The Print, headed by the former chief of Editor’s Guild, published an article on Monday that could only ever be interpreted as apologia for Radical Islam. The author of the article, Zainab Sikander, who appears to be on the payroll of The Print precisely to produce such garbage, has once again performed a stellar job at whitewashing the crimes of Islamic terrorists.
The Print has made significant efforts towards making strawman arguments and made some preposterous comparisons in the process. They wrote, “Prophet Muhammad captures the imagination, belief system and rapturous devotion of about 1.8 billion people in the world, even after 1,400 years of his existence. And those 1.8 billion people are expected to not get offended by vulgar depictions of the prophet because it apparently is ‘freedom of expression’. Is bullying freedom of expression too? Is pornographic content freedom of expression too? Is substance abuse freedom of expression too?”
No one expects Muslims to not get offended here and no one claimed that Muslims taking offence at the cartoons is the primary cause of concern. The core issue here is Islamic terrorists beheading people due to cartoons and Radical Muslims issuing death threats over the same. Murder, terrorism and death threats are the primary concern here, not Muslims taking offence at cartoons. The argument that The Print columnist appears to make is that beheading people is justified for offensive cartoons.
The other sleight of hand played by the columnist is that offensive cartoons of the prophet is equated with bullying, pornography and substance abuse. It is an amazing assertion here. Issuing death threats and terrorism is not bullying but a cartoon is. And how can cartoons even legitimately be compared to pornography and substance abuse? It is a bizarre assertion.
The Print did not stop there obviously. She even justified a verse from the Islamic scriptures advocating the murder of Kaafirs. We are not exaggerating, she did really go that far. After quoting the verse verbatim, she argued, “But no one bothers to understand, even when told, that this verse was revealed when Muslims on the Hajj pilgrimage were attacked and killed by the Quraysh tribe who had signed a treaty with the Prophet to not attack the pilgrims.”
Once again, it is the famed ‘context’ that is brought up as justification even though the verse clearly states, “…such is the penalty of the disbelievers.” By now it should be evident that an individual who can compare cartoons to bullying and pornography and drug abuse has the capability to make comparisons between anything and everything under the Sun.
Thus, we should not be surprised when Zainab Sikander compares sanction for violence in Islamic scriptures with that in the Geeta. Again, she is engaging in a remarkable sleight of hand. She pretends that all forms of violence are evil when we know for a fact that it is not the case. The Police using violence to crack down on rioters cannot be compared with rioters running amok on the streets destroying public and private property. However, it appears Zainab Sikander would have us believe both are equally bad.
She asks, after quoting a random verse out of context, “How is this any different from Lord Krishna telling Arjun in the Bhagavad Gita to fight as his dharmic duty?” In this context, we need to touch upon the concept of the Mosaic distinction. The term, coined by professor Jan Assmann, refers to the fact that it is only the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) that make a distinction between the ‘One true God’ and ‘false Gods’.
Advocating the existence of only ‘One true God’ and consequently, advocating violence and persecution against devotees of other Gods is the exclusive legacy of Abrahamic faiths alone. Hinduism simply does not have the concept where violence is advocated against other devotees of other Gods merely of religious belief. Exclusive worship of one God and the consequence advocacy of violence against those who do not abide by this rule is the gift of Abrahamic faiths to the world.
When Krishna asks Arjuna to go to war for Dharma, Krishna does not say that the Kauravas ought to be slaughtered for their religious belief. Arjuna was asked to go to war because the Pandavas were robbed of their inheritance by the Kauravas, because Draupadi was dishonoured, because the principles of Dharma had been violated. In short, the Mahabharata was a Dharmayuddha, it was not a religious war at all. Therefore, it is preposterous for The Print columnist to draw a comparison between the two.
But it is not at all surprising that The Print columnist would attempt such an endeavour. Only recently, she demanded that Charlie Hebdo mock the holocaust if it wanted to publish cartoons on Islam. Because quite obviously, cartoons mocking a religion are the same as ones mocking the victims of a genocide, right? Somehow, in her twisted mind, that is not bullying.
That the article published the editorial muster of The Print only further demonstrates that the media outlet run by the former editor-in-chief of the Editors Guild of India does not really have any editorial standards. Anything that justifies Radical Islam and helps whitewash the crimes of Islamic terrorists will be given space on the platform. There have been quite a few distasteful justification of Radical Islam that has been offered by liberal outlets but this takes the cake by miles.