Open Your Eyes, Muslims!

Rest in Peace, Tarishi

The problem of Muslims is poverty, not infidels. The tentacles of penury that keep charging the vortex further are primarily fed by unbridled procreation, generation after generation, stretching the flimsy resources further and further, till life is in tatters for  units after units of the society. It eventually leads to poor or no education, children slaving as mechanics in roadside garages or elsewhere, but the cavernous family pans perennially refuse to fill up. There are no signs or sparks in the long, long tunnel, day after day, year after year. What makes it all the more unbearable, these youngsters cannot close their eyes to affluence on just the other side of the street, the posh living quarters, the gleaming cars and the razzmatazz of fashion and gadgetry.  Writhing to break free from their deathly predicament, it is tempting to hit the road of delinquency as a short cut to better life, but the law might cut short the flight on that runway. Then there is an alternate route that promises a much more drastic salvation, the seeming ivory tower of power and pleasure complete with AK 47s and teenage houris in the lives both hither and beyond. What these have-nots usually forget, however, is the haves have worked their way up in their lives usually inch by inch, have much leaner families that can afford education and other commonly available amenities of life over genarations. Again, the ladder of prosperity stretches up and up, and as each of us look up to those occupying the higher rungs, we have the options of aspiring, daydreaming, working hard to get there, burning out in jealousy, or resorting to crime and terrorism to get there overnight.

What I say is of course not true of all Muslims. Nor is it true of a majority of those belonging to the creed and are poor. And surely, there have been several affluent and highly educated followers of Islam who have succumbed to the lures of satanic fiefdoms. I fervently hope and believe what these bigots are trying to do is practice a polluted version of a widespread religion. And if by slitting throats of the human lambs, captivating thousands of women some of which are barely out of their childhood and using them as sex slaves, blasting flesh and bones of the non-believers to smithereens, they are reinforcing the tenets of Islam, they are apparently in the wrong creed and they should seriously try to switch over. Atheism is an option.

It will also be argued that the Taliban, LeT, and of late ISIS, are the byproducts of international powermongering. But you cannot breed barbs and cacti on a neutral patch of concrete. Sadly, no other religion has offered more fertile lands to extremism and developed entire jungles of poison ivies.

In a jamboree like India, where people have absolute power, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, the soul of the nation is wilting. People drunk on BMW cars are mowing down innocents by dozens and being granted clemency for being minors and imbeciles, or worse, being the progeny of rich and mighty. An elected member of the power corridors has offered help to apparent terrorists hauled up with an awful load of ammunition and subversive literature emanating from ISIS. Now there is nothing wrong in taking up the cause of the unrepresented. But there are thousands of others of different creeds, guiltless but incarcerated, accused of pettier charges and awaiting justice for years —such is the judicial apparatus out here— why not help those too?

How many of our young sons and daughters can recite verses from the holy books of our own religions, leave alone from Quran? Does that mean their throats should be slit open? Tarishi was butchered because she could not recite the ayats of Quran, and going by the propensities and predilections of the heinous wolves, who knows what she underwent before she succumbed to their filthy swords? What message from what religion are these zealots trying to send across? That the infidel, those who do not follow the diktats of Islam, have no place on the Earth? What will these crazed carnivores do when all but those of their creed remain on the planet? Turning against their own will surely present a finer version of jihad then.

It is high time Muslims opened their eyes for their own general good, if not for the furtherance of the human race, and stop supporting terrorists entities —individuals, units, outfits and states, legal and self-proclaimed —merely on grounds of religous brotherhood. The future belongs to education, restraint, refinement and development, not the prehistoric warlords long consigned to dust.

I have no words to offer to the departed soul of Tarishi, a youth nipped so cruelly in the bud. I fear many more such carnages are waiting to spring forth and blacken the face of humanity in days to come, unless our friends, the Muslims, themselves come forth and call a spade a spade.

May your soul Rest in Peace, Tarishi.


  1. Powerful thoughts Uma. A large percentage of my family are Muslims – they live as ordinary folk, but I have never once heard them speak a word either for or against ISIS.

    1. Bruce, the knowledge that a large percentage of your family is Muslim and don’t give a fig to terrorist legions is such a reassuring thought.

  2. Powerfully written but is it going to change anything? Calling a spade a spade well easier said than done. Appeasement is the order of the day. Have you seen our policy makers in Iftar Parties. Average Indian Muslim does not subscribe to these terror mongers but is afraid to come out in the open. And the rest of us are indifferent. We Hindus are like rabbits with closed eyes assuming that the cat will not attack us. It is about time these organizations are openly criticized. Chief Minister of West Bengal can she ensure that infiltrators from Bangladesh are ordinary poor Muslims or ISIS cadres. It actually needs a massive effort from us common Indians.

    1. My friend, your analogy of rabbits with closed eyes is spot on but the cat is surely going to attack. We must realise that democracy is anathema to Islam: I need not elaborate on the matter further. The politics of vote bank has put India on the Expressway to a hardcore Islamic State where no other creed will be tolerated. Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan (and now Pakistan and Bangladesh) are not too distant a future for us. Someone needs to have the heart to implement a common civil code and put a cap on mindless breeding, enforce proper education to all. To hell with the Gods of all religions.

  3. I agree with your damnation of the Gods, Uma, and in calling a spade a spade. It remains a mystery to me how so many so-called non-violent muslims can remain so non-commital in the face of what is going on.. If one cannot recognize, speak, and act when truth is staring one in the face, then one must be a fearful religious believer in something nefarious indeed. There is such a thing as a sin of omission.

    1. Cynthia, you have hit the nail on the head: There is indeed, ‘such a thing as a sin of omission’. I fear much of it could be motivated. It is time Gods took a backseat in the supersonic ship.

    2. Agree with Cynthia. If your group is, time after time, being identified with atrocities against humanity, leave alone religion, caste, creed, and you happen to be a sane voice, you have to speak up or risk being run over by the others. One cannot run with the hares and hunt with the hounds. You need to choose.

      1. Edicts and now fatwas emanating from Islam are utterly out of synch with the planet as it stands today. The sooner Muslims realized the bitter truth the better for the longevity of their own community. Syria and Iraq have been blasted back to stone age and exist without electricity, medicine and education systems. Women are holed like moles in dilapidated shanties and are being treated like cattle. Kids and toddlers are playing with grenades and suicide vests. Severed heads of the infidel adorn the dirt roads and common squares. Men are all hung on meeting bevies of black-eyed huris in afterlife. Need I say more?

  4. No, it isn’t. 3 of the Dhaka terrorists were from Scholastica, an expensive selective school.It has produced several doctors and scientists. And one of them was from Monash.

    The recent trend of radicalisation of youngsters educated in foreign universities busts the myth that terrorists are from marginalised sections of the society. And it’s very worrisome.

    1. That too, Purba, and I have tried to recount that in my plaint (“And surely, there have been several affluent and highly educated followers of Islam…”). Of course it is perturbing. Perhaps these people are living in a false world, dreaming of the promised Jannat. But you have to consider the critical mass is provided by the uneducated, impoverished youth like Azmal Kasab.

    1. Soon we will be needing an exodus from our own land in the middle of night, Moses or not. The question is, where do we go from here? Should we still keep mum, then? My blood boils when the pseudo-intellectuals with imminently vested interests keep blaring about not linking terrorism with religion (on television and elsewhere). As it stands today, terrorism stands fused with Islam on genetic-molecular basis.

      1. exactly. I spent many sleepless nights thinking on those lines. To be honest can’t find any answer and ultimately start living life in as it comes mode.

  5. I do agree with your post title. Muslims do need to acknowledge that there are their brethren who are taking the extremist route. As you mentioned it cannot be argued anymore that these are the byproducts of international power mongering, even though this is the bitter truth. (there would have been only one nasty dictator terrorising people in Iraq, instead of the new dreaded Daesh (ISIS) spreading globally).

    The core-problem with followers (the good and bad) of any religion, is the belief that their path to god is the right one. There is bound to be chaos and bloodshed when a sizeable number of these followers start to try or brainwashed to try and enforce this ideology.

    However, what can an average “good” muslim who do not believe in these extremist ideologies do? The most he/she can do is keep a watch on family and friends from falling into this trap. And this my friend is not a worthy headline for any newspaper. I bet there are millions who are doing this. Otherwise there would more mayhem across the world than there is today.

    Islam is not a religion with a central leadership like a pope or bishop. So there is no way something can be enforced. Even then i do a see a lot of news about Imam’s and groups of people condemning IS/Terror activities. However these are not as sexy a news item, as somebody saying “We cannot say Bharat Mata ki Jai” or “Om”.

    Apart from poverty, there is some sense of disillusionment about marginalisation that these youth feel for whatever reason.

    We are living in a world, where a tweet, a facebook post, a blog post, a whatsapp message is shared/liked by zillions if it suits their prejudiced view, without even a simple verification of whether what is stated is true. There is more hatred that is being spread by social media among the masses who do not have means or the knowledge to verify the facts. So things are bound to get worse ! much worse! and it will not remain restricted to muslims only for long.

    1. Riyaz, I am happy you acknowledge the clear and present danger. Perhaps it is time we moved beyond religions; ours is supposed to be a secular country, is it not? As it happens, if there are people in a sect under the severest influence of the clergy, it is none other than Islam. Sadly, the pulpit is being used to inculcate and reinforce outdated and orthodox ideologies, rather than imparting modern wisdom. About that feeling of marginalisation and the eventual or inevitable reaction, it is a vicious circle that feeds and gains strength on its own momentum. You would notice people of other sects are being marginalised in Islamic nations of the neighbourhood and beyond; perhaps it is an unfortunate human reflex propelled by the urge to react from dissimilar organisms. At the same time, the problem is not so rampant in India, but sooner or later, people are bound to react. To be sure there are leaders seeking political mileage of the situation, and therein lies our tragedy. Lastly, about the things getting worse fuelled by the so-called social media, it has merely accelerated the speed of human reactions which really haven’t changed since the stone age, and that includes the recent rage of taking ‘selfies’. The crux of the matter is, we have to take things in our stride, we have to keep evolving, and we have to keep adapting to the changing times rather than keep regressing to prehistoric cultures and visions.

      Thank you for your precious views, my friend.

  6. Powerful writing.Some potent steps has to be taken and common civil code is the need of the hour.It is shocking to see none of the Muslims organisations stands against these mayhems. Entry of educated and affluent Muslims in these terrorist groups is an indication of the changing mindset of this community. Probably for them religion is above human lives.
    I agree with you that ‘ future belongs to… consigned to dust’. But in present political scenario I see no hope dear friend !

    1. You have said it, my friend. We are all humans and we need to adopt to the changing realities, which includes a common civil code for us all. Let the things of dust remain in dust.

  7. ghastly truth presented in most heart touching manner. whatever religion, it has to be progressive and adapt with the changing time. sanatan dharm also had some unusual practices like child marriage, sati pratha, unfair treatment with widows etc, but over the time we had reformers who taught us to do away with irrelevant customs. As a society we all are responsible, we feed the fundamentalists by having them their own personal law just in the name of secularism, by protecting their ideologies in the name of minorities. no religion can be bigger than humanity. In any religion reforms can take place from inside and not from outside.

    1. Your observation on Santan Dharm abandoning odious practices like child birth, sati pratha and unfair treatment of widows is a scintillating example of evolving religion. Christianity too has left behind practices like witch-hunting. Unfortunately, Islam appears to be set on a path of regression. It is time for introspection for the followers of the sect.

    1. Not just Islam, Imran. If any religion ‘makes you a judgmental, hateful, arrogant person’, you are either not practising it right, or it’s time to move on. As matters stand today, all arrows are pointing towards Islam, and they are all arrows of the very wrong kind.

      1. “Zafar aadmi usko na janiyega ho woh kaisa hi sahib-e-fehm-o-zaka,
        Jise aish mein yad e khuda na rahee,jise taish mein khauff e khuda na raha.””

        “Zafar call him not a person,no matter how pure and pious he seems,
        one who forgets God in times of luxury and the one who fears not God in times of anger.”
        -Bahadur Shah Zafar
        Last Mughal Emperor

  8. The young girls gory and untimely demise has shaken me. Her funeral is being conducted close to my house, even as I write this. I’m numb, I’m confused, angry, disgusted and scared. This is our neighborhood. Tomorrow it could be us. Penury and unemployment is definitely one of the reasons. The vested interests of the West is another. As is political apathy and political opportunism. And there are many more layers as to why these misguided youths are doing what they are doing in the name of religion. Muslim community has to come out in one strong voice against terror.

    1. Any human will be shaken. It is well known that primates, mammals, birds and even supposedly lesser animals grieve at the passing away of their kind, or their mentors, as in the cases of dogs and horses. What is this species then that butchers and gloats over the severed heads of their own brothers and sisters? Who are these creatures that slit open the throats of teenagers who can’t recite the verses from a particular book? What is this religion than glorifies the deeds of such blood-thirsty hounds? Neither these assassins nor the people who condone their excesses deserve to be called humans.

  9. Very powerful words Umashanka ji —yes its time people start thinking in a saner way But religious fanatics do have a way of influencing or terrorising in such a way that the common man does succumb . All religions have a section of this kind of people who do influence the thought process of their followers but sadly the ratio is more among muslims .

    Its time all sane and write thinking people irrespective of their cast or creed try to influence the common public towards better and more rational thoughts . Let the truly educated take up the responsibility

    Or let us educate at least our children to be better thinking humans —-boond boond se gagar bhar sakte hai hum

    1. If you look back into the pages of history, you will find sanity hasn’t always prevailed over evil. Nazis wouldn’t have stopped their methodical massacre but for the concerted efforts of the Allies. Terrorists and terrorist nations, who are unfortunately overwhelmingly Islamic in origin, need to be given a dose of of their own medicine —they need to be put to rest for the general good of the humanity. And yes, we all need to join forces in this war, including Muslims.

  10. Every religion should leave a space to evolve itself but they, extremists, are making every effort not to let it evolve but grow only in numbers – a population with hollow minds so that they can fill it with anything they want. It makes me sad how a decent Muslim would be feeling when they read such things or such strong hatred for their community. May God give them the strength to witness and withstand this.

    1. I am sure Upasna, you have heard that maxim: the length of your stick ends where my nose begins, and so it is with religions. Rather than feel offended, decent people need to open their eyes and join the others in hating and chastising such heinous acts.

  11. Uma, an impassioned plea for sanity. Such senseless brutality, and in the name of what? One has to be skeptical of any belief, cause or idea which sets us violently against one another. Religious and political opinions should be subordinate to our love and respect for each other.

    1. Marty, strange as it may seem, but simply being sceptics will precipitate the crisis rather than ending it. Time has come when we must put our foot down against all such beliefs, causes or ideas that are gnawing at the very roots of our existence.

  12. Very powerful! So sad!
    “The problem of Muslims is poverty, not infidels. ”
    So very true, Uma! Problem is, the poorer they get, the more fervently they hold their religion. All they need to do is giving up on “God” promise, and change the desert into plantation.

    1. But indeed, Yun Yi. The poor are providing the critical mass to this madness. The attack in Dhaka was led by affluent and ostentatiously ‘well educated’ Muslims, and there have been others like them. But these beasts from the upper echelons of the society are merely piggybacking the momentum to instant power, lust and imagined glory.

  13. Like youngsters of many religions, Muslim youngsters too aren’t well-versed with what is written in their holy books, I believe. It is so much easier to consult the misleading and tempting internet/news channels/newspapers to get information, which in turn can be erroneous, fabricated and meant only to encite.

    Greed is a reality which can turn the most God-fearing person into a criminal. Religion no bar. Although it is true that a house full of a dozen kids and in dire poverty can be more prone to being targeted for finding and influencing youth.

    While matters have reached a dangerous stage now, killing for religion isn’t a new thing. A glimpse at history will remind us of rampant religious intolerance and killing.

    1. History is replete with rampaging barbarians fuelled by religious righteousness. Most terrorists are hurting to re-establish caliphates that would serve as gateways to the heavens. If they cannot be exorcised of their ghostly ideas quickly enough, the end of humanity is not far.

      1. True. This exorcism is the toughest part, since it is fuelled more by lust for power, control and money more than anything else. It is the ones who actually die that think they are going to heaven. Their so-called masters have far more worldly things to worry about.

  14. Very powerful, Uma! It’s always shameful and frightening to witness those who hide behind religion to slaughter or persecute people of any age, in any place. The perpetrators are not religious. They are savages in the 21st Century bent on satisfying their senseless blood lust in the name of “righting wrongs.” Tell me, please, how a dead child in the road or on a beach or outside a building rights a wrong.

    The gods weep at these beliefs.

    An old cartoon I have says, “There are two classes of people, the righteous and the unrighteous. The classifying is done by the righteous.” Always.


    1. Yes, it is shameful and frightening; and I hope each of us is equally ashamed, including the religious brethren of the rampaging psychopaths. We should be very worried and afraid if such excesses keep getting glorified and justified by the others of the sect. That quote about defining righteousness or otherwise says it all.

  15. It’s going to get worse and worse. Wish I could see a semblance of improvement somewhere to be able to add the hackneyed ‘before it gets better’.

    A gripping article Umashankarji. Hope they’re listening.

    1. Unfortunately, prominent leaders across the globe are acting as the proverbial ostrich. The bitter truth is, it is our necks being exposed and offered on a platter in the process.

  16. I thought of writing a long comment on your post about this particular religion but I guess will not consume much of this space which has been already flooded with other’s sensible comments. I just have to say can the people change their mind when the basis of their religion, the holy book, speaks blatantly against infidels. Can they go against their holy book which is again mentioned in that same book as an act of blasphemy?

    1. While life is dynamic, ever-changing and evolving, holy books are not. Many religions have shed abhorring practices like witch-hunting, widow-burning, human-culling and child marriage and moved on. Often, the ancient verses are quoted out of context and time and twisted to suit one’s depravities. Religious edicts suited to nomadic life and used as a tool of social control then are bound to create friction in today’s developed world. Unfortunately, Islam is on a slippery slope of regression today and its practitioners have either resigned or prefer to keep their eyes shut.

  17. Indeed Uma. Your frustration is tangible.
    Alas, the perpetrators are products of governments that seem to ignore the sensibilities of inclusion. Such a political mindset is fraught with danger, especially when thrown into the mix of fundamentalist `religions’.
    Are we to destined to live in walled cities? Mmm…such irony, with a dash of dejavu; a return to the darkest of ages & religious’ interpretations’ we’d hoped were long gone.
    A sad but well crafted piece my friend.

    1. Ian, history of the world in general and the Indian subcontinent in particular has rarely taken inclusions kindly. You will have noticed the plights of Hindus and Christians in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and even in India in pockets like Kashmir. That thing you call ‘government’ is only a rag doll in the hands of the clergy. We are indeed headed to murky alleys and walls, a dash of déjà vu of long forgotten ghettos.

  18. Muslims must speak out and explain who they are, what they believe in, what they stand for, what is the meaning of their life. They must have the courage to denounce what is said and done by certain Muslims in the name of their religion.

    1. To Imran, I have but one thing to say. The sane and sensible voices are not TRP gathering hence quite unsexy and useless for the media. The problem is we either have the right wing nuts or left wing liberal idiots who have no clue about how humanity progresses. We know little about our own religion to denounce another and if there is a rational discussion both the left and the right do not really want us to talk because we might just find beauty in each other’s religions and practical common ground. That is so scary for many because that makes the supposed secular brigade utterly irrelevant.

  19. As has been pointed by Actor Irfan Pathan recently Muslim leaders are not proactive enough. Many of them themselves behave like fanatics. Any soft liberal voice among them is silenced brutally – like the killing and prosecution of sufi saints in Pakistan and Bouls in Bangladesh.

    1. Not only Muslim leaders are not doing enough, their understanding of human sensibilities can be hardly called above par. The less said of the monkeys of the media the better, pooh-poohing Irfan Khan.There has been a paradigm shift in cultures and lifestyle with the evolution in science and technology. You cannot force a bullet train to run on a dirt track but that is exactly what most Muslim clerics would have.

  20. ok. reposting

    daring post.
    relevant to the times.
    this rigidity that “only my religion is right, only my beliefs are correct” is cancerous. the whole world suffers

  21. Until recently I too believed terrorism thrived on poverty, lack of opportunities and marginalization. And then Dhaka happened. And before that we heard news of many Europeans subscribing, supporting and participating in the heinous ideology. There are too many factors contributing here. We need to join forces and yes, like you say, the Muslims need to come out strongly against and we need to support them. Fully agree on the uniform civil code to be implemented in the nation if it truly wants to be a secular state. I fail to understand how interpretation of religion continues to have a grip over us even in this age of advancement in technology. It’s influence in the Dark ages was understood when people needed a pillar of faith to fall back upon for all things that went unexplained. the basic idea of religion as a path to spiritual uplift or higher thinking was drowned in the practices and the necessity to wear it on our sleeves. That was a potent thought provoking post, Uma. And I am glad you brought it out the way it is.

    1. Apparently, there are friends who find Dhaka massacre eye-opening. Indeed, some have been dismissive of the role poverty has been playing in the mushrooming jungles of terrorism. I have said somewhere in the comments above that poverty provides the critical mass to the lethal weaponry of Islamic fundamentalists. It is a vicious circle within a vicious circle; they are playing the number game to a devastating effect. Impoverished Muslims are being encouraged to breed at exponential rates with the sole target of overwhelming the ‘infidels’. The overblown families cannot afford the requisite nutrition, education and medical expenses and it is all in the interests of the jihadist masterminds (who are often affluent and ‘educated’). In a democracy like India, we don’t have to wait for many years to see the fruition of the strategy. Open borders with Bangladesh has only been adding adding ammunition to the state of affairs. Now if you take away the Kasabs who are the foot soldiers, the infantry, the cavalry and even shining knights of terrorism, the coterie (and the theory) of the rich and educated providing steam to the engine will fizzle out. Along with common civil code, introduction of family planning is an imperative today and we are ignoring it at our own peril.

  22. very powerful thoughts Uma ji… i have few muslim colleagues. when i compare their ideologies with those recited by these orgs, there is vast difference. the only factor differing them is education!

  23. You just have spoken about something that has always been an elephant in the room.. Its everywhere and specifically emanating from one religion, which allowed itself to be so misunderstood, by such a huge number of people. Unfortunately in this troubling times, it is not enough to be silent spectators and neither is it enough to stop your kith and kin.. But what’s needed is to be a more active participant in uprooting this evil and ridding your religion of miscreants like this, which bring it a bad name.

    1. Sorry for the delayed response; I nearly missed your comment.

      About that elephant, it has grown so big it will not be possible to shoo it away without removing the walls of the the room and then we don’t have a room. Not just because the elephant has been methodically nurtured and brainwashed to occupy rooms and keep bloating till other structures about it come apart in pieces, psuedo-intellectuals and ‘liberals’ have been doing their best to precipitate the crises.

  24. And now the news from Munich. So much disturbing news from all over the world. And it seems like it is only getting worse.

    It’s is sad that although it’s only a handful of people doing all this damage and terrorizing the world, muslims all over are paying for it. With many a boy-next-door going out and killing people who’ve done nothing to wrong them, almost every one of the faith is looked at with suspicion. They seem to be missing out on good opportunities in life, too. I feel sorry for my muslim friends. It’s a sad situation but then again, can we blame the majority for the fear, with all that is going on?

    It’s good to see that there is some change coming about. People of the faith are finally slowly coming forward to speak against all this evil that’s being done in the name of religion. (And there are innocent muslims also being killed in these attacks.)

    I agree, we could do more atheism. Atheists don’t kill in the name of religion.

  25. I really respect the sentiment. Unfortunately the Islamic faith seems inured to change. Why should they, they are the good guys following the perfect word of god. There is the ever present consequence for apostrophe. Heavy price to pay for a de-conversion.

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