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Jai Sri Ram: Being A Muslim Is Not Same As Being An Arab

“All these (pagan) cultures were wiped out, most of them violently. Judaism was rarely an imperialist religion. But proselytising Christians and Muslims inflicted unprecedented genocidal violence upon pagans, spoken poignantly of in Catherine Nixey’s The Darkening Age, among many other books.”

“But it must be strongly asserted that not all Christians or Muslims were oppressors of the pagans. There were only a few groups that carried out this violence: most prominently, European Christians and Turkic Muslims. This violent expansionist urge was absent, for instance, in the African Christians and Indonesian Muslims. And of course, modern Europeans and Turks have nothing to do with what their ancestors did.”

These comments are published under “Let Ayodhya Ram Mandir be a reminder: Indian ancestors died for it, up to us to rebuild” headline in The Print and is written by celebrated writer Amish Tripathi.

The comment “This violent expansionist urge was absent, for instance, in the African Christians and Indonesian Muslims …” particularly catches attention and it will be virtuous to find out the reason for this.

The reason: The Muslims there have not forgotten their real identities and cultures, even though they have accepted Islam and Christianity.

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Indonesia, though has a predominant Muslim population, the values of Hinduism are still preserved by the natives.

In many parts of the country, Hindu temples, scriptures, murals and sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses are preserved.

From the elementary school itself, they are taught the history of the great Hindu and Buddhist kings who ruled them.

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Sanskrit words are weaved into the local language. An example of this is the motto of the Indonesian Navy – JalasyevaJayamahe – which is coined from Sanskrit.

The national emblem of Indonesia is called Garuda Pancasila. Garuda is the discipled carrier or vāhana of Vishnu. Indonesian air carriers are also known as Garuda Indonesia.

Mother Pertiwi, is the national personification of Indonesia, the allegory of the Indonesian Motherland. In Hinduism, Prthivi is personification of mother goddess of Earth.

Many Muslim public figures use Hindu names. For example: Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the Minister of Finance; Isyana Sarasvati, a pop singer and songwriter; Rezky Adhitya, actor and model; Indra Lesmana, jazz musician; Surya Saputra, actor, model and singer; Ario Bayu, film actor; Indah Dewi Pertiwi, singer, dancer and artist; Teuku Wisnu, soap opera and film actor; Dhini Gayatri, actress and presenter.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the Minister of Finance of Indonesia. She was appointed as Managing Director of the World Bank Group.

The Indonesian people also perform the epic tale of Ramayana at regular intervals at the historic 9th century Prambanan temple, which is now a UNESCO world cultural heritage.

This is so because the Indonesian people take pride in their cultural roots, while maintaining Islam as their national religion. They very well know that being a Muslim is not the same as being an Arab. This understanding avoids inflicting unprecedented genocidal violence upon non-Abrahamic cultures.

It must be strongly asserted that Christian and Muslim rulers were oppressors of non-Abrahamic cultures.

The Turkic invasions of India was the bloodiest story in Indian history. The European rules were no less brutal. Goa inquisition abets this cruel part of history. Tens of universities were razed and tens of millions of people were massacred over the centuries.

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Hagia Sophia

The Sun temple in Multan was the first major ancient Indian temple to be attacked by a foreign invader in the early 8th century CE. In the coming centuries, thousands of Hindu and Jain temples, Buddhist vihara and Sikh gurudwaras were destroyed by invaders, including the holiest Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, Vishwanath temple in Kashi and the Keshav Deva temple in Mathura.

The Turkic rule after the fall of Byzantine empire also saw the genocidal violence and destruction and conversion of non-Islamic places of worship, including Hagia Sophia, which was first a Church and then converted into a mosque and thereafter a museum under Kemal Ataturk’s rule.

Now, the museum has been reconverted into a mosque. The Turks would not have done this, if only they would have respected and taken pride in their culture and not forgotten their cultural identity. The identity of any ancient civilization is rooted in non-Abrahamic cultures. Period.

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