What ISIS is to the world, Hindutva terror is to India

What the Indian Prime Minster needs to understand is that all forms of violence are equally bad irrespective of the ideological connetions and motives, irrespective of the identity of victims and irrespective of the identity of perpetrators, writes Dr. Javed Jamil

Prime Minster Modi may be right in stating that ISIS is the biggest threat to the international community. What needs to be understood, however, is what “international community” is and why ISIS alone is being described as the biggest threat to it. I have been arguing it for well over 15 years that the “international community” is nothing but a conglomeration of America and its allies.

While there is no denying the fact that ISIS is a big threat, the question is why it has suddenly become the “biggest threat”. In Americfan parlance, it had been organisation of “good terrorists” when it restricted its activities against Assad regime of Syria. It was being supplied with weaponry and dollars without break for several years. It became a threat as soon as it entered into Iraq. Still, it continues to be a friend in Syria, and is the reason why a determined response against it is being deferred. Following the Iran-West nuclear treaty negotiations and refugee crisis, the situation has got further complicated. With the kind of enthusiasm European Union has shown towards establishing diplomatic and economic ties with Iran, it will not be easy for EU to help ISIS any more. Still more intriguing is Modi’s oversight of religious violence in his own country, which more often takes the form of “riots” than “terror”. But India, too, uses its own terminologies in describing various forms of violence. While any terrorism related to Muslims is highlighted, the terrorism related to other ideologies is hardly discussed. As I have quoted statistics in several articles, more than 95 per cent of terrorism related deaths in India in last 25 years have been caused by Hindu terrorists, not Muslim terrorists. What needs to be further debated is the insistence on delinking religion from terrorism. On one hand, this is the right approach. No religion teaches violence against innocents, and to call ISIS Islamic is an insult to Islam, which provides the most comprehensive framework of peace, including all its aspects. I will like to quote from my book, Islam means Peace:

“Islam literally means Peace, and is defined as submission to God, which means that peace cannot be obtained without total submission to the Lord of the universe. Similarly, iman means total satisfaction, which again can be obtained only through undivided devotion to God. When the Qur’an calls, “Enter Islam wholeheartedly”, it does not merely invite its adherents to follow the institutionalised system of Islam, it also signals to them that the real, comprehensive and long lasting peace can be achieved only through total acceptance of the System of God. The Qur’an states: “The system for you is the (system of) Peace” and “Call them to the House of Peace.” In Islam, peace is not just a state of absence of war or chaos in society, it has the broadest and the most comprehensive meaning, in terms of extent, depth and longevity, including all the components of peace described above. It has to be not just personal, not just family and not just social; it has to be at all the three levels and in the widest discernible sense. At individual level, it does not merely mean peace of mind; it encompasses physical, mental and social health. At family level, it comprises peaceful relationship between husband and wife, between parents and children, and among children themselves. At social level, it does not only indicate absence of war or chaos, it also means absence of all forms of crimes and social tensions, and prevalence of mutual brotherhood and justice. Peace is also not something bound by time or space, it is as much for this world as for the Hereafter; peace is eternal. This is to be ensured that Islam’s message of grand peace has to percolate down the lowest strata of society. And this to be done in a way that the world does not feel threatened by the emergence of an institutionalised and political Islam, but learns to apply moral and socio-economic principles of Islam for the benefit of the whole mankind.

“… Islam uses all possible means to achieve its goal of grand peace. In the modern world, dominated by what I call economic fundamentalism, Fundamental Rights are given paramount importance, Fundamental Duties are largely ignored and Fundamental Prohibitions are virtually prohibited. Islam, on the other hand, espouses a three-dimensional system giving equal emphasis to Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Prohibitions. If we want to achieve true peace, this three-dimensional approach is indispensable.”

Violence in India has been more dangerous in the form of riots. But Modi’s party and its offshoots try to suppress any debate on riots and make efforts to justify the killing of Muslims in riots through one or the other explanation. So Modi should understand that unfortunately, for certain organisations in India, violence is categorised as “good violence” and “bad violence”. Any violence that kills Muslims is good for them and any violence that is caused by Muslims is bad. Naxalite and Ulfa violence is a form of “good violence” for leftists and “less dangerous violence” for Hindutva votaries despite the huge destruction it has caused.

What the Prime Minster needs to understand is that all forms of violence are equally bad irrespective of the ideological connections and motives, irrespective of the identity of victims and irrespective of the identity of perpetrators. What is more important is the magnitude of the violence, and if magnitude is taken into account, the biggest threat to India comes from Hindutva and Leftist ideologies. Fortunately, the majority of Indians, Hindus as well as Muslims, neither identify themselves with Hindutva nor ISIS, nor with extremist Leftism. This majority needs to unite against the minority interested only in stopping certain, not all, kinds of violence.

Dr Javed Jamil is Delhi-based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Qur’anic Paradigms of Sciences and Society” (First Vol: Health). He may be contacted at

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 October 2015 on page no. 11

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