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An appeal to progressive Muslims of India

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Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters of India,

In the interest of our country and its future, I have decided to write this letter to address you on the changing social atmosphere in India. There is lot happening in India and abroad which seeks to destroy our country, our culture and our heritage and which seeks to create divisions in our society and derail the prosperity and success of our country. I wish to make a few points here to make you understand why you should ignore this noise and continue to be our partners in success of ourselves and our country.

A) Hindus are not enemies of Indian Muslims: Notwithstanding what a few selfish and corrupt people would have you believe, you must understand that Hindu community is not enemy of Muslims of India. It is ingrained in our nature to wish well to everyone, every living being. Hindu community of India is not here to loot, plunder and destroy you and your future. We want Muslim community in India to become successful, prosperous and responsible citizens of India and uphold India’s values for posterity.

B) Learn how much love, success and fame India has given to Muslim community

There are many Muslims in India who have made India proud, and many more continue to do so. These individuals have become an integral part of our country and its character through their talent and service to our nation.

APJ Abdul Kalam: our former President and a prominent scientist Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam became the President of Indian in the year 2002 and has played a critical role in the missile development for the Indian military. He also spearheaded the Indian civilian space program. His contributions to the country have been incredible, and we will always remember with great joy and pleasure.

Zakir Hussain: Ustad Zakir Hussain is one of the finest Tabla players in India. His talent has no bounds, and he is famous not just in India but around the world. He has many several awards ranging from the Grammy Awards, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri to Kalidas Samman, and much more.

AR Rehman : AR Rehman is an internationally recognized musician, singer, songwriter, and composer. His talent has no bounds. He has enchanted people with his popular songs like Vande Mataram, Jai Ho, Chaiyan Chaiyan, and much more. He has received several national awards and is truly a gem for our country.

Shahrukh Khan: The heartthrob of India, Shahrukh Khan, is not just known in India but is very famous internationally for his romantic and cheesy movies and has made India proud

Abul Kalam Azad: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad played a massive role in helping India to get independence. His intellect and knowledge in those years made him famous around the world.

Mohammed Rafi: Mohammed Rafi is one of the greatest playback singers that Bollywood has ever had. His melodies are such that he can cheer you up anytime and anywhere.

Javed Akhtar: Javed Akhtar has mesmerized people with his words in Urdu and has been awarded Padmabhushan, Indira Gandhi Award, and Avadh Ratan for being a great contributor to Indian cinema and culture.

Azim Premji: The founder of Wipro, Azim Premji, is recognized for contributing immensely to the software industry. He is an icon and inspires many with his wisdom and knowledge. He has been awarded the Faraday Medal, Padma Bhushan, CNN-IBN Indian of the Year Outstanding Award, and much more.

C) Understand the Historical Context of Islam:

Although I do not claim to be a religious scholar or an expert in Islam, here is what is my assessment . We have to understand that there are two facets of Islam

and we must distinguish and not the conflate the two to get a better perspective of our current social context.

a) Islam the faith: This is core of Islamic Ideology of belief in one universal God i.e Allah and recognizing the supremacy of Allah in our lives

b) Islam the empire: This is how Islam should be practiced as part of Islamic society and how your society has to be constituted – your laws, your justice system etc.

Islam as part of its evolution through history encountered clashes of civilization with non-Islamic communities and as a means of self-defense and self-survival indoctrinated facets such as JIHAD and treating non-Islamic community as their enemy. But we need to understand that such facets are of the past and of an era that is long gone.

We are now in the era of Internet where the entire world is like one global village. If you continue to hold on to the past and continue to indoctrinate yourself that non-Islamic community is your enemy you will do disservice not only to yourself but to Allah and hinder your progress towards what we want of you i.e., become successful, prosperous and responsible citizens of India.

D) Understand the enemy within Islam:

It is very important for Indian Muslims to understand how few unscrupulous and corrupt people have given Islam a bad name by misinterpreting Islam for their selfish, corrupt and hegemonic agenda. Knowing that their agenda will only become successful if they do it in the name of Allah they have indulged in criminality, corruption and plain savagery throughout history.

You must seek to separate yourself from such actions and know that this is not Islam but “hijack of Islam”. I would definitely like to propose that you should try to reform your Islamic faith through your Ulemas so that such misinterpretation and hijack of Islam does not occur.

E) Understand the expectations of the Hindu community:

It is very important for Indian Muslims to understand the expectations of the Hindu community. Notwithstanding the communal tensions in country- Hindu community wishes you well and wish to live with you in peace but you must understand that for Hindu community- our Allah is our country, our motherland and our Gods.

We expect you through your actions to ensure that our country and its people and our cultural heritage are not put in harm’s way or denigrated. This should be the bare minimum you should resolve for us to live in peace and harmony.

Thank you for your time and effort to give me an audience and I hope I have been able to give a correct perspective and guide to you to take better decisions for yourself and your community and make your lives in India – successful, prosperous and harmonious.

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