Hindu and Muslim Taliban are first cousins

In numerous earlier posts, I have been scathing in my attack against Islamic extremism. Piqued by the unabashed critique, some have counseled a gentler tone so as to not alienate “moderates”.  I have previously debunked the validity of that proposition and hence I will not being doing that here. Still others have urged me to consider that Islam is not the ONLY violent game in town and that there are others who deserve similar condemnation.

Religion is fundamentally divisive because it promotes an Us vs. Them mentality.

Although I fully agree that Islamic militancy is not the only plague of our times, the subject of those posts were specifically Islamic terrorism / militancy and hence I did not feel the need to dilute the subject matter of my post by including references to its virulent brethren. However, this time I would like to show that fascism is NOT the sole preserve of any one religion or any one community. Religious chauvinism has a common formula that is adopted and exercised by different practitioners. In doing so, they tweak the superficial elements (color: Green v/s Saffron or name: Lashkar v/s Sena) – but the basic constructs are *exactly* the same.

Toward that end I have assembled a set of pictures and I invite you to join me in exploring the similarities.

Street Thuggery and violence against fellow-man.

Have you noticed that the Muslim Taliban and Hindu Taliban share an irrepressible  impulse to *impose* their world-view. They are not interested in persuading you – they are ONLY interested in coercing and subjugating you. Hence, they resort to violence and that too public violence – specifically as a tool for intimidation.

In the pictures above, the Hamas is expressing its political disagreement in a refined and composed manner. The Taliban are also conducting a spirited dialog with fellow-muslims with the assistance of a whip.

On the other side, you see the fine gentlemen of the MNS / Shiv-Sena  extending the same level of courtesy and decorum to their fellow-Indians.

As you can see , they share the same traits. After all, they are cousins!

Historical Desecration and Cultural Vandalism.

The Hindu and Muslim Taliban have an insatiable desire to demonstrate their piety through destruction. They are intoxicated by the notion that the only way to demonstrate their seriousness about any issue is to unleash barbaric attacks upon historical structures and monuments.

Destruction+Vandalism = Hyper-Piety.

In keeping with this lofty tradition, the Taliban of Afghanistan destroyed the magnificent statues of Buddha which not only pre-date Afghanistan but also Islam itself.

The RSS, Bajrang Dal and its siblings did the same to the Babri Masjid. Their reasons were also the same. Both claimed that the presence of the monument was an affront to their religious sentiments and pride and they had to correct a historic wrong.

Churches torched, Statues destroyed to restore Hindu pride.

Recently, the Bajrang Dal has been discovering new depths by torching churches in Orissa and raping the nuns there (just like Muhammad-of-Ghazni). Their piety is so genuine and so intense that they do not have time to notice that even Ravan – the epitome of evil – did not inflict upon Sita what these Ram-devotees have inflicted upon the nuns in Orissa. Jai-Shri-Ram!!

Violence against women and their subjugation

Somehow, all religions eventually seem to agree on one thing – keeping the woman subjugated and repressed. The methods may vary superficially – but the end goal is ALWAYS the same. The muslims claim that Islamic tradition of Burqa “protects” the woman. They assert that mutilating the genitals of young girls (as young as 8-10 years) is necessary to keep them chaste and thus pure – just like good-ol’-Allah prescribed.

The Taliban beat up/behead women for not being inappropriately clad. The Ram-Sena beat up women for inappropriate conduct (pubbing / Valentines Day).

The self-appointed custodians of Hindu culture take a slightly different tack. They point to the dozens of female deities and insist that Hinduism *glorifies* the woman and puts her on a pedestal – to be revered. However, once they are done with their verbal diarrhea, they quickly return the the primary item on the agenda – i.e. sternly policing womens’ activities and unleashing humiliating retribution upon transgressors.

The gallant and intrepid warriors of the Ram-Sena physically attacked women. My my…such breathtaking valor!! And why, you ask? Well… of course, to er… keep them… umm- on a pedestal (which turns out to be a footstool).

The Shiv-Sena frowns upon the practice of expressing amorous sentiments on Valentines day. They find it “antithetical to Indian customs and traditions”. However, they seem to be unmoved by the plight of  women that are harassed, teased, molested and often brutalized on a daily basis in the trains, buses, streets and corners of the city. That does not seem to provoke their sense of outrage. But Valentines Day – hey we can’t have that!

Violence is a substitute for ideas.

The Holy Beards of the saffron and green brigades agree on yet another thing: If you have nothing substantive to say, then say it loudly, aggressively and accompany it with violence. See the shining stars of Hindutva and Islamiyat below. You could easily exchange the saffron and green flags and the substance would be *exactly* the same. As a matter of fact, “Jai-Shri-Ram” is just another way of saying “Allah-o-Akbar“.  “Lashkar-e-Tayebba” translates to “Army of God” . So does “Ram-Sena“!.  By pre-pending or appending ‘God’ to their wicked enterprise, they arrogate divine sanction for their depravity.

When in doubt, shout, scream and burn something.

Indoctrination & Corruption of Youth

Despite the claim that they are custodians of divine knowledge and celestial truths, the Hindu and Muslim Taliban seem to share the same anxieties about the longevity of their cause.

Hence, they enlist and recruit young and impressionable youth (even kids) and poison their minds from early on. Raised in an atmosphere of pious belligerence, the youth soon adopt the same corrupt mindset of the old and decaying demagogue.

Youth are needed to fill the ranks. And they need to be indoctrinated from early on. Hindu and Muslim fanatics display the same sensitivities about it.

Besides, someone has to do the back-breaking job of burning, rioting, raping and pillaging while the old fossils rest their aching backs.

Perpetrators and Propagandists

Both the Hindu and the Muslim Taliban purport to deriving their inspiration from their version of a “puritanical past”. They brandish an imaginary “golden period” either in history or mythology and stir up religious passions.

By claiming to promote divine mandates, they usurp legitimacy and use that to enslave the rest of us. Here are some common elements of their formula:

  1. Talk loftily about a bygone era. Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar invoke prophet Mohammed and Sallahuddin. The RSS, Bajrang Dal, Shiv-Sena and its ilk invoke Ram and Shivaji and Rana Pratap.
  2. Glorify those periods. The muslims talk about the Caliphate. The Hindus talk about Ram-Rajya. The muslims talk about the heroism of their warriors who spread Islam right into Spain. The Hindus talk about Rana Pratap and Shivaji – which are undoubtedly true heroes – but the  main reason they co-opt these giants of history is to usurp their historical legacy. If Rana Pratap or Shivaji were to return to life, they would send this dastardly crew to the gallows.
  3. Highlight current problems and blame someone else for it. Osama and Mullah Omar lament about the muslim world being in decay and blames the west and other Kafirs for everything. Shiv-sena laments about the plight of the Marathi person and blames outsiders (Non-Marathi residents of Mumbai). The RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal complains about the suppression of the Hindu person and blames it on the Muslims who have been pandered to by the Congress party.
  4. Call to (violent) action: Having drawn up a romanticized version of the past and having shed tears about the current malaise and having found someone to pin the blame on, both the Hindu and Muslim Taliban issue stirring calls to action. And that action is:
  • Virulent and Vitriolic rhetoric.
  • Violent demonstrations and protests. Break/burn something!
  • Street level violence / reprisals against dissenters.
  • Demand a show of hyper-piety or hyper-sanctity from ordinary citizens.
  • The Afghan / Pakistani Taliban bans TV, music and enforces beards, Burqa. The Shiv-Sena and Ram-Sena demands a ban on Valentines day, couples holding hands…. The Bajrang Dal would like to ban Christianity itself…

    On a concluding note:

    The point of this post is that the Hindu right-wing organizations and the Muslim Taliban-esque organizations are two sides of the same coin.  We don’t have to choose one or the other. We can reject the whole currency as counterfeit. To be fair however, Hindu right-wing organizations, repugnant as they are, do not constitute the same level of threat to world politics as do Muslim organizations. This is simply because their scope  of operations is limited (so far) to India. However, this does not make their ideology any less pernicious or toxic. In my opinion, they represent two points on the same continuum.

    In other words, if allowed to proceed unchecked and unmolested, Hindutva will grow to be just as menacing and blood-thirsty as the Islamic-Jihad because both share the same intellectual DNA.

    Therefore, in my opinion, the best way for ordinary citizens to curtail their extremism is by criticizing them ruthlessly and making them a laughing stock. Let us mock and ridicule them so intensely and comprehensively that they become a political liability and thus never grow to attain the levels of infamy reached by Islamic militancy.

    Osama Bin Shopping

    Too sexy for my shirt!

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    5 Responses

    1. Very nice – I must say

    2. Shiv Sena is a Marathi organization. They were created in the 1960s against South Indians, a lot of whom were Hindus. They are a Marathi first group, and then within that narrow scope, they narrow it to Marathis who share their religion.

      “It may have been just a claim, but it nevertheless makes one think if indeed there is a line that divides the Congress-NCP from the Sena.

      A look at the origins of the Sena only magnifies the doubts.

      The party, actually it was more of an organisation, was launched in 1966. It was allegedly nurtured by late CM Vasantrao Naik who feared that south Indians, who dominated the service sector then, would take over Mumbai.

      Also, the popular belief is that the Congress had another agenda in mind – rein in the mighty and powerful Communist-oriented labour unions.”
      http://www.mumbaimirror.com/article/2/2010021320100213023125347f35b6dcc/CongNCP-love-Shiv-Sena.html

    3. You might as well include this:

      Republicans v secular America

      With blatant disregard for the first amendment, Republicans’ intolerance of US secularism means things are turning ugly

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/feb/23/republicans-religion-secular-america

    4. Anti-religious forces have at times been no less Talibanish:

      “Perhaps one of the biggest failures of communism from a social perspective is its failure to replace religion. Throughout history communist leaders tried but failed to substitute communism for church-based religion….This analysis will review the perspectives of several communist leaders in an effort to show that despite their efforts to replace church-based religion with communism, their efforts were largely in vain….Lenin was brutal in his response to this unintended consequence of his policies: In March 1922 Lenin launched a direct assault on the Orthodox church, the only organized body in Soviet Russia still outside Communist Party control. Using as a pretext the catastrophic famine of the previous year, he ordered the church to surrender its consecrated vessels, essential for services, to be sold for famine relief. Knowing that the church would not comply, he sought a pretext for charging it with refusal to obey laws and, at the same time, discrediting it in the eyes of the people for alleged callousness to human suffering. In the spring and summer of 1922 numerous incidents of resistance occurred, in consequence of which priests were arrested and numerous faithful killed. (Union 2) Stalin, after Lenin, continued to make communism the supreme dogma of the Russian people. Through institutions and state control, aggressive atheist propaganda and campaigns waged to wipe out organized religion, Stalin was not able to replace organized religion with communism ” http://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1685228.html

    5. We should just warn civilians that whoever puts himself near a terrorist puts himself in danger.
      Can’t keep fighting like we do.. they figured it out and now they take advantage of our morality.

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