Indian Muslims not radicalised because Western Radicalism did not hit India?

When Narendra Modi, the Prime Minster of India, made the now-famous remarks about Indian Muslims being “patriotic” and “immune to al-Qaedah”, he was speaking more to his American audience than Indians. Denied visa for a long time, he needed to convince Americans that his views about Muslims in India are not what have been projected in the American media. But his remarks have led to a curious new debate. Many Indian writers including Muslims, who find a place in the mainstream media, have tried to explain the non-radicalisation of Muslims on various grounds.  Some of these grounds may be true, but the bigger truth is that these analysts are discussing the issue based on the Western mindset and their theories of violence. They are talking of Indian Muslims not getting “radicalised” as if the whole of the rest of the Muslim World is radicalised. The truth on the contrary is that even from Western point of view, which views violence bad only if it is targeted against the West, the overwhelming majority of the Muslim countries and the overwhelming global Muslim population have not engaged in violence despite severe provocations from the forces of the globalisation led by the West. Out of more than 50 Muslim countries, “terrorism”, the kind of violence West loathes, has affected less than a dozen countries, 5-6 in a major way. Indonesia, Malaysia, the erstwhile Soviet Union countries like Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan, Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and many other countries have none or a few incidents of terrorism. Much bigger kinds of terrorism has been witnessed by Sri Lanka in the last three decades, and Indian terrorism is mainly a non-Muslim phenomenon involving Naxalites, Ulfa, Bodos, Sikhs, Tamils and Maoists, most of them being born as Hindus.  

It can be easily seen that terrorism in Muslim countries is born out of anger against the West, which has continuously tried to keep its puppets in power in those countries against the wishes of the people. Terrorism has obviously been directly proportional to the Western meddling and involvement. This is true about Afghanistan, Pakistan and Most Arab countries. Moreover, all the major “terrorist outfits” have been friends of the West in the past. Al-Qaedah was a close friend when it was fighting the Russians along with Talibans. ISIS too was a friend while it was fighting the Syrian government. Wherefrom did ISIS get its heavy weaponry? Of course, most of it came from West or Western allies in the region. If even now, America is not launching a full-fledged onslaught on ISIS, it is simply because ISIS is expected to put pressure on the Syrian regime. Till Syrian regime does not wilt under ISIS pressure, ISIS will remain a friendly enemy.  

If Indian Muslims have not radicalised, it is chiefly because India has remained free of Western intervention, and Indian polity, despite its recurrent communal ups and downs, has largely remained plural in nature. If Indian Muslims ever get radicalised, it will be due to Indian issues and not the ones that interest West. If, however, West succeeds in pulling India into its own wars, which Obama tried during his talks with the Indian Premier, India may also go the Afghanistan or Iraq way. But Indian Muslims are confident that sanity will continue to prevail in Indian polity, and India will not join the Western aggression against Muslim countries. India recognises it well that in the long-run Muslim countries, with their enormous wealth and population, can be of greater economic interest to India.   

I have been incessantly arguing the fact that West’s categorisation of violence has nothing to do with the magnitude of the violence. Only the kinds of violence that are targeted against Western interests are condemnable in its view. Where violence is targeted against the enemies of West, the terminology immediately changes. It then becomes either a “war against terror” or a “rebellion against an oppressive regime”.  

 The Muslim writers in the Western media are of course over-awed by the Western ideologies. Many of them are part of their plans. Instead of asking questions to West, they are busy answering questions in a way which suits their masters. For well over a decade, the global media is discussing the role of Islam and Muslims in violence. But nobody questions the role of West and its ideologies in instigating others. People blame “Jihad” or “Jihadism” for violence but nobody bothers to challenge the military ideology of West, its use of violence to perpetuate its hegemony, its readiness to wage wars on the slightest pretext, its continuous arming of rebel groups, its sordid machinations in Muslim countries, and its own record of all kinds of violence. Nobody asks them “How come West killed two million innocent Muslims when al-Qaedah did not kill even 6000 Western innocents?” Nobody asks them about their own ever-rising crime rates, killing of millions of foetuses, their own statistics of suicides and their own wars against other countries and instigation of rebellions against regimes they do not like. Nobody questions their resolve to help Israel even if it is killing women and children in thousands.  

The time has come now when all the right thinking intellectuals ask the West to stop talking about the role of Islam and Muslims, and instead focus on its own role. Let the global media discuss Western military ideologies in detail and their roles in the destruction of human lives! Before studying Islamic Jihad, let Western philosophies of confrontation, combat and wars be discussed in all its minute details. Let this continue for at least one year before debating the Muslim factor again! Instead of criticising others, let West learn to face criticism! Let West allow its own people to know the whole truth, rather than  truncated truth. Violence cannot subside unless every single factor responsible for it is discussed and effectively addressed.

 Radicalisation is a universal phenomenon these days, but it is the radicalisation of West, not Muslims, which is the biggest breeder of global violence.  

 The author is Delhi-based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest Quranic Paradigm of Sciences & Society (First Vol: Health). He can be contacted at