Muslims, friends of Hindus

In the west you sometimes hear of Hindus and Sikhs being attacked by racist gangs who “thought they were Muslims”, and blamed them for terrorist activities. It is very easy to see that this is unfair, they are blamed for something that they did not do. Look at things a little further, however, and you will realise that exactly the same thing is true for the majority of Muslims. They get blamed for the terrorist activities of a minority.

I have read a number of blogs where many Hindus have expressed a feeling of being let down and of shame when a minority of Hindus took violent and indiscriminate revenge on Christians in Orissa after the killing of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati in Orissa. They feel that this contradicts the tradition of peace and tolerance in Hinduism. I certainly feel this way. This feeling must be what many Muslims feel when atrocities are carried out in the name of Islam.

It is unfortunate that there are Muslim extremists and terrorists and these do cause a great deal of harm. These are the ones who get reported on the news all the time. The majority of Muslims though, like the majority in any religion, want to get on with their own lives and live peacefully with their neighbours. This has been illustrated by a number of posts on an Orkut thread “Hindu – Muslim Unity“. I think it is important to circulate this kind of information. This helps us keep reports of violent Muslims in perspective, and hopefully give encouragement to Muslim moderates. That is why I have decided to post a little about some of these events here. Reported news includes links to an article about Muslims who decided not to celebrate Eid after 130 Hindus were killed in a temple stampede:

Expressing their grief on the incident, Jodhpur Muslim youth have also decided that they won’t celebrate Eid on October 2 and will prefer to mourn the death of those killed in the stampede.

They feel that the tragedy that struck at the Chamunda Devi temple on Tuesday doesn’t warrant any celebration.

According to the reports, locals rushed to the spot to help with rescue operation and take the injured to the hospital and a day later the city is mourning.

And this section of locals have put up posters appealing to others in their community not to celebrate on Thursday.

“We will only be offering Namaz. We have decided not to celebrate Id,” says one of the Jodhpur Muslim youths, who believe that Eid shouldn’t be celebrated after the stampede, Shakir Ali.

Other articles include a heart warming story of when an re-enactment of the Ramayana had to stop for the Muslim cast members to perform their namaz prayers and break their roza (fast).

Masood Ahmad recalls the hush that fell when he went onstage to announce an unscheduled break during the raging battle between Lord Rama and Ravana, last Dussehra. The huge audience assembled at the Bakshi Ka Talaab ground was not amused. A few even began to boo, till the reason for the interruption was explained.

The Ramlila cast – including Rama, Ravana and Lakshman – Ahmad explained, needed to offer namaz and break roza . Not a single protest was heard thereafter. The show resumed only after the actors rolled up their prayer mats post-namaz and shared the iftari snacks – right on stage.

Yet another article describes how in Tripura Hindus and Muslims take part in each other’s festivals. The people of this region show a beacon of hope:

“We are one, we’ve always been one. We live together, so why wouldn’t we celebrate our festivals together?” said Nazrul Islam, member of Rajnagar Puja Committee.

Bengali Muslims have been indigenous to Tripura. In fact, Bengali Hindus are the migrants in the area. Despite the animosity shared elsewhere between the two communities, it has become a tradition in the state to celebrate festivals together.

Yet another article shows an amazing willingness of Muslims in Kendrapara to help Hindus. A municipal strike had threatened to leave the town strewn with rubbish during the Lakshmi Puja celebrations, when:

… the Muslims in Kendrapara town, in a rare gesture of communal harmony, started cleaning the drains and roads in the Badahat area of the town to create a clean atmosphere during the celebration of the weeklong festival of Lakshmi Puja that started on Tuesday.

These stories serve to remind us that religious differences do not mean conflict is inevitable, and that there are many people who want to live peacefully. Now, I am sure  there are some people reading who are thinking that Islam does not teach peace in the way that Hinduism does. Perhaps that is true, as a Hindu I certainly believe that there are many things expressed better in Hinduism than in other religions. Think for a moment though how much of the way we view Islam comes from the traditions and culture of some Islamic countries rather than from the religion itself. If the Gita had been interpreted historically by militaristic nations perhaps people would look on that differently.

These stories and many like them show that there are many Muslims who do interpret Islam peacefully, and these Muslims should have our thanks. As Hindus we would not want to convert all Muslims, and we couldn’t if we tried. If Peace comes between different Islamic groups, and between Islam and other faiths, it will come from the peace-makers within Islam. This is what happened to European Christianity over the centuries. For this reason I thank any peace-loving Muslims who read this. May we live in friendship and with respect for each others’ traditions.

10 responses to “Muslims, friends of Hindus

  1. There are people with extreme and violent views in any religion.

    Violence seems only to beget violence, and this is part of the cycle that we must stop.

  2. Ashutosh Kumar

    Great article. Positive aspects of Hindu Muslin co-operation and brotherhood need to be highlighted. There are umpteen occasions when Hindu Muslim love has found a way of expressing itself in daily life but has goes unnoticed . You see it is not NEWS. The Mainstream media both in India and abroad is delinquent in reporting such things. In India the TV channels create such hype and whip up such negative sentiments by aggressive and often inaccurate reporting that it seems they have an investment in keeping Hindus and Muslims at each others throats.On the ground, things are not that bad at all. Unfortunately the Indian politician too is not free of blame.

  3. Pingback: After the Mumbai Attacks - Are Muslims still freinds to Hindus? « Western Hindu

  4. Pingback: Hinduism, a model for inter-religious respect | Western Hindu

  5. Sorry but i beg to differ, Sikh people used to be people of Sanatan Dharma. Their origin was from pure chaos, when the muslims invaded india from Sir-e-Hind ( head of Hind), they entered into Punjab. The first muslims invaders attacked at night – killed even women and children – unlike hindu people. Some women were taken alive to be kept in “Haram” turned into prostitutes.

    Sikh people came into being when they realized that they were not equipped to handle these attacking invadors. The first born son of each household became Sikh who was made to “kill” Muslims.

    They fought long and hard against Muslims, they were fierce and muslims feared sikh people. However, they couldn’t protect the country.

    Hindu people used to be 100% vegetarian, but Sikh people transformed. and started eating non-vegetarian food. To show Muslims the error of their ways – like they have “halal” where they slit the throat of the animal and let it bleed to death which is cruel. They ( Sikh) tried to show them its better to chop the hear in an instant. But in the end peaceful people transformed.

    Muslims destroyed native Hindu culture – the biggest example -Tajmahal

    Its real name is tajomahalay- a Shiva temple, proof? look at any picture of tajmahal – on top there is a trident – a signature of Shiva temple, instead of a crecent star. There are a million more proof – i could go on and on..

    [Tandava: Removed multiple links to same site. The one in your name is enough.]

  6. You should look at the pictorial evidence about Taj Mahal and other places in India on this link below:-

    http://www.stephen-knapp.com/was_the_taj_mahal_a_vedic_temple.htm

    Also look up more information about Sanskrit in the next link:-

    http://veda.wikidot.com/fundamentals-of-indology-wrong

  7. Anugadha, what does it matter whether the Taj Mahal was a Hindu or Christian or Muslim monument? If you want to go there to offer prayers go ahead. No one will stop you. You say Muslims destroyed Hindu culture? No one tried to destroy Hindu culture. In fact it is closed minded Hindus who kept stabbing each other in the back that allowed invaders of all countries, be they Afghani (Ghazni, Ghuri, Babur), Turk (Timur), Mongol (Chengiz Khan), Greek (Alexander) or English (too many examples) to invade India and pillage it. Were our kings of yesteryear afraid of the Muslim or Turk invasion? No. They were opportunist pricks who sided with whoever gave them the most power or influence.

    By the way I was born into a traditional Hindu brahmin family, my wife comes from a traditional muslim family. I never thought for a second she is trying to destroy my ‘culture’. We had a civil marriage. My family has a long history of music and my ancestors were court musicians, composers and trustees of temples in South India. My wife’s family were simple fisherfolk, who worked hard all day to put food on the table of their families. No one thought of destroying any cultures. My daughter’s name is Sahana, a name for Lakshmi in Hindu tradition and means Queen in Arabic. It is also the name of a raaga. Stop being fixated with what happened in the past and start living in the 21st century.

  8. Link: http://goo.gl/7Ekcd

    He is a pseudo “Hindu”, there is no raga named “Sahana” in Hindi or Sanskrit. Any way this link clearly shows the truth.

  9. Pseudo secular hindus of India.haha.
    Well the article is , i agree to some extent. But although non violent , muslims are generally radical. I have nothng against them personally but still its a fact that they have done great harm to India. But people like Apj abdul kalam are really great too.

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