A 1990 Kashmir Hindu victim of jihad and immoral indifference
I participated in a forum on Kashmir last night at MIT in Boston, as this Muslim supremacist, jihad-inspired conflict—really a tragic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Hindus by Muslim jihadists which began in earnest during the 14th century—re-emerged in the news recently when the Indian government had the “temerity” to want to transfer 99 acres of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, a trust running the popular Hindu shrine (including the cave that houses a large ice stalagmite itself, revered by Hindus as an incarnation of Siva, the god of destruction and reproduction).
Hundreds of thousands of Hindus visit the area as part of an annual pilgrimage to the cave.
Please watch the video linked below, which chronicles in gory detail the brutal ethnic cleansing of some 350,000 indigenous Hindus from Kashmir during early 1990, orchestrated by Pakistan and it’s “moderate” Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto.
I was privileged last night to meet the astute, courageous, and passionate filmmaker, Ashok Pandit, who produced this documentary, “And the World Remained Silent”.
Focus on the time period 2:15 to 4:00 minutes, from part 1 above, and witness the jihadist speech of the late, much ballyhooed “modernist reformer” Benazir Bhutto. She was a jihadist, plain and simple; the head of what remains a jihadist state, our “ally” Pakistan.
Here is the text of the comments I delivered last night for historical background:
Islamic Separatism & Kashmir: A Panel Discussion Exploring the Relationship Between Religion and Kashmiri Tangle, July 9, 2008, Wednesday at 6:00 PM
During mid-November, 2007, a grim milestone was recorded in the macabre tally being kept assiduously in cyberspace by blogger Glen Reinsford: the 10,000th attack by jihad terrorists resulting in some 60,000 dead and 90,000 injured since the cataclysmic acts of jihad terrorism on September 11, 2001.
Reinsford does not include combat-related statistics, and he acknowledges that the death toll may increase in the days and months following any given attack (as victims die from their injuries), and this rarely gets reported. His tally also excludes the genocide in Darfur committed by the Islamic government in Sudan, and their marauding jihadist militias (the Janjaweed), whose murderous ravages the UN estimated last year had resulted in some 400,000 dead, and 2 million displaced.
Reinsford identified three episodes of such continuous, mind numbing jihadist carnage which had perhaps unsettled him most: Nadimarg, Kashmir India (3/23/03), dozens of Hindu villagers roused out of their beds and machine-gunned by Lashkar-e-Toiba; Beslan, Russia (9/3/04), some 350 people slaughtered by jihadists—half of them children; Malatya, Turkey (4/18/07), three Christian Bible distributors bound, tortured for hours, then gruesomely murdered by men who acted explicitly in the name of Islam.
These data should remind us that there is just one historically relevant meaning of jihad despite contemporary apologetics. Jahada, the root of the word Jihad, appears 40 times in the Koran—under a variety of grammatical forms. With 4 exceptions, all the other 36 usages (in specific Koranic verses) are variations of the third form of the verb, i.e. Jahida. Jahida in the Koran and in subsequent Islamic understanding to both Muslim luminaries—from the greatest jurists and scholars of classical Islam (including Abu Yusuf, Averroes, Ibn Khaldun, and Al Ghazzali), to ordinary people—meant and means “he fought, warred or waged war against unbelievers and the like”, as described by the seminal Arabic lexicographer E.W Lane. Indeed, Lane’s, An Arabic English Lexicon (6 volumes, London, 1865) is still used to this day by Muslim and non-Muslim scholars for definitive Arabic to English translation. Thus Lane, who studied both the etymology and usage of the term jihad, observed, “Jihad came to be used by the Muslims to signify wag[ing] war, against unbelievers.”
Muhammad himself waged a series of proto-jihad campaigns to subdue the Jews, Christians and pagans of Arabia. Numerous modern day pronouncements by leading Muslim theologians confirm (see Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s, “The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model”) that Muhammad has been the major inspiration for jihadism, past and present.
Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), jurist, renowned philosopher, historian, and sociologist, summarized these consensus opinions from five centuries of prior Muslim jurisprudence with regard to the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad:
In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force… The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense… Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.
Classical Islamic jurists such as Ibn Khaldun also formulated the concepts Dar al Islam and Dar al Harb (Arabic for, “The House of Islam and the House of War”). As described by the great 20th century scholar of Islamic Law, Joseph Schacht,
A non-Muslim who is not protected by a treaty is called harbi, ‘in a state of war’, ‘enemy alien’; his life and property are completely unprotected by law…
Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, “spiritual” leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, head of the “European Council for Fatwa and Research”, and popular Al-Jazeera television personality, reiterated almost this exact formulation of Dar al Harb during July 2003, both in conceptual terms, and with regard to Israel, specifically. And these innocent non-combatant “harbis” can be killed, and have always been killed, with impunity simply by virtue of being “harbis” during endless razzias and or full scale jihad campaigns that have occurred continuously since the time of Muhammad, through the present. This is the crux of the specific institutionalized religio-political ideology, i.e., jihad, which makes Islamdom’s borders (and the further reaches of todays jihadists) bloody, to paraphrase Samuel Huntington, across the globe.
The essential pattern of the jihad war is captured in the classical Muslim historian al-Tabari’ s recording of the recommendation given by Umar b. al-Khattab (the second “Rightly Guided Caliph”) to the commander of the troops he sent to al-Basrah (636 C.E.), during the conquest of Iraq. Umar reportedly said:
Summon the people to God; those who respond to your call, accept it from them, but those who refuse must pay the poll tax out of humiliation and lowliness. (Koran 9:29) If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency.
By the time of al-Tabari’s death in 923, jihad wars had expanded the Muslim empire from Portugal to the Indian subcontinent
Despite the brutal Islamization of India—dating back to the initial 8th century Arab Muslim jihad ravages, and the subsequent more extensive campaigns under the Ghaznavids, through the Delhi Sultanate period (1000-1525 C.E.) during which an estimated 70-80 million Hindus were slaughtered—due to India’s bowdlerized educational system, and public discourse on Islam, many modern Hindus remain ignorant of both this history, and the Koranic injunctions which inspired the brutal waves of jihad conquest and Muslim colonization of India. (As such, perhaps Americans aren’t that relatively uninformed, after all.)
The 570 year period between the initial Arab Muslim razzias (ordered by Caliph Umar) to pillage Thana (on the West Indian coast near Maharashtra) in 636-637 C.E., and the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate (under Qutub-ud-din Aibak, a Turkish slave soldier), can be divided into four major epochs: (I) the conflict between the Arab invaders and the (primarily) Hindu resisters on the Western coast of India from 636-713 C.E.; (II) the Arab and Turkish Muslim onslaughts against the kingdom of Hindu Afghanistan during 636-870 C.E.; (III) repeated Turkish efforts to subdue the Punjab from 870 C.E. to 1030 C.E. highlighted by the devastating campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazni (from 1000- 1030 C.E.); and finally (IV) Muhammad Ghauri’s conquest of northwestern India and the Gangetic valley between 1175 and 1206 C.E.
This summary chronology necessarily overlooks the very determined and successful resistance that was offered by the Hindus to both the Arab (in particular) and Turkish invaders, during almost four centuries. For example, despite the rapidity of Mahmud of Ghazni’s conquests- spurred by shock-tactics and the religious zealotry of Islamic jihad- his successors, for almost 150 years, could not extend their domain beyond the Punjab frontiers. Even after the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526), and the later Mughal Empire (1526-1707), Muslim rulers failed to Islamize large swaths of Indian territory, and most of the populace. The first Mughal Emperor, Babur (1483-1530), made these relevant observations upon establishing his rule in India:
[Hindustan] is a different world…once the water of Sindh is crossed, everything is in the Hindustan way- land, water, tree, rock, people, and horde, opinion and custom…Most of the inhabitants of Hindustan are pagans; they call a pagan a Hindu.
Buddhist civilization within India, in stark contrast, proved far less resilient. Historian Vincent Smith has described the devastating impact of the late 12th century jihad razzias against the Buddhist communities of northern India, centered around Bihar, based on Muslim sources, exclusively:
The Muhammadan historian, indifferent to distinctions among idolators, states that the majority of the inhabitants were “clean shaven Brahmans,” who were all put to the sword. He evidently means Buddhist monks, as he was informed that the whole city and fortress were considered to be a college, which the name Bihar signifies. A great library was scattered. When the victors desired to know what the books might be no man capable of explaining their contents had been left alive. No doubt everything was burnt. The multitude of images used in Medieval Buddhist worship always inflamed the fanaticism of Muslim warriors to such fury that no quarter was given to the idolators. The ashes of the Buddhist sanctuaries at Sarnath near Benares still bear witness to the rage of the image breakers. Many noble monuments of the ancient civilization of India were irretrievably wrecked in the course of the early Muhammadan invasions. Those invasions were fatal to the existence of Buddhism as an organized religion in northern India, where its strength resided chiefly in Bihar and certain adjoining territories. The monks who escaped massacre fled, and were scattered over Nepal, Tibet, and the south. After A.D. 1200 the traces of Buddhism in upper India are faint and obscure.
Three major waves of jihad campaigns (exclusive of the jihad conquest of Afghanistan) succeeded, ultimately, in establishing a permanent Muslim dominion within India, i.e., the Delhi Sultanate, which included the imposition of dhimmitude upon the vanquished Hindu populations.
The Muslim chroniclers al-Baladhuri (in Kitab Futuh al-Buldan) and al-Kufi (in the Chachnama) include enough isolated details to establish the overall nature of the conquest of Sindh by Muhammad b. Qasim in 712 C.E. These narratives, and the processes they describe, make clear that the Arab invaders intended from the outset to Islamize Sindh by conquest, colonization, and local conversion. Baladhuri, for example, records that following the capture of Debal, Muhammad b. Qasim earmarked a section of the city exclusively for Muslims, constructed a mosque, and established four thousand colonists there. The conquest of Debal had been a brutal affair, as summarized from the Muslim sources by Majumdar. Despite appeals for mercy from the besieged Indians (who opened their gates after the Muslims scaled the fort walls), Muhammad b. Qasim declared that he had no orders (i.e., from his superior al-Hajjaj, the Governor of Iraq) to spare the inhabitants, and thus for three days a ruthless and indiscriminate slaughter ensued. In the aftermath, the local temple was defiled, and “700 beautiful females who had sought for shelter there, were all captured”. The capture of Raor was accompanied by a similar tragic outcome.
Muhammad massacred 6000 fighting men who were found in the fort, and their followers and dependents, as well as their women and children were taken prisoners. Sixty thousand slaves, including 30 young ladies of royal blood, were sent to Hajjaj, along with the head of Dahar [the Hindu ruler]. We can now well understand why the capture of a fort by the Muslim forces was followed by the terrible jauhar ceremony (in which females threw themselves in fire [they] kindled…), the earliest recorded instance of which is found in the Chachnama.
Practical, expedient considerations lead Muhammad to desist from carrying out the strict injunctions of Islamic Law and the wishes of al-Hajjaj by massacring the (pagan) infidel Hindus of Sindh. Instead, he imposed upon the vanquished Hindus the jizya and associated restrictive regulations of dhimmitude. As a result, the Chachnama records, “some [Hindus] resolved to live in their native land, but others took flight in order to maintain the faith of their ancestors, and their horses, domestics, and other property.”
Thus a lasting pattern of Muslim policy towards their Hindu subjects was set that would persist, as noted by Majumdar, until the Mughal Empire collapsed at the end of Aurangzeb’s reign (in 1707):
Something no doubt depended upon individual rulers; some of them adopted a more liberal, others a more cruel and intolerant attitude. But on the whole the framework remained intact, for it was based on the fundamental principle of Islamic theocracy. It recognized only one faith, one people, and one supreme authority, acting as the head of a religious trust. The Hindus, being infidels or non-believers, could not claim the full rights of citizens. At the very best, they could be tolerated as dhimmis, an insulting title which connoted political inferiority…The Islamic State regarded all non-Muslims as enemies, to curb whose growth in power was conceived to be its main interest. The ideal preached by even high officials was to exterminate them totally, but in actual practice they seem to have followed an alternative laid down in the Qur’an [i.e., Q9:29] which calls upon Muslims to fight the unbelievers till they pay the jizya with due humility. This was the tax the Hindus had to pay for permission to live in their ancestral homes under a Muslim ruler.
Some Brief Observations on the Islamization of Kashmir and the Consequences of Muslim Rule
Mahmud of Ghazni made brutal forays into Kashmir in the early 11th century, but it was not until the mid-14th century when the ruling Hindu dynasty was displaced completely by Shah Mirza, in 1346, and Kashmir was brought under Muslim suzerainty. During the reign of Sikandar Butshikan (1394-1417), mass Islamization took place as described by the great historian K.S. Lal:
He [Sikandar Butshikan] invited from Persia, Arabia, and Mesopotamia learned men of his own [Muslim] faith; his bigotry prompted him to destroy all the most famous temples in Kashmir—Martand, Vishya, Isna, Chakrabhrit, Tripeshwar, etc. Sikandar offered the Kashmiris the choice [pace Koran 9:5] between Islam and death. Some Kashmiri Brahmans committed suicide, many left the land, many others embraced Islam, and a few began to live under Taqiya, that is, they professed Islam only outwardly. It is said that the fierce intolerance of Sikandar had left in Kashmir no more than eleven families of Brahmans.
Lal also notes that,
His [Sikandar Butshikan’s] contemporary the [Hindu] Raja of Jammu had been converted to Islam by [Amir] Timur [the jihadist, Tamerlane], by “hopes, fears, and threats.”
When the Moghul ruler Akbar annexed Kashmir in 1586, the majority of the population was already Muslim. Lal summarizes the chronic plight of the Kashmiri Hindus during a half millennium of Islamic rule, through 1819, which explains the modern demography of Kashmir:
When Kashmir was under Muslim rule for 500 years, Hindus were constantly tortured and forcibly converted. A delegation of Kashmir Brahmans approached Guru Teg Bahadur at Anadpur Saheb to seek his help. But Kashmir was Islamized. Those who fled to preserve their religion went to Laddakh in the east and Jammu in the south. It is for this reason that non-Muslims are found in large number in these regions. In the valley itself the Muslims formed the bulk of the population.