I can understand the feelings of Muslim moderates. (“How about some respect for a moderate Muslim?”, Mint, 24 December). It is awful to be watched with suspicion at every step of life. Since it is a Muslim-centric problem, it can be solved by Muslim moderates alone. These moderates have to develop pressure groups to put a stop to the Muslim clergy misusing places of worship for mixing religion with politics. Muslim youth should be encouraged to learn Arabic to study the Koran first-hand and learn the right values. Modern media should be used by moderate Muslim intelligentsia for discussion for the benefit of Muslim youth. This would also have a salutary effect on the minds of non-Muslims.
- Inderjit Singh
Your turn to talk
The article “How about some respect for a moderate Muslim?” by Abubakar N. Kasim (Mint, 24 December) was heart-rendering and unfortunate. I am particularly sad for the current situation not just of Kasim, but also many Muslims living across the world.
But who is to blame? Isn’t it true that Muslims have problems across the world—be it Britain, France, the US, Israel, India and other countries? Arab countries are “apparently” peaceful because of the iron hand by which they are ruled. Pakistan is in a terrible shape. Malaysia, which was till a few years back a secular country, was declared an Islamic country once the Muslim population acquired a majority.
Take the case of India. Muslims wants Shariat law for civil matters, but they do not want Shariat for a crime committed by a Muslim. Which means he can marry four times, but when he commits theft, his hand will not be cut. Isn’t that a matter of convenience?
Indian Muslims are quick to announce fatwas against people like Salman Rushdie, Sania Mirza and others, but they do not feel the need to announce fatwas against terrorists. All the so-called moderate Muslims do not seem to come out strongly against terrorists and terrorism. If there is a bomb blast, there is only a murmur.
To demand respect, Muslims should mingle with the people and their culture. Moreover, it is important that everyone keep their religious beliefs a personal affair instead of making it a public matter as most Muslims do. There is a tendency among Muslims to herd together and try to defend their creed irrespective of any argument. This needs to change. Each one needs to be sincere in what he or she does. It is a perception created probably by a minority among them. But, as a result, the majority of them have to suffer.
Therefore, I believe there is a need for a paradigm shift across all sections of people including the persons involved in religious activities and terrorist activities. I only pray the Almighty (which includes the gods of all faiths) that better sense will prevail among people to treat each other humanely, irrespective of the culture they follow.
Union home minister P. Chidambaram’s letter drawing the ire of states (“Chidambaram’s letter draws the ire of states”, Mint, 25 December) is not surprising. Ahead of a review meeting with chief ministers on 6 January, such a memorandum may not be appropriate. The core question is modernization of the police and para-military forces. So long as policemen patrol with lathis and outmoded arms, they are unlikely to inspire confidence in people and deter militants. How many policemen have some communication facility such as a walkie-talkie? How do they convey information on threats or suspicious activities without having the means to do so?
Chidambaram has daunting tasks ahead. Despite his legal background, he has no experience on the subject and he must study the issue and not let his enthusiasm get the better of him.
–M M Gurbaxani
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