E Mullah الیکٹرونک مُلا: Muslims of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, June 24, 2005

Muslims of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh


I was wondering that Muslims of Pakistan, Bangladesh and India shared many things in common because they were part of one country, the undivided India. But why is this that those similarities are gone and the Muslims in Pakistan grew into more violent and intolerant in nature while Muslims in India and Bangladesh did not.

Two things occurred to me:

Firstly, the Muslims in India and Bangladesh have more interaction with Hindus Sikhs and Christians; so they are more tolerant to other cultures and beliefs while Pakistanis are not. If I look back in history the Muslims have always lived in situations where they had a great opportunity to live among other cultures. Even prophet Mohammad also lived among infidels and people from other beliefs (Jews and Christians). Prophet himself was very tolerant and we find many incidents in ‘Sunnah’ where he showed impeccable tolerance. Today’s Muslims are not even a close match to the Muslims of Prophet’s era. When I discuss the traits of the prophet with my fellow Pakistanis back home they just evade by saying that he was an epitome of tolerance, forgiveness and mercy that we cannot reach that apex and above all it was a different epoch.

Well! Are we not supposed to emulate his actions and teachings?

Secondly, the people of my country have been manipulated mercilessly by the international political players. The Afghan-Russia war and revolution in Iran has drastically changed the mind set of a common man in Pakistan. If the people of my country were literate the nation would not have been manipulated rather played a mature role in shaping an ideal Muslim society and becoming a role model for the Muslims of the world and a beacon of hope for other societies. We on the other hand fell to the depths of despair. The nadir of darkness prevailing in our Pakistani society is comparable to the dark ages of Europe.


  • Saudi influence of last 25 years has converted Pakistanis into a violent race. Every other day we see that Pakistani head of state/Govt. or some dignitary is visiting Saudi Arabia or vice versa. Saudi money and ideology has caused this problem, and it wont go away until Pakistanis dissociate themselves from Saudi altogether as Afghanistan has done recently under Karzai.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, June 25, 2005 8:06:00 PM  

  • Continuing with my earlier comment, a recent disclosure by an ISI official (as posted by WatanDost http://watandost.blogspot.com/2005/06/nawaz-sharif-and-osama-bin-laden.html>, shows that not only the Saudi govt. but also Saudi civilians are involved in internal Pakistani affairs. This news item is just a tip of the iceberg. God knows how much influence Saudi money (govt. as well as private) has in Pakistani politics, army, judiciary and other institutions.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, June 25, 2005 8:16:00 PM  

  • Right Bro! This is what comes under the second thing (International Politics and the players), I have mentioned above. Infact, I did not write everything in detail. I had a chance to hear a lecture by Hassan of Watan Dost Blog and he pointed out all these players, Saudi, Irani, US, Russian, Indian .... You name it

    His book is a must read

    By Anonymous EMullah, at Sunday, June 26, 2005 1:13:00 AM  

  • It is easier to include everyone as a source of the problem. But this doesn't help in identifying the real culprit. It only helps to blur the vision and dilutes the problem.

    Outsiders as you identified in your reply are mostly disliked by the Pakistani nation, they can corrupt the leadership, buy few individuals or groups, do some bomb blasts here and there, but they cannot buy or brainwash a whole nation of 140 million and change its character altogether. Punjab, Sind and NWFP were the land of peace where Saints and Sufis spread Islam and message of love during last 1000 years. There had never been any conflict between the Muslims in these parts of the sub-continent (until of course Zia-ul-Haq came with his distorted vision of Pakistan). However, Muslims of UP were more violent before the partition (as the episode of Syed Ahemd suggests).

    Therefore, I will say that the big players cannot influence the whole nation as seriously as a friend and close allied can, whom the nation doesn't suspect at all until it is too late.

    Remember 1824 when Ismail Shaheed and Seyed Ahemd waged a violent armed struggle against British rule. Why these two guys were violent at that time although they were living with the Hindus and other religious communities of India. Secondly, none of the countries you identified were involved in sub-continent affairs at that time (no US, no Iran, no Russia and no India), except an alien ideology that was infused in these two guys by the first Saudi govt. Both of these guys spent some 10+ years under the first Saudi rule before that rule was uprooted by the Egyptian forces of Ahmed Ali Pasha.

    Secondly, if we accept your assertion that only the Pakistani nation is violent because international players are playing a big game there, then how come so many Muslims in the Western countries have violent tendencies. Every now or then we hear that people from Europe (and recently from Canada too) were caught or killed in Chechnyna, Afghanistan, Kashmir and Iraq. Although these western muslims are in contact with other religious communities, and they are enjoying all the basic human rights in these countries which are not available to majority of them in their own countries. Secondly none of the international players are playing any games in these Western countries.

    So I have to say that both of your arguments are not general. If we try to find out a common denominator that has resulted in the violent tendencies among Muslims in the whole world than there is only one -- that is Saudi Ideology. All the other causes are special cases.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, June 26, 2005 7:13:00 PM  

  • In your original post you also identified the lack of education as a cause of violent tendencies. I will like to differ with that. The recent NYTimes study (about the Madarrahs -- watan dost has a post about that) shows that educated people are more violent then uneducated. Most of the educated violent individuals indentified in that post studied in Western educational system.

    Other possible cause that we can suspect is poverty. However, in case of violent Muslims, even this cause falls flat as the Saudi terrorists drive Lexus and BMW cars. So they are not poor either. Thus all the social causes that the social scientists have identified for violent behavior are not applicable in the case of violent Muslims.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, June 26, 2005 7:27:00 PM  

  • Your points may be valid to some extent but you have to make a distinction between fight for freedom and violence. The fight against British was a fight for freedom and it was fought by Hindu communities as well. By the way, I am surprised that you have not indicated whatever is going on in Kashmir and contrasted it with the behavior of Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh but went back to Syed Ahmad Shaheed. There has been involvement by outsiders but at the same time there is indigenous movement as well. In addition to that UN has recognized the problem of Kashmir. There was no UN at the time of Syed Ahmad to recognize their struggle but historians considered it a freedom struggle. On the other hand we cannot ignore the ethnic violence purported by Hindus in response to which Indian Muslims would defend themselves. Even if they try to fight back they are the one who are murdered in numbers, like in Gujarat in recent times (The violence by both communities at the time of independence should be strictly studied in the context of division and British’s divide and rule policy in that era).

    The violent and intolerant behavior I am talking about is the one that we are seeing these days in the context of terrorism: the burning of churches, killing of other Muslims (Shia vs Sunni), etc. You will hardly find any Indian or Bangladeshi Muslim who has been accused of taking part in recent terrorism wave.

    Poverty is one of the important factors and is identified in a Harvard study as well (Alberto Abadie, Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism, Harvard University and NBER October 2004). I am not surprised by the contrast of Rich Saudis and a poor Pakistani terror suspects. Rich has always used their money to buy poor. The educated ones among this crowd are very few. In some cases, the picture is even distorted. For example, Mr. Khan the nuclear father of Pakistan would have never acted alone and without any knowledge of the government of Pakistan. I don’t believe that government of Pakistan did not have any information. What do you think how much oil Pakistan would have bought from the Iran deal during the times of sanction? I am reserving this topic at this moment and would write some time soon.

    By Blogger E Mullah الیکٹرونک مُلا, at Monday, June 27, 2005 11:38:00 AM  

  • Remember we got Pakistan through political struggle and not through violent means. Therefore we don't see any Syed Ahmed or Ismail Shaheed followers in the Pakistan movement. Recently a follower of these guys said in Pak assembly that "Allah ka shukar hai ka hum Pakistan kay gunah main shamil nahee thay".

    With regard to Kashmir, in 1994 when the nationalist surrendered their weapons, that was the end of the freedom movement. That was the time that we should also have moved to the political front and converted that struggle into a political struggle. Instead of that we send criminals from all over the world and tried to turn their struggle into a religious struggle and that was our downfall.

    Remember Algeria of 1990s. What happened to their religious movement. It was converted to a terrorism movement and ultimately it has now evaporated into thin air.

    Remember John Walker Lind and Shoe bomber. They were converters to Islam but turn out to be violent. Why?

    In all of the above examples, we can trace only one common factor.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, June 27, 2005 12:24:00 PM  

  • You might have read these two letter recently published in Dawn. They talk about attitude change in Muslims of US during last 30 years. This and so many examples like this can be put forward to point out that
    there is a general transition in Muslims during last 25+ years and that is the same time period since the Saudi's started to use their money to spread their distorted version of Islam everywhere.

    Dawn Letter June 21, 2005
    A mosque in Minnesota

    THIS refers to Mr Aziz Khalid’s letter (June 15). Perhaps what the writer did not mention about the history of this Minnesota mosque in the twin cities (if it is the same mosque) is that in the mid-’70s it was a church which was later on sold to some Pakistanis who were seeking to construct a mosque in Minneapolis. The church management wanted to sell their place of worship for the sole reason that the turnout at its Sunday services had started to decline.

    Every Friday, I used to drive from my university at Mankato 75 miles south to Minneapolis. Muslims of all major and minor faiths (mostly students) from as far as Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota used to come for the Friday congregation.

    The imam of the mosque used to be a very educated person and his sermons mostly related to social, cultural and fiscal problems concerning Muslim families in the new environment of community relationship in America’s open society.

    We used to park our cars in the specified areas and there used to be a cross-marked area as parking space reserved for invalid worshippers. No one parked his or her car even if that specified parking place remained unoccupied.

    During the summer of 1975 there was an advertisement by a local church needing caretakers for a year. Along with a Sikh colleague, I walked into the church for the job. After an interview we both were taken in and provided a two-bedroom apartment inside the church.

    No worshipper or anyone from the church ever questioned our faiths or objected as to why as non-Christians we were living on church premises. Sometimes I prayed in my apartment but neither the pastor nor any other church official ever objected to a Muslim praying in the church. The only thing they were concerned about were the jobs assigned to us.

    We are still not an open society, in our religion and faith, simply because its interpretation is given to those who either have very limited knowledge about other worlds and religions or are too conservative due to a constrained environment.

    In the US, there is a precondition of a four-year college degree in religious science for those who want to devote their careers to preaching and serving Christianity. Along with studying religion, one also has to study other religions as well as all other scientific subjects, even sports.

    My old friends who communicate with me from the US believe that it is being wrongly and deliberately projected in Pakistan that nowadays the Americans hate Muslims. However, in some area,s Arabs and Pakistanis are not liked, but this is the aftermath of 9/11 and is but natural.

    It is held that the 9/11 suicide bombers were all Arabs and had passed through Pakistan. The damage done to Islam by certain unwise clergymen would take time to heal.

    In the meantime we as a nation may ponder the reasons and causes as to why we Pakistanis carry a certain stigma in the eyes of the free world on the subjects of jihad, suicide bombing and terrorism?

    As far as the ‘brothers” and the ‘sisters” in the US are concerned, those living 30 years back were definitely more community-friendly and law-abiding citizens.



    Dawn Letter June 15, 2005
    A mosque in Minnesota

    A LOT is being said and written in the post-9/11 world about the poor treatment of the Muslims living in America but very little is reported about what the Muslims do to “endear” themselves to the communities among which they have chosen to live.

    An old friend of mine who is happily settled in the state of Minnesota for many years is actively involved in local community affairs and frequents a mosque located in close proximity to a big church in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St Paul.

    The church officials were kind enough to allow the mosque-goers (the “brothers” and “sisters”, as my friend refers to them) free use of the church’s ample parking lot with the only condition that a specific row in the parking lot must always be left for use of the church officials. But the “brothers” would arrive late for prayers and park their cars wherever they could, including the reserved spots (even double park), and make a dash to the mosque.

    The church officials mentioned the problem to the mosque officials, notices were sent out, and even announcements were made during the Friday sermon, but to no avail.

    This went on for about six months and finally the church officials, when they felt they had had enough, called the police who ticketed the violators, and the tow-truck did the rest.

    The “brothers” were outraged and let out their anger on the mosque officials.

    But then they started parking their cars in the neighbourhood, blocking people’s driveways. The neighbours lodged numerous complaints with the imam, the police issued warnings and yet our “brothers” persisted. The neighbours got fed up and the more angry among them one day vandalized the mosque. Come Friday, the imam delivered a fiery speech on increasing incidence of hate crimes in America.

    This is a typical example of how some of the imams here exploit the freedom of speech guaranteed under the US Constitution by giving vent to their unfounded anger. Incidentally, the damage caused to the mosque was fixed by another church group free of charge.

    New York

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, June 27, 2005 12:32:00 PM  

  • Off course, I do not disagree about Saudi money and their brand of Islam. Even in western countries the Saudis are the political players. Recently, some mosques in Boston and Washington purged books containing religious fatwa issued by Saudi Government financed scholars. The books were purporting hate against the people of book; towards which in fact Quran tells us to be tolerant and respectful.

    A good question to ask is why US never tried to stop Saudis from spreading their form of Islam? And the answer is there in one of my posts about the research carried out in US universities to motivate Muslims for Holy Struggle. So International Politics cannot be ruled out altogether. For example, you mentioned Chechnya but we know that only when US needed Russian support on War on Terror they stopped backing Chechens bid for Freedom. You can always trace something where international political players are involved. The money makes the mere go. So, no one stopped Saudis from spending their money to spread their brand of Islam because it was ultimately helping the US financed Afghan War. Off course the illiterate cannot read so the literature spread by Saudis affected the educated minds as well (you are right in pointing out that). And there is no doubt about it that young men from Pakistani Universities went to Afghan war.

    By Blogger Mullah Bijlee, at Monday, June 27, 2005 1:13:00 PM  

  • B/c US knows that the Saudi's and their form of religion cannot cause any problems for them, and will destroy Islam from within. Remember 1800s when Syed Ahemd and Ismail were fighting against British Raj in India while at the same time British were giving safe heaven to Saudis in Kuwait (from 1820 to early 1900s). Had it not been for the British, the Ottamon would have eliminated Saudis altogether. Now my question is, why the British allowed Saudis to stay in Kuwait while they knew it very well that the Saudi disciples were fighting to bring down their rule in another part of the world? The only logical interpretation of this behavior is that British knew that the Saudis cannot seriously cause any problems for them but they can successfully destroy Muslims. That is exactly happened in subcontinent, The Syed Ahmed and Ismail shaheed followers tried to create obstructions in the path of Sir Syed Ahmed khan and later to Quaid-e-Azam. However, at that time, majority of Muslims of sub-continent were not brainwashed by the Saudi ideology, therefore these two gentlemen were able to guide Muslim masses to successes (the only two success stories of Muslims of subcontinent during recent 150 years of our history -- otherwise it is all failure).

    Therefore, we can draw parallel between the 1800s and present day. Just replace British with US and you have exactly the same story being replayed -- an old wine in a new bottle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, June 27, 2005 2:24:00 PM  

  • The Saudis in Kuwait and Syeds in India is in fact a very good contrast. However, Syeds are somehow explained by historians under struggle for freedom (I am not saying that it was a struggle for Pakistan) at that time it was a struggle to throw the British Raj in Chaos and if I recall correctly there was a peasant movement as well. However, the Syeds role still does not make an argument that Muslims of entire India were violent. The point I have made in fact is that “over time” the Muslims in Pakistan have “grown” into a terror prone nation while Muslims in India and Bangladesh are not. The Saudis still finance their form of Islam in India and Bangladesh. However, the recent trend shows us that we rarely find an Indian or Bangladeshi Muslim among terror cells. Why is that? Is it our luck or what?

    One last thing that did not came up in our discussion is that the tolerance to Sauids is because of Money and Oil. Recently, anti Saudi Government websites ran in US were brought down. I admit that I lack knowledge here that who was running those web sites but a word is that there were some modrenist behind those web sites. However, firends of Saudi Government helped their friends from embarrasment.

    Another thing that I have noticed among Saudis living in US that many of them do not like their government but they still practice same brand that their government is trying to spread and refuse that they are "Qutabis". They prefer the word "Salfi."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, June 27, 2005 3:31:00 PM  

  • I didn't mean that during the days of Syed Ahmed majority of Muslims were violent. It was other way around. They were not and that is why the Syed Ahmed's struggle failed. Had he waged his fight with the present day Pakistanis, he would have got scores of volunteers. Thus he was born at a wrong time.

    The Saudis or Pseudo Saudis always pretend to be the friend of Muslims like providing assistance and manpower for Afghan jehad. So they always have a pretext to hide their main intention that is to colonize nations -- a form of religious colonization.

    Saudi money doesn't enter into India. Indian govt. maintains a strict watch on muslim madarrasah's and organisations. Therefore, Saudis never tried to influence Indian Muslims. Majority of Indian muslims are Bralvies and they detest Saudi ideology. Therefore there are fewer takers in India.

    Bangladishi govt. is smarter than Pakistani. Therefore, they also didn't allow any systematic brainwashing excercise. Although it is still going on but at a much smaller scale than in Pakistan. You might have observed that a new Bangali immigrant to US is more tolerant compared to Bangalis settled in US for more than 10 years.

    With regard to the Saudis calling themselves salafi, I have following to say. It doesn't matter what you call a duck, if it walks like a duck, acts like a duck and behaves like a duck then that is a duck. Algerian terrorists also called themselves salafist. In Pakistan, we also don't have Salafist or Wahabis in great number. But a sizeable majority has now been tranformed to follow a pseudo-wahabi version of Sunni Islam. Chechans are Naqshbandis. Therefore, it doesn't matter what name is given to them. They are all the same.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, June 27, 2005 5:14:00 PM  

  • I just found this and it does suggest that India does not have a very good check on Saudi Money but infact these examples can be found in any country and it is possible that Saudi Money is not directly involved. A bunch of hardliners can do same task that is intended by Saudi Money.


    Darul-Uloom, in the village of Deoband 90 miles north of Delhi, is the birthplace of the ultra-conservative Deobandi cult, in whose madrassas the Taliban were trained. It teaches the most fundamentalist, narrow, puritan, rigid, oppressive version of Islam that exists anywhere in the world today. In one fatwa it suggested that Jews were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Not only the Taliban but also the assassins of The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl were followers of Deobandi teachings.

    Darul-Uloom's rigid interpretations of Shariah law are notorious, and immensely influential - so much so that the victim, Imrana, a woman under unimaginable pressure, has said she will abide by the seminary's decision in spite of the widespread outcry in India against it. An innocent woman, she will leave her husband because of his father's crime.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, July 13, 2005 5:43:00 PM  

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