Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Late last night, suffering from my usual insomnia when I do my most creative intellectual work, I was 'googling' Shashi Tharoor to understand how he acquired the super-manly courage to so eloquently stand up to the racial Modi regime rapidly transforming a liberal India into a fundamentalist Hindu-only state – in the mold of the handful of courageous recovering Jews who have long stood up to the evil of Zionism's Jews-only state but with zero impact, and here too fearing the same outcome – I was pleasantly surprised to discover Dr. Tharoor's autobiographical book Why I am a Hindu. After hearing him read from it in a presentation at the Hay Market forum explaining Hinduism’s origins and its philosophical concepts, I have ordered not just that book, but also his earlier book Inglorious Empire: what the British did to India.
I first understood Hinduism being fundamentally monotheist, singular Creator of all that exists, when a Hindu mom at my children's elementary school where I used to volunteer daily, surprised me with that revelation during a deep conversation on spirituality, explaining that all the many gods you see Hindus worshiping are merely their imaginative representation of the singular root Godhead's, the Creator's, many properties or characteristics personified by man's limited imagination to make it more palatable to conceptualizing the unconceptualizable God for the human mind. For, indeed, that's also what Allah SWT's 99 names also represent, the many properties or characteristics of God, the Creator. So, for instance, while Muslims call upon Allah as the Deity with the many Names mentioned in the Holy Qur'an without using their imagination to personify those God characteristics, the Hindu is a tad more imaginative. He gives physical representation to the Creator's otherwise unimaginable God characteristics. And since they have no formal “Divine text” prohibiting them to use their imagination thusly, Hinduism as 'the way of life' has richly accumulated in its cultural moorings more than three thousand five hundred years of imaginations representing the same one Creator of all creation in differing manifestations, now totaling 33 million. Depending on what aspect of God is being called upon as the Deity, by which human mind. That rich tapestry of human imaginations still represent one, and only one, singular but unknowable Creator. And as Shashi Tharoor elegantly summed its impact, quoting someone in his presentation, it makes it easier for the Hindu mind to accept all other religions which do proclaim a Creator. And not merely tolerate them! In the Hindu mind, as Tharoor put it, another religion's conception of God becomes yet one more representation of the same Creator in Hinduism!
And that's all the difference I actually saw right there and then in my conversation with this lovely volunteer Hindu mom whose daughter was in the same 4th grade class as my brood. To me, it appeared that the Hindu mind was a bit more imaginative and unconstrained by Scripture than the Muslim mind, but was essentially calling on the same singular Creator with many different names just as Muslims call on Allah with the many names. Did that make the Hindu polytheist?
After all, Islam's Scripture, the “Divine text”, does state categorically that the Creator sent Divine Guidance through Messengers and Prophets to all peoples, all nations, and all civilizations, in their own languages and social contexts.... but stuff got lost, distorted, changed, adapted to cultures and imaginations, etc. And Hinduism appears to be the longest continuously living example of it, far older than the Semitic religions which today is grandfathered in the Judaism of the Talmuds (the Pentateuch given less importance by the Jews and more adopted by the Christians as first part of Bible) and terminated in Islam. Even reason begets just One Singular God, not polygods and polytheism, if there is indeed a Creator that can be imagined philosophically by the mind, as I have demonstrated in my chapter-length essay Some Problems in Epistemology in Section 5 titled Limit Problem of Epistemology – The Hard and Soft Limits to Knowing, using Gödel's incompleteness theorem.
Fast forward about twenty years to last night, the intellectual savant Dr. Shashi Tharoor's rational characterization of Hinduism mirrored this ordinary home-maker Hindu mom's in California, United States of America, some two decades earlier. For the life of me I cannot recall her name, but we used to talk almost daily on parenting things.
As I was reflecting on how poorly Muslims understand Hindus and Hinduism even today despite living with them for over a millennium, and ruling over them for a good part of it until the British empire took over for the last two hundred years of it, first plundering India and reducing it to servitude, and during the imperial withdrawal again decimating the subcontinent through arbitrary partitioning of it in the red blood of the natives to prevent the colossal land of 400 million peoples from ever rising to their natural level of great potential and threatening the supremacy of the white Anglo Saxon masters during their retrenchment from overt colonialism to neocolonialism, Shashi Tharoor's conversation with the program compere showed how even Hindus today are deceived in corrupting their own 'deen', way of life, in the rising racial Hindu fundamentalism.
The Hindutava doctrine closely mirrors Zionism in its quest for Lebensraum of Eretz Yisrael in far more characteristics than it does Nazism that the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has alluded to. Modi is not a Nazi. Modi is a Zionist, and their stooge, using their methods and political instruments to resettle the Hindu Lebensraum. What Modi is preaching is no different in racial primacy and Hindu national chauvinism than Rothschild Zionism invented by Moses Hess in 1828 (see Rome and Jerusalem: A Study in Jewish Nationalism). I examined Rothschild Zionism in its thirty-one continually evolving flavors in my 2010 essay Palestine: The Struggle Forward in my quest to understand all the forces that had created the “Iron Wall” that Vladimir Jabotinsky had referred to in his demagoguery-laced justification of the morality of Zionism in his seminal 1923 article by that name.
The RSS doctrine also invented in the early 1920s at about the same time as the Zionist project was well underway, I wonder who pedigreed them then, but it's doctrinal template in that racial primacy and supremacy demagoguery hints of common fingerprints. And just like Zionism was brought to power and aided and abetted by forces outside Palestine, and which surrounded their conquest and resettlement of Palestine by an “Iron wall” which none could breach from within, and which still continues to protect the ongoing occupation and ongoing resettlement with genocidal cleansing, Modi's Hindutava has similar force-field underwriting its attempted ethnic-cleansing of India of its indigenous 250 million Muslim population. The scale is staggering. I imagine until it is all a fait accompli, and then, ex post facto, they shall come out in loud condemnation of it to pay lip-service to their “non discrimination” and “secular humanism” mantra. Even the UN is a willing accomplice by their notable silence (archived) as well as nonsilence (archived). For this international vassal for projecting the oligarchic “will to power” driving both Lebensraums, to speak or not speak is all the same.
In any case, I eagerly await Amazon sending me Tharoor's book Why I am a Hindu. As I reflect on my own belief system and activism, I have to say that I thank my stars that I am a Muslim, and I have previously explained Why I am a Muslim. Mirroring Dr. Shashi Tharoor's templated commonsense response to why he is a Hindu for the most basic reason, he was born into a Hindu home, I had written in the Epilogue 2019 of my latest book The Pakistan Decapitation Papers 2019: A Report on the Banality of Evil, on pages 673-674 of Volume II:
But first, I wish to establish a template. I begin with thanking Allah SWT that He made me a human being (not an animal); gave me all functioning parts (not handicap); made me ba-baseerat (not an imbecile); endowed me with an intellect that searches for truth in all matters (not indoctrinated); raised me in my parents' home which made me a Muslim by socialization (could have been born in a Zionist or pagan home). My home not just acquainted me with the Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet of Islam and Imam Hussein (as) from birth as the Exemplars and Imams of Islam from whom we take our understanding of the meaning of the Holy Qur'an and the teachings of the Prophet of Islam (in principle), but also indelibly carved their love into my heart, into my very being (just as I love my parents). Beyond socialization, I am neither Shia nor Sunni, but only trying to be Muslim (minus the crippled epistemology) as human being first that I was fashioned in (ahsan-e-taqweem), and wish to die Muslim (InshaAllah). I could just as easily have been born on the other side of the railroad tracks... and deprived of these rich bounties and propensities. I am the fortunate of history. Alhamdolillah.
Dr. Shashi Tharoor of course went on in that presentation to read from his book why he was consciously a practicing Hindu, and the degree of his own choice in the matter for being proud of being a Hindu, and the reasons for it, including the principal reason why he now had to publicly write about his beliefs in such an autobiographical book as a moral calling against the criminal doctrine that his beloved India and his beloved 'deen' were being subjected to by Hindutava. All of which, by the way, I can easily relate to and applaud him for.
As I reflect on Tharoor's courage and his engagement with that extreme evil to counter it – rather than stand aside looking from the side just as the Germans did when Hitler had come to power and was sending the Jews to the concentration camps, and just as the world does today as the Zionist Jews have turned the Palestinians' own homeland into a giant concentration camp which the British journalist John Pilger incisively titled in his 2007 missive Looking to the side, from Belsen to Gaza, and the same applies to what Hindutava chauvinist Modi has done to Kashmir and is maintaining as a giant concentration camp for the indigenous Kashmiri Muslims to the thunderous sounds of silence emanating not just from among the 1.6 to 2 billion holy and pious Muslims worldwide, but to the thunderous sounds of silence of the 7.8 to 8 billion world public at large as well – this morning I too feel compelled to simply re-title my nearly a decade old original essay written in the same mold, Islam and Knowledge vs Socialization, to Why I am a Muslim.
I am just as consciously glad for my own birth-gift as Shashi Tharoor is for his birth-gift. In my case, because my birth-affinity is to a noble world religion that empowers me to take on tyranny, primacy, evil, and there is indeed a conception of the “well-lived life” in its doctrine. Surah Asr characterizes it as the “life which is not at a loss”, or the “good-life” as Shashi Tharoor called it in his presentation, and which he averred has no parallel in Hinduism. I am proud to be part of a religion that indeed has such a conception, irrespective of the question of reward and punishment immanent in Islam. “Life which is not at a loss” naturally resonates with my moral calling as a categorical imperative, just as the “liberalism” in Hinduism naturally resonates with Dr. Tharoor as his moral calling motivating him to stand up to any subversion of it.
Why I am a Muslim beyond the fact that I was born a Muslim, just as why Shashi Tharoor is a Hindu beyond his birth-gift, why I run Project Humanbeingsfirst, why I continually seek Allah's help to empower me, to strengthen me to continually wage the greatest struggle against evil, the one within me, my own shortcomings, my own failings, which Islam has called “jihad-un-nafs”, and the overcoming of which is both the necessary and sufficient precondition for all societal good to naturally follow when it aggregates in the collective, including the society's collective jihad against all that is evil in the world, and why it's not happening, nor has it happened since time immemorial, and despite all the moral platitudes from time immemorial that mankind has memorized in its idiomatic memory as clichés to reproduce in show of piety while the world burns under the guns of primacy, is in the essay now retitled to Why I am a Muslim. While I shall be reading Shashi Tharoor's writing and be inspired by it, InshaAllah (that just means if my time is not up before then, for we all have a rendezvous with death and only God, the Creator, I believe knows when we shall leave this frail body made of dust to continue our soul's journey onward), I can only hope that he shall read mine.
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