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When Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was arrested for her alleged involvement in the Malegaon blasts case, my inbox was bombarded with tons of email which promised  ‘evidence’ in this regard. The people who mailed me were of course, the ones who sympathized with the ‘Mujahids’ a. k. a. ‘freedom fighters’ – better known as ‘Jehadis’.

Without trashing those mails outright, I managed to patiently go through them in detail. Interestingly, apart from the abuses against the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Hindu Jagaran Manch (HJM), and others, they contained hardly anything else. The contents were certainly not able to prove the Sadhvi ‘guilty’.

The Sadhvi’s case is still in a court of law and until then it should be understood that she is only an accused and/or suspect and NOT a ‘culprit’ as some are trying to portray her as. In staunch contrast against the Sadhvi episode is the terror attack on Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel. I wish to consider in this regard the column by M J Akbar, entitled ‘Mumbai Attacks’.

“A good section of Mumbai’s underworld today consists of Muslims who entered it because they were denied a place in the ‘white economy’,” you will find him saying in the column. Further on he adds, “Terrorists may have a religion but death has none. In the first list of dead issued by JJ Hospital, the name next to Karkare was that of Mastan Qureshi. There were six Hindus, four Muslims, and two foreigners, presumably Christians on that list.” He also states “India is a tough nation. No one should have illusions about that. It has fought Muslim terrorists in Kashmir, Sikh terrorists in Punjab, Christian terrorists in Nagaland, and Hindu terrorists in Assam…”

Reading this, I wonder what is one to make of it? It is evident to me now that all the terror-sympathizing intellectuals in this country are not at all sad about the evil deeds committed by people of their faith. They don’t want to apologize—come what may. Instead, they are keen on justifying their acts of violence! Any person who dares to disagree with this statement will find himself in a soup as was evident in the double standards displayed by the terror-sympathizers in the mainline media over the Sadhvi issue.

When the Sadhvi was arrested, they portrayed the whole episode in such a way as to tell the Hindus ‘look… look… your people too are no different’. They wanted the Hindus to put their heads down as they hurled their abuses and justified the acts of violence by the Mujahids.

Perhaps distinguished intellectuals like my friend MJ Akbar fail to understand the fact that when Sikh terrorists were rampant, the majority of Sikhs never sympathized with them. Similarly, Hindus and Christians in other parts of the country have no sympathy for the terrorists in Assam and Nagaland, respectively. MJ is completely wrong when he was recently found stating in a summit that ‘No other Muslim from India, other than Kashmir, sympathizes with the Kashmiri separatists.’ If only he goes into more detail will he realize that there are enough and more of Madrassas with Muslims sympathizing with Kashmiris.  Even Mangalore, the place from where I am currently writing this column, in the southern most part of the country and miles away from Kashmir, is not spared!

The crux of the matter is that Muslims are in sympathy with the terrorists—if not all, a majority of them. If I am wrong, why don’t we find enough Muslims to take a definite and hard stance against those Jihadists? The Darul-Uloom of Deoband, the ‘great’ Islamic seminary which recently promised of a ‘fatwa’ on terrorism, which was greatly publicized by some sections of the media, is yet to materialize. No one dares to question those in the seminary as to why haven’t they till date issued a fatwa on any of the terrorists? It’s a different that Darul-Uloom is by itself a fanatic-manufacturing centre which also happened to inspire the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

The Muslims are today looked at with a great amount of disbelief. It’s certainly not a healthy sign. But who is to be blamed for this? Hindus, Christians, Buddhists? Who, in particular, would they like to blame? They have but themselves to blame for the very fact that they have leased their brains out to their fanatic clergy and intellectuals who have always thrived on their troubles.

Intellectuals like MJ, who by blaming people of other faiths and governance can seldom gain anything but more skepticism for Muslims. They have a greater responsibility on their shoulders with all the charisma and respect they possess. They make themselves liable to scrutiny when they seek ‘compassion’ for terrorists and ‘criticism’ for people like the Sadhvi.

Terror is certainly not the way out. Be it for Hindus or for Muslims, or any other faith. We need to equivocally disown it, in all forms. There can be no peace if we hand a gun to a deprived child. We cannot call ourselves wise if we give two different sentences to people of two different faiths.

Muslims are not in the clutches of an ‘inferiority complex’ as MJ was quoted saying at the Jamat-e-Islami meeting in Hyderabad. They have in them a ‘superiority complex’, for they believe they are ‘Allah’s chosen ones’, again – if not all, then most. This has to stop. They have to come to terms with modernity, as people of other faiths have done. And distinguished people like MJ have a moral responsibility to play a pivotal role in this regard. But sadly, it seems they want to continuously thrive on the pathetic situation of their own people. By sympathizing with secessionists, separatists, and terrorists, they are helping themselves lose their case.

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