Why It S*%#s To Be a Moderate Muslim

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Imtiaz a 31 year old well educated, upper middle class lawyer & a non practicing muslim from New Delhi, prays everyday for peace & hopes that he does not have to post on social media condemning the recent terrorist attacks in some part of the globe. His friends circle comprises of mostly Hindus & a few from the Sikh community. Although the Sikhs are a minority community as well, they can freely criticize the central government & the state. Imtiaz on the other hand, is viewed with scorn & derision, whenever he opposes the right wing policies of the Narendra Modi government. Any comment criticizing Modi guarantees hate filled remarks from right-wing Hindus across the country. The most common being “go to Pakistan”. He has to “compensate” for being a muslim in a non-muslim dominated country by openly supporting Indian army, India’s win in cricket (especially over Pakistan) & other competitions. It is well known that muslims are not “preferred” as tenants in hindu dominated housing societies. If a hindu sells his house to a muslim in a hindu dominated society, the other residents gang up against the hindu seller & coerce him to not sell his flat to a muslim. Even a stray comment complementing a Pakistani cricketer attracts nasty stares & nudges from his non-islamic friends. Shahrukh Khan & Aamir Khan were made to apologize for their “rising intolerance” remarks. Aamir Khan was dropped as the brand ambassador of the now nearly defunct e-commerce player Snapdeal. It is literally mandatory for every muslim now to post patriotic messages on Independence day & Republic day. On the other hand his Hindu friends have no such obligation to post anything to prove their loyalty to the country. But they too have to put up with their share of nasty comments for opposing the BJP government.

Not only does Imtiaz face derision from his Hindu friends, his overtly religious muslim friends too dislike him. Several muslims, especially those who are not highly educated, are poor & are overtly religious will hate people like Imtiaz for mingling with “kafirs”. They hate America for bombing their “muslim brothers” in Afghanistan, Iraq & Syria. They will not sing the national anthem or say Jai Hind as it is against the tenets of Islam. Love for islam supercedes their love for our country, which is why they won’y shy away from supporting Pakistan in a cricket match against kafir India. Terrorist attacks on American, Indian or Israeli soil leads to congratulatory messages amongst them. Any act of secularism invites it share of derogatory remarks. Salman Khan was issued a fatwa being a mullah in UP for worshipping Lord Ganesha, Mohammed Kaif was at receiving end of nasty comments for posting a pic of him playing chess with his son as chess is against the tenets of islam, Irfan Pathan was derided on social media for posting “unislamic” pics of his wife as her hands & face were not covered in the pic.
On being questioned about the veracity of the claims of such muslims being present in our country, Imtiaz says “Every community has it set of bad people. Islam is not different. Just because there are some Hindu groups attacking Muslims over beef, does not mean that all Hindus have the same attitude, isn’t it? Most of the people from my community are peace loving, law abiding & patriotic citizens. Unfortunately most of the muslims are from the lower strata of the society, who can barely afford a decent meal & can be easily brainwashed to embrace terrorism or join ISIS. Indian muslims strongly condemn the people & even the families of people who indulge in terrorist activities or join ISIS, as it brings disrepute to the entire community. We love India for the freedom it gives us. We would die for the country. But the recent beef related attacks, love-jihad accusations, hate filled speeches of some politicians does leave a bad taste”. On being asked whether he would sing Vande Mataram or Jana Gana Mana, he says ” Obviously. I secretly despise muslims who refuse to sing our national anthem. We have to put country first. It is the attitude of such muslims which brings the community disrepute across the globe. We can’t swim against the tide & expect to be treated normally”.

According to several muslims we interviewed, we were told ” the worst part of being a moderate muslim is neither are you accepted by the Hindus/Sikhs/Christians nor the religious muslims. Both pass nasty comments & speak condescendingly. We have to constantly prove that we are both – ideal Indians as well as followers of our faith. It does annoying at times”
On the other hand – Vivek, a resident of Kurla – a largely Muslim dominated suburb of Mumbai says ” During the Hindu muslim riots in Bombay in the year 1992-93, we were really scared for our lives, as most of our neighbours were muslim & there were very few Hindus in our colony. It was during such a tensions filled phase, when a group of our muslim neighbours came to our house & assured us of our family’s safety. We were told that someone from their community will safeguard our house & will not let rioters harm us. Now post this incident I have taken it upon myself to safeguard the interest of muslims. This time I will be the one stopping miscreants from entering a muslim household” he says.

The Opinionated Indian strongly believes that in order to safeguard the secular fabric of the nation, we need to protect our moderate muslim friends. Don’t hate them just for making anti-government comments, view them with an open mind. Do not force them to prove their love for their country time & again. Lastly trust them to do the right thing. One should not forget Sher Mohammed – a CRPF soldier, who was injured before killing five naxals in Sukma. Sher Mohammed is a greater Indian than all of us!


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