Monday, November 15, 2010

Why are Muslims not succeeding?

By Fatima Tanveer,
Mr. Kaleem Khwaja's article "Why Indians are succeeding in US but not Indian Muslims?" needs to be read between the lines. Though it is a criticism of the way of living of Indian Muslims based in US, it reflects the pain and anguish of Mr. Khwaja seeing his co-religionists from India not succeeding in the same degree as non-Muslims from the sub-continent.
For any community to grow, it requires a favorable political atmosphere for the members of the community in the country because the political system and state administration plays a vital role in any kind of development. And it becomes very difficult if the administration and political system do not cooperate with the members of the community.
Muslims in the USA
The news available through print, television and internet media indicate there is deep Islamophobia generated throughout the length and breadth of US after 9/11 when twin World Trade Towers were attacked by suspected Muslims. There is a strong bias among the US Christians against Islam and Muslims and entire atmosphere has turned extremely hostile for Muslims. In such a situation, it will become extremely difficult for any Muslim to make any remarkable achievement particularly in electoral politics in which support is given on the basis of religious, caste and regional identities. It is not true of India only but the entire world.
So, non-Muslim Indians Bobby Jindal or for that matter Nikki Haley won the elections to become governors of their respective states because they happened to be Christians. Even US president Barack Hussein Obama had to several times prove his Christian identity when he came under severe attack from his Republican opponents for his father's Muslim background.
So, one can understand the degree of hatred against Muslims in US society and considering such a political situation prevailing in US, one can guess how much difficult it is for Muslims to work and operate in that country not only in political field but other areas as well.
Muslims in ‘liberal’ Europe
And in fact, the same anti-Muslim sentiment prevails in the rest of the world including. Europe. All of us know that Bosnian Muslims had almost assimilated themselves with the rest of the Yugoslavians. No one could recognize from their dresses and outer appearance if he/she is a Muslim. When Yugoslavia split and different regional identities demanded independence for their respective regions, it was quite natural for Bosnians (most of them Muslims) to demand an independent state for themselves.
But the world powers like Britain said that an independent Muslim state can not be allowed inside Europe, indicating a clear bias against Muslims and Islam at a time when no incidents like 9/11 involving Muslims had taken place. And all of us know what happened to Bosnian Muslims and how they were treated. Such a savagery had never been witnessed in the recent human history. And Bosnian Muslims had to pay the price for simply identifying themselves as Muslims.
Interesting example of Turkey
Turkey, with half of its geographical area in Europe and the remaining half in Asia, is another example of facing discrimination because of its majority population being Muslims though it is among the most secular of Muslim nations in the world.
The grand Blue Mosque in Istanbul was converted into a national museum by Turkey's Muslim army under Kamal Ataturk on the ground that it was once a Church and hence, it can't continue as a mosque. And it is still a museum.
Wearing of Muslim head scarf for women and a Turkish cap for men was banned in that country to prove Turkey's secular credentials and in a bid to Westernize(or culturally Christianize) it.
Yet, Turkey has yet not been incorporated as a member of the European Union (or better call it a Christian Union because all EU members are Christian majority states) for the simple reason of Turkey carrying a Muslim identity.
People of Turkish origin numbering around four millions in Germany are taunted as people with low intelligent quotient simply because they happen to be Muslims. And recent wave of ban on full veils or wearing of head scarves by Muslim women in France and other European countries, publication of derogatory cartoons of Prophet Muhammed (Peace be Upon Him) indicates the deep-rooted hatred against Muslims in European Christian society, hinting how difficult it will be for Muslims to make political, social, educational, cultural and economic advancement.
Muslims in ‘USSR’
Let's now come to another side of the world including Russia. A number of Muslim majority areas like Kazakastan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan etc were part of USSR for several decades. Yet, these areas did not witness the kind of industrial and economic development like other parts of USSR with Christian or non-Muslim majority.
Though USSR was a communist ruled country with not favoring any particular religion, yet Muslim areas faced discrimination. And when they became independent after break up of USSR, we know what was the condition of these Muslim majority states known as Commonwealth of Independent States(CIS) despite the fact most of these states are rich in petroleum and natural resources.
Disaster in the Arab world
Coming to the Muslim Arab world, Iraq occupied by US-led Christian forces was militarily the most powerful in the Gulf region and it was the only country with some degree of military might to challenge Israel.
President Saddam Hussein had his training in a communist set up and was also not a religious fundamentalist. Yet, the Christian world decimated Iraq to ensure that there is no threat to Israel, an extension of Christian US in the Gulf region.
Now, the Christian powers are planning to target Iran, the only other Muslim country in the Gulf region with a powerful military. However, with US and European economy taking a slide down and global strategic situations going against US- led Christian world, Iran has got a temporary respite.
But the economic and trade sanctions, imposed by manipulating the United Nations has been aimed to spoil Iran’s economy and ensure it dies a slow death.
But the same US and European powers are turning a blind eye to Jewish Israel. US-led NATO forces have already pulverized Afghanistan because its brave people wanted to have Islamic constitution after pushing Soviet Russia out.
Muslims in India
Now let me come to the Muslim situation in my own country. In the last 60 years of independence, Muslim Indians have been reduced to the status of the most backward communities as proved by the Sachar committee report.
On the other hand Dalits who were at the bottom in every sphere of life have made much progress by governmental intervention through reservations in jobs, educational institutions, assemblies and parliament.
Muslim representation in parliament and state assemblies has been going down continuously. Despite Muslims accounting for 13.4 % (2001 Census) of India's population, their representation in the centers of political power is miniscule.
Prejudice against Muslims is so rampant that they can’t buy houses and properties in non-Muslim localities in major metros like Delhi, Mumbai and even Ahmedabad.
Every body knows how film actor and parliamentarian Shabana Azmi couldn’t buy a flat in an elite locality in Mumbai some time ago. The state sponsored killing of Muslims and destruction of their properties in the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat in 2002 with the accused roaming freely is before every body to see.
Since Independence, Muslim Indians are facing terror in shape of communal riots in which state agencies have been found to be by and large biased against Muslims.
How can then Muslims be expected to grow at the same pace and make achievement of the same degree like non-Muslims?
It is not that Muslim leadership has not made efforts to improve the situation. They have made best of the efforts in the past and are still making an effort in that direction. Yet, the success has eluded them all.
It is a to be given a deep thought and prepare the next generation on how to steer the community towards its overall improvement and betterment of the country and the world, while at the same time preserving our religious and cultural identities as per the guidelines laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet(PUBH).
We need not lose hope. We must repose our trust in Allah, the Almighty and strive with patience and perseverance for improving the situation.
The kind of progress being made by Muslim boys and girls in the field of education in the last few years in India will, Inshallah, change the Muslim situation for the better in the next two decades.
Source :
Seven Wonders of The Muslim World

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