Muslims Must Disown Medieval Jurisprudence Like Christians
The modern jihadist movement emerged in the late 1970s with the purpose to overthrow the Arab World’s regimes and establish Islamic states.
One such jihadist movement resulted in the formation of Al-Jihad, a group that assassinated Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat in 1981. After his death, Egyptian security forces launched a crackdown on jihadists and they started to flee the country.
They found refuge in Afghanistan where a jihadist battleground was in the making after the 1979 Soviet invasion.
America and Gulf countries encouraged young Muslims to visit Afghanistan to wage war against the Soviet Union and its puppet local government.
After the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, many jihadists left Afghanistan. Emboldened over the uprooting of a superpower, they repeated it in their home countries.
Later in 1998, they shifted their focus on Jews and Christians. They issued a declaration signed by Bin Laden and Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri declaring total war against America and its allies.
After that, the jihadists attacked US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, World Trade Centre in 2000, Bali in 2002, Casablanca in 2003, Madrid in 2004, and London and Amman in 2005.
The attacks are still continuing.
Abrahamic Jurisprudence Of The Yore
The latest attacks are the beheadings of French teacher Samuel Paty in Paris and a 60-year-old woman in Nice.
This happened in France where the Muslim population is small. If such gory incidents are taking place regularly in France and other European nations, imagine what would be the consequences in countries like India, where Muslims are in good numbers.
And, anti-CAA riots shouldn’t surprise anyone in India. Even though the law is nothing to do with Muslim citizens, they opposed it on pan-Islamic lines, arguing that it was anti-Muslim and anti-Islam.
Coming back on Samuel Paty, the teacher was beheaded for showing cartoons of Prophet Muhammad to his students. Islamic tradition explicitly forbids images of Muhammad and Allah. But, there are many verses in the Quran that command a courteous response to terrible insults to Islam.
Blasphemy laws were made by medieval Muslim jurists to punish those who insulted Islam, but should Muslims blindly abide by medieval jurisprudence? Can’t they defend their faith in a civilized way? Isn’t beheading an anti-thesis of the term Islam, which means peace? Shouldn’t the defense of the Prophet in accordance with his exemplary conduct?
The Muslims must find answers to these questions which are available in their Holy Book and fit into the present era, where there is no place for religious radicalism.
The Old Testament criminalizes blasphemy. It says, “… anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them.” (Leviticus 24:16). But, are the Christians blindly abiding by this medieval jurisprudence?
Imagine. If the Christian majority France abides by this, what could be the fate of Muslims? There could be genocide, virtually.
The Muslims must understand that they cannot impose their Islamic rules on Christian nations, where they have taken refuge due to political unrest in their countries. Also, they cannot brush aside backlash from the local religious community.
Muslims should also realize that their religious sentiments alone are not hurt. Hindu sentiments are hurt in Islamic states. In Pakistan, for example, many temples and idols had been demolished, but the Hindus never have indulged in beheading or killings. Not even in India. Hindus did not hit the streets with knives to behead Tata employees, who had hurt their sentiments in a Tanishq ad.
Years back, the Hindus had expressed their hurt sentiments in a civilized way against controversial painter MF Hussain, who had depicted Maa Saraswati in the nude.
The Muslims, on the flip side, come out in the open wielding knives to kill people. They should realize this hypocrisy. Until then, their problems cannot be solved.
Crackdown Need Of The Hour
The European nations must publicly support the French President Emmanuel Macron for the steps taken against radical Islamists.
In a chilling warning to Islamists in France, he said, “Islamists should not be able to sleep easy in our country…Fear is going to change sides.”
Amidst rising tensions, on October 22, two Bukha-clad women were stabbed near Eiffel Tower in an apparent racist incident. This incident is unfortunate and condemnable.
Macron has launched a crackdown on mosques and Islamic schools across France in a bid to combat extremist Islam. He also is preparing to expel 231 radicalized Muslims from France.
These steps are too late but too correct.
It is unfortunate that none of the European nations have come in support of Macron, even though they are victims of Islamic terror. Surprisingly, he had support from an Islamic nation, Saudi Arabia. It condemned all acts of terrorism.
The Indian government should also take similar measures as was done by the Assam government. It has decided to close government-aided Madrassas and convert them into regular schools.
Madrassas are centers of terrorism and it is a well-documented truth.
The Indian government should also launch a crackdown on radical Islamists in any field, including journalism. They should not be spared and dealt with an iron hand.
Chanakya says, “Krute pratikrutam kuryaad himsane pratihimsanam. Tatra dosho na patati dushte dushtam samaacharet.”
Meaning: “A good turn is to be repaid by good turn and the violence by counter-violence. There is nothing wrong in it. One should behave in a wicked manner with the wicked.”
-Chanakya Niti, Chapter 17, Sloka 2
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