India, Jihad’s Permanent Battleground
Teams of heavily armed terrorists carried out seven coordinated attacks in India’s financial capital "Mumbai" (Bombay) on Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning. Over 170 people were dead by the time the hostage crisis ended three days later, with more bodies likely to be found at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel.
Similar attacks by Islamic terrorists occur with grim regularity in India (see Timetable at the end). The disputed province of Kashmir notwithstanding, militant Islam sees the second most populous country in the world as a piece of “unfinished business”: having been ruled by Muslims once, it cannot legitimately revert to Dar al-Harb, ever.
The attacks represent a massive intelligence failure on part of the government in New Delhi. Questions are being asked already if Indian authorities should have anticipated the attack and had better security in place, especially after a 2007 Parliamentary report highlighting inadequate protection of India's shorelines from infiltration by sea — which is how the attackers sneaked into Mumbai.
Even India's business capital is now seen as a soft target for Jihadist terror, yet the ruling Congress Party continues its old habit of minority appeasement and automatic insistence that the problem is confined to an unrepresentative extremist fringe aided from abroad (i.e. Pakistan). This attitude indicates common ideological roots of India's political and media elite and its Western role model. Both are supine, secularist and leftist to boot.
Now that the jihadists have targeted two luxury hotels and a top-tier restaurant frequented by visiting foreigners, now that they have brought their holy war to India's upper crust and their Western business partners, the country's elite class should wake up to the fact that India has a Muslim problem. That problem is fundamentally the same in each and every country in the world with a substantial Muslim minority. It would be there even if the government in Islamabad and its semi-rogue agencies like the ISI were to terminate all support for Islamic terrorist groups active across the Subcontinent (which will never happen, of course). The attacks remind us that global Jihad has India in its sights, no less firmly today than in the early centuries of the expansion of Islam's bloody borders.
Prior to the Muslim invasions which started in the 8th century India was one of the world’s great civilizations. It matched its contemporaries in the realms of philosophy, mathematics, and natural science. It was a richly imaginative culture, one of the half-dozen most advanced civilizations of all time. Its sculptures were vigorous and sensual, its architecture ornate and spellbinding.
Muslim invaders began entering India in the early eighth century, on the orders of Hajjaj, the governor of Iraq. Starting in 712 the raiders, commanded by Muhammad Qasim, demolished temples, shattered sculptures, plundered palaces, killed vast numbers of men—it took them three days to slaughter the inhabitants of the port city of Debal—and carried off their women and children to slavery. After the initial wave of violence, however, Qasim tried to establish law and order in the newly conquered lands, and to that end he even allowed a degree of religious tolerance. Upon hearing of such practices, his superior, Hajjaj, wrote back:
You go on giving pardon to everybody, high or low, without any discretion between a friend and a foe. The great Allah says in the Kuran [47.4]: “O True believers, when you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads.” The above command is a great command and must be respected and followed. You should not be so fond of showing mercy, as to nullify the virtue of the act. Henceforth, grant pardon to no one of the enemy and spare none of them, or else all will consider you a weak-minded man.
In a subsequent communication, Hajjaj reiterated that all able-bodied men were to be killed, and that their underage sons and daughters were to be enslaved. Qasim obeyed, and, on his arrival at the town of Brahminabad, massacred thousands of men.
Qasim’s early exploits were continued in the early eleventh century, when Mahmud of Ghazni “passed through India like a whirlwind, destroying, pillaging, and massacring,” zealously following the Kuranic injunctions to kill idolaters, whom he had vowed to chastise every year of his life. In the course of seventeen invasions, in the words of Alberuni, the scholar brought by Mahmud to India,
Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country and performed there wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions, and like a tale of old in the mouth of the people. Their scattered remains cherish, of course, the most inveterate aversion toward all Muslims.
In the aftermath of the invasion, in the ancient cities of Varanasi, Mathura, Ujjain, Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi, and Dwarka, not one temple survived whole and intact. In his The Story of Civilization, Will Durant lamented the results of what he termed “probably the bloodiest story in history.” He called it
a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within.... [E]ternal vigilance is the price of civilization. A nation must love peace, but keep its powder dry.
Islamic invaders broke and burned everything beautiful they came across in Hindustan, displaying, as an Indian commentator put it, the resentment of the less developed warriors who felt intimidated in the encounter with a more refined culture. The Muslim sultans built mosques at the sites of torn down temples, and countless Hindus were sold into slavery.
As far as the invaders were concerned, Hindus were kafirs par excellence. They, and to a lesser extent the peaceful Buddhists, were not “of the book” -- "protected," like Jews and Christians, provided they submit to dhimmitude -- but at the receiving end of Muhammad’s implacable injunction against pagans: “Kill those who join other gods with God wherever you may find them.” (Kuran, 9:5-6)
The mountainous northwestern approaches to India are called Hindu Kush, “the Slaughter of the Hindu,” a reminder of the days when Hindu slaves from Indian Subcontinent died in the harsh Afghan mountains while being transported to Muslim courts of Central Asia. The slaughter in Somnath, the site of a celebrated Hindu temple, where 50,000 Hindus were slain on Mahmud’s orders, set the tone for centuries.
The Buddhists were the next to be subjected to mass slaughter in 1193, when Muhammad Khilji also burned their famous library. By the end of the twelfth century, following the Muslim conquest of their stronghold in Bihar, they were no longer a significant presence in India. The survivors retreated into Nepal and Tibet, or escaped to the south of the Subcontinent. The remnants of their culture lingered on even as far west as Turkestan. Left to the tender mercies of Muslim conquerors and their heirs, they were systematically destroyed, sometimes—as was the case with the four giant statues of Buddha destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan in March 2001—as late as the first year of the third millennium.
That cultivated disposition and developed sensibility can go hand in hand with bigotry and cruelty is evidenced by the example of Firuz Shah, who became the ruler of northern India in 1351. This educated yet tyrannical Muslim ruler once surprised a village where a Hindu religious festival was celebrated and ordered all present to be slain. He proudly related that, upon completing the slaughter, he destroyed the temples and in their place built mosques.
The Moghul emperor Akbar is remembered as tolerant, and only one major massacre was recorded during his long reign (1542–1605), when he ordered that about 30,000 captured Rajput Hindus be slain on February 24, 1568, after the battle for Chitod. But Akbar’s acceptance of other religions and toleration of their public worship, his abolition of poll-tax on non-Muslims, and his interest in other faiths were not a reflection of his Islamic spirit of tolerance. Quite the contrary, they indicated his propensity for free-thinking experimentation in the realm of religion that finally led him to complete apostasy. Its high points were the formal declaration of his own infallibility in all matters of religious doctrine, his promulgation of a new creed, and his adoption of Hindu and Zoroastrian festivals and practices.
Things were back to normal under Shah Jahan (1593–1666), the fifth Mogul Emperor and a grandson of Akbar the Great. Most Westerners remember him as the builder of Taj Mahal and do not know that he was a cruel warmonger who initiated 48 military campaigns against non-Muslims in less than 30 years. Taking his cue from his Ottoman co-religionists, on coming to the throne in 1628 he killed all his male relations except one who escaped to Persia. During his reign, in Benares alone 76 Hindu temples were destroyed, and Christian churches at Agra and Lahore were demolished. At the end of the three-month siege of Hugh, a Portuguese enclave near Calcutta, he had 10,000 inhabitants “blown up with powder, drowned in water, or burnt by fire.” More than 4,000 were taken captive to Agra where they were offered Islam or death. Most refused and were killed, except for the younger women who went to harems.
The massacres perpetrated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history. They are bigger in sheer numbers than the Holocaust, or the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks; more extensive even than the slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spanish and Portuguese.
Major recent attacks by Islamic terrorists in India:
March 12, 1993: 257 killed and more than 1,000 injured in 15 co-ordinated bomb attacks in Bombay. The blasts were orchestrated by an Islamic group headed by Dawood Ibrahim.
February 14, 1998: 46 people were killed and more than 200 injured in 13 car bombs in the city of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The attacks were blamed on the "Al Umma" Islamist group
October 1, 2001: Militants belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Kashmiri group, attacked Jammu and Kashmir Assembly complex in Srinagar, killing 35 people.
December 13, 2001: Attack on the Indian Parliament complex in New Delhi led to the killing of a dozen people and 18 injured. Four members of the Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed were later convicted for their part in the plot
September 24, 2002: 31 people killed, 79 wounded at Akshardham temple in Gujarat
May 14, 2002: Islamic attackers killed more than 30 people in an Army camp near Jammu.
March 13, 2003: A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai killed 11.
Aug. 25, 2003: Twin car bombings in Mumbai killed at least 52 people and injured 150. Indian authorities blamed the Kashmiri Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba
July 5, 2005: Attack on the Ram Janmabhoomi complex, the site of the destroyed Babri Mosque at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
Oct. 29, 2005: Three explosions in busy shopping areas of south Delhi, two days before the Hindu festival of Diwali, killed 59 and injured 200. Islami Inqilabi Mahaz (Islamic Revolutionary Group) claimed responsibility, but authorities blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba
March 7, 2006: A series of bombings in the holy city of Varanasi killed at least 28 and injured over a hundred. Indian investigators blamed Pakistan-based Islamic terrorists.
July 11, 2006: Seven bomb blasts on the Mumbai Suburban Railway killed over 200 people. Police blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba and Students Islamic Movement of India.
Sept. 8, 2006: At least 37 people were killed and 125 were injured in a series of explosions near a mosque in Malegaon, Maharashtra. The Islamic Movement of India claimed responsibility.
Aug. 25, 2007: Forty-two people killed and 50 injured in twin explosions at a crowded park in Hyderabad by Harkat-ul-Jehad-i-Islami (HuJI).
May 13, 2008: A series of six explosions in Jaipur killed 63 people and injured more than 150.
July 26, 2008: Serial explosions in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad killed 45 people and injured more than 150. The Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.
Sept. 13, 2008: Five bomb blasts in New Delhi's popular shopping centers left 21 people dead and more than 100 injured. The Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.
And yet, The New York Times manages to produce a long reports on the attacks without mentioning the word "Muslim" or "Islamic" even once! "Apparently there has never been an Islamic terror attack in India before," an astute commentator notes, "and therefore the Times has no idea of who may have done this." Instead, in a display of a technique used the Times and other Western mainstream media during the riots by those "angry French youths" three years ago, the only reference to the religion of the terrorists is indirect -- hinting that the attackers are Muslims, without actually being so gross as to say so:
A militant hidden in the Oberoi told India TV on Thursday morning that seven attackers were holding hostages there. "We want all mujahedeen held in India released, and only after that we will release the people," he said. ... A group calling itself the Deccan Mujahedeen said it had carried out the attacks. It was not known who the group is or whether the claim was real."