Thursday, September 23, 2010

A look into America's not too distant future

Coming soon to a "Sharia compliant" society near you!

Six British citizens were arrested by their government today. What was their crime? They burned a copy of the Koran, videotaped it, and then uploaded the videotape to youtube.

I was going to say something like: "hey, no, really -- I'm serious. THIS REALLY HAPPENED!" But you know what? It's not really all that fucking surprising to anyone anymore. Think about that!

Hat tip, once again, to the Islam in Europe blog. Go there to read more, if you have the stomach for it. The story has also been picked up by the Telegraph, the BBC, the Guardian, etc.

[Soviet propaganda posters from website, tovaritches!]

Ayodhya: Some historical and political background from Dr. David Frawley

Somnath and Ayodhya: What Is the Difference

By David Frawley

Somnath is one of the most important Hindu sacred sites, relating to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as the Supreme godhead. Its history goes back to the Vedic era and to the Mahabharat. Its great temple was first destroyed by the Afghani invader, Mahmud of Ghazni, in the eleventh century. It was one of the first great Hindu temples attacked by invading Muslims and its destruction left a great scar on the psyche of Hindus.

Meanwhile Mahmud was hailed throughout the Islamic world as a second Mohammed and his smashing of Somnath was lauded in the Sufi poetry of Attar, Sanai and Omar Khayyam. These poets equated Somnath with the temples to the pagan goddess Al-Manat destroyed by Mohammed and viewed its destruction as the 'will of Allah' and the 'enlightened march of Islam.'

The Hindus rebuilt the temple several times, but the Muslims destroyed it again. The temple was last destroyed by the Mughal tyrant, Aurangzeb around 1700. Aurangzeb, as history records, was a brutal ruler who left a trail of genocide and destruction, mainly aimed at converting Hindus. Aurangzeb built a mosque on the site of the Somnath temple, using some columns from the temple, whose Hindu sculptural motifs remained visible.

Under the guidance of the political leader Sardar Patel and KM Munshi (who founded Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan), the temple was restored around 1950. Mahatma Gandhi also approved of the retaking of Somnath but did not live to see it happen. Recently the President of India, Shanker Dayal Sharma, performed the Kalash pratishthan of the temple's Nritya Mandap and dedicated the temple to the nation.

Hindu leaders, particularly the VHP (Vishva Hindu Parishad), have been asking for the restoration of three great Hindu holy sites whose temples were destroyed and replaced with mosques. These are Ayodhya (Ramajanmabhumi or Ram's birthplace), Mathura (Krishnajanmabhumi or Krishna's birthplace), and the great Shiva temple of Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi. The restoration of Somnath should be examined to see whether these other proposed restorations are valid.

Both Krishnajanmabhumi in Mathura and Kashi Vishwanath temple are products of similar historical circumstances as Somnath. Both like Somnath were important Hindu holy sites destroyed by Muslim invaders, with the last destruction and building of their present mosques also done by Aurangzeb in the late 17th. Both, like Somnath, retain portions of the original Hindu temples. In fact the whole back wall of the Kashi mosque is from the Kashi Vishwanath temple, complete with all the sculpture.

The case of Ayodhya is not much different. It was destroyed by the first Mughal invader from Central Asia, Babar, in the 16th century and a mosque was built on the site. Like the others, portions of the temple could be found in and around the mosque. Hindus fought repeatedly through the centuries to regain the Ayodhya site but never succeeded in restoring the temple. Such mosques were placed on the holy sites of another religion in order to denigrate it. They are monuments to intolerance, cruelty and self righteousness and should not be looked upon as holy by members of any religion.

One important difference between Somnath and Ayodhya, of course, is that Somnath was reclaimed legally and Ayodhya was destroyed illegally. However the Ayodhya case has been in court since 1947 without a decision so that no legal action can proceed. Moreover, the legal building of Somnath only occurred because of the considerable pressure Indian political leaders put on the Islamic ruler of the area, who had tried to secede to Pakistan though over eighty percent of the population he ruled was Hindu. If Indian leaders today put the same pressure on the Islamic communities that hold these Hindu sacred sites, they will also give them up.

There is some debate today that Ramajanmabhumi or Krishnajanmabhumi cannot be reclaimed because no one can prove that Rama or Krishna, who lived thousands of years ago, were actually born there. Those who restored Somnath were not asked to prove the history of Somnath thousands of years ago before restoring the temple. The tradition itself was enough to warrant the restoration.

Why was Somnath restored and not the others? Because Sardar Patel was a Gujarati (Somnath is in Gujarat) and he unfortunately died in 1950, preventing him from taking similar action for other Hindu sacred sites. Nehru, for whom Patel was the main rival, was not in favor of the restoration of Somnath and he effectively blocked the restoration of the other sites, particularly Ramajanmabhumi.

Nehru ruled as a socialist with communist sympathies, not as a Hindu and his policies followed his ideological bent. In other words, the same process as reclaimed Somnath was initiated in regard to these other sites but was suppressed. Had it I been allowed to go through, the result would probably have been the same. Why is it, therefore, that the restoration of the Somnath temple is a matter of national pride, while attempts to restore the Mathura and Kashi temples are portrayed in the press as the ravings of Hindu militants?

It is hypocritical to separate Somnath from the other three sites. If Kashi and Mathura cannot go back to the Hindus, then the taking of Somnath was illegal. If the destruction of Babri Masjid was a dastardly act, so was the demolition of the Somnath mosque. If Hindu political leaders, like the President, will not go to Ayodhya for worship, they should not go to Somnath either.

On the other hand, if Hindus can reclaim Somnath, they can reclaim the other three sites. In fact of the four sites, it can be argued that the most important is Krishnajanmabhumi, because Krishna is probably the most important Hindu religious figure. Kashi Vishwanath Shiva Temple is also at least as important as Somnath.

Kashi comes first as the city of Shiva. Because Somnath was destroyed first, it gained a greater nostalgia, but not because it is a more important site than the others. The reclaiming of Somnath hence demands the restoration of these other sites.

If Indian political leaders like Sardar Patel could reclaim Somnath and remain good secular leaders that the nation still honors, so can Indian political leaders today. If Somnath can be dedicated to the nation, so can the other sites. If Somnath is a matter of national pride, then certainly Ayodhya and the others deserve to be as well. If a legal process could be created to reclaim Somnath, a similar process can be created to reclaim these other three sites.

Who is asking for the restoration of the Somnath mosque today? No one in India. There is no political action committee for the restoration of the Somnath mosque. If the other sites had been taken back at the same time forty-five years ago, they would no more be political issues today than is Somnath. Similarly if they are taken back today as Somnath was decades ago, they will cease to be issues in a few years. For those opposed to the restoration of Ramajanmabhumi, Kashi and Mathura, let them not forget Somnath.

If Hindus honor Somnath, they should not look down upon attempts to restore Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi, but, on the contrary, help accomplish this aim.
© 2002 AYODHYA.COM . All Rights Reserved.

Here is an excerpt from short biography of Dr. David Frawley written by Samu Varughese:
David Frawley, otherwise known as Vamadeva Shastri, is a US citizen by birth and a Hindu by conviction. He sees his life work as forming a bridge between these two widely opposing cultures, and he does so with a rare dedication and thoroughness. An acknowledged Vedantin, Frawley is an expert in ayurveda, Vedic astrology, yoga, and tantra , all of which, he says, have their basis in Vedanta. Indeed it is the interdisciplinary approach to Vedanta that he sees as his particular contribution in demystifying eastern spirituality.

Ayodhya verdict deferred for at least one week

The much anticipated verdict in the "Ayodhya case" before the Indian Supreme Court has been deferred. Here is the story according to ANP and AFP (Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau & Agence France-Presse) from the Radio Netherlands Worldwide website:
Indian Supreme Court defers flashpoint court ruling
Published on 23 September 2010 - 11:36am

India's Supreme Court deferred Thursday a high court ruling on a bitter religious dispute that had posed a major security headache ahead of the crisis-hit Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

The high court in Allahabad in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh had been due to rule Friday on a long-standing ownership struggle over a religious site in Ayodhya, where Hindu zealots destroyed a mosque in 1992.

But the verdict was postponed for at least a week after the Supreme Court said it would hear a private petition requesting more time for mediation.

"The Supreme Court has deferred the Ayodhya verdict. The order states that the high court in Allahabad cannot pass the judgement tomorrow," said an official in the registrar office.

The next hearing on the petition was set for September 28.

"We will try and tell the court the matter should be deferred further and that parties involved in the dispute -- the religious leaders -- should be asked to sit and solve the matter amicably," said Mukul Rohatgi, a lawyer for the petitioner.

"This issue is not about 10 or 100 people. It involves millions of people and there should be representation from all the concerned parties," Rohatgi said.

The razing of the Babri mosque in 1992 triggered some of the worst communal violence since the partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947.

More than 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the rioting.

Since then, the 47-acre (19-hectare) site has been cordoned off with barbed wire and steel fencing and guarded by troops.

Hindus say the mosque had been built by the Moghul emperor Babur on the site of a temple marking the birthplace of the Hindu warrior God Ram.

There had been deep concerns that Friday's scheduled high court ruling could spark widespread unrest, and 200,000 police, paramilitary and other security personnel had been deployed across Uttar Pradesh as a preventative measure.

The petition before the Supreme Court had argued that the Allahabad verdict posed a particular security risk at a time when India's security concerns are focused on the October 3-14 Commonwealth Games being held in New Delhi.

Fears for the safety of athletes and spectators were heightened after a home-grown Islamist group shot at a tourist bus outside New Delhi's main mosque last Sunday, injuring two Taiwanese nationals.

The Supreme Court decision was greeted with dismay by some involved in the Ayodhya dispute who argued that the time for mediation was over.

"It's really unfortunate. People were waiting for the verdict," said S.Q.R. Ilyas, convenor of a committee representing Muslim interests in the dispute.

"All efforts at reaching an amicable solution have been made without result," he said. "The court verdict... is the need of the hour."

The drive to build a Ram temple on the ruins of the razed mosque remains a key political aim of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which first came to national prominence over the Ayodhya issue.

BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was appearing as a senior counsel arguing against the petition in the Supreme Court, said he was disappointed.

"I respect the court decision, but I can tell you that there is no possibility of an amicable solution," Prasad said.

Despite appeals for calm from all sides, there are serious concerns about a violent, knee-jerk reaction once the Allahabad High Court eventually delivers its ruling.

"The way the country handles this -- the aftermath -- will have a profound impact on the evolution of our country," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said earlier in the month.

India has avoided any major outbreak of Hindu-Muslim violence since riots in Gujarat in 2002 and is especially keen to keep a lid on any unrest during the Commonwealth Games.

The Games are already in chaos, with some national delegations threatening to withdraw their teams amid complaints over the "filthy" athletes village and safety concerns after a footbridge leading to one of the main venues collapsed on Tuesday.

For background on Ayodhya please refer to the following links: