I followed with great amusement The Acorn’s expert deconstruction of Mr Vishnu Som’s startling assertion that the swiss minaret ban “represents a fundamental threat to millions of Muslims in our country”.
In his response, he really goes to town on those who call him on it. You can tell he left nuance at home as he goes to work defending his statement. The closest he gets is this :
One can go on and on with this line of thought … the central point being easy to understand … the decision to ban minarets is regressive, its anti-Muslim, and violates religious freedom. As I have argued earlier, this is part of a larger wave against Muslims … perhaps part of the generalisation that Muslims are universally terrorists or inclined to violence.
I cannot tolerate such a generalisation and cannot tolerate people who believe that to be the truth. And it is generalisations like this which represent a fundamental threat to Muslims in India and around the world.
Can the minaret ban be considered to be regressive, anti-muslim, and violates religious freedom ? Sure. But the prayer call is banned in many places around the world. Many mosques in the western world do not have minarets. So, this is really a ban on the future construction of a specific type architectural feature. All four existing swiss minarets can stay.
What we are left with is this. Generalizations that all muslims are universally terrorists or inclined to violence represent a fundamental threat to Muslims in Indian and around the world.
That is like pouring a keg of water into a pitcher of beer.
Nitin called him out specifically on this: Cause = ‘minaret ban’, Effect = ‘fundamental threat to millions of muslims in our country’
Mr Vishnu Som puts up a defence of this: Cause = ‘stereotyping of all muslims as terrorists’, Effect = ‘fundamental threat to all muslims of the world including Indians’.
Problem is we cant go from here to there. The new diluted version drips innocence.
Before you dismiss this little social media skirmish, think about why they say the things they say.
About a week ago, another ELM anchor claimed that India’s recent vote against Iran will have far reaching domestic political impact. Really ?
Indian Muslims are Indian just like everyone else. They worry about rampant price rise, ten thousand crore scams, and rapidly deteriorating living standards just like Hindus. Of course, they would be upset with the minaret ban, just like a Tamil Hindu will be upset about their beloved Murugan temples bulldozed in Malaysia. Existing temples were not spared either. Yet, no one said this was a fundamental threat to Hindus in India. You may think this why-cant-i-have-what-he-has arguments are tiring. I agree, but they represent the touchstone of reason.
Upset, even anger, cannot be parlayed into a fundamental threat.
Constantly drumming into our heads that Indian muslims obsess, at a fundamental level, about their coreligionists in faraway places deepens suspicions in society. It also confuses the liberal muslim to the point of, “Hey, is this for real? Are we supposed to be alarmed at the Swiss referendum results?”.
If the Muslims in India really thought the minaret ban is a fundamental threat to millions of their Indian coreligionists – then I’d rather hear it from an Indian Muslim.