Hitlers Henchman, Joeseph Goebbels said:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State”
With a billion people, the Republic of India is the world’s largest democracy.Like every democracy it has its flaws, but the country but being ruled by the people is institutionalized in its society. Freedom of speech is also part of this democracy which has given the Islamofacists opportunity to spread their lies and influence into this free society
At a recent conference on radical Islam, attended by scholars from India and South-East Asian countries, it was irritating to hear professors from Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia repeating the canard about the 9/11 terrorist attacks being an elaborate conspiracy hatched by the Christians (of America) and the Jews (of Israel) to “defame Islam” and use the globally televised images of the imploding twin towers as justification for the US-led “war against Muslims”.
The first time I heard this astonishing fiction was in Cairo where I had arrived soon after the terrifying attack, led by an Egyptian, Mohammed Atta, on the World Trade Center, one of the symbols of American power. The war in Iraq had not yet begun but the Taliban hoodlums, including Mullah Omar, were fleeing Afghanistan to save their lives. The fall of a ‘model Islamic state’ and the walloping the ‘soldiers of god’ were receiving from the invading kafirs had greatly distressed my friends in the Muslim Brotherhood who had wrongly believed that the flattening of the twin towers would signal the liberation of Cairo, not Kabul. Instead, they were shocked to see a tsunami of anger striking Arab shores.
Rather than accept the 9/11 attacks had proved to be counter-productive, they chose the path of denial. Whispered allegations, anonymous e-mail and stories buried in the inside pages of Arabic newspapers began to do the rounds, spreading the patently false claim that the attack on the twin towers and the Pentagon had been planned and executed by the Americans and the Israelis. To substantiate this absurd claim, there were further absurd claims — Jews did not report for work on that fateful day, only the Mossad could have carried out an operation of this scale, the CIA had ensured the hijackers would not be frisked, etc. I found the assertions mildly repugnant and largely amusing, attributing the fiction to the street Arab’s lack of access to facts.
Seven years later, when I hear that absurd claim being repeated, that too by those who should know better, I don’t feel amused, but irritated. And so it happened at the conference on radical Islam when a professor of Jamia Millia Islamia questioned the authenticity of events as they unfolded on September 11, 2001, two of his colleagues nodding their heads vigorously in approval. My irritation gave way to anger when he went on to suggest that analyses of video images of the hijacked aircraft being flown into the twin towers showed they were “studio-generated”. Only someone who has undergone lobotomy would say something so stupid in public. But more than being silly, there’s a sinister purpose to such comments and they should not be attributed to a lobotomised brain; India’s Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, given to whitewashing Islamist crimes, would vouch for this.
A lie repeated again and again, as Paul Joseph Goebbels proved through word and deed, tends to be believed by the masses. Islamofascists, both at home and abroad, who peddle the myth that ‘Islam is the solution’ and thus see nothing wrong with the ghastly crimes committed in the name of Islam, would naturally take to Goebbelsian propaganda tactics like a duck takes to water. Fiction propagated slyly at conferences and seminars, mentioned between the lines in newspaper articles, and slipped into Friday sermons by mullahs after the jumma namaaz, acquires a certain legitimacy and is soon perceived as fact.
We have seen this happen in India on more than one occasion. When Hindus were forced to flee their ancestral homes in the Kashmir Valley by killer squads of Islamists who indulged in rapacious depredations and revelled in the slaughter of innocent men, women and children, an insidious campaign was launched, pinning the blame on Mr Jagmohan, then Governor of Jammu & Kashmir: He was accused of telling the Hindus to flee the Valley. Strangely, this fiction was believed by the secular intelligentsia which, in any event, is desperate to clutch at straws to absolve Islamic fanatics of their crimes and eager to paint Islamist marauders in the most glowing of colours.
Similar tactics were — and continue to be — used in the wake of the slaughter of kar sevaks (Hindu pilgrims) in Godhra and to tar Hindus by blaming them for the violence that followed in Gujarat. After the bombing of commuter trains in Mumbai, killing 187 people, it was blatantly suggested by our homegrown Islamists that the massacre was the handiwork of either “Government agencies” or “Hindu organisations”.
They are now using the same tactics in their response to the jihadi attack on Jaipur on May 14, in which at least 80 people were killed and many more maimed. The Hindustan Express, a Delhi-based Urdu newspaper, pontificated in an editorial comment on May 16, “Apart from elements like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, Al Qaeda or HuJI (who may possibly be involved in these explosions) why should we not think also of those international powers and agencies who are known to the Government for their discomfort towards Indo-Pak peace?” Why not, indeed! The Jamaat-e-Islami’s biweekly journal, Daawat, was nauseatingly sly in its comments on May 19, “The truth cannot be out without changing the formula for the probe into the bomb blasts. Instead of going through the formality of a probe and connecting the links, we will have to see which group of people gets political benefit out of such incidents.” The only group that stands to benefit from the bloodbath in Jaipur, the Jamaat-e-Islami, whose mullahs pretend to be as innocent as Goldilocks, needs to be told, comprises those who subscribe to the slogan, “Islam is the solution.”
These are the people who are at ease with explosives being strapped to an eight-year-old girl and the button on the remote control being pushed as she reaches out to take a chocolate from a soldier (not an American) in Iraq. They are untouched and unmoved by the sight of the blood of innocent victims, as was spilled on the streets of Jaipur, of their perverse ideology. They are fully aware of their criminal misdeeds, but they want us to believe they are not to blame. And if you dare point a finger at radical Islam and its army of Islamofascists, they will accuse you of indulging in Islamophobia.
It’s time we called their bluff. The only other option is to subjugate ourselves to those who know no mercy and meekly accept Islam as the solution.
Kanchan Gupta is Associate Editor of The Pioneer, one of India’s oldest English language newspapers, based in New Delhi.