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Terrorist Attack in India Ignites Anti-Muslim, Pro-Hindu Rhetoric

By Robert Steinback on August 2, 2011 - 1:50 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim

It turns out the United States and Europe aren’t the only places where religious zealots would like to strip Muslims of their basic rights as citizens.

Indian politician and Harvard University professor Subramanian Swamy touched off an international furor by publishing an opinion piece in an Indian newspaper suggesting that the voting rights of Indian Muslims be revoked – and restored only if they acknowledge their ancestral Hindu roots.

Swamy’s plan didn’t sit well with many in the Harvard community. Some 260 students, faculty, parents and others signed a petition calling for the ouster of Swamy, who teaches economics at the Harvard Summer School. “Swamy breaches the most basic standards of respect and tolerance,” the petition reads.

The article, entitled, “Analysis: How to Wipe Out Islamic Terror,” was published in the newspaper Daily News & Analysis (DNA) on July 16, three days after three terrorist explosions rocked Mumbai, India’s largest city, killing at least 21 people and wounding 141. Analysts suggested that Pakistan-based terror groups were responsible, and may have timed the attack to disrupt recently resumed peace talks between Pakistan and India.

Offering arguments strongly reminiscent of those put forth by American anti-Muslim activists, Swamy wrote, “The first lesson to be learnt from the recent history of Islamic terrorism against India and for tackling terrorism in India is that the Hindu is the target and that Muslims of India are being programmed by a slow reactive process to become radical and thus slide into suicide against Hindus.”

Swamy, who also serves as president of India’s Janata (People’s) Party, recommended a five-point strategy of legal and cultural changes to entrench India’s character and status as a Hindu Rashtra [state] “in which non-Hindus can vote only if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus.” Swamy’s plan included renaming the nation “Hindustan” and making the learning of Sanskrit and the singing of “Vande Mataram” – the official national song of India – mandatory. He also proposed shutting down more than 300 mosques and implementing a law prohibiting conversion from Hinduism to other religions.

“If any Muslim acknowledges his or her Hindu legacy, then we Hindus can accept him or her as a part of the Brihad Hindu Samaj (greater Hindu society) which is Hindustan,” Swami wrote. “India … is a nation of Hindus and others whose ancestors were Hindus. Others, who refuse to acknowledge this, or those foreigners who become Indian citizens by registration, can remain in India but should not have voting rights (which means they cannot be elected representatives).”

In the United States, Great Britain and other Western nations, activists have argued that Islam be treated not as a religion but as a dangerous, subversive political ideology that does not deserve free-speech protections. However, Canada and numerous European nations have laws that criminalize hate speech against, among others, Muslims.

  • whatsinname

    ofcourse intolerance is growing too much in india…at the same time there are lot of people(hindus) who do support the cause of muslims…the people who are straight minded never thinks like these hindu fanatics….these guys have done lot of damage to muslim community …..rioting killing more than 4000 people…etc….and no police cases…government is reluctant to punish, that can cause the backlash in elections… whats differance between swamy and taliban….

  • ruben

    to jonas…..believe me i am very tolerant, i can care less who you kneel down and pray to……but if you worship cows and monkeys do not try to make me feel like i am some kind of evil or outsider just because i don’t share your religous views and most of all don’t try to shove your religion down my throat with threats.

  • Shadow Wolf

    The Chechyna separatists are Muslims. That was precisely my point with Russia’s conflict in Chechyna.

  • Reynardine

    @ Jonas Rand: Not the Babri Masjid, as when it was blown up, I was in transit, with a snowy little portable Motorola that didn’t pick up anything. This was within this century, though I may be wrong about Kashmir- it was a border/ disputed area, which could have been Indian Punjab. It was not such a masterpiece, about whose demise I am devoutly sorry, because local citizens, Hindus as well as Muslims, have begun to rebuild it. No one can ever rebuild the Babri Masjid.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Rand, Japan’s religion is Shinto.

  • Aron Levy


    That was a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with us. It brought a smile to my face on what was otherwise a bleak day.


  • Reynardine

    I went out this evening and saw the Ramadan crescent, white as peace against a lavender- blue dusk, and it filled me with melancholy.

    Thirty-five years ago, I was fairly surrounded with a Subcontinental diaspora out at Texas Tech: several young men who were engineering students, and the sister of one of them, a doctoral student in pharmacology. How many discussions did we have over how many cups of tea, concerning how many political, philosophical, cultural, and even religious subjects? How many Bollywood, Lollywood, and just plain Hollywood movies did we see together? How many goats did I sit on while they met their fate, and then how many times did I sit down at tables where these same goats, far more fragrant, graced our plates? And then, how many times, after dust storms, was I cured of strangling respiratory infections with a dish of Snot Nose Chutney? Ah, Snot Nose Chutney, I will never forget you! Far more painful than the penicillin shots the local Stetson- wearing doctor doled out, yet a thousand times more effective, the only ingredients it had that an American would have recognized as food were the tomatoes, the olive oil, and maybe the garlic… lots and lots of garlic… the rest we’d have kept in a flammable chemical cabinet. These people were stubborn in their convictions, but sweetly so; they’d no more have committed mass murder than Mr. Rogers.

    And these are the people that the haters want to exterminate like termites! Either not all passage of time brings progress, or not all progress is good.

  • Jonas Rand

    Reynardine – Do you mean the Babri Masjid (which was not in Kashmir)?

  • Jonas Rand

    @Ruben – So much for tolerance. I think polytheistic worship of cows and monkeys is far less repulsive than eating eucharist, a cannibalistic ritual. Jesus Christ’s death was violent, the symbol of Christianity is one of death, Christians dropped the atomic bomb on a Buddhist country. The violence of Christianity and the Bible is irreconcilable with Jesus’ message of peace and unity.

  • Jonas Rand

    @”Shadow Wolf” – Not only “Muslim Jihadists” (the Caucasus Emirate) but Islamic separatists and nationalists, struggling for independence. Additionally, the Tamil Tigers no longer operate, and they never operated in Indonesia, a majority-Muslim country. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were Hindus in northern Sri Lanka; the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka are mostly Buddhists. Islam had little to do with it.

  • Reynardine

    Didn’t Hindus like this man blow up a famous mosque in Kashmir a couple of years back?… and “Hindostan” refers to a linguistic area, not a religious one. It’s true that India was united as such by the Moghuls, originally Central Asiatic and always Muslim, after they were driven out of their native land by the Uzbeks. Islam won converts because it abolished the caste system, and so did Christianity.

  • ruben

    a religion that worships cows,monkeys and other animals…..and swamy wonders why they convert to other religions!……whats this guy smoking!

  • Cholan

    As an Ex-Hindu who converted to Christianity, I find Mr. Swamy’s views on Conversion utterly repugnant. Conversion to any religion or Ideology is a Natural Right endowed by the Creator to all men. Mr. Swamy in his intolerance for conversions is just as bigoted and intolerant as Islamic Terrorists. Hindu Extremists in India presently’ frequently assault, rape and murder Christians with impunity. This in spite of the fact that Christianity in India is as old as the Christian Faith having been established in India in AD 52 by the Apostle Thomas, whose Church is still in South India.

  • Difluoroethene

    Apparently Anders Breivik, though not a Hindu himself, was a supporter of this kind of Hindutva (extremist pro-Hindu and anti-Muslim) rhetoric.

  • Shadow Wolf

    You forget to add Russia on to this list. Since it’s globally known that Russia has been waging a prolonged chronic conflict with Muslim Jihadists in Chechyna for quite sometime now. And for those in Indonesia where the terrorist Tamil Tigers operate. Anti-Muslim is now universal.

  • Aron Levy

    This is actually nothing new. Hindu radicals have been attempting to outlaw conversion for years and years. And yes, it is very likely that the vast, vast, vast majority of native Indians are at least descended from Hindus (it is, after all an intensely old religion), that does not mean that India was only meant for Hindus.

    Look at the Mughals! They produced some of the greatest architectural and literary works in the sub-continent’s history. And they were Muslims!

    Does he wish to demolish the Taj Mahal? What of the Golden Temple, holiest site of the Sikhs?

    One of the most amazing things about India is its historical religious diversity and acceptance. It would be foolish to throw seven thousand years of culture in the rubbish bin due to ethnic strife.

    Indian culture is a thing of beauty. And it should remain so.