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May 7th, 2012

Issue 52

Issue 52 [@54:30]: Serge Trifkovic – “If we look at the tectonic plates between Islamic world and non-Islamic world today, we notice something very interesting. That very diverse Muslim societies which cannot be branded under one civilization label is something very common and it is their tendency to be in conflict with their neighbors. If we look at the extreme South-Eastern outreach of Islam,we see East Timor where Indonesian Muslims slaughtered a third of the population of its former Portuguese colony, who by the way are Roman Catholics. In Southern Philippines we see an extremely violent Islamic rebellion which has been simmering and has been more or less violent for years. In Indonesia itself we had religious conflict in Spice Islands where beleaguered Christian minorities are in danger of extinction. We have very active Islamic movements both in Thailand and in China in Xingchiang. In the Indian sub-continent the history is tragic indeed where Hindu Holocaust took place in medieval times, a little known episode in the history of Islam in the Western world, but the one that left deep traumatic mark on the people of the region and the conflict is still left latent in the province of Kashmir. In Africa there is constant war in Sudan which is finally gained some prominence in the Western decision making circles, but has been going on for twenty years and it is impossible to estimate the number of lives it claimed but it certainly goes into many hundreds and thousands. There is constant instability in Nigeria between resurgent central-northern states which are increasingly pressurizing the government in Lagos into accepting Sharia Law as the law of the land in those provinces. And of course there is Mauritania where Muslims constantly battle non-Muslim Southerners. Then there is of course the Caucuses, Chechnya. In Europe itself, we have the conflict in former Yugoslavia between Bosnian Muslims and Serbs and Croats respectively. And the conflict between Albanians and Serb Albanians in Macedonia and quite possibly before too long Albanians and Greeks. So, if we eliminate these conflicts, if we eliminate from the equation Chechnya, the Balkans, Sudan, the world is pretty peaceful place. If we eliminate from the terrorist equation, terrorist acts carried out by Muslim over the past five years, we come to realize that war on terror is unnecessary because terror is not a very big problem.
 
Rebuttal 52: The above senseless allegations and broad statements of Trifkovic need the breakdown below:
 


 
Issue 52a: If we look at the tectonic plates between Islamic world and non-Islamic world today, we notice something very interesting. That very diverse Muslim societies which cannot be branded under one civilization label is something very common and it is their tendency to be in conflict with their neighbors.
 
Rebuttal 52a: There is a fundamental myopia of the documentary script writers and their out of context conclusions from history, a vision tainted by hate and prejudice. They are quick to see ‘something very common’ among the Muslim world, but what they are blind to is that big ‘something very common’ elephant in the room is their being former colonies of the West, the non-Muslim world. The experts of the documentary assume that they represent the ‘West’. They further assume that ‘West’ was always right in its colonization and exploitation of the world. They assume that once the ‘West’ withdrew from its colonies, then by some hidden mantra they left behind a legacy of peace and it should had been all hunky-dory for the their former subjects, while it was not. The confusion that they left behind is at times beyond the grasp and reach of a couple of generations of the ‘freed’ former subjects. All over the world, they drew political boundaries and created countries that were never before. They carved out artificial borders that cut across geography, languages, cultures, religions, races and economic lines. Take for example, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Balkans, Central Asia, South East Asia, Middle East, Sudan, Nigeria, most of Africa whether western or central. They left behind poor governance that did not take long to deteriorate into personal fiefdoms of tyrants that are supported, financed and armed by the West. And, out of this confusion when their former colonies develop internal strife, again it is the West that arms and supports one party over the other. If those ‘tectonic plates’ that Trifkovic mentions were not created by colonization, then the modern Western powers did make sure that they happen in our times. Why go farther than Palestine that Mr. Trifkovic does not bring into his enlightened opinion above. What about Iraq, the Kurd population, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Koreas that saw the ‘boots and bombs on the ground’ of none but West on their soil.

As we dissect the allegations of Trifkovic, it becomes obvious that he will speak against Muslims globally without even flinching for a moment that they are as humans as their opponents in their regions and they have equal moral rights as anyone else. Historical and political facts pointed to below are not to demean any peoples of any religion or to deny them their rights in any region of the world, but only to bring out a Muslim perspective that Trifkovic does not bother even to mention and the documentary suppresses throughout.

Issue 52b: If we look at the extreme South-Eastern outreach of Islam,we see East Timor where Indonesian Muslims slaughtered a third of the population of its former Portuguese colony, who by the way are Roman Catholics.

Rebuttal 52b: The Indonesian Muslims DID NOT slaughter a third of the population of its former Portuguese colony. On the reverse, the ‘West’ picked and split amongst themselves the Indo/Poly/Micro/Mela-nesias in a manner no different than the all too familiar Easter Egg hunt. They divided without any qualms up 25,000 islands of Malay Archipelago and about 30,000 islands of Oceania.

East Timor [BBC] was exploited for centuries starting from 1600s when Portuguese invaded Timor, set up trading post and used island as source of sandalwood. In1749 Timor split following a battle between Portuguese and Dutch, Portuguese took the eastern half. Later in 1942 Japanese invade, fought battles with Australian troops and 40,000–70,000 East Timorese were killed. Japan controlled it until 1945 when it reverted back to Portugal after WWII. Between 28 November 1975 and 30 August 1999 it was occupied by Indonesia and resulted in approximately 18,600 killings. Indonesian occupation ended after UN sponsored referendum and supported by Indonesian parliament, East Timor became an independent country. Thereafter the local East-Timorese anti-independence militia killed approximately 1,400 Timorese and forcibly pushed 300,000 people into West Timor (Indonesia) as refugees. [Wikipedia]; In January 2002, Indonesia inaugurated human rights court to hold military accountable for atrocities in East Timor after the 1999 independence vote. In August 2005 Truth commission was set up by East Timor and Indonesia. [BBC]

Issue 52c: In Southern Philippines we see an extremely violent Islamic rebellion which has been simmering and has been more or less violent for years.

Rebuttal 52c: While making an implicit case for East Timor, Trifkovic makes sure to slip in the comment about East Timorese “who by the way are Roman Catholics” and brands their victimization at the hands of Indonesia. He deliberately avoids a similar statement when he knows that the instigators are Christians – “Southern Philippines we see an extremely violent Islamic rebellion.” The name Bangsangmoro, the Muslim part of southern Philippine, has originally evolved from the Spanish colonialist as early as 1570 when they saw the Muslims in the Philippines practiced Islam much in the same way their arch enemies – Moors of Spain and called the local Muslims as Moro. The use of Bangsamoro was a combination of Moro and Nation (Bangsa) [Wikipedia]. Besides falsely smearing, Trifkovic does not cite the cause of the “Islamic rebellion” which is:

 
On July 4, 1946, the United States of America restored political independence to the Filipino people, conveniently overlooking the statehood of the two Bangsamoro (Muslim) sultanates. The incorporation of the two sultanates in southern Philippines into the Philippine Republic was done without the benefit of democratic consultation on whether or not the majority of the Bangsamoro people would want to join the new republic as individual citizens or as sultanates. This was arbitrarily imposed upon them despite the repeated calls of some Bangsamoro leaders to oppose the incorporation of their homeland into the Philippine territory and sovereignty.

A case in point was the incident on March 18, 1935. One hundred twenty Bangsamoro datus of Lanao came up with the historical document popularly known as the “Dansalan Declaration”. This statement expressed to the U.S. colonial government their desire to be excluded from the proposed “independence” to be granted to the Filipinos in the North of the archipelago. This declaration is perhaps unmatched in its clarity:

“…we do not want to be included in the Philippines for once an independent Philippines is launched, there would be trouble between us and the Filipinos because from time immemorial these two peoples have not lived harmoniously together. Our public land must not be given to people other than the Moros…” (Philippine Muslim News (Manila),Vol.2, No.2, July 1968, pp.7-12).

 
Furthermore, the declaration warned to wit: “We foresee what conditions we and our children will be in”. These conditions, the declaration predicted, will have been characterized by unrest, suffering and misery. Desperate , or whatever their reasons were, the Bangsamoro leaders expressed preference for continued U.S. colonial rule in Mindanao if they could not be granted their separate independence simultaneously. (Philippine Muslim News, July 1968, p, 11).
 
One Bangsamoro datu said in a meeting in Zamboanga that when it comes to union with Filipino people, although he is already old, he would still fight to oppose such a plan (Gowing, 1977,pp.151-152). These protests were however, ignored by the U.S. colonial government.

The U.S. colonial government was, in short, principally responsible for the Bangsamoro and the Muslim sultanates’ becoming part of the present day Republic of the Philippines.

The restoration of the Philippine independence did not improve the socio-economic conditions of the Bangsamoro. The Philippine government continued to pursue the same socio-economic colonial policies in Mindanao.

One can mention, for instance, the multinational corporations’ extensive control and monopoly of Mindanao economy, particularly in the export of pineapple, banana, rubber, sugar cane, and others (Tadem, 1980). The banana industry in Mindanao alone covered 27,000 hectares of land wholly controlled by foreign U.S. multinationals engaged in agribusiness. As of 1975, 20,000 hectares were in the hands of three U.S. corporations. Dole had 9,000 hectares; Del Monte owned 6,588; and Tadeco had 4,500. At present , Del Monte owns the world’s biggest pineapple plantation with a total of 36,000 acres of land in Mindanao (Ahmad,1980, p.21).

I addition to this , in the 1950s and 1960s, the Philippine government promoted migration to southern Philippines because of its fertile land and its tremendous abundance of other natural resources in the region. This policy was encouraged in order to solve the agrarian problem in Luzon and the Visayan areas. Specifically, under the famous Magsaysay administration, several resettlement programs like the National Authority for Reforestation and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA), Land Settlement and Development Corporation (LASEDECO), Economic Development Corporation (EDCOR) and others gave way to massive migration from the northern Philippines to Mindanao. As a result of the steady influx of the new migrant settlers, the Filipino Christian migrant settlers finally outnumbered the original Bangsamoro and the Lumad indigenous inhabitants of southern Philippines. In the succeeding years, other Christian migrant settlers followed in massive and uncontrolled migration until they dominated the socio-economic and political life in Mindanao (Lomongo, 1988, pp.10-11).This eventually resulted to the increasing marginalization and underdevelopment of the Bansgsamoro and the Lumads. [Read further: Ethnic and Religious Conflict in Southern Philippines: A Discourse on Self-Determination, Political Autonomy and Conflict Resolution - pdf]
 

Just as a reminder to Trifkovic using his own words, the occupiers of the Bangsamoro land of Muslims, the Philippine population, “who by the way are Roman Catholics” as well [Wikipedia].

Issue 52d: In Indonesia itself we had religious conflict in Spice Islands where beleaguered Christian minorities are in danger of extinction.

Rebuttal 52d: Spice Islands mainly refers to Maluku Islands (formerly Moluccas) with its main Island of Ambon, that are part of Indonesia [BBC]. These are the same Islands that Columbus originally set sail for, when he instead landed in Americas. Once again the historical chaos in Maluku Islands is summarized in BBC report:
 

Control of the islands was fiercely contested between Dutch, Portuguese and English traders. As a result of this international interest, the Moluccas were left with a diverse mixture of religions – Muslim, Catholic and Protestant, all blended with powerful local customs.

The Dutch exerted a strong influence over the islands right up to Indonesia’s war of independence in the late 1940s. They recruited Ambonese Christians as soldiers to pacify the rest of Indonesia, and they offered them education.

In return, the Ambonese supported the Dutch against the mainly Java-based independence movement.

 
Now the chicken have come home to roost for the ‘Ambonese Christians soldiers’ who were used by the West, Dutch in this case to ‘to pacify the rest of Indonesia’ and suppress the ‘Java-based independence movement’. Because of this backlash now the pitiful rant of Trifkovic carries no moral ground when he exaggerates as usual by stating for the Ambonese ‘beleaguered Christian minorities are in danger of extinction’, which they are not. These fault lines between different racial and religious segments in Spice Islands were sowed, nurtured and spiced up by none but West to begin with by their divide and rule of local populations, the modus operandi of the West in their colonization and exploitation of the globe.

Issue 52e: We have very active Islamic movements both in Thailand and in China in Xinjiang.

Rebuttal 52e: If Trifkovic had soft corner for Catholic East Timorese, then it begets him and his readers to apply the same moral standards to Moros in Phillipines and Patani in Thailand, whose natives are majority Muslims. Unlike Spice Islands and East Timor who saw Christianity only after recent colonization, Patani and Xinjiang are Muslims regions for over thousand years:
 

Thailand has faced secessionist movements since it annexed the independent sultanate of Patani [Note: Thailand's annexed sultanate is spelled "Patani"; the country's southern province is spelled "Pattani"] in 1902, making the area the southernmost tip of the country. A policy of forced assimilation enraged the ethnically Malay Muslims, who represent the majority in the region. Many of the region’s Muslims adopted Thai names and the national language. But local traditions were secretly cultivated, and between the 1940s and the 1980s separatists staged a series of opposition uprisings. The insurgency is largely confined to the three provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat and five districts of Songkhla province—Chana, Thepa, Na Thawi, Saba Yoi, and Sadao. An August 2008 report by the International Crisis Group says the religious, racial, and linguistic differences between the minority Malay Muslims and the Buddhist majority in Thailand have led to a deep sense of alienation (PDF). Malay Muslims also harbor resentment against the country’s security forces for past and continuing human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, the report says. Poor socio-economic conditions add to regional discontentment with the Thai government… [Excerpt - 'The Muslim Insurgency in Southern Thailand'– a report by Council on Foreign Relations]

The Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), a territory in western China, accounts for one-sixth of China’s land and is home to about 20 million people from thirteen major ethnic groups. The largest of these groups is the Uighurs [PRON: WEE-gurs], a predominantly Muslim community with ties to Central Asia. Some Uighurs call China’s presence in Xinjiang a form of imperialism, and they stepped up calls for independence—sometimes violently—in the 1990s through separatist groups like the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). The Chinese government has reacted by promoting the migration of China’s ethnic majority, the Han, to Xinjiang. Beijing has also strengthened economic ties with the area and tried to cut off potential sources of separatist support from neighboring states that are linguistically and ethnically linked with the Uighurs. Since the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1912, Xinjiang has enjoyed varying degrees of autonomy. Turkic rebels in Xinjiang declared independence in October 1933 and created the Islamic Republic of East Turkestan (also known as the Republic of Uighuristan or the First East Turkistan Republic). The following year, the Republic of China reabsorbed the region. In 1944, factions within Xinjiang again declared independence, this time under the auspices of the Soviet Union, and created the Second East Turkistan Republic. But in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party took over the territory and declared it a Chinese province. In October 1955, Xinjiang became classified as an “autonomous region” of the People’s Republic of China… [Excerpt - 'Uighurs and China's Xinjiang Region'– a report by Council on Foreign Relations]

 
Issue 52f: In the Indian sub-continent the history is tragic indeed where Hindu Holocaust took place in medieval times, a little known episode in the history of Islam in the Western world, but the one that left deep traumatic mark on the people of the region and the conflict is still left latent in the province of Kashmir.

Rebuttal 52f: Once again, Trikovic is inventing history by alleging ‘Hindu Holocaust’. Simple question for him as to which, when, where and by whom was this ‘Hindu Holocaust’? There is no sliver of evidence of such an event in history at the hands of Muslims in India.

If we turn the pages of history and dig for any signs of Holocaust in India then it is none but at the hands of Aryans. Actually, case of India is even worse than Jewish Holocaust at the hands of the same European Aryans. Unlike the European Holocaust which lasted a decade at the most, the ‘Indian Holocaust’ at the hands of Europeans was a life of servitude for natives of India for thousand of years. India lost its potential in history under this very servitude that Greece, Rome, Egypt, Persia, China, Americas and Babylon have to their credit. These civilizations imported slaves but in India they created slaves from among themselves. Indian history is bracketed by its Western invasion and occupations. Aryans who invaded India about 1000 B.C. created the stratification of the society into caste system to their advantage in the following order, superior to inferior i.e.
 

- ‘Book’ handlers – priests, teachers, judges – The Brahmins;
 
- government maintainers – the rulers, soldiers and bureaucracy – The Kashatryas;
 
- commerce and ‘surplus’ handlers – currency traders, businessmen, craftsmen, land owners – The Vaishya;
 
- work handlers – the labor class – The Shudras;
 
- pollution handlers – the ‘untouchable’ professions of janitors, undertakers, scavengers – The Untouchables by higher classes, even to the extent that they were to be Unseeable in daylight by the Brahmins. These were so low that they had no caste and were factually ‘outcast’ from the society altogether.

Of course, the Aryans allotted higher castes to their white skin and the local Dravidians were relegated to lower castes. They kept a stranglehold on the society for preservation of their ‘racial purity’. The higher castes were the de facto perpetual masters of the native Indians who were forced into lower classes and who bore the brunt of servitude of being intrepidly enslaved, depraved and exploited, even till now. Factually, the word ‘Hindu’ literally means slave or a thief. Even though the origin of the word is wrongly attributed to Persians, but one has to take pause and think as to why is it mentioned in Vishnu Purana, the latest version of which was probably written in 320 C.E., much before Islam:
 

Aaasindo sindhu paryantham yasyabharatha bhoomikah
 
Mathrubhuh pithrubhoochaiva sah vai hindurithismrithaah

It can be quite safely concluded that the Aryans depraved the locals of India to the extent that the land of great prophets, Rama and Krishna, to any visitor or invader was no more than Hindustan – The Land of Slaves. No wonder we find the following curses towards the Aryans in Indian holy scriptures:
 

“O brave Indra! kill both the enemies Dasa and Arya, as the wood is chopped with the sharp axe.” (Mandal 6, Sukt 33, Mantra 3).

“O You who are praised by many! may the Arya or Dasa who dares us to war be thoroughly crushed by us, may we kill these enemies in war with Your help.” (Mandal 10, Sukt 38, Mantra 3).
 
“O Lord of the brave! may we kill these enemies, Aryas and Dasa.” (Mandal 6, Sukt 6, Mantra 6). [Names of World Religions by Abdul Haq Vidyarthi]

The Aryans even infused a sense of self-serving immorality among the natives. They stamped into religious doctrines and duped the masses that any hope out of the never ending genealogical servitude was migration into a higher form of life, but only after death. Finally, came the Portuguese and British who turned India into a colony till as recently as only 65 years ago. India lucked out because of its skin color, else it too was ready to be enslaved and deported to some other continent by the same European Aryans. It was this rigid classification of the society by the Aryans that sapped the soul of a society that it could not stand up to external threats. Ironically, the ‘foreigners’ to a certain extent in the ‘medieval times’ onwards were the only hope for the lower end of the caste system, the mega majority of India, to break free from physical and spiritual bondage of Aryan dogma by converting to whatever was offered, be it the Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and even Bahaism in recent times.

If Muslims were the cause of ‘Holocaust’ in India, then why do the Hindus flock in droves to the numerous shrines of Muslim saints in India [see the list at bottom of this link]. A question to Trifkovic – how many victims of Nazi Holocaust pay homages and seek blessings from the mausoleums of the perpetrators? Do textbooks in Indian schools teach the ‘Holocaust’ that Trifkovic wants to teach? Why? Because there is no such thing as ‘Holocaust’ in India.

Jalaluddin Khilji (1290 AD – 1296 AD) was the first ruler to put forward the view that the state should be based on the willing support of the governed and that since the majority of Indians were Hindus, the state cannot be truly Islamic [India: Past and Present, by Prakash Chander, p. 22-23].

Despite the efforts of Muslim rulers in India, nonetheless, during the six centuries of Islamic domination (c. 1150-1750), the caste system evolved considerably. For example, Brahmins began to rely on farming for their income, since the Muslim kings did not give rich gifts to Hindu temples. This practice was considered justified so long as Shudras did the actual physical labor. [http://asianhistory.about.com/od/india/p/indiancastesystem.htm]

One wonders as to what was Trifkovic smoking when he invents the term ‘Hindu Holocaust’ in medieval history that even Hindus themselves cannot point to, while he has his ‘eyes wide shut’ to what is happening in Palestine today, yes today. How low can this documentary stoop to misinform its audience. When Bollywood makes the movies with all-praise for Mughal Emperors [Jodha Akbar, Mughal-e-Azam], one does not find a ‘foreigner’ king as its main character, but an Indian king who happens to be a Muslim.

Since Trifkovic mentioned Kashmir which is source of contention between India and Pakistan right from their inception in August 1947, it begets to look at the relevant legalese first.
 

The Indian Independence Act 1947 (10 & 11 Geo 6 c. 30) was as an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that partitioned British India into the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan. The Act received the royal assent on 18 July 1947, and the two new countries came into being on 15 and 14 August respectively. [Wikipedia] Thus under this act, “the suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian States lapses, and with it, all treaties and agreements in force at the date of the passing of this Act between His Majesty and the rulers of Indian States”, so the states were left to choose whether to join India or Pakistan or to remain independent.

 
Within the above framework, lets look at the situation of Kashmir next:
 

Jammu and Kashmir, the largest of the princely states, had a predominantly Muslim population, while having a Hindu ruler (Maharaja Hari Singh.) On partition Pakistan expected Kashmir to be annexed to it.

The Maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession to India on 25 October 1947 that was accepted by the government of India on 27 October 1947. [Wikpedia]

At present 99% of Azad Kashmir, 99% of Gilgit Baltistan, 95% of Kashmir Valley, 46% of Ladakh and 30% of Jammu is Muslim. [BBC]

 
On the reverse, we have the example of princely state of Junagadh whose ruler acceded to Pakistan. Following is the time-line of what happened then:
 

15 Aug 1947 Accedes to Pakistan.
 
15 Sep 1947 Accession to Pakistan accepted.
 
9 Nov 1947 Occupied by India.
 
10 Nov 1947 Rescinds accession to Pakistan, accedes to India
 
24 Feb 1948 Referendum approves accession to India.
 
25 Feb 1948 Accession to India in effect. [Wikipedia]

 
With the suzerainty of British ending at the time of partition, subsequently India cannot have it both ways. Basis on which India annexed Junagadh i.e. a state with a Muslim ruler and Hindu majority, then on the same very basis it cannot annex Kashmir because Kashmir is/was Muslim majority with a Hindu ruler, or vice versa, irrespective of whether the ruler chose Pakistan or India to join.

Issue 52g: In Africa there is constant war in Sudan which is finally gained some prominence in the Western decision making circles, but has been going on for twenty years and it is impossible to estimate the number of lives it claimed but it certainly goes into many hundreds and thousands.

Rebuttal 52g: Sudan is one more left over example of a colonial legacy and its consequent perpetual turmoil. Sudan was under joint British-Egyptian rule during1899-1955. In 1956 Sudan became independent. In 1958 General Abboud led military coup against the civilian government elected earlier in the year. Since 1962, Civil war began in the south, led by the Anya Nya movement, named after a poisonous herb. Finally in July 2011 with independence of South Sudan, the north-south divide is not only a division along religious lines but also ethnic one i.e. Sudan (in north) is mostly Arab and Muslim, whereas South Sudan is non-Arab and Christian. This divide also cuts through economic interests of oil fields, which will be once again playing fields, if not killing fields, for the West and possibly for China in the East. We pray for mutual peace and harmony of Sudans. The Aljazeera documentary of January 5, 2011, titled “ Sudan: History of a Broken Land ” presents a good historical insight into the persistent chaos in Sudan:
 

It was under British colonial rule that the seeds of the North-South divide were sown in the Sudan. “It is the British to blame” says Abdul Al-Mubarak of the University of Khartoum, because they wanted the south to be a separate entity. The time bomb for ethnic and religious conflict in Sudan was created in 1922 when the British colonial administration restricted the movement of Northerners beyond the 10th parallel of latitude and Southerners beyond the 8th. This was the role of British colonialism in the partition of Sudan. Frantz Fanon, the anti-colonial activist and writer could not be further from the truth in decrying colonialism as “separatist.”

British colonialism successfully created all the conditions necessary for conflict in Sudan. It exploited the religious divide between the North and the South, transforming the South into a paradise for Christian missionaries while the North remained predominantly Muslim. “They should have allowed a natural intercourse to take place,” says the former President, Sadiq Al Madi, “but they didn’t.”

Economic and political neglect of the South, which was a major feature of British colonialism throughout Africa – as seen for example in British Southern Cameroons, was another recipe for conflict in Sudan. The marginalization of the South led to the creation of the “anyanya” rebellion by Joseph Lagu, a struggle that was later taken up by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) formed in 1983. [A Brief History of Sudan's Conflicts

Issue 52h: There is constant instability in Nigeria between resurgent central-northern states which are increasingly pressurizing the government in Lagos into accepting Sharia Law as the law of the land in those provinces.

Rebuttal 52h: Nigeria is one more example of colonial legacy of the West. Strife in Nigeria is mirror image of Sudan, but more complex. North is mostly Muslim and poor whereas South is Christian and richer from oil.
 

In Pre-colonialism, the country called Nigeria did not exist. In its place was a hugely diverse scattering of tribes and communities, some of whom had territory which overlaps the borders of present day Nigeria. These varied groups with different languages, cultures and political practices were all brought together under British rule to form an entirely artificial nation. The arbitrary drawing of borders which was so common to Africa in colonial times paid little attention to the natural ethnic lines of the tribes. Whilst the Western world regarded them all as Nigerians, they considered themselves as primarily members of whichever tribe from which they originated.

In addition to this, Britain also imposed on Nigeria a Westminster style government system which was entirely different to the way the different tribes had previously governed themselves. This included the introduction of political parties. Whilst under British rule, the various parties, which were usually primarily made up of members of specific tribes, shared a common goal: autonomy from Britain. This became their sole national interest and for a while the tribes were united under a common cause. Once independence was gained, however, it became clear that Nigeria was not a natural nation. The system in place was not equipped to deal with so many different sized ethnic groups. The natural order of the region; division along tribal lines, and the Western style system soon came into conflict.

The capitalist economic system also caused difficulties. Capitalism inevitably creates high levels of competition, and with individuals’ natural loyalty being attached to the tribes, division became further drawn along ethnic lines.

The domination by the sizeable North and dissatisfaction of the predominantly Ibo Eastern regions eventually culminated in the Biafran War [1967-70]. Here again, Western interference served to complicate matters further, as Western powers with vested economic interests in the region picked sides. This prolonged the violence.

Throughout Nigeria’s short history, misinterpretation of the political, cultural and social nature of the region by the West has served to set Nigerians against each other. This comes all too naturally to them as they lack a national identity to hold them together. In addition, Western domination has prevented autonomous development in the area. Instead, they have been given models of governance which are unsuited to their way of life. A nation cannot be created by the simple drawing of lines on a map. It must be to some extent a natural product of the unity of its population. It is to be hoped that one day Nigerians will have enough in common with one another to become a real nation. [Causes for Conflict in Nigeria: The Damage Caused by British Colonialism and Western Interference]

 
Issue 52i: And of course there is Mauritania where Muslims constantly battle non-Muslim Southerners.
 
Rebuttal 52i: Mauritania is a former French Colony, which gained independence in 1960. The conflict that Trifkovic refers to is as follows:
 

In April 1989, the dispute over grazing rights led Mauritanian Moorish border guards to fire at and kill two Senegalese peasants. As a result, people on the Senegalese southern bank rioted. In Senegal, where many shopkeepers were Mauritanian, shops were looted and most Mauritanians were expelled to Mauritania. In Mauritania, lynch mobs and police brutality ended in the forced exile of about 70,000 southerners to Senegal, despite most of them having no links to the country. About 250,000 people fled their homes as both sides engaged in cross-border raids. Hundreds of people died in both countries. The Organisation of African Unity tried to negotiate a settlement to reopen the border, but it was ultimately an initiative of Senegalese President Abdou Diouf which led to a treaty being signed on July 18, 1991.
 
Mauritanian refugees would slowly trickle back into the country during the following years, but some 20,000–30,000 remain in the border areas of northern Senegal today, and this is were the armed black nationalist Mauritanian movement FLAM is based.

In June 2007, the Mauritanian government under President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi asked the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help it repatriate black Mauritanians who had been forced out in the war and were living in refugee camps in Mali and Senegal. According to UNHRC estimates, there were 20,000 refugees in Senegal and 6,000 in Mali as of July 2007. [Wikipedia]

 
Issue 52j: Then there is of course the Caucuses, Chechnya.

Rebuttal 52j: Chechnya is a land of, from and by Muslims. It suffered civil war which has close parallels to Britain and Irish Republic, both of which are Christians. It seems that Chechens borrowed their script from IRA. The state of normalcy in Chechnya can be glanced at in this youtube video where the artifact i.e. cup of Prophet Muhammad is returned to Chechnya.

Issue 52k: In Europe itself, we have the conflict in former Yugoslavia between Bosnian Muslims and Serbs and Croats respectively. And the conflict between Albanians and Serb Albanians in Macedonia and quite possibly before too long Albanians and Greeks.

Rebuttal 52k: Who could be better placed to answer this Bosnian question than Trifkovic himself. But, the truth only emerges when the perpetrators of the conflict and the criminals against the humanity [1, 2] have to stand in the dock of the International Criminal Court. That’s where the people whom Trifkovic served ended up. Trifkovic was defense witness for Milomir Staki and Ljubisa Beara, who were sentenced to life [Wikipedia]. Even more, Trifkovic was not only an advisor to genocidal Radovan Karadzic, one of the ‘Butchers of Bosnia‘, but he himself was in Bosnia when genocide of Muslims was actually happening:
 

In July of 1995, Trifkovic traveled to the Bosnian Serb capital of Pale in his capacity as an advisor to Radovan Karadzic and a public relations consultant for the Republika Srpska. With him were group of Serbian-American supporters of the RS. To arrive in Pale, the group had to travel by land from Belgrade, across the international border with Bosnia. Trifkovic arrived in Pale on July 11. On July 12 he met with leaders of RS, including Karadzic, and the following day he met with Karadzic for a one-on-one. On July 14th, he traveled back to Belgrade. At the time of Trifkovic’s sessions in Pale, Karadzic was busy not only planning public relations but also directing RS actions in Srebrenica. On July 11, Serb forces let by RS General Ratko Mladic overrun the U.N.-declared Safe Area of Srebrenica, disarmed the Dutch contingent of the United Nations Protection Force, and, in front of the Dutch soldiers, divided the captive Bosnian Muslims into two groups. The women and children were taken to buses, abused and robbed, and transported to the Safe Area of Tuzla. From July 12-17, between 7000 and 8000 adult males between the ages of 14 and 65 were taken to various detention centers, tortured, shot, and buried in mass graves throughout eastern Bosnia. On his way back to Belgrade, Trifkovic traveled through areas where the RS army was conducting these operations. [Srdje Trifkovic as Spokesman and Public Relations Advisor for the Republic Srpska – p 7 – pdf]

 
While mentioning Bosnia, Albania and Macedonia, Trifkovic singularly does not mention Kosovo unrest where about 10,000 Kosovar Albanians (Muslims) were killed by Serbs in 1999 in an ethnic cleansing. They employed every atrocity against the Muslims namely – forcible displacement of 1.5 million Kosovar Albanian civilians; looting of homes and businesses; widespread burning of homes and 500 villages; use of human shields to escort Serbian convoys; summary executions in over 500 sites; systematic rape of women; exhumation of mass graves to destroy evidence; identity cleansing. [Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo: An Accounting – Executive Summary]

Issue 52l: So, if we eliminate these conflicts, if we eliminate from the equation Chechnya, the Balkans, Sudan, the world is pretty peaceful place. If we eliminate from the terrorist equation, terrorist acts carried out by Muslim over the past five years, we come to realize that war on terror is unnecessary because terror is not a very big problem.

Rebuttal 52l: If Trifkovic wants to ‘ eliminate from the equation Chechnya, the Balkans, Sudan’ so that ‘the world is pretty peaceful place’ then he as to add to the list – Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan which are under occupation of deployed non-Muslim military forces.

Trifkovic wants to “eliminate these conflicts” with none other but force of hatred and the movie in its Islamophobia does not solve these conflicts either by reason and dialogue, rather seeks to inject into the audience the venom of doubts, dismay, hate and anger. One has to wonder that in his anti-Muslim rant, Trifkovic has counted every street fight in Muslim lands, but fails to mention the en-mass invasions and occupations of Muslim lands by the ‘West’ i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine. Why? Maybe West has something to do with it?

The answer to these conflicts is in equitable ‘solution’ rather than hateful ‘elimination’ as advocated by Trifkovic:

Violence breeds violence and more violence. So, somehow someone needs to start changing the course of events by breaking the chain of violence. This ‘someone’ is more likely to be those who possess more knowledge, more wisdom and more ability to take independent decisions.

In a war that has the most ridiculous imbalance of force between the belligerents, it’s more logical that those who have the upper hand militarily and logistically should be the ones to take the decision to stop or change the course of events.

In more practical terms: occupation of small and weak nations should end, supporting despotic regimes should stop, and international law should take its course with regard to pending problems between peoples and nations. Peoples’ dignity and their religious and cultural beliefs should be respected. Once this approach is taken the problem of terrorism will automatically disappear…and it will become very clear that we have not been going through a war between good and evil or between Islam and the West, but rather a war of absurd confusion and pure lack of understanding between nations and cultures. [Al-Jazeera.net]

 


 
References:
 
Malay Archipelago – Wikipedia
 
Oceania – Wikipedia
 
East Timor profile – BBC
 
History of East Timor – Wikipedia
 
East Timor Timeline – BBC
 
Bangsamoro – Wikipedia
 
Ethnic and Religious Conflict in Southern Philippines: A Discourse on Self-Determination, Political Autonomy and Conflict Resolution – Jamail A. Kamlian, Law School, Emory University
 
Religion in the Philippines – Wikipedia
 
Maluku Islands – Wikipedia
 
Troubled history of the Moluccas – BBC
 
The Muslim Insurgency in Southern Thailand – Council on Foreign Relation
 
Uighurs and China’s Xinjiang Region – Council on Foreign Relation
 
Hindu – Krishna Maheswari, Hindu Encyclopedia
 
Vishnu Purana – Wikipedia
 
Names of World Religions – Abdul Haq Vidyarthi
 
List of Sufi Saints of South Asia – Wikipedia
 
India: Past and Present – Prakash Chander
 
History of Indian Caste System – Kallie Szczepanski, About.com
 
Jodha Akbar – Wikipedia
 
Mughal-e-Azam – Wikipedia
 
Indian Independence Act 1947 – Wikipedia
 
Kashmir conflict – Wikipedia
 
Future of Kashmir – BBC
 
Junagadh – Wikipedia
 
Sudan: History of a Broken Land – Al-Jazeera.net
 
A Brief History of Sudan’s Conflicts – Tongkeh Joseph Fowale, African History @ Suite 101
 
Causes for Conflict in Nigeria: The Damage Caused by British Colonialism and Western Interference – Katy Hughes, African History @ Suite 101
 
Mauritania–Senegal Border War – Wikipedia
 
Irish Republic – Wikipedia
 
Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Bowl delivered to Chechnya – Youtube.com
 
Radovan Karadžić – Wikipedia
 
Ratko Mladić – Wikipedia
 
Ljubisa Beara – Wikipedia
 
Srđa Trifković – Wikipedia
 
Radovan Karadzic Accused Serbian War Criminal Captured – Yahoo.com
 
Srdje Trifkovic as Spokesman and Public Relations Advisor for the Republic Srpska – Michael Sells, University of Chicago
 
Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo: An Accounting – Executive Summary – Dept of State, USA
 
Conflict solutions in Mauritania – Mohamed Vall, Al-Jazeera.net

3 Responses to “Issue 52”

  1. Beside forcefully occupying Junagarh, India’s Hindu majority army also occupied Muslim ruled independent state of Hydrabad Daccan:
    Post-independence
    Main article: Operation Polo


    Falaknuma Palace

    Following India’s independence from the British Empire in 1947, the Asaf Jahi Nizam declared his intention to remain independent.[38] In 1948, the Hyderabad State Congress began agitating against the Nizam, with the support of Indian National Congress and the Communist Party of India. On 17 September 1948, the Indian Army took control of Hyderabad state through Operation Polo and the Nizam joined India by signing the Instrument of Accession, which made him the Rajpramukh (“Princely Governor”) of Hyderabad State.[30][39]

    Source: Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyderabad,_India


  2. Issue 52f: In the Indian sub-continent the history is tragic indeed where Hindu Holocaust took place in medieval times, a little known episode in the history of Islam in the Western world, but the one that left deep traumatic mark on the people of the region and the conflict is still left latent in the province of Kashmir.

    Rebuttal 52f: Besides the rebuttal to this section above, readers might not know of Indian Inquisition at the hands of Catholic Church. I wonder if Trifkovic is aware of it.

    Goa Inquisition – The Goa Inquisition was the office of the Inquisition acting in the Indian state of Goa and the rest of the Portuguese empire in Asia. It was established in 1560, briefly suppressed from 1774–1778, and finally abolished in 1812. The Goan Inquisition is considered a blot on the history of Roman Catholicism in India. Based on the records that survive, H. P. Salomon and I. S. D. Sassoon state that between the Inquisition’s beginning in 1561 and its temporary abolition in 1774, some 16,202 persons were brought to trial by the Inquisition. Of this number, it is known that 57 were sentenced to death and executed in person; another 64 were burned in effigy. Others were subjected to lesser punishments or penance, but the fate of many of those tried by the Inquisition is unknown.

    The Inquisition was established to punish apostate New Christians—Jews and Muslims who converted to Catholicism, as well as their descendants—who were now suspected of practicing their ancestral religion in secret.

    In Goa, the Inquisition also turned its attention to Indian converts from Hinduism or Islam who were thought to have returned to their original ways. In addition, the Inquisition prosecuted non-converts who broke prohibitions against the observance of Hindu or Muslim rites or interfered with Portuguese attempts to convert non-Christians to Catholicism.

    While its ostensible aim was to preserve the Catholic faith, the Inquisition was used against Indian Catholics and Hindus and also against Portuguese settlers from Europe (mostly New Christians and Jewish but also Old Christians) as an instrument of social control, as well as a method of confiscating property and enriching the Inquisitors.

    Persecution of Hindus – According to Indo-Portuguese historian Teotonio R. de Souza, grave abuses were practised in Goa. The inquisition was set as a tribunal, headed by a judge, sent to Goa from Portugal. The judge was answerable only to the General Counsel of the Lisbon Inquisition and handed down punishments as per the Standing Rules that governed that institution. The palace where the Inquisition was conducted was known to people as the fearful Big House. The Inquisition proceedings were secretive.

    Fr. Diogo da Borba and his advisor Vicar General, Miguel Vaz had made plans for converting the Hindus. Under this plan Viceroy António de Noronha issued in 1566, an order applicable to the entire area under Portuguese rule:

    I hereby order that in any area owned by my master, the king, nobody should construct a Hindu temple and such temples already constructed should not be repaired without my permission. If this order is transgressed, such temples shall be, destroyed and the goods in them shall be used to meet expenses of holy deeds, as punishment of such transgression.

    In 1567, the campaign of destroying temples in Bardez met with success. At the end of it 300 Hindu temples were destroyed. Enacting laws, prohibition was laid from 4 December 1567 on rituals of Hindu marriages, sacred thread wearing and cremation. All the persons above 15 years of age were compelled to listen to Christian preaching, failing which they were punished. In 1583 Hindu temples at Assolna and Cuncolim were destroyed through army action.

    The fathers of the Church forbade the Hindus under terrible penalties the use of their own sacred books, and prevented them from all exercise of their religion. They destroyed their temples, and so harassed and interfered with the people that they abandoned the city in large numbers, refusing to remain any longer in a place where they had no liberty, and were liable to imprisonment, torture and death if they worshipped after their own fashion the gods of their fathers.” wrote Filippo Sassetti, who was in India from 1578 to 1588.

    In 1620, an order was passed to prohibit the Hindus from performing their marriage rituals.

    An order was issued in June 1684 for suppressing the Konkani language and making it compulsory to speak the Portuguese language. The law provided for dealing toughly with anyone using the local language. Following that law all the non-Christian cultural symbols and the books written in local languages were sought to be destroyed.

    Charles Dellon experienced firsthand the cruelty of the Inquisition’s agents. He published a book in 1687 describing his experiences in Goa. L’Inquisition de Goa (The Inquisition of Goa).


  3. December 27th, 2012 at 12:25 pm
    From Mohammed Iqbal:

    @ Ikram, Pls study about the atrocities committed by Portuguese Catholics against the indigenous St Thomas Christians in my native Kerala State. Here is one link.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coonan_Cross_Oath

    Here is another one:

    http://www.koonankurishu.com/

    Rgds

    M IQBAL


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