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Published in the 16-29 Feb 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Muslims do not need sycophancy

May I ask the MG and Md Shahid Rafique to tell us: is it necessary for an eminent scholar to be sincere to his own community? How can a person without having any sympathy for the cause and sufferings of his people can call himself a well-wisher of his people? Are intellectuals and scholars always expected to find faults of their own people? Should an Islamic scholar not have the courage to challenge, criticize and condemn those who torture, exploit and harass Muslims? Then how Maulana Waheeduddin Khan (WK) was considered a suitable and fit person to discuss the "current state of Muslims in India", (MG, 1-15 Feb. 04)?

WK blames Muslim leaders for everything. He says that incompetent leaders are responsible for all the loss and destruction suffered by Muslims, but he himself fails to point out the mistakes of our leadership. It is a fact that our leadership committed many mistakes but how can it be responsible for all our sufferings? If so, WK should have given a few examples but he fails to do so, as a matter of fact he actually cannot do so as it is rather impossible to establish his claim. Saying that Muslim leaders do not take any constructive steps and make emotional speeches is only a routine-type statement. 

May I also point out that Syed Ahmed Khan, said to be the only exception, was bold enough to blame British rulers for the sufferings of Muslims after 1857. He forced the British rulers to change their harsh attitude. Sir Syed tried to improve the conditions of Muslims.

WK’s mentality can be seen from his answer to the question relating to the suffering of Muslims. He says that what Muslims have undergone should not be called “suffering”. For what happened was but natural. Even RSS leadership would not have blamed Muslims like WK. Here once again he fails to point out any specific event.

Probably Md Shahid Rafique did not dare enough to ask how and why WK said that the economic conditions of the Muslims is far better at present than what had been in 1947. Has WK any answer to the question: how Muslims are in a better economic condition in spite of being backward in every walk of life, especially in education, technology, trade and industry and even in farming. The percentage of Muslims in jobs, both in government and private sector today is far less than what it was in 1947.

WK says that in order to make their lot better, Muslims should change their way of thinking, abandon their negative attitude and adopt a positive way of thinking. Everybody knows that hardly very few can accept this golden piece of advice as what WK calls “negative thinking” is not at all negative and the positive way of thinking of WK is more than losing their national identity, self-respect and accepting un-Islamic practices and traditions. 

To protest against, torture, atrocities, any type of discrimination and challenge the deprivation of constitutional rights cannot be phrased as psychology of blaming others. Islam does not teach us to tolerate injustice, surrendering ideals, material property and rights. This protest and calling a spade a spade is not blaming unnecessarily. Islam does not teach us to be coward, submissive and sycophant. 

If Muslim leadership had been a victim of not having the positive thinking and products of reaction, Muslims would not have survived in the most hostile and unfavorable circumstances. 
Rasheed Ansari, Rethi Bowli,
 Mehdipatnam, Hyderabad 

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