Alleged Islamic State recruit Areeb Majeed’s statement to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that “Indians are sidelined… treated as second-class citizens” by the IS should be an eye-opener to not only Indian Muslims but also their non-Arab brethren. For in the ultimate analysis, as Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul pointed out, Islam is Arab imperialism.
Nothing exemplifies this fact than the stories of Majeed and his three buddies who went to the IS. Majeed was above average in studies—an engineering student; he was working for a decent career. Inspired by faith, he gave up a middle-class existence, along with its securities and comforts for the greater glory of becoming a holy warrior.
In fact, the quartet abandoned much more—their homes, their parents, their milieu, their country along with the ideals, values, mores, and traditions it stands for; they renounced the world they lived in. For the sake of the promised land, Dar-ul-Islam, the Nation of Islam, with a Caliphate in place.
And what do they find? Rampant racial bias and sex slavery, for the blueprint for the recreation of the seventh century would have been incomplete without medieval abominations. This the recruits from India had not taken into account. In their fantasies, they had distilled the supposed glories of Islamic domination, conveniently forgetting the horrors it had perpetrated all over the world—genocides and massacres, liquidation of civilizations and cultures, the oppression of non-Muslims, the intensification of misogynistic doctrines and practices. With the rise of the IS, however, all the horrors have come to the fore—which the IS recruits from India found disconcerting.
What they and many other Muslims in India and elsewhere don’t realize is that they have always been considered inferior to Arabs. Even the people of Pakistan, the nation conceived and formed in the name of Islam, are regarded good enough only to be mercenaries. There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, reported by a Pakistani journalist about a Saudi officer in a Pakistani military academy where he was doing badly. A Pakistani officer asked him, “With such a cavalier approach, how would you get trained? How would you protect you country?” The Saudi replied, “I will hire you to do that.”
The Arab would never accept a non-Arab Muslim as his equal, notwithstanding the theoretical claims of all the faithful being equal. This is a great contradiction of Islam: Muslims all across the globe are supposed to accept everything that is Arabic—first and foremost, the faith, then the language, Arabian customs and manners. The Koran, for instance, is said to be untranslatable; the faithful can comprehend the full import only in Arabic (The same cannot be said about Christians and Bible). As Naipaul wrote in Beyond Belief: “’There probably has been no imperialism like that of Islam and the Arabs. The Gauls, after 500 years of Roman rule, could recover their old gods and reverences; those beliefs hadn’t died; they lay just below the Roman surface. But Islam seeks as an article of the faith to erase the past; the believers in the end honor Arabia alone; they have nothing to return to.”
I dealt with this issue in an essay, ‘All wells dry, or why there is no Islamic guilt’ (http://www.jagohindu.in/article-details.aspx?id=50): “Like an invasive species (e.g., water hyacinth) which unbalances ecology and destroys diversity of a habitat, Islam dispenses with the underpinnings, wellsprings, and fonts of pre-Islamic and non-Islamic cultures and civilizations. The pagan Santa Claus became a Christian icon; local deities and customs blended with the great tradition of Hinduism; but the advent of Islam meant the demise or marginalization of all that was pre- or non-Islamic. Worse, it is considered blasphemous to seek solace in anything other than Islamic: since Islam is the absolute and only truth, a journey outside it is anathema.”
Deracination causes a variety of pathologies, the most extreme example of which is Pakistan. It is the only country in the world that has imported two most essential features of human existence—religion and language. The greatest endeavor of the Pakistani elite has been the uprooting of the vestiges of Hinduism in any form, be it religion (Rigveda was written in Pakistan’s Punjab), culture, traditions, customs, mores, even language. The nation imported Urdu from India, as it is considered to be the language of Muslims. The Pakistanis hate anything that is native.
Yet, howsoever the Pakistanis may deracinate—and, in the process, degrade and destroy—themselves, they would always be considered second-rate in comparison to Arab Muslims. The same holds true for the Indian and other non-Arab Muslims.