Indian Muslim looks at Kashmir as a Hindustani not as a Muslim: Syed Ali Shah Geelani
Syed Ali Shah Geelani the grand old man of Kashmir popularly known as ‘Baba-e-Kashmir’ in the region is a prominent Kashmiri nationalist leader. He is the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference and enjoys huge support in the valley for his strong and unaltered commitment for the independence of Kashmir. In an exclusive interview to Twocircles.net Mr. Geelani spoke about his views on the Indian Muslims ignorance regarding Kashmiri nationalist movement and oppressive policies of Indian government on Kashmiri Muslims.
Many a time you have criticized Indian Muslims for not supporting the independence movement of Kashmir, why do you think it is important for an Indian Muslim to support Kashmiri cause?
It is (Farz) absolute duty of Indian Muslim to support their Kashmiri Muslim brothers, but it can happen only when they start thinking like a Muslim. But the tragedy is 20 Crore Muslims of India are shaping their opinion about Kashmir as a Hindustani not as a Muslim. This 20 crore Muslim population is having sinful silent when in their backyard, their own Muslim brothers are being oppressed by the Indian army, exploited by the Indian political class, harassed by intelligence agencies, and even when Muslims are tortured, raped and killed mercilessly. In Islam it is Farz for every Muslim to help oppressed Muslim brother, and then this makes absolute duty for the Indian Muslims to speak about the atrocities committed by India on Kashmiri Muslims.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani
There is a general fear among Indian Muslims that if Kashmir gets independence and even if they support it or not they will be the victim of the backlash of Hindutva forces. What do you think about this perception?
12 million people of J&K can’t be hijacked by India, by raising the bogy of fear. See Kashmir cause and Indian Muslims are two different issues. If Muslims in India are targeted after the secession of Kashmir then it is the result of anarchy and tyranny of the nation which they are living in, and it will have nothing to do with Kashmiri independence. When you are going to uphold truth and justice then you should also be ready for the ache which is unavoidable. That hurt will be the test of Allah, and a true Muslim who believes in the Day of Judgment and who believes that this world is predetermined, and the world here after is infinite then he will definitely uphold the truth and justice, irrespective of backlash it will accompany. But if a Muslim is more worried about his life and property rather than truth and justice then he should prepare to live his life under the shadow of a tyrant.
Indian Muslims protest frequently whenever any where in the world Muslims are targeted, but when in Kashmir the same thing happens, no Indian Muslim raise their voice against it. As Kashmiri Muslim how do you feel about it?
I always tell whenever I meet people from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind or any other Indian Muslims that they will be questioned in the Day of Judgment by Allah for their dangerous silence on the atrocities on Kashmiri Muslims by the Indian army. But they always give excuse that if they speak against the Indian government they will be banned, censored or restricted and then it will be difficult for them to carry out their functions.
I think all this rhetorics of Indian Muslims is the result of week Imaan (faith), they fear Indian state more than Allah. Indian army have taken our land on the gun point, they raped and killed hundreds of Muslim women, I myself have inspected some instances where mother was raped in front of her little daughter, and wife in front of husband. Every one knows how two Muslim women in Sofian were raped and killed by Indian army. Because of all this humiliation when young Muslims were on the streets without any weapons they were killed on point-blank range by the Indian army, even a seven year old boy was killed by the army. From 2009 till now 125 unarmed Muslim protesters were shot down by the army. And even after all this Indian Muslims are silent, I and all the Muslims in J&K have serious complaint against them.
I think they are silent because of the fear of wrath from the majority, but a true Muslim will always support the truth. I remember there was a huge public meeting in Darul Uloom Deoband and Aziz Burney, editor of Sahara Urdu daily said we will condemn hundred times the violence against Muslims in Kashmir, but will reiterate thousand times that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Aziz Burney represented the mindset of Indian Muslims that because of the fear from majority community and to appease them they are ready to tell the truth 100 times but will support a lie 1000 times. Indian Muslims will be answerable to Allah.
You look quite distressed from Indian Muslims, what will be your message to them?
I will urge to the Indian Muslims to protect and preserve their identity, they should always feel proud of what they are i.e. Muslims. They should not just be a Muslim by name but should be a practicing Muslim. They should protect their culture, because with out their culture Muslims are nothing but just like any other community. In Jammu & Kashmir we are facing a cultural aggression from India; Indian army is trying every bit to destroy our Islamic culture, and Muslims of Kashmir is resisting that cultural aggression, Indian Muslim should take lesson from Kashmir. Indian Muslims should get united as a single ummah and leave their ideological differences to fight against their adversaries.
Twenty crore Muslim population of India should get united and in one voice should support the Muslims of Kashmir for their genuine cause and pressurize the Indian government to fulfill their promise made in UN resolution. But till now it has been seen that Indian Muslims are keeping quiet on the atrocities done on Kashmiri Muslims by the Indian army, I can tell with whole confidence that if Indian Muslims are going to continue this type of laxity then they will be questioned by Allah. And I don’t hesitate in saying this thinking that Muslims of India will get angry with me, because a Muslim should fear only Allah and I am sure Allah will ask Indian Muslims why they were silent when their brothers in their backyard were subjugated.