Sanjay Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party on Friday attempted to teach ‘true Islam’ to Sharjeel Usmani after the Newslaundry columnist celebrated the death of Aaj Tak news anchor Rohit Sardana. He recounted a story of how the prophet of Islam had responded with kindness to a woman who had earlier thrown garbage at him.
In his response, Sanjay Singh tried hard to pretend that he knew and understood Islam better than the Islamic fundamentalists, going overboard with the honorifics used for the prophet. It is hard to know precisely what he was looking to achieve with his comment apart from affirming his uber-secular credentials but the responses he received confirmed what common sense would have us believe.
“Do not try to teach Islamic fundamentalists the true meaning of Islam. Chances are, they are far more knowledgeable on the matter than you are.” One Abdul Raziq shot back at Singh over his comments. He said that there is no mention of an incident such as the one cited by Sanjay Singh and the story was merely a figment of imagination.
Raziq rebuked Singh and said that he should study the scriptures first before issuing sermons. “Muslims do not need any certificate from you,” said Raziq. The reply would surely classify as a ‘befitting reply’ in some Islamist media.
The interaction, however, does carry an important lesson for liberals. The overwhelming chances are that Islamic fundamentalists are much better versed with Islamic scriptures than liberals themselves. Therefore, it is only common sense that one refrains from preaching sermons to the devout.
ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had a PhD degree in Islamic studies and he is only just one example. We have numerous examples of Maulanas and Maulvis in India which preach hatred all the time. Do liberals plan to teach Saudi Arabia ‘true Islam’? Or maybe, Pakistan or Iran? It is bizarre to assume that they know more about Islam than the Islamic states themselves.
Weirdly enough, liberals appear to be of the opinion that all religions preach liberalism. Whatever be the main liberal political issue of the time, they will claim that all religions support that position. Be it abortion, homosexuality or feminism, according to liberals, the true message of all religions is always somehow the one liberals want it to be.
And as it so happens, even reputed Islamic scholars have said that the story does not have any basis in reality.
It is well past time for liberals to wake up and smell the coffee. The vision of Islam that they have in their head is starkly different from the one that exists in reality. And despite their numerous incantations of the sort that Sanjay Singh made, the fact remains that there are not enough takers of it among the Muslim community. Even so, it is only to be expected that the AAP leader will not learn the lesson that he should from the interaction.
It is also to be noted here that Islamists on social media, while justifying the celebrations over Sardana’s death, slammed liberals as well. According to them, liberals should have been okay with them celebrating the death of someone they accuse of being a ‘genocide enabler’.
All this time, liberals have made numerous overtures to Islamists, helped mainstream them, compromised on liberal principles in order to build an alliance with them and it was only the celebration of someone’s death did liberals draw the line.
And yet, the immediate response from their Islamist allies was not understanding and compromise but strong rebuke. It tells one everything they need to know about the nexus of Islamists and liberals and the power balance that exists between the two.