Centre for the History of Religious and Political Pluralism by jfm16066


									Centre for the
History of Religious and Political Pluralism /
Institute for the Study of Indo-Pakistan Relations
                                     1369 4197

                                                                                                          Harmony        with
 Volume 7 - Issue 1 - Winter 2003 / ISSN: 1369 4197                                                       diversity / Diversity
                                                                                                          with      harmony
 Pluralism: the respect of our differences
 and the identification of what we share in common

       Inside this issue:

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 US-Pakistan Relations       1-5    The conference organised by the Institute for the Study of Indo-Pakistan Relations
                                                                                      (University of Leicester) and
                                                                                      Georgetown University School of
 Jihad and Terrorism         5-10                                                     Foreign Service and Asian Stud-
                                                                                      ies Program was held on 20 Octo-
                                                                                      ber. The theme was ‘US-Pakistan
                                                                                      relations: Thwarting global terror-
 Summaries of                10-                                                      ism’. Speakers came from the UK,
 INPAREL publication         13                                                       US, and Pakistan and offered their
                                                                                      unique insights into this renewed
 Visit of Human Rights 13-                                                            relationship in the post-9/11 world.
 Activist from Gujarat to 14                                                          In this article, summaries are
 Centre                                                                               given of the key papers presented
                                                                                      at this one-day conference and a
                                                                                      summary of the day and mes-
 Gujarat in Tenth Cen-       15
                                                                                      sages it presented as a whole.
 By Richard Bonney
                                    The conference was sub-divided into different themes; the first one of the day was ‘US-
                                    Pakistan Relations: Clash or Cooperation of Civilizations’. The chair and commen-
                                    tator of this session was John Voll of Georgetown University. The papers presented
                                    covered religio-political aspects of the US-Pakistan relations as can be seen by the
 Editor: Revd                       summary of Ross Masood paper’s on the ‘Clash of Civilization’ theory. The other paper
 Professor Richard                  presented on this theme was by Philip Jones from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Uni-
 Bonney                             versity, Prescott, Arizona. He spoke about ‘The “Sunni Revolution” and Politics in Paki-
                                    stan: The rise of the Deobandi Ulema’.
 Centre for the History of
 Religious and Political            Ross Masood: The Clash of Civilizations: Role of Pakistan in the Islamic World
 Pluralism / INPAREL                This paper concentrates on the work of Prof. S. Huntington and the role of Pakistan in
 University of Leicester            the Islamic world. Huntington’s work ‘Clash of Civilizations’ has stirred much contro-
 LEICESTER                          versy but it has also found acceptance among ‘neo-cons’ in Washington and has al-
 LE1 7RH                            lowed human rights abuses to go unchecked in Russia, Israel and Serbia.
                                    Khatami, the President of Iran, started a fight back in 1997 saying that what was
 e-mail:                            needed was a ‘dialogue of civilizations’. This dialogue however, cannot take place
 inparel@le.ac.uk                   whilst injustices and poverty exists. The developed world needs to take a lead in this.
                                    The West is obliged to help others to ensure its own security.

 0116 223 1899

 0116 223 1899

What role for Pakistan in defusing the false perceptions created by the thesis of a clash of civiliza-
tions? Musharraf has refuted this theory and he believes that the way forward is to adopt a two-
pronged strategy to build harmony, promote moderation, oppose extremism and ensure justice. This
strategy has been termed by him ‘enlightened moderation’.
Pakistan is willing to play a vital role in the eradication of the specific threat from Al-Qaeda but also in
defusing false perceptions about the US. In particular the perception that the US war on terrorism is
actually a war on Islam. However, the onus falls on the West. It must respond to the initiatives taken
by leaders in the Islamic world. It must
abandon theories such as: all Islamic militants are potential terrorists; that Islam covets the wealth of
the West and its territories; that Islam wants to conquer the West and that there is a monolithic Is-
lamic threat to international order, peace and security. The second step is to stop condoning human
rights abuses in Chechnya, Palestine and Kashmir. The danger is that the West may engage in a
self-fulfilling prophecy by pursuing such policies which lead to confrontation rather than cooperation.
Pakistan is supposed to take the lead in this, but Pakistan needs assistance from the West and the
US in particular. The US needs to be consistent in its treatment of Pakistan: not an ally one minute
and the enemy the next.

The second theme covered was ‘US-Pakistan Relations: Past Challenges and Future Principles
of a Lasting Partnership’. The chair and commentator for this session was Howard Schaffer also of
Georgetown University. The speakers addressed the problems of the relationship between the US
and Pakistan in the past and how these could be remedied in the present and future partnership. Na-
sim Zehra, a Fellow at Harvard University’s Asia Center, spoke on ‘Twists and turns in the relation-
ship: A Pakistani perspective’. The other speaker in the session was Marvin Weinbaum whose paper
is summarised below.

Marvin Weinbaum: Pakistan and the U.S.: Partnership in the War on Terrorism
This paper charts the history of the US-Pakistan relationship which has been interrupted, which is
also highly erratic and there has often been limited engagement. The partnership is also essentially
American expectations of Pakistan abandon theories such as: all Islamic militants are potential terror-
ists; that Islam covets the wealth of the West and its territories; that Islam wants to conquer the West
and that there is a monolithic Islamic threat to international order, peace and security. The second
step is to stop condoning human rights abuses in Chechnya, Palestine and Kashmir. The danger is
that the West may engage in a self-fulfilling prophecy by pursuing such policies which lead to con-
frontation rather than cooperation.
Pakistan is supposed to take the lead in this, but Pakistan needs assistance from the West and the
US in particular. The US needs to be consistent in its treatment of Pakistan: not an ally one minute
and the enemy the next.

The lunchtime speaker was Ambassador William Milam from the Smithsonian Institution and George
Washington University. His chosen topic was ‘A Manichean View of Pakistan’.

The third theme of the day was ‘US-Pakistan Relations: Interaction with Russia, China, and the
Middle East’. The chair and commentator for this session was David Steinberg from Georgetown
University. The speakers in this session were Maria Sultan from Bradford University and the Institute
of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan, whose paper was read out. Her topic was ‘The role of
Pakistan and extra-regional powers post-9/11’. The other speaker in this session was Polly Nayak,
Senior Adviser at the ABRAXAS Corporation. Her chosen topic and paper is summarised below.

Polly Nayak: Pakistan-US Relations Since 9/11 in a '   Re-Balancing' International Environment
The paper focuses on a series of interrelated questions:
    1. How have US-Pakistani ties since 9/11 shaped, or been shaped by, third-country relations
       with Washington and Islamabad?
    2. what foreign policy constraints and opportunities have these shifts brought for Pakistan and
       with what impact on ties with the US?
    3. What sort of external development might fundamentally re-shape the US-Pakistan equation?
     4. How will it be affected by the Iraq war?
     5. What are the implications for US policymaking on Pakistan?
The issues raised by these questions need to be factored into policymaking decisions in both coun-
tries for the foreseeable future because Pakistan needs outside support and Washington cannot
write Pakistan out of US foreign policy for a variety of reasons: Pakistan is key to regional stability
due to its geographical location and it is also key to nuclear (non) proliferation and narcotic trafficking
as well as the fight against terrorism.
US policymaking on Pakistan needs to bear these points in mind:
     1. Pakistan has benefited from some of these unintended consequence of US policy in recent
         years: e.g. rapprochement between Russia and China in the face of US foreign policy.
     2. US has tended to underestimate the durability of South Asian national interests. Washington
         may be tempted to believe that counter-terrorism cooperation and aid to Pakistan (and wid-
         ening ties with India) will translate into responsiveness on other issues of important to the
         US. The fact that India and Pakistan have sidestepped the issue of sending troops to Iraq is
         an important reminder of the primacy of domestic considerations. Pakistan’s ambivalent pol-
         icy towards the Taleban reflects what it perceives to be its durable regional and local equi-
     3. Barring a durable Indo-Pakistani peace, the most likely changes in South Asian external rela-
         tions will be new solutions to long-time security concerns. India’s turn towards Israel exempli-
         fies the possibility of such changes in an ever-changing international context. Pakistan’s in-
         ternational options are less clear.

The fourth theme of the day was ‘US-Pakistan Relations: Building Security and Peace in South
Asia’ and was chaired by Rodney W. Jones, Director of Policy Architects International. The first
speaker in this session was Syed Rifaat Hussain of the Department of International Relations at
Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. He spoke on ‘The War on Terror: Perspective from

Dr. Syed Rifaat Hussain: War against Terrorism: Pakistani Perspective
This paper focused on the Pakistani perspective on the new strategic alliance which emerged post-
9/11 between the two countries. Hussain also outlines some guidelines and principles to help Amer-
ica deal with this renewed relationship:
     1. The US should not treat Pakistan in instrumental terms ‘merely as a means to a larger end’.
         Many Pakistanis feel that the US does not really care about Pakistan’s legitimate security
         needs but listens more to influential lobby groups.
     2. The US must stay positively involved with Pakistan in the long term. The US must commit
         itself to long term programmes of economic and political support to help Pakistan stabilize its
         struggling economy and stagnating social development.
     3. The US needs to play a leading role in finding a resolution to the Kashmir dispute which lies
         at the heart of Indo-Pakistan relations. It is also the primary reason for Pakistan’s support of
         the Taleban regime in Afghanistan and its support of militancy in Kashmir.
     4. Education needs help from the international community and the US. 57% of Pakistanis are
         totally illiterate with 18% being educated to primary school level, just 9% to middle school
         level and only 3.7% possess graduate or post-graduate qualifications. The gender disparity is
         even greater: 80% of women are illiterate. Pakistan’s future depends on reversing this trend.
         In combating terrorism, it must be borne in mind that terrorism feeds on poverty and the
         parasitic dialectics of jihad. Poverty can only truly be alleviated through education. As the for-
         mer American Ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlin, said ‘the future of American se-
         curity depends on the quality of education in Pakistan’.
More is needed than a one-way relationship in which Pakistan aids the US in its war on terrorism.
Rather deep commitment to Pakistan is needed from the US to ensure that the combat against ter-
rorism is won.

The second speaker in this session was Rodney W. Jones, who also acted as the chair, and his cho-
sen topic was ‘Pakistan and America’s Post-9/11 security dilemmas’.
                                s                s
Rodney Jones: Pakistan' and America' Post-9/11 Security Dilemmas: Organizing Against
The US and Pakistan have been uniquely challenged by the war on terrorism. The US due to the at-
tack it suffered on 9/11 on its homeland and Pakistan due to its past support of the Taleban regime in
Afghanistan. Pakistani facilities and cooperation were vital in the rapid defeat of the Taleban forces
and Pakistani cooperation with the US security forces was and remains vital to the stability and pro-
gress of post-war Karzai-led Afghanistan.
The main US dilemma is that the population in Muslim-majority countries misperceives the war on
terror (and the recent regime-change operation in Iraq) as a war against Islam. The clash of civiliza-
tions seems actually to be taking hold and this naturally plays into the hands of Osama bin Laden.
The US needs to counter this perception and Pakistan can be of great help in this.
Another recent US policy is that the ‘transformation’ of traditional Muslims societies in the Near East,
the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula would be the most strategically and effective means of eliminat-
ing international terrorism with Islamic underpinnings. This policy involves huge risks and is also
enormously expensive.
When looking at South Asia, the US sees four major problems:
     1. democracy: how to root out terrorism whilst strengthening democracy in Afghanistan and
          Pakistan even though terrorists can manipulate and abuse these institutions for their own
     2. how to bolster effective state power against terrorism
     3. how to reduce tension between India and Pakistan over Kashmir
     4. how to counter the risks of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan
Pakistan also perceives these problems and their reactions to these are:
     1. democracy: the problem is particularly difficult to resolve due to the pressure of combating
          international terrorism and yet pursuing Western norms of government.
     2. bolstering state power against terrorism involves strengthening the hand of the military which
          in turn makes the route to democracy all the more difficult.
     3. reducing the risk of war between India and Pakistan: it is clear to Pakistan that a political so-
          lution is now the only viable route to a lasting peace. Since 9/11 the international community
          has shown intolerance towards armed insurgency (or terrorism) and Pakistan needs to be
          seen not to support these groups in Kashmir.
     4. nuclear security: Pakistan’s aim, since 1998, has been to establish a credible deterrence
          against potential Indian military aggression, conventional or nuclear.
     5. managing US-Pakistan cooperation in war against terrorism: long term and short term meas-
          ures are needed. Education is the key long term measure.
Conflict resolution is also needed between India and Pakistan to ensure the long term viability and
stability in the region.

The fifth, and final, theme of the day was ‘US-Pakistan Relations: Integrating National and Inter-
national Initiatives in Fighting Terrorism’. Teresita Schaffer from the CSIS acted as chair for this
session. The first speaker was Richard Bonney, Director of the Institute for the Study of Indo-
Pakistan Relations, University of Leicester. His topic was ‘Jihad in the contemporary Muslim World’.

Prof. Richard Bonney: Jih d in the contemporary Muslim world
Prof. Bonney’s paper focused on jihad and the rival contemporary vies on this issue. Jihad is taken
as the cornerstone to provide us with an interpretation of political and religious divisions in the Mus-
lim world.
There is much debate about the meaning of jihad. For Bin Laden and other extreme Islamists it is the
aggressive jihad which is important. Because of the many divisions rife in the Muslim world, the US
has to decide which version of Islam it will back (mainstream or sectarian) because at present the
‘War on Terror’ is perceived by ordinary people as a war on Islam.
Therefore moderate Islam needs to be backed, but it needs to be more than one-way: the US needs
to reach out to moderate Islam. An example of moderate Islam is the role President Musharraf has
played in the war on terrorism. He has co-operated with the US. In his 12 January 2002 speech
against terrorism he reasserted the ‘greater jihad’ and cast doubts on the relevance of Osama bin
Laden’s reconstruction of texts. Even though India has tried to depict Pakistan as a country which
supports terrorism Musharraf has repeatedly stated that Pakistan should not be used as a ‘launching
pad’ for extremist activities. He has also tried to deal with the ‘enemy within’ through educational re-
forms of madrasas. Assertion of control over tribal areas is also of importance.
His stance on the war on terrorism has made him vulnerable to criticism in the Muslim World but also
in Pakistan. The MMA in Pakistan supported suicide bombings in Iraq as the only way to halt US ag-
gression. The Al-Qaeda leader Aymah al-Zawahri has urged Pakistanis to overthrow Musharraf for
betraying Islam.
The US needs to demonstrate closer relationship with Pakistan to change the concept and practice
of jihad. Pakistan holds an important role in the Muslim world: it is a state which is in part based on
Islamic principles and it is the only Muslim nuclear state. If the war on terrorism is to be won by USA
then it needs to cooperate with Pakistan and recognize the state’s usefulness as an ambassador to
the Muslim world.

Concluding comments
It is clear that the message of the conference was that US involvement with Pakistan has had a che-
quered past and that from the mistakes of the past lessons must be drawn. Firstly, the relationship
needs to be two-way and the US needs to understand the internal and regional situation of Pakistan
and its security needs. Secondly, involvement cannot be sporadic. It needs to be long-term and
needs to concentrate on development as well as strategic partnerships. A durable and fair peace with
India is also essential if Pakistan is to continue playing a key role in the US war on terrorism. A sta-
ble, secure Pakistan with a strong civil society is desirable both for America and for the region. Edu-
cation has been highlighted by all the speakers as being essential in the combat against terrorism;
Prof. Bonney suggests that a true understanding, both by the West and the people in the Muslim
world, of the message of jihad is essential to combating terrorism; and others suggest that the lack of
education encourages ‘false’ teachings of Islam and acerbates poverty. To sum up, Pakistan is key
to the war on terrorism but America’s relationship with Pakistan needs to go beyond this and needs
to engage with the internal problems of Pakistan, in particular education.

                                                    ()                        *
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Sheikh Dr. Zaki Badawi, Muslim College
Prof. Richard Bonney, Director, INPAREL
Dr. Hassan Hanafi, Prof. Of Philosophy, Cairo University
Dr Abdul Ali A. Hamid, Muslim College

Introduction: Dr. Zaki Badawi
Attitudes towards Islam in the outside world, in particular in the Western mass media, are not objec-
tive. This is even the case in academia where objectivity should be the order of the day. There is a
great need to let people understand the true nature of jihad and Islam.

Dr. Hassan Hanafi: Jihad or the struggle for the soul of Islam
The talk can be divided into three major parts. Firstly, the misconceptions about jihad as portrayed in
the Western world. In the mass media, jihad and Islam have become synonymous with violence and
terrorism. All Muslims are stereotyped as terrorists. However, the true nature of Islam is obscured.
Islam is synonymous with enlightenment, it means the complete submission to God, and is a religion
of reason. It is a religion of nature as all the laws of nature are created by God and it is a religion of
revelation. It is also a religion of freedom as the coming of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula freed the
people from tribalism. There is no original sin, but individual responsibility. It is therefore clear that
terrorism and jihad as an offensive war are alien to this understanding of Islam.
What went wrong? How did this concept of Islam become distorted? Hanafi argues that in modern
times Muslims have been subjected to oppression, they have become ‘the wretched of the earth’,
firstly through colonization and then through decolonization and the creation of nation states. There-
fore, when people struggle for independence, this is not terrorism but rather legitimate self-defence
or jihad. This is the true basis as described in the Koran for jihad. Jihad is never an offensive war, in
fact Islam was the first religion to strike a ‘non-aggression pact’ (Treaty of Medina).
Muslim society has suffered greatly from colonialism as well as from internal oppression. Therefore, it
is legitimate to pose the question if the struggle should be directed externally or internally. Priority
was given to the struggle against the external oppressor, i.e. against the colonial powers. The inter-
nal struggle has, however, not yet been attempted. There are two types of regime which manifest
themselves in the Muslim world: kingdoms or coup d’etat, both of which are illegal according to Mus-
lim law. Democracy is only a façade with elections being falsified and rulers kept in place through ex-
ternal aid from America.
This brings us to a discussion of the nature of terrorism. Hanafi concludes that there are two types of
terrorism: individual and state terrorism. The focus however, is always on individual terrorism rather
than on terrorist states such as Israel or America. A distinction also should be made between primary
and secondary terrorism: primary terrorism is aggressive whereas secondary terrorism is the effect of
the first, a response to the aggressor. A distinction also needs to be made between visible and invisi-
ble violence. Visible violence is what is portrayed within the mass media, the intifada, bombings etc
whereas invisible violence is poverty, a free press etc.
He also suggested that Muslims are not the only perpetrators of terrorism, it is in fact a world-wide
phenomenon, occurring in Northern Ireland, Pays Basque, Corsica, America and Muslims too are the
victims of terrorisms, for example, in Germany, France, Burma and India. It is clear that terrorism is
judged by a double standard in the western media.
Secondly, he considered if there is a relation between the text and reality. Can we deduce from the
Koran the interpretation that jihad is terrorism or should it be situated in its historic context? Texts are
open to many different interpretations as textual evidence is ambiguous. Jihad has now become re-
lated to reality rather than the text. However, the first pillar of Shariah law is life, and no one has the
right to take life. Therefore, how can jihad be interpreted as taking life?
Islam believes in one God which fosters cooperation between people. There should be a jihad inter-
nally against oppression and for freedom. The wars of liberation were directed against the colonial
oppressor. Today, it appears to many in the Muslim world that America is against Islam. An explana-
tion put forward for this by Hanafi is that a second pole will come from Islam to challenge the unipolar
power of US.
In the history of the Muslim world, 1948 is a very important date: apartheid in South Africa came into
being, the Kashmir dispute started and Palestine became occupied. The US too shares responsibility
for the terrible plight of the Muslim world: the US created Osama bin Laden, it supported the Taleban
and countless dictatorial and repressive regimes.
Hanafi also gave a panorama of what was happening today in the Muslim world:
   · Palestine is occupied: this is where jihadi movements come from. If we want to tackle terrorism
       then a fair solution for the Palestinian problem needs to be reached;
   · Freedom from internal oppression: this needs to come from inside Muslim society and not
       through external intervention as in Iraq;
   · Poverty: Muslim states are all situated in the developing world. This makes them an ideal breed-
       ing ground for recruitment into hard-line movements;
   · Social justice and unity: the Middle East is now a patchwork of states which were created by the
       West. Islam demands unity across the Middle East; and
   · Sustainable development is needed
From this it is clear that Muslim resistance movements are needed. Muslims must be allowed to de-
fend themselves and not be labelled terrorists.

Professor Richard Bonney: Presentation at the Jihad Conference 1 Sept 2003:
We have seen it before, but it never ceases to amaze the outsider. The phenomenon which I de-
scribe is the capacity of radicals or extremists within the Muslim community to commit a self-inflicted
wound on the community as a whole, to hijack the moderate majority. The most recent example of
what tends to happen was in the advertising for the Hitb ut-Tahrir conference held at Birmingham on
26 August (the poster stated 11 September) this year on the theme of ‘British or Muslim?’. I checked
the image that was reproduced in the newspaper from the website (www.almuhajiroun.com) and
have downloaded it myself for future reference. The text reads: ‘the Magnificent 19 that divided the
world on September 11th’ and the images of all 19 are reproduced. The text is followed by a quotation
from the Holy Qur’an (Q.18:13): ‘they were youth who believed in their Lord and We increased them
in guidance.’ The image could not fail, as the newspaper caption put it, to give the impression of an
‘extremist poster’ which ‘celebrates [the] 9/11 killers’ and, we may add, in so doing, extols the virtues
of recent extreme Islamist version of an offensive jihad (they call it defensive, but it is offensive in that
it may take place anywhere in the world) against the West. This conference today is particularly
timely in this country.
This is not the first such conference. One was held in September last year in the United States. Can
an individual [read: Osama bin Laden] gather a few adherents and declare a jihad [the article mis-
translates the term as ‘holy war’] against anyone, asked someone from the audience on this occa-
sion. The idea was overwhelmingly rejected. While discussing this, several Muslim scholars drew a
distinction between jihad and qitaal. They argued that only a central authority recognized by the ma-
jority of Muslims can declare a holy war against an aggressor. Two elements, they said, were essen-
tial for a holy war: the presence of a central authority and aggression against a Muslim population.
‘And even in holy war, Islam forbids wanton killing of innocent people. It forbids destruction of civilian
property and of crops and vegetation’, said [Wayne State University Professor Munir] Fareed. Others
stated that prisoners of war, women, children, those ill and those who did not participate in the war
against the Muslims also enjoy immunity. ‘Unfortunately, in the backdrop of 9/11 there will always be
reference to violence while talking about Islam’, said Murad W. Hoffman, a former German ambassa-
dor who converted to Islam. ‘The challenge is upon us to gain recognition as a people who believe in
and practise peace’, said Hoffman. Another important issue raised by the audience was that of ex-
tremists using Islamic concepts and Holy Quranic verses to justify their actions. Admitting that
‘certain verses of the Holy Quran have been sloganized’ for political purposes, Professor Fareed
urged Muslims to develop ‘the ability and the courage to look at [the historic] Islamic documents with
sharper eyes and in accordance with the needs of our time’.
Let me take an example. It is one which I have drawn attention to in my various preparatory discus-
sions with Maulana Shahid Raza. In my view, there are few more damaging distinctions than be-
tween the doubts which ibn Taymiyyah cast on the hadith concerning the greater jihad (doubts which
have never, so far as I am aware, been repudiated), on the one hand; and the canonical status which
is given to the hadith concerning the 72 black-eyed virgins on the other. On the authority of no less
than Professor Reuven Firestone, who has written an important recent study of Jihad in the Holy
Qur’an, the highly damaging hadith concerning the 72 black-eyed is regarded as genuine and within
the Muslim canon. One reason the extreme Islamists like to cite ibn Taymiyyah is precisely because
he repudiated the hadith concerning the greater jihad. Yet for the future of Islam itself, its self-
identification as a religion of peace, which hadith is the more helpful? There can be no doubt that
unless the ‘greater jihad’ hadith is regarded as canonical it is difficult to put aside the image of Islam
as a religion of the sword, spread by the sword, and of jihad as perpetual war in Islam. I would like to
see that image cast aside, once and for all, and the extremists denounced on an ongoing basis when
they misuse the core Islamic texts. But I would also like to see the hadith concerning the 72 black-
eyed repudiated both on the traditional grounds on which hadith are accepted or rejected, but also
and more importantly because of the image that it gives young and impressionable followers of the
faith. Do whatever you like. Kill the innocent. Anything you do is justified. Not only that, but you are
instantly in Paradise — and, oh yes, a piece of practical advice, wear extra underpants so that your
sexual fulfilment in Paradise with the 72 black-eyed will not be diminished. Is that really compatible
with my view of Islam as a religion of peace? Such are the circumstances in Palestine today that
imams are telling the young, impressionable, radicals precisely this. I believe that it is for Muslims
themselves, and not for me as a friend but a non-Muslim, to state loudly and unequivocally that this is
I thought it useful to ask for Sohail H. Hashmi’s ‘a summary view of jihad’ to be circulated, since it
gives just what it says. The summary of the modern interpretations (apologetic; modernist and reviv-
alist) I find helpful. He writes at the end of his article:
           The immediate goal of the revivalist jihad is to replace hypocritical leaders with true Muslims.
           Only when this long and painstaking internal struggle has succeeded in re-establishing an
           authentically Islamic base can the external jihad resume. Thus jihad is today largely synony-
           mous with Islamic revolution in the works of most Muslim activists.
This would have been a correct depiction up to perhaps 1998. It undoubtedly has much of substance
in it. Osama bin Laden’s latest so-called fatwa (does he have the right to issue one?) or alleged fatwa
(is he alive or dead?) denounces regimes in Muslim majority countries which are not truly Islamist,
and also those mullahs and imams who fail to preach the doctrine of what he considers to be the
‘true jihad’. ‘Without Hijra and Jihad, No Islamic State Will Arise’, bin Laden contended in July of this
But, it is important to recognize that his jihad is also much wider than an internal Islamic revolution.
Simultaneously he wants to take on the West and believes that the core Islamic texts justify his posi-
tion. The fatwa of 20 February 1998 declared its commitment to ‘kill the Americans, civilians and mili-
tary’ in retaliation for any further U.S. attack on Iraq or any other demonstration of hostility in the
Muslim world. The fatwa decreed that the U.S. threat was profound and all-encompassing because
U.S. aggression affected Muslim civilians, and not just the military. It also cited its hard-line Islamic
authorities, returning the argument to the medieval period:
          This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in Al-Mughni, Imam al-Kisa’i in Al-Bada' al-            i,
          Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam [ibn Tamiyyah] in his books, where
          he said ‘as for the militant struggle, it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a
          duty as agreed. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attack-
          ing religion and life’.
Many would agree with the moderate Muslim who commented that ‘the opinion… in the cited state-
ment is clearly against the directives of the Qur’an and those ascribed to the Prophet’.
The aim of the Colloquium today is to establish a dialogue within the Muslim community, and among
its friends outside, on the question of a peaceful interpretation of the doctrine of Jihad, how to inter-
pret warlike statements in the Holy Qur’an and among the hadith, and how to demonstrate to Mus-
lims and non-Muslims alike that bin Laden-type calls for Jihad are simply political opportunism of an
extremist type rather than an appeal to what is fundamental and true within the Muslim tradition.
It is proposed that part of the day’s session, in the afternoon, will discuss the way forward for collec-
tive scholarship on Jihad in the form of a second publication which will provide more detailed treat-
ment of certain themes as well as discussing writers of a moderate viewpoint who are not well known
in the West. The translation of key texts which are not available in English may also be necessary.
Suggestions as to possible contributors to this second volume will be particularly welcome, as also
some of the themes and writers which need to be studied. ‘Difficult texts’, whether in the Holy Qur’an
or in the hadith, may require detailed attention. I believe that we need, as a result of today’s meeting,
to draw up a list of key texts, whether violent or peaceful, on jihad so that this issue may be studied in
a balanced and fruitful way. I believe that we also need to study the position of religious minorities
under governments which represented an Islamic majority. There are, undoubtedly, examples of
good practice. The Ottoman State in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was regarded as a
preferable place to live for Protestants than under the Catholic Habsburgs. But this has not always
been the experience. There are some who argue that it can never be a permanent experience be-
cause of the concept of jihad, and because of the primacy of Islam over other religions is made mani-
fest in dhimmitude, a second-class status for other faiths accorded this concession.
These issues also need to be addressed, but the concept of jihad itself must be our primary focus
because of the events of 11 September 2001 and the international war against terrorism. In conclu-
sion, let me quote from one modern writer and also from the darling of the extremists, ibn Taymiyyah.
First the modern writer. Thomas Scheffler published in the year 2000 an important article on ‘West–
Eastern Cultures of Fear: Violence and Terrorism in Islam’. In this he writes (p. 80):
          The use of such categories [that is polemical categories such as ‘Orient’ and ‘Occident’] has
          resulted in a stereotypical linkage of Islam and terrorism. This association is particularly prob-
          lematic not only because it encourages witch-hunts against Muslims and ignores the fact that
          terrorism is an international phenomenon, not tied to a particular culture or religion. It also
          disregards the extent to which Muslims in particular are victims of terrorist violence, not only
          in Bosnia and India, but in the Middle East itself. And finally, by concentrating on ‘terrorism’ in
          the Islamic world, it neglects the more important question of the causes of political violence in
          the region.
Scheffler is in no doubt: the causes of political violence in the region for the most part are authoritar-
ian regimes (‘the continued existence of authoritarian structures in the region is due in no small part
to Western participation’, he further comments). ‘The most obvious way to reduce the dangerous po-
tential [for violence]’, he argues (p. 82), ‘is not to focus exclusively on terrorism, but to encourage de-
mocratization of the region.’
It is appropriate to end with a quotation from the beloved (that is, beloved for radical extremists)
‘shaykh of al-Islam’, ibn Taymiyyah. He is quoted selectively by the Islamist extremists apparently to
justify their acts of terrorism and their decision to wage an offensive war without frontiers or limits. In
reality, while he certainly criticized those who shirked their obligations to wage a defensive jihad, ibn
Taymiyyah made distinctions and set limits. Here is his comment on the distinction between coward-
ice and courage:
          The commendable way to fight is with knowledge and understanding, not with the rash im-
          petuosity of one who takes no thought and does not distinguish the laudable from the blame-
          worthy. Therefore the strong and valiant is he who controls himself when provoked to anger,
          and so does the right thing, whereas he who is carried away under provocation is neither
          courageous nor valiant.

Dr. Hamid: The Hadith and Jihad
The Hadith are the second source of Islam. However, there are many problems with this source. This
is in contrast to the Koran as we can be sure that these words are the ones revealed to Mohammed
by Allah. The Hadith were passed on orally and therefore we cannot be sure if these words were ac-
tually spoken by the Prophet. Every book of Hadith contains a book about jihad, however, the histori-
cal reality of the time moved people to write these words.
A number of Hadith encourage jihad and show it to be a compulsory collective duty. It only becomes
an individual duty when a Muslim land has been attacked. There is no suggestion in Islam that jihad
is a duty on all Muslims.
The Hadith always indicate that jihad is defensive. Muslims must only fight when war is imposed on
them and should never set out with the intention of fighting. There is not a single Hadith which en-
courages war or offence.
It is clear that the Hadith concerning the 72 virgins which await the martyr in paradise is not authen-
tic. However, this is one of the Hadith which commonly is called upon to encourage jihad and martyr-
dom. The suggestion in this unauthentic Hadith belittles the true martyr.
It is also clear that the consideration of family is more important than jihad; jihad should only be en-
gaged upon by people who have no family and are free to fight (or whose parents have given them
leave to do so).
The Hadith are taken out of context and misinterpreted. Extremists such as Osama bin Laden select
texts from sources which are considered to be unreliable by Hadith scholars.

Afternoon Session
A discussion ensued about the nature of jihad, about the portrayal of Islam in the mass media and
about the general state of Islam in Britain.
Concern was raised about the appeal for young Muslims of extremist movements. It is clear that
these movements give seemingly clear answers which appeal to confused young people, they are
also highly organised. A debate is needed with young people about the true nature of Islam which is
often not imparted in Madrassahs and mosques where imams are often poorly educated. Maulana
Shahid Raza is working on a comprehensive education for new imams so that they are imparted with
the true nature of Islam and are able to spread this to the community at large.
It is clear that there is a general need for education, not just within the Muslim community, but also of
the media as the ‘silent’ peaceful majority is too easily drowned out by the extremists who hijack the
true meaning of jihad. It was suggested by Richard Bonney that a statement should be made by lib-
eral Muslims about such controversial Hadith (e.g. about the 72 virgins) which makes it clear to both
the Muslim world and the outside world that this has no basis within Islam, which is a peaceful, toler-
ant religion.
Debate also about the importance of 1967 as the start date for the rise of new fundamentalism: that
year saw the defeat of the nationalist, socialist government in Egypt during the Arab-Israeli conflict.
This event suggested that secular democracy was not working and the reaction to this was Islamic
resurgence. However, Islamic fundamentalism is already being challenged, e.g. new Wahhabism
which is anti-American, and anti-globalisation but supports a rational Islam; but these movements are
not highlighted in the West where the media seems to be fixated on the image of Islam as terrorism.
A general debate about how jihad should be interpreted followed. It was clear that jihad can never be
offensive and that the taking of one innocent life is like the killing of all mankind. However, the op-
pression present in the Muslim world has led many people to see Israelis and Americans as not be-
ing innocent but culpable for their suffering. This has led to the rise of ‘offensive’ jihad. This is also
due in part to the weak leadership in the Muslim world and the even weaker opposition due to the re-
striction of the press and the limitations on freedom. People feel that there is no other way for their
voices to be heard. It was however, stated the killing of innocent people remained incompatible with
the true teachings of Islam. It was also stated that many jihadi movements such as in Chechnya do
have legitimate causation.
The summary of the this discussion suggested that debates should be held with liberal Muslim
groups to put forward the true nature of Islam, and with young people to engage their enthusiasm ac-
tively in productive discussions about Islam in the Western world. A more proactive approach to-
wards spreading understanding of the true nature of Islam and jihad was needed to ensure that the
voice of moderate Islam was heard.

  )                            )                              ) "            -           "
2. Hindu Extreme Right-Wing Groups: Ideology and consequences By Ram Puniyani
The last decade has seen the rise of the Hindutva Movement – the politics of a Hindu elite, con-
structed around Brahminic Hinduism, asserting India to be the land of the Hindus, where Muslims,
Christians and others are ‘foreign’ races – at the expense of the pluralist traditions of India’s society
and constitution.
This volume explores the nature of Hindutva. The author starts by exploring Hinduism as a religion
and then moves on to the construction of Hindutva, which can be set against the backdrop of the
emergence of Hinduism as a homogenous religion. Puniyani traces the development of the Hindutva
ideology and the anti-Muslim message which lies at its core. This leads on to the development of the
RSS, whose origins lie in the anti-colonial struggle and the change of leadership in the Congress
Party (which became dominated by secular nationalists). The RSS started life as an explicitly upper
caste Hindu organization, working for the achievement of Hindu Rashtra.
Puniyani also reflects on the social base of the Hindutva movement. He also goes on to describe the
character of the Hindutva movement, arguably the most important section in this publication. Puni-
yani provides a clear analysis of the historical and social origins of Hindutva and its motivating forces.
He identifies the idea that the popular psyche has been duped by the Sangh Parivar into believing
that Muslims are the enemy within. It is this myth which sustains the violence. It is this myth which
Puniyani calls to be rejected.

3. The Second Assassination of Gandhi? By Ram Puniyani
India gained independence as a plural, democratic country. The Freedom movement, which was led
by Gandhi, was a mass movement in which Indians of all castes, religions and genders participated.
This movement contributed to the formation of India as a democracy based on the principles of Lib-
erty, Equality and Fraternity, and was accompanied by the movements for caste and gender equality.
Gandhi, a devout Hindu, regarded religion as a private matter for the individual. He himself was as-
sassinated for holding such beliefs.
Today the ideology of Hindutva, which did not take part in the freedom struggle, is claiming to the
sole custodian of patriotism. It is asserting an intolerant version of Hinduism which against the toler-
ance which Gandhi himself followed.
This volume tries to highlight the contributions Gandhi made. It also explains the tenets of his politics
which could make bridges between people today to strengthen Indian democracy which is under
threat from Hindutva.

4. Towards a New Regional Order in South Asia By Ross Masood
The continued crisis between India and Pakistan is examined in this publication and it explores
strategies to reach a peaceful conclusion. In earlier military conflicts, with the exception of the Kargil
incident in 1999, the two countries were non-nuclear, even if they had a presumed nuclear capacity.
To attain peace, a strategic vision with several components is required, encompassing inter-
governmental, inter-peoples and inter-institutional understanding and cooperation. Trust must be cre-
ated, through confidence building measures and mutual cooperation. Through this trust, a stable and
secure future, not just for India and Pakistan, but for the whole of South Asia can be achieved.
Ross Masood suggests various strategies which could be employed by both countries to this end.
These include: inter-governmental cooperation which involves a cultural approach which builds on
the shared history and culture of both countries; a functional approach and a political approach. The
political approach includes: the cessation of interventionary operations, confidence building meas-
ures, arms control and weapons deployment and the resolution of inter-state conflicts. The second
key area identified is inter-people’s cooperation; this is vitally important as it engages the populations
of both countries in trying to achieve conflict resolution. The key areas for action suggested by the
author are: the building of a multicultural community, establishing a people’s security policy and giv-
ing ‘power to the people’ through scholar diplomacy and greater media dialogue. The third area for
action is inter-institutional cooperation which could include the development of a parliament for South
Asia. This would ensure greater cooperation on matters of importance to all the countries involved.
The author suggests that only through cooperation can a durable peace be achieved which can en-
sure development and security for all the countries and the people involved.

5. Three Giants of South Asia: Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination By Rich-
ard Bonney
This volume charts the roles of these seminal figures in shaping South Asia. The roles Gandhi and
Jinnah played are explored in detail and the lesser known figure (at least outside India) of Ambedkar
is also discussed and the important role he played in shaping the Constitution of India is highlighted.
An analysis of the ‘Two Nations Theory’ is also provided, including many historical documents relat-
ing to the Gandhi-Jinnah talks. The issue of self-determination is not only seen in the light of Indian
(and Pakistani) self-determination but also addresses the question of Kashmir. Kashmir and the Two
Nations Theory have been at the heart of the conflicts and suspicions of these two neighbours for
over half a century. Richard Bonney examines the historical background of these issues and puts
into context the roles Gandhi, Jinnah and Ambedkar played in shaping modern India and Pakistan.

6. Iqbal’s Reconstruction of Political Thought in Islam By Fateh Mohammed Malik
Allama Sir Mohammed Iqbal (1877-1938) is considered by many as the spiritual father of Pakistan
and has dominated Islamic thought in the twentieth century. He was a poet and a philosopher and
was intensely occupied with the future of the Muslims in India. He was educated in the Punjab, Cam-
bridge and Munich. His poetry was composed in Urdu and Persian and he attempted to reinterpret
Islam in modern philosophical terms. His seminal work ‘The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in
Islam’, which was published in English, is the subject of this volume.
Iqbal was one of the first Muslim scholars to try and achieve a synthesis of Western scholarship with
Islamic subjects. He found that the contemporary Muslim world was at the climax of political decay
and intellectual stagnation. In order to emancipate Muslim society, Iqbal initiated a process of redis-
covery, to search for the original dynamic spirit of Islam. This volume traces the history of the work
and at the themes it addresses: democracy, nationalism, separate Muslim nationalism, pan-Islamism
and pan-humanism and the dangers posed by secularism.
Pakistan came into being, in order to create a progressive, liberal and democratic state on the basis
of Iqbal’s reconstruction of religious of and political thought in Islam. However, this well-defined ideal
of a state, based on the original spirit of Islam, has not materialised. The author, a celebrated Iqbal-
scholar, calls for a return to the ideals suggested by Iqbal, not just in Pakistan but the whole Muslim

7. Harvest of Hatred: The Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal Report on Gujarat, 2002
This volume brings together the report compiled by the Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal in India on Gu-
jarat. The eight-member tribunal, consisting of retired supreme and high court judges, activists and
academics, released a report based on a detailed investigation into the carnage in Gujarat in Febru-
ary 2002. The report ‘Crime against Humanity’ is a severe indictment of the Gujarat government,
senior IAS and IPS officials as well as the Central government.
The tribunal was constituted by the Citizens for Justice and Peace and was set up in the wake of the
carnage to undertake legal and other initiatives to ensure justice for the victims. The Tribunal mem-
bers spent time in Gujarat shortly after the carnage to record evidence of all the incidents that took
place from 27 February 2002 onwards. They recorded 2,094 statements, written and oral, which
have been processed. The members also visited Godhra, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Ankleshwar
and collected testimonies from survivors, independent human rights groups, women’s rights groups,
NGOs and academics.
The testimonies of two members of the government, several civil servants and policemen were also
recorded. The findings and recommendations presented in the report will have far-reaching conse-
quences for the struggle for justice for the survivors of the Gujarat carnage. The report challenges
the Indian political class to reflect on the need for reform in the systems of democracy in India. The
democratising of the judiciary and the police is vital if the ideals of democracy are to genuinely real-

8. The US War on Terrorism: Religious Radicalism and Nuclear Confrontation in South Asia
By Rodney W. Jones
Both India and Pakistan declared possession of nuclear weapons in the course of nuclear testing in
May 1998, breaking from their earlier paths of ambiguity. By late 2001, it had become dramatically
clear that there were at least two profoundly destructive nuclear dangers percolating in South Asia,
with trans-regional and global ramifications.
This volume sketches out the types of scenarios in which these twin nuclear dangers (military brink-
manship and religious fundamentalism, both Hindu and Muslim) would operate, with observations on
the nature of the risks and the probabilities of catastrophic outcomes. On the interaction between In-
dia and Pakistan that could trigger nuclear war, the paper notes not only the religious fundamentalist
forces but also the implications of structural weaknesses and technical trends that affect political and
military capacity to control nuclear forces and contain the pressures that could cause either side to
bring nuclear weapons operationally into play. The analysis includes sober assessment of the theo-
retically conceivable breakdowns in command and control that could occur under the pressures from
religious extremists.
In considering what Western policy makers could (or should) make as their priorities in dealing with
these dangers, the paper briefly considers the implications of the nuclear dangers in light of the
broader geopolitical context that has been unfolding with the war on terrorism (and the crises over
Iraq and impending over North Korea), and in the regional interaction between India, Pakistan and
China. The paper also evaluates the prospects within Pakistan and India for measures to lock down
religious extremism and put their relations on a constructive track towards conflict-resolution and
economic cooperation. It further considers measures available to India and China, arguably the most
affected and relatively powerful neighbours, for a mitigation of the nuclear dangers in their relation-
ships with Pakistan and each other. While the gravity of the problems has greatly outrun traditional
solutions over the last five years and the author doubts there are magic bullet alternatives, he seeks
in his conclusions to indicate where practical efforts may still be fruitful in heading off the worst possi-
bilities. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is reigning in religious fundamentalism.

9. Ayodhya 1992-2003: The Assertion of Cultural and Religious Hegemony By Jan-Peter Har-
tung, Anuradha Bhattacharjee and Gillian Hawkes
This volume looks at the Ayodhya dispute from various angles. Jan-Peter Hartung’s paper traces the
history of the Ayodhya dispute and focuses in particular on the Muslim reaction to this. He examines
how the Muslims’ inability to find a unified voice has damaged their cause in the aftermath of the de-
struction of the mosque. He also deals with the rise of communalism which preceded and followed
the destruction. His paper takes the reader up to 1993 and he discusses the immediate aftermath of
the destruction, with particular focus on the Muslim community’s reaction to this and their efforts to
find a unified voice. Hartung also traces the rise of Hindu fundamentalism and their attempts to have
a temple built on the site.
Anuradha Bhattacharjee’s paper examines how Ayodhya, and the aftermath of the destruction was
covered in a selected group of French newspapers (Le Monde, Le Figaro, La Croix L’Evènement and
La Libération). The author analyzes the way in which India and the Ayodhya incident in particular
were represented at the time and deals with sensationalism and factual inaccuracies. Together these
present a poor impression of India and provided the French public with a biased and prejudiced view
of life in India. The author also reflects on the political background which made Ayodhya possible and
how the rise of communalism was reported internationally.
Gillian Hawkes’ paper focuses on the archaeological evidence from Ayodhya and examines the evi-
dence provided in the immediate aftermath and the more recent excavations in the light of the ar-
chaeological methodologies. The author also provides an analysis of the interaction between archae-
ology and politics and how archaeology has been abused to satisfy nationalist claims. The paper also
highlights the problems of identity in the past and how this identity is interpreted and misused in the
present. The author presents a discussion of the archaeological evidence and the nature thereof and
combines it with a theoretical analysis of the nature of identity and the interplay between archaeology
and nationalist politics.

                         !       "         #      $
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Challenges to Pluralism: A Perspective from Gujarat
                                                  The Centre for Religious and Political Pluralism played
                                                  host to Father Cedric Prakash, a leading human rights
                                                  activist based in Gujarat. He delivered the seventh Dr.
                                                  L.M. Singhvi lecture on pluralism at the University on 2
                                                  December 2003. His chosen topic was ‘Challenges to
                                                  Pluralism: A Perspective from Gujarat’. Fr. Prakash
                                                  stated: ‘Development is the other word for peace.
                                                  There cannot be true development if it is not in context
                                                  of a society which is peaceful and just.’ He moved on
                                                  to comment on the role government needs to play in
                                                  ensuring and safeguarding communal harmony: ‘At
every level, there will have to be a clear signal from individuals, groups, Governments             that they
uphold Constitutional freedoms and guarantees and are able to defend the value and sanctity of
every individual right for the sake of peace and justice. There can be no compromise on that.’
He also called on the international community to take a stand on the Gujarat carnage and to encour-
age their governments to act strongly on this matter. ‘The reports of Human Rights Watch Amnesty
International and several other groups the world over are examples of those that have taken a stand
for what we are talking about. The only language that Gujarat seemingly understands and will under-
stand is the foreign language. That is why, Modi was so desperate to visit UK some months ago, lit-
erally to get a clean-chit from ‘abroad’. For those of you gathered here today, I earnestly appeal to
you not to allow ‘Gujarat’ to disappear from the radar screens. If so, all will be lost. It is imperative
that the UK Government is pressurized to ‘revisit’ Gujarat, to see in the silence of everyday life of
how hundreds and thousand of innocent people             victims of a genocide still languish in the horrors,
in the nightmares, in the pain and tragedy of something that should never have happened. Please do
not stop taking a stand for human rights, justice and ultimately for pluralism and peace!’
Father Prakash said that this is unfortunate that only grotesque scenes attract our attention but we
fail to see what is subtle and hidden. What everyone is failing to see in Gujarat today is that, ‘If you
are a Muslim you cannot buy a property, a house or a shop anywhere in the western side of the city
[Ahmedabad].’ He said that displaced Muslims are living away from their homes, their businesses,
that had been destroyed and those who committed murders, rapes and loot are roaming with impu-
nity, some of whom have even been elected as official representatives of the people. ‘Why a Muslim
from the affluent and educated western part of Ahmedabad has to run away and live in what they
[Hindu extremists] call “Mini Pakistan”?’, he asked.
He emphasised that only if the cases were heard outside Gujarat, can one hope for justice and de-
spite all the brutalities humans have suffered in Gujarat, "only sense of security and sense of justice
can help in establishing peace.
‘When one suffers from sense of injustice and sense of insecurity their normal reaction would be to
take the law in their own hands but’, Father Prakash added that ‘no one has done so in Gujarat yet.
However the ghetoisation, criminalisation and demonisation of one community in Gujarat is so strong
that one does not even know how to react.’
He pointed out that all those detained under the ignoble POTA act are Muslims. ‘I have visited the
Sabarmati jail and have been meeting the detainees. Most of them are innocent people. I can tell you
that I do not have any brief of any terrorist activity committed by anyone of them.’
‘One does not need Al-Qaeda or any terrorist group to resort to terrorism. For an engineer or a hi-
tech person or a bomb expert, suffering from sense injustice this is so easy to resort to such activities
and the act of one person does not make the whole community terrorist.’
Father Prakash said that outside pressure was extremely important to stop the fascism of the Sangh
Parivar and it was the responsibility of Indians living abroad to use their influence and situation in this
He also criticised Zafar Sareshwala and other Muslims who had met Gujarat' Chief Minister Naren-
dra Modi in London.
He gave personal testimony of the brutal massacre of innocent people in February 2002 in his home
state. ‘For months on, I was haunted by the terrible images of Muslims being brutally massacred and
burnt alive in their homes and on our streets. In the early days it was painful to see people murdered,
houses burnt, destroyed, religious places desecrated, whole areas laid waste one great tragedy was
the heinous murder of my friend Eshan Jafri. His secular credentials could not be questioned by any-
body and in some of the meetings I sat with him, he always took a stand for the poor and the help-
less. Anybody who has any heart will recoil in horror at the way he was done-in. That day I took a
stand: I would do all within my capacity to make known the horrors of the Gujarat genocide and to
bring to justice those who are responsible for it. Only then will peace come and I will not rest till then!’
‘In four days from now (6 December), we will observe yet another anniversary of the demolition of the
Babri Masjid. It is a symbol of all that is gone awry in the body politic of India. The repercussions of
which still vibrate in Gujarat. Friends, the challenges before us are clear, the responses are even

Father Prakash’s visit to University of Leicester
Father Cedric Prakash is a campaigner for the promotion of human rights, justice, peace and har-
mony. He is a Jesuit Priest working in the State of Gujarat in North-west India. Most recently his work
has concentrated on the search for justice for the victims of the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002.
Professor Richard Bonney, Director of the University' Centre for the History of Religious and Politi-
cal Pluralism, which hosts the lecture, said: ‘In the wake of the communal carnage which engulfed
Gujarat from February-end 2002, Fr. Prakash has been actively involved in works related to commu-
nal harmony, justice and peace.’
‘His Centre (Prashant) has been the hub of various activities, programmes, studies which has tried to
respond to the violence. He is also a member of a seventeen-member committee called ‘Citizens for
Justice and Peace’ which constituted the Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal whose findings have been put
together in a highly significant three-volume report entitled Crime Against Humanity.’
In 1995, Fr. Prakash was awarded the highest civilian award, the Kabir Puraskar, by the President of
India for the promotion of communal peace and harmony; in 1996, he received the Nagrikta Puraskar
for his contribution to the city of Ahmedabad and very recently, in June 2003, the Indian Muslim
Council (USA) presented him with the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award for humanitarian work.
In June 2002, he was invited to testify before the US Commission for International Religious Free-
dom in Washington; besides, he has also been engaged in other programmes and activities both in
India and abroad, with the hope that justice and peace will ultimately prevail. On 11 May 2002, during
the Gujarat carnage, he wrote these words, which were published in the UK: ‘Genocide is never an
internal matter, and the world’s hesitation may yet prove fatal. People must realize that Gujarat is a
laboratory of Hindutva: what happens there will be applied wherever in India the BJP believes it can
‘cleanse’ society of Muslims and Christians. Hindus make up 82 per cent of India’s population, but its
Muslims — the largest [Muslim] population in the world after Indonesia — are in their hundred mil-
lions. If the Gujarat experiment in ethnic cleansing is allowed to succeed, there will be genocide to
come. The Gandhi ashram, and the river of ahimsa, are in peril as never before.’
Fr. Prakash writes: ‘India is truly at the crossroads. There is no other place in which this is so mani-
fested than in Gujarat – a State in North-west India. Since 1990, one sees here, not merely the emer-
gence of fundamentalist forces but also a “nouveau culture” which seems to be what the middle class
is all hooked up on; a concept of one nation, one language, one culture, one belief…yet, with all the
blessings that the trappings of modern civilization can bring. This culture finds expression in intoler-
ant and violent behavioural patterns … far away from the traditions and heritage of India’s glorious
past, so vividly epitomized by Ashoka and Akbar great rulers of bygone years and Mahatma Gandhi,
who is essentially a son of Gujarat. Gujarat is symbolic of how India’s diversity is not merely chal-
lenged but also threatened.’
Professor Bonney added: ‘Cedric Prakash is one of the leading defenders of human rights and the
campaign for legal redress for victims of communal violence in India. It is important that a city such
as Leicester, with its significant South Asian population and which prides itself on its inter-community
harmony, becomes aware of some of the things which have gone wrong elsewhere in the world. It is
particularly unfortunate, given the size of the Gujarati Hindu and Muslim community, that it should
have been in the state of Gujarat that the threat to the Muslim and Christian populations has been
greatest. Denial serves no purpose. What we have to do is to understand what has happened and
learn the lessons of this experience for the future. The lessons may have relevance for own mixed
communities in the UK as well as for India.’

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It is one of the lies of the Sangh Parivar that Islam was introduced into India, and by inference into
Gujarat, by conquest, as a ‘religion of the sword’. The historian Masu’d (Abul Hasan Ali Ibn Husain
Ibn Ali Al-Masu’d , c.888–957), known as the ‘Herodotus of the Arabs’ because of his thirty-volume
history of the world to 947CE, travelled to Gujarat in 304AH/916CE.

Here is what he recalled about the ‘respect’ shown to Muslims by the ruler, who allowed Islam to be
‘strong and protected’ in his kingdom. Masu’d writes:

        In the year 304 [AH], I visited Saim r [the seaport Chaul or Chamoor], which is part of L r
        (Gujarat), and is ruled by the Balhar (V labh re). The name of the prince who ruled at the
        time was Chancha. There were about ten thousand Muslims, including the Bay sirah, na-
        tives of S r f, ‘Um n, Basra, Baghd d and other regions who had married there and settled
        there permanently. Among them were rich merchants like M s ibn Ish q as-Sandal n y who
        occupied at that time the post of Hunarmah… Hunarmah signifies the post of the chief of the
        Muslims, for in this country the king appoints the most distinguished Muslim as the chief of
        the Muslim community, to whom he delegates all their affairs. By the term Bay sirah, singu-
        lar baisar, they mean those who were born in India of Muslim parents…

        In the whole of Sindh and Hind, there is no king who respects Muslims more than Balhar .
        Islam is strong and protected in his kingdom. There are pretty mosques as well as cathedral
        mosques full of Muslims. Its rulers rule for forty and fifty years and even more, and the peo-
        ple of this country pretend that the length of the age of their kings was due to their justice and
        benevolence to the Muslims…

        Source: Mu ammad Hamidullah, Muslim Conduct of the State, being a treatise on Siyar…
        (revised 7th. edn., Lahore: Sh. Mu ammad Asraf, 1977), 124 (paras 227 and 228).

The moral of the story, for those who have witnessed events in Gujarat in 2002, and the lack of legal
redress for the victims of the unparalleled violence, is that there is no inevitability about the progress
of human rights in India. True Hinduism, unlike the current political aberration known as hindutva,
has always been accommodating and tolerant of other religions.

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    1       Following discussion between the Directors, a congruence of research interests has
            been identified between Prashant, Amhedabad, India and the Centre for the History of
            Religious and Political Pluralism, University of Leicester, UK. Both Centres are con-
            cerned with the defence of human rights irrespective of ethnic, cultural or religious back-
            grounds; with the issues arising from the challenges to pluralism in contemporary soci-
            ety; and with the urgent need to create truly inclusive, integrated societies which respect
            human diversity and offer equal citizenship for all.
    2       In furtherance of these objectives, the Centres will seek to develop common research
    3       In furtherance of these objectives, the Centres will seek to promote staff exchange or
            other forms of cultural interaction between Leicester and Ahmedabad which are respect-
            ful of the objectives stated above.
    4       The Centre for the History of Religious and Political Pluralism, University of Leicester,
            UK will continue to monitor developments in Gujarat, India, and will carry material pre-
            pared by Prashant on its website or in agreed separate publications.
    5       The Centre for the History of Religious and Political Pluralism, University of Leicester,
            UK will pursue these objectives on a ‘best efforts’ basis, subject to funding and recogniz-
            ing the funding constraints that apply to Prashant.
    6       Prashant will offer the Centre for the History of Religious and Political Pluralism, Univer-
            sity of Leicester, UK, advice and materials on issues affecting human rights and the de-
            fence of pluralism in India. The Centre for the History of Religious and Political Pluralism,
            University of Leicester, UK will offer reimbursement for materials supplied by Prashant.
    7       This memorandum will remain operative during the Directorship of Reverends Cedric
            Prakash and Richard Bonney, who will use their influence to try to ensure continuity after
            their transfer or retirement.

    Prepared at Leicester 16 December 2003 and approved by the Governing Body of Prashant on
    17 December 2003.

                                         ) )
                                         0 #            "7
Joint INPAREL / IISS South Asia Seminar
The International Institute for Strategic Studies, on Tuesday 24 February 2004
The seminar on "The United States and the Subcontinent: A New Dawn?" will be given by Dr Robert
M. Hathaway, Director, Asia Program,Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Washing-
ton, D.C.
The seminar and subsequent Q&A session will be held in the 4th floor meeting room of Arundel
House, the London headquarters of the IISS from 12.00 until 13.00.

William Dalrymple Lecture
4th May 2004, 5.30pm, Attenborough Lecture Theatre 1, University of Leicester
The author William Dalrymple will deliver a lecture on the theme of “From the Holy Mountain: a
Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium”.
This is a public lecture and is open to all.

7th Sir Sigmund Sternberg Lecture in Inter-Faith Dialogue
12th May 2004, 5.30 pm, Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 3, University of Leicester
Lord Carey will deliver the lecture and his theme will be “Islam V. The West: The challenges facing
the Human Family”.
This is a public lecture and is open to all.

8th Geza Vermes Lectures in the History of Religions
26th May 2004, 5.30pm, Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 3, University of Leicester
Indarjit Singh, OBE will deliver the lecture and his topic will be “Is Religion Relevant in the 21st Cen-
tury? A Sikh Perspective”.
This is a public lecture and is open to all.

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