Islamabad Hindu temple : events tell us 7 things about Islamists and Islam

On 24 June, 2020 the government of Pakistan announced that they have granted land to construct the Islamabad Hindu Temple. This was supposed to be the first Hindu temple in Islamabad after 73 years of foundation of Pakistan, and 60 years after Islamabad city was built in 1960.

Islamabad Hindu Temple
A Hindu Temple : Kandaria Mahadev in Khajuraho. Almost all the ancient Hindu Temples of Pakistan have been destroyed.

Opposition to the step started within the week. On 30th June, an advocate challenged the decision in Islamabad High Court. On 1st July, the current Speaker of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, member of Pakistan Muslim League, opposed the temple on grounds that it was against Islam.

It must be noted that Mr. Elahi is not a small leader. First elected to Provincial Assembly in 1985, he has served as Chief Minister of Punjab from 2002 to 2007 and also Deputy Prime Minister of Pakistan from 2012 to 2013. Therefore, his statement has a lot of weight.

A prominent Deobandi Muslim institution of Lahore, Jamia Ashrafia, gave a fatwa that constructing a Hindu temple in an Islamic state was not permissible under Islam.

The Arguments of those opposing Islamabad Hindu temple

It is important to discuss the arguments of Islamists opposing the construction of Islamabad Hindu Temple. These arguments tell us a lot about the thought process of the Islamists and will help us to draw conclusions about them

  • The first argument rests on the claim that Islam is the only true religion. This concept leads to religious segregation and naming of non-Muslims as Kafirs. According to this view, Kafirs are fit to be killed and if they pay Zizya tax, fit to live as second class citizens with very few rights. In any case, Kafir religion is demonic and Kafirs will burn for ever in the fires of hell. Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar, the Khilafat leader who used to kiss the feet of Mahatma Gandhi illustrated this by saying : “According to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen Mussalman to be better than Mr Gandhi.”
  • The other reason adduced is that it would be against the “spirit of Medina”. It must be remembered that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, found refuge in Medina. When he and his followers captured Mecca, they made certain changes to the holy city. The holy city, which was open to all Arabs and contained temple with 360 idols at Kabba. By the order of Muhammad, Ali broke all the idols except the stone of Kabba, which they ironically revere to this day. They then banned entry of non Muslims into the city. The tradition continues even today. The founders of Pakistan envisaged it as second Medina{Medina e Sani} and it is natural that they will break all temples there and not let any non-Muslim practice religion freely.
  • The third reason given by Jamia Ashrafia say that “Islam allows protection and management of religious places belonging to other faiths but prohibits construction of a new place of worship for the followers of other religion than Islam.” This is coming from a religious institution who has some authority so we have to accept this. Readers of history will remember such fatwas during the times of Sultans and Mughal rulers, who prohibited new temples and periodically initiated campaigns to destoy newly erected temples. This included temples like Somnath, KAshi Vishvnath, Mathura etc.

What the Islamabad Hindu temple case tell us

From the above, we can draw certain conclusions about Islamists and also the current state of Muslim religion.

Intolerant

The refusal to allow even one temple after decades is certainly intolerance against Hindus. The motive behind it is to deprive Hindus of opportunity to pray freely. Of course, this intolerance also extends to other non-Muslim minorities of Pakistan. One must remember that this intolerance is based on the hope that non-Muslims will eventually convert to Islam. I have recently written a piece on forced conversions in Pakistan. You can read it here.

Anti-minority

These types of statement are anti-minority and show the ancient hostility of Islam to other religions. Muslims now claim that Islam is a religion of equality, but historical events and current trends indicate otherwise. The equality is only for Muslims and that too theoretically. The anti-minority character of literal Islamists can be seen in their rapes, pillages, massacres and iconoclasm. You can read more such lies spread by Islamists by clicking here

Wrong role models

Pakistan and even Islamists of India have role models that oppressed Hindus and other non-Muslims. This has led to the desire to emulate their deeds. These role models include Muhammad Ghaznavi, Muhammad Ghori, Aurangzeb and Abdali. It is no secret that many of Pakistan’s missiles are named after these tyrants who derived pleasure from misery of Hindus. How can the national psyche of Pakistan remain unaffected by ideals of these oppressive rulers?

Hypocrisy

This episode also exposes the hypocrisy of Islamists. While they seek complete freedom of practicing religion in democracies like that in US, Europe and India and do get it, they are reluctant to extend the same rights in their own country. Thus when in minority, they extoll secularism and its virtues. When in majority, their views are guided by Mullahs and by orthodox Islam.

Islamists are bullies

Mahatma Gandhi famously said that “..Muslims are bullies..”. His statement, of course, referred to the Islamists who derive pleasure by oppressing non-Muslims. This has been proved again and again in many Islamic countries including Pakistan.

Islamists are anti-modernity

That this episode proved anti-modern character of puritanical Islam is beyond debate. The modern values of rationalism, humanism, democracy and secularism etc. have made no impact on Islamists. Indeed, they are repelled by these values and various Islamist terrorist organisations are living proof of that. It is no wonder that Pakistan is a safe haven for such groups and persons.

Islam needs reform

Islamists peddle the ‘halal lie’ that Islam does not need reform and it is perfect already. Looking at the points above, it is clearly an erroneous judgement. All major religions, except Islam, have gone through a period of reform. These religions have emerged stronger, more tolerant, less violent and more in consonance with the modern world. Islam needs similar reforms, if necessary, should be imposed by the state

Conclusion

The discussion around Islamabad Hindu temple episode shows everything that is wrong with Islam today. It goes on to prove the point of Ambedkar, who said that “The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is the brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only….. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity.” It is time that new reform movements arise within Islam, that can make it more humane and bring it in consonance with modern world

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Pawan
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