Religion v/s Democracy deadlock continues

Suspected Christian adherents in United States of America released a movie and Leftist news paper in France published caricatures.  Muslims world wide react violently  to the depiction of Prophet Muhammad.

On the 11th anniversary of 9/11, Bacile, who is either an American Christian or a Jew, released on Youtube a 13-minute trailer for a two hour short movie, titled “Innocence of Muslims” Its Arabic translation was made available from some unauthenticated sources. The movie and its trailer has created unrest in Egypt and resulted in the killing of US ambassador in a rocket launch attack.

Prophet Mohammad in Innocence of Muslims movie

The scenes in the trailer portrayed the prophet Muhammad as a buffoon, suicidal, gay, lascivious and condoning of pedophilia. “Our prophet had 61 wives — 11 at the same time. He even had a girlfriend!” That’s the opening line, delivered poorly by a man almost definitely in brown-face makeup. “Every non-Muslim is an infidel. Their lands, their women, their children, are our spoils,” Muhammad says in one scene. Characters refer to him as a “bastard” and in one scene, a veiled woman asks Muhammad to “put your head between my thighs.” The film claims Muhammad was a fraud. His obedient followers are presented as a cadre of goons. It depicts Muhammad as a feckless philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse. The movie depicts the prophet mohammed sleeping with women, and as a feckless philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse, talking about killing children and referring to a donkey as “the first Muslim animal” and asks the creature if it likes the ladies. The movie has scenes implying the Koran was not divinely inspired, but drafted from verses plagiarised from the New Testament and Torah.

The movie, both English version and its Egyptian Arabic version, has an amateur cast. The voice and the audio appears to be artificial and edited. Critics of the movie allege that insults about the Prophet Muhammad are disguised as revelations in dialogues. Th ere are doubts expressed now about the identity of the producer of the movie.  Actors of the movie have expressed ignorance about the intent of the movie and have regreted the violence reactions the film has created.

Front page of the French Magazine Charlie Hebdo showing a Jew pushing the prophet in a wheel chair

A Satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has hit the news stands on Sept 19th 2012 with a cover showing an Orthodox Jew pushing the turbaned figure of Mohammad in a wheelchair. The weekly carries a total of four cartoons which include images definitely intended to represent Mohammed, as opposed to any other Muslim. In two of them, the Prophet is shown naked. One is inspired by Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 film Contempt and features the naked Prophet asking the director “You like my buttocks?” – parroting a line delivered by Brigitte Bardot in the film. Another shows the founder of Islam crouched on all fours with a star coming out of his behind with the inscription “A Star Is Born.” The film references were an attempt to satirise the crudely-made short film Innocence of Muslims, which has triggered the worldwide protests.

Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, has defended the cartoons. “I’m not asking strict Muslims to read Charlie Hebdo, just like I wouldn’t go to a mosque to listen to speeches that go against everything I believe,” he said. French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has called for “responsibility” and said anyone offended by the caricatures could sue. But he made it clear there would be no action against the weekly. “We are in a country where freedom of expression is guaranteed, including the freedom to caricature,” he said.

The left-wing, libertarian publication’s offices were firebombed last year after it published an edition “guest-edited” by the Prophet Mohammed that it called Sharia Hebdo.

Working of Jewish lobby in US

Lobbies are to be natural parts of pluralist, democratic societies. Lobbying constitutes a mainstream method of influencing government policy, as a means of enhancing representative government. Jewish lobby in America is an ideal example of such a lobby.

Jewish lobby has played a leadership role in formulating American policy on issues such as civil rights, separation of church and state, and immigration, guided by a liberalism that was a complex mixture of Jewish tradition, the experience of persecution, and self interest. It was thrust into prominence following the Nixon Administration’s sharp shift of American policy towards significant military and foreign aid support for Israel following the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The term Jewish Lobby is a conglomeration of approximately thirty-four Jewish political organizations in the United States which make joint and separate efforts to lobby for their interests in the United States, as well as for the interests of the State of Israel. A group of individuals devoted to supporting the needs and interests of the Jewish community is also considered as a part of jewish lobby. Multiple lobby groups, political action committees (PACs), think tanks and media watchdog groups form Jewish lobby in US.

Logo of CHristians United for Israel

These organizations are most actively involved in lobbying activities at federal, state and local levels of political and governmental institutions.The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is one of a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States and is stated similarly as its goal by the AIPAC. It is a mass-membership, American organization whose members include Democrats, Republicans, and independents. AIPAC regularly meets with members of Congress and holds events where it can share its views. AIPAC is not a political action committee, and does not directly donate to campaign contributions. However, it wields influence on the potential donars. Web site of the organization details how members of Congress voted on AIPAC’s key issues, and the AIPAC Insider, a glossy periodical is scrutinized by thousands of potential donors. According to one estimate, Pro-Israel interests have contributed $56.8 million in individual, group, and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees since 1990. Between the 2000 and the 2004 elections, the 50 members of AIPAC’s board donated an average of $72,000 each to campaigns and political action committees.

AIPAC Logo

Christians United for Israel, another formal lobby group, is a national grassroots movement focused on the support of Israel. According to its founder, the organization gives every pro-Israel Christian and Christian church the opportunity to stand up and speak up for Israel. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is yet another lobby group which is the main contact between the Jewish community and the executive branch of the US government

Apart from these organizations, many think tanks and media organizations have pro jewish individuals as key members. Groups sustaining college campus activism are also increasingly seen promoting Jewish interests and awareness among students about these issues.

Anatomy of communal riots in India -1

Communal riots is a serious problem faced by India from independence. It should be mentioned that communal riots were happening in India even before independence. But, for drawing concrete conclusions, post independence period is to be considered. As these conclusions could be applied to the periods before independence with little more effort.

Communal riots in India refers mainly to clashes between groups of people belonging to Hindu and Muslim communities. Approximately, Hindus are about 80% of the Indian population and Muslims are about 15% population. According to one official estimate, in the last decade, about 7000 communal riots were witnessed by India. More than 2000 people were killed in these incidents and the number of injured were many times more than this. More than 40 commissions of inquiry have been appointed to study major communal riots since independence and suggest solutions to the problem.

The problem is so familiar that everyone is aware of the dynamics of a riot, the culprits, the cause and the solution. Groups of people belonging to different communities engage in a clash over a petty issue – in many cases a fight between two individuals will turn as a clash between two groups and then as a clash between two communities. The culprits are communal elements belonging to two communities, selfish politicians, biased police and administration. The cause is the communal feelings of people provocated by vested elements by false propaganda and rumors. The solution being educating people to become less communal (religious), avoiding politicians and reforming police and administration to become sensitive to minority aspirations.

But, careful analysis of the above paragraph shows that it is vague and not actionable. This is precisely the reason why no additional social, legal, administrative measures have been taken in the last 7 decades to solve the problem of communal riots. There seems to be a reluctance, may be borne out of fear, to make a decisive move towards a solution. Even today, news papers report the communal incidents without revealing the identity of individuals, organizations involved in a communal riot. Administration hesitates to initiate strict legal measures against those who are involved in a riot. Even before the commencement of a riot, inputs from the police and intelligence will be consistently neglected. No one will be identified either by the police or by the courts as responsible for the killings in such riots. There will be no official version of precise sequence of events that led to violence. There will always be at least two versions of the stories, emanating from one of the groups nurtured by the official corners according to its convenience.

Although, the riots are being reported from nook and corners of the country at all times, there is not even one effort to identify root cause of the problem. No one is ready to go beyond the concrete wall of religion. No one is willing to ask reasonable questions about the religions involved or even to verify if there is really any connection between the religions of the groups involved in riots and root causes of the riot.

Some people are calling this attitude of ours as Secularism, some as Dhimmitude. Some are attributing it to majoritarian communalism and some to Sangh Parivar. But all of our thoughts, repetitions without any modifications, are inadequate so far and prove to be futile in the future.