A Perspective of Islam, from an Eastern View
Islam is the word that conjures images of terrorists, intolerance, and tyranny. It’s an age-old issue that is marked by over a thousand years of struggle between the Christian West and the Islamic World. It’s a washed out issue. With the media over reporting it and the public over protesting it.
But it’s not only a European man’s issue.
The common perception in the West is that Islamic extremism is a response to the European man’s extremism. A response to colonialism. They say it’s a response to oppression. They say it’s a response to the intolerant Christians of the past.
They cite the Crusades, the British Empire, the French mandate of Syria and Levant, the power projection of the USA, all as examples of why there is Islamic extremism in the world. But all these ideas come from the mouth of the European man. The man that feels guilty for the actions of his ancestors. The man that feels the need to reconcile past wrongs his people committed. The man that feels responsible for the actions of Islam.
The European man is wrong. Mainstream media is wrong. Politics in the West has had it wrong for a long time. Public opinion has had it wrong. Islamic extremism is not a European man’s issue, it is an issue that has plagued ALL people across the world.
What infuriates me is when conversations about Islamic extremism only refer to their actions in the West and in Christendom. I’m a Christian, but I’m also a Punjabi. The story is rarely told from the other side of the world. Islamic extremism isn’t a response to Western actions, because if it was, then they wouldn’t commit the same vile crimes in Asian nations.
Before the first crusade even began in AD 1006 Muhammad of Ghazni (Ghaznavid Empire) began his brutal campaign into the Indian subcontinent. He invaded India 17 times. Islamic sources state that during the battle of the Somnath temple, he slaughtered 50,000 people and looted 6.5 tons of gold.
Between the Second and Third Crusade, Muhammad of Ghor (Ghurid Empire) began his invasion of India. Historians say that his soldiers raped all the Hindu woman they could find and enslaved the children. According to even Islamic sources, he slaughtered up to a million people in the City of Ajmer alone.
To put that in perspective, historians put the total number of deaths suffered by both sides of the Crusades at just over a million. That means, in the sacking of a single city, Muslims slaughtered greater numbers than all Christian crusades combined.
Near the end of the 14th Century, as the Ottomans were invading Europe, Timur (Of the Timurid Empire) began his invasion of India. In his short 1 year campaign, he slaughtered over one million Hindus.
Near the end of the 15th Century, Babur of Mughals began his invasion of India. During this time he, just like his predecessors, forcefully converted Hindus to Islam after burning down thousands of temples and hundreds of thousands of villages. Under Mughal imposed Sharia Law, you either converted to Islam, paid the Jizya tax, or were put to death. Through his bloody conquests, 2.5 million Hindus were massacred.
During the Reign of the Mughals, the Muslims martyred Sikhs in the most brutal ways possible. Mati Das and his two brothers who were disciples of the 9th Sikh Guru were executed in the most brutal ways possible. Mati Das was “tied between two posts standing erect” as “two executioners placed a double-handed saw on his head” and sawed him “in half from head to loins”.
Dayal Das, the younger brother of Mati Das, also refused to convert to Islam. So the executioners sat Bhai Sahib in the cauldron of water under which a large fire was lit. Slowly the water was let warm; then it was hot; soon it was too hot and then it was boiling. And he sat in it praying until his “flesh separated from his bones” as historical books recount (Bakshi, Ram; Mittra, Sangh (2002). Saints of India: Guru Gobind Singh.) These were only 2 of the many barbaric executions the Muslims conducted o Hindus and Sikhs.
The Sikh holocaust of 1762 is another example of Islamic tyranny. The Afghan forces of the Durrani Empire massacred 20,000 Sikhs for not converting to Islam. And under Afghan rule, Mir Mannu the governor of Lahore (In Punjab) tortured women and children in what could be considered as pre-modern concentration camps. The Muslims were so brutal at this time that they murdered the starving children of these women, made garlands out of their decapitated heads and forced the mothers to wear them around their necks.
In my own life, I have caught three young Pakistani girls talking of how they supported ISIS murdering my Christian brothers and sisters in Syria. Thinking I couldn’t understand what they were saying in Urdu, they talked about how they admired the Islamic State, musing they would join if it ever became more stable.
Did I mention how my best Muslim friend once tried to convince me to convert to Islam and join Isis? He was born and raised in Western Sydney, but nothing could stop the radicalization of Islam.
I can also tell you about all the horror stories my grandmother told me about the partition of India. At the time the British Raj’s borders included both modern-day India and Pakistan. They have given Hindu majority cities in India and Muslim Majority cities to Pakistan. In response the Muslims went village to village, city to city, raping and slaughtering Sikh girls. My grandmother told me it was so horrible that fathers would kill their own daughters before the Muslims came to save them from the suffering. In the partition alone, 15 million people lost their lives due to this Muslim aggression.
From the first Muslim invasion of sub-continent to the Partition of India, 40 million people lost their lives to Muslim aggression and cruelty. That is almost twice as many people that died in the black death. That is close to the same number of people that died in World War Two.
I can go on forever, and these are only examples in India alone. I can say how the brutalized Buddhists in Nepal and massacred Zoroastrians in Persia.
But I only really want to say one thing: this is not a Western man’s issue. Nothing the West has done caused this barbarity In India. No amount of colonisation, crusading, and intolerance caused 40 million people to lose their lives.
I want to say that the Europeans are not alone. The rest of the world has also been fighting the hard fight against Islamic extremism.
The death toll of terrorist attacks and invasions are not on the Europeans. It is on the head of Islam alone. Islam is in and of itself the issue. Instead of always arguing from a European and Western point of view, pull up the history of Asia, because just as I have described with India, You cannot fathom the atrocities Islam committed across the greater continent.
Most Western people get called racist for saying Islam is evil; they get called bigoted and hateful. People will say you are oppressive and intolerant. So, as a non-European person, I’ll say it with you:
Islam extremism is evil. We are not responsible for what Islam extremism is, but we are responsible in making sure that it is no more.