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The Naimisha Journal

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Advisory Board:   Navaratna S. Rajaram, David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri), Swami Mukhyananda, Padma Subrahmanyam, Natwar Jha, Brij Mohan Thapar, Suryanatha Kamath, Shatavadhani R. Ganesh

 

Editorial: The Next World Conflict

            We had planned to devote the present issue of The Naimisha Journal to the Indus Script and the Harappan civilization, but earth shaking developments triggered by the horrific events of September 11 virtually forced us to confront the danger that the civilized world faces today. Events permitting, the Indus script and its decipherment will be presented in the next issue— April - June 2002.

           

The authors of the small volume titled Islam in Today’s World (Naimisha, 2000) had observed: “Jihad cannot be treated as ordinary war. Armies of the world, the Indian Army in particular, need to be equipped with knowledge of Jihad as well as the function of madrasas as military academies in countries targeted for Jihad, particularly the brainwashing of youngsters that goes on in the madrasas by presenting Islam as the only true religion, which is bound to triumph in the near future.”

These are now recognized as training centers for Islamic terrorists. Their destruction is the goal of the attacks on Afghanistan launched by the military coalition led by the United States. As of this writing, US led coalition is concentrating on air and missile attacks on Afghanistan with the hope of neutralizing the terrorist bases. But the US is well aware that the overwhelming majority of bases are located in Pakistan rather than Afghanistan. Thus a major conflict of one kind or another appears inevitable in Pakistan.  

To return to the theme of the present issue, the next world conflict — between pluralism and intolerance has already begun. In fact, it began more than a decade ago as a Jihad in Kashmir, but the world was complacent, believing that these things could happen in India but never in America. This assumption was brutally shattered by the attacks on the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon, symbols of America’s economic and military might. The world finds itself in a new kind of warfare, where targets are helpless civilians and the main weapon is terror sanctioned by religion. This is Jihad.

The terrorist attacks of September 11 has a highlighted the near irrelevance of the military doctrine that drives the mighty military machine of the United States. The terrorist attacks have shown that the massive, $350 billion a year defense establishment was unable to defend the country against an attack mounted on it by a campaign that, according to available accounts, spent $100,000. Has the modus operandi adopted by terrorists rendered the mighty defense establishments built up during the Cold War obsolete? This should be a major concern for military planners and political leaders.

In this context, the success of the US bombing operation in Afghanistan in defeating the Taliban has not addressed the above concern. There were two factors that contributed to the rapid collapse of Taliban: US pressure on Pakistan that forced the latter to withdraw support to the Taliban, and the fighting effectiveness of the Northern Alliance soldiers and officers when suitably supported by aerial bombing on a massive scale. Whether the US and British forces can sustain ground operations against Jihadi forces and more equal terms is a question that remains to answered. In any event, there is no room for complacency.

For students of history the use of terror by Islamic warriors will bring back a page from the 13th century, when the so-called Assassins from their hideout in Fort Amlaut terrorized the civilized world. It was finally destroyed by Haleku Khan, the grandson of the Mongol conqueror Chengiz Khan leading the Mongol Army, probably the most successful military machine the world has ever known. (Haleku destroyed also the Caliphate by sacking Baghdad in 1258, but that is a different story.) Even the use of narcotics in terrorism is not new.

As previously noted, the authors (Frawley and Rajaram) had anticipated the use of Islamic terror in launching low cost attacks against civilized nations. They had also observed that Kashmir should be seen as a prototype in the coming global conflict based on Jihad ideology. (It gives us no pleasure that we were proved right.) This is what prompted us to bring out this special issue in keeping with the emphasis on religious war that is now raging. It is of course understandable that politicians the world over should publicly and repeatedly proclaim that the war is against terrorism and not against Islam. But this protest is likely to wear thin as time goes on. While it is certainly true that all Muslims are not terrorists, it is equally true that terrorists the world fears most happen to be Muslims claiming to be acting in the name of Islam.

            As one of the articles points out, Islamic terrorism has not grown in an historical or even ideological vacuum. The authority for this can be found in the Koran itself (Anfal 59-60): “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.”

This is the seed of indiscriminate terror in the name of God but in the service of politics. This belief in the power of domination through terror — and its legitimacy — is what needs to be defeated. Liberal thinkers in the Islamic world must seriously consider the consequences of continued acceptance of such doctrines. All other religions have reformed, rejecting and softening anti-human elements contained in their scriptures. Muslim leaders cannot keep insisting that everything in their scripture must be accepted without question not only by believers but also non-believers. Such claims cannot be accepted in this Age of Reason.

            We have brought out this issue with the goal of bringing to the attention of interested readers some little known facts about Islamic Fundamentalism and its relevance in today’s world. Despite its obvious importance, Islam, and its main instrument of policy Jihad are not as well as understood, as they need to be. To add to the confusion, there is no shortage of experts — East and West — telling us that violence in the name of Jihad is not sanctioned by Islam and poses no threat to the civilized world. This not only flies in the face of evidence — both historical and contemporary — but also goes against the teachings of its scripture. The reality is quite different. At the same time it should be pointed out that apologies for Jihad are made by liberals and academics rather than the Muslims themselves.

            We want to emphasize two points. First, the danger of Islam owes not so much to its own military or economic strength as the policy of weakness and appeasement followed by nations of the world. Next, Jihad cannot be treated as ordinary war. Armies of the world, especially the Indian Army which will be called upon to bear the brunt of the fighting in the not too distant future, need to be equipped with knowledge of Jihad as well as the functioning of madrasas (Islamic seminaries) as military academies in countries targeted for Jihad, particularly their role in brainwashing youngsters by presenting Islam as the only true religion, which is bound to triumph in the long run. Kashmir and Pakistan are examples of this that authorities everywhere need to learn from. The sprouting of madrasas is a sign of looming Jihad as surely as smoke is of fire.

            The world is in for turbulent times. We are truly in a yuga sandhi, a transition period from one age and dharma to a new one.

Next Issue

     The next issue will be on the Indus Script as originally promised, events permitting.

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