Converting the kaffir: Islam at Swordpoint

By: Bill The Butcher

It’s a very, very common thing expressed by the Great Indian Muddle Class, which, as I’ve mentioned before, is reflexively anti-Muslim; the idea that Muslims want the non-Muslim world, specifically the Hindus, to be converted to Islam at the point of a sword (or at the point of a nuclear warhead, or whatever the weapon of choice may be).

The idea is that the Muslims cannot live alongside Hindus (for the Great Indian Muddle Class, Hindus are always victims) in peace because their religion compels them to convert any and all non-Muslims to Islam by any and all means possible.

By that “any and all means possible”, incidentally, I mean the hilarious notion that personable Muslim guys are going on a “love jihad” (yes, you got that right, “love jihad”; I did not make it up) to seduce innocent Hindu maidens and convert them to Islam. So we’d better add penis-point to the list. But still, sword/equivalent point is the preferred method, and has always been so. The Muslim wants the kaffir to cease to exist, don’t you know.

Is that the truth?

Now, I’m not going to go into what the Koran says on the subject, for two excellent reasons:

First, what a religious book says is open to just about any interpretation anyone cares to put on it, and in a millennium and a half of translation and interpretation and re-interpretation, most of the original meaning is inevitably distorted to the point where you can’t begin to recognize it.

And, secondly, because what a religious book says has absolutely nothing to do with the actions of the adherents of that religion, whether those actions are justified by said religious book or not.

No, I’ll go for much more direct evidence.

As the Hindu Muddle Class itself says (in fact, as the Hindu Right makes a great song and dance about), most of the Indian Subcontinent – and all of its most populous northern, western and central parts – were under Muslim rule for getting on for seven hundred years.

The first Muslims arrived within years of the Prophet Muhammad’s starting of the religion, in the shape of Arab traders, but the real Muslim presence in the subcontinent came in the form of the incursions by Afghan warlords in the tenth and eleventh centuries, especially Mahmud of Ghazni, who made repeated raids into Northern India. Did this rapacious warrior and plunderer stay to convert the heathen? No, he took his loot and went back home…again and again and again.

Later on, the Afghans (and Turks) returned in more permanent fashion, setting up a kingdom in North India centred on Delhi, known as the Delhi Sultanate. This kingdom was ruled over by a succession of Afghan and Turkic Muslim dynasties, and eventually fragmented as provincial bosses declared independence when they had the opportunity, and formed their own Muslim kingdoms.

Finally, the Islamicised Mongols under a young khan named Babur came down from Afghanistan in 1526, whipped (with the aid of that hitherto unknown military innovation, artillery) the (Muslim) Lodhi king of Delhi, Ibrahim, at Panipat and, but for a brief (Afghan) Suri Dynasty interregnum from 1540-55, ended the Sultanate once and for all.

That was the beginning of the Mughal (a corruption of Mongol) Empire, which ruled over most of North, West and Central India until its power began to wane in the first half of the eighteenth century, and hung on in titular fashion until the British dissolved it permanently in 1857 by imprisoning the last Emperor, Bahadur Shah II, and murdering his sons after they had surrendered.

Therefore, for a period of seven hundred years, that part of India which mattered most, population wise, was under Muslim rule. Some of these Muslim rulers were highly tolerant and enlightened; one, the Mughal Emperor Akbar, created his own synthetic religion, called Din-e-Elahi, but found few takers except for his ministers including the (Hindu) court jester, Birbal. Most were rather indifferent to religion, leaving well enough alone. A few were anti-Hindu to the point of psychosis; the Turkic Khilji Dynasty Sultan Ala-ud-din (known among other things for having succeeded to the throne by having his predecessor, his uncle Jalal-ud-din, murdered) promulgated a decree ordering Hindus to open their mouths so Muslims could spit into them.

Good or bad or indifferent, they ruled over most of the subcontinent for centuries, and their rule over the most populous area, the vast North Indian plain around the river Ganges, was absolute. Unlike other parts of the subcontinent where Muslim overlords ruled through Hindu vassal kings, in the North and Centre of the subcontinent they always ruled directly and with absolute power.

Now, don’t you think that if there was any truth to the idea of forceful Muslim conversion, the territories these men (and a couple of women, too), Afghans, Mongols, or others ruled over would have been thoroughly cleansed of Hinduism in all these years? Even if some of them protected the rights of their Hindu subjects, others who were frankly haters of the idolatrous infidels of the land would surely have done their utmost to erase their religion from the face of the earth?

So what happened when the British took over the Mughals?  Did they rule over an overwhelmingly Muslim land?  Did they, hell.  Only a third of the population they controlled was Muslim – the rest was overwhelmingly Hindu.

Those Muslims, by the way, were everywhere: even those parts of the subcontinent which were never under Muslim rule, at any time, whether the far south (the Tamils) or the extreme east (the Manipuris) had many of their people convert to Islam.

Conversion at the point of a sword, was it, now?

The facts speak for themselves: conversion from Hinduism was a voluntary affair, mostly occurring among the vast oppressed masses at the bottom end of the Hindu caste system. They thought of Islam as they had thought, in earlier centuries, of Buddhism, and as they would think later of Christianity: as a means of escape from the terrible inequities of the Hindu caste system. Of course, there were those who converted because they thought that a change of religion to that of the ruling dynasty would bring them closer to the source of patronage, but that’s true of any feudal system, and India has always been feudal to its roots. But the overwhelming mass of the converts away from Hinduism have always been from the lowest castes; right from the time of Siddhartha Gautama and his Buddhism to the Baptist missionaries in the forest villages of Central India today; and it has virtually always been entirely voluntary.

In fact, I’d say that if the Muslim rulers had really been so hell-bent on converting Hindus at sword-point, there wouldn’t have been many Great Indian Hindu Muddle Class members left to castigate Muslims today, and none of them would have been from the home of Indian Hindu fascism: the north and centre of the country.

Put that in your hookah and smoke it.

Further reading:

9 Comments on “Converting the kaffir: Islam at Swordpoint”

  1. “Now, don’t you think that if there was any truth to the idea of forceful Muslim conversion, the territories these men (and a couple of women, too), Afghans, Mongols, or others ruled over would have been thoroughly cleansed of Hinduism in all these years”

    — This is just like saying if Hitler was so devilish he could have wiped out all the Jews of the world, no? The fact that jews still exist in the world prove that Hitler was not that devilish, right?

    Look at Iraq, Iran, Afgantistan, Pakistan (now) don’t you see how Islam wiped out entire previous religions on their surfaces. If not for the valiant Hindus this country could have been under Islamic rule. It’s just that the Islamic rulers couldn’t make whole of the Hindus convert.
    You say Akbar was tolerant? In what sense? He was not even 1000th tolerant as of Ashoka. But yes, he was the most tolerant of the Mughals.

    Your entire argument is completely flawed. I’m not denying that there are no voluntary conversions but there were THERE WERE, forceful conversions, destruction of temples and institutes (the death blow to Buddhism in India), the killing of Sikh gurus etc must have made a hateful impact of Muslims on Hindus.

  2. author: ” In fact, I’d say that if the Muslim rulers had really been so hell-bent on converting Hindus at sword-point, there wouldn’t have been many Great Indian Hindu Muddle Class members left to castigate Muslims today, and none of them would have been from the home of Indian Hindu fascism: the north and centre of the country.”

    @author: Islamic rulers COULDN”T convert whole of the hindus. Now, please don’t give the credit to islamic rulers for their ‘tolerance’. Every body knows how tolerant they become once they foreign religious lands. History and Statistics point out clearly.
    Or are you implying that definition of Tolerance should be changed when one is dealing with the context of Islam and it’s adherents? Jijya is intolerance for all the humanists and liberals but Islamists believe that to be a token of tolerance. If we go with Islamic definition of tolerance of course Mughal period was highly ‘tolerant’.

  3. If the writer is true, there will never be any Hindus left in India but why there are still almost a billion Hindus in India?

    Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. Qur’an 2:256

    ALLAH! There is no God but He,
    the Living, the Self-subsisting, the Eternal.
    No slumber can seize Him, nor sleep.
    All things in heaven and earth are His.
    Who could intercede in his presence without His permission?
    He knows what appears in front of and behind His creatures.
    Nor can they encompass any knowledge of Him except what he wills.
    His throne extends over the heavens and the earth,
    and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them,
    for He is the Highest and Most Exalted.
    The Throne Verse Qur’an 2:255

  4. The author’s reading of Indian history is so flawed that it deserves to laughed at. Firstly the turkish sultanate except for alauddin khilji did not have absolute sway over Indian subcontinent as the author suggests but rather always faced rebellions from rajputs and other smaller kingdoms and internal plots from afghans who detested the turkish power and dreamt of supplanting them. indeed muslim rule over India only got consolidated after akbar formed a sort of informal confederation with rajputs with veto power resting with mughal emperor. this allowed rajputs to rule their fiefdoms unmolested in return for contributing their armies to mughal cavalry. Even this confederacy broke when last mughal emperor aurangzeb launched a diaboical plan to destroy hinduism which led to revolt by sikhs (Hindus who formed a new military order), rajputs and marathas. As for Muslim conversion of hindus at sword point. Please read BB Lal’s book on Islamic rule over India. The numer of deaths from successive muslim invasions stands at anywhere between 20-30 million which is more than 2 world wars put together. Infact even if you do not trust BB Lal , please read arnold toynbee’s excellent book on world history where he has called Muslim rule over India as the most brutal period in humankind. In fact one reason why all hindus were not converted to islam was because of very large population of hindus (over 100 million) which could not be lopped by swords) and that unlike persian or greek civilization, india was never a centralized entity where defeat of a central emperor led to defeat of whole nation like in case of persia. Even after fall of delhi, several hindu kingdoms particularly marathas resisted muslims and one of them shivaji even defeated mughal armies. As for Great indian muddle class , has the author ever realized why such a prosperous, cosmopolitan class exist in India and not the neighbouring land of the pure next door. The hindu caste system is another issue on which i will dwell later but one small question. if caste system was responsible for conversion of vast majority of hindus to islam, why havent such conversion taken place in democratic india after 1947.

  5. I said that the Sultanate had control over the areas of the subcontinent that had the greatest population, and to this day has the greatest population.
    Mohit: are you even aware of conversions to Islam, Christianity and Buddhism going on to this day? Are you aware of the Graham Staines murder? Are you aware of the laws some BJP-ruled states are trying to promulgate to practically ban conversions?
    If you are, you are dissembling.
    If you aren’t, you are misinformed.

  6. Again please read more about history as well as geography so that you can get better perspective.The Delhi Sultanate except alaudin khilji was in constant state of civil war primarily because afghans who formed bulk of soldiers and generals wanted to supplant them and rule India instead. That is why the sultanate collapsed in matter of few years after khilji’s death and even after that the afghans like Lodhis who replaced them could not hold hold on which is why tamerlane was able to invade india and kill 100,000 (mostly hindus) people in one night.The Muslim rule got consolidated only after mughals and that too because mughal emperors with the exception of shah jahan and aurangzeb realized that they could not rule without collaboration with rajputs. The issue here is not that Hindus remained in majority after islamic rule but what islam did to india which is destroy its culture of tolerance and acceptance of new ideas. Even at the hight of pre-islamic barbarism India never faced the slaughter for power that mughal progenies carried out amongst themselves or wholesale rape and slaughter that accompanied every victory. Before Islam a rajah in India would never touch another king’s wife let alone a subject’s wife or daughter but with the exception of few muslim kings you had atrocious rulers like alauddin who invaded a whole kingdom to get hold of rani padmavati who was another king’s lawfully wedded wife. Even in science and technology, whatever little India progress saw in medieval ages was due to hindu rulers like jai singh whoo built india’s first observatory unlike his muslim counterparts like shah jahan who spent the entire treasury of hard earne money of Indian laborers in building the taj mahal. Please read about history more carefully. As for caste system and conversion , the fact that conversion from hinduism can take place and are taking place in democratic and secular india and would invite death penalty in Iran or saudi or pakistan shows what islam is about. I rest my case.

  7. I’m no expert in the regional history of the Indian subcontinent, but one doesn’t really have to be in order to spot general patterns that continuously re-emerge throughout human history (regardless of era or culture): and one pattern that stands out is that of conversion and persecution of the “other” – most commonly those of a political or relgious ideology that differs from the majority. Regardless of what time period one speaks of, an “other” of some sort has always existed and will continue to exist because of one crucial fact: society as a whole needs the “other” to exist – if for no other reason to have a convenient scapegoat for all troubles that plague that society.

    This whole Hindu/Muslim/Christian conflict is no different – while there are factions within each of these faiths that would love to force everyone to convert to their own brand of religion (those with the most outwardly violent tendencies today being Islamic in nature – but that hasn’t always been the case nor shall that always be so), these faiths are *not* monoliths dominated by any one drive or motivation. Most forms of these faiths are less concerned about universal conversion and more concerned about upholding the basis for an oppressive establishment: one that divides one people group against another – through that division promoting a mentallity of perpetual conflict with the “other” and using that state of continual “war” state of mind to keep the proverbial wagons circled to repel the threat (real or imagined). Thus through an atmosphere of continual distrust and paranioa is the structure of society maintained (just read “1984” for an extreme example of this principle in action).

    At the end of the day the last thing that any sane ideology (political, religious or otherwise) wants is for everyone to convert – if everyone did convert there would be no more demarcation lines to divide people against each other with (leaving the establishment in the predicament of having to draw up brand new ones and get the ball rolling again with a brand new “other”). Islam is no exception to this rule: whilst there are extremists that seek to kill off or convert members of the “other” right now, by no means are they representative of the whole nor does their existence indicate a new trend for forced conversion – as all ideologies have had their share of persecutions and forced conversions, but they all ended the same way in that a new “other” had to be found or else constructed to preserve society.

    While I do recognize ideological extremism as dangerous, I do not see the danger as being limited to one particular ideology but rather as a defining feature of ideology itself. The only way out of this cyclical pattern of conversion and division is for the individual to turn against ideology itself and assert his/her own sovereignty: doing otherwise merely gives license to the social establishment to continue functioning as it always has – through the doctrine of divide-and-conquer.

  8. According to the history books, the Muslims kicked some ass during the crusades. I don’t recall that they were interested in any sword point conversions, just in pushing back the invaders that they too saw as infidels. When it comes to religion, it’s all a matter of perspective and no force fed religion is worth having.

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