Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #249 - Islamism and Liberalism

As French President Macron pushes legislation to inoculate his country against the scourge of Islamism, leftists feel betrayed. For, they have abandoned every ounce of liberalism in recent times.

“Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect: like a man, who hath thought of a good repartee when the discourse is changed, or the company parted; or like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead.” ― Jonathan Swift


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Knowing comes from questioning. Questioning, therefore, is a very sacred deed.

In the Indian Dharmic tradition, “Vivek” (विवेक) or the ability to distinguish between Truth and Untruth is said to be the most fundamental quality of a seeker. If you cannot look at every aspect of life and the Universe and question its context in terms of its alignment with the existential Truth, then spiritual journey is not for you. You cannot even step on it. That is why every major ‘scripture’ in India was in a question- answer format.

One who has firmed the idea of the ultimate is an imposter. He has not even started his journey but already made conclusions of where it will end.

God can never be the starting point - an apriori assumption. The existence of the divinity that underlines everything can only be the final realization, if there is such a possibility.

When your entire narrative is built ground up on beliefs and conclusions about things you have never experienced, then the only way to win an argument on the veracity of your claims is to kill the questions and the questionner.

And, that has been the norm.

The problem with the world, borrowing from a popular Indian commentator, is that we focus on the fundamentalists, while ignoring the fundamentals.


Thank you Ranjanji for yet another generous contribution to Drishtikone! Thank you again, sir. 🙏


Islam, Islamism and Liberalism

In July 2015, the then British Prime Minister David Cameroon shared his agenda on how to tackle Islamic extremism that was so prevalent in Britain. As indeed in Europe.

As Maajid Nawaz, a Pakistani-British journalist writes in The Daily Beast about the obvious intolerance amongst the Muslim population in Britain.

A quarter of British Muslims sympathised with the Charlie Hebdo shootings. 0% have expressed tolerance for homosexuality. A third have claimed that killing for religion can be justified, while 36% have thought apostates should be killed. 40% have wanted the introduction of sharia as law in the UK and 33% have expressed a desire to see the return of a worldwide theocratic Caliphate. Is it any wonder then, that from this milieu up to 1,000 British Muslims have joined ISIS, which is more than joined the Army reserves. In a case that has come to symbolize the extent of the problem, an entire family of 12 recently migrated to the Islamic State. By any reasonable assessment, something has gone badly wrong in Britain. (Source)

Ayan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born Dutch-American activist, and feminist laid out the three groups of Muslims in the world today: (Source)

  1. Medina Muslims: the fundamentalists who envision a regime based on sharia, Islamic religious law

  2. Mecca Muslims: Muslims who are loyal to the core creed and worship devoutly but are not inclined to practice violence or even intolerance towards non-Muslims

  3. Modifying Muslims: who promote the separation of religion from politics and other reforms. Although some are apostates, the majority of dissidents are believers

While positing these three groups within the Muslim community, she also discusses how it is almost impossible to decouple Islamic extremism from Islamic scriptures itself.

The future of Islam and the world’s relationship with Muslims will be decided by which of the two minority groups — the Medina Muslims and the reformers — wins the support of the meccan majority. That is why focusing on “violent extremism” is to focus on a symptom of a much more profound ideological epidemic that has its root causes in Islamic doctrine. To understand whether violence is inherent in the doctrine of Islam, it is important to look at the example of the founding father of Islam, Mohammed, and the passages in the Quran and Islamic jurisprudence used to justify the violence we currently see in so many parts of the Muslim world. (Source)

And, taking on from what Ayaan lays out, it is important to note that people and ideology are two different things.

While, as Ayaan emphasizes, it is not realistic to talk of the ills of Islamism without focusing on the Islamic theological doctrine; it is not useful to use ideological bigotry to characterize all Muslims. People and ideologies are different.

Ali Rizvi, Pakistan-born author of the book “The Atheist Muslim” - who is an ‘atheist but with his Muslim identity - puts the same thought very succinctly.

Neither side was making that distinction. On the left, people were saying that if you have any criticism against Islam, then you were a bigot against all Muslims. On the right, it was like, there are a lot of problematic things in Islamic scripture, so everyone who is Muslim must be banned, or profiled, or demonized. Both sides weren't making that distinction between challenging ideas, which has historically moved societies forward, and demonizing human beings, which only rips societies apart. (Source)

So where are we with this?

  1. Islamism as a regressive, intolerant and violent ideology is a scourge on the world for the last 1400 years.

  2. Islamism is based on Islamic theological doctrine

  3. While fighting this doctrine, you cannot demonize the people, the Muslims

Sounds reasonable.

But are the politicians talking about that openly or is it left only to Trump to do the ‘honors’?

Well, PM Cameron, in that 2015 speech, discussed that quite clearly.

But simply denying any connection between the religion of Islam and the extremists doesn’t work, because these extremists are self-identifying as Muslims. The fact is from Woolwich to Tunisia, from Ottawa to Bali, these murderers all spout the same twisted narrative, one that claims to be based on a particular faith. Now it is an exercise in futility to deny that. And more than that, it can be dangerous. To deny it has anything to do with Islam means you disempower the critical reforming voices; the voices that are challenging the fusing of religion and politics; the voices that want to challenge the scriptural basis which extremists claim to be acting on; the voices that are crucial in providing an alternative worldview that could stop a teenager’s slide along the spectrum of extremism. These reforming voices, they have a tough enough time as it is: the extremists are the ones who have the money, the leaders, the iconography and the propaganda machines. We need to turn the tables. (Source)

Like Ayaan said, there are voices in the Muslim community which are challenging the very doctrine on which Islam is based. But they are left alone in their fight against the “Medina Muslims” who rule the mind-share within the Islamic world.

The Mecca and Modifying Muslims, as Ayaan calls them, are left without any support when the apologists amongst the Western left shamelessly deny any link between Islamic extremism and Islam as a religious doctrine itself. For, they know that the leftist stand is bogus. They know how, as Tarek Fatah often points out, every prayer in the mosque starts with an ask for victory over “kafiroon” (non-believers), whether the moderates acknowledge the obvious intolerance embedded in that prayer or not.

The current British PM Boris Johnson not particularly known for his elegant expression said almost the same thing but in not so politically correct language.

"It will take a huge effort of courage and skill to win round the many thousands of British Muslims who are in a similar state of alienation, and to make them see that their faith must be compatible with British values and with loyalty to Britain," he wrote. "That means disposing of the first taboo, and accepting that the problem is Islam. Islam is the problem." He added: "What is going on in these mosques and madrasas? When is someone going to get 18th century on Islam's medieval ass?" (Source)

Of course, this was right after the London bombings when he was not the PM. And, he has been accused of being a Muslim-hater by the British left.

However, when you look at the Madrassas and what happens there, then you cannot help but question the merit in demonizing Johnson.

Hindus drink cow piss. Cow is their God. She pees while eating.

As crude and full of abject lunacy as it may sound in terms of the speakers knowledge of Hindus or Hinduism, that is the general “narrative” amongst the bigoted Hindu-haters of all hues.

The open hate-speech against the Hindus being propagated in the Madrassas is self-evident.

Shared bigotry by the left and the extreme Islamist radicals

Interestingly, America’s National Public Radio (NPR)’s New Delhi producer’s personal views on Hindus and bigotry were no different.

When you see that madrassa video and views of this lead in India’s capital from the paragon of liberal media - you start wondering - how the bloody heck did liberals become indistinguishable from the most bigoted?

Yes, she was let go by NPR after this extreme bigotry. But to even imagine that such extremist views, which mirror those of the bigots in madrassas, happened just for one day or in an instant would be imbecile.

This tweet, and some others from her that were cited by many, were just a manifestation of how those who have infiltrated the leftist or rather erstwhile liberal bastions of excellence are boldly espousing bigotry that stems from the worst of the most radical strains of Islamism.

The once liberal-now leftist/Islamist world is now in the throes of extreme self-denial.

They seem to have been taken over, not by political correctness as many observe, but a remarkable degree of masochism.

For, the fundamental Islamic ideological weaknesses have not even allowed the Islamic countries to be at peace within themselves. For example, try your luck finding a Shia in Sunni Saudi Arabia or a Sunni living happily in Iran. Or a Bahai doing so in either of these. Yet, no one in the liberal media has done an honest contemplation.

After 9-11, in order to find a way to reduce the conflict that led to the big disaster, the Western world, led by the US of course found appeasement of the radicals as the way out. These radicals were the front but as one Pew poll after another has always shown, the moderates may not fight, but they support the stand taken by the violent radicals on almost every contentious subject.

The appeasement and the steps for accommodation meant that those who had an agenda were able to infiltrate the most important establishments. Even a nation’s top intelligence agencies!

In his book “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have penetrated Washington,” Paul Sperry shares some shocking revelations. One of those is about how the Pakistani intelligence has infiltrated the FBI and compromised its operations as well.

Push back from the West

Given the dichotomy between Islamic doctrine and its impact socially in the West, some countries are pushing for changes. France’s President Emmanuel Macron is now pushing a bill to fight Islamist Extremism. It is a first of its kind in the Western world. While the French President maintains the fundamentals of enlightened liberalism and democracy are non-negotiable, he is also clear that any forces that look to hurt the civil liberties and freedoms that countries like France have fought so hard for will not be tolerated. The main provisions of the bill include (Source)

  1. Hate Speech: A new offense introduced that will make it possible to quickly detain a person who spreads personal information about public sector employees on social media with the intent to harm them and punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros ($55,000).

  2. Threat Against Public official: Anyone who is found threatening, violating, or intimidating an elected official or public sector employee will also face up to five years imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 euros ($91,000). If the offender is a foreigner, they could be banned from French territory.

  3. Contract for Organization: Any association in France that receives public funding will have to sign a “republican contract of engagement” which, if breached, can result in the removal of that funding.

  4. Homeschooling: From 2024/2025 school year onwards, all homeschooling will need to be authorized by the state rather than be self-declared. The 62,000 home-schooled children in France will be impacted.

  5. Virginity Tests: There will be a fine of upto 15,000 euros ($18,000) and a prison sentence of up to one year for doctors providing virginity certificates. Also, rules will be added against polygamy. Any immigrants practicing it, for instance, will lose the residence permit.

  6. Foreign Money: Foreign money coming into France for religious organizations will face stricter financial controls. There will be “anti-putsch” rules for religious associations so that the government can prevent takeovers by “extremists”.

  7. Neutrality principle: The “neutrality principle”, will be pushed strongly via this bill. This will prohibit all private contractors of public services such as those working for transport companies and not just civil servants from wearing religious symbols like the Muslim hijab and voicing political views

Macron is the only bright light in the world of liberalism. Liberalism in the real sense of the word.

He was horrified by the events at the Capitol, as everyone should have been. Yet, he was equally horrified by what the big tech and media did to a sitting US President after that.

American left - and now most of the Western left - is not liberal anymore. They are more fascist than the fascism they pretend to fight.

And, in that fight they have found a new ally. The Medina Muslims.

When they should have backed the Meccan and Modifying Muslims for promoting a more equitable, progressive and liberal world, they unfortunately threw them right under the bus!

market corner: 10 quick bytes

  1. Google to give Rs 109 crore to support SMBs in India - more

  2. Amazon documents reveal the company’s secret strategy to dodge India’s regulators - more

  3. Apple lobbies for India incentives as it plans iPad assembly - more

  4. UN chief 'extremely grateful' for India's 200,000 COVID vaccines for peacekeepers - more

  5. Indian startup Hike planning social networking platform to rival Facebook - more

  6. Pollution killed thousands in megacities despite covid lockdowns. Delhi had the highest death toll among the five biggest cities due to dangerous levels of tiny pollution particles in the air - more

  7. US reaches Congressionally mandated H-1B visa cap of 65,000 for 2021 - more

  8. E-grocery market led by BigBasket, Grofers, others up nearly 2X in 2020 to $3.3B - more

  9. P&G India's parental leave policy to include all employees, regardless of gender, marital status - more

  10. India visa curbs for Chinese workers hurting Taiwan tech giants - more

nota bene

Rs 3200 crore for EV by Hyundai: South Korean auto major Hyundai plans to invest more than Rs 3,200 crore in India in next four years with a focus on the electric vehicles segment. Hyundai which has a market share of 17 per cent in the domestic passenger vehicles segment completes 25 years of operations in India. The company feels that electric mobility must be the focus for growth in future.The company plans to invest Rs 1,000 crore for an ‘affordable’ locally-made electric car. It is also finalizing localization plans for electrics and may explore a partnership with fellow group company Kia. (Source)

Love Jihad in MP: A 24-year-old man has been arrested under the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance for allegedly abducting a minor girl, forcing her to marry him and convert her religion in Indore on Wednesday night, said police. Police arrested the man under sections 366 (Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage), 363 (punishment for kidnapping) and 3/5 of the MP Freedom of Religion Ordinance 2020 late Wednesday night. (Source)

Criminals will be jailed in Bengal: Alleging that more than 130 BJP workers were killed by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) "goons" in West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said that if the BJP is voted to power in the state, the "goons" would be tracked down and put behind bars (Source)

AI Chatbots and Loneliness: The pandemic has contributed to chronic loneliness. Digital tools like video chat and social media help connect people who live or quarantine far apart. But when those friends or family members are not readily available, artificial intelligence can step in. Millions of isolated people have found comfort by chatting with an AI bot. Therapeutic bots have improved users’ mental health for decades. Now, psychiatrists are studying how these AI companions can improve mental wellness during the pandemic and beyond. (Source)

Planet’s Ambience Quietest: Earth had its quietest period in decades during 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reduced human activity and its impact on the planet's crust, according to scientists working on a global study. An international group of seismologists from 33 countries measured a drop of up to 50% in so-called ambient noise generated by humans travelling and factories humming after lockdowns came into force around the world. The team, which included experts from the Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zurich, a university, measured lower noise levels at 185 of the 268 seismic stations analysed around the world. (Source)

Politics Deeply Impacting lives: The political affiliations amongst Americans, researchers say, obstruct friendships, influence our purchases, affect the positions we take on seemingly apolitical matters, and limit our job choices. As a result, many people are poorer, lonelier, and less healthy than they would otherwise be. "Political polarization is having far-reaching impacts on American life, harming consumer welfare and creating challenges for people ranging from elected officials and policymakers to corporate executives and marketers," according to a new paper in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing by researchers from Arizona State University, the University of Wyoming, and four other U.S. universities. (Source)

video corner: Native Americans - who they are?

Very rarely does one hear from the indigenous people in the Americas. Most of them were killed in one of the largest genocide on this planet. People have many questions and here some of the Native Americans try to answer them in ways that people will understand.

There is a dire need to resurrect the spiritual traditions and the ways of these people who roamed these lovely lands. Watch this - it is surprising quite informative even though it seems like the “Dummies version.. “

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