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COMMON QUESTIONS, UNCOMMON ANSWERS
|The Muslim population is increasing faster than the Hindu population. Their aim is to become the majority and overwhelm the Hindus.
According to Census information, the growth rate of Hindus is about 2.19 percent per year and the growth rate of Muslims is about 2.71 percent per year. At that rate, it would take nearly 400 years for Muslims to become 50% of the population. Even this would only happen if India's population goes on growing for 400 years (meaning that the total population at that time would be 5,00,000 crores!). In reality, the population will stop growing in lhe next forty years or so. At that point, the population of Muslims will be only 13 to 14 percent of the total just two percent more than today.
The higher population growth rate among Muslims is not planned it is due to poverty. According to the data available, in Kashmir, where Hindus are the poor community, the Hindu population is growing almost twice as fast as the Muslim population.
Muslims and Islam have no tolerance for other religions. 'Muslim' countries don't allow other religions to practice.
The largest Muslim-majority country in the world is Indonesia. Indonesia is secular and allows all religions to practice. Hindus and Christians form about 10% of the population, and Hindu temples and Christian churches are freely functioning in Indonesia. There has never been an attack on Hindus in Indonesia.
Many other predominantly Muslim societies, including Lebanon, Turkey, Palestine, and Albania, are secular and allow other religions to practice. Within India, some of our most famous poets include Kabir and other Sufi Muslim writers, who wrote of how wonderful both religions are and how beautiful it is that India has so many ommunities.
Muslims are prospering because they have been pampered by the government.
Almost half of all Muslims are under the poverty line, according to the 1991 census. In rural areas, more than 90% of Muslims have lands of less than 2 acres, compared to 77% of Hindus. Muslims form less than 3% of the IAS officers, even though their population is about 11% of the total. Muslims are thus one of the country's poorest communities.
The religion of Islam is focused entirely on violence and built around jehad.
The word jehad does not actually mean killing ^ it means to struggle. The Koran often uses it to mean to struggle within oneself, to work towards being a better person. Certain Muslim groups, though, misuse this word. They say jehad means holy war, and they use it to get political support by saying that non-Muslims are responsible for all problems.
They are very much like the VHP and the RSS, who blame Muslims for India's problems and say that demolishing mosques is justified by the Hindu dharma shastras. Most Muslims oppose this misuse of the word jehad. In Pakistan, the parties that talk about jehad and holy war have never received more than 5% of the vote. Ordinary Muslims, like ordinary people everywhere, are mostly interested in peace, harmony and a dignified life.
The Muslim kings demolished temples all over India in order to destroy Hinduism.
Muslim kings did demolish temples, but so did Hindu kings. Between 1193 and 1210, the Parmar ruler plundered several Jain temples at Dabhoi and Cambay. Harsha, a Kashmiri Hindu ruler, plundered all the temples in his kingdom except four. As well, many Vaishnavite temples have been demolished and rebuilt as Shaivite temples, and vice versa.
The main motive in demolishing temples, at that time, was not religion but money. Temples, mosques and churches often have a lot of gold and jewels in them. Rulers in Muslim areas have demolished mosques for the same reason.
Muslim and Christian cultures are foreign to India.
Would you like an India with no biriyani, no salwar khameez, no kurtas, no Taj Mahal, no Red Fort, no tablas, no dupattas, no ghazals? How about an India with no cricket? All these things were brought in by Muslims or Christians, but everyone now thinks of them as Indian. Our India looks the way it does because of centuries of mixing between different communities and religions. Just because someone says these things are not Hindu's, do they stop being Indian?
Muslims got 'their' country when Pakistan was created, now they should leave 'our' country.
The first person to talk of a separate country for Muslims and Hindus in public was Hedgewar, the first leader of the RSS. He spoke of it in 1920. At that time, the Muslim League and Mohammad Ali Jinnah said that there was no need for a separate country; they did not change their minds until 1940, twenty years later. Even after the League changed its mind, huge numbers of Muslims opposed the idea of Pakistan, including the President of the Congress party, Maulana Azad, who was one of India's greatest leaders.
During Partition, the majority of Muslims within present-day India chose to stay here. Since then, many of India's greatest artists and leaders have been Muslims. Our most famous musician, A.R. Rahman, is a Muslim; so are Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Mumtaz, Ajith, and Nasser, some of our most famous actors. Some of our best cricket players and captains, Farooq Engineer, Zaheer Khan, and Mohammed Azharuddin, are Muslims. Two Presidents of India, Zakir Hussain and Fakhruddin Ali, have been Muslims.
The present President of India is APJ Abdul Kalam also a Muslim. All of these people have lived in, worked for and loved India as their country, as have the other 120 million Muslims in India. Is it fair to say that every Muslim is against India? Would you say every Tamil is against India because of the TNLA?
Most of the world's terrorists are Muslims. Terrorist groups' goal is to try and kill non-Muslims as part of ‘jehad’.
The largest and most powerful group on India's list of terrorist organisations’ is the LTTE, an almost entirely Hindu organisation. In the world, one of the worst slaughters in the last ten years was the killing of nearly 10,00,000 people in Rwanda; the killers were the Tutsi community, who are mostly Christians. Some of the the worst killers were the Nazis in Germany, who slaughtered 1.2 crore people. They didnt even have a religion; they said they worshipped the "German Fatherland".
People of all religions and all communities have brutally killed innocent people at one time or another. Many Muslims have also died because of terrorism In Kashmir, the majority of the people who have died have been Muslims. The militants have killed approximately three times more Muslims than Hindus. One last thing to think about: the very first 'terrorist' act in free India was the killing of Mahatma Gandhi. He was killed by Nathuram Godse, who had links to the Hindu Mahasabha. The Mahasabha and the RSS were opposed to Gandhi because he had worked for peace between Hindus and Muslims.
The Muslims always start violence. In Gujarat, they started it by burning the train at Godhra. Hindus only attack out of revenge.
The train burning at Godhra was horrible and condemnable, but there was violence at Godhra well before the train burning. In fact, the VHP members on the Sabarmati Express killed a Muslim man the previous week. As for ‘revenge’, every group ^ not just Hindus - always claims to be acting in 'revenge', After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the Shiv Sena killed hundreds of Muslims in the Bombay riots.
Then Dawood Ibrahim set off two bombs and killed 300 people (including some Muslims to take 'revenge' at the Shiv Sena. Then the Shiv Sena killed several hundred more Muslims, again in 'revenge'. This will just go on, and on, and on. Meanwhile, as another example, supporters of Al-Qaeda said they demolished the World Trade Centre in 'revenge' for the 200,000 Iraqis killed by the Americans.
For all these groups, the Shiv Sena, Dawood Ibrahim, the VHP, Al-Qaeda 'revenge' has just become an excuse to build up their power and to kill innocent people. There were many Hindu children killed in the train at Godhra and many more Muslim children killed in Ahmedabad and the rest of Gujarat. Can anyone justify taking 'revenge' on children? A Tamil killed Rajiv Gandhi. How would you feel if someone killed your children in 'revenge' for that?
The RSS, the VHP, and similar organisations are pro-Hindu and fight for Hindus's welfare.
The VHP killed many Hindus in Gujarat because they tried to save their Muslim neighbors from mobs. Meena, a Hindu woman married to a Muslim, was burned to death for her 'crime' Several Gandhians and human rights activists were told that they would be killed if they criticized the VHP any more. Many have fled the country. The VHP is opposed by almost every other Hindu religious leader. Five of the seven akhadas in Ayodhya, as well as all the four main Shankaracharyas (Dwarka, Puri, Joshimath and Sringeri), have condemned the VHP. A few months ago, the Shankaracharya of Goverdhanpuri said the VHP is a terrorist organisation and should be banned. Even the priest of the Ram idols in the Babri Masjid said the VHP was just 'exploit[ing] the religious issue' and said he opposed the plan to demolish the mosque. He was killed by 'unknown assailants' two years later. Trustees of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, the trust made to build the Ayodhya temple, say the VHP has stolen a lot of the money meant for the temple.
The VHP and its supporting organisations believe that Hindus should be fighting other religions, and for that they are willing to do anything even attacking temples themselves. In Coimbatore in March, the police caught a Hindu Munnani leader when he was hanging a cherupu-malai around an idol. He wanted to make it look like the Muslims had done it. In Gujarat, the Hindutva groups spread lies about the rape of Hindu women so that Hindus would come out and join them in killing Muslims.
Finally, these organisations have killed approximately 5,000 people in the last fifteen years. Are Hindus any better off? Has anyone gained because of the bloodshed? Should Hinduism or Hindus be proud because ten year old Muslim children were burnt to death in Gujarat?
These groups are not protecting Hindus's. They are making sure that Hindus and Muslims will be killing each other for generations to come. Both Hindus and Muslims can only be safe in a genuinely free, secular, and peaceful India, where all religions are allowed to live in harmony and all people are treated with dignity.
(Prepared by members of the People's Movement for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on behalf of the Movement for People's Unity)
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