The word ‘Islam’ means ‘peace.’ The word ‘Muslim’ means ‘one who surrenders to God.’ But the press makes us seem like haters.

Muhammad Ali

India is not a secular nation. We’re a nation comprising of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and other religions. The largest of course, Hinduism followed by Islam. By numbers and figures Islam comprises of a mere 14% of the overall population of India but historically and experientially Islam seems to form half the India. From the food to architecture, sports to movies, ornaments to lifestyle; Islam and the Islamic culture has moulded India into the great nation that it is today.

Before there was BJP there was Congress and before Congress there were the British, and even before the British there were the Mughals. Indians, the real, the authentic, the born and bred and pure Indians, were simple people with ordinary lives. They made pots, lived in huts, survived on subsistence farming under the rule of a Maharaja and the barter system was at its apex in those times. Until Sher Shah Suri introduced the prototype to the greens in your wallet. A muslim quite literally changed the facade of an entire country’s economy and gave the Indians their basic monetary unit, “a rupee”.

It’s often pointed out by economists and the thunderous neighbors that the British did a big favor to Indians by building monuments and buildings and structures and basically laying the foundation for a booming economy. But the truth is British did what they did for their fulfillment, for their privileges, and for their selfish objectives. The railways were introduced with the motive of speeding the transportation of the Indian goods and commodities to England, the parliament was made to sentence the nationalists that raised their voice against the oppression and mass genocide and to kill the farmers who couldn’t pay the copious amounts of taxes. Everything and anything any Britisher ever managed to initiate in India was not for the upbringing of Indians but for the augmentation of the British empire. So historically the only people who actually loved India were the Mughals, and I say India not Indians.

Mughals massacred and killed relentlessly to settle in India, but the Mughals wanted the “Hindustan” to grow, to prosper, to become the golden bird. Not a single Mughal aimed to exploit India, or denounce it of its natural beauty unlike the British who chopped down thousands of acres of forests for timber. But today when India and the Indians have bloomed and prospered to such great heights, the true essence of the Islam and the gravity of Islamic culture in fabrication of this nation, has been lost in time. If you begin to gather on when did so much change so quickly you will not be able to catch the tail of the culprit that time is. The difference in perspective of a young man today and his father seems like a century of evolution and change when it has only been 68 years since partition. Surely something has gone downhill in the process of moving forward.

A large section of society has comprehended Islam on the basis of dissipated generalization made by news channels. And society can’t be blamed, for major news channels such as Fox go out loud calling Syrian refugees terrorist on national television while reporters in Hungary kick little children for being a muslim. Six million jews were killed during the holocaust which is slightly shy of the four million muslims who have been killed so far due to the global war on terror. No one suffers more from a terrorist attack than a muslim. Whether it is in terms of education, finance, mental health, family, friends, basically every imperative factor of their life.

Syria, Al Tanaya village Adra (rural Damascus), 3 December 2013 Fatema, 24 years old - displaced with her family from Douma in rural Damascus to Adra - feeding her 18 month old daughter Haneen lunch. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa
Syria, Al Tanaya village Adra (rural Damascus), 3 December 2013
Fatema, 24 years old – displaced with her family from Douma in rural Damascus to Adra – feeding her 18 month old daughter Haneen lunch.

When ISIS beheaded hundreds my muslim neighbor was cooking shish kebab at his place with his beautiful wife and children. When Ajmal Kassab entered the Taj, Professor Qureshi of Aligarh University was returning home from college. There are a million more who were and are busy minding their own business while gruesome and heinous killings are being carried out in the name of Islam. My plea to every human being out there is to know and feel a muslim’s perspective.

Love Always

//bum

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