Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Stranger to History part 2

I finished this book and gave it to another young friend of mine who is interested to learn more about the Middle East.  Part of me wanted to hang on to it to mine it for quotes.  The other said it was better to let someone else have a read.

There were a few additional thoughts that jumped out at me.  The first was about how the Muslims who fled what is now India to go to Pakistan at the time of the partition have still not been assimilated to their new homeland, even though most of them were born there.  This reminds me of the Palestinian problem where the refugees in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan haven't been assimilated either.  On the other hand, the non-Muslim Indians who fled Pakistan have been all assimilated, thus, the argument is that this is really a problem stemming from tribalist tendencies of Islam.  Then there is Israel itself, which has assimilated Jews from all over the world.

Another idea is the notion that Islam must be absolutely dominant for its full virtuous effects to be felt.  This was stated by a number of ideologues.  Thus, even as Muslim countries spin economically out of control, there is the never ending hope that all this could be rectified if only a purer religion could be enforced.  This stands in contrast to my view that it is impossible for Christians to be absolutely dominant.  The reason is that as Christianity obtains more power, the top religious posts become far too attractive to closet atheists and the like, thus, precluding Christians from ever being dominant.  Unless God should choose to step in and do something different.  Anyway, the only absolute authority Christians expect is that absolute authority of the anti-Christ.  Then the end times will follow, but that will be God's doing, not ours.

The story of Iran was one where petty rules and lax enforcement resulted in a complete mockery of Islamic law.

A final point was the observation that in the countries Aatish visited, protests and riots were something spontaneous.  Instead, it was a combination of governmental planning and Imams stoking up the faithful.


Max Coutinho said...

Hi Looney,

First, outstanding post.
Second, Islam feeds the hope of absolute dominance to the people so that they won't open their eyes and see how corrupt political Islam really is. As you so well pointed out, we look at Muslim countries in the Middle East and what do we see? A profound lack of development for the people in general.
Yes, the Gulf nations seem nice (the parts that tourists see at least) but move away from the pretty down-town into the outskirts and check the reality...

Yes, Indian and Israel are more similar than most people realise - yet India seems to side all the time with Muslim countries in the international arena - business, fear? I am still trying to ascertain that.

Superb, Looney.


Rummuser said...

Looney, the message that comes out loud and clear in the book, at least for me, is that Islam is not a monolithic entity. The issue of the mohajirs not being assimilated in Pakistan is a clear indication of this as the local Sindhi and Punjabi ethnic cultures overweigh Islam's appeal. Those mohajirs will be the creators of major problems for us in India when Pakistan implodes, as it will soon enough, as they will want to return to India and all hell will break loose here with the local Muslims paying the maximum price for perceived support to those reverse refugees..And the returning ones will also face hostility from non Muslims. We will see this in our life time and it will be like nothing that the world has ever seen before.

Rummuser said...

Max, India has more Muslims than Pakistan has. Indian Muslims work in large numbers in the ME and remit very important foreign exchange and those remittances contribute to local development. Indian Muslims are a major vote bank for the so called secularists and that is a very important factor in our democracy. Things will change in the near future but you can be assured that while we may appear to be on the side of the Muslims, we have never done anything against Israel and in fact we have a lot of business with them. Israel has a very strong support base in India including yours truly and his merry men.

Looney said...

Rummuser, there is an angle to this that I didn't state. It is from reading T.E. Lawrence's book (Lawrence of Arabia) as he described the situation a century earlier. His claim is that the tribalism of Islam is rooted in Islam. That is, the maintaining of tribal boundaries along with a religious nursing of grudges is necessary fuel to achieve Jihad. Thus, Lawrence would say that even though cultural distinctions seem to be trumping Islam, Islam is really in the driver seat.

Max Coutinho said...


"India has more Muslims than Pakistan has."

Not any longer, according to Index Mundi: Pakistan has 186,282,268 Muslims (July 2013 numbers); India has 163,587,248 Muslims (July 2013 numbers).

The Indian government has used its Muslim population as an excuse not to support Israel since 1947 (it is even said that Ghandi said he could never support the establishment of a Jewish State because he could never support the establishment of a state based on religion; well, this raises a lot of questions doesn't it? Since he supported the creation of a Muslim state off Indian territory). It is no excuse.

Indian Muslims represent 13.4% of the population (I don't know how much of the Indian electorate they represent); however, I read somewhere that this year's polls show 17% of them are leaning towards the BJP for change - which refutes the Leftist notion that by pandering Muslims will guarantee the Muslim vote.

"Things will change in the near future but you can be assured that while we may appear to be on the side of the Muslims, we have never done anything against Israel and in fact we have a lot of business with them."

I know. India is the second largest trade partner of Israel - thank God. But Israel would welcome a more staunch political support from its Indian friends (given their shared grievances).

"Israel has a very strong support base in India including yours truly and his merry men."

And Israel counts on that support base, on you and your mates *bowing*.