the southern shore, the Konkan Coast, and Northeast India. Through sheer hard work, Indian Christians developed niches in all walks of Indian national life. They include former and current chief ministers, governors and chief election commissioners. To the ruling Bharatiya Janata party’s chagrin, Christians are the second most educated religious group in India after Jains. Christian women outnumber men among the various religious communities in India. The fanatic Hindus fear lest Christianity, with its egalitarian and social- service message, should engulf Hinduism.
Arrival of Catholicism
Till 16th century, Roman Catholicism was unknown to India. It was introduced by the Portuguese, Italian and Irish Jesuits who preached the gospel of Jesus Christ among the Indians. Alongside preaching, the preachers established Christian schools, hospitals, primary health-care centres through their missions. Later, British, American, German, Scottish missionaries came to preach Evangelical. The evangelist introduced English in missionary schools and translated the Holy Bible into various Indian languages (including Urdu, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, and others).
Christians now form a major religious group in three states of India: Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland with plural majority in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. Significant Christian population lives in Coastal Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Kanara (South India).
Pioneers of persecution
India’s present prime minister Narendra Modi, when chief minister of Gujarat state, and LK Advani could be called pioneers of anti-Christian movement. They distributed Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) manifesto, which, inter alia, spoke of enacting an anti-conversion law in states including Gujarat. The laws against conversion are meant to persecute minorities.
The BJP’s manifesto was outcome of decades of hatred, stoked up by Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) elements acting with legal impunity and state governments’ connivance. The anti-Muslim hatred created a gory situation first in Gujarat and then in Orissa. The BJP accentuated its propaganda to create an incendiary situation against the aforementioned minorities in different states during elections.
The BJP acted hands in gloves with Sangh Parivar a collection of Hindu nationalist organisations co-operating towards making India a Hindu State to weave religion and politics strategically together in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enabling the Sangh to exploit religion for political gain.
The country’s legislative history, relating to the issue of conversion underscores the reality that the government always harbored grudge against conversion. Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan. Arunachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu passed Freedom of Religion Acts. A common feature of these anti-conversion law is that they made so-called ‘forced conversion’ a cognisable offence under sections 295 A and 298 of the Indian Penal Code.
Cognisability of the offence allowed police to harass missionaries and converts under influence of Hindu fanatics or Government functionaries. Some Indian courts intervened to stop persecution of nouveau converts or Christian preachers. For instance, Chief Justice A.N. Ray in Reverend Stainislaus v. State of Madhya Pradesh (AIR 1977 SC 908), and Yulitha v. State of Orissa and others, ruled that propagation is different from conversion. Ray observed adoption of a new religion is freedom of conscience, while conversion would impinge on ‘freedom of choice’ granted to all citizens alike. But the state governments remained nonchalant to the courts’ observations. The courts’ decisions being declaratory (certiorari), not mandatory (mandamus), remained un-implemented. Interestingly, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (February 1981) advised the State Governments and Union Territories to enact laws to regulate change of religion on the lines of the existing Acts in Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Arunachal Pradesh (The Statesman, Delhi, November 16, 1982).
There are iron-clad guarantees in the Constitution for religious freedom. Yet, not only the born Christians but also Hindus who become Christians complain of persecution. It is not only Orissa, but also several other Indian states that have passed anti-conversion bills forbidding Hindus to convert to other religions. Such legislation violates the UN Charter of Human Rights which gives a person the right to change his or her religion.
The ostensible justification for such laws is that, in a democracy, the majority has the right to benefit from the principle of ‘majority rule. So, Hindustan (India) is primarily for the Hindus only.
The anti-conversion campaign aimed at restricting the right to propagate religion, which is guaranteed by Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. The aim of the two parties was to convert India into a Hindu state. India claims to be a secular country. But, unfortunately
Harassment and social boycott
To discourage dalits from converting to Christianity, not only the Centre but also the Indian states have deprived ‘dalit Christians’ of minority-status privileges. Any Hindu who converts to Christianity is socially boycotted and tortured in different ways. Six women at Kilipala village in Jagatsinghpur district (Orissa) had their heads tonsured by influential Hindus. Their offence was abandoning Hindu faith at their own free will. Christian missionaries are harassed, deported and even killed. The Indian government ordered ‘deportation of three American preachers from Church of Christ in North Carolina on the first available flight to the US.’.
To add insult to their injury, the preachers were even attacked by Hindu fanatics. They had a narrow escape. Courts rarely punish people who manhandle Christian preachers. Dara Singh murdered Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons.
A few years back, Hindus attacked Christians as tit-for-tat for a book which allegedly insulted Hindu deities. Investigations revealed that the book was not written by any Christian. But, it happened to be displayed on one of the Emmanuel Mission’s book-shops for sale. The Mission is a Christian organisation that runs a chain of schools in various Indian states.
RSS dubs the Christians “anti-national and terrorists”
In a resolution, the RSS has called upon the Hindus, particularly Swayamsevaks, to be vigilant about `anti-national and terrorist’ Christian groups, posing a threat to the country’s internal security. It urged the Government to take strong measures against said groups. They condemned Pope John Paul II’s statement criticising Indian states’ legislations banning conversions of the Hindus by missionaries. The executive declared that such conversions were a direct challenge to the sovereignty of the country. It is significant to mention that the Pope had just said that ‘‘free exercise of the natural right to religious freedom was prohibited in India”. RSS’s resolution ignored that the right to change one’s religion was enshrined in the UNO’s Charter of Human Rights, also.
The RSS urged the Centre to lodge a protest with the Pope for exhorting the Christian missionaries to carry on their campaign of conversions defying the law of the land. The persecution continued for five more years. On 12 October 2008, he Pope Benedict XVI was compelled to draw the Indian government’s attention to the continuing anti-Christian violence in India.
On 28 October, the Vatican called upon the memory of Mahatma Gandhi for an end to the religious violence in Orissa. In a written appeal addressed to Hindus, the Vatican office said Christian and Hindu leaders needed to foster a belief in non-violence among followers (“Vatican invokes Gandhi in plea to end Orissa violence“. In.reuters.com. 28 October 2008).
Christians dubbed `insurgents’
In his interview with India Today (April 4, 2005, Christian Missionaries are with Naxals, page 80-81), K. S. Sudersan (Rashtrya Swayem Sevak Sangh) says, ‘Naxals have a safe base in Andhra Pradesh because Christian missionaries are with them. They attack mandir (temples) and other Hindu institutions but never attack a Church. Because the Chief Minister is a Christian, he has given them abhaydaan (freedom from fear) and crowds of two lakh or more they can gather’.
Sizeable number of Christians (Catholics) also lives in Pondicherry and Goa. A much smaller number live scattered amongst the majority Hindu population in the rest of India.
More incidents of violence
Incidents of violence against Christians have occurred in nearly all parts of India, particularly in north, central, and western India, in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and the capital area of New Delhi.
The genocide of Christians in India’s north-eastern state Orissa was outcome of Hindus’ muffled hatred against Christians. Over 500 Christians, including some nuns, were burnt alive. Countless churches, houses and shops were gutted. Even Christian orphanages were not spared.
Attacks on churches
In June 2000, four churches around India were bombed (Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu). A church in Maharashtra was ransacked. In September 2008, two churches were partly damaged in Kerala. In 2015, a church building under construction was vandalised in Haryana. St. George church in Mumbai was also attacked by masked persons. In the same month, the cathedral of Jabalpur was attacked and more than a dozen people were injured. The same cathedral had also been attacked in 2008 and the entire altar burnt down. In April 2015, St. Mary’s Church in Agra was vandalised and statues of Mother Mary and the Infant Jesus were damaged. A Church in the Kachna area of Raipur was attacked by a mob during a Sunday service and five people were injured when they tried to stop the assailants.
Several churches were attacked in the capital Delhi in recent years. They include St. Sebastian’s Church (burned), St. Stephen’s college chapel May 5, 2018 (vandalised and the cross desecrated with pro-Hindutva slogans).
In Madhya Pradesh a church was destroyed and bibles were burnt in Mandla district in September 2014. In March 2015, a Bible convention was attacked in Jabalpur, with allegations that religious conversions were taking place. So on.
Hindus are an ungrateful nation. They ignore the fact that Christian missionaries started coming to India, particularly the North-East, in the late 19th century. They promoted education and socio-economic developmental work in the region. In Rajasthan, the Emmanuel Mission, alone, runs over 50 schools.
India should have the decency to let Christians celebrate Christmas freely.
The Hindu, Hinduism, and Hindutva
Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s book Sunrise Over Ayodhya has irked not only the Hindu extremists but also some moderate leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad. The bone of contention is his comparison of Hindutva to terror outfits with ISIS and Boko Haram. Some people pelted stones on Khurshid’s Nainital residence, before trying to set it afire. In viral videos, Khurshid says,’If you want to see what Hindutva does, see the burnt door in my Nainital home’. Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister of the occupied Kashmir, and Rahul Gandhi supported Khurshid’s observations in the book. Mehbooba said, `Those who make Hindus and Muslims fight in the name of religion can be compared with ISIS or any other (terror group) because both of them kill people in the name of religion’. Referring to ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world is one family, as taught by Hindu scriptures), she said: “Sanatan Dharma teaches us that the world is one family. What BJP and RSS are trying to teach us is neither Hindutva nor Hinduism.”
She said Sananatan dharam teaches inclusivity and BJP is antithesis to that. Mehbooba clarified that the real Sanatan Dharma doesn’t teach communalism. She accused RSS-BJP combine of hijacking Hinduism and Hindutva, and making people fight against each other all over the country.
Rahul Gandhi questioned, ‘Is Hinduism about beating a Sikh, or a Muslim? And then answered ‘Yes, Hindutva, of course, is’.
The Hindu and Hindutva
The ‘Hindu’ were persons inhabiting the Indus valley area and beyond. The territory inhabited by them was Hindustan. But the communalistic Hindu calls the territory Hindusthan (the Hindu’s place). The suffix ‘-stan’ being of non-Hindu origin is obnoxious to the communalists. The communalists find Bharatvarsha more palatable. This word originated from an ancient Hindu king Bharatvarsha. The communalists’ outfits like Sangh Parivar use this name preferentially as it emphasizes Vedic roots of the country and its original people.
According to the bulk of literature on the subject, `Hinduism’ is not a closely-knit or bounded faith or collection of doctrines. It is a religion (mazhab), not a deen, or a way of life without a founder. According to Encyclopedia Britannica 1994-2001: “Hinduism is both a civilization and a congregation of religions: it has neither a beginning nor a founder, nor a central authority, hierarchy nor organization. Every attempt at a specific definition of Hinduism has proved unsatisfactory in one way or another…”.
Hinduism does not have One Church, One Pope, One Prophet, One Holy Book or One Ritual. A One can be a Hindu as well as a believer or an agnostic or an atheist!
Hinduism does not prescribe one system of marriage or one system of succession/inheritance. The Hindu law reforms (1955-1956) tried to bring about uniformity but diverse practices continue.
Hinduism allows a Hindu to worship other gods and saints. Thousands of Hindus go to worship at the shrine in Velankanni or pray at the Golden Temple in Amritsar or offer obeisance at the Dargah Sharif in Ajmer.
Hindutva is controversially defined in Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his book Hindutva and adopted by Hedgewar as the basis of his ideology (An Indian parliamentary committee resurrected him as a hero by allowing his portrait to be hung in Indian parliament). The RSS’s aims are a mix of cultural, religious and political objectives – To serve Hindu dharma (religion), sanskriti (culture) and rashtra (nation). Sarvarkar distinguishes ‘Hinduism’ from ‘Hindutva’. He clarified that the `Hinduism’ was concerned with `relevance of life after death, the concept of God and the Universe’. ‘Hindutva’, on the other hand, was ‘Hindus being a nation, bound by a common culture, a common history, a common language, a common country and a common religion’.
The book has brought into limelight the bitter reality that the majority of India wants a minority-mukt India. The feeble voices about peaceful existence are fading. The RSS, BJP and their ilk speak the same language.
Mohan Bhagwat (RSS) who shouts ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, actually prefers the term “Hindu” to “Bhartiya,”. Bhagwat equates “Hindu” and “Bhartiya/Indian”.
While speaking on the occasion of launching the Krishnanand Sagar’s book ‘Vibhajan Kalin Bharat ke Sakshi’ (The Witnesses of Partition-era India), Bhagwat said, ‘India’s suffering at the time of Partition should not be forgotten and that it will go away when the Partition is “undone”. This is India of 2021 and not of 1947’.
He spoke in the same vein as had Pandit Jawahar lal Nehru and Vallabha Patel. Before his final flight (Aug 7, 1947) from Delhi to Pakistan, the Quaid sent a message to the Indian government: “the past must be buried and let us start as two independent sovereign states of Hindustan and Pakistan, I wish Hindustan prosperity and peace.”
But, Vallabhbhai Patel replied from Delhi: “the poison has been removed from the body of India.” Even Nehru, an ostensibly liberal leader, regarded the creation of Pakistan as a blunder. His rant against Pakistan reaches a crescendo in his remarks: “I shall not have that carbuncle on my back.” (D. H. Bhutani, The Future of Pakistan, page 14).
There is marked similarity between Bhagwat’s speech and Narendra Modi’s speech earlier. While delivering the Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15 earlier this year, PM Modi declared, ‘August 14 will be observed as the ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’. He described partition as “one of the biggest tragedies” of the last century.
Jihad under Hinduism and other religions
The concept of holy wars (or call it terrorism) exists in many religions.In the historical context, the term “holy war” meant different things to different individuals and communities. The oldest ‘terrorists’ were holy warriors who killed civilians. Recent examples of religious terrorists are Aum Shinrikyo (Japanese), Rabbi Meir Kahane and Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir (Jews). The Israeli media describes Hezbollah and Hamas as ‘religious terrorists.’ In the first century A.D Palestine, the Jews publicly slit the Romans’ throats. In the seventh century India, the thugs strangulated gullible passersby to please the Hindu Devi Kali. And the 19th century, adherents of Narodnaya Volya (people’s will) mercilessly killed their pro-Tsar rivals. The term `terrorism’ became notorious during the French reign of terror in 1793-94.
It is now common to dub one’s adversary a ‘terrorist’. Afghan “freedom fighters” became “terrorists” like the Kashmiri freedom fighters. Doing so, forecloses the possibility of political negotiation and gives the powerful definer the right to eliminate the ‘terrorist’.
Gita: Verse 193 is no different from what Krishan taught Arjun. How is this any different from Lord Krishna telling Arjun in the Bhagavad Gita to fight as his dharmic duty?
BG 2.33: “अथ चैत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं संग्रामं न करिष्यसि। ततः स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि। (O Arjuna! If you do not fight for this religion and turn away from your religion, then you will lose your fame and glory).” Surely, Hindus will know the context.
Bible: Deuteronomy 20:1-4: “When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory’.”
Torah: Do Torah’s verses also speak of genocide and pillage?
Numbers 31:1-10 say: The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Avenge the Israelite people on the Midianites; then you shall be gathered to your kin.” Moses spoke to the people, saying, and “Let men be picked out from among you for a campaign, and let them fall upon Midian to wreak the LORD’s vengeance on Midian. You shall dispatch on the campaign a thousand from every one of the tribes of Israel.” … “The Israelites took the women and children of the Midianites captive, and seized as booty all their beasts, all their herds, and all their wealth. And they destroyed by fire all the towns in which they were settled, and their encampments.”
Hindu holy and unholy wars
The Ramayanas and the Mahabharata wars elucidate various types of yuddha (wars). In ancient India there were three schools of war. Bhishma’s school of warfare belonged to dharma yuddha (ethical or just war). Two other schools, Brihaspati and Krishna’s school of warfare belonged to koota yuddha (all-out war) or maya yuddha (war by tricks or stratagems). There is too much of negative publicity about Islamic jihad (struggle). But, there is little limelight on koota yuddha in India’s history. Koota yuddha signifies all-out, no-holds-barred or unethical warfare.
Bhishma stressed chivalry and ruled out surprise and deception. But Brihaspati recommended that the king should attack an enemy only if the enemy’s strength is one-third of his own (`Udyog Parva’). He suggested that the king should never trust the enemy or spare him, no matter how old or virtuous he may be.
The world is unconscious about the undercurrents of Hindu jihad in Indian politics. It is manifest from lynching minorities and legislativive steps to gag voice of minorities struggling for rights. Some political parties are exploiting Hindutva concept to hoodwink masses and win elections. Political gains are uppermost in BJP’s mind. It has agreed to withdraw controversial farm laws but will never withdraw anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizenship.
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