Archive for November, 2008

Does Europe have a Civilising mission in India?



Recently, the European Parliament hosted a meeting on “caste discrimination in South Asia”. At the meeting, participants stated that “India is being ruled by castes not by laws” and that they demanded justice, because there “is one incredible India and one untouchable India.” The EU was urged to come out with a policy statement on the subject. One MEP, referring to the caste system, said that “this barbarism has to end.” This is not the first time.

However, before the EU decides to publish policy statements on caste discrimination in India, we would do well to reflect on some simple facts.

First, the dominant conception of the caste system has emerged from the accounts by Christian missionaries, travelers and colonial administrators. Rather than being neutral, these accounts were shaped by a Christian framework. That is, the religion of European visitors to India had informed them beforehand that they would find false religion and devil worship there, and that false religion always manifested itself in social evils. Especially the Protestants rebuked the “evil priests” of Hinduism for imposing the laws of caste in the name of religion. They told the Indians that conversion to Protestantism was a conversion to equality. Thus, Indian souls were to be saved from damnation and caste discrimination.

Second, this Christian account of “the Hindu religion” and its “caste system” informed colonial policies in British India. Building on the theological framework, scholars now wrote “scientific” treatises on Hindu superstition and caste discrimination.
The Christian mission found its secular counterpart in the idea of the civilising mission, which told the West that it had to rescue the natives from the clutches of superstition and caste. One no longer promoted religious conversion, but the colonial educational system harped on “the horrors of Hindu society.”

Third, the colonial educational project had a deep impact on the Indian intelligentsia. Hindu reform and anti-caste movements came into being, which reproduced the Protestant accounts of Hinduism and caste as true descriptions of India.
Their advocates did not adopt these descriptions as passive recipients, but actively deployed them to pursue socioeconomic and political interests. Political parties and caste associations were created to safeguard the interests of the “lower castes.” The elites of these groups united in associations and received financial and moral support from the missionaries and other progressive colonials.

Fourth, the “Dalit” movement of today is the product of these colonial movements. The notion of “Dalits” makes sense only within the colonial account of India, which had postulated the existence of one single group of “outcastes” or “untouchables” that was supposedly exploited by the upper castes. In reality, it concerns a variety of caste groups, with no criteria to unite them besides the claim that they are all “downtrodden.”

Indeed, many of these groups are poor and discriminated against by other caste groups. However, their socio-economic interests have been hijacked by some of their western-educated elite members. In the name of the downtrodden, these elites establish NGOs and then travel from conference to conference and country to country in order to reveal the plight of the “Dalits” to eager western audiences and secure funding from donor agencies.

Fifth, when present-day Europeans rebuke Indian society for the “barbarism” of caste discrimination, they are reproducing the old stanzas of the civilising mission. Such a stance of superiority perhaps worked in the context of colonialism. But today, at a time when Indians buy some of the European industrial giants and Europe is in need of more collaboration with India, it is ill-advised to continue this type of civilisational propaganda.

In fact, such propaganda derives its plausibility from a series of assumptions that no one would be willing to defend explicitly. It attributes all socioeconomic wrongs of the Indian society to its structure and civilisation.

 The implication is that there is only one way to get rid of socio-economic wrongs here: one has to eradicate both the social structure and the Hindu civilisation. It is as though one would blame the racism, bingedrinking, pedophilia, poverty, homelessness and domestic violence in the contemporary West on its age-old civilisation.

The times have changed. As Europeans, we need to reflect on our deep-rooted sense of superiority and how this informs our moralising discourse on human rights in other parts of the world.

To appreciate the impression we give to Indians with our statements on caste discrimination, just imagine a possible world in which the Indian government regularly castigates the US for its racism against African-Americans and the disproportionate death penalties, and the EU for the treatment of South Asians in England, Turks in Germany, women in Romania, the Basque movement in Spain, gypsies in Italy … just imagine Indian members of parliament consistently blaming the very structure of western societies as the cause of all these wrongs.

Europe needs to wake up fast. The time of colonialism is over.

If we do not change our attitudes, the irritation towards the EU will grow in countries like India and China.

So will the unwillingness to collaborate. In the fast-changing world of the early 21st Century, Europe cannot afford this.

Jakob De Roover is a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation (FWO) at the Research Centre Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap, Ghent University, Belgium


1) Motivated INDOLOGY

2) Invading the Sacred

3) British Caste System


Read Full Post »

@ Islam This Good?


Islam Never Had It This Good

Mumin Salih – Nov.21, 08

We live in strange times; only a few decades ago nobody with interest in Islamic matters could have predicted the scale of the Islamic resurgence that has swept the world. Today, Islam is a truly global religion that is no more confined to the Muslims’ countries but has reached all corners of the world. Islamic words like jihad, sharia and hijab have become parts of all languages.

Nowadays, on daily basis, Muslims practice terrorism, which they call jihad, on daily basis and seem to get away with it, or even get praised as peace loving people.

Even though many Muslim countries are excessively rich but they do not have any responsibilities towards the welfare of the world’s impoverished. The Gulf Arabs are among the richest people on earth but spend their wealth lavishly on a modern Arabian night’s life style and allowed to get away with only nominal contributions to the world’s charities.

The human rights record in the Gulf States is appalling by all standards but they seem to get away with it.

When the Muslims’ terrorists attacked Madrid in 2004, the Spanish people responded by electing the party favoured by the Muslim terrorists to form a government. The Muslims terrorists attacked America on 9/11 and declared war on the American people, but only seven years later the Americans elected a Muslims’ favourite to the white house.

Islam related activities are dominating everyday news, and they are always bad news. The shadow of the Islamic terror has changed our lives for the worse, possibly forever. Our security, travel and freedom of expression are only a few of the many casualties of the Islamic renaissance. What makes all this especially painful is that it is happening against all the natural laws that control human behaviours. The Muslims nations in general are among the least developed in the world, their survival depends completely on the technological, and in most cases, the financial help they receive from their enemies, yet they seem to be able to get away with anything. I cannot help wondering is this the golden age of Islam?  

Islam half a century ago

I grew up in the Middle East in the 1950s and 1960s and remember well how the Arabs looked up at the west with admiration to their life style and a desire to follow their example. Doctors and other professionals who had their education in Europe or America were ‘westernized’ to some degree and were respected in their societies and were considered good examples to follow. On the other hand, the word ‘ikhwanji’, which means a member of the Muslim brotherhood or an Islamist, was a dirty word associated with backward thinking. The applicants for the ‘sharia’ colleges were those with the least marks in the high schools. I remember that the sharia colleges used to have a high proportion of disabled and blind students, who stood no chance of making it to the other universities, which sadly reflected the social and moral injustice in the Arab society.

The vast majority of the students in the sharia college in Damascus rejected the traditional Islamic dress and opted for an ordinary western style look. Even the Al Azhar University, which was the undisputed leader in Islamic education, was transformed to teach modern sciences like Medicine, chemistry and physics to both sexes. Only a minority of the teaching staff and a handful of the male students had beards and even fewer girls wore headscarves, and that was in Al Azhar!

The traditional hostility to secularism among the Middle Eastern Arabs started to wane as more and more Arabs were happy to copy the western model, not because they loved the west but because they admired their achievements. Muslims outside the Arab World, lead by Turkey which used to be for centuries the centre of the Islamic khilafa, were also moving towards secularism. Islam didn’t seem to have a chance and there were indications that it would remain confined to the mosques.

Against all the odds, Islam was revived and the kiss of life came from the most unlikely rescuer- the west. We generally blame the Saudi oil money for the resurgence of Islam but I put the blame mainly on the west. Saudi Arabia and its oil wealth as well as the Muslims brotherhood movement have all been with us since the 1920s with little effect on the Islamization of the world or the Middle East. If anything, there were signs of a receding Islamic influence even in Saudi Arabia itself. The country was humiliated by a series of embarrassing defections of senior members of the Saudi air force to what then was considered a secular Egypt. A group of members of the royal family led by the current prince Talal Ibn AbdulAziz also defected to Egypt, but the climax was when King Saud himself defected, again to Egypt, after a conflict with his brother Faisal.

The fortunes of Islam changed completely in the 1970s when the west opened its gates to the Islamists. The influx of Muslims to the west, and the generous welcome and support they received had only one equal in the history of Mankind, which happened in the year 622 AD. That was the year when Mohammed and his companions emigrated from Mecca to Yathrib. The Arabs of Mecca, called Quraysh, knew Mohammed well because he was one of them. The Quraysh treated Mohammed with the contempt he deserved; they isolated him as they would do with any mad person. On the other hand the Aws and Khazraj, who were the Arabs of Yathrib, made him welcome and sheltered him. It didn’t take Mohammed long to take over his host city from its accommodating inhabitants, change its name and enforce his sharia law on what has become an Islamic state. There were a handful of people in Yathrib who tried to stop the madness, like Ibn Ibu salul, but nobody would listen to them. The word Islamophobia was not invented yet so they were branded as munafikeen. This is exactly what happened to Mohammed’s followers in the last forty years, who also were disliked by their own people, but were sheltered and made welcome in the west. My only worry with this comparison is that the Aws and Khazraj ceased to exist after their excessive generosity.

Jihad: Muslims’ license to kill

Out of all the Islamic practices jihad is the most revered and the most applauded and the only one that guarantees straight entrance to the most elite quarter of paradise. Muslims, of course, never run out of reasons to practice jihad.

In these strange times, we deal with a new variety of jihad which is the international jihad. It never happened before that Muslims managed to build an international network of organizations that practice jihad in their host countries and still get the protection of the law. There was no moment in history when the enemy was able to work from within and survives.

Throughout history and until a few decades ago it was inconceivable to imagine that Muslim terrorists would be able to enter the countries they plan to destroy, practice their hate and live on the benefits they earn from the victims they plan to kill.

Muslims have been very imaginative in using the current opportunities to practice jihad, which now involves all aspects of human activities whether it is military, media campus, finance or cyber jihad. Muslims have taken terrorism (jihad) to previously unknown frontiers like suicide bombings of civilians, hostage beheadings and stoning on television, and shootings of children in schools. Jihad through terrorism has become part of our lives and Muslims make sure that their evil trade mark is recognized all over the world by videotaping their ‘Islamic culture’ on television and the internet.

Muslims managed to intimidate the entire world, in the name of Islam, and still get praised as peace loving people who follow a peace loving religion. The Quran openly incites Muslims to kill the infidels but none of the infidels’ countries allow objective criticism of the Quran.

Even the state of Israel, which the Quran describes its citizens as pigs and monkeys and calls for its destruction, doesn’t allow open discussions of Islam to expose its real nature.

The Human Rights Groups main concerns seem to be the welfare of these cold-blooded Muslim terrorists in Europe, America, Guantanamo or any part of the world.

It is remarkable that none of the Muslims’ successes against their enemies can be attributed to extraordinary power or intelligence; their barbaric jihad succeeds only because their enemies are comfortable with defeat. When the west fights this atrocious enemy, the rules of engagement are often to avoid confrontation.

When dealing with the Islamic terrorists, the first thing that comes to light is their human rights. It caught my eyes, as I write this article, the latest piracy success by the Somalis against shipping in the Indian ocean. The Somalis have been in action for a long time and managed to capture hundreds of ships. It is incomprehensible that all those western navies with billions of dollars worth of equipment can be so helpless against a handful of bandits armed with AKs. At least in theory, the war seems to be between the two extremes of power, the strongest and the weakest. I couldn’t work out why the weakest seems to win most of the times until I read this morning that the royal navy is reluctant to capture the pirates because it would a breach of their human rights if they send them back to their countries!

Even though the pirates are Muslims who start their operations by saying Allahu Akbar and end it by saying Alhamdulillah, it is remarkable that no one refers to them as Muslims. Of course, it would be offensive to associate Islam with terrorism or piracy.

The irony is that the Somalis find it offensive to call them anything other than Muslims who follow the footsteps of their prophet. What these Muslims are doing is an exact replica to Islams’ most celebrated battle- the battle of Badr except that Mohammed practiced his jihad in the desert while his followers are practicing it in the seas.

Oil: The life-line of terrorism

Oil comes mainly from the Islamic countries. Although it is convenient, but it is a dirty source of energy and is probably the least suitable. I find it hard to understand that even though we do not stop talking about the environmental hazards of oil, it is still the world’s favourite source of energy. We have the technologies and the capabilities to harness the solar or wind powers and we can produce cars that run on alternative fuel. It is difficult to justify our dependence on oil in the presence of so many natural alternatives.

Now there is even a more compelling reason to wean ourselves from oil, which is the fact that jihad, or Islamic terrorism, is the Gulf States favourite charity. It is no secret that the terrorist organizations thrive on the oil money.

In the Gulf States, terms like ‘environmentally friendly’ or ‘carbon footprint’ do not mean much to the Arabs. The scenes of Arabs walking or cycling to work are missing from the streets of Dubai, Kuwait or Doha.

Even in the west, where there is an increasing awareness about the environment, you do not see Arabs cycling to work. The Arabs and Muslims in general, behave as if they are exempt from worrying about the planet. They generally lead an easy life and leave it to the westerners to suffer of the carbon guilt while they continue to produce oil and consume it in abundance.

Oil existed in the Islamic countries for millions of years until it was discovered by the western companies. The Muslims had no idea what oil was or how to dig it out or how transport it, which is all done for them by the infidels. The Muslims role had been limited to earning the money and enjoying all the luxiouries. The Gulf States have been transformed from small desert communities to some of the most amazing cities in the world. Thanks to the foreign infidels, it all happened without the Gulf Arabs getting their hands dirty by building a single block; again it is all done for them by the infidels.

Abuse of wealth

A wealthy Arab doesn’t live like a wealthy westerner. In the Gulf you do not find the likes of Bill Gates or Richard Branson but you find people whose lives have no purpose other than total indulgence in a kind of modern Arabian nights’ luxuries.

They contribute only token donations to world charities, which they usually give when the beneficiaries are Muslims. Even though some of the donations to the western universities appear to be generous but they are designed mainly to promote Islam.

The Saudis have funded many Islamic study centres in some of the best universities in the world; it is astonishing that none of those centres have discussed the Quran, Islam or Mohammed with any academic objectivity. The Muslims in general and the Gulf Arabs in particular, seek domination through their wealth.

Human rights violations

The Gulf States were forced to abandon slavery in the 1960s but the slavery culture never died in the minds of the Gulf Arabs. The slavery culture still exists under new names and new legislations. Every Arab household has at least one servant, usually more, who is treated like a slave and does the work that used to be done by slaves. Those servants work continuously 24/7 in the house and live in basic accommodation within the premises. The servants follow their employers (masters) wherever they go to look after their needs. The Arab men and women have absolutely nothing to do as it all has been taken care of by the modern slavery. Those servants are imported mainly from Asia but others come from Africa. The servants are poor, young and vulnerable and soon become brainwashed to believe that they are lucky to be selected to work under those conditions. It is common for the servants to be subjected to physical abuses and rapes that are covered up in most of the cases. Most of the servants are insecure and unaware of their rights and live in continuous fear, the worst of which is the fear of being named and shamed back in their communities. This is especially true for the unfortunate women who happen to get pregnant, following rape or illegal sex, and then seek the help of their employers to illegally terminate their pregnancies. Such women may spend their lives serving their employers with the hope their secret will never be exposed. It is ironic that such disgraceful practices are so common in the Gulf States but at the same time so overlooked by the human rights groups in the west. Slavery may not be unique to the Arabs as some Muslims still practice it illegally in some parts of Africa. However, the Gulf Arabs forced their modern slavery on the west just like they forced on them many of their other Islamic practices. The Gulf Arabs are now so used to be spoiled by having others to do all the work for them that they always take their servants with them when they travel abroad. Those servants frequently suffer of abuses even in the west but because of ignorance, isolation and fear such violations of human rights rarely come to light.

Many expatriates working in the Gulf States consider their conditions to be a kind of slavery. It is not a secret that the employments conditions there are usually based on race, the Europeans tend to have better deals than Asians.

The historical Arabs’ role in the slave trade seems to have been forgotten or forgiven, even by the Africans themselves. Slavery is legal in Islam but nobody dares to bring that to light. Cruel practices like Fridays’ public decapitations, hand cuttings and floggings are too brutal to talk about never mind to watch. Still such disgraceful human rights violations take place on daily basis and the Muslims get away with it.

Truly it is amazing, how uncannily Islam is winning – through sheer deception and intimidation. The Dhimmi west is watching helplessly its gradual surrender to the might of Islam. How tragic it could be, come to think of it.

Related Story:

Making of Unbeliever @ http://globeonline.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/making-of-an-unbeliever/



Read Full Post »

“India has no reason to be grateful to Mother Teresa”


Sanal Edamaruku

India especially Calcutta, is seen as the main beneficiary of Mother Teresa’s legendary ‘good work’ for the poor that made her the most famous Catholic of our times, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner and a living saint. Evaluating what she has actually done here, I think, India has no reason to be grateful to her”, said Sanal Edamaruku, Secretary General of the Indian Rationalist Association and President of Rationalist International in a statement on the occasion of her beatification today. The statement continues:

Mother Teresa has given a bad name to Calcutta, painting the beautiful, interesting, lively and culturally rich Indian metropolis in the colors of dirt, misery, hopelessness and death. Styled into the big gutter, it became the famous backdrop for her very special charitable work. Her order is only one among more than 200 charitable organizations, which try to help the slum-dwellers of Calcutta to build a better future. It is locally not very visible or active. But tall claims like the absolutely baseless story of her slum school for 5000 children have brought enormous international publicity to her institutions. And enormous donations!

Mother Teresa has collected many, many millions (some say: billions) of Dollars in the name of India’s paupers (and many, many more in the name of paupers in the other “gutters” of the world). Where did all this money go? It is surely not used to improve the lot of those, for whom it was meant. The nuns would hand out some bowls of soup to them and offer shelter and care to some of the sick and suffering. The richest order in the world is not very generous, as it wants to teach them the charm of poverty. “The suffering of the poor is something very beautiful and the world is being very much helped by the nobility of this example of misery and suffering,” said Mother Teresa. Do we have to be grateful for this lecture of an eccentric billionaire?

The legend of her Homes for the Dying has moved the world to tears. Reality, however, is scandalous: In the overcrowded and primitive little homes, many patients have to share a bed with others. Though there are many suffering from tuberculosis, AIDS and other highly infectious illnesses, hygiene is no concern. The patients are treated with good words and insufficient (sometimes outdated) medicines, applied with old needles, washed in lukewarm water. One can hear the screams of people having maggots tweezered from their open wounds without pain relief. On principle, strong painkillers are even in hard cases not given. According to Mother Teresa’s bizarre philosophy, it is “the most beautiful gift for a person that he can participate in the sufferings of Christ”. Once she tried to comfort a screaming sufferer: “You are suffering, that means Jesus is kissing you!” The man got furious and screamed back: “Then tell your Jesus that he should stop kissing me!” Do we have to be grateful to be the victims of this very special kind of charity? Do we have to tolerate that ignorant and helpless people are used as extras in the inhumane and cruel religious drama of the beauty of suffering in Christ?

When Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Price, she used the opportunity of her worldwide telecast speech in Oslo to declare abortion the greatest evil in the world and to launch a fiery call against population control. Her charitable work, she admitted, was only part of her big fight against abortion and population control. This fundamentalist position is a slap in the face of India and other Third World Countries, where population control is one of the main keys for development and progress and social transformation. Do we have to be grateful to Mother Teresa for leading this worldwide propagandist fight against us with the money she collected in our name?

Mother Teresa did not serve the poor in Calcutta, she served the rich in the West. She helped them to overcome their bad conscience by taking billions of Dollars from them. Some of her donors were dictators and criminals, who tried to white wash their dirty vests. Mother Teresa revered them for a price. Most of her supporters, however, were honest people with good intentions and a warm heart, who fall for the illusion that the “Saint of the Gutter” was there to wipe away all tears and end all misery and undo all injustice in the world. Those in love with an illusion often refuse to see reality.

Where’re her Millions @ http://members.lycos.co.uk/bajuu/

Read Full Post »