Saturday 19 May 2012
Responding to ‘Pak Hindus’ Plight Causes Concern in US’
Hameed Abdul Karim
Forcible conversions to any faith are tantamount to oppression. More so in Islam, because the Qur’an says ‘there is no compulsion in religion and that truth is clear from error’. So when Muslims anywhere in the world read Manzoor Ahmed’s piece in Ceylon Today (Sat. 5th May 2012) titled ‘Pak Hindus’ Plight Causes Concern in US’ they were sure to be embarrassed and ashamed of their co-religionists’ conduct in Pakistan where Ahmed alleges that a Hindu girl by the name of Rinkel Kumari was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam.
But when you check up the controversy you will find that Manzoor Ahmed has exaggerated the story to suit his agenda of Pakistan bashing based as he is in New Delhi and following the line of attack set out by the ruling Brahmins of India. You see that all the time on Indian TV channels like NDTV.
As it turns out Rinkel’s case is one of many ‘love stories’ that abound in all parts of the world. She had fallen in love with a Muslim boy and eloped with him. She says she converted to Islam before marrying her boy friend. Such cases happen all the time in all societies and really there was no need to sensationalise it to a point where all Pakistani Muslims were held responsible and their faith vilified. Unless there was a hidden agenda.
And going by Manzoor Ahmed’s previous articles it is clear he has a hidden agenda. He is bending over backward to project the U.S. as a benign and benevolent nation upholding the values of morality as a beacon light to the entire world. We know that the exact opposite of this is true. Why, only the other day a stupefied attorney for the ‘self confessed’ 9-11 conspirators told Al-Jazeera TV that he was not even allowed to speak to his clients and posed the question ‘Is this America?’ How is he expected to defend his clients if he can’t have a word with them?
Nearly half his lengthy tirade against Pakistan is devoted to propping up ‘altruistic’ US lawmakers expressing their concerns over Rinkel Kumari’s plight. Never mind the fact that she says in a TV interview she is happy and that she hopes her folks will accept her decision to live her life as a Muslimah if they love her as much as she loves them. Why these same U.S lawmakers don’t show the same concern for the Palestinians who merely exist under Israel’s Nazi like jackboot with the full backing of their very ‘altruistic’ government is anybody’s guess. Why is it that they don’t show the same ‘concern’ for the people of Kashmir who are living under Indian occupation under the same miserable conditions as the people of Palestine? Compassion, like everything else in the US, has become selective as the nation pursues it relentless and pitiless project to bring the entire world under its hegemony.
Amidst all this poor innocent little Hilary Clinton has the gall to say she was deeply hurt when a Bangladeshi student asked her why her country has an anti-Islam and anti Muslim bias. Like dear old Manzoor Ahmed she is living in a world far removed from reality. Such is the fate of those who live in ivory towers!
Reading Manzoor Ahmed’s article you somehow get the feeling he is being unctuous and is pandering to the US of A. Strange though it may sound, the Indian media, quick to condemn Pakistan at the drop of hat, has remained silent on the Rinkel Kumari issue. Somehow you get the feeling that Manzoor Ahmed is taking pains to further widen the rift between the US and Pakistan and tilt U.S foreign policy against Pakistan and align it much closer with India as is the duty and responsibility of all devout ‘Rand Corporation Muslims’.
All this brings us to the report of the Rajinder Sachar Committee appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh which states that there is institutionalised racism against Indian Muslims and that the ‘status of Indian Muslims is below that of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes’. The report added that ‘the overall percentage of Muslims in bureaucracy in India is just 2.5 % whereas Muslims constitute above 14% of the Indian population’. So if Manzoor Ahmed wishes to pursue his penchant to report on discrimination of minorities, he could pick from many of the juicy stories that you find in India in such abundance. Out of consideration for space and time I have avoided the Barbri Masjid and the Gujarat Riots and the riots against Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s assassination in which thousands of Muslims and Sikhs were slaughtered. Neither have I touched on the destruction of churches and burning alive of missionaries that have happened in India.
All this is not to say there is no discrimination against minorities in Pakistan. For sure there is. And it’s about time Pakistan got its house in order. The kidnapping for ransom that Ahmed describes is not confined to Hindus alone. Wealthy Pakistanis of all faiths have been kidnapped for ransom and to this day it continues unabated in a Pakistan that has lost its sense of values. The Pakistanis should take a cue from the Arab Spring, get rid of their leaders and bring in the likes of Imran Khan and company. Any one will be better than the scoundrels you find at the helm today.