A Hindu friend of mine, Farhan Qureshi, goes into what appears to be Hindu nationalist ethno-centred PSYOPS against Indian Muslims. It comes across as really low brow stuff. Whilst addressing Indian Muslims, he writes:
“Why do you worship Arabs and their religion? Embrace your ancestry, you are ethnically Hindu”
Muslims don’t worship Arabs. Muslims don’t worship people. Muslims worship God alone. Just because Islam was revealed in Arabia does not mean it is an Arab religion – Islam is a Revelation for the whole of mankind. It’s humanity’s religion.
The fallacy he’s guilty of here is the genetic fallacy. He’s arguing emotionally against Islam due to it not being a religion Revealed in India. Whether deliberate or not, he’s seemingly encouraging Muslims to look away from Islam and towards Hinduism simply because of where such a religion comes from. Let’s delve into Farhan’s barb further with 3 important points.
To say Islam is foreign to the Indian subcontinent or to any other region of the world is short-sighted. “Muslim” linguistically means one who submits to God and “Islam” linguistically means submission to God. Muslims believe Allah (God) sent messengers to all nations and there’s a tradition which says Allah sent 124,000 messengers in total (to the whole of humanity) thus “Muslim” messengers would have been sent in various parts of the Americas, Europe and the Indian Subcontinent long before the revelation of the religion of Islam as we know it today with the Quran and Prophet Muhammad.
Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi writes:
Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an that He sent Messengers and guides among all people. Allah Almighty says: “ And verily We have raised in every nation a messenger, (proclaiming): Serve Allah and shun false gods. Then some of them (there were) whom Allah guided, and some of them (there were) upon whom error had just hold. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for the deniers!.” (An-Nahl: 36) He Almighty also says, “There was not any community except a Warner who lived among them.” (Fatir :24).
In his Musnad, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal has stated that Allah sent 124, 000 Prophets, and from among them 315 were Messengers.
Those Prophets that Allah sent to all nations would have included people indigenous to those nations thus some would have been from the Indian subcontinent. Think about that! This may well have been before the Vedas were written, before the Indus Valley civilization and before the Aryan invasion.
So we expect at least one, although given the size of that region I’d imagine there would have been more than one, ethnically Indian messenger (born and raised in the Indian subcontinent), preaching “Islam” (submission to Allah via pure monotheism) to people of his ethnicity and geographical location. In fact, if you think about it, many Indians will have an ancestry which will have links to such a prophet/s.
To argue against Islam based on emotional genetic fallacies is unfair, myopic and, once we look at the broader picture of the Islamic tradition, it’s an argument based on ignorance/myopia.
2. Hinduism is not solely a product of India and can we really say all those living there do not have roots beyond India? What role did the Aryans play in the development of Hinduism? There is a standard story in most text books: the theory of the Aryan invasion (although there’s a migration theory too). Sometime between 2500-1500 BCE the Aryans took over the Indus valley civilisation and eventually pushed all the way into India and Aryianised the culture. The Aryans seemed to have their own pantheon, their religious tradition was similar to that of ancient Persia.
How much influence did the Aryans and their descendants have on Hindu scriptures and Hindu philosophies?
For the Hindu nationalist this would be an issue if he’s seriously going to use the genetic fallacy against Muslims and Islam.
3. The Hindu is communicating in English, a language that is definitely not native to his ancestral region.Is he worshipping English people? Similar comments could be made about the internet, his PC, his phone, his clothes, his accent (obviously not Indian!) etc..
You see how silly the genetic fallacy can get? Surely, folks can see how unfair and inconsistent it is to use the said fallacy on Muslims and Islam.
Farhan’s comments on Arabs
Farhan sticks continues with his psychological barbs. He writes:
“Even the Arabs call you Hindi and think you are subservient to their religion and culture”
Well this is negative stereotyping of Arabs, it’s almost like he’s making them out to be racists and Arab supremacists who look down on other people. Is that fair to tar all Arabs with such an unpleasant theme? No. To say Arabs are all a bunch of bigots would be like saying to Eastern Christians the Europeans consider you subservient to their religion ad culture or to the Indian that Westerners look down on you and think you’re subservient to their culture.
It’s stereotyping. I bet most Arabs look at Indian Muslims lovingly as their brothers and sisters. In fact, Islam teaches us how irrelevant race is:
In his famous Farewell Pilgrimage sermon, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) declared: “O people! You are all to Adam and Adam was made of dust. No Arab is to be preferred over a non-Arab except by virtue of his piety.” In another hadith, he (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Allah does not look at your images or your colors but He looks at your hearts (intentions) and your deeds. Creatures are the dependants of Allah and the closest among them to Allah are indeed the most useful to His dependants.”
The PSYOPS against the poor Indian Muslims does not let up, Farhan goes on to write:
“Their [I assume he means Arab] history is not your history”
I think we have kind of touched on this in the section covering the genetic fallacy There we saw Islam is EVERYBODY’s history as it is a religion for the whole of humanity. Messengers of Allah were sent to every race and every geographical region preaching devotion and worship to God alone.
This is such a powerful unifying thought. Think about it, God sent prophets of your race to your ancestors. I’m saddened to see some of our Hindu friends unaware of this and thus they are making statements which are not only unfair but lacking depth and meaningful insight.
God has sent a last messenger, Prophet Muhammad, with a global message. If you’re a Hindu, do you know about this message? Would you like to learn about it if you have not been told about it? If yes, please see here.
He finishes off by playing a clip of Shk. Hamza Yusuf talking about the mistreatment of Indian labourers (as well as maids).
Of course, this is not by coincidence. It’s linked to the other snips of ethno-PSYOPS against Indian Muslims. We must remember, labourers and maids being mistreated is certainly an issue of concern that Muslims around the world should condemn regardless of race but at the same time folks must not use it in propaganda against Arabs and/or Muslims – obviously it is only a tiny fraction of Arabs who are involved and the majority would abhor maltreatment of Indian labourers.
This propaganda by the Hindu would be akin to somebody who is not in Britain stereotyping English people as racists because of a few far right groups getting into the news here. Most English people condemn those groups and are repulsed by their racist sentiment. Likewise, the vast majority of Arab Muslims will condemn such shameful treatment, alongside Shk Hamza Yusuf. It’s sad our Hindu friend in his haste misused a good deed by the Muslim scholar; who was correcting the guilty Arab Muslim brethren and warning other Arab Muslim brethren whilst bringing this social ill to the attention of the wider Muslim community in order to alleviate the problem.
The mistreatment of labourers and maids which we see on the news is a departure from Islamic teachings. Islam does not allow such mistreatment, we are taught to be just in the Quran.
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. [Translation of the Meaning of Quran 5:8]