- 8 Articles series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 7, 8 (Neither the 1’st nor the last, Includes table of content)
- In previous two articles we studied available traditions and ways and means for helping progressive liberalism in ABCD communities.
Deconstructing Puniyani & Et al 1
Now let us discuss, a couple of representative articles of the pseudo thought process. The first “Explained: Quran case, and the powers of judicial review” by Faizan Mustafa and the second being by one Ram Puniyani “Quran, Madrassas and Terrorism: Wasim Rizvi’s motivated Understanding of Islam”.
There seems to be lot of ad hominem talking, how Wasim Rizvi is not a so great, and even not a scholar in ABCD and how wrong he is in his claims much of that was in the news which Puniyani and Mustafa too repeats, so we need not touch those points again unless necessary.
If not now then at some point, as per Arshia Malik prognosis ‘ABCD’ liberal baby thought is going to get bigger and bigger. Sultan Shahin’s one of recent article does not take Rizvi line but very well exposes issues and asks fellow ABCDs to address the issues theologically but with progressive liberalism, Najmul Hoda also joins in asking for review of verses by scholars and water (read) down those whichever are incompatible in a modern world.
Puniyani & Et al.: ‘American conspiracy coordinated and funded by the United States. America in a shrewd operation picked up a sectarian version of Islam and the words kafir and Jihad were given a twist to brainwash the Muslim youth being trained in some madrassas of Pakistan.’
Puniyani & Et al. is talking far less than half truth here, while it is true that during the Cold war era U. S. Americans funded Center for Afghanistan Studies of University of Nebraska-Omaha for developing and distributing explicit warring culture prone Islamist curricula for Afghan children in Pakistani Madrasas, but there was nothing in the curricula that was not there in some interpretations of ABCD already.
- As far as the word ‘Kafir’ is, it’s no one else but Puniyani & Et al. plainly misleading the audience towards minuscule truth and largely untruth, we will come to that latter. About the word ‘Jihad’, for a moment suppose if Pakistan and Afghanistan would have been non-violent Jain majority countries, in what way Americans backed up with all their intelligence and money could have twisted the words Jihad? or even the word Kafir for that matter?
- For centuries together north African the Barbary pirates used to loot Non-ABCD ships, in 18th century they continued to loot vessels of the politically upcoming USA in spite USA was not at war from its own side, there was no Israel then, any cold war hasn’t begun with Russia, they had no enmity with any Muslim nation either in 18th century. As early as 1786 Thomas Jefferson attempted diplomatic talk with Tripoli’s ambassador at London. Abdrahaman replied, explaining ‘ABCD philosophy of violence (against Non-ABCD sans enmity from Non-ABCD side) is backed up by texts quoting ‘the books’ (Ref: Page 18 Youssef, Michael. The Third Jihad: Overcoming Radical Islam’s Plan for the West. United States, Tyndale House Publishers, Incorporated, 2019.& American Commissioners to John Jay, 28 March 1786)
- Ram Puniyani & Et al. does even know the name of Egyptian Sayyid Qutb before saying it is all invented in modern times by Americans?
- What was the crime of Kafirs in Kafiristan to be forcefully converted, if Afghanistan wanted political unity at end of 19th century how religion of Kafirs in Nuristan was going to come against political unity? Further many things like Moplah to Armenian and latest Yazidi genocide can be further quoted but all that is most times systematically condoned.
Even if it is considered America or someone else had part influential role still how does it absolves any adult’s moral and legal responsibilities?
Moreover Puniyani & Et al.’s any such claims are theologically problematic to ABCD since no human intervention should be able to change the text either way, so theologically Puniyani & Et al. has no scope to suggest Americans or any one else can influence sacred text.
On the other hand Ram Puniyani & Et al. would also find it difficult to answer; if at all Americans could make negatively intended influences then what is wrong if any Rizvi seeks positively intended influences.
- Let us change the topic a bit. What were the justifications for inquisitions that happened in Europe? How justifiable were those? There are long lists of issues with ‘ABCD’ if one wants to see those.
“We cannot just pretend that there are no problems in Islamic views. There are problems there. You need to acknowledge that so that we can work for the solution. If you do not acknowledge the problem, you cannot resolve it,”
General secretary of Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organization with more than 90 million followersCNA Staff, Jul 17, 2020 / 15:42 pm America/Denver (CNA).
So the point is, certain interpretations of word ‘Jihad’ can have violent repercussions not only for war and terrorism reasons but also other extreme behaviors like participating in riots to intolerance to any sort of criticism.
Listen into Arif Mohammad Khan
Was or Is Deoband controlled by the U.S.A. ever? Listen in from 17:30 to 18:30 (Minutes:Seconds) to the admirable interpretation of Jihad given by Arif Mohammad Khan to Arfa Khanum Sherwani of the Wire interview available on YouTube (Upload The Wire:Dt.Jun 27, 2019), vis-à-vis how Deoband’s curricula given interpretation defines Jihad as ‘going to war against those who do not accept their religion’ (again quoted by Arif Mohammad Khan). Then what is wrong if any Rizvi goes to the Supreme court with a petition? Whether preaching of such text/interpretation does not go against freedom of religion and life given by the constitution of India to all other citizens?
It’s not that Deoband did not issue any peace loving fatwas at all ever but as Shahin criticizes such overtures as mere event management, since mullahs practically retain same age old questionable narratives in day to day discourse, teachings and preaching and do not address issues in depth sincerely so as to face the new age with due spirit. Evident result, for Non-ABCD is, normalization of such sever death scare in God’s name while claiming oneself peaceful!
Deconstructing Faizan Mustafa & Et al. apologia
Mustafa goes on to quote national and international laws against taking one’s life, but is not ready to revisit what is being preached in the name of religion? And he is a Vice Chancellor of a National level University of Law, in India! How much equality of human rights of non-ABCD as per (Indian) national and international law (emphasis added) are taught in Deoband and other Madrasas curricula in India?
Would Faizan Mustafa & Et al. sincerely admit how many of ABCD used to put “infallible word of ABCD” above the law and constitution or that may deserve some academic research to find out from Urdu Khutba and print literature?
Vivid binary of believer Vs. non-believers- distrust
Irrespective of whether Deoband kind of curricula and literature causes violence on ground or not, does it not contribute to a vivid binary of believer Vs. non-believers and help build layers of distrust among communities. And it is just not non-ABCD followers who suffer in the process. A lot of ABCD has been cause of many sectarian persecutions of individuals and groups among Muslim communities themselves. If not each, then any mullah can proclaim even voice of women to be awrah (sexually attractive hence private Ref:Ambreen Agha June, 2015), and if any parents follow such interpretations for their daughters human rights even to sing or to express oneself freely can be at risk, if any (non sufi) religious orthodox family does not permit then a budding A.R Rehman won’t be able to use many sort of Musical instruments, any budding M. F. Husain won’t be able to draw even a horse and forget drawing of the other human figures, many expressions of art and sports would be difficult to be presented socially. Just think if some one has some natural skill or inclination to perform and stagnant culture would be practically suffocating for so many of individual skills. With use of liberal interpretations some individuals or groups may be enjoying all sorts of freedom for a while but an orthodox gets the chance all the recreational freedom can go haywire in matter of little time. Even in the midst of writing this article, a news story of a celebrity from the entertainment industry leaving his newly established career for good comes in. It is not a question of some ABCD individual decision of sanyasa (renunciation) for himself/ herself, it is an indicator of i) reach of orthodoxy keep making a come back ii) and most such people, directly or indirectly, would be doing their utmost that human fraternity around them follow the same pattern and keep away from recreational growth of the human personality, if possible by denying agency to one’s free will starting from religious moral policing, at times even resorting acid attacks to honor killings. How far human beings can be converted to machines sans liberal enjoyment of faculties of and for one’s own life. The ABCD orthodoxy does not affect only recreation it can affect so many segments of life from education to economic prospects to vaccination and health.
And still most learned (? in human rights too??) Faizan Mustafa & Et al. wishes to punish liberal reformers for their crime of speaking truth to their fanatically rigid ABCD coreligionists? That too using a constitution which is supposed to be freedom of expression friendly!
May be ‘First Information Reports’ in literal sense what they are, but when Mustafa’s co-ABCD files FIRs in police stations; rather than explaining them, that a human being is supposed to have approach to court of law without getting persecuted for the same, the so called legal luminary Mustafa & Et al. seems insulting principle of ‘boundless egalitarianism’ and take anti-‘fundamental human right’ stand; absolving the orthodox fanatics through their Faizan Mustafa & Et al. and expects rest of the people to believe in term tolerant and peaceful ABCD! May be people would want to believe in but are pretentious Puniyani & Mustafa Et al. are really helpful in that direction? or otherwise is true? What kind of credibility and trust is built up through Faizan Mustafa & Et al.? moderate, liberal or otherwise is usual big’?’
- Pl. Continued to (4)