The foregone conclusions of faith

The ISIS posted a new video a couple of weeks ago. It made a child kill two Russian spies and video-recorded it for the benefit of the world. The outfit has repeatedly stated its avowed aim: namely, to establish islamic law and an all-encompassing islamic state, where only, and only, Sunni muslims would be allowed to survive. The ones getting murdered are guilty of a very serious crime — they are non-muslims, or even if they are muslims, they are not Sunnis, or, even if Sunnis, do not subscribe to the murderous and insane death-dance the ISIS seems adept at performing.

The most disturbing bit in this entire drama is the fact that the ISIS is completely and utterly unrepentant of having killed numerous innocents. It’s enough for them that they are good muslims who are evidently carrying out orders of their divine messiah and their god. And that their Allah is in turn going to ensure their entry into some elusive behesth. Since they are apparently following the word of their god, their conscience remains clear, with no strains of visible remorse.

What can the world possibly do at this evil hour? The most we can do perhaps is to scream at the top of our lungs, that at least, for the love of god or devil, do not hand weapons to innocent children.

But the brainwashing of children by islamic fundamentalists is not a recent phenomenon. Palestine trains its children in the art of suicide bombing. A few days ago, Nigeria’s Boko Haram tied a bomb to the miniscule body of a 10-year-old and packed him off to a busy marketplace. The child died, of course, taking with him 20 other clueless victims. And thus, numerous children are daily falling unwitting victims to the ambitions of those zealots. Gone are the days when parents had ambitions for higher education for their children; they are instead now subjects of rampant miseducation, maleducation and religious education all over the world, which turn them into dangerous terrorists at this tender age.

On the other hand is the relentless struggle by liberal humanists to discourage practices of religious identity and discrimination among children. So that they do not identify themselves or others, since the earliest stages of their cognitive development, as hindus or muslims or jews or christians. There is no conceivable reason to take it for granted that religion is something genetic — that children born of pious parents have to be believers. In fact, theism itself is not something one should pass on: children are not unconditionally meant to be followers of a certain order. Children are not adequately equipped to decide which faith suits their temperament, and so, it is essential that religion be something that people decide on only when they are informed adults.

Otherwise, the children of this world have little to look forward to than undemocratic systems like the ISIS where science and philosophy have been rendered redundant as educational paradigms for them. Where their right to stay away from brutality and violence has been ended by religious edicts.

In Pakistan, a large number of imams and madrasa teachers took out a rally, replete with slogans and banners, no less. The banners read of eulogies dedicated to the killers at the Charlie Hebdo office, now hailed as supreme heroes fallen to the cause of jihad.

The imams state that they were their ‘brothers.’ In such an event, it was of course their abiding duty to read the funeral prayers for their deceased martyred brothers in Pakistan, as they did. These are the very same imams and madrasa educators that impart ‘education’ to thousands of children.

One wonders, with a vague dread, about the quality of that educational instruction. They must be mouthing the ISIS slogans with all the certainly of the well-ordained. It is so supremely ironical that ISIS or Boko Haram are not outfits who operate freely in a democratic nation, and yet, in a state like Pakistan, followers of ISIS are treading the democratic path with pride and élan. They are, quite legally, supporting the ISIS in public, rallying without state opposition and imparting their principles in masjids and madrasas shamelessly.

They continue to poison many minds with the indoctrination of the sort for which ISIS is today vilified across the globe. They have rights to do so, to manufacture many more jihadis, since in Pakistan, ISIS is not banned. In many other countries as well, the state of affairs is exactly the same.

The world is not untouched by such vicious influences. The muslim fundamentalists are exerting a curious influence on India’s homegrown right-wing. They are, likewise, becoming more intolerant, more violent with each passing day. Perhaps not quite as much as the islamic fanatics, but they seem not very far behind either.

Tamil author Perumal Murugan’s fifth novel, Madhorubhagan, landed him in trouble with hindu fundamentalists, and the issue was raised anew after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Murugan was forced to apologise for and censor his book, his Facebook account was deactivated. The same happened with Rajkumar Hirani’s film PK, which roused a lot of rabble in the hindu fanatics’ quarters.

Cases where they have come up with protests against artistic freedom have pervasively affected painters, writers, filmmakers, cartoonists alike. Granted they haven’t yet gone to the extent of lining up non-hindus and shooting them in the head, but if they are not contained, the day isn’t far when they would become as much of a barbaric threat to the institution of democracy that the muslim terrorists are.


  1. Amitava Guha says

    I did not know you write regularly here. I am happy that I found it. I have started reading the articles. Great, Taslima! You are a treasure!

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    … in Pakistan, ISIS is not banned.

    Banning doesn’t seem to work very well in suppressing political movements. What Pakistan (and most of the rest of the Muslim world) needs is a couple of generations of high-quality education – a remedy unlikely to occur for both economic and religiopolitical reasons.

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