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In defence of the Daudi Bohras

Prior to my extensive case study on Islam and Indian Moslems, my prejudice towards both this great religion and its followers was evident.

The Daudi Bohra Moslem Community was no exception. It was during my research that I came across this, one of the many exemplary Indian communities and my understanding and respect towards Islam and Moslems increased many folds. Islam as I learnt means submission, is a religion of peace. The Daudi Bohras like millions of other Moslems around the world are perceived to have advocated the integral Islamic message of peace in word and spirit. A seemingly fact distorted article on Bohra community was re-published from some Bohra Chronicle in Milli Gazette’s last issue. Mentioning in it the community’s rightful self claims as a peace-loving community to be "most dangerous under the circumstances, which directly implies that the other Moslems are not peace-loving and are trouble creators" was surely a ludicrous assertion.

On the contrary, I wish to share my fieldwork’s feedback that "the Daudi Bohras, unlike most sections of Indian Moslems, have more successfully merged in the Indian mainstream through their commercial and educational ventures over the centuries. This has enabled the community to more effectively promote the constituents of practical and peaceful Islam within Indian society and hence, to a large extent contributed in obliterating general misconceptions of so-called ‘aggressive’ Islam".

However, measuring any individual leader, community or religion on merit of some mere newspaper reporting, as done by the Chronicle is as absurd as it could be. Unfortunate as it is, in comparison to other sects and religions, it is widely believed in many Western academic circles that Islam and Moslems (Daudi Bohras Moslems being no exception), are more victims of media propaganda from their own brethren than from non-Moslems. 
My respects to Islam and Moslems of the world.

Mattew Howard, Houston - U.S.A


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