An Indian Muslim writer begs to differ:
Anti-Semitism is not a burden of the Indian people
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In August 2007, a group of elite Indian Muslims led by Hazrat Maulana Jameel Ahamed Ilyasi, the Chairman of All India Organisation of Imams and Mosques, visited Israel. Though this news was reported, most of the media andÂ
Accusations of “Israel partiality” may fall on anyone who merely smiles at a Jew in some airport.
political parties ignored the significance of this unprecedented visit. Maulana’s visit and his comments afterwards should be given high importance and discussed globally, which can even stimulate the peace process in the Middle East.
It is shameful the leftist media, especially in India, conceals the truth that nearly one-third of the population of Israel are Muslims and misleads global Muslims by placing Israel in the position of “Islam’s eternal enemy”. Imam Ilyasi’s first comment after getting back to India was: “Muslims in Israel live better than in India.” He was admitting the truth that Israel never discriminated against Muslims, but that the Islamic movements only made the situation worse.
India is a country where such hypocrisy is prevalent, and accusations of “Israel partiality” may fall on anyone who merely smiles at a Jew in some airport. What is the logic behind agreeing that anything can be imported from that country – spy aircrafts, ammunition, breeding oxes, etc. – but they can’t be spoken with?
The vested interests in the media utilise heartbreaking e-mails from Gaza for their own gain; yet, if any world leader comes forward with authentic talk of peace, he will be accused of partiality for Israel. What a contradiction. The Indian Union Muslim League’s ex-supremo, the late Janab Syed Mohammed Ali Shihab Thangal, said, “Israel is the dagger stabbed into the heart of the Muslim world.” His statement is another clear picture of how Israel is being demonized among Indian Muslims. There is nobody to speak on behalf of Israel, because India has no “Jewish voter bank”.
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was successful in appeasing the Middle Eastern peoples by promoting anti-Semitism, which already prevailed there. It was an easy thing for Indian Communists also, who ideologically depended on the Soviet Union, and so opposed America, to inject this hatred into Indian Muslims, who began to depend on Arabian countries for their livelihood.
Impartially, it is ludicrous how intolerant the Muslim countries surrounding Israel became at the formation of Israel in 1948. Their savagery haunted the people of that country: Egypt, by allowing a regiment of guerillas to attack them; Jordan’s and Syria’s joint venture for diverting the Jordan River; Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s thirst for Jews’ blood; the PLO’s fervour for wiping out a race. Their united forces were all set for combat.
In 1967, the nation of Israel was a mere 20 years old. She had just begun life after two thousand years of exile. IDF’s fighter planes were old and were nothing against Egypt’s MIG-21 fighters from Russia. Israel had few French-made small tanks and patchworked diesel engines fitted on Sherman tanks. Those also were nothing to face the Egyptian-Syrian-Jordanian tanks. Each and every section of Israel’s defenses were near to nominal when compared with those of the enemies at that time. Almost all nations believed that Israel would be totally destroyed and its people slaughtered, as its enemies desired. The population which had just sacrificed six million human lives in Hitler’s Holocaust might be wiped from the Earth within a quarter century.
Braving all these conditions, Israel repulsed four Goliaths within a mere six days.
The rivalry they still retain with the Jews is not the burden of the Indian people or any other, either Muslim or not. After Hitler’s Holocaust and the Second World War the “right” to propagate anti-Semitism belongs to the Communists, who always claim they are “against all discriminations in the name of cast, creed, religion or anything else.” Similar to Hamas’ justifications, the Communists did not hesitate to accuse Israel and the Mossad for the havoc of the collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European Communist dominions, which were actually discarded by their own dominated peoples. This time, the Communist-Islamist axis has become the sponsor of anti-Semitism.
The majority of the media fails to try to understand Israel or even to write impartially. They are biased towards certain political parties that eye the Muslim voter bank. The lion’s share of writers, cultural leaders, social workers, artists, etc. are under the yoke of “voter bank politics”. The same attitude has spread among the public as well.
Jews are not outsiders or strangers to India. They had trade with India from the days of Solomon’s regime and beyond – in 605, 586 BCE, and 68,369 and 490 CE, for example – and many Jewish families came to live in India. The rulers and people received them, gave them a place and support for their livelihood. They were banished in India only by foreigners who came here. Independent India never drove away the Jews.
When the Arab countries stood against India in its election to the United Nations Security Council, only IsraelÂ
Though he faced some hurdles on his decision to visit Israel, he stuck to it.
helped. How many critics remember when China and Pakistan attacked India, and Israel was the first to announce its support for our country? Israel was ready to cooperate and share its many gains in science with India, but the vested-interest politicians and pressure groups who control India did not allow diplomatic relations.
Aside from India’s position as second, behind Indonesia, in the size of its Muslim population (and fourth in its Shi’a-Muslim population), the Muslims in India have had real democratic freedom for 60 years. More than that, they have enjoyed more than a thousand years’ security in India. They have mingled with so many different peoples and might have kept a broad mind in religious matters. Thus, Imam Ilyasi is a much respected person not only by the nation’s Muslims. His dedicated attempts to promote communal harmony are widely appreciated by Hindus as well. Though he faced some hurdles on his decision to visit Israel, he stuck to it and completed his mission with the other members of the delegation, and expressed appreciation for Israel’s hospitality.
Hazrat Imam Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi’s Israel visit has become more relevant with time. Such mutual visits should be encouraged and treated with their deserved importance. Furthermore, such personalities as Ilyasi must be able to come to positions of prominence in their communities. These are the necessities for peace-loving peoples and the responsibility of the respective states.
Mohammed Salih Rawther is a noted political writer and theatre performer in India who was born and brought up in a Communist Muslim family. His (totally unexpected) stand of staunch support for Israel has provoked discussions in the media and blogs. He can be reached at salih.rawther.writes @ gmail.com.
After Western reporters all fled Gaza, all that were left were Palestinian reporters who have an inherent anti-Israel bias. But more importantly, they are scared witless of Hamas. Hamas has attacked press agencies numerous times.
Here isÂ an incident last year when Hamas attacked a mosque, beat people there and trashed it before taking it over. Not one mainstream media outlet published this story. The reason is clearly because of Hamas’ threats against Gaza reporters. (Hezbollah also carefully managed news media access to the Lebanon war in 2006, a lot more subtly than Hamas but very effectively.)
The New York Times did run a story once on howÂ Gaza reporters censor themselves out of fear.
One can pinpoint the exact date that Gaza journalism died. It was mid-June, 2007, and it is detailed in this article from Ma’an – possiblyÂ the last objective article Ma’an has ever written about Hamas:
Root causes of media bias against Israel/Read it all>>>