Thursday, March 21, 2013

What should be done to stop Hindutva!

This structure was not empty in past.
Many 'secular' friends believe that Hindutva is fascist face of Hinduism. To a very small extent they have got reasons to say so. The most important reason is a recent perception about Hinduism that it is non violent to its core and to boast of this great virtue, people claim that India has never invaded any country in thousands of years and status quo should be maintained. Indians got independence through non violence of Gandhi so it is a very potent weapon to fight the enemy with!

Now the question is if Hindutva is fascist and promotes violence and blood bath in the society the secular class must find the reason why it is growing in the society and what should be done to challenge it.

broken statue in Bangladesh
Hindus have realized that their non violence has not been strong enough to protect them, and they need to be ready to fight if there are attacks and not to run away to save life. To fight doesn't only mean to 'shed blood' but to fight on any platform to not let anybody do injustice. So, even if you are an atheist, protect the temple of your community or your identity will be the next to be attacked. There was no need of Hindutva if our secular class and leadership had not abandoned 'Non violent' Hindu mass. There are many incidents that have forced Hindus to rethink about their policy of non violence.We should not cry over the criminal incidents of medieval ages and we can't punish someone for those crimes.  But what is expected from secular class is to acknowledge those crimes and learn from history so that such crimes are not repeated. whereas the secular class not only denied those crimes but tried to erase any available evidence. 

Arab invaders did whatever possible to break the morale of the Hindus and the modus operandi was always to destroy a temple and construct a mosque on top of it. Now what the secular class and its 'eminent historians' did? They denied such incidents and in case the evidence was glaring at them, they created ridiculous stories to justify destruction.

The point is that an invader built something not as a place of worship but to prove his might (Quwat-ul-islam). It is true Hindus couldn't save the temples at that time. But when India got independence, secular class could have convinced the Muslims of India not to choose wrong icons as their identity. These historical errors could be corrected and the temples could be reconstructed. Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura are three locations specially known for three Hindu Gods, Ram, Shiva and Krishna, and all these three cities remind you of the Hindu oppression perpetrated by invaders who were also followers of Islam. 
Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was pragmatic and first thing that he did was to reconstruct Somnath temple which had a long history of being destroyed several times. India could easily correct the mistakes in Ayodhya, kashi and mathura too but presence of a mosque structure at these sites made them jittery and they backed off. this is how they  presented the symbol of Hindu oppression as holy sites for Muslims  The sites which will always remind Hindus of their slavery.

Today if someone desecrates st. Paul church at Shimla and builds a temple, I would prefer destruction of such temple and reconstruction of the church. I don't want to be seen as a oppressor and won't allow my religion to be used for such purpose. The real amity among two big communities of India could only be possible by correcting the historical mistakes. This is why Nations like Germany acknowledge the Jewish suppression done by Hitler and highlight it so that the wounds can be soothed. 

But Indian secularism failed just because it has a huge populace of opportunist people who used secularism just for profiteering and vote bank politics and never cared about Hindu-Muslim unity or a stable society with all round development. They kept these wounds alive and confused the Muslims to choose wrong representatives. This is the reason great scientists like APJ Abdul Kalam will not be a Muslim icon but Babri Masjid can touch emotions of everybody in Muslim community.

This is failure of secular class as they failed to acknowledge the problem and never tried to solve it. Hindus would have opened their coffers to construct world's largest mosque as compensation, but they merit to have their three most important holy sites to be free of such symbols of suppression.

What if an army invades mecca and destroys Kaaba and constructs some holy structure! The best solution would be to destroy that holy structure and reconstruct the Kaaba .when and in how many centuries?, does not matter. Religion and History evolve in centuries. Mughals ruled major parts of India for almost 300 years and then British replaced them. To write these two chapters of Indian history, it took more than 450 years. If some one claims that crime of 16th century does not merit a correction then you definitely lack the vision to observe history unfolding in front of you.

Advani Rath yatra for Ram Temple.
Secular class introduced politics of appeasement, vote bank and favoritism and these all aspects only led to Hindus feeling more alienated and this gave potion to Hindutva so that it could thrive in our society. If our secular leaders would not have changed the definition of secularism, would have convinced our Muslim brethren not to choose symbols of Hindu oppression as their symbol of Pride, it would have brought peace forever. To make it clear that the motive behind this correction was not bigotry, we could have built world’s largest mosque but the encroachment from the three holy sites of Hindus must be removed as they are symbols of slavery. 
old photo with statue of king George

You have seen the first picture in this post. Now check the same place with statue of King George. Why was it removed? You know the answer.

Muslims don't need to be ashamed of those crimes as they were actually the victims, the people who were forcefully converted with might of sword. They have definitely faced more oppression in the hands of those Arab invaders but the irony is that our secular class, in place of teaching the right history glorified those invaders and Tipu sultan became a savior, Aurangzeb became a kind emperor and Akbar became Akbar The great. 

Muslims of modern India were not even given enough opportunities to grow and not allow the symbols of medieval injustice become their icon but to create new symbols that represented them. Muslims of modern India were simply forced by the secular class to behave like vote banks. How would they loot if every citizen of India started to vote for development, good education, proper life and a bright future for our children? The day Muslims will realize this bluff, India will change for better. Amen.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Bihar : An Untold Story.

Baikunth Shukla killed Phanindra Nath Ghosh in 1934 to avenge the hanging of Bhagat Singh, the person who became government witness in the Bhagat Singh case which led to his hanging. 

After 60 years, Muzaffarpur was under curfew for another Chhotan Shukla, a criminal don from Bhumihar community who was killed by Bihar police in an encounter. People in the funeral procession of Shukla clashed with Gopalganj District Magistrate G Krishnaiyah in Muzaffarpur and the mob lynched the administrator. Such was the law and order situation of Bihar in Lalu era.

After Indira Gandhi, Lalu Yadav was another politician to use murder as a political weapon. Many political adversaries were being killed. Opposition had surrendered in front of Lalu. He was using caste division as his political tool. 

Laloo would use slogans like ' Bhu-ra Baa-l' saaf karo'. It was for Bhumihar-Rajput-Brahmin-laala(kayasth).

This had encouraged the pro Lalu criminal elements to such extent that they would loot, kill and kidnap at will and no FIRs were lodged. It was the Jungle-Raj of Bihar. Kidnapping took form of a cottage industry. At that time when all the leaders abandoned anti Lalu electorate in fear, Only criminals like Anand Mohan  could dare to form Bihar peoples Party. He and his wife were the first to oppose Lalu openly. People supported him as they knew only poison could counter poison.
The jungle-Raj of Lalu and his open support to criminal acts against upper castes led to few social changes. Every Upper caste parent started to send their children out of Bihar. There were two reasons. First the children could get better education as the universities of Bihar had become arena of gang wars. whenever Gangs would need more members, They would come to university hostels. Second, To protect them from being kidnapped for ransom. This created a whole generation of Bihari youth who have lived major part of their lives outside Bihar.

Maoist violence was at its peak and Maoists used to kill upper caste peasants with impunity. Such was the Rajdharma that our CM would openly say, 'they are not our voters so we don't bother for them'. These attacks led to another development, the dominant upper castes made private militias. Ranvir sena had reach to more that 18,000 guns and every member got a salary and if someone died, their family would get a pension for whole life. Caste became an identity that could kill any time.

Caste based massacres had become a norm in Bihar. Lalu came in power by following the socialist leaders JP and Lohia but after becoming CM he became authoritarian. The reason was his confidence on his M-Y formula. Muslims had become a vote bank which was in his pocket. 
When the Rath of Advani reached Bihar, Lalu arrested Advani and stopped his campaign. This one incident made Lalu a savior of Muslims.  Being a Yadav himself, he could easily mobilize these two sections of society and even if they were weak economically, votes were with Lalu. Backwardness of these two communities was a  boon for Lalu.

Lalu divided Janata dal and made Rashtriya janata dal with symbol of lantern and brought Bihar into lantern era. Majority of the electrical power houses collapsed due to bad maintenance and industries closed down.  The real anarchy could be seen. People were suffering and farmers who had 100 of acres of land were going to Punjab, assam, calcutta, bombay, Delhi and many other places in search of job. Bihar became a labor contractor.

Gradually several leaders came forward to challenge Lalu. BJP had bania votes and as congress grew weaker, the upper caste votes also shifted towards BJP. JDU with several OBC leaders attracted non yadav OBC votes. T.N Sheshan played an important role by controlling booth capturing and many other electoral malpractices by bringing Punjab police on election duty which had no roots in Bihar and could remain above the caste consciousness.

After almost 15 years of Jungle Raj, Nobody had big expectations with BJP-JDU combine. Biharis wanted only one thing and that was  to control the criminals. Nitish govt controlled kidnappings and many criminals were sent to jail. Biharis could make Bihar developed by themselves. Government had one job to do and that was to give protection. For those who have never been to Bihar, Movies like Onkara, Pan Singh Tomar are good fiction stories but it can be lived in many villages of Bihar.

Industries collapsed in Lalu raj as industrialists could not do business in Bihar. Suta patti, Asia's biggest cotton market based in Muzaffarpur which had a big community of Marwaris, they all shifted to Gujarat. If someone says that Bihar exports poor,  he must acknowledge that Bihar exports industrialists too,

King Mahendra, richest MP in present parliament is from Bihar but his whole business setup is in Maharastra.

Biharis have always been a strong agricultural labor force and this is the reason Mauritius has bhojpuri as its second language. British exported this labor force to many parts of  the world. 
The sorrow of Bihar Kosi River is an uncontrolled rage which has left no option to the farmers of Bihar but to witness the destruction of their homes and to sit on a high ground and wait for some helicopter which comes to throw food packets. Almost every year, floods destroy unimaginable hectares of standing crops and force the village folk to migrate to other states. This can be controlled by constructing dam which is only possible on the Nepal side and by linking the rivers.

Nitish era brought some respite to people but as power comes, Leaders start to get authoritative and this is happening with Nitish. Earlier he used to appease Muslims to confuse them so that they didn't vote to lalu en masse. This is the reason he ensured the absence of Narendra Modi in electoral campaigns in 2009 and it was a clean sweep for NDA. Now he is trying to make OBC-Muslim combo so that he can dump the upper castes and still remain in power. 

In 2009 General elections, Gujarat, BJP fortress and having presence of Narendra Modi, gave 15 seats to BJP and congress could manage 11 seats. In Bihar, BJP+ got 32, lalu 4 and congress 2 seats. If BJP managers keep this in mind, They will understand how important is this flood prone area where 3 lakh hectares of land was under 6-10 feet flood water in 2008 

If Modi wants to lead the electoral campaign, he should understand that he will never be seen as a secular leader. His USP is Hindutva and he can bring BJP to power by making Hindutva supported with development as an election issue. By promising the People of Ram temple in ayodhya and overall development, BJP can win with absolute majority. 

Don't forget that BJP had 2 seats and Advani brought it to 80 seats by the rath yatra of Ayodhya. Modi should lift the baton left by Advani and bring BJP to absolute power. In UP, Bihar or any other state, you can take vote in the name of Mandal or kamandal but let me tell you. The development is invisible when the state is under 10 feet of flood water. 

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hindutva :Militarization of Hindus

The word 'Hindutva' could be one of the most abused and misinterpreted term in India. Some people find it mirror image of an Islamist Sharia state, some believe it as a narrow interpretation of Hinduism by Hindu extremist class, some believe it as a dangerous cult which is ready to riot and divide India, some believe that Hindus want to have political power through Hindutva, as they think that it can unite Hindus to vote on issues closer to Hindu religion and some believe it as a reactionary force which rejects the appeasement policies of secular class and came into existence due to failure of secular forces.

All above interpretations have merit to a small extent but Hindutva can't be fixed in their frame and has its own space.
Similarly Indian Secular elite have given new dimensions to the word 'secularism'. Secularism has become a shield which can be used to defend the indefensible. It is some sort of Master key that opens doors to anywhere. A conman can parrot the secular mantra 100 times a day and his misdeeds will be not only ignored but he will be presented as a victim. 

journalist cum lobbyist Barkha replies to Nilim
Take recent example of Nilim Datta who is in prison for cheating people. The man could deny gravity with his moronic logics and such strong was his secular shield that several central ministers love to be in his company. Shashi Tharoor who could be UN chief from India, follows Nilim datta on twitter, thank God We were saved of this horror of seeing Tharoor as UN chief otherwise to show himself as 'secular' he could even deny death of our soldiers and would be suggesting for liberation of his In Laws' home. Secularism is the panacea for any ailment and this is the reason mediocre love to boast of secularism that is another thing that they won't be able to defend Indian secularism at all and will always cry foul to divert the question.
Now when mediocre class abuses you for taking a path then be sure that you are going in right direction and this is the case with Hindutva.

Shashi tharoor following a conman on twitter

I have heard many definitions of Hindutva professed by Organizations like RSS and others and no fix explanation can be given.

Majority of the people believe that Hindutva is political face of Hinduism. This is the most common misconception about RSS or any other parallel group promoting Hindutva.
For what I understand, Hindutva deals with only one dimension of Hinduism and that is to work for Militarization of Hindus. It doesn't mean that people are being armed and being given military training but making them ready to fight back in case of threat. This view can be applied to any persecuted community be it, shias, Ahmadis, Hindus of Pakistan and Bangladesh or the Copts of Egypt or Jews of the world..

Now the question is why militarization is needed? To know the answer, we should go back in the history.
Hindus who used to have an armed vigilant society lost the courage to fight back due to continuous suppression for almost 800 years and compromise became a part of life. It’s a religion which has no God without a weapon in Hand. A religion which has hundreds of scriptures including Ramayana and Mahabharata which glorifies death occurred in battle field. Bhagvad Geeta was dictated by Lord Krishna in the battle field of Kurukshetra to motivate Arjuna so that he could kill his own cousins for his right to rule.  A religion with such roots got alienated from the very idea of Hinduism and forgot that ultimate peace can only be attained by having an armed society which can fight back if need be. The extreme of this alienation could be seen in the rise of Mahatma Gandhi. Hindus who used to worship Durga to seek power, Hindus who used to do Shastra pooja when weapons are worshiped, they agreed with Gandhi and his non violent principles which included the two cheek theory. 

A Land with Hindu majority was ruled by Muslim invaders for more than 800 years and the Hindu warrior class whose duty was to fight back, chose to compromise and gave their daughters to Arab invaders in marriages. Harems of Mughal emperors contained more than 5000 women who were picked to satisfy the sexual urge of Mughals. You can imagine a society where a king treats women as prostitutes and these women could not find a savior but to dismay of the citizens, other Hindu kings followed similar path and started to keep harems. 
Hindutva works to change this suicidal mindset and works for revival of the military culture of Hindus so that when they are threatened, they don't run away to save life but fight back. Until and unless ‘power to retaliate’ is not revived the massacres of Hindus will continue in Bangladesh, Pakistan and many parts of India. Hindus will be treated as a helpless mass which can be beaten, burnt and raped without any fear of repercussion. Hindutva deals only with this aspect of Hinduism. Politics is far away from Hindutva. Political power was never a goal of Hindutva but only one of the tools to get closer to the target of militarization of Hindus. BJP is not the trunk of the RSS tree but one of the hundreds of stems. In fact RSS doesn't get muddled in politics and gives its cadres and supporters free will to choose their political leaders. For example this can be seen in Orissa where RSS works in every single tribal village and still BJD Has absolute majority. 

Hindutva is one of the most abused terms by different sections due to different reasons. The secular class has sole reason that is its mediocrity and opportunism. Chanting secular mantras let them grab opportunities without merit and cover their mediocre traits. Muslims abuse it due to 2 reasons.  As It denies them their superiority complex and denies their claim of being ancestors of the Muslim invaders who ruled India for 800 years.
Massacres of vast scale have happened in India in almost every period. Be it Feroz Shah tuglaq, be it Shahjahan, be it Aurangzeb or be it Mohammed Ali Jinnah, they have all used massacres to assert their right to rule. In India, its Hindu majority has been killed even for reasons like ringing temple bells at the time of Namaz or if they tried to protect their women f or they denied paying zajia tax. Yes you might be surprised but Hindus have paid zazia tax to buy peace in their own land. This continuous persecution made Hindus so weak at heart that major massacres of Noakhali could happen; Jinnah could openly challenge India of direct action day and open use of terror to get what he wanted. The elite class Muslims due to their superiority complex, even though lesser in number could never accept to be ruled by a Hindu. This is the reason why Jinnah called for direct action day and thousands of Hindus died and nobody could return back the favor to Jinnah and his Islamic murderers. These chapters of history which were suppressed by the secular class of for the sake of power could not be erased in entirety. There is a very important question which we can ask; why Gujarat riots are so much painful for the Muslim leadership where as 100's of riots has occurred in India. 

Why don't they cry for Noakhali or riots that have occurred in Gujarat earlier? The reason is very simple. Earlier riots where led by Muslims and Hindus were on defensive side. This is the mindset that gave enough confidence to Muslim mob of Godhra to dare to burn a whole compartment full of 59 Hindu pilgrims. They had no fear of repercussion; they had taken Hindus for granted. They could not imagine that Hindus will return the favor. Riots started after that, and Ruler of Gujarat had enough grace to let the families get the charred bodies and do the last rites which won't have happened in a secular government. They would have dumped the bodies in some pit and covered the whole story as some alien attack. This is the reason Gujarat riot is so painful for Indian Islamists. They got the message that Hindus won't remain silent anymore and every attack of violence will have its repercussions. This balance of terror is the reason, Gujarat had 11 years of pin drop silence on the riot meter and no local Muslim has tried to blast a bomb. The feeling of superiority complex has evaporated and Muslims have learned the art of cohabitation.  
In modern civics lessons, Gujarat riots will be seen as a crime against Humanity but when history will be written after 500 years, Gujarat riots will be shown as a turning point from where Hindus learnt to retaliate, no doubt the retaliation had several incidents of rapes and killing of children and women which tarnished Hindutva but don't forget that many criminals and congressis profited from the situation and participated in the riots to loot. 

Babri Masjid demolition won't be shown as a criminal act but it will be a historical turning point for how Hindus could capture back their lost land by reconstructing the Ram Temple after almost 600 years. This is result of Militarization of Hindus. If you believe it should be stopped, Go ask a Kashmiri Pandit or an Egyptian Copt, how secularism has helped them and how the lack of courage to fight back has left them as refugees in their own country. Once that ice of inferiority is broken, India will be respected. 

As Ramdhari Singh DInkar has written, 

"Kshama shobhti us bhujang ko 

jiske pass garal ho

Usko kya jo dant-heen, vishrahit 

vineet saral ho"

You have right to pardon someone only when you have courage and strength to punish someone. A snake which has no poison is smashed by stones.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

No to Sharia!

 As an atheist, I was exhilarated to learn of a conference of ex-Muslim writers taking place in Frankfurt, three hours away from where I stay. It was on March 8th to celebrate the International Women’s Day. The panel consisted of celebrated women writers who have spoken in spades against the grave injustices perpetrated by Islamofacist regimes and on a bandwidth of other issues in West and South Asian regions. I would have an opportunity to meet Taslima Nasrin and Maryam Namazie. A friend even offered to sponsor the train journey if I can make a report of the event. The offer was too tempting to let go. I decided to travel to Frankfurt.
The event took place in a student building in Goethe-Universität. I have not seen such a university building. It was adorned with political graffiti, with not an inch spared, filled with expletives against capitalism, Nazism, sexism etc. Though I have to remark that Germany is left-leaning – a place where the American left would be considered almost to the right -, this was no ordinary place. It seemed like a left bastion. Leftists on steroids. I went up to the first floor. I was preparing for my bags to be checked. Isn't such a conference capable of attracting some threats? But nothing. They were pretty cool about it. They allowed me in handing a pamphlet about the conference headlined with a quote from Taslima Nasrin.“Es gibt viele moderate Moslems, doch der Islam selber ist nicht moderat”. There are many moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate.
There are many moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate -Taslima Nasrin

The conference was kick-started by videos of feminist movements by FEMEN known for their bold topless protests, who attempt to arrest attention by using sexuality for political purposes. It blended with the theme of the event filled with bold writers known for holding no punches back. The video that stood out the most to me was the women in Stockholm protesting hijab imposed by the Iranian government.
Some of the writers could not make it. The Egyptian feminist and writer, Nawal El Saadawi sent a video message. She talked of her participation is Egyptian revolution. She castigated varied kinds of oppression, ranging from capitalist class oppression to the Islamist oppression. The list of writers who could not make it sadly also included Taslima Nasrin. I was very disappointed. She was apparently entangled with a legal case filed against her back in her home country. I did not get the exact reasons since many of the announcements were made in German. “Life’s too short to learn German”.

Houzan Mahmoud with Maryam Namazie
There were many writers on the dais whom I was not completely familiar with. One such writer took me aback was an Iraqi Kurdish writer, Houzan Mahmoud. I later figured out that her articles have been regularly published in The Guardian. She had essentially expanded the theme of conference from Sharia Law to all kinds of injustices. She insisted that we need not only strongly oppose Islamofascist regimes who indulge in public hangings and stoning every Friday. But also oppose neo-liberal capitalist forces, the 1% who have usurped power and resources. I was a bit surprised at the mention of Occupy movement.  But who better understands the tyranny of capitalism than the people who have lived under it. Who were invaded to be liberated but ended up bringing Islamist governments to regime, with 1,033,000 people killed until as on August 2007, tearing apart the region into warring Islamic militia resulting in the worst sectarian violence, drastically rising crimes against women, resulting in a total break down of law. Women in post-Saddam Iraq have been traded $200 for a virgin and $100 for non-virgins to neighboring countries. She talked about how her country was ravaged with dictatorships and wars, where one has had no sense of normalcy. 
She asked for the entire political structure to be dismantled, support progressive socialist movements. Any right wing conservative party would lead to human rights violations. She remarked how free market policies and privatization in Iraq has adversely affected women. She said the struggle needs to be for universal rights, a struggle for justice. This was followed by a German translation of her speech. The hall was ensued with loud applause.
Maryam Namzie giving a table thumping speech
Maryam Namzie giving a table thumping speech
Then came the moment I was waiting for. Maryam Namazie stood up and headed towards the lectern. She had picture illustrations to accompany her speech. She said smiling to the largely German audience that they can look at the pictures to get some idea if they did not understand what she spoke.  Maryam Namazie started talking about modern forms of resistance movements. From the Arab Spring to Harlem shake. Harlem shake is the latest internet meme that has hit YouTube where people do crazy dance moves to a song. This was used by hundreds of protesters who danced outside the headquarters of the Muslim brotherhood in Cairo.

Harlem Shake at headquarters of Muslim brotherhood. Source: Mashable
She said, “Even if you are not looking, it is becoming impossible not to see the immense modern resistance taking place day in and day out even in the darkest corners of the globe”. She called this the new period of development after many decades of Islamic terrorism, US-led militarism,  unbridled free-market reign and the retreat of all things universal. She referred to the Occupy protests across the globe, that much of the protests today are to do with occupying public spaces, citizens taking back control, from Egypt to Wall Street. Its demands are deeply rooted in the criticism of the current economic crisis, capitalism, inequality, mass unemployment, poverty as well as dictatorship and Islamism.
The Arab spring of winter does a disservice to the female revolution. It denies its existence by only focusing on Islamism and oppressive forces
She remarked that the hallmark of this era is the high visibility of women in resistance movements. She likened this to a female revolution that challenged and attempts to bring to an end the racist cultural relativism and multiculturalism. She said the Arab spring in winter -which focused on Islamism and oppressive forces- is doing a great disservice to this female revolution by denying its very existence. It was followed by a loud applause. But she was quick to point out that Islam still to this day unlike others would sentence apostates to death in all countries under Islamic rule. It is not that Christianity is any better but today we are living in the era of Islamic Inquisition. Hence, criticism of Islam is key.
“By disregarding this resistance, the much needed solidarity and support for this has been hindered. The foot soldiers of this revolution are workers, the unemployed, the youth, the women, the poor. Islamists did not spearhead the revolution, nor were they instrumental in them. They were no where to be seen. The demands of the revolution were not Islamist demands. People were chanting for education, bread and healthcare while the Islamists were saying no Bikinis!”. The Islamist demands of Sharia and veil were not people’s demands. The gain for the Islamists is a gain for the establishment.
The foot soldiers of this revolution are workers, the unemployed, the youth, the women, the poor. Islamists did not spear head the revolution, nor were they instrumental in them
She insisted speaking to the largely European audience that criticism of Islam, Sharia or the veil does not amount to racism. She used the example of the Saudi government that arrested 23-year-old journalist, Hamza Kashgari. He had tweeted that women in Saudi Arabia cannot go to hell since they are already living in one. He was arrested for apostasy and blasphemy with a pending death sentence. But when other countries accuse Saudi government of spotty human rights record, Saudi government accuses them of racism. She also castigated many postmodernist left groups for allying with Islamist groups and coining the term Islamophobia used to scaremonger people into silence. She further goes on to say that this does not mean that racism does not exist against Muslims and makes the important point that far right does use Sharia and Islamism to promote its racist far right agenda.
Sharia law is a code of death and despair
She later on goes to describe the inhumanities of Sharia law particularly against women. Iran has nearly 130 offences that are punishable by death. She called Sharia law “a code of death and despair”. She agreed that all religions are anti-women and needs to come with a health warning, “Religion kills”. 
It was followed by a loud applause. But she was quick to point out that Islam still to this day unlike others would sentence apostates to death in all countries under Islamic rule. It is not that Christianity is any better but today we are living in the era of Islamic Inquisition. Hence, criticism of Islam is key.

All religions need to come with a health warning, “RELIGION KILLS”
She brought the interesting point that Islamic laws is an exercise to control people, every single aspect of women’s lives. Though there are positive differences in Sharia Law in different countries, it is not because of progressive interpretations but because of progressive social movements aimed at secularization of rights. She said the right to religion is a personal right. Religion as a part of state, education system, judicial system is the end of any form of  equality, choice, rights, freedom. It is no longer personal beliefs but a question of political power. She supports the french system of secularism, Laïcité, which requires a strict separation of religion and state. The belief that the more regressive and reactionary you are, the more authentic Muslim you are is Islamism’s narrative.  No where is resistance against Islamism greater than the countries under Islamic rule. She ended her table-thumping speech with roaring applause in the hall.
No where is resistance against Islamism greater than the countries under Islamic rule.
It is time for Q&A. I grabbed the microphone and with my shaking voice congratulated the panel for expanding the discussion to all kinds of injustices, social and economic injustices. I had to ask the question lingering in my mind. I told them that I was from India which has a Hindu majority and and a Muslim minority. There are injustices within the Muslim society against women, though one of the major concerns there is the majoritarian intolerance of the Hindu right. I told her how when I shared links critical of Islam, it was latched on quickly by the Hindu right who cherry-picked talking points, many a time distorted arguments and used them to attacks Muslims. 
Riot started after 59 Hindus were burnt by a Muslim mob
I also pointed to her how after the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 that resulted in brutal massacre of thousands of Muslims, criticisms of Islam have been used to justify these attacks. She had something very interesting to respond to it. She said this is not unique to India. Indeed, European right indulges in furthering their racist agenda the exact same way. Despite that, however ugly it is, we need to speak the truth. If the left does not speak up against the ugliness and injustices of Islamism, this space will be filled by the right with their racist agenda. One thing that was clear to me by the end of the conference was the difference between the criticism of the left and right against Islam. The criticism from the left comes against regressive laws and regimes trying to suppress people. It is a robust defense of the women, the men, the children against this repression. While the criticism of the right is targeted against these very people who are being repressed.
Then continued some conversations in German. Followed by Iranian food served at the cafe. I decided to take leave after this. While I was leaving, I happened to notice Maryam Namazie by herself at the table full of books on display. I quickly took out the camera and ran towards her. She recognized me. She even asked me for my email address so that she could add me to a mailing list. I asked her how she could speak with such candor, so fearlessly given the antecedents of Salman Rushie and Hirsi Ali. She said jovially, I get a few death threats now and then. But never mind! There are people who suffer manifold more. I have to speak up for them. I could barely smile for the photo. I had just experienced for the first time how it feels to be star-struck. I had to miss the party that followed because I had a train to board back home. I walked back to the train station straining my neck staring at the glittering skyscrapers of Frankfurt.
Written by Amith  and earlier posted on his blog... here