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India and radical Islam: Time for the BJP govt in Centre to act

A 2021 survey report showed that 74% of Indian Muslims preferred Sharia courts over regular ones. This Sharia support explains why Darul Khada has grown to be a menace.

The stars have aligned for India to take decisive action directed at Darul Khada and Islamist radicalism.

Reasons? Unlike in the past, when India was vulnerable to an oil embargo by Middle East nations, the country now gets a very large share of its oil from Russia. Facing an economic black hole, Pakistan cannot engage in a protracted military conflict. West’s ability to twist India’s arm is limited due to the war in Ukraine and its dependence on India as a counter to China.

Darul Khada (“God’s court”) is a Taliban-styled court – the tip of the spear to terrorise and Islamise India through violence, intimidation, and deceit. These courts have created a parallel government by pretending that Sharia is god’s law (more later).

National Investigation Agency (NIA) learned that on the orders of Darul Khada, the Popular Front of India (PFI) formed hit squads to kill Hindus – such as RSS leader Rudresh and PMK leader Ramalingham – opposed to the conversion of Hindus to Islam. The squads killed pharmacist Umesh Kolhe and tailor Kanaihya Lal, who were deemed offending Islam.

Western social scientists have failed to understand the cause of Islamist radicalism. For example, a top American political scientist, Barbara Walter, has admitted that the “growth [of extremist groups such as the PFI] suggests an underlying level of support from Muslim communities around the world that we do not yet understand.”  But I have applied the ideas borrowed from physics to identify its root cause.

By calling Sharia (a clerical interpretation of Islam) “God’s law” – allegedly covering all aspects of a Muslim’s life and commanding that Sharia be followed – clerics can exert control over the lives of their flocks. But Sharia interpretations are often contradictory; therefore, it is not divine law.

Why have clerics and Sharia courts become so influential in India? My research reveals that public support for Sharia law is a good measure of a community’s radicalisation and support for violent extremism. A 2021 survey report showed that 74% of Indian Muslims preferred Sharia courts over regular ones. This Sharia support explains why Darul Khada has grown to be a menace.

The role of the so-called Muslim vote bank makes the electoral process a sham and a vehicle for anarchy. In my estimation, around 18% of Indian children under the age of five were born in Muslim households. Moreover, poor Hindus living near Muslim communities are often forced to convert to Islam. The Muslim population, around 10% at the time of India’s independence, is set to explode and play the kingmaker role in the electoral landscape.

Thus, it is increasingly unlikely that a Hindu nationalist party such as BJP can come back to power at the center. If any other party takes power, it will likely cater to radical Islamist interests.

The stone-pelting (especially from mosques) we have witnessed in Ram Navami or Hanuman Jayanti processions are symptoms of minority radicalisation and the involvement of some clerics. Since the PFI is a symptom, banning it and arresting its leadership hardly dents the threat.

Only Indians can save their country.

The time has come to act now by neutralizing violent radical Islamists’ power centers on the grounds of religious freedom and human rights. By portraying Sharia as not divine but as false law, the government can neuter the influence of Darul Khada and bring the minority into the mainstream. But such acts are outside the scope of the democratic mode of governing because radical Islamists have successfully put India under siege.

What can and must be done?

I contend that the power equation with Islamists can be reversed in about six months under an emergency and by imposing martial law. There are several ways an imaginative government can justify invoking an emergency. Under a martial law, India will not be fighting Islam or Muslims. If anything, it is only helping those oppressed by the radicals.

Singapore was built by the visionary Lee Kuan, who wisely ignored ill-informed westerners and did what had to be done. Kuan was proven correct that an authoritarian government that focused on economic growth and put down instabilities with an iron hand should lead to a stable and functional democracy in the future.

Time is not on India’s side.

All the talk of economic growth is moot when a growing Islamist anarchy threatens to subsume the country. It is now or never.

Timing is everything. Can BJP act?

Muthuswamy is a US-based physicist and a scholar of radicalism.

Update: Upon further examination, the author estimates that no more than 18% of Indian children under the age of five were born in Muslim households. The information has been updated to reflect the same.

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