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Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 22:55
by RajeshA
Islam is the 1st or 2nd biggest religion in the world, depending on how one looks at it. As such Islam and Islamic societies deserves to be understood by us.

However any effort at discussing it leads often to self-censorship and formal censorship as often those outside the Islamic faith start voicing hateful and prejudiced views about it and Islamic society. It is important that we do not pass judgments on Islam and Islamic society regarding its desirability or acceptance to others. It is important that we do not abuse Islam's highest icons - Allah, Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Qu'ran - IF, IF we wish to be able to understand the dynamics of Islamic society in a thread here constructively. We should try to analyze Islamic societies dispassionately and see which global forces are having an effect on it, if any.

There is a slim chance that the moderators may allow this thread to survive, but only if the participants are respectful of the icons of Islam and the sentiments of the second biggest religious community in India.

However there should be no hindrance to dispassionately and objectively analyzing the Islamic societies which span much of West Asia and have significant populations in the West and India. After all, it is important that we understand our neighbors in West, Central and Southeast Asia, as well as those living among us.

This life of this thread depends on the discretion of the participants and the mercy of the moderators.

Wishing for a long life of this thread!

Please participate constructively. The dynamics which underlie Islamic societies should be most interesting.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 22:58
by RajeshA
Disclaimer: No Malevolence is intended towards our Muslim brothers in India or towards any Muslims anywhere by the following.

X-Posting from "West Asia News and Discussions" Thread

Johann wrote:
RajeshA wrote:brihaspati garu,

I don't think modernization in Islamic society is helpful for kafirs. All it leads to is putting better tools in the hands of the Islamists. Johann ji believes in the power of consumerism and individual freedoms as propagated by the West, as being sufficient to blunt the drive of the Islamists. I don't think that would work. So his belief that Muslim society can be reformed thus, is somewhat overly optimistic.

However going to the other extreme and saying that whatever one throws at Islam, eventually it ends up only reinforcing the power of the Mullahs and their ability to hurt the Kafirs, is also a somewhat pessimistic view.

Hi Rajesh,

Just to make it clear, I've never argued that Europe and North America is the only or always the most important engine for modernity in our globalising world. It can just as easily be places like India, Brazil, South Korea, Singapore or even China. And it is Muslim societies own desires to to try and live on par with the rest of the world that is the most sustainable source of dissatisfaction with the status quo and motivation for deeper change. Deepening Individual empowerment isn't just a formally articulated ideology, its hardwired into the social and economic changes globalisation brings. Even the fundamentalists can not escape it. The fact that Salafis can marry a Muslim of their own choice without the approval of their parents is a very modern thing. Islam is venturing into unknown territory pretending that its all old hat.

Johann ji,

I think when we use words like modernity, globalization, empowerment, in analysis, we are allowing ourselves to lap up our own propaganda. These words are overloaded with different semantics coming from different mouths, but since the West has the loudest propaganda, even in non-Western countries, one could think that the West has been able to determine what all this means.

For Islam these words certainly mean something totally different than what it may mean for the West. As far as countries like India, Brazil, South Korea, Singapore or even China are concerned, their ability to determine the semantics of these words based on the drivers of the thinking of their current elite, they may either not take part and even if they wish to contribute to it, it would most probably be to acknowledge the same semantics the West has peddled or at least they would not upset the Western apple cart.

Empowerment simply means the ability of the weaker sections of the society to do more on their own, to better meet their needs, and to have a bigger say in the political and economic direction of the society or the country at large. Would this crack Islamism?

Modernity means better access to and availing of goods and services which improve the material quality of life, allowing more comfort, better communications, more information, and enabling efficiency in one's tasks. Would this crack Islamism?

Globalization refers to distribution and dissemination of goods, information, services and people across the globe. Would this crack Islamism?

It is good that you left out "democracy" and "freedom" and "human rights", because that would have caused too much amusement, taking away any seriousness from the topic.

I think most would agree with the above quasi-definitions. However when the West touts these developments in mankind, they try to smuggle through more semantic than is available in these definitions. The Western propaganda tries to show that underlying all these developments, there is some particular ideological framework, some thinking vector. There isn't really any. Maybe with respect to Communism, the above social drivers may have been ideologically relevant, but not with respect to Islam, or even Dharma.

Globalization, Modernity and "Empowerment" do not even scratch the core of Islamism much less threaten it. Here we may disagree, but that may depend on how we see Islam itself. All three - overconfidence, fear and secular kumbaya would lead to distortion of what Islam really is. I'll come to that in a subsequent post sometime.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 22:59
by RajeshA
Disclaimer: No Malevolence is intended towards our Muslim brothers in India or towards any Muslims anywhere by the following.

X-Posting from "West Asia News and Discussions" Thread

Johann ji,

I'll try to go into why Islam is immune from the current reforming developments which you think are sweeping the globe and have an effect on Muslims as well. For that I'll offer my interpretation of what Islam is and you can see whether to concur with that or not.

What constitutes the Islamic System?

The model I propose is that there is an Islamic Ideological Core and all the Muslims in the world are like dogs on a leash, which the Islamic Ideological Core holds in its hands. Each Muslim knows he is bound to Islam and its core. Now Islam may deem it fit to give a lot of slack to the leash and there may even be some few Muslims who may think that they are free of this leash because of the slack, but most know that it is there and those who forget, their memory loss would be assured to be one of a temporary nature. The Islamic Ideological Core always keeps wolves among the dogs to ensure that the dogs do not forget their leash, or try to break it.

Now the sectarian divisions means there are more than one Islamic cores, but they all act similarly w.r.t. their members and w.r.t. to Kafirs. The sectarian wars and conflicts are basically to ensure that ultimately there is only a single Islamic Ideological Core and all Muslims would belong to it and be guided by it. The system is trying to strengthen itself through consolidation, in the only way it knows how - through violence and intimidation.

So what are the constants of Islam that are not going to be diluted by the Western Universalism brew of consumerism, individual freedoms, human rights, and Westphalian model of world order, or for that matter by globalization, modernity and "empowerment"?

  1. The Ideological Core - Doctrine, sustained by a network of Mullahs and their wolves.

  2. The Leash - Conversion out of Islam, Apostasy would never be tolerated. It would be dealt with a heavy hand.

  3. Individual Empowerment [viz-a-viz the Kafir] - All for One , Islam gives Strength, and no member should ever feel that it has been forsaken by the rest of the Ummah. Continuous testing and validation through provocation of others.

  4. Strength of Ummah - whatever happens anywhere in Ummah, would be avenged, no matter how long it takes.

  5. No Criticism of Islamic Icons - Rasool cannot be criticized or be shown in images. Prophet is Perfect. Cornerstone of Faith.

  6. Unity - Hajj, Dawaa, Siege mentality, Mosque, Madrassa brainwashing.

  7. Exploitation of the Kafir - Zar, Zoru and Zameen of the Kafir also belongs to Muslims. Social benefits abused by Muslims in the West. There is never gratitude from Muslims for whatever Kafir gives them for that is their birthright anyway.

  8. Demographic Expansion - high fertility in majority non-Muslim countries, migration to the West, Direct Proselytization of Prison Population and Blacks (giving Islam new muscle).

  9. Women - All Muslim Women belong to Muslim Men. No Kafir can marry Muslim Women. Women would continue to be subjugated to the will of the Muslim Male.

The Kafirs would not really mind in principle - Hajj, Dawaa or Mosque, but the question is how they are used.

What is on the line for non-Muslim societies is that when Islam overwhelms these societies, a Kafir can expect only conversion or exploitation, and his women can expect to be enrolled into the baby-making factories of the Muslim. When the Kafir converts what awaits him is a complete subjugation of his freedom of thought and lifestyle and the leash from which there is no escape.

The sexual exploitation of British girls by Muslim men should awaken the West as to what to expect in the coming future, but Western overconfidence that they can change the spots on the Islamic beast through appeasement like tolerance, respect, employment and social benefits to their Muslim population, or through global currents like globalization, modernity and "empowerment" is really a fatal illusion. Sure the Islamic societies too would change in order to adopt new ways of communication, amenities, skill sets, shopping habits, etc. but that doesn't change the beast, only makes it more efficient in doing what it does best.

Western overconfidence comes from a history where through technological breakthroughs and better organization they were able to break the Ottoman Empire or see the Mughal Empire go down or have been able to intervene in Muslim countries and create some chaos, etc. All that is fine, but the Muslims too have been able to check the West, through becoming an ever more significant political vote-bank in Western countries, through their tactic of war and terror on others like USA and Russia, and then negotiating with them for more space and acceptability, see Russian concessions on Chechnya. Western overconfidence is making the West blind, or may be it is just fear of opening the eyes and seeing the beast for what it is! When the ostrich takes out its head, it would find out that the rest of its body has already been chewed and digested.

Sometimes Islam does not even mind giving a lot of slack to some Muslims. In West, they are known as "moderate Muslims". But these too have their function of keeping the Western public lulled into complacency.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 23:00
by RajeshA
brihaspati garu,

perhaps you may wish to cross-post some of your brilliant posts here.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 23:01
by Pratyush
Rajesh Ji,

When you start to identify a society using a religious lens. Then, it becomes important to discuss the region that has/is shaping said society. Having said so, BRF is not a place to discuss religion.

Therefore, I must regretfully say IB4TL

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 23:12
by ramana
RajeshA, Do you want to discuss Islamic or Islamist society? The latter is a political concept.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 23:16
by darshhan
RajeshA wrote: It is important that we do not abuse Islam's highest icons - Allah, Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Qu'ran -

rajeshA ji, Timely thread. I doubt anybody here would actually indulge in abuse, no matter how they feel about islamic icons. But analysis is a different matter altogether.These icons will have to be understood and analyzed threadbare. Otherwise let us stop this pretense and save some bandwidth. We have to ask ourselves a question.

Do we have the courage to go whole hog in the pursuit of truth?
Whether political correctness will eventually prevail?

You might want to check with moderators on this one.

Ofcourse it is another thing that for followers of islam any objective analysis of their revered symbols is no less than abuse.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 18 Dec 2012 00:11
by ramana
All, We have the following threads:

Islamism and Islamophobia

Islamic Sectarianism

Islam - Critical Analysis of Theology, History, Society

plus a couple in GDF

Historicty of Politico Islamic thought

We also have threads on KSA and Iran which are basically ways of discussing Wahabandis and Shiites.
So what new thing will this thread discuss?

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 18 Dec 2012 00:23
by Prem
Still Discussing, Have not it been concluded by the wise men of past and present !! The topic ought to be , Islamist values, practices and its threat to India and human society at large. Lessons to be learn from the Destruction of India starting with the arrival of Islam in Sindh.

Islam Sei Naata, Islamist ka Kissa
Abhi Takk Samaj na Payaa?
Dahir se leke, Jinnah Takk jo hua thaa
Wohi Hai Islamic Samaj Ki Kaayya
Total Destruction pei, Royee India Saarra
Gali Gali Gujro Jiddar sei.
Bharat Ka Banda , Bhool Gya Danda
Suffering Seudo Secularism sei !!

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 18 Dec 2012 15:19
by RajeshA
ramana wrote:All, We have the following threads:

ramana garu,

some of these threads were started be me itself, and they have/had a specific portfolio!

This thread was basically to report on and discuss any current issue causing friction between Muslims and non-Muslims outside the Indian Subcontinent. The portfolio was as given in the first post:

RajeshA wrote:Before Pointing out what this thread is all about, it is necessary to point out what it is not. The Key Word here is ABROAD.

This thread is NOT for
  1. Discussing Indian Muslims
  2. Discussing any Islamism on the Indian Subcontinent
  3. Discussing any Islamophobia from an Indic Experience.
  4. Discussing Islamic Theology
  5. Discussing Islamic Terrorism in India
  6. Talking disparagingly about personalities and symbols of Islam and about Muslims, from poster's PoV

Furthermore there are issues that would be more appropriate for other threads and forums, and these ought to discussed there. Please use your judgment.

This thread is for discussing the following category of issues:
  1. Muslims in non-Muslim majority countries (West, Russia, East Asia, etc), demanding special rights for Muslims
  2. Political Organizations and Movements based on Islam in Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries.
  3. Treatment of religious minorities in Muslim majority countries.
  4. Anti-Muslim sentiment, movements and politics in non-Muslim majority countries (e.g. in Europe, USA, Australia, Canada, Russia).
  5. History of Islam, theological basis for Political Islam
  6. Immigration of Muslims to non-Muslim majority countries.
  7. Muslim Society in non-Muslim majority countries.

Some of the issues that would have belonged to this thread would have been:
  • Fatwa on Salman Rushdie
  • Controversy over Danish Cartoons
  • Work and Assassination of Theo Van Gogh, the Dutch Filmmaker and the Life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • "Mohammed Cartoon Day" Facebook Event
  • "Burn a Koran Day" Event organized by the Pastor Terry Jones
  • The Plans for Building the Cordoba Mosque near Ground Zero
  • The Emergence of Anti-Muslim Parties in Europe
  • Muslim Protests against British soldiers coming from Afghanistan
  • Special Privileges for Muslims in Britain
  • Headscarf ban in French public schools
  • Burqa ban in France

Again this is neither a whine thread nor a hate thread.

This thread has often been "abused" by bringing in topics on Islam, etc. which do not really belong in this thread.

RajeshA wrote:It is primarily meant to study and discuss
  1. The sectarian thinking within the various regimes in the Muslim world
  2. The sectarian political and paramilitary groups in the Muslim world
  3. Sectarian politics and conflicts in the Muslim World
  4. Alliances of various sects with each other and with the non-Muslim powers
  5. Theological differences between the various Muslim sects
  6. History of the Muslim sects
  7. Impact of Muslim sectarian relations on rest of the World

This thread was quickly locked. It was an effort to kick-start some BRF scholarship on Islam in an objective way. I guess, at the time it did not find support among the moderators, and I respect that.

ramana wrote:plus a couple in GDF

Historicity of Politico Islamic thought

This certainly looks like an interesting thread, however the last post on it was July 11, 2011. Besides being in GDF, it would not receive many eyeballs, as I believe this issue should.

ramana wrote:We also have threads on KSA and Iran which are basically ways of discussing Wahabandis and Shiites.
So what new thing will this thread discuss?

I believe one problem many have had is that when they wished to express some insight into Islam or Islamic society, they just did not know where to do it, and that precious insight lands as off-topic within some other thread.

Many of the threads in Strategic Forum, especially those relating to some region or country and India are thre to discuss "strategic relations" which of course have an aspect of history but are to have a focus on the present - present India. In some cases there are civilizational aspects in play, but the main focus needs to remain on the present and the future. IMHO, I think the admins also think similarly. So often deeper analysis of the societies of these countries, especially the Muslim countries veers off off-topic as the strategic aspects of it are not immediately apparent.

And because Islam often becomes an issue on the thread, to a non-BRFite Indian reader, it would appear as if we have forsaken national interests-driven strategic thinking in favor of "religious-minded emotion-driven prejudices". Not every reader would have gone or be willing to go through the BRF Enlightenment Process. B. Raman's remark about BRF comes to mind - a bunch of Hindu nationalists, blah, blah.

If we wish to bring the BRF brand of strategic analysis, vision and civilizational insight to the general Indian public, we would have to package that well, bringing discipline to the various topics in the threads. Striving for that, IMHO has been the hallmark of BRF - Packaging Strategic Knowledge Optimally.

"Islamism and Islamophobia Abroad" and "Islamic Sectarianism" were started to limit the scope of discussion to aspects of Islam whose relevance for the forum would be specific and thus apparent. In many ways, those threads' portfolios was skirting the discussion on the broader issue of Islam, and when we speak of Islam, we don't necessarily mean the personal belief-system of Muslim individuals. We usually mean it in the broader sense. The wider issue was being skirted because as Indians we understandably have some difficulty honestly discussing Islam, the religion of millions of Indians, not wishing to cause hurt sentiments.

That remains a challenge, and I hope this thread can meet that challenge.

The mission statement of this thread is:

- to put Islam in the Psychologist's Couch. Do Psychoanalysis of the Muslim, the Islamist, and the Islamic Leadership.
- to do Sociology of Islamic Society.
- to restrict debate on Islamic Theology and Prophet's History to only that what is relevant today to Islamic Society, which would be most of it.
- to do Purva-Paksha on Islam

The main emphasis of this thread is not so much on something new but using a new perspective. The material here is not to provoke the Muslim - either because we ridicule their beliefs, or because we "complain" of their historical role playing the victim, or by expressing fear, which often tends to in fact bolster them. This thread is about analyzing the way it is, from an alien's eyeview, as a psychologist, as a sociologist, as an anthropologist, as a historian.

It is important that the general Indian reader understands that there is an intellectual base regarding Islam and Islamic society, on which many of the views of BRFites is based on. Now there can be emotive aspects to those views and they are fully justified to have them, but the reasoning should be clear to the general reader and there should be a place where he can source that information, without needing to go through threads where that knowledge is often off-topic.

In a way, this thread is also meant to unburden the other threads, picking up many of the insightful but often off-topic posts elsewhere.

ramana wrote:RajeshA, Do you want to discuss Islamic or Islamist society? The latter is a political concept.

I did not use the word "Muslim society" because a Muslim in general is understood to be an individual with other aspects and identities to his life as well - an Indian Muslim, a "moderate" Muslim, a "Muslim professional", etc. etc.. I also did not use the term Islamist, because again that term is politically loaded.

When I say, "Islamic Society", I mean a society immersed and influenced by Islam, emphasizing the role religion plays in their lives.

I lay emphasis on "Society" and not "Religious Doctrine" because a society can have many additional memes present in it, which may be influenced by the latter but in an indirect way. I think "Society" is a much broader term, and we should focus on that, and discuss religious dogma only when it is relevant.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 18 Dec 2012 15:32
by RajeshA
darshhan ji,

You are free to discuss anything relevant to an Islamic Society, including the icons, as long as the perspective is correct. This thread should be the intellectual basis, for any prejudices, hate, fear, disgust, awe, recognition, complaint, etc. that one can express elsewhere.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 18 Dec 2012 15:40
by RajeshA
Pratyush ji,

The focus here is not on Islamic Theology, but as far as the mission statement is concerned, it is not forbidden either AS LONG AS it is relevant to the issue under discussion related to Islamic Society.

I agree, we need not discuss Islam as the personal faith of the Muslim individual and the various intricacies, but discussion of Islamic memes that define Islamic society should be accepted, as we try to understand how 1.5 billion Muslims of the world think and act.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 18 Dec 2012 23:30
by ramana
Thanks for clarifying your ideas in creating this thread.

As admin I was doing due diligence and asking for the scope and other stuff.

Hope the thread meets your ideals.


Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 19 Dec 2012 06:32
by shiv
RajeshA wrote: It is important that we do not abuse Islam's highest icons - Allah, Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Qu'ran


Wishing for a long life of this thread!

As long as the above conditions are fulfilled, this thread will survive long, but sink to page 7 of this forum

Allah is the only God, Mohammad is his Prophet and the Quran is the word of God, Once that is clear to us and accepted by all of us, we can discuss anything else.

If one of us happens to disagree with this, then he is insulting Islam. Islam has certain prescriptions for those who disagree. Those prescriptions will have to be made for those who disagree. If moderators do not implement those prescriptions, it means that they too are supporters of people who disagree with and thereby insult Allah, the Prophet Mohammad and the Quran and they too must be dealt with in the manner that is written regarding opponents of Allah and desecrators of the fundamental tenets of Islam.

People can feel very hurt when a religion of egalitarianism peace and justice that is so close to their hearts is wantonly insulted. While most followers of Islam are promoters of peace and goodwill it is sometimes not possible to stop a devout person from becoming emotional and harming someone who insults what is dear to him. After all would a man not avenge an insult directed at his own mother or father? Islam is like family and insulting the sentiment of a person who feels that way can justifiably lead to anger, sometimes even violence. No force can withstand the fury of a peaceful society that is wantonly insulted, and the insulters protected rather than prosecuted or punished. Such people who insult the tenets of The religion must be summarily banned.

God forbid, we must not face a situation where a man is so insulted that he resorts to force of arms to avenge the insult of what is closest to his heart.

Please carry on and discuss. I will follow the thread with eagerness.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 19 Dec 2012 14:55
by RajeshA
Published on December 19, 2012
By Dr Qaisar Rashid
A Few Words : Militancy in the name of Islam and its ramifications: Daily Times

Code: Select all

Islam is very particular about the differentiation between the real intent and the declared objectives of its followers. Can militancy serve the cause of Islam?

Why do followers of a (divine) religion resort to militancy? Is it to get the voice of the religion heard or is it to get their own voice heard? These two questions bear more relevance when the religion is Islam and the followers are Muslims. What is the voice of the religion of Islam? Is it not peace? Can the voice of peace be expressed in militant terms? The answer is in the negative. To project its image of peace, Islam does not need militancy. The next question is, to make its voice heard could a (divine) religion be handicapped at the hands of its followers? It cannot be so. Islam is not a religion that can be hamstrung by its followers. Muslims cannot hold a monopoly on the religion of Islam. Islam is open to all to study and listen to its voice.

It is still debatable whether militancy practised by certain Muslims falls in the category of ‘jihad’ or not, as the concept of jihad banks on the intention of the follower(s) waging it. One’s personal glory, vendetta and other worldly objectives do not justify jihad; instead, militancy based on them fall in the category of war. Islam is very particular about the differentiation between the real intent and the declared objectives of its followers.

Can militancy serve the cause of Islam? The obverse side of the question is why the problems of the world cannot be solved through political means. The Europe of today remained engaged in two world wars and then decided to settle its differences through political means. Why can no lesson be learnt from Europe’s bitter experience of bloodshed?

The next question is whether Islam is being used by its followers to meet their own worldly objectives. The trend in societies that are overwhelmingly populated with Muslims indicates that resorting to militancy is becoming a way of life. Instead of voicing one’s grievances in political terms, religious terms are used. One reason for that may be that one does not know how to voice one’s concerns in political terms, as the domain of (pluralist) politics is still alien to the conceptual understanding of many Muslims. Another reason may be that religious terms amplify one’s voice many times and draw more attention. Apparently, Muslims are politically backward and that is why they use religious terms to air their grievances.

It would be interesting to know the result of the comparison between — if someone makes it — how many Muslims resort to hard work to improve their lives and how many depend on fate to offer them, on a silver platter, the same rewards of life. Apparently, an over-reliance on their fate has rendered Muslims helpless (and worthless) in the world. The helplessness has actuated the feeling of jealousy (and perhaps hatred), which in turn fosters an attitude expressed in militancy and that too, unfortunately, in the name of Islam.

In the acts of militancy, the prevalent ignorance (and illiteracy) amongst Muslims might have made them feel a sense of glory — as if Islamic grandeur of the medieval age were revisiting the world — but they have failed to understand that violence has masked the face of Islam leaving no room for non-violent (peaceful) means to earn popularity. Further, Muslims seem unable to apprehend that in the globalised world, militancy in the name of Islam is acting as a force of disintegration of global oneness. Will the consequent seclusion be acceptable to Muslims?

If the global oneness is perceived as a threat to the ‘self’ of Muslims, a question irks the minds of many: would Muslims keep their separate global identity through militant means? The retreat of Islam into a militant bubble has demeaned its message of peace. That is the single major injustice militancy has done to the voice of Islam. Militancy has secured the foreground at the cost of the rest of Islam. Muslims who have resorted to militancy (though they are in a minority) have expropriated the space at the rostrum and without seeking the consent of the rest (who are in a majority), have started representing all Muslims. This state of affairs may be hailed by Muslims ignorant of global political affairs, but it has made the informed ones apprehensive about the kind of future waiting for them. In this regard, blameworthy are also those who have kept silence on the deeds of the minority militant ones.

In a way, militancy in the name of Islam is justifying the incompetence of Muslims in the fields of science and technology. Secondly, it has discredited the role of state governments to raise their voice for Muslims. Thirdly, it has made the largest chunk of Muslims who, though they do not side with militant Muslims, apologetic before the world. Fourthly, it has made all Muslims vulnerable to all types of prejudices.

One of the problems Muslims are facing is that they live physically in the 21st century but survive mentally (or conceptually) in the medieval age. Did Islam advise its followers to perpetuate the medieval age and abhor the modern age? Should industrialisation not have happened? Should the world not have moved to the phase of modernisation or even post-modernisation? The next best question is, can these processes (or phases) be reversed?

The modern age has brought to the fore its own realities and ways of living. If Muslims were so concerned about this kind of modern age, they should have been in the forefront of progress and development to construct their own type of modern age. If they could not do so, why nurse grievances? If Muslims stay backward, why should the world come to their doorstep to ask what kind of world they approve? Instead of militating against the inevitable realities of life and the irreversible processes of the world, Muslims should reconcile with them.

Posting here for possible later analysis!

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 21:02
by RajeshA
X-Posting post by brihaspati in "Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II" Thread

Meanwhile weren't we talking of Indian presence and influence in Kabul?

Kabul's $100m mosque: a sign of a heavyweight battle for post-2014 Afghanistan

Last month it emerged that Saudi Arabia is funding a $100m mosque and Islamic education centre in Kabul, very similar to the Faisal mosque constructed in Islamabad in the 1980s. Dr Dayi al-Haq Abed, the Saudi minister of hajj and Islamic affairs, has sought to make assurances that the building is not designed to bolster the Gulf state's role in Afghan affairs after Nato's withdrawal in 2014, but the claim sounds hollow.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is caught up in increasingly difficult waves of terrorism and persecution aimed at its minorities and particularly those who are Shia, Ahmedi and Christian. Early this week in Lahore over 100 Ahmedi graves in Lahore were desecrated. A Christian man has died in custody after being charged with blasphemy in Punjab.

The media in Pakistan cannot openly discuss the funding of Sunni terrorist groups from Saudi Arabia and their sponsorship by the Pakistan military. To question Wahhabism and support the minorities is potentially to find oneself in the murky waters of blasphemy and "anti-state activities". Until the Pakistan military accepts and confronts the fact that the major threat to the stability of the country comes from their client relationship with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan cannot begin to stand on its own feet and reclaim its proper subcontinental identity.

The AfPak region has been defined by a Saudi proxy war since the 1970s. The huge oil wealth of Saudi Arabia, and the US dependency on it, is complicated by Saudi Arabia's battle for supremacy with Shia Iran. In the western Middle East this is being fought out through client states. In mid-November King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia apparently hosted a dinner at Qasr al-Sarab in Abu Dhabi to discuss the Assad-Ahmadinejad axis (the UN has struggled to neutralise Russian and Chinese support). Ranged against it is the powerful Sunni Morsi-Abdullah alliance.

How quickly in any case we forget. Reuters recently produced an excellent report on how banned terrorist outfits in Pakistan are, and have long been, funded from Saudi Arabia. WikiLeaks cables described the Gulf states as a "cashpoint for [Wahhabi] terrorism". Saudi Arabia matched Washington dollar for dollar to fund (Sunni) mujahideen against the Soviets in the 1980s.

On account of oil dependency the US has often found itself unable to openly criticise Saudi Arabia. But a report commissioned by the UN security council in 2003 described how in the decade leading to 9/11 Saudi Arabia transferred over $500m to al-Qaida via Islamic charities. The Bush administration is said to have redacted 28 pages of a Congress report that documented Saudi government ties with the 9/11 hijackers.

Wahhabism is seen as hardline religiosity but it is closely allied to the autocratic political regime of the Saudi monarchy. That the impulse is not religious is shown in an absolute disregard for shrines and historic sites. Over 20 years the archaeological sites of Mecca and Medina have been destroyed. In Afghanistan, the Taliban, funded from Saudi Arabia, destroyed the Bamiyan buddhas. In Pakistan they have long targeted Sufi shrines.

In the worst-case scenario, Afghanistan remains doomed to become caught up in the competing interests of regional powers. Saudi Arabia overtly joins three heavyweights for company after 2014: Putin's resurgent Russia, China's central Asian interests and (Shia) Iran.

Energy still remains the key to the shifting geopolitics. In November Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote in the Telegraph that the US energy department announced that domestic shale gas production would produce 11.4m barrels a day of oil and liquid hydrocarbons next year, overtaking Saudi Arabia in 2014. Cut the oil dependency on Saudi Arabia and in theory the US has less a compulsive reason to maintain interests in the region.


X-Posting post by RamaY in "Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II" Thread

:D the funny thing is that majority afghans will appreciate this $100m mosque (more) than the $200m power station or $300m hospital Indian built.

That is the strength of ideology and only fools ignore this about their competitors and worse their own.


Question is why would they appreciate more? What drives Muslims to appreciate something done in the name of Islam more than something done to improve their lives? Is that even true? And if it is true, then for which Muslims is this truth valid? Is it for all?

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 31 Dec 2012 23:18
by RajeshA
X-Posting post by brihaspati in "Delhi Rape Victim Dies-Express your outrage" Thread

The use of metal/hard objects after or during the rape - is usually a feature of penal rapes, typically done in a gang/group, and is reported more from Islamist or Muslim contexts. The rape is not just about sex, but also about penalizing - for being a woman, for being a non-muslim, for being the "temptresses" and leaders of going astray - as portrayed repeatedly in various contexts in the core texts of the theology.

I would expect such penal rapes to be more frequent the closer we get to long-time centres of Islamic military power in the subcontinent, in a gradient of increasing intensity as we move from the east to the west of GV, from India to the ME.

Although the Ayatollahate would deny this - the following has consistent commonality with what the Paki soldiers do wherever they go, with concrete evidence for 1971 in now BD :
"On August 9, in a letter published in the Etemad Melli paper, the reformist presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi wrote that some detained individuals stated that some authorities have raped detained women with such force, they have sustained injuries and tears in to their reproductive system."

In another high-profile case, the very pretty 19-year old Taraneh was not shot with a single bullet to her chest, as was the case with Neda Agha Sultan There were no bystanders in the dungeon with a cell phone to capture the prolonged torture, rape, and sodomy of this teenager.

According to reports, as well as testimony on the House floor from the honorable U.S. Congressman McCotter, on June 28, 2009, Taraneh Mousavi, a young Iranian woman, was literally scooped off the streets without any provocation on her part and with no arrest warrant. This young woman was taken to one of the regime's torture chambers, where she was repeatedly brutalized, raped, and sodomized by Ahmadinejad's agents, and with the consent of the "supreme leader," Ali Khamenei.

Near death from repeated beating, raping and sodomizing, the fragile young woman, bleeding profusely from her rectum and womb, was transferred to a hospital in Karaj near Tehran.
Eventually, an anonymous person notified Taraneh's family that she had had an "accident" and had been to be taken to the hospital.

The devastated family rushed to the hospital only to find no trace of their beloved daughter. The foot-soldiers of Allah's "divine representative" Ali Khamenei decided to eliminate all traces of their savagery. These vile people decided to remove the dying woman from the hospital before the family's arrival, whereupon they burned her beyond recognition and dumped her charred remains on the side of the road.

Note that the intent is not to just to rape, but kill. The target is the uterus. Here is the evidence from Beslan :
It was then that they began raping the girls. They wanted sex as they killed, and this is sexual homicide. A sex killer gets excited when he thinks about forcing himself inside an unwilling victim, but the rape itself does not produce the ultimate excitement. It is the rape followed by the killing that is arousing. This is what happened at Beslan.

One by one, females were targeted. The sex killers looked for the perfect victims, and after zeroing in, they grabbed and disrobed the little girls in the middle of the gym. There were muffled cries as the girls were humiliated in front of everyone. They were stripped, raped, and sodomized by several men. Not content to simply rape, the terrorists used their guns and other objects to penetrate the screaming victims while the other hostages were forced to watch. And the terrorists laughed. They laughed as they violated the children and made them bleed. What few people know is that some of the girls died as a result of being raped with objects. The internal damage was so severe that without immediate medical attention, the girls bled to death. Those who managed to survive required extensive reconstructive surgery and painful recoveries.

But raping the girls was not enough for the deviants who had entered the school. The terrorists beat the other children. In fact, beatings took place regularly, and as they pummeled the little ones, the terrorists smiled and laughed. It was said that they would strike a child and then watch the child cringe. When the youngsters recoiled, their captors laughed. This says the offenders enjoyed inflicting the suffering. They wanted their victims to suffer.

Use of similar methods was peculiarly more intense in post-Islamic Spanish inquisition - compared to the rest of Europe. We know now, that a lot of opportunist "Muslims" switched sides during the final days and became "devout" "Catholics.

Psychologically speaking, it could have connections to some hatred of the "mother", the "uterus" being symbolic of that, a convoluted connection to self-hatred and hatred for imagined or real neglect/abandonment by the mother [and very peculiarly prominent in the founding stages of the leaders of the theology itself].

Whoever had primary role in that gang in doing this, is likely to have been exposed to the inner anecdotal/undercurrent of the meme of "penal rape" in the theology. By the way, with a lot of talk about Honey Singh - is claimed to be extremely popular/topping the chart in Punjab and North India - and expectedly Bollywood. Now why exactly is he so popular exactly in that region - there lies the answer.

PS: Given the patterns, the psychological drive would be to dehumanize the woman - that is the reason even the pe*** is not used finally to commit the rape - it becomes a disembodied, dehumanized blunt or sharp tool. I would expect it to be accompanied by related dehumanizing actions - like urinating on the mouth/body etc. If they ever fully make the chargesheet public. But they typically drop the actual details of torture from public access. One cannot find the details in the judgment copies available for open acces - on torture of women in police custody.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 09 Jan 2013 05:47
by Agnimitra
From GDF:

RajeshA wrote:
Carl wrote:Once when I was in my 11th grade in India, I was sitting at the back of a boring classroom session and reading an Urdu novel. A Moslem classmate saw that and drew closer to me from then on. He himself hadn't studied Urdu though his parents knew how to read and write it. So he appreciated that I knew the language even though I wasn't Moslem. But here's the part that is relevant here: He would often talk to me about all the problems he sees in his community, all the things he disagrees with, that don't make any sense to him, but are shoved down their throats or which they must accept out of reverence for tradition, or to protect the community or contribute to its expansion, etc. It was like I was the only person he ever had a chance to talk to about these thoughts of his - I could clearly see that he felt some fear in expressing the same things to someone from his own community. So he was using the opportunity to vent to someone who was not from his community (caste-wise or "ethnically"), yet someone who was well-informed about its culture and religion, etc. I always remember him and those conversations, because I was surprised by it, and had naturally assumed that people would generally not wash their dirty linen in "public" with an "outsider". I think a similar dynamic is at work for people who want to eventually marry out or find other ways to distance themselves from the "core" of their culture.

Carl ji,

perhaps you could write down some of those conversations in the "Understanding Islamic Society" Thread.

RajeshA ji, there was really nothing in those conversations that isn't already common knowledge or observation. Anyway I will put down what I can remember from this particular friend and a couple of others.

Some background:
1. Socio-economically, this classmate was coming from a typical middle class (maybe slightly lower-middle class) Indian Moslem family. The women of his family wore the burqa when they stepped out.
2. In this case, he was from Hyderabad, though he wasn't a Telugu convert. His racial/cultural origins seemed to be from the north, and his family line was historically linked with the martial orders of the Sunni Asif Jahi Nizam's dominions. He himself was well-built, and loved sports.
3. It looked like his generation was getting a "better" education than his parents' generation in his community. By "better" I mean more Anglicized. His parents were entirely Urdu-educated.

Here is a summary of some of the things we talked about, that give an indication of his level of knowledge, cultural attitudes, aspirations, and worries:
1. He saw me reading a thick Urdu novel, and first mistook it for the Qur'an. He was completely Urdu- and Arabic-illiterate, and didn't know much about Islam itself as such. But he had a wide-eyed admiration for both, and immediately looked up to me as a "wise" and fortunate person.
2. He wondered whether I had converted to Islam and happily considered it a foregone conclusion now that I had come this far.
3. I asked him why he hadn't learned Urdu, which he called his mother tongue. He said his family felt that there were less job opportunities in Urdu anymore and that there was no choice but to concentrate on Hindi and English. Majboori hai. There was a lot of pressure to be upwardly mobile.
4. When he opened up more he expressed anger and frustration that there was a lot of pressure to get married early and start producing children. He explained that mullas and maulanas would visit families and pressure them to do this. With digust he told me that an older cousin of his was 22, just out of college, and was already married and had a child. That cousin didn't yet have a home of his own and lives with his parents. My buddy expressed frustration that his generation was pressured like this from both sides - to become more educated and earn more, and also to start having large families from an early age. He was frustrated, and it seemed like there was no one he could talk to about this.
5. When he would get into the flow of complaint about such practical dilemmas in his life, he would start questioning other stuff. He would notice that from a young age they are brought up with a ghetto mentality, and taught that the non-Moslems around them are not their well-wishers, and think ill of them. He would sometimes question this because most of his non-Moslem friends seemed to treat him like they treated one another. He didn't like the more shrill preaching coming from sources within his community about Hindus. He had even been invited into their homes and seen their mothers and sisters. But given the public behavior and covert affairs of some of the unveiled Hindu girls on campus he felt it validated some of the warnings and moral teachings of Islam. But on a related note...
6. One time he came to me excitedly with a mischievous request. He had found his mother's old diaries in the loft at home quite a while ago. They were in Urdu, and he had been wanting to know what was in them. My ability to read handwritten Urdu was much less than typeset script, so it took me some time to decipher it. Turned out his mother had had a passionate affair with some other man (also Moslem), but alas they couldn't be married. During that long phase she would write in her diary almost every day, what she did from the first Fajr prayer in the morning, to the last Isha prayer at night. That was the time-structure of her diary. Usually it would be related to thoughts of her lover and humility, gratitude, irritated complaint, or sorrowful resignation in front of Allah. E.g. she would wake up for Fajr, pray, then remind herself of a secret rendezvous later that day, then go back to sleep for another hour or two. Later, if he had refused to acknowledge her in a public place like a bus stop, she took it out on her diary. She had penned some verses about her feelings and longings, sometimes cynicism. I read all of this, but didn't tell my friend about any of it. I just told him his mother seemed to be a sensitive and poetic lady, she had written some pretty verses in good Urdu, about Allah and the beauty of nature, and I read out a couple of the less suspicious ones to him. It seems that he was satisfied by this and it was obvious that he merely wanted to allay his own suspicions that his mother had loved a man other than his father before marriage. And again, it struck me as significant that he picked me (a loner, from outside his own community) to translate her diary to him.

That's all I remember of this pal. In the same vein, I can relate some points from another Moslem classmate, also from almost the same background. He was an innocent and bright-faced lad, and had won scholarships from a 'Medina Educational Foundation' in the "Old City" that was helping him fund his +2 education at a good institution. In order to win the scholarships, he had to not only be good at his academics up to his 10th grade, but also win quizzes on introductory subjects of Islamic aqeedah (theology and beliefs) and fiqh (law). Since he came out with flying colours in the latter, he was awarded scholarships to better educate himself further. Thus, the cream of the community was being cultivated in a particular direction by the 'educational' institutions of his community. He was an average but hardworking student in a rather competitive class half-filled with us ramiah JEE trainees, but very well-loved by all who knew him. He wasn't particularly interested in sports, but enthusiasticaly joined in just to be part of a team with friends. He wasn't sombre and religiously conservative in stereotypical ways. He would enthusiastically go up on stage during events and play his harmonica for us, or sing a song with un-self-conscious passion. With the same un-self-conscious enthusiasm he would tell us about what Allah has to say on several subjects that we were interested in: "You know, there is no masturbation in Islam." Etc. He was a jolly good fellow, religious, honest, and stayed out of bad mischief and anti-social activity of all kinds.

There was another Moslem classmate who was a 'jock' type, but essentially different from the above two, and whom I didn't know too closely. He also came from a conservative family, was aggressive, and was also involved with a couple of guys who were having sexual affairs with a couple of girls. He was indulging himself in this and other ways outside his community, while within his community he would not countenance it, and was a part of enforcement and "pack-management". He would sometimes accost the other two above at prayer time, and during Ramzan he would fast and be irritated with others for eating.

I might as well include a couple of other types here to complete the picture:

First one is a childhood friend of mine, from middle-school, and still a bosom buddy. He is from an "ashraf" background, not just socially but also from an upper class economic background. Parents are from lineage related to Junagadh courtier circles. His grandmother (who lived with them) would be an enthusiastic Pakistan fan and nervously root for them during cricket matches in front of the TV at home. Father unfortunately had some psychiatric illness, and squandered part of the family inheritance. Still, they lived quite well. But the father's mental illness took a big toll on the family. The mother ultimately got hooked to psych meds too. Father, who was very gentle and docile each time I met him, would at other times have public fits of rage that embarrassed the entire family and especially my buddy when he was very young. He turned into a juvenile delinquent, flunked a class, and became my classmate, after which we grew very close for some reason. His parents' families were Jinnah types, completely Westernized, some relations living in Massaland and UQ. Drinks at home, even as grandmother hennaed her hair and fingered tasbeeh beads. Islamic art (including scented prayer mats) were found around the house, along with Western art. Even then, at school he would come under all sorts of influences. There was a small pack of especially vicious and hate-filled Moslems at school, especially Shi'a (couple of them first generation post-revolution Irani immigrants in Hyderabad). They would put pressure on him to "become Shi'a" (he was Sunni). He would think about it and asked his mom, and she said, "These Shi'as are fanatics. Sunni Islam is moderate Islam." He lived in a high class apartment complex that had all sorts of upper class people, including other rich Moslems. There was this one particularly religious neighbour of his he would tell me about - he would lecture him and his family on becoming better Moslems everytime he caught them - in an elevator, out on a walk, and then he started to come knocking on the door. That's when it became a really big issue at home. Some of the elite Moslems in his colony had RAPEtte wives imported from Pakistan. One such lady told him that she (and his family, too) was Aryan whereas most Hindus are Dravidians - and his mom (a very warm-hearted lady but sometimes an air-head) felt very flattered and found this discovery agreeable and worth repeating. Such was the confused environment he grew up in - Westernized, with some pretty strong Islamist influences, racism, and yet he mixed with all and would talk to me about it. Religiously we didn't have much in common, but at that immature time he considered me to be a fellow-"Aryan". He laughs about it now. He would serially fall in love with different girls. Once I stayed overnight at his place the night before a Hindi exam, and needless to say we hardly studied. That night he also taught me how to do namaz, though he hardly did it himself. As part of Islamic culture he had also learned to trim his pubes and other exciting stuff that as an adolescent he shared enthusiastically, along with jokes about accidentally nicking his sack in the process. It was his mother who presented me with old Urdu dictionaries and other materials from her family collection, and I taught myself the language using them. He was least interested, and even though he took Urdu as third language in school he scraped through and didn't look back. He reformed himself in the last year of high school and became more responsible from there on. He married earlier than the rest of us and settled down with a Dravidian-looking Telugu Christian girl. His firstborn son looks like him but bears a Christian name. He still takes care of his parents, but it weighs heavily on him for many reasons, he sometimes has outbursts of frustration about it, but I admire him for sticking with it patiently through very trying times. His is an interesting profile, and we sometimes talk about it.

Last one is of a couple: A female Moslem friend, from the Sunni "ashraf" with roots in Lucknow and Hyderabad. Somehow became close when I was in my 11th and 12th grade. Again, she would confide in me things she couldn't discuss with others in her own community. One thing she often brought up was that the mores of her "class" was different from the mores of the plebes, even among her own community. Especially mores related to romance and money. It took me time to realize that she was attracted, and as the tubelight flickered on I found out she was making extensive arrangements for an "alibi" everytime she came to meet up in private (apart from a group outing) - an "alibi" assisted by a network of her own female relatives and friends (all Moslem). But I didn't respond romantically or sexually and pretended not to notice that side of things. Later, age 16 or 17, she was told it was time to start finding someone to marry and think about children. She started dating a well-groomed man about town from the Hyderabadi "ashraf" community, only he was Shi'a. It didn't matter, class was more important than sectarian affiliation. But she would keep telling me about stuff, about how they made out on the rooftop. About how he would joke and tease her that her so-called "Sunni nawabi" heritage was just from the kaneez (concubines and palace servants) that his Persian forefathers had their way with. She tittered about it. The other thing was that this guy told her that he was still screwing a Hindu girlfriend. He had fixed up his van for it, a passion wagon, and this Hindu girlfriend was one of his long time fvck buddies. This friend of mine didn't seem to mind it, and considered it a sign of his status and virility. As long as the girl wasn't Moslem and ashraf she knew she was no threat, just a side-dish. But he said he would wind that down as they moved towards tying the knot, which they eventually did. He moved to the US. For a while after marriage she didn't keep in touch, and told a common friend she was "afraid" of me (can't imagine why). Later we got back in touch, but with some distance. At least for the first few years here she described his job as "converting blacks". He was associated with Islamist networks here, and then branched out with his own business on the side (I've seen this model applied among the Turkish Gulenist networks also). Once he gifted her a fancy new car on their anniversary. She is happily married, has two sons already, and settled in the US but visiting India almost every year or two.

There are different types of Indian Moslems, each with their own idea of what "Islam" is, with varying levels of knowledge of the actual subject matter, with varying attitudes to the non-Moslem society around them, and with different relationships among the various strata within the Moslem community itself. Depending on mostly accidental interactions or friendships with non-Moslems and resulting exposure, they can take different paths.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 09 Jan 2013 06:34
by SBajwa

just remember that DHARMA is not EQUAL to RELIGION!! Anybody following Islam is not Dharmic!!

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 09 Jan 2013 14:45
by RajeshA
Carl ji,

thanks a lot for taking the time and writing out your memories of these people. It is one thing that we make theories based on politico-religious currents in the Islamic world. However we also need to understand the memes of Islam at the level of common Muslims, and your post certainly gives us much insight into that.

Hope to see more contributions from you here on this thread.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 13:37
by nawabs
I was interacting with a Indian Muslim (He is a Software Engineer in Amazon and hails from Kerala) on Quora over the Question: " India: Do Indian Muslims think of themselves as Indian or Muslim first? "

One of the comment on the question was: "And yes, some Muslims would put religion before Nation and I will tell you why... Muslims consider each other as their brothers. That's not to say they'd betray the nation for their religion... it's a tough call. It's like being asked-- would you want to live with your parents or with your wife. It's hard to choose between two important things and it's not an easy decision for anyone let alone for the Muslims, as you put it out to be."

To which I replied: Muslims consider each other as their brothers.
Yes, and this is a big problem. And it shouldn't be a tough call to choose between the nation and the members of the religion, otherwise we get to see the kind of mindless violence like the one at Azad Maidan- for what- hahaha, muslims being victimized in Burma and illegal Bangladeshis being victimized in the NE. Other religions, mostly don't have this kind of extreme bonding and brotherhood, to a large extent. Because this kind of a brotherhood in the members of a community, becomes a menace to the nation which has to host the community, specially in a situation when the nation has hostile neighbors where the primary religion is the same as that of the "community". The fact that many Muslim countries, frame their legal system on the lines of Sharia, at least partially, tells you how important religion is to them.

I am not some fascist and have no problem with the nation hosting such communities. However, every citizen of India who wants to have voting rights, or the right to contest in an election, should be made to sign a note declaring that he is an Indian first and then a/an [member of religion X]. That might be a starting point in making sure that the nation is run according to the wishes and vision of those for whom the country priority number ONE.

To which this guy replied: I'm a Muslim and an Indian and I'm telling you its not an easy decision to make (but you not only quote that but turned it on its head concluding "its NOT a tough call"), aur khuda maaf karein, but I don't see a case of choosing between nation and religion ever coming up! The only case where this could happen is if the world is in total chaos-- in which case geographies don't matter anyway. But I can see where you lot are coming from-- you have that partition hangover. That's okay. Some people are incapable of having that broader vision.

Next time you encounter a Muslim here in India (s/he may be your friend, your colleague or your neighbour), look him in the eye and tell him to his face whatever you have written here.. you'd find your answer.

That said, a Punjabi in the UK would still feel more Punjabi than British. That doesn't mean he is not loyal to his country of residence. In fact, the fact that he is a Punjabi has no bearing on his patriotism. But the case where he has to choose between Punjab or UK might come up will never happen, and even if it does its anyone's guess what s/he might opt for. Som Bhatta gets the point across rather very eloquently in his answer.

My reply: .."but I don't see a case of choosing between nation and religion ever coming up!....

Sorry, please can you explain why/how this is happening? Foreign pests being allowed into a city, without any visa, documents etc- just because "vo bhai bhai hai" ?. Do we see a lot of Hindus or Christians or Sikhs drag refugees like this in from other countries because they are "brothers". ... 708508.ece

His Reply: Look at it from an humanitarian perspective, please. That's a good thing. The fact that Sikh or Hindu or Christians aren't doing it, is NOT a bar for Muslims. They are doing it wrong.

To give you an example-- why were the Hindus calling for the government of India to grant citizenship to the Hindus fleeing Pakistan? Get rid of the bias and see beyond the prejudices you hold, my friend.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 20:44
by RajeshA
Some theories on the Ideology on which Islamic Societies run.

Disclaimer: These theories may simply be the ramblings of Hindu Fundamentalists, or there may be something to it. Every reader would have to make his/her own judgment.

X-Posting from "TIRP" Thread

lakshmikanth wrote:RajeshA,

It took me quite a lot of studies and personal effort to understand that Islam is at perpetual, constant war with external society and also has a constant revolution within itself internally. It does not come automatically and needs a lot of cognitive dissonance and cognitive bias against Hinduism to be culled from within.

All this after 20 odd years of reading news papers and magazines. The likes of Burkha Dutt either have not spent the time and energy to remove the cognitive bias they have against Hinduism to realize the threat that Islam is. Or even if they have she knows which side of the secular bread is buttered.

RajeshA wrote:lakshmikanth ji,

same here. It takes a long time to understand the nature of Islam, its algorithm. Many Dharmic believers don't understand the concept of this-worldly agenda in religion, they don't understand that all of Islam's believers are simply part of the organism nourishing it by carrying out their roles, they don't understand the hunger of the beast, they don't understand that it is not morality which underlines it but the desire for power. It is an algorithm which forces each to do its part, so that the whole becomes strong, and the cream, all the drivers, benefit.

Many of us genuinely have difficulty in understanding how so many in the world would be willing to follow this ideology if its nature were so!

But like in Matrix, each Muslim is simply a Battery feeding the Machine. All dreams of red pills however carry the punishment of death!

venug wrote:Rajesh ji, Lakshmikanth ji,
I agree. Many people take to Islam in my opinion for the raw power and subjugation agenda that is propagated, the narration of strength among all Muslims across the world is sold hook line and sinker. Men who are control freaks who love the narrative buy it without question, hey you get 72 unwashed virgins when alive and also when you die, what is there to refuse and dislike? Then there is thirst of blood which they can satisfy by cutting some throats of kafurs. For those in doubt a softer earlier Quranic verses are handed down which talk about tolerance little do they tell those verses are superseded and replaced by later ones where jihad is the only way and likes of b.dutta an SarDesais are in plenty anyway to chip to spread the word in the name of secularism. Ball$ to common man's security and hell with thinking for the nation.

lakshmikanth wrote:I can completely understand why men who are not born into Islam accept Islam. It fits in their narcissistic (or sadistic) personality. I am completely confused over women who do the same. The only explanation I can come up with is either self-hatred of being born to powerless Hindus, or a desire to be dominated (i.e. masochist).

That would mean Islam at a personal level is a giant sado-masochistic ponzi scheme, but on a societal level it becomes a highly potent virus that destroys the pillars of its host society.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 20:49
by RajeshA
lakshmikanth wrote:I can completely understand why men who are not born into Islam accept Islam. It fits in their narcissistic (or sadistic) personality. I am completely confused over women who do the same. The only explanation I can come up with is either self-hatred of being born to powerless Hindus, or a desire to be dominated (i.e. masochist).

That would mean Islam at a personal level is a giant sado-masochistic ponzi scheme, but on a societal level it becomes a highly potent virus that destroys the pillars of its host society.

lakshmikanth ji,

I think one would have to better understand what proposition is exactly on offer to those who convert.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 20:56
by lakshmikanth

So far, the only converts to Islam that I see are mentally unfit people. People who are Sadists or Masochists. Sadists being men converts and masochist being women converts.

Sadists want to exhort power over the others, while a masochist gladly accepts the abuse. However the layering of the society would mean that a narcissist theologian might take up the role of a mullah and make everyone an extension of his wishes (by issuing Fatwas). The original narcissist being PBUH himself.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 21:15
by RajeshA
lakshmikanth ji,

there can be another reason why the new converts are, as you say, mentally unfit people. It is also because they are specifically targeted for conversion.

In USA as far as I know, the biggest conversions are taking place among the prison population. Prison people are often people who can show "initiative", "bravery", and the willingness for violence. Something which may be in the interests of the converters.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 21:42
by lakshmikanth
The prison population can be explained.

Islam also provides a blue print for revolt, and many find its principles very useful for rebelling against establishment.

Quran was basically narcissistic rants of a PBUH who somehow wanted to uproot the Quraysh tribe and take over the Kaa'ba thereby controlling the dominant trade route through Arabia.

That trade route originally was a branch of the Silk route, and unsurprisingly the Kaa'ba, which was a place of polytheist worship for travellers of the trade route, had an idol God called al-Manat which rumored to be brought back by the Hindus and established as Somanath temple, after the PBUH's Meccan invation.

So much of Quran circles around the invasion of Mecca, that it almost feels like PBUH never really had any other goal but to rule over that trade route. Islam was an afterthought, and the evidence for that is in the fact that PBUH never bothered to write down the teachings of Allah, and was busy raiding and pillaging Arabia to have his followers write the teachings. Quran and Ahadits were written one whole generation after the PBUH.

The other oddity is the worldlyness of the Quran. It has a formula for everything include sex and wiping ones a$$ (Istinja). This is unique, and it also points to the fact that PBUH was a narcissist who wanted others to be extensions of his vision, which for the most part was the taking of Kaa'ba.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 22:17
by RajeshA
X-posted from "TIRP" Thread

RamaY wrote:Islam believes in living/killing a certain way. Even though many modern ways exist to express one's anger even in killing, muslims all over the world believe in killing animals and enemies in certain religious ways. Irrespective of what non-muslims think and accept the world muslims do not deviate from their ritual life styles. There is a method to this, otherwise perceived, madness; which is to demonstrate the islamic being for the non-believer and create fear in their hearts.

Ritual slaughtering of animals, beheadings, suicide wests and human bombs are part of those rituals.

The non-muslim world is naive to accept certain aspects of this ritualistic life style of muslims while condemning others. When/where Islam is accepted as a legal religion and is treated same as other religions, then muslims of the world would not change their ways, irrespective of how ghastly they appear to non-muslims.

So when any non-muslim thinks and believes that Islam is a religion same as other religions and offers equal treatment, then they do not have any right to criticize islamic ways.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 01:46
by Prem
Arbo ki Dukan,Mein Qemforan,Among prisoners,its Mahan,In Human Society its hated like Jukam, Chronic Sinus Infection, Non stop flow, till you wipe it whole.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 02:45
by RoyG
Islam is the 3.0 release from the Abrahamic God. If God (ego) can only be the sovereign and man the mere custodian there can never be peace between islam and dharmic society which believes in moksha (freedom from ego).

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 07:24
by Brad Goodman
I guess the attraction amongst criminals for islam can only be attributed to the fact that islam remove the feeling of guilt from the mind of the criminal. All acts that we consider crime in current world are sanctioned by islam as halal. Whether it is killing a kafir, raping his women... all are fine as long as they are kafir they deserve it and plus you are getting rewards points for your flight into the heaven to meet your 72

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 23:08
by RajeshA
Carl wrote:With the same un-self-conscious enthusiasm he would tell us about what Allah has to say on several subjects that we were interested in: "You know, there is no masturbation in Islam."

The question is if this prohibition of masturbation is a deliberate means to increase the level of aggression in the body and mind!

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 23:17
by ShyamSP
RajeshA wrote:
Carl wrote:With the same un-self-conscious enthusiasm he would tell us about what Allah has to say on several subjects that we were interested in: "You know, there is no masturbation in Islam."

The question is if this prohibition of masturbation is a deliberate means to increase the level of aggression in the body and mind!

Ishnallah! each sperm has right to do Jihad. Minor girls, 4 wives, harems, 72 virgins were all provided in the book to prevent wasted Jihadis. :D

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 23:28
by RajeshA
ShyamSP ji,

beyond Jihad, this prohibition probably also has some repercussions among the Muslims in general.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 12 Jan 2013 00:45
by ShyamSP
RajeshA wrote:ShyamSP ji,

beyond Jihad, this prohibition probably also has some repercussions among the Muslims in general.

It increases Rajasic level of the society. Progenation, Propagation, propaganda, proselytization, prosecution&persecution are all tools for expansion. Islam is successful so far with that mindset that includes said prohibition.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 12 Jan 2013 03:05
by Agnimitra
RajeshA wrote:
Carl wrote:With the same un-self-conscious enthusiasm he would tell us about what Allah has to say on several subjects that we were interested in: "You know, there is no masturbation in Islam."

The question is if this prohibition of masturbation is a deliberate means to increase the level of aggression in the body and mind!

I remember in Old City Hyderabad I would come across pamphlets, or Urdu newspaper consultation columns, or Unani billboard ads, etc. all of which taken together had these two messages intertwined:
1. Unani medicines etc. to increase virility (picture of a Pathan pehelwaan next to ad).
2. Masturbation means you lose virility and later cannot perform in bed with one's legitimate partner.

Seen the same kinds of ads and attitudes in Jatland on the way from, say, Delhi to Kurukshetra.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 12 Jan 2013 20:49
by RajeshA
Carl ji,

I am trying to understand better what are underlying reasons for this "tight bond of brotherhood"! Of course there some theories and vague ideas, but would like to hear what is your take on it!

Of course there is drilling, but why should an individual Muslim really accept it? What stops him from saying, "No, the other Muslim is not my brother. If at all, then this person from my jaati, gotra, ethnicity, language group, neighborhood, country, etc. has more reason to be called brother by me"!

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 13 Jan 2013 05:05
by Agnimitra
RajeshA wrote:I am trying to understand better what are underlying reasons for this "tight bond of brotherhood"! Of course there some theories and vague ideas, but would like to hear what is your take on it!

My take: A natural dynamic of the Self for group-identity, based on shared commitment to certain meanings, values and purposes. The typical human will have more than one group identity, arranged in some order of precedence. Depending on the underlying semantic development of that individual, he/she may identify most with or believe in the triumph of either one or more of:
a biologically defined group identity (caste),
a culturally defined ("Westerner", etc.),
a political ideology and mission,
a mercantile network that may also involve wide foreign travel,
a memory of an ecstatic religious conversion experience.

But I think Islam caters to all of these in some measure, and each in their own place, with protocols to navigate among all these identities and have one's fill based on one's abilities -- as did older forms of Indic religions when all parts were connected and in good working order. But today I would say only Islam among the major religions caters to all these in some measure with an existing ideological and physical infrastructure. Others like Christianity have become too West-centric with serious damage from racism, cultural allergy and inability to assimilate, etc. Communism has its own lacunae, unable to address some of the points. Hinduism is grappling with the legacy of caste-system, obsession with India's sacred geography (specific ethnocentricism), and still debates whether Hinduism allows converts, etc. If anything happens it is in spite of the religious discourse within it than because of it.

Moreover, the group-identity as a whole is imbued with the spirit to extend itself towards the next higher human dynamic - identity as humanity itself. Of course, in Islam's case it does so by first demanding the erasure of the burden of history and its practices and identities and the extension of Islamic political dominion (if not religious conversion itself) to a new world order that covers the whole earth.

This is "shooting for the rhino", and from the power of thinking big there is a positive spinoff in terms of the various factors of "management" and "self-knowledge" (link):
A prevalent, informed center
Equilibrium and balance
Cooperation and collaboration
Comprehensiveness and unity
Love and Attraction

Further, because of this sense of pro-active purpose and mission, there will inevitably be clashes with other older and newer civilizations. In such situations there is the constant feeling of being under threat or facing antagonism. Fortunately for them, the entire career of the Islamic founder was in the crucible of such violence and persecution and overcoming that. So emotionally they have this "golden age" memory to plug into in the very core of their religious worship, and the external impetus for falling back on this root meme are the external circumstances they create in society w.r.t. the non-believer. So its a self-fulfilling prophecy. To the average Hindu, they would prefer to avoid the ill feelings of antagonism and confrontation because it is often a distraction from the kind of subject matter or leelas they prefer to meditate on, whereas for the Moslem such confrontation or martyr complex is the trigger for deeper absorption in his/her meditation (beyond a threshold becomes an obsession). (Similar case for the Christian missionary. Only very few sects of Hinduism have this meme, e.g. Sikhs, Iskconers, etc.).

So when you're part of a group with:
a "root" meme of this emotional tone,
a sense of camaraderie and purpose,
a historical moral narrative of weak overcoming the stronger oppressor,
brothers who will fight and kill or be killed...
...then its that much easier to become absorbed or compulsively obsessed in that root memory.

Only way to be rescued or rehabilitated from that root meme is to be confronted and attracted into another similar root meme, but one which is set in a different civilizational context, which also caters to all the types of group identity and provides protocols for one to understand them all and navigate them to a certain extent. That's my take.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 13 Jan 2013 19:52
by RajeshA
Carl ji,

EXCELLENT Points and eloquently put!

Touching upon much what you have said, I would like to restructure the explanation into a multi-dimensional matrix.

If we were to look at how grouping among humans would be created in general:

Cultural Manifestations

1) The group would have to define the differences between itself and the others. These differences would cover - dress, language, addressing others, daily routine, eating and drinking habits, values, life-philosophy, political philosophy, social mores, cult loyalty/submission. Is syncretism really then in the group's interest?

2) The group needs to be told why these cultural manifestations are important. One way to do so is to limit the exposure of the group members to and the acceptability of other cultural manifestations. Is openness really then in the group's interest?

3) Since exposure to others can be difficult in curtailing, the alternative is to show that these cultural manifestations are in fact superior to those of others! Is universal equality really then in the group's interest?

4) Since propaganda of superiority of cultural manifestations can only go so far when confronted with the glamour and achievements of others, the alternative is to curtail the individual freedom within the group to adopt cultural elements of the others. Is individual freedom and plurality really then in the group's interest?

Social Needs

5) Each person, each family, each tribe needs at least a shot at survival, at security of one's person, property and dignity. People look for options how these can be catered to. The leadership of the group would want to make the case to the people that they are in fact their best bet.

6) Since security for its members is a primary selling point of the group, it would need to have a market where there is a demand for their wares. That is why a show of strength is often undertaken. Is communal peace really then in the group's interest?

7) Also since dignity of its members is another primary sales pitch point, the group wants to underscore that in every incident, the dignity of its member has been upheld, be it an issue of a female's dignity or some altercation between men. Is compromise really then in the group's interest?

8 ) There are property disputes all the time among people, and sometimes possibly between members of the group and outsiders, in which case the group would have to assure that its members won the dispute. Is amicable settlement with compromises on both side really then in the group's interest?

Social Cohesion

9) The group can be brought together by encouraging common social undertakings and regulated social gatherings. As such praying together or celebrating festivals together are often encouraged. In Islam the Friday mosque visit and the Hajj at least once in lifetime are prescribed.

10) Also ghettos can help in creating a world for a member which revolves solely around his family and neighbors living around him which also have the same mindset and social mores.

11) Common social projects like Dawa help to solidify the sense that the society takes care of each other. Then one has Zakat, an obligatory tax which the rich are supposed to give to the poor. Even though other groups may also have similar projects, Islam likes to emphasize these by making it one of the 5 pillars of Islam.

12) Also Jihad is in fact a common social undertaking, where soldiers from afar would come to wage Jihad in the name of Allah and these soldiers can have diverse backgrounds.

Expansionary Agenda

13) A group wishing to expand should try to avoid losing members. Is option of leaving the group, converting to another faith, really in the group's interest?

14) A group which is willing to go to extremes to retain their members including suppressing individual freedoms and prohibiting conversions out of the group still has to get new members in order to expand. Is then honesty on the curtailment of individual freedoms within the group really conducive to increase new membership?

15) An expansionary group could consider expanding and getting new members through the method of marriage with outsiders, but that means the other would have to convert to join the group, something that may not appear desirable to an outsider were the outsider not invested in the idea of marrying a group member. Is then upfront honesty really encouraged for the group member?
_________Hence in Love Jihad often the men first appear to be modern, liberal and laissez faire, and showing this attitude by even breaking certain customs of the group, like drinking, however if the non-Muslim woman then becomes invested in the relationship, only then she is told she would have to convert.

16) An expansionary group's best strategy to expand quickly is to expand demographically by high fertility. In this case they need less convincing of the others, something which may cause dilution of the core. Is then curtailing population explosion among their ranks really in the interest of the group?

17) An expansionary agenda moreover is important for one's own members' psychology, because it tells the members that the future is written in stone, it means the complete domination of the world by the group and thus they need not look for alternatives outside the group either. This inevitability is always emphasized.

18) As long as the group is in a minority, it would keep its head low and consolidate. When the group becomes majority there is then no reason for this restraint, and the group can be expanded using other coercive means or by creating an unequal environment for the non-members. Is restraint then really needed?

So basically the group is not only drilled with an expansionary ideal, but the plan is clearly laid out to each and every member willing to listen but also its inevitability is made clear.

Many such other memes of Islamic society can be explored!

Here I have tried to show that the brotherhood in Islam is underscored through

  1. enforcing and emphasizing cultural difference
  2. fighting for the interests of the Muslims against the others, often by first provoking conflicts
  3. social programs facilitating social cohesion
  4. working towards global domination and projecting its inevitability

If Dharmics understand what makes the Islamic Society tick, only then can they introspect and make the necessary changes to offer an alternative vision and outcome.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 13 Jan 2013 20:43
by RajeshA
Study in Contrast

In contrast, IMHO, Vedic Society expanded through building mythological connectivity, knowledge transfer, introducing similar systems of social organization, and enforcing a common universal concept of Dharma.

Considering new realities, Dharmics would have to see whether these methods suffice or whether they need a new approach. It could be that Islamic society is immune to Vedic Society's traditional means of outreach.

Re: Understanding Islamic Society

Posted: 13 Jan 2013 22:04
by lakshmikanth
Sometime back I was discussing with my shrink about two kinds of "influence":

1) Influence by teaching, by showing the light.
2) Influence by persuation.

The former is a philosophy that is rooted in abundance, Vedic falls in that one. The latter is what Abrahamic religions of scarcity (Islam and Christianity) are made of.