Hindu deities and symbols desecrated, and Muslims condemn it.
A few hooligans calling themselves Muslims have done the un-Muslim thing by drawing derogatory images of Kali Devi, and OM symbol during the protests in Odisha and Bangalore, India.
The Quran, chapter 6, verse 108, (Pickthall Translation), “Revile not those unto whom they pray beside Allah lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance. Thus, unto every nation have We made their deed seem fair. Then unto their Lord is their return, and He will tell them what they used to do.”
I am surprised that no one asked them to take the signs down. Generally, someone or the other takes that step. The word kafir meant that those who differ and don’t believe what you believe. A Muslim is a Kafir to a Hindu, and a Jew is a Kafir to Christians. But, in India, it certainly is used as a derogatory term, and I condemn the misuse of it.
It behooves on us (Muslims and Hindus) to talk about this event and find a way to avoid it, instead of brooding and multiplying the conflict. I am glad Sant Gupta, my fellow Indian-American, shared this with me, and this is how you begin a dialogue. I want him to know that a majority of Muslims want justice and fairness for all, if he knows enough Muslims, he will believe that. Neither the bad guys among Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, or any group represent the whole statistically. 1% fringe does not represent 99% of the good ones.
If I were present at those two events, I would have stopped them.
In 2010, (Dallas, Texas) when Pastor Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church demonstrated against 7 Jewish places of worship, newspapers, school, and the Holocaust Museum. I was there in all the 7 places standing up for our Jewish friends. A Jewish kid was holding a hate-filled placard Infront of the Holocaust Museum, and I asked him to take it out, everyone looked at me, and I repeated, “Fred Phelps is hateful, I am a Muslim and am standing with you, and let’s not hate them and instead pray for them.” Mike Jacobs, a holocaust survivor, and I got several survivors together in the lobby and led the peace prayer.
- PIctures https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/4779163180/in/photostream/
- Huffington Post – https://www.huffpost.com/entry/standing-up-for-jews-gays_b_650167
- Dallas Voice – https://dallasvoice.com/westboro-baptist-church-to-picket-dallas-gay-jewish-congregation-beth-el-binah-in-july/
Once a Muslim group organized a rally across the White House, I was listed as a speaker. During the discussions, they were planning on displaying placards that were borderline critical of America. I disagreed and said you could be critical of Trump or anyone you want but not America and designed the placards to be effective. They did not accept my designs, and I chose not to go to the rally. Two years down the road, Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, and several papers reported that it was a part of the Russian scheming. Here are the three reports within this link. http://www.theghousediary.com/beware-of-fake-protests-to-malign-indians/
Since the fringe elements from among Hindus are lynching, harassing and raping Muslims, Christians and Dalits in India, uncontrolled, the temptation to blame Hinduism and Hindus increased. I have made an effort in every piece of communication to not do that including the rally in front of the Indian Embassy last month. Here are two pieces about it.
- Hindutva is not Hinduism https://centerforpluralism.com/hindutva-is-not-hinduism/
- Standing up for Hindu is the right thing to do https://centerforpluralism.com/standing-up-for-hindus-is-the-right-thing-to-do/
- Standing up for Hindus – https://centerforpluralism.com/standing-up-for-hindus-2/
My Muslim friends continuously ask me, why did the Government let go of Yogi Adityanath and Sadhavi and others for making criminal statements. Indeed, once his fellow speaker said to dig out Muslim women from graves and rape, such as the hatred, and it happened.
All of us have to speak up against such an ugly display of hatred and find solutions.
Mike Ghouse is a thinker, author, speaker, newsmaker, and an interfaith wedding officiant. His new book American Muslim Agenda is available on Amazon, coming up are books on Human Rights and Pluralism. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His information is available at linked-in.