Don’t colour Islam as a religion of hate. The strength to protect pluralism and peace must come from within. The factories of jehadi hate are madrassas. Another problem is the complete lack of liberal values in our schools in the name of a sham called secularism that helps fossilised ideas to take roots in young minds. Control madrassa education and make it relevant to our times. Yes, the Quran and the Hadith can’t be changed, but there can be liberal leaders who reinterpret them to expose dark forces like ISIS and the Taliban as the worst enemies of the Muslims and show the world that real Islam means peace and togetherness.
There just cannot be an alternative to liberal pluralistic living. This must come from Quran teachers and every Indian, whether Muslim or Hindu. End the ghettoisation. Every city virtually has a separate Muslim colony and hardly any interaction between faiths takes place. This is dangerous. Interactive living is a must to stop radicalisation. The ones who have benefited from the democratic, liberal values of the Indian Constitution—scarcely available in any Islamic country—must ask themselves: have they done anything to save Muslims and non-Muslim friends from the catastrophe called ISIS?
The government has a role and it must wake up to the dangers of ISIS spreading its wings fast. This nation has seen a partition merely seventy years before only because of a previous avatar of the ISIS. If communal passions and fear psychosis is used to win elections, you may win one state but lose the nation.
Mothers of Hindus and Muslims have the same feelings for their child—pure love. Let the mothers rise and stop their kids from ruining their lives and those of many others. The Muslim youth must ask what it is that has not been received by them from this Constitution that they will get from the black flag of ISIS?
The ultimate solution lies in Sufism. It is a cementing force. Let Sufism become our official anthem of togetherness. Those who have earned name and fame through pluralistic Indian values have a role to play here. Come out or perish. No other alternative.
(Tarun Vijay is former editor of RSS mouthpiece Panchajanya. He is also a Rajya Sabha member.)