From: Govind Rajesh < >
This point needs emphasizing. Despite individual acts of kindness, forbearance and mercy on the part of Muslims, at a group level the religion is unremittingly hostile and destructive of “the other”. All the many centuries of well-documented history of the fate that non-Muslims people, communities and traditions have suffered at the hands of Muslims, straight from the time of Muhammad himself to recent times, including even the bloody partition of India, the irrational “martay dum tak” hostility of Pakistan and relentless terrorist attacks all over the world, all attest to this pattern of perennial hostility and ceaseless, unprovoked aggression. At this collective level forgiveness or acceptance is not found even as an exception. At most some benign secular rulers, like Akbar for e.g. who was never a religious Muslim and eventually apostatized to create his own religion, pact-ised with non-Muslims for pragmatic, political reasons in opposition to or at least ignoring religious theologians and authorities.
The central problem here is that it is not just enough for Islam to grow itself. It seeks actively to displace and replace all other existing religions and traditions. This predatory drive is only found in one other religion, Christianity, and no doubt Islam borrows it from there given that Muhammad developed the religion in an environment where other Arabs were converting to Christianity e.g. Waraqua bin Naufal, the cousin of Muhammad’s first wife Khadija, who reassured the doubtful Muhammad that the spirit that had visited him was the same one that had guided Moses. This man, for example, used to even translated the gospels into Arabic.
Contrast this with the policy of the Sikh Gurus who chose to establish the Harmandir Sahib without disturbing or displacing any other peoples or traditions. Even the very thought of attacking and destroying other traditions did not occur to them. It is a sign of the liberality and universality of the Gurus that their followers seek to learn and derive inspiration from all other people and traditions including a religion that has, more than any other force, made their tradition, its Gurus and their followers a target of its religious violence. However, the martial organization of the Sikhs by their gurus also shows that they have not been blind to the grimmer and more sobering reality of this religion. Discovering similarities and commonalities between Mohammedanism and Indian traditions like Sikhism is something that needs to be done more and more. But at the same time it is also true that we ignore the stark distinctions at our (Hindus’ or Sikhs’) own continuing peril.