The Pioneer December 21, 2008 Coffee Break
Islamists in PM's team outed!
Last week this column referred to closet Islamists in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Cabinet, pointing out that Minister of State for External Affairs and Muslim League leader E Ahamed, while presenting India's case in the United Nations Security Council on December 9, had mentioned the fidayeen attacks on Taj Mahal Palace, Oberoi-Trident Hotel and Leopold Café, but not the siege of Chabad House where six Jews, including a rabbi and his pregnant wife, were tortured and killed. On Monday a Muslim friend called to say that the Government was not doing his community any good by pandering to Islamists at home and abroad. "This only hardens popular perceptions of India's Muslims and casts aspersions on our loyalty to our motherland. I have read the full text of Mr Ahamed's statement. He not only failed to mention the slaughter at Chabad House but also suppressed the fact that 46 Muslims were among the 188 people killed by the terrorists," he told me. According to him, there was nothing innocent about this omission, just as the deletion of reference or allusion to Chabad House was not without a sly motive. "Islamists do not want the world, especially the Islamic world, to know that Muslims are killing Muslims in the name of jihad. This would knock the bottom out of their faith-based ideology and show them for what they are: Mass murderers who hide behind the cloak of Islam," he said, before letting loose a string of unprintable expletives. My friend's loyalty to the nation and his abhorrence of Islamic fanaticism are unquestionable. He is at peace in Hindu majority India and his aspirations are no different from those of middle class Hindus. He believes the burqa and the hijab are abominable impositions and, along with the kaffiyeh, symbols of forced Arabisation of India's Muslims by mullahs who want to perpetuate the hideous dogma of Muslim cultural, social and political separatism and promote their warped notion of faith over the idea of nationhood. Does this make him and other Muslims who think alike an insignificant minority within India's least of all minorities? While the official policy of the UPA Government and the shameless appeasement of those who feed on the maggot-ridden carcass of Muslim communal politics would suggest that the vast majority of India's Muslims secretly endorse butchery in the name of Islam as was witnessed in Mumbai last month, the reality is far removed from this perception.Indeed, most Muslims are as distressed as Hindus by jihadi violence and there is an increasing clamour that the community must be seen to be distancing itself from terrorists and their criminal misdeeds. The decision by those who manage Muslim graveyards in Mumbai not to allow the slain terrorists to be buried there as it would be an affront to their patriotic sentiments is only one of many indications that distraught Muslims want their voice to be heard as loud and clear as that of Hindus protesting against jihadi terror. To tar the entire community with the same brush, therefore, would be not only grossly unfair but amount to playing into the hands of Teesta Setalvad, Arundhati Roy and the entire cunning lot of professional human rights activists who constantly portray the perpetrators of terror as innocent victims and want Hindus to be on a perpetual guilt trip. It would also serve the purpose of Islamofascists, of whom there are many in this country, and lend credibility to their vile Islamist propaganda which contravenes the truth, famously articulated by noted Arab writer Abdel Rahman al-Rashed: "It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims."But we digress from the issue of closet Islamists in the Prime Minister's team. It is possible that Mr Ahamed as well as Mr Manmohan Singh and Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee thought that the omission of any mention of Chabad House in the December 9 statement at the UN Security Council would go unnoticed in India -- after all, not everybody reads official texts posted on the Ministry of External Affairs website with great diligence and care; Indian journalists who reported on the statement stressed only those portions that were pointed out to them by the Permanent Mission in New York or the spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs, which speaks volumes about their professional ethics, if not abilities. To its credit, the Times of India picked up the story after the omission was pointed out in this column; to Mr LK Advani's credit, he raised it forcefully in the Lok Sabha. But I am reluctant to either accept Mr Ahamed's apology -- "I am very sorry. It is my duty to defend every Indian or any foreigner who is in India. We are all one," he said in response to Mr Advani's barbed comment -- or grant him the benefit of doubt: It was not an accidental miss, as has been claimed by the Ministry.Just as there's nothing unintended or accidental about the vicious remarks of Minister for Minority Affairs Abdul Rehman Antulay, who has converted his Ministry into a Muslim welfare bureau, insinuating that Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare was not killed by the Pakistani fidayeen who attacked Mumbai but 'somebody else'. The valiant police officer who went down fighting the jihadis, according to him, could have been a victim of "terrorism or terrorism plus something. I do not know ... the terrorists had no reason to kill Karkare". Within hours of this outrageous calumny, Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari told BBC that there "is no evidence" to prove Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the 'Butcher of Mumbai', is a Pakistani citizen! Which side is Mr Antulay, who we are told by the Shahi Imam of Delhi's Fatehpuri Masjid, has merely lent voice to what "millions of Muslims believe", batting for? Do his rancid views represent those of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet? If they don't, then he is guilty of not only violating the principle of collective responsibility (which many Ministers have done while thumbing their nose at the Prime Minister) but also of embarrassing the nation -- this Government is so bereft of shame that it cannot be embarrassed, no matter how hard anybody tries, which also explains why the Prime Minister has chosen to sit on Mr Antulay's letter of resignation instead of despatching it to the President for immediate acceptance.There is some comfort in the fact that at least two closet Islamists in the Prime Minister's team have been outed in less than a fortnight since the jihadi carnage in Mumbai. There will be cause to celebrate when this Government, which has so severely compromised India's national interest, is consigned to the dustbin of history.