The trouble with Islamic State

Canadian author Tarek Fatah deconstructs “the fraudulent concept”

GN Bureau | April 30, 2015


#tarek fatah   #islamic state   #tarek fatah islamic state  


The radical Islam has put the world in the middle of a war unto death, and it needs to be fought with reason. That is the diagnosis from Tarek Fatah, a journalist and author originally from Pakistan and now based in Canada.

After ‘Chasing a Mirage’, and ‘The Jew Is Not My Enemy’, Fatah has come out with his third book, ‘The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State’ (Kautilya Books, New Delhi), and ahead of its launch he interacted with the editorial team of Governance Now on Thursday.

A thoroughly disillusioned leftist, he is on a mission to disillusion people about the dangers of Islam as an ideology of state. The left, the Hindu right, the Muslim elite – everybody is in the crosshairs as he targets contemporary myths and bares hard truths.

Referring to the distinction between the Islamic State and State of Islam, at the heart of his book, he first laughs it off as a word play, but then explains, “I am trying to deconstruct the whole notion, the fraudulent concept of the Islamic state. You don’t need any country to be a pious Muslim, no government stops you from fasting. But praying out in the streets instead of at home is a different matter.”

Fatah says India and Israel are the only countries with significant Muslim minorities, but their numbers are yet to translate into a critical mass that can stand up against fight the retrograde ways of the community, for example, the Muslim personal law. Moreover, in India, the paradox is that the very people – the Hindu right-wing, who speak out against this threat are the ones who create the ground for the same. “To prove yourself right, you create hostile environment.”

This is also a crisis of secularism in India, which has been distorted by both the right as well as the left – which wants to see the minority community only as victimised. “It is the moral bankruptcy of the left that has made it side with the Muslims,” he says. Fatah should know – he was a left-wing activist in Pakistan in the 1960s.

Thus, Fatah remarks, Gandhi and Nehru are ridiculed in India though they are not mocked even in Pakistan.

So, what is the way out for the community? Will education bring enlightenment? Fatah says there is little hope in that direction. He points out the fact that the suicide bombers have come largely from elite academic institutions. Indeed, he traces this dichotomy of education to the colonial era, which produced translations of holy books – before which the whole communities, largely illiterate, had no access to the scriptures. Thus, it was the newly educated generation that was swayed by the radicalised message of the scripture.

“Education is not the solution; wisdom is the solution,” he argues. Education has been only a great tool for the catastrophe that the world has been facing.

As for the catastrophe, he says, “The Sharia is influencing the law not only in India, but also in the UK.” However, “You cannot have public law based on the beliefs.” The Muslim personal law, based on the Sharia, allows, for example, marital rape and promotes sex slavery, Fatah says, giving many more illustrations of how that law is against women.

Coincidentally, marital rape is something the Hindu right too will have trouble in acknowledging. The minister of state for home, Haribhai Chowdhury, said in parliament only a day before that the marriage in India is sacrosanct and therefore the concept of marital rape does not apply in this country. Isn’t this an instance of how the Hindu right-wing is a mirror image of radical Islam?

“There is a difference, though,” Fatah argues. “This is the response to 700-800 years of servitude. Damage has been done to the north Indian psyche. Yet, it is the worst form of the Stockholm Syndrome that Nehru chose to name a main street in Delhi after Aurangzeb – the worst of the Mughal rulers. Think of the Lodi road!”

 

Comments

 

Other News

India@75: A timely study of the state of the nation

India after 1947: Reflections & Recollections By Rajmohan Gandhi Aleph, 118 pages, Rs 399 Rajmohan Gandhi was about 11 when India won independence. As the nation celebrates 75 years of freedom, how would he – and others like him – feel?

BMC denies protocol breach in ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’

The BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has rebutted a Shiv Sena leader’s allegation of breach of protocol in the implementation of the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign. On Friday Rahul Shewale, group leader of Shiv Sena in Lok Sabha, had accused BMC commissioner IS Chahal

Mumbai`s stalled building projects: Is self-redevelopment the real solution?

Land in Mumbai city, which is surrounded by water on three sides, is scarce and has a premium. Property prices in certain areas of financial capital of the country are as much as Rs 1 lakh per sq ft. Yet, 5,800 buildings have been lying in a stalled condition for the last 18 years. Meanwhile

Revadi, electoral reforms and fiscal responsibility

Revadi (sweetmeat) or more popular word, ‘freebies’, has been dominating headlines recently. A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in Supreme Court to bar all political parties from making such promises. In response, one leading political party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has filed thei

Jal Jeevan Mission: 6.70 crore households provided with tap water connections

Since August 2019, Government of India, in partnership with States, is implementing Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to make provision of potable tap water supply every rural household by 2024. As many as 6.70 crore households have been provided with tap water connections in the 35 months, since Aug

Cloud inclusivity: Ensuring highly regulated organisations are ready for a cloud-first world

Over the last few years, cloud has been able to create a special place for itself amongst fast moving, competitive and growth-led organisations. As the technology became an imperative, it has undoubtedly created unique business opportunities and isbecoming an anchor for innovation for leading businesses gl

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter