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Puppets Of Faith : Theory of Communal Strife

By Murthy, B.S.

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Book Id: WPLBN0002827707
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Reproduction Date: 4/10/2013

Title: Puppets Of Faith : Theory of Communal Strife  
Author: Murthy, B.S.
Language: English
Subject: History, Politics, Literature, Arab history, Indian history , Islam, Jihad, Sociology, Terrorism, Indian Muslims, Semitic faiths, Judaism, Christianity,, War, Hinduism today, Religion, Politics,
Collections: Religion, Islamic Sociology, Labor Economics, Authors Community, Science, Most Popular Books in China, Political Sociology, Medicine, Military Science, Literature, Naval Science, Law, Social Sciences, Political Science, History
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Publisher: Self-published
Member Page: BS Murthy


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Murthy, B. (2013). Puppets Of Faith : Theory of Communal Strife. Retrieved from

Terrorism could be the heading of the running chapter in human history though strife had always been its grand title. Assorted terrorist groups to espouse their parochial causes have come to target their ideological opponents with utter cynicism. At least they have an articulated grievance and identified opponents with defined terror zones that are amenable for containment and redressal and or both at some stage or the other. But what of the jihadi terrorism and how is it that the western-educated, non-conformist, Muslim youth all over, not to speak of the fresh converts from other faiths get attracted to fight for Islam and die for it? It matters little where we live in this wide world, and one being a Musalman is no guarantee either to escape being its victim. Its madness might reduce us to a statistic of the dead or injured in tomorrow's newspaper headline in today's fidayeen attack. If left unabated it might one day engulf all of us in the Third World War. And thus the significance of any exercise aimed at improving our understanding of the involved issues cannot be overemphasized. Possibly in a new non-fiction genre, this thought-provoking work delves into this least explored aspect of the Islamic ethos. Besides dissecting the anatomy of Islam, steeped in the Quran it depicts the psyche of the Musalmans, shaped by the proclivities of their prophet, vicissitudes of his life and the attitudes of his detractors, which the mechanism of their umma perpetuates. More to the point, aided by “I’m Ok – You’re Ok”, the path-breaking work of Thomas A. Harris and Roland E Miller’s “Muslim Friends–Their Faith and Feeling”, this book, for the first time ever, psycho-analyzes the imperatives of the Muslim upbringing, which could turn a faithful into a fidayeen. Also, besides delving into the ironies of the faiths that affected the fate of the peoples, eclipsed the cultures of communes, altered the course of history and afflict the politics of the day, this book examines how the sanaatana 'Hindu' dharma came to survive in India, in spite of the combined onslaught of Islam and the Christianity on Hinduism for over a millennium. This book is for those who wish to be aware of the follies of their faith and the foibles of others to lighten the burden of dogma and reduce the baggage of prejudice postulated in its thirty-four well-structured chapters. Really, this is a book for our times.

When a bunch of apparently non-practicing Musalmans headed by Mohamed Atta launched that fidayeen attack on New York’s World Trade Centre that Sep 11, the world at large, by then familiar with the ways of the Islamic terrorism, was at a loss to fathom the unthinkable source of that unexpected means of the new Islamist scourge. The symptoms of a latent terrorist in the Muslim youth can be traced to the sublimity of Muhammad's preaching’s in Mecca and the severity of his Medina sermons, which make Islam a Janus-faced faith that forever bedevils the mind of the Musalmans. We should appreciate that the lava of the volcano on which the world sits is the disaffection the Musalmans nurse towards the kafirs. Its chemistry world over is the Islamic religious rigidity, compounded in India by the Hindu historical hurt that is catalyzed with the expediency of the political class. The Indian landscape is dotted with many of its earlier eruptions, but the one in Godhra affected everyone as never before. That a fanatical band of Musalmans should dare torch their Ram Sevaks in a railway coach seemed to the Sangh Parivar like Saladin crossing the Lakshman Rekha. Of course, that the neighborhood Hindus joined the hysterical mobs to burn their persons and property was beyond belief to the ghettoed Mohammedans. While the prospect of the new Hindu reality spoiling their party was something galling to the pseudo-secular politicians, for the media world all this seemed godsend ‘breaking news’. Thus the ill-informed columnists as well as the dull-witted idiotbox-wallahs began scoring a Brownie point or two into the Indian pseudo-secular goal. But, the half-red intellectuals, shy as ever to stare at the problem straight in its face, have chosen to push it all under the carpet. Well, given the cyclic character of the Hindu-Muslim riots, won’t they repeat the lament at the next turn? And the politicians of all hues, alive as they are to every opportunity that presents itself to consolidate their constituency, wouldn’t let this pass. They seem to be in no hurry to leave the scene, and continue to stoke the communal fires to keep the electorate warm. The problem with a problem is that until one admits that it exists, one cannot address it, and unless it is addressed, it persists. Make no mistake there is this Musalman-kafir problem for the world to contend with, and the Hindu-Muslim disaffection is but its Indian edition. The pseudo-secular sophistry has it that when it comes to the basic tenets, all religions carry a premium on peace making and all the believers seek social harmony but for a few misguided fanatical elements on either side of the communal divide. But, sadly, the ground reality is that to the average Hindu, it seems as if the Musalmans suffer from the symptoms of Islamic fever caused by a diseased mind-set afflicted by the sharia fervor. The Muslim compliment to the Hindu is the contemptuous kafir, destined for hell, and all that goes with it. In deed, it is but owing to our glossing over these entrenched misgivings that we let the communal lava erupt periodically. This book seeks to outline the background of the Musalman-kafir animosity on one hand, and the Hindu–Muslim communal divide on the other. It would seem that these are the products of one or more of the scriptural notions, religious dogma, medieval history and modern politics, or all put together. As one cannot understand man unless he understands his religion, all must be abreast of the basic religious tenets of the competing or conflicting faiths. Then, it would be revealing how the religious scriptures per se contribute to social discord and communal disaffection, and/or both. In the strife torn world of ours, it’s our grasp of this canvas of conflict that might eventually enable us to paint the picture of peaceful coexistence. Thus, the social evolution as well as the spiritual ethos of Hinduism and Buddhism on one hand and that of the Judaism, Christianity and Islam on the other are sketched here. Also, since man carries the historical deadwood, in spite of himself, the history that connects and disconnects the Semitic religions and that which divides the Hindu-Muslim emotions is recalled to appreciate the background to the continuing strife. After all, there is more to religion than that meets the eye, and that is the overriding faith and feeling of the believers. Besides, as the Islamic creed is more so a product of Muhammad’s persona, the influence of his character in shaping the ethos of the Musalmans has been analyzed. Won’t the Musalmans themselves concede that their endeavor would be to follow the straight path of Islam as earnestly as they could, as others, any way, have strayed onto the satanic path? And it is this mind-set that makes the Musalmans apart in the religious sense. How this could possibly govern the Muslim psyche is scanned with “I’m Ok – You’re Ok”, the famous work of Thomas A. Harris, with their religious creed from Roland E Miller’s “Muslim Friends–Their Faith and Feeling”, as the probe. All this might not only enable the ‘the others’ to appreciate the Muslim constraints but also understand their own aberrations. Likewise, it could be hoped that the Musalmans too would ponder over the apprehensions of the ‘the others’ as well as their own afflictions that are behind the Musalman-kafir confrontation.

Pitfalls of Faith If the ecstasy of the Quran is the soul of Islam, the legend of Muhammad is the mind of the Musalman. The exalted sense of his pedigree could have made Muhammad fiercely honest, even in the state of deprivation. It is to be appreciated that neither his insignificance as an orphan affected his self-worth nor his poverty dented his self-esteem. While nature endowed him with a shrewd mind his destiny seems to have helped him cultivate a sense of purpose. Though unlettered, he obviously possessed native intelligence, and thus was alive to every opportunity that came his way. Above all, at some stage at least, he seems to have developed an unwavering faith in his own destiny. As can be seen, he was an uncanny man manager and mob manipulator extraordinary. His exemplary personal courage in battle enabled him lead by example, and this single character of his played no mean a part in the battles his faithful fought to raise the standard of Islam in the nations of the world. Though he grew up in an environment of sentimentality, he imbibed a balanced outlook that his stint as the Czar of Medina turned into statesmanship. The frugal lifestyle he adopted at the height of his fame and fortune could be owing to his personal proclivity or the public posturing, and/or both. It was thus, he was known to avoid material comforts, save his fondness for perfumes, apart from women. And that his faithful didn’t mind as their culture acquiesced in both. Traditionally, there appears to be an inbuilt advantage for its prophets in the Semitic faith in that while it granted them to indulge as humans, it ordained the believers to revere them as divine just the same. While Muhammad’s reconciliation with Abu Talib’s refusal of Fakhitah, nay Umm Hani’s, hand for him reflects his pragmatism, his marriage to Khadijah underscores his practicality. However, it would be erroneous to misconstrue his devotion to her as a necessary evil to ensure her munificence, for he remained faithful to her memory till the very end. It is worth noting that he considered his years with her as the happiest of his life. But what is remarkable was his fidelity to her in spite of her advanced age, and that too in the prime of his life. That was, notwithstanding his gusty libido. Needless to say, it reveals a rare strength of character and a great ability for self-sacrifice born out of a strong personal conviction. And, for all that, it might have been for a purpose. But, whatever it was, that served him well in sustaining his creed in spite of odds. The very fact that in his otherwise well recorded life, there was nothing amiss in the lengthy chapter of Khadijah indicates that he could have led an amiable married life unmarred by scandal or quarrel. Sans Islam, still he would have had his place of honor in Meccan memory as Al Amin, and possibly remembered for long in his country. But that night of Ramadan, in a cave of Mount Hira, made all the difference to his memory. Given that the legend of Muhammad is memorized byline of the Musalmans, for the teeming multitudes of believers there is much in the Muhammad’s life to give solace and hope in this world whose worth the Quran deprecates any way. It could be owing to Muhammad’s influence on them that the poorer sections of the Muslim community, even in today’s materialistic world, tend to lead as frugal a life as possible. Thus, even as his billion strong faithful across the globe revere him as the Messenger of God, the rest of the world is wont to be skeptical about his personal ethics and question his credentials for prophethood. And what is worse, it decries his legacy for the fanatical intolerance and extremist adventurism of a band of his faithful. But then, one has to pay the price for power and fame. And if anything, so extraordinary a life like that of Muhammad would naturally earn the envy and suspicion of many. Whatever, in the history of man, there is no other man like Muhammad who vertically splits the world opinion about his character and legacy, and/or both. However, even the genius of Muhammad could not have anticipated the antipathy of the Jews towards the Quran though he would have expected the hostility of the Quraysh on account of his attack on their idols. On the other hand, he could well have hoped for the Jewish support in his tirade against the Arab idolatry as the Quran co-opted the Torah and the Jewish Prophets alike. Unfortunately, the overbearing Jews made fun of Muhammad’s prophethood and poked holes in his preaching beside. This unexpected development gave rise to a unique situation in which Muhammad, while pursuing his agenda against Arab idolatry, had to defend Islam in the battle of dogma that the Jews forced upon it. After all, with the Jews being a formidable race who mastered the Torah for ages; Islam faced a theological crisis to Muhammad’s chagrin, and that occasioned a schism amongst the Semitic religions. While the Quran accused the Jews and the Christians as renegades, the accused in turn called the Islamic Prophet an imposter. This mutual acrimony has disastrous consequences for the human destiny, as the hostility that the Quran exhibits towards the kafirs, besides infusing a sense of separateness in its believers, inculcates a streak of aggression as well in them. Nevertheless, in the face of the Jewish onslaught, ‘the God’ tried to defend Muhammad thus: “Or they say: He hath invented it? Say: Then bring a surah like into it, and call (for help) on all ye can besides Allah, if ye are truthful.” “Say: Verily though mankind and the Jinn should assemble to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce the like thereof though they were helpers one of another.” “And if ye do not and ye can never do it - then guard yourselves against the fire prepared for the disbelievers, whose fuel is men and stones.” “And if they deny thee, say: Unto me my work, and unto you your work. You are innocent of what I do, and I am innocent of what ye do.” As can be seen, the unceasing Jewish nagging seems to have had an unintended affect on the Quran itself, making it repetitive as if to drive home the issue rather desperately. Even otherwise, by and large, repetition is the characteristic of the Quran. Innumerable admonitions such as we have seen above, and elsewhere, get repeated, over and over again, in chapters and verses in similitude. It’s as though ‘the God’ wanted to zero in on the human propensity of believing fervently what is repeated frequently. Besides, wouldn’t censure directed against those whom we tend to abhor sound music to our ears? The Quranic accounts of the verbal tussles that Muhammad had with the Jews, the Christians and the idolaters invariably colored its divine message itself. Moreover, the private conduct and the public campaigns of Muhammad that are integral to the Quran make it contextually mundane and temporally aggressive. Thus, the body of the Quran in its instructional mode accords Islam a code of conduct sans philosophy of discourse. However, as love and hatred are the obverse and the reverse of the same human emotion, the feeling of alienation towards ‘the others’, nevertheless, brings in the Musalmans a sense of rare togetherness. In turn, this tends to inculcate amongst them the lofty ideal of the Muslim Brotherhood, which, ironically, in modern times causes them so much emotional hurt. Herein lay the dichotomy of Islam in that while it tries to bestow peace on the believers, it pours out scorn on the nonbelievers. While many Musalmans, probably unaware of the genesis of the WE -THEY syndrome steeped in many a contextual Quranic verse or those who deliberately ignore these, conclude that the rest of the peoples are unfairly hostile to the Muslim populace, and thus come to grudge the kafirs for that. On the other hand, and sinisterly at that, the misguided Islamists, by taking the many inflammatory verses of Quran out of context, would be able to indoctrinate the gullible Musalmans in madrasas and the masjids to set them on the course of jihad. Well, in turn, to the dismay of the world, the cynical turn them into fidayeen. It is thus; one comes to hear two voices of Islam–the hurt voice of the well-meaning Musalmans that their ‘religion of peace’ is being unfairly dubbed as the ‘doctrine of death’, and that of the Islamic fundamentalists spewing venomous hatred on the nonbelievers. Nonetheless, this dual dimension of Islamic reaction is not difficult to fathom either. That the Quran is recited in Arabic the world over, its ayats rendered to rhythm would have no more than a reverential impact on the majority of the Musalmans. Thus, they would be unaware of the Quranic instigations against the kafirs in such surahs as Al-Baqarah, Ali-Imran, Al Ma idah, Al-Anfal etc. Such of the run of the mill Musalmans in the know it, whatever their intellectual perception at finding such in a Holy Book, would not wager much on them. But the fundamentalists and the Paradise seekers swear by these very inimical verses of the Quran. It is another matter, that such surahs of the Quran would only sicken the nonbeliever of a reader soon enough, though he might realize they are all contextually linked to Muhammad’s life. Even a cursory reading of the Quran would bring to the fore the paradox of banning books perceived as offensive to the religious sentiments of a community in a country. Oh, how the Quran can afford to abuse the Jews and the Christians, and still have a free reign everywhere! And the poor kafirs, so roundly condemned, still have to contend with it being referred to as ‘The Holy Quran’ by the believers. Be that as it may, the Muslim mind finds itself doubly squeezed by a wronged feeling on one side and the change of value system on the other in the modern era. It is the tragedy of the Musalmans that they would be trained to treat the contextual content of the Quran as the unalienable code of Islam. And that hampers the fluidity of their thought that is needed to cope up with the realities of the given times. Muhammad’s autocracy and obscurantism that denied freedom of expressing what he himself had led them to believe, leave alone to thinking for themselves, might have inadvertently contributed to this debilitating Muslim inability. The following episode in Martin Ling’s biography of Muhammad would be illustrative. “At his (‘Uthman’s) funeral the Prophet heard an old woman address the dead man with the words “Be glad, O father of Sa’ib, for Paradise is thine.” The Prophet turned to her somewhat sharply and said: “What giveth thee to know that?” “O Messenger of God,” she protested, “It is Abu s-Sa’ib!” “By God,” he said, “we know naught but good of him.” Then, to make it clear that his first remark had been in no sense directed against ‘Uthman’ but merely against her for saying more than she had right to say he turned to her again and added: “It would have been enough for thee to say: “He loved God and His Messenger.” It was as if the purity of Islam would have been polluted even by the noble utterance of a pious believer. Just as Muhammad’s Quran is averse to having partners to Allah in Mary and Jesus so it seems he himself kept out others from the legacy of his hadith. It’s thus Muhammad saw to it that Islam is all about Allah and His Messenger unlike Jesus who thought it fit to Commission the Twelve for the sake of Christianity. It’s as though the Seal of the Prophets imbibed the divine character of Jehovah the jealous God who couldn’t stomach sharing the Jewish affection with any other god.” The Muslim dilemma about how to tread on the straight path in the ever changing world of every age owes to the constraints and contradictions of Muhammad’s life in his quest to establish Islam. Needless to say, the mullahs who follow the Prophet’s suit deny freedom of expression to the congregated faithful even in the precincts of the masjids. Try putting an inconvenient theological question, or air an unconventional Islamic view, and one should consider himself to be lucky if only he were to be debarred from the masjid, and not manhandled as debauched. Thus, the tune of the Quran came to be set in the “O ye believe” tone sans accompanying instruments of debate and discussion. It is no wonder thus; the intellect of a Musalman is measured on the scale of the Islamic theology. Coupled to this is the ghetto mentality that only accrues the ‘frog in the well’ vision to the Muslim intellect, which furthers their inability to see things from the others’ angle, and this makes it hard for the Musalmans to gain cosmopolitan insight to nurse an egalitarian mind-set amongst them. On the other hand, the Islamic emphasis of Muslim separateness insensibly leads to the stagnation of the Musalmans in the medieval Quranic age. This is about the burden of belief that Islam imposes upon its believers, and without a demur the Musalmans submit. And that is something to say about how faith can condition the mind and the mood of its followers regardless of the change in the surroundings. True, the faith of Allah needed a band of blind believers to help Muhammad achieve his ambition to hoist the flag of Islam on the Kabah. But how the Musalmans are to progress in modern times without imbibing the process of inquiry that is so essential to acquire knowledge and wisdom? It is this trap of belief into which Musalmans are born and there is no reformist around any more, after Kemal Ataturk the Great to extricate them out of the Islamic mire.

Table of Contents
1. Preface of Strife 2. Advent of Dharma 3. God’s quid pro Quo 4. Pyramids of Wisdom 5. Ascent to Descent 6. The Zero People 7. Coming of the Christ 8. Legacy of Prophecy 9. War of Words 10. Czar of Medina 11. Angels of War 12. Privates of ‘the God’ 13. Playing to the Gallery 14. Perils of History 15. Pitfalls of Faith 16. Blinkers of Belief 17. Shackles of Sharia 18. Anatomy of Islam 19. Fight for the Souls 20. India in Coma 21. Double Jeopardy 22. Paradise of Parasites 23. The Number Game 24. Winds of Change 25. Ant Grows Wings 26. Constitutional Amnesia 27. The Stymied State 28. The Wages of God 29. Delusions of Grandeur 30. Ways of the Bigots 31. The Rift Within 32. The Way Around 33. The Hindu Rebound 34. Wait for the Savant


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