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Islam: Religion or Politics?

By: U. Mahesh Prabhu
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(Author is Editor-In-Chief of upcoming apolitical and illustrated family magazine FOLKS and Fellow of Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, London (UK))

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Book review by U. Mahesh Prabhu

Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War | Author: Moorthy S Muthuswamy | Foreword: Steven Emerson | Publisher: Prometheus Books | Pages: 287 (HB) | ISBN: 978-1-59102-704-1 | Price: $25.98

Nine years have passed since United States of America, along with its allies, commenced its "War on Terror". Yet, what we see on ground is far from encouraging. Taliban is still operational; its ally Al-Qaeda along with its leader Osama Bin Laden is still on the loose perpetrating terror on "infidels". America"s two major war fronts - Afghanistan and Iraq - are yielding zilch other than death of their soldiers and debt on its economy. But why is it so? Where did we go wrong? Moorthy S. Muthuswamy"s maiden work "Defeating the Political Islam: The New Cold War" offers remarkable insights in this respect.

Before even fighting an adversary, with an obvious intent of winning, one has to construe it - and well. The most crucial question raised by the author is as to whether the United States" leadership truly understands its foe. Consider this: would the Allied powers in World War II have won if they had directed their war efforts solely at "Blitzkrieg" or "Kamikazes"? The obvious answer is "No". Today"s US lead coalition forces are directing their efforts to defeat "terrorism". But terrorism is only a symptom. But what"s the disease? Inability of our leadership to answer this question is - unarguably - the core cause for the current pitiful state of war on terror.

As we already know the hijackers of those planes, which were rammed into twin towers and Pentagon, were taking their orders from Osama Bin Laden, who quoted nothing but Islamic texts - namely: Koran, Sirah and Hadith - to justify his act(s) of violence against non-Muslims, repeatedly; similar to Pakistan sponsored terrorists against India and Saudi/Iran sponsored terrorists versus Israel. If only we can observe closely these acts of violence against non-Muslims by Muslim terrorists we could see that their sources of inspiration are one and the same - Islam"s holiest scriptures. Besides, there are substantial evidences to establish sponsoring of terrorism by Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan is even regarded as "epicenter of international terror" by several terrorism experts.

Given this, isn"t it baffling to note that, except for Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are still regarded as "friendly nations" and "allies" by US against its war on terror? Isn"t it perplexing to cognize that the "faith" which is today"s source of inspiration to world"s deathliest terror establishments is being persistently took to be a "religion of peace"? According to Moorthy for any worthwhile progress to be made against terror, free thinking nations have to rectify or annul these assumptions.

Author minces no words while suggesting that Islam is not a "religion" but a "political ideology"; therefore the term "Political Islam". According to him "this ideology has spawned a worldwide movement whose intent is a violent conquest of unbelievers."

Apart from unveiling terrorist links to "moderate" Muslim "charities", author also reveals an even more lethal strategy of Al-Takia (an Islamic law which approves deception to defeat or subjugate non-Muslims) which is furthering negations to pose Muslims as "victims" to extort phenomenal benefits for themselves in Kashmir, France, Britain and even in Israel. This book maintains that Islam has to be fought just the way in which Communism was forestalled during the cold-war: as a "repressive political ideology" - not as a "faith".

Though the counter measures suggested towards restraining Islamic terror may be subject to disagreements; the arguments and testimonies presented to prove the political basis of Islam would be hard to differ. This book is incontestably a monumental work and therefore a must read for policymakers.

U. Mahesh Prabhu

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