Thursday, July 13, 2006

The minority community ...

[Picture from the Times of India. Story at NDTV.]

... as the Indian media is wont to refer to Muslims and Islam. Much digital ink is of course being spilled about how Islam is to blame, or how Muslims are innocent victims as well, and so on. While far from sanguine about the power of the jihadist worldview in the world's second biggest religion, it seems quite unreasonable, to say the least, to consider all the world's Muslims to be terrorists. [Reading the comments over at Robert Spencer's Jihadwatch is sobering.]

Anyway, I spent some time trying to find Islamic blogs or sites that were commenting on the Bombay attacks. Didn't turn up much ... unfortunately, I really didn't know where to start, and Technorati wasn't much help in this case. Here's the few things I dug up ... which really shows nothing, but I feel I need to put something up to show for an hour's worth of googling.

This article in the Khaleej Times (published from the UAE) highlights a spirit of communal harmony in the aftermath of the attacks: Mumbai Muslims give blood to Hindu bomb victims.

This piece, linked from DNA, is by a Dubai based Indian, and seems to think that since such terrorist attacks show signs of planning and sophistication, they must have been planned by governments, particularly governmental spy agencies. The CIA, Mossad, ISI, RAW, etc. I'm not sure whether this is just naivete, or denial about Islamist terror.

I ventured into Sunniforum, and found only one post on the blasts, with a comment that I simply could not follow. And, something that might be a common trope: let's not be too hasty about blaming Islamic terrorists. It could be someone else. Islamicate, a US based progressive Muslim blogger, indulges in the same speculation, briefly. Perhaps this is understandable -- I mean, if there were people doing horrible things in the name of Catholicism all the time, I'd get a bit defensive too. Anyway, the other stuff on Sunniforum was a little more disturbing -- outrage at a British Muslim cleric who prayed for British and American troops in Iraq, for instance.

Gaurav Sabnis has some cogent analysis on terorism in India,
To minimise vindictive minds from being lured by the terrorists, what we need is firm and decisive action against any rampaging mob. Whether it is a Sena mob which goes on rampage detsroying buses, a mob of Muslims which go on a rampage to protest Bush's visit, a VHP mob which goes on a rampage killing muslims, a Jamaat mob on a rampage to protest Danish cartoons..... all such mobs need to be punished and made an example of. Regardless of their faith. An example needs to be made of them. A message needs to be sent loud and clear that if you murder innocents, you will pay. If you destroy property belonging to innocents, you will pay. If you force people to shut their shops because you are upset, you will pay.
Firm mob control is not impossible, of course. But in the subcontinent, does this not tend to end up being another bloodbath, as police fire into the mob indiscriminately? Gaurav's post was in response to Amit Varma writing at the Guardian Blogs.

And that the jihadis are home-grown, though self-evident, has not really been official acknowledged or incorporated into anti-terror strategies, as this piece in today's Indian Express illustrates: Boys gone astray, Minister?

And to those for him Muslim simply equals terrorist, what is one to do? Kill one hundred and thirty million people? Yep, very civilized.


islamoyankee said...

Thanks for the post. Just for the record, I am ready to believe to believe Muslims did this, but as you know, there is also a long history of violent class opposition in India as well. Because it seems only first-class cars were targeted, I don't think we can say one way or the other. It's hard enough to explain why I shouldn't have to apologize for what other Muslims do, I shouldn't also have to apologize for things other Muslims might not have done.

Gashwin said...

Hey thanks for the comment. Just to clarify, I don't expect any individual Muslim to keep proving something (what, I'm not sure) by apologizing to all and sundry. And, as I mentioned above, your speculation about Naxalites was brief. [Naxalites have never done such a large-scale thing in a major urban center before. Doesn't make it impossible, but perhaps, implausible.] I also tried to think about how when I perceive the Church as being under attack, rightly or wrongly, I get defensive.

I do enjoy your blog, btw ... :)