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Islamism - 4
<b>Acharya Ji :</b>

As per the 1991 Bangladesh Census the Hindu content is 10.5%

Link : http://www.bbsgov.org

As per the Bangladesh Year Book 2004 according to the Bangladesh 2001 Census the Hindu Population Content for 2001 was 9.2%

I have the Page from the Bangladesh Year Book on Disk but cannot post it here as an attachment. Case you need it as an attachment please let me have your E-Mail Address.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
What happened to 2% hindus? Killed or converted or excaped to India????
The following item from the Finnish media is worth noting:-Quote
Vanhanen apology over Muhammad pictures was Prime Minister's own decision
Foreign Minister and President also take up controversy

Matti Vanhanen
Tarja Halonen
Erkki Tuomioja
The decision by Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre) to issue an apology for the appearance on a Finnish website of the Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad was Vanhanen's own. In his statement, issued on Tuesday while the Prime Minister was attending the Winter Olympics in Torino, Vanhanen used stronger language than many Foreign Ministry civil servants would have considered sensible.
According to sources close to the government, there had been talk for some time of a statement expressing regret over the dispute, and that the statement might be made public. Civil servants of the Foreign Ministry who were taking part in the discussions felt that an actual apology would not be necessary.
Tuesday's apology was sparked by reports that reached Vanhanen in Torino that an item of news had appeared in the media in Kuwait under the headline "Finland published Muhammad cartoons". Vanhanen had just recently returned from Kuwait, where he was hoping to downplay the furore surrounding the cartoon.
The Kuwaiti news item mentioned that the website was that of an extremist group. The reference was to an organisation called Suomen Sisu, which posted the pictures on its pages last Friday.

According to an anonymous government source, Vanhanen specifically wanted to apologise on behalf of the Finnish government.
The same source reported that Vanhanen informed the other members of the government in a telephone conference call. The main topic during the government talks was the handling of the crisis management bill, another topical item.
Among those taking part in the negotiations were Finance Minister Eero Heinäluoma (SDP), Environment Minister Jan Erik Enestam (Swedish People's Party), and Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja (SDP).
The government source emphasised that Foreign Minister Tuomioja did not openly oppose Vanhanen's decision.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said that he had not discussed the statement with Vanhanen when the two talked on Tuesday, before its publication.
"I have not seen anything more about the statement than what appeared in the news, and I do not know in what context it was given", Tuomioja said from Vienna, where he was taking part in discussions between the EU and Russia. Tuomioja commented that the statement had not been prepared in any shape or form with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Tuomioja sees "no problem" in the idea of the government's apologising for what small and marginal fringe-groups put on their websites.
"We must keep in mind what sort of a situation we are living in. When it reaches the international news media, this can bring completely new dimensions to the matter. This can have concrete consequences", Tuomioja said.
"When people die in riots, and buildings are burned down, there is reason to take things seriously", the Foreign Minister observed.
In his statement, Vanhanen deplored the fact that caricatures that were found deeply offensive by Muslims have been published on the website of a small Finnish extremist organisation. He added that he is disappointed that there are individuals in Finland who wish to insult the deepest values of Islam. "I apologise on behalf of myself and the Finnish government that the religious feelings of the Muslims have been hurt in Finland as well", Vanhanen said. He added that the National Bureau of Investigation has launched a preliminary investigation into whether or not the law banning the violation of the "sancity of religion" has been breached.

In a separate development, Foreign Minister Tuomioja despatched an open letter to newspapers in several Muslim countries, in which he appealed for moderation over the caricatures dispute.
In the letter, dated 13.2.2006, Tuomioja was sharply critical both of the initial actions and the violent counter-reactions that have been witnessed, and emphasised the importance of the responsible use of freedom of expression:
"From the Finnish perspective, a country where no pictures so far - to my great satisfaction - have been published in newspapers, I would like to emphasise that intentionally hurting the religious feelings of anyone is unwise and deplorable... ...Liberty of expression is a fundamental value and a democratic right in our society to which governments in our societies are committed. Its responsible use entails promoting the respect of religions and the spiritual feelings of people belonging to all religions... ...While the publication of the cartoons was unwise, it is necessary to underline that the reaction, when it has taken violent forms, including the burning of diplomatic missions and aggressions against international peacekeepers, is unacceptable. Violence is contrary to the basic values we all share, irrespective of our cultural backgrounds, and does not solve anything in this situation, but leads us into a spiral of further confrontation with untold consequences."

President Tarja Halonen has also deplored the publication of the pictures.
The President expressed her views on Wednesday during a meeting with representatives of religious communities operating in Finland.
According to a statement issued by the President's office, Halonen "regretted the actions of a Finnish website".

Thursday's editorial in Helsingin Sanomat comes down strongly against Vanhanen's remarks, arguing that in the first instance the pictures have not been displayed in Finnish newspapers or magazines.
Secondly, if the PM were to consider the kinds of content that are to be found from various web addresses there would be no end to the apologising and the regrets, and thirdly, the images of the Prophet Muhammad come under the terms of freedom of expression, and therefore the involvement of the NBI in the matter is pointless.
The editorial points towards the differing lines existing within the Cabinet, referring to Foreign Minister Tuomioja's more balanced approach in his letter to Muslim newspapers.


Helsingin Sanomat

This is quite in contrast to the reactions of the political leaderships in many of the other EU member states.However, it is this type of stand that is required to be taken to defuse the situation. There is no point in making further provocative statements as that would further increase the anger and tension.Let us hope such enlightened action will beundertaken by more and more countries.
I think reason to republish cartoon is doing what it was expected.

Some intersting collection of Dhimmitude Link
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I think reason to republish cartoon is doing what it was expected.

Some intersting collection of Dhimmitude Link <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

From the article in the link "Muslim Countries Seek U.N. Ban to Shield Religions"...

I think we should lobby to get UN to go ahead with creating this ban with the pre-condition of banning Islam for mocking religions and being intolerant. The Calcutta Quran petition makes a good case study.

The CNN while reporting the latest violence has added this footnote''CNN is not showing the negative caricatures of the likeness of the Prophet Mohammed because the network believes its role is to cover the events surrounding the publication of the cartoons while not unnecessarily adding fuel to the controversy itself.'' on it's web site.
Got this in a mail titled "Are Hindus secure in India/Bharath?????"

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Protest over cartoons turns violent in Hyderabad</b>


Hyderabad: Violence broke out in the old city of Hyderabad Friday during protest demonstration by Muslims against the caricatures of Prophet Mohammed published in European newspapers.

At least five people were injured in stone throwing, six shops were damaged and one vehicle was set afire near the historic Charminar.

Incidents of stone throwing were also reported from few other places in the Muslim-majority area. Police, however, said the situation was fully under control.

Trouble broke out when Muslim youth coming out of Makkah Masjid after Friday prayers took out a rally without police permission. Holding green flags and shouting slogans of "Allah-o-Akbar" (God is great) and "Death to Denmark", hundreds of youth marched towards Charminar.

Policemen, including personnel of paramilitary Rapid Action Force (RAF), were deployed at the Charminar monument and allowed agitators to continue their protest.

When they reached Gulzar Houz, a busy commercial area, some of the protesters allegedly threw stones and <b>attacked shops belonging to the Hindus. </b>One car was damaged and a two-wheeler was set ablaze.

Police then swung into action caning the protestors. Four demonstrators were injured. Though the mob dispersed in the lanes, the residents in the area protested against what they called failure of the police to prevent violence.

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the powerful Muslim political party, had announced plans to hold a protest meeting in Makkah Masjid after the Friday prayers. The MIM leaders said they had not given a call for taking out a rally but some youth came out on the streets immediately after prayers.

MIM leader and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi and others addressed the protest meeting, warning that <b>Muslims would not tolerate "blasphemous acts like drawing of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed".</b> What did they do about MF Hussain ? and secondly, if moslems cannot tolerate blasphemous drawings, why break Hindu property in India? What action will be taken against them by YSR?

Earlier, the national flag of Denmark was laid on the road from Charminar to Makkah Masjid and people coming for prayers trampled on it to lodge their protest. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This is an islamist special. Cut loose some violence and then people are forced to 'accomodate' you. And if people retaliate with more violence you can always say -> see others are violent too. IOW there is always a "silver lining" in violence and mayhem.

Rs 51 crore announced for beheading Danish cartoonist

Uttar Pradesh Minister for Haj and Minority Welfare Haji Mohammed Yaqoob today announced a reward of Rs 51 crore for beheading the Danish cartoonist who lampooned Prophet Mohammad, evoking sharp criticism from political parties.

"Any person who chops off the head of the cartoonist from Denmark who dared to make a caricature of Mohammad Sahib and bring it to me shall be rewarded Rs 51 crore in cash and given gold equivalent to his weight," he told a gathering at the Inter-College grounds here after Friday prayers.

Protestors then burnt an effigy of the cartoonist and courted arrest demanding that India sever diplomatic ties with the Scandinavian country. They were released shortly after, police said.

The state government said it was not contemplating any action against the minister for the inflammatory speech, arguing that it was "no offence" to make such an announcement against someone living in a distant country.

"The announcement had been made taking into account the feelings of the people... There is no offence to make such an annoucement about a person living in a distant foreign country," Home Secretary Alok Sinha told a news conference in Lucknow.

When queried further, he said "in a democracy such announcements are made in a normal way..It cannot be said to be a law and order issue". <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Now media is not calling Uttar Pradesh Minister for Haj and Minority Welfare Haji Mohammed Yaqoob "fanatic" or "Islamist" or "Fundamentalist" which they were calling Hindu when Hindus leader asked to have more kids.

Indian media like violent behavior of minorities but can't tolerate peacefull Hindus.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Protest over cartoons turns violent in Hyderabad<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
As I predicted some Hindus got their shops burnt (I thought some will get killed but that did not happen yet but it may happen in a few days) but one Hindu did get killed though abroad, anyway Muslim behaviour is predictable and once again proves my point about Islam and the Muslim community in India, as Sardar Patel said "Nehru is the only nationalist Muslim".

Anyways Koenraad's take on this controversy:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Banning the Quran?
From the desk of Koenraad Elst on Fri, 2006-02-17 14:16
The controversy over the Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad has generated plenty of hypocritical commentary from politicians and other public figures in attempts to convey an impression of moderation and neutrality.  In most cases they do so by taking up the quarrel in the middle and condemning both the “insensitivity” of the cartoonists and the “overreaction” of the Muslim world, both alleged instances of “extremism.” They expect us to believe that there is a moral equivalence between the exercising of a fundamental right (freedom of expression) and the attempt to abolish this right.

Many also adopted the snobbish position that the cartoons should not have been published because they were “substandard.” Ooh, those gourmet cartoon connoisseurs, they will settle for nothing but the best. Other evasions include the implication of ulterior motives, e.g. that the “real” object of the controversy is Denmark’s restrictive immigration policy rather than the cartoons. This goes against all the testimonies of Muslim government spokesmen and demonstrators. Another diversionary tactic is to declare that “the real issue” is unemployment of young Muslims in Europe, as if that was a concern of the violent demonstrators in faraway Beirut or Peshawar.

I do not know if hypocrisy is better or worse than the second most common position encountered in liberal circles: openly siding with Islamic fanaticism and putting the blame fully on the cartoonists and their editors, as Bill Clinton did, Kofi Annan and the Foreign Affairs spokesmen of the Bush and Blair governments. In the Brussels weekly Knack, the Belgian equivalent of Newsweek and Time, with a weekly circulation of 160,000 copies, the editor, Karl Van den Broeck, launched the innovative conspiracy theory that the Neoconservative cabal, with tentacles stretching from Washington DC and Tel Aviv to Aarhus and Brussels (this website!), had planned the whole cartoon riot incident as the trigger for the Clash of Civilizations and the invasion of Syria and Iran, no less. Well, not all that innovative: a similar view was expressed by Ayatollah Khamenei.

A well-known Belgian novelist (Kristien Hemmerechts), a noted feminist and cultural relativist (who has spoken in favour of female circumcision), stated that since the Muslims are so sensitive to the cartoons, the latter should not have been published. Typically, the liberal sympathisers of Muslim “sensitivities” do not seem to notice how childishly selfish the Muslim position is. For centuries and until today, Islam has ordered the destruction of everything that is sacred to other religions, starting with the 360 idols in the Kaaba (including Jesus and Mary) smashed to pieces by Muhammad himself, down to the Bamian Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, the weekly vandalising of Hindu temples in Bangladesh, or the destruction of Christian churches in Iraq during the last couple of months. In many cases, moreover, not only the places of worship but the worshippers too have been assaulted. What an arrogance for Muslims, with their heritage of iconoclastic insensitivity, to put up this show of indignation for a handful of harmless cartoons. And now we are being expected to feel pity for those poor touch-me-nots?

In Muslim circles, meanwhile, only a few independent intellectuals have come out unequivocally on the side of freedom of expression, most bravely the Jordanian journalists who confronted their readers with the poser: “Which is worse for Islam, these cartoons or the TV images of Iraqi mujahedin beheading their hostages?” They were arrested. So were several Algerian journalists, for republishing the cartoons, and their paper was banned from publication. Likewise a leftist Syrian journalist was arrested under the law against “insulting religious feelings” for having proposed a dialogue about the cartoon controversy on the plea that violent protests could only hurt the image of Islam. And in Konya, Turkey, a woman journalist was stoned for not wearing a headscarf while reporting on a demonstration held under the motto “loyalty to the Prophet.”

By contrast, many Europe-based Muslim intellectuals who joined the debate, esp. those who opened their interventions with a plea against violent protest by way of captatio benevolentiae (then followed by “but…”), only did so as the first, non-violent line of attack in the broader Islamist offensive against freedom of expression and of the press.  They are the ones who stand to gain most from this type of crisis: with every Islamist bomb attack by the violent wing, the non-violent vanguard’s prestige with Western governments and media goes up. They become ever more needed as “dialogue partners” to fend off the violent option. But objectively they are working for the same goal as the armed Islamists: to curb democratic freedoms as a crucial step in the imposition of an Islamic order on the West.

A good example is the Brussels government-funded “intercultural” lobby group KifKif. Last Tuesday, seven of its board members, including widely read intellectuals of Moroccan origin, such as Tarik Fraihi and Sami Zemni, published a plea for “limits on freedom of speech.” They argue that “an absolute freedom of expression can only benefit antidemocratic extremists.” This position is evidently the opposite of the truth. Unfettered freedom of expression is a fundamental precondition for a democracy, because a democratically sovereign citizenry needs to be able to inform itself about the existing spectrum of opinions on any matters that come up for decision-making. In a democracy there cannot be two unequal categories of citizens, with one allowed to select what the other may hear and read. Conditional freedom of expression is typical of dictatorships.  Hitler and Stalin did not oppose the freedom to express opinions that were in line with their own policies, and likewise, KifKif does not advocate limits on the expression of opinions in line with its own.

But since the job of this type of lobbying groups is to put a democratic face on their attacks on the foundations of democracy, their spokesmen cleverly use the language of human rights. Kifkif writes: “The self-declared defenders of absolute freedom of expression forget (deliberately?) the second part of the much-discussed article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, not coincidentally the part in which the limits of freedom of expression are defined.” This is bluff aimed at fooling lazy readers, for those who take the trouble to read the ECHR article in question, which guarantees freedom of expression, will find that the limits mentioned there are conceived in terms of national interest and morality, not of prohibiting criticism of religious doctrines and leaders. The only straw to which the KifKif authors can cling is the following: “An important limit according to the ECHR is the ‘protection of the rights of others.’” This they take to include “the right to respect (art. 8) and the right to freedom of religion (art. 9).”

This is another attempt to fool unsuspecting readers, for the rights guaranteed in articles 8 and 9 are in no way thwarted by any form of self-expression. The “respect” mentioned in art. 8 is not the right to freedom from criticism which Islam is now demanding, but the very tangible right of freedom from encroachment on one’s private correspondence, home and family life. The freedom of religion guaranteed in art. 9 is similarly unaffected by the expression of opinions. The religious freedom of Christians, for instance, has not been violated by the various forms of criticism which have been aimed at them since the 18th century (but it has been violated by various forms of prohibition, repression and pogroms in Communist and Islamic countries).

The KifKif authors continue: “Freedom of expression is limited in this sense that exhortation to hate or racism are forms of verbal violence and therefore punishable offences.” That is not in the ECHR, but granted, this idea does underlie the anti-racist legislation in some European countries. The Newspeak notion of ‘verbal violence’ is an attempt to vitiate the debate by pretending that strong rhetoric amounts to, and is somehow equivalent to, physical violence. Again this is a trait which is typical of dictatorships, where dissenters are routinely criminalized as ‘trouble-makers irresponsibly sowing conflict in society’ and the silencing and incarceration of dissidents is justified as ‘necessary for the people’s well-being and social peace.’ In fact, it is precisely the so-called ‘violent’ speech that is protected by the principle of freedom of expression. Sweet talk is not controversial and no-one seeks to curb it. The opinions that need to be protected from censorship are precisely the opinions that hurt. As George Orwell said: if freedom of speech means anything at all, it is the freedom to say things that people do not want to hear. That is, those things that the targeted will resent as ‘verbal violence.’

The reference to anti-racist restrictions is yet another attempt to distort the debate, for criticism of religion (which is the basis of any criticism, according to Karl Marx) has nothing to do with race. There are many Muslim-born critics of Islam, racially identical with the Islamists they criticize, people like Ibn Warraq or Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Conversely, there are quite a few European-born converts to Islam, often with a convert’s militant zeal. I have been on debating panels with several of them, and a few have made headlines by joining the armed struggle in Afghanistan or Iraq against Western forces, whose soldiers are mostly white like themselves. If the KifKif advocates of Islam’s right to veto criticism have to resort to the misplaced rhetoric of anti-racism, diverting attention from the religious basis of the controversy, this may well indicate that they know that their core argumentation is weak.

And it is. Suppose we take them at their word when they argue: “Freedom of the press and of expression cannot and must not become a licence or alibi for gratuitous, mendacious and disrespectful messages.” The first two adjectives are bluff, again. There was nothing ‘gratuitous’ about raising the issue of whether artists are afraid to depict the Muslim’s prophet. A Danish author of children’s books had discovered this to be the case, which was the reason for Jyllands-Posten’s invitation to the cartoonists. Neither was it gratuitous when two of the cartoonists connected the person of Muhammad with the contemporary theme of terrorism. It so happens that hundreds of terrorists in the past few years have justified their actions with references to the words and actions of their Prophet. It is not gratuitous or frivolous for a newspaper to address politically relevant and topical facts. 

Secondly, there was nothing ‘mendacious’ about depicting Mohammed in a way that associates him with terrorism. KifKif has no monopoly on access to the orthodox Islamic sources about the life and works of the Prophet of Islam. We can check for ourselves that the Hadith (traditions concerning the Prophet’s words and deeds) and Sira (biography) literature describe Mohammed as engaging in armed raids, plunder, hostage-taking, rape, assassination of critics and mass-murder of prisoners. Instances of this conduct are also confirmed and justified in the Quran itself. In a democracy it is perfectly legitimate to point this out, whether laboriously in a scholarly paper or more caustically in a cartoon.

As to the third adjective, one may agree that from a certain angle the cartoons can indeed be considered as ‘disrespectful.’ But in that case, one must likewise judge ‘disrespectful’ the sources on which the message they convey is based. As we just pointed out, the notion that Muhammad was a kind of terrorist is not an invention of some 21st-century ‘Islamophobe’ or ‘racist,’ it is based on Arabic sources compiled by orthodox Muslims and enshrined as the basis of Islamic doctrine and law. If cartoons critical of the Prophet are to be banned, what does KifKif propose to do with the Hadith collections and the Quran: ban those books in toto or merely excise the parts that testify to Muhammad’s acting in contravention of the ECHR?

I am unambiguously opposed to any curtailment of the freedom to buy and sell and read and discuss the Quran. Everybody should read it, for that is the best immunization against silly sop-stories about Islam being ‘the religion of peace’ or Muhammad being ‘the first feminist.’ Anyone who, like KifKif, demands restrictions on publications that cast the Muslim’s prophet in a negative light, is demanding restrictions which would logically affect the basic texts of Islam. If logic had any force of law, the KifKif board members would be well advised to ponder the old proverb: “Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.”

The question of how the Islamic texts would fare under a KifKif regime becomes all the more relevant in the light of another assertion of the board members: “Kif Kif is of the opinion that there are limits to freedom of expression.  t is at least necessary that those limits are the same for everybody. […] We wish to live in a tightly coherent society with equal rights and duties for everyone. A society without racism, whether it is Islamophobia or anti-Semitism.”

This seems to mean that disrespect for any religion should be treated the same as disrespect for Islam. So, if insults to Islam or the Muslim community must be prohibited, then so must insults to other religions and their adherents. (In the new nomenclatura, this might be called Kafirophobia, aversion to Kafirs or ‘unbelievers;’ if the KifKif authors mean what they say about equality, they should henceforth twin every mention of ‘Islamophobia’ with ‘Kafirophobia.’)  How would the Quran fare in such a system?

The Quran contains dozens of verses that preach hostility to Pagans (polytheists, Zoroastrian ‘fire-worshippers’ and atheists), Jews and Christians. It denounces their teachings as false and evil and a sure passport to hell. By modern Western standards the author of the Quran is entitled to his freedom of opinion on religions. But by KifKif standards, these insulting comments on other people’s religions are not so innocent and ought to be curtailed, especially in a multicultural society. (And indeed, the orthodox sources agree that it was Muhammad’s lifetime achievement to have transformed Arabia’s multicultural society into a monolithic Islamic one.)

The Quran also expressly forbids conversion from Islam to other religions, while allowing and encouraging the reverse. This becomes problematic in the light of the KifKif authors’ plea for equality and reciprocity. It is also in contravention of the ECHR’s article 9, to which they purportedly adhere, for this article defines “freedom of religion” as including “the right to change one’s religion.”

In addition the Quran rejects the principle of “equal rights and duties for everyone,” which KifKif now invokes. Apart from the candidly affirmed inequality in rights and duties between the sexes (which admittedly exists in all religions), it explicitly ordains inequality between the different religious communities. To the non-monotheists Muhammad denied freedom of religion completely, and as for Jews and Christians, the Quran only allows them to retain their faith if they accept the status of third-class citizens and pay a ‘toleration tax.’ When the Prophet’s Islamic state developed into an empire under his successors, the ‘rightly-guided Caliphs,’ this principle was elaborated into an entire system of legal inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims. This inequality pervades the Shari’a (Islamic law) and even now it is already seeping into our society, e.g. in the immense and sometimes violent pressure of Muslim communities against relationships or marriages of their daughters with non-Muslims.

There is even grimmer reading, however, in dozens of Quran verses that go further than mere doctrinal disputation and actually enjoin the Muslims to go out and fight the ‘infidels.’ The core text of Islam is not merely disrespectful towards other religions, it extols killing and glorifies dying in the war against the non-Muslims. If the text of the Quran should not be clear enough, one must bear in mind that it is a companion volume to Muhammad’s life story as a religious leader and military conqueror. Consequently, if one should have doubts about the meaning of jihad, literally ‘effort’ but in practice ‘war against the infidels,’ one need merely put the verses in their real-life context. Muhammad understood and used the term unambiguously in the sense of ‘war,’ not some ethereal or metaphorical ‘struggle against the evil in ourselves’ but an actual war involving horses, weapons, stratagems and blood. The Quran explicitly teaches hatred, hostility and the use of force against other religions and their adherents. By KifKif’s own standards, it clearly exceeds the “limits of freedom of expression.”

Fortunately most Muslims do not take the Quran literally. Their common sense, as well as human inertia and immediate self-interest make them focus on their own life’s business rather than on the struggle against the infidels. When pressed for a Quranic justification of this Islamically lax conduct, they may invent some conveniently soft and non-literal interpretation of the more militant verses, or even (before ignorant Westerners) deny their existence altogether. And so they get on with their lives much like their non-Muslim neighbours do.

However, this does not render the Quranic injunctions against the infidels innocent. Of the hundreds of dedicated Muslims who committed acts of terror in the last couple of years, a handful may have been temperamentally violent and predisposed to committing such acts regardless of their religion. They may be the “evil people” whom President George W. Bush blamed for the 9/11 attacks in his bid not to implicate Islam. But many others have crossed the threshold into terrorism through the teaching of the Quran and the example set by the Prophet. After all, they understand the Quran as nothing less than God’s own revelation. Unlike the ephemeral cartoons, which have not motivated a single act of violence against Muslims in the months since their publication, the Quranic injunctions are intended to be taken seriously.

Consequently, when people plead for restrictions on free speech on the grounds that it may cause offence and even inspire hatred and active hostility to certain communities, they ought to realize that they are in effect demanding limitations on the freedom to read and recite the Quran. Is that what the KifKif board members want? If not, they should withdraw their plea for limits on the freedom to express criticism of religions and religious figures including the prophet Muhammad.

PS: please note that in the present article and in other publications, I have practised a reasonable degree of respect for the founder of Islam. Of course I have not used any sycophantic or reverential appositions every time I mentioned his name, such as “Peace Be Upon Him” or “PBUH.” But at least I have repeatedly referred to him as the “Prophet,” and capitalized, no less. As a non-believer, I would have been entitled to describe him each time as “the so-called prophet.” Since I am not in the business of annoying people with such pedantries, I have refrained from exercising that right. It’s just a question of sensitivity, you know.

KPS Gill rocks. <!--emo&:bhappy--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_woot.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_woot.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Tolerating Islamist intolerance </b>
KPS Gill
A great deal has been written on the 'cartoon controversy', but it is far from enough. The current storm of orchestrated violence and intimidatory protests across the world is symbolic of a deep and sustained intolerance among Muslims, and of rising levels of tolerance of Muslim intolerance, that jointly undermine the possibility of freedom in large parts of the world.

Crucially, it is precisely this tolerance of intolerance that has allowed vocal and violent radicalised Islamist minorities to silence Muslim majorities and to transform the global image of Islam into the grotesque parody of the faith that the Danish cartoons sought - perhaps indelicately - to reflect.

<b>Offensive though these cartoons may have been - and they were not offensive to at least some Muslims, who saw in them, not an insult to the Prophet or the faith, but rather a critique of the unrelenting violence that has become the defining character of much of the Muslim world - the criminal incitement and calls to 'butcher/kill/behead those who insult Islam' have only reinforced the images the cartoons reflected, "allowing mass hysteria to define Islam's message". </b>

<b>What dishonours Islam more? A few irreverent cartoons? Or the acts of remorseless murder, of relentless violence against people of other faiths, of the intimidation and abuse of all other faiths and communities, which the Islamists - including states adhering to the Islamist ideology, such as Pakistan - routinely engage in? Why, then, does the Muslim world not rise up in rage against these fanatics and political opportunists who are bringing disgrace and disrepute to their faith? Why are the voices of criticism against extremist Islam and Islamist terrorism so muted? </b>

Indeed, why is it that all occasional and invariably qualified criticism of these terrorists is accompanied by vague justifications of the need to 'understand root causes' and the 'hurt' caused to the 'Muslim psyche'? Is the 'Muslim psyche' uniquely susceptible to injury?

<b>Venomous characterisations of Hindus, Jews, Christians and, generally, all kafirs, are the stock-in-trade of the discourse in some Muslim countries, often communicated through official media, such as national television channels</b>. The ideologies of hatred against other faiths are systematically propagated in so many Muslim states - we in India are familiar with the Pakistani case, where school curricula routinely demonise non-Muslims.

And do the words or pictures or caricatures by non-Muslims do more injury to the 'Islamic world' than the hideous acts of terrorism that Islamists have been inflicting on non-Muslims - and, indeed, on so many Muslims - all over the world? <b>Worse, after so many Muslim-majority states have simply wiped out their own minorities, or are, even today, in the process of doing so, these very states go shrieking around about 'hurting the sentiments of minorities' when something is said against Muslims or Islam.</b>

Indeed, 'Islamic' states oppress even their own sectarian minorities - be they non-Wahabbi Sunnis in some cases, or Shia, Ismaili, Ahmadiya, or Sufi, in others - not only through systematic denial of elementary religious rights to these sects, but, as in the case of Pakistan, through state sponsored terrorist movements against such minorities - recall that the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan was set up by General Zia-ul-Haq to target Shias in the wake of the Iranian revolution, and continued to enjoy the support of the state under successor regimes, till it got mixed up with the Al Qaeda and anti-US terrorism, and lost its status as a sarkari (state supported) jihadi organisation.

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Many 'Islamic' countries have institutionalised this intolerance, outlawing the public practice of any other Faith, and made the possession of any religious icon, other than Muslim, a punishable offence. Non-Muslim minorities live in abject terror of blasphemy laws in Pakistan, as in many other Muslim countries. </span>

The truth is, the state lies behind much of the Islamist extremism and frenzy that we are witnessing today. To return to the case of the Danish cartoons, there was no 'spontaneous outburst' of popular sentiment; it was only after the Organisation of Islamic Countries decided to whip up emotions around the issue, and states like Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia began to incite the rabble through official statements and actions, or statements by religious leaders tied to the regimes there, disseminated through official media, that the violent street protests commenced.

In Pakistan, the protests and the violence have principally been led by the Jamaat-ud-Dawa - the reincarnation of the purportedly 'banned' Lashkar-e-Toiba - which has flourished under state patronage, and that was cast by the Musharraf administration into a 'leadership' role recently in the relief operations after the earthquake that devastated parts of Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

But the 'cartoon crisis' is not unique. Even while this controversy was raging across the world, Shia minorities were being attacked by Sunni terrorists in Pakistan; in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, a case was registered against the local chapter of the Bible Society of India for the 'grievous crime' of distributing "gas cylinders, three water bottles, audio cassettes and a copy of the New Testament in Urdu" to earthquake victims in a village in Uri.

In Ladakh, riots were engineered between Muslims and Buddhists because some torn pages of the Quran were recovered, leading to allegations of sacrilege. In the Aligarh Muslim University, a young girl was being threatened with collective rape for daring to protest against a diktat against wearing jeans and a T-shirt. These are only a few current and proximate examples of a remorseless oppression over the decades.

Such thuggeries are, of course, not unique to Islam. There are extremist groups drawing dubious 'inspiration' from other faiths who ape such conduct as well, and Valentines Day this year - as in the past few years - attracted the ire and violence of Hindu extremist hooligans. But these remain - fortunately - aberrations in the larger context of conduct among adherents of other faiths. They have increasingly become the dominant form of public articulation in the Muslim community.

There is an American Indian saying: 'it takes an entire village to raise a single child'. Similarly, it takes a very large community, often entire nations, to raise a single suicide bomber. For far too long, extremist Muslim discourse has been tolerated - to the point of incitement to murder - in the belief that acts of terrorism are distinct from such ideologies of hatred. But it is the wide acceptance within large sections of Muslim communities in many countries of these ideologies of hatred that produce the environment within which groups can mobilise, recruit motivate, train and deploy terrorists and suicide bombers.

Muslim liberals have long advocated 'understanding and tolerance' when dealing with Muslim sensibilities, but have seldom been known to aggressively argue for greater 'understanding and tolerance' for other faiths in 'Islamic' countries, where the record of intolerance towards and oppression of religious minorities is utterly revolting. There is a great 'Muslim exceptionalism' at work here.

The 'Muslim world' demands an absolute freedom without limits, but confers no freedom whatsoever, either on other faiths, or on dissent within its own faith. The 'tolerance' advocated by certain passages in the Quran is only something to parade at inter-faith conferences, and constitutes no part of the practice of most Muslim majority states - no doubt with occasional exceptions.

The demand, today, to impose a selective censorship in Europe on speech that is insulting to Muslims - when similar speech against other faiths enjoys full freedom - is an effort by Muslim minorities to impose, through mass violence and intimidation, their belief systems within the larger systems they have come to inhabit.

Europe would be, not only foolish, but suicidal, if it succumbs to this terrorism and coercion to invent new curbs on the media and on the freedom of speech. The democratic world must remain committed to its enlightenment values and ideals, and to the rough-and-tumble of free discourse in the 'marketplace of ideas'. All communal thuggeries, whatever faith they may claim to 'represent', must be brought to an end, and every available means must be bent to this purpose.

Personally, I think, the more fun we make of our own religions, the better it will be for the whole world, and, indeed, for our respective Faiths. I am immensely proud of being a Sikh, and am confident that no jokes or cartoons can ever undermine the eternal verities of my religion.
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Pakistani cleric offers big reward for killing Prophet cartoonist* Canadian

Published: Friday, February 17, 2006

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) - A Pakistani cleric announced a $1-million US
bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew the Prophet Muhammad.

In Libya, a demonstration against the caricatures left the Italian consulate
on fire and at least nine people dead, an Italian diplomat said. Denmark,
where a newspaper first published the cartoons, temporarily closed its
embassy in Pakistan and advised its citizens to leave the country.

An Italian consular official, Antonio Simoes-Concalves, said nine protesters
were killed in the demonstration in the Libyan city Bengazi as armed police
fired bullets and tear gas on a crowd of more than 1,000 demonstrators.

Libyan security officials said 11 people had been killed or wounded but gave
no breakdown.

"They are still continually firing," Simoes-Concalves said late Friday,
speaking by telephone from inside the consulate where he was holed up.

"They haven't managed to block them."

The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed the first floor of the consulate had
been set on fire after the crowd charged into the grounds late Friday.

Libyan television showed firefighters trying to put out the fire, ambulances
taking casualties away from the scene and five cars that were severely
damaged in the riot.

Security officials said the demonstrators hurled stones and bottles at the
consulate and later entered the grounds and set fire to the building and a
consular car.

Police fired shots to try and disperse the crowd, the officials said,
speaking on condition of anonymity.

No Italians were injured, the Italian Foreign Ministry said.

In Pakistan, Mohammed Yousaf Qureshi announced the bounty for killing a
cartoonist to about 1,000 people outside the historic Mohabat Khan mosque in
the northwestern city Peshawar.

He said the mosque and the religious school he leads would give a reward
worth the equivalent of about $30,000 Cdn and a car for killing the
cartoonist who drew the caricatures - considered blasphemous by Muslims. He
said a local jewellers' association would also give $1 million US but no
representative of the association was available to confirm the offer.

"This is a unanimous decision of by all imams of Islam that whoever insults
the prophets deserves to be killed and whoever will take this insulting man
to his end, will get this prize," he said.

Qureshi did not name any cartoonist in his announcement and he did not
appear aware 12 different people had drawn the pictures.

A Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, first printed the Prophet pictures in
September. The newspaper has since apologized to Muslims for the cartoons,
one of which shows Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban. Other western
newspapers, mostly in Europe, have reprinted the pictures, asserting their
news value and the right to freedom of expression.

In Denmark, a spokesman for the Jyllands-Posten declined comment on the
bounty offer. But Mogens Blicher Bjerregaard, president of the Danish
Journalist Union and spokesman for the cartoonists, condemned it.

"It is totally absurd what is happening. The cartoonists just did their job
and they did nothing illegal," he said.

He said the cartoonists - who have been living under police protection since
last year - are aware of the reward and are "feeling bad about the whole

He did not say whether their security had been stepped up.

Unrest over the cartoons has spiralled in Pakistan. Riots in Lahore and
Peshawar this week caused millions of dollars in damage. Hundreds of
vehicles were burned and protesters targeted U.S. and other foreign
businesses. Five people were killed.

Intelligence officials have said scores of members of radical and militant
Islamic groups joined the protests in Lahore on Tuesday and incited violence
in a bid to undermine President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's government, a close
ally of the United States.

On Friday, police confined the leader of the militant group Jamaat al-Dawat,
Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, to his home to stop him from addressing supporters in
the city Faisalabad, about 120 kilometres away, his spokesman Yahya Mujahid

A senior police official in Lahore who confirmed Saeed's detention said the
government had ordered police to restrict the movement of all religious
leaders who might address rallies and round up religious activists "who
could be any threat to law and order."

The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

In Islamabad, visiting former U.S. president Bill Clinton criticized the
cartoons but said Muslims wasted an opportunity to build better ties with
the West by holding violent protests.

"I can tell you, most people in the United States deeply respect Islam...and
most people in Europe do," he said.

Denmark, meanwhile, said it had temporarily closed its embassy in
Pakistanand urged Danes to leave the country. Last week,
Denmark temporarily shut its embassies in Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Indonesia.

In neighbouring India, police used batons and tear gas to disperse thousands
of angry worshippers who rioted in the southern city Hyderabad. Hundreds
more protested in Bangladesh.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Times of India from Lucknow reports:-
Publication: Times Of India Lucknow; Date:2006 Feb 18; Section:Front Page; Page Number 1 
Minister’s Rs 51-cr toon bounty sparks outrage

Lucknow: In a shocking demand, UP cabinet minister and senior Samajwadi Party leader Mohammed Yaqoob Qureshi on Friday called for the beheading of the cartoonist who had sketched Prophet Mohammed for a Danish newspaper and announced that he would give ‘‘the avenger’’ Rs 51 crore and weigh him in gold.
   And pre-empting the question about where he’d get the money, the minister for Haj told a protest rally in Meerut that the money would be collected from the people of Meerut and that Muslim women were ready to sell their gold ornaments to ‘‘reward’’ any would-be assassin.
   Yaqoob’s public statement sent ripples through Lucknow and Samajwadi Party as well as Muslim leaders moved to distance themselves from it. But the state government refused to say whether it planned any action for what was clearly an invitation for a contract killing in a foreign land. Muslim leaders in Lucknow said Yaqoob’s appeared to be cheap gimmick.
   Strangely, chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav was not ready to comment on Yaqoob’s outrageous demand, and Samajwadi Party was cautious not to be seen as dismissive of Yaqoob. Party leaders, speaking off the record, said the minister was probably just responding to a charged atmosphere. SP general secretary Amar Singh said, ‘‘I would exercise my restraint in giving any reaction because it may have far-reaching implications.’’
   Addressing a crowd of over 25,000 that had gathered at Meerut’s Sadar Ground after Friday prayers to protest against portrayal of the Prophet in Danish cartoons, a visibly excited Yaqoob declared that whosoever would get him the head of the Danish cartoonist would be rewarded.
   ‘‘Whosoever it is, be it a Pakistani, an Iraqi or an American,’’ Yaqoob said. A moment later he added, ‘‘The money will be paid by the people of Meerut.’’
   However, religious clerics and prominent Muslims made light of Yaqoob Qureshi’s call.
   ‘‘Anyone who does anything wrong has to be punished under the law of the land to which he belongs,’’ said Idgah Imam Maulana Khalid Rasheed.

Law provides for    seven-year jail   

His call for murder of the Danish cartoonist may land Mohammed Yaqkoob Qureshi in trouble. He is liable to be arrested for violating a host of IPC provisions.
   He falls foul of Section 115, which penalises “abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life — if offence not committed.” Under this provision, he is liable to be jailed for seven years. P7

Clerics flay Qureshi

Lucknow: religious clerics and prominent Muslims on Friday made light of senior Samajwadi Party leader Mohammed Yaqoob Qureshi’s call for the beheading of the cartoonist who had sketched Prophet Mohammed for a Danish newspaper.
   ‘‘Anyone who does anything wrong has to be punished under the law of the land to which he belongs,’’ pointed out Idgah Imam Maulana Khalid Rasheed. ‘‘Such statements only go on to help those targeting Muslims across the world. This will be an opportunity to accuse minorities of violent thoughts.’’ All India Muslim Personal Board also dismissed the minister’s statement. ‘‘In our religion, the authority to pronounce a judgment rests only with a qazi and no one else,’’ said board member Zafaryab Jilani. ‘‘Had such a statement originated from a native of an Islamic country, then under the laws of that country it could have been justified, but not in India.’’UP principal secretary Alok Sinha came out with the twisted alibi for the minister that no offence was made out against him since he had not called for the killing of anybody inside country. TNN </b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

The reaction and views of the other leaders is a reflection of the strength of India's democratic institutions and secular credentials.
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Feb 16 2006, 09:42 PM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Feb 16 2006, 09:42 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->What happened to 2% hindus? Killed or converted or excaped to India????

<b>Mudy Ji :</b>

Here is the Bangladesh Census Figures :

<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>BANGLADESH POPULATION</span></b>


<b>Table 7.2: Percentage Distribution of Population by Religious Communities (1901-1991).</b>

|CensusYear|Total |Muslim|Hindu|Buddhist|Christian|Others|
| 1901 | 100.0 |66.1 | 33.0| .. | .. | 0.9 |
| 1911 | 100.0 | 67.2 | 31.5| .. | .. | 1.3 |
| 1921 |100.0 | 68.1 |30.6 | .. | .. | 1.3 |
| 1931 |100.0 | 69.5 |29.4 | .. | 0.2 | 1.0 |
| 1941 |100.0 | 70.3 |28.0 | .. | 0.1 | 1.6 |
| 1951 |100.0 | 76.9 |22.0 | 0.7 | 0.3 | 0.1 |
| 1961 |100.0 | 80.4 |18.5 | 0.7 | 0.3 | 0.1 |
| 1974 |100.0 | 85.4 |13.5 | 0.6 | 0.3 | 0.2 |
| 1981 |100.0 | 86.7 |12.1 | 0.6 | 0.3 | 0.3 |
| 1991 |100.0 | 88.3 |10.5 | 0.6 | 0.3 | 0.3 |

As per the 2001 Census the Hindu Content of the Population is 9.2 Per Cent.

As such you will see that in Five Decades the total Hindu Population Content has dropped by 12.8 Per Cent i.e. about 2.6 Per Cent Per Decade. <b>You will note that 12.8% of 22% is about 58% REDUCTION of the Hindu Population content in THE 1951 CENSUS.</b>

This is of course due to the Tender Loving Care, The Brotherly and Sisterly Love Given by the Followers of the Peaceful Religion to their Non-Muslim Minorities.

May be one day the Secular Hindu Leaders of India will wake up from their Enforced Somnolence – one of the effects of being Lotos Eaters – and sit up & take notice!

Whilst there is life there is hope!!

P. S. : Sorry despite best efforts cannot get the tabs!!!

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The reaction and views of the other leaders is a reflection of the strength of India's democratic institutions and secular credentials.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
No, Check his statement
<b>‘‘In our religion, the authority to pronounce a judgment rests only with a qazi and no one else,’’ </b>

Qazi are appointed by Mullah board.

Why they had not put this minister in jail? It only shows till you are Muslim every nonsense is acceptable only little noise from paid Mullah to make news bite. If same was done by Hindu leader, you know what they will call. Whole hell will break, CM will be sacked. Request to cancel his VISA. They will call him Hitler. All Hindus will be called fanatics etc...

I can still say its a weakness of India's democratic institution that minister is still well placed in his office and excellent example of pseudo-secularism by rest of Indian sick political and media machinery.
<!--QuoteBegin-Ravish+Feb 18 2006, 01:20 PM-->QUOTE(Ravish @ Feb 18 2006, 01:20 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Times of India from Lucknow reports:-

<b>Publication: Times Of India Lucknow; Date:2006 Feb 18; Section:Front Page; Page Number 1 
Minister’s Rs 51-cr toon bounty sparks outrage</b>

<b>The reaction and views of the other leaders is a reflection of the strength of India's democratic institutions and secular credentials.</b>

<b>Ravish Ji :</b>

<b>A Few Swallows do not a Summer Make.



Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Yes Nareshji,
I agree with your conclusion. However, you may have noticed that it is causing greater developments within the EU member states.It has led to the resignation of a Minister in Italy. Hope, Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav may also ask the concerned Minster to resign. The demonstration today in London I saw on the TV to be very orderly. What is your assessment of the situation in your part of the world.
<b>27 killed in Nigeria, Libya cartoon riots</b>
<b>* Nigerian churches burnt
* Libyan minister fired, Italian minister quits</b>

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