The Long History of Jihad on the Subcontinent
By Andrew G. Bostom / November 30, 2008
Sixty hours of jihadist terror depradations throughout India’s financial capital, Mumbai — during which nearly 200 innocent victims were murdered, and 300 wounded — apparently ceased this Saturday, November 29, when Indian commandos slew the last three gunmen inside a … Read More
Sixty hours of jihadist terror depradations throughout India’s financial capital, Mumbai — during which nearly 200 innocent victims were murdered, and 300 wounded — apparently ceased this Saturday, November 29, when Indian commandos slew the last three gunmen inside a luxury hotel, while it was still ablaze. Mainstream media coverage of these rampaging, cold-blooded murderous acts of jihad terrorism — perpetrated by a self-professed "mujahideen" organization (i.e., "The Deccan Mujahideen") — consistently ignored the clear ideological linkage to Islam. Simply put, "mujahideen" are Muslim jihadists, "holy warriors," because there is just one historically relevant meaning of jihad, despite present day apologetics.
The root of the word jihad, appears 40 times in the Koran and in subsequent Islamic understanding to both Muslim luminaries — from the greatest jurists and scholars of classical Islam, to ordinary people — meant and means "he fought, warred or waged war against unbelievers and the like." As described by the seminal mid-19th
century Arabic lexicographer E.W Lane, "Jihad came to be used by the Muslims to signify wag[ing] war, against unbelievers." A contemporary definition, relevant to both modern jihadism and its shock troop "mujahideen" was provided at the Fourth International Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research at Al Azhar University, Cairo — Islam’s most important religious educational institution-in 1968, by Muhammad al-Sobki:
…the words Al Jihad, Al Mojahadah, or even "striving against enemies" are equivalents and they do not mean especially fighting with the atheists…they mean fighting in the general sense…
Contemporary validation of the central principle of jihad terrorism — rooted in the Koran — (for example, verses 8:12
, and 33:26
) — i.e., to terrorize the enemies of the Muslims as a prelude to their conquest — has been provided in the mainstream Pakistani text on jihad warfare by Brigadier S.K. Malik, originally published in Lahore, in 1979. Malik’s treatise was endorsed in a laudatory Foreword to the book by his patron, then Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq, as well as a more extended Preface by Allah Buksh K. Brohi, a former Advocate-General of Pakistan. This text — widely studied in Islamic countries, and available in English, Urdu, and Arabic — has been recovered from the bodies of slain jihadists in Kashmir. Brigadier Malik emphasizes how instilling terror is essential to waging successful jihad campaigns:
Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means, it is the end in itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponent’s heart is obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved. It is the point where the means and the end meet and merge. Terror is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy (sic); it is the decision we wish to impose upon him…
"Jihad," the Koranic concept of total strategy…[d]emands the preparation and application of total national power and military instrument is one of its elements. As a component of the total strategy, the military strategy aims at striking terror into the hearts of the enemy from the preparatory stage of war…Under ideal conditions, Jihad can produce a direct decision and force its will upon the enemy. Where that does not happen, military strategy should take over and aim at producing the decision from the military stage. Should that chance be missed, terror should be struck into the enemy during the actual fighting.
…the Book [Koran] does not visualize war being waged with "kid gloves." It gives us a distinctive concept of total war. It wants both, the nation and the individual, to be at war "in toto," that is, with all their spiritual, moral, and physical resources. The Holy Koran lays the highest emphasis on the preparation for war. It wants us to prepare ourselves for war to the utmost. The test of utmost preparation lies in our capability to instill terror into the hearts of the enemies.
The political correctness of most mainstream media outlets
— which refused to consider such ideological motivations, rooted in jihad — did not apply, however to Hindus, or Jews — targeted
infidel victims of the attacks. Blithely ignoring obvious Islamic and Muslim connections — credit taken for the attacks by a mujahideen organization
; or testimony from a Turkish Muslim couple
briefly apprehended, and then released unharmed by the jihadists because, "…[w]hen the (Muezzinoglus) said they were Muslims, their captors told them that they would not be harmed" — some media (at Fox
) even voiced their own "speculations" about the possible culpability of "Hindu extremists," an absurd calumny, stated in full paranoid transference mode by the Muslim Brotherhood
A photograph published in Urdu Times, Mumbai, clearly shows that Mossad and ex-Mossad men came to India and met Sadhus and other pro-Hindutva elements recently. A conspiracy was clearly hatched.
Yet these same media offered no speculation about Islamic Jew hatred
as an obvious potential motivation for the transparently selective attack on Mumbai’s Chabad House — a focal point symbol of the miniscule Jewish community of 5000 (or 0.03%) in a city of some 15 million inhabitants. More egregiously, this neglect of any hateful Islamic motivations for the targeted murder of such innocent Jews -
- including a young Lubavitcher Rabbi and his wife — was accompanied by consistently dehumanizing and demeaning
references to these victims as "Ultra-Orthodox," and their entirely false characterization as "missionaries."
This current Jewish tragedy within a much larger non-Muslim, primarily Hindu tragedy, reminded me of the Indian Sufi "inspiration" for The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism
, Ahmad Sirhindi. Nearing completion of my first book compendium, The Legacy of Jihad
, in early 2005, specifically the section about jihad on the Indian subcontinent, I came across a remarkable comment by the Indian Sufi theologian Sirhindi (d. 1624). Typical of the mainstream Muslim clerics of his era, Sirhindi was viscerally opposed to the reforms which characterized the latter ecumenical phase of Akbar’s 16th
century reign (when Akbar became almost a Muslim-Hindu syncretist), particularly the abolition of the humiliating jizya (Koranic poll tax, as per Koran 9:29) upon the subjugated infidel Hindus. In the midst of an anti-Hindu tract Sirhindi wrote, motivated by Akbar’s pro-Hindu reforms, Sirhindi observes,
Whenever a Jew is killed, it is for the benefit of Islam.
The biographical information I could glean about Sirhindi provided, among other things, no evidence he was ever in direct contact with Jews, so his very hateful remark suggested to me that the attitudes it reflected must have a theological basis in Islam — contra the prevailing, widely accepted "wisdom" that Islam, unlike Christianity was devoid of such theological Antisemitism. Having originally intended to introduce, edit, and compile a broader compendium on dhimmitude in follow-up to The Legacy of Jihad
, I was inspired by this stunning observation to change course and focus on the interplay between Islamic Antisemitism, and the intimately related phenomenon of jihad imposed dhimmitude
for Jews, specifically.
Of course Jew-hatred was merely a sidelight to Sirhindi’s hatemongering Islamic "ethos." He was an intensely anti-Hindu bigot, as revealed by these words:
Cow-sacrifice in India is the noblest of Islamic practices. The kafirs [Hindus] may probably agree to pay jizya but they shall never concede to cow-sacrifice…The real purpose in levying jizya on them [Hindus] is to humiliate then to such an extent that, on account of fear of jizya , they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling. It in intended to hold them under contempt and to uphold the honor and might of Islam…
Completely uninformed about (and stubbornly resistant to any
informed discussion of) the motivating Islamic ideology for the Mumbai attacks, the media "meta-narrative," repeated ad nauseum
, is also oblivious to the living historical legacy of jihad on the Indian subcontinent. Thus journalists and even policymaking elites appear to accept at face value, and uncritically, the "rationale" for this wantonly murderous jihadism as stated, for example, by one of the Muslim perpetrators:
Are you aware how many people have been killed in Kashmir?…Are you aware how your army has killed Muslims?
The Muslim supremacist, jihad-inspired conflict in Kashmir — really a tragic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Hindus by Muslim jihadists which began in earnest during the 14th century — re-emerged in late June of this year
when the Indian government had the "temerity" to want to transfer 99 acres of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, a trust running the popular Hindu shrine (including the cave that houses a large ice stalagmite itself, revered by Hindus as an incarnation of Siva, the god of destruction and reproduction). Hundreds of thousands of Hindus visit the area as part of an annual pilgrimage to the cave.
Please view the poignant, elegantly produced video by Kashmiri filmmaker Ashok Pandit, "And the World Remained Silent," (linked here, Parts 1
) which chronicles in gory detail the brutal ethnic cleansing of some 350,000 indigenous Hindus from Kashmir during early 1990, orchestrated by Pakistan and it’s Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. (Focus on the time period 2:15 to 4:00 minutes, from Part 1
above, and witness the jihadist speech of the late, much ballyhooed "modernist reformer" Ms. Bhutto. She was a jihadist, plain and simple; the head of what remains a jihadist state.)
The Muslim chroniclers al-Baladhuri (in Kitab Futuh al-Buldan
) and al-Kufi (in the Chachnama
) include enough isolated details to establish the overall nature of the conquest of Sindh (in modern Paksitan) by Muhammad b. Qasim during 712 C.E. These narratives, and the processes they describe, make clear that the Arab invaders intended from the outset to Islamize Sindh by conquest, colonization, and local conversion. Baladhuri, for example, records that following the capture of Debal, Muhammad b. Qasim earmarked a section of the city exclusively for Muslims, constructed a mosque, and established four thousand colonists there. The conquest of Debal had been a brutal affair, as summarized from the Muslim sources by the renowned Indian historian R.C. Majumdar. Despite appeals for mercy from the besieged Indians (who opened their gates after the Muslims scaled the fort walls), Muhammad b. Qasim declared that he had no orders (i.e., from his superior al-Hajjaj, the Governor of Iraq) to spare the inhabitants, and thus for three days a ruthless and indiscriminate slaughter ensued. In the aftermath, the local temple was defiled, and "700 beautiful females who had sought for shelter there, were all captured". The capture of Raor was accompanied by a similar tragic outcome.
Muhammad massacred 6000 fighting men who were found in the fort, and their followers and dependents, as well as their women and children were taken prisoners. Sixty thousand slaves, including 30 young ladies of royal blood, were sent to Hajjaj, along with the head of Dahar [the Hindu ruler]. We can now well understand why the capture of a fort by the Muslim forces was followed by the terrible jauhar ceremony (in which females threw themselves in fire [they] kindled…), the earliest recorded instance of which is found in the Chachnama.
Practical, expedient considerations lead Muhammad to desist from carrying out the strict injunctions of Islamic Law and the wishes of al-Hajjaj by massacring the (pagan) infidel Hindus of Sindh. Instead, he imposed upon the vanquished Hindus the jizya
(Koranic poll-tax, pace Koran 9:29
) and associated restrictive regulations of dhimmitude. As a result, the Chachnama
records, "some [Hindus] resolved to live in their native land, but others took flight in order to maintain the faith of their ancestors, and their horses, domestics, and other property."
Thus a lasting pattern of Muslim policy towards their Hindu subjects was set that would persist, as noted by Majumdar, until the Mughal Empire collapsed at the end of Aurangzeb’s reign (in 1707):
Something no doubt depended upon individual rulers; some of them adopted a more liberal, others a more cruel and intolerant attitude. But on the whole the framework remained intact, for it was based on the fundamental principle of Islamic theocracy. It recognized only one faith, one people, and one supreme authority, acting as the head of a religious trust. The Hindus, being infidels or non-believers, could not claim the full rights of citizens. At the very best, they could be tolerated as dhimmis, an insulting title which connoted political inferiority…The Islamic State regarded all non-Muslims as enemies, to curb whose growth in power was conceived to be its main interest. The ideal preached by even high officials was to exterminate them totally, but in actual practice they seem to have followed an alternative laid down in the Koran [i.e., Q9:29] which calls upon Muslims to fight the unbelievers till they pay the jizya with due humility. This was the tax the Hindus had to pay for permission to live in their ancestral homes under a Muslim ruler.
Regarding the Islamization of Hindu Kashmir, although Mahmud of Ghazni made brutal forays into Kashmir in the early 11th century, it was not until the mid-14th century when the ruling Hindu dynasty was displaced completely by Shah Mirza, in 1346, and Kashmir was brought under Muslim suzerainty. During the reign of Sikandar Butshikan (1394-1417), mass Islamization took place as described by the great historian K.S. Lal:
He [Sikandar Butshikan] invited from Persia, Arabia, and Mesopotamia learned men of his own [Muslim] faith; his bigotry prompted him to destroy all the most famous temples in Kashmir-Martand, Vishya, Isna, Chakrabhrit, Tripeshwar, etc. Sikandar offered the Kashmiris the choice [pace Koran 9:5] between Islam and death. Some Kashmiri Brahmans committed suicide, many left the land, many others embraced Islam, and a few began to live under Taqiya, that is, they professed Islam only outwardly. It is said that the fierce intolerance of Sikandar had left in Kashmir no more than eleven families of Brahmans.
Lal also notes that,
His [Sikandar Butshikan's] contemporary the [Hindu] Raja of Jammu had been converted to Islam by [Amir] Timur [the jihadist, Tamerlane], by "hopes, fears, and threats."
When the Moghul ruler Akbar annexed Kashmir in 1586, the majority of the population was already Muslim. Lal summarizes the chronic plight of the Kashmiri Hindus during a half millennium of Islamic rule, through 1819, which explains the modern demography of Kashmir:
When Kashmir was under Muslim rule for 500 years, Hindus were constantly tortured and forcibly converted. A delegation of Kashmir Brahmans approached Guru Teg Bahadur at Anadpur Saheb to seek his help. But Kashmir was Islamized. Those who fled to preserve their religion went to Laddakh in the east and Jammu in the south. It is for this reason that non-Muslims are found in large number in these regions. In the valley itself the Muslims formed the bulk of the population.
There is also a modern era nexus — rooted in jihad — between the Hindus of Islamized Kashmir, and the Jews of Islamized Palestine. Hajj Amin el-Husseini
, ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, and Muslim jihadist, who became, additionally, a full-fledged Nazi collaborator and ideologue in his endeavors to abort a Jewish homeland, and destroy world Jewry, was also a committed supporter of global jihad movements. Urging a "full struggle" against the Hindus of India (as well as the Jews of Israel) before delegates at the February 1951 World Muslim Congress, he stated:
We shall meet next with sword in hand on the soil of either Kashmir or Palestine.
And el-Husseini’s jihadist, Koran (and hadith)-inspired
Jew hatred was shared by a seminal modern Muslim ideologue from the Indian subcontinent, Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi (d. 1976), a major late 20th
century Koranic commentator. An eminent scholar, Maulana Muhammad Shafi served as a professor and as a grand Mufti of Darul-Uloom Deoband, the well-known university of the Islamic Sciences in pre-partition India. In 1943, he resigned from Darul-Uloom, because of his active involvement in the Pakistan movement. When Pakistan came into existence, he migrated to Karachi devoting his life to the service of this new Muslim state. He also established Darul-Uloom Karachi, an renowned institute of Islamic Sciences patterned after Darul-Uloom Deoband, and considered today as the largest private institute of Islamic higher education in Pakistan. Here is Maulana Muhammad Shafi’s commentary
on the central antisemitic motif in the Koran, sura (chapter) 3, verse 112:
…verse 112 speaks of the general condition of the Jews. They played the most virulent role against the Holy Prophet [Muhammad] and the movement of Islam. It was not strange that they were the most malignant against the Holy Prophet because they had played a similar role against the Prophets before the advent of Islam. They had slandered Jesus Christ, they had plotted to kill him, they had slain so many Prophets before Jesus Christ. They had earned the wrath of Allah before the Holy Prophet by killing the Prophets and the Saints and by their vociferous opposition to the Divine Commands. This wrath increased when they deadly opposed the Holy Prophet and made treacherous and surreptitious plans to kill Muhammad and defeat Islam. They tried to harm the Muslims and prevented the common men from Islam. These activities enhanced the wrath of Allah, and curse became their eventual fate. The wrath of Allah manifested itself in conditional abasement, but permanent poverty. Their abasement could be suspended if they could cover a bond of Allah or they should be covered by a bond of the people. But the poverty and the general wrath of Allah was pitched without any suspension. Bond of God means adherence to some remnants of the Torah. Bond of men means either becoming the subjects of some Muslim State or some Christian State or some other constitutional State; or becoming a satellite or a protectorate of some powerful people, whoever they may be either Muslims, or non-Muslims, by means of some agreement, treaty, or merely political support. Their separate individual existence enjoying an inviolable sovereignty or commanding a good respect in the Comity of Nations is not implied in this verse because of the extreme wrath of Allah which is significant of their superlative Kufr [infidelity] against Allah and their extremely tremendous enmity against the Holy Prophet as compared to other non-Believers. For example, the modern State of Israel cannot survive if the Americans and Russians, etc., give up their support. [note: this commentary was written beginning in the 1960s] This is the bond of the people which has outwardly suspended their abasement. But so far as wretchedness (poverty) is concerned it is pitched on them permanently and the general wrath and anger of Allah surrounds them forever. Inner wretchedness can be reconciled with outer opulence. The Jews may have become billionaires but the wretchedness and poverty of hearts cannot leave them any moment. Parsimony has become a part and parcel of their internal self.
Nearly six decades ago, Sir Jadunath Sarkar (d. 1958), the preeminent historian of Mughal India, wrote admiringly of what the Jews of Palestine had accomplished once liberated from the yoke of jihad-imposed Islamic Law. The implication was clear that he harbored similar hopes for his own people, the Hindus of India, and those of their Muslim neighbors willing to abandon the supremacist, discriminatory, and backward mandates of Islam:
Palestine, the holy land of the Jews, Christians and Islamites, had been turned into a desert haunted by ignorant poor diseased vermin rather than by human beings, as the result of six centuries of Muslim rule. (See Kinglake’s graphic description). Today Jewish rule has made this desert bloom into a garden, miles of sandy waste have been turned into smiling orchards of orange and citron, the chemical resources of the Dead Sea are being extracted and sold, and all the amenities of the modern civilised life have been made available in this little Oriental country. Wise Arabs are eager to go there from the countries ruled by the Shariat [Sharia; Islamic Law]. This is the lesson for the living history.
The jihadist carnage in Mumbai, and some 12,327 other acts of jihad terrorism since 9/11/2001
— motivated by supremacist Islamic doctrine, and the atavistic hatred of Hindus, Jews, and other non-Muslims it inculcates — provides ugly living proof that Sarkar’s wistful admonition from 1950 remains almost entirely unheeded.