Monday, December 16, 2013

A corruptor of souls and molester of bodies haranguing against corruption

It's meaningless to ask why there is so much corruption in the world without looking at the fountainheads of corruption and crime. 

"No to the new idolatry of money, No to a financial system which rules rather than serves, No to the inequality which spawns violence, No to inordinate consumption."
Guess who made the above observations "that touch upon almost all aspects of what ails our global human society", said a mail I recently received from a person with whom I share an online forum.
Here is my response to that person.
(The observations, by the way, have very recently been made. The guy making them has been named Time's Person of the Year 2013; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelii_Gaudium)
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So you want me to guess who made the observations contained in your mail?
OK, I'll do that.
From the very first glance, these observations seem to have come from an inveterate hypocrite, a monstrous criminal, sort of wolf in sheep's clothing, a mass murderer masquerading as as a noble charitarian, a sexual predator acting like an avuncular boss, a pimp impersonating a feminist colleague.
They sound like coming from a worshiper of mammon preaching against avarice, from an insidious corrupter of souls and molester of bodies denouncing against 'sin'.
They feel like coming from a dissembler and fraudster, such as 'Mother Teresa' who affected compassion for the weak while siding with dictators and protecting vicious sexual predators like 'Father McGuire'.
The words seem to have been uttered by a representative of the world's wealthiest and oldest surviving monarchy and enemy of human liberty – with billions of dollar in assets across the world, including India -- and the ringleader of the world's oldest criminal syndicate that has used its wealth to ring-fence itself from the consequences of its monstrous crimes against humanity.
They also feel like coming from the shameless leader of the most evil colonial power and ethnocidal outfit the world has ever known whose catalogue of 'saints' includes hate-filled maniacs and murderers.
Why I feel so? Look at the following references.
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http://www.alternet.org/world/gods-racket-why-its-high-time-shut-down-vatican-bank
God’s Racket: Why It’s High Time to Shut Down the Vatican Bank
Think of it as HSBC with God’s imprimatur.
Alternet, 25 Feb. 2013

It’s a place where angels fear to tread; where criminals, frauds and mysterious corpses turn up as regularly as rats in the metro. The Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican bank, was set up in 1942 by Pope Pius XII to manage the vast Vatican finances. Often referred to as the world’s most secret bank, the operation is run by a CEO and overseen by five cardinals who report directly to the Pope.

The bank’s official role is to safeguard and administer property intended for works of religion or charity. The actual activities of the bank are somewhat different. They include money laundering for narcotics traffickers, bribery, skimming charitable funds to enrich priests, and tax evasion for wealthy Italians.

Finance, Vatican-Style
The scandals associated with the Vatican bank, particularly over the last four decades, are so sordid and improbable as to strain the creativity of a supermarket tabloid. The Church’s past offenses of selling indulgences and charging fees for sacraments have been updated for the world of modern finance, complete with shell companies, speculation and secret transfers.

(For more on the antecedents of the current bank, see Betty Clermont’s handy synopsis at Daily Kos.) Last year, Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi published a book delving into the intrigue and corruption swirling in a bank that has been answerable to no one. It was an eye-opener...
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http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/08/wealth-of-roman-catholic-church-impossible-to-calculate/
Roman Catholic Church's wealth impossible to calculate
National Post; Kristopher Morrison, 08/03/2013

It is impossible to calculate the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church. In truth, the church itself likely could not answer that question, even if it wished to.

Its investments and spending are kept secret. Its real estate and art have not been properly evaluated, since the church would never sell them.

There is no doubt, however, that between the church’s priceless art, land, gold and investments across the globe, it is one of the wealthiest institutions on Earth.

Since 313 A.D., when Catholicism became the official religion of the Roman Empire, its power has been in near-constant growth.

The church was able to acquire land, most notably the Papal States surrounding Rome, convert pagan temples and claim relics for itself. Over 300 years, it became one of Europe’s largest landowners.

For the next thousand years, tithes and tributes flowed in from all over Europe. Non-Christians and even fellow Christians were killed and their property confiscated. For example, the Fourth Crusade and the sack of Constantinople in the early 13th century brought it gold, money and jewels....
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*716,290 The amount of Church-owned land, in square kilometres, across the globe — an area slightly bigger than Alberta. Properties include Vatican embassies, churches, cathedrals, monasteries, some schools and convents.

*22.4 In millions of dollars, the approximate value of almost one metric tonne of gold owned by the Holy See in 2008.

*308 In millions of dollars, the Vatican’s revenue in 2011. It spent $326.4-million, but ended the year with a $27-million surplus.
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http://www.sfweekly.com/2012-01-11/news/mother-teresa-catholic-church-john-hardon-donald-mcguire-child-abuse-jesuits/
Tainted Saint: Mother Teresa Defended Pedophile Priest
By Peter Jamison; Wednesday, Jan 11 2012

The death of journalist and polemicist Christopher Hitchens last month gave those familiar with his work a chance to revisit one of his more controversial subjects: the Albanian nun Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known to the world as Mother Teresa. In his 1997 book, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, Hitchens argued that the "Saint of Calcutta," who founded and headed the international Missionaries of Charity order, enjoyed undeserved esteem.

Despite her humanitarian reputation and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa had set up a worldwide system of "homes for the dying" that routinely failed to provide adequate care to patients, Hitchens argued — an appraisal shared by The Lancet, a respected medical journal.

Mother Teresa also associated with, and took large sums of money from, disreputable figures such as American savings-and-loan swindler Charles Keating and the dictatorial Duvalier family of Haiti.

Notwithstanding these black marks on an otherwise sterling reputation, Mother Teresa — who died in 1997 and is now on the fast track to a formal proclamation of sainthood by the Vatican — was never known to have been touched by the scandal that would rock the Roman Catholic

Church in the decade after her death: the systematic protection of child-molesting priests by church officials.
Yet documents obtained by SF Weekly suggest that Mother Teresa knew one of her favorite priests was removed from ministry for sexually abusing a Bay Area boy in 1993, and that she nevertheless urged his bosses to return him to work as soon as possible. The priest resumed active ministry, as well as his predatory habits. Eight additional complaints were lodged against him in the coming years by various families, leading to his eventual arrest on sex-abuse charges in 2005.

The priest was Donald McGuire, a former Jesuit who has been convicted of molesting boys in federal and state courts and is serving a 25-year federal prison sentence. McGuire, now 81 years old, taught at the University of San Francisco in the late 1970s, and held frequent spiritual retreats for families in San Francisco and Walnut Creek throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

He also ministered extensively to the Missionaries of Charity during that time.
In a 1994 letter to McGuire's Jesuit superior in Chicago, it appears that Mother Teresa acknowledged she had learned of the "sad events which took [McGuire] from his priestly ministry these past seven months," and that McGuire "admitted imprudence in his behavior," but she wished to see him put back on the job. The letter was written after McGuire had been sent to a psychiatric hospital following an abuse complaint to the Jesuits by a family in Walnut Creek.

"I understand how grave is the scandal touching the priesthood in the U.S.A. and how careful we must be to guard the purity and reputation of that priesthood," the letter states. "I must say, however, that I have confidence and trust in Fr. McGuire and wish to see his vital ministry resume as soon as possible."

The one-page letter comes from thousands of pages of church records that have been shared with plaintiffs' attorneys in ongoing litigation against the Jesuits involving McGuire. (The documents were also shared with prosecutors who worked on his criminal cases.) It is printed on Missionaries of Charity letterhead but is unsigned, and thus cannot be verified absolutely as having been written by Mother Teresa. Officials in the Missionaries of Charity and the Jesuits did not respond to requests for comment on its provenance......
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/mother-teresa-myth_n_2805697.html
Mother Teresa Humanitarian Image A 'Myth,' New Study Says
The Huffington Post  |  By Ron Dicker, 03/04/2013

A new study by Canadian academics says Mother Teresa was a product of hype who housed the poor and sick in shoddy conditions, despite her access to a fortune.

The Times of India, reporting on the controversial essay, wrote that the authors asserted Mother Teresa saw beauty in the downtrodden's suffering and was far more willing to pray for them than provide practical medical care. Meanwhile, researchers say, the Vatican engaged in a PR ploy as it threw aside concerns about her suspicious financial dealings and contacts to forgo the five-year waiting period to beatify her.

One of the researchers, Serge Larivee of the University of Montreal's department of psychoeducation, told the school's website, “Given the parsimonious management of Mother Teresa's works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?”

The research paper claims that the celebrated nun had 517 missions in 100 countries at the time of her death, but that the majority of patients were not cared for properly and many were left to die, according to the university website. In addition, the Vatican is said to have ignored a doctor's assertions when it concluded that a Mother Teresa miracle healed a woman who had tuberculosis and an ovarian cyst.
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http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2003/10/mommie_dearest.html
Mommie Dearest
The pope beatifies Mother Teresa, a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud.
Slate; Christopher Hitchens; 20 Oct. 2003

I think it was Macaulay who said that the Roman Catholic Church deserved great credit for, and owed its longevity to, its ability to handle and contain fanaticism. This rather oblique compliment belongs to a more serious age. What is so striking about the "beatification" of the woman who styled herself "Mother" Teresa is the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism.

It's the sheer tawdriness that strikes the eye first of all. It used to be that a person could not even be nominated for "beatification," the first step to "sainthood," until five years after his or her death. This was to guard against local or popular enthusiasm in the promotion of dubious characters. The pope nominated MT a year after her death in 1997. It also used to be that an apparatus of inquiry was set in train, including the scrutiny of an advocatus diaboli or "devil's advocate," to test any extraordinary claims. The pope has abolished this office and has created more instant saints than all his predecessors combined as far back as the 16th century.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases

The Catholic sex abuse cases are a series of allegations, investigations, trials and convictions of child sexual abuse crimes committed by Catholic priests, nuns and members of Roman Catholic orders against children as young as three years old with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14.

These cases include anal and oral penetration and have resulted in criminal prosecutions of the abusers and civil lawsuits against the church's dioceses and parishes. Many of the cases span several decades and are brought forward years after the abuse occurred.

Cases have also been brought against members of the Catholic hierarchy who did not report sex abuse allegations to the legal authorities. It has been shown they deliberately moved sexually abusive priests to other parishes where the abuse sometimes continued.

This has led to a number of fraud cases where the Church has been accused of misleading victims by deliberately relocating priests accused of abuse instead of removing them from their positions.[5]
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http://www.snapnetwork.org/recommended_reading

Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse (Hardcover), by Thomas P. Doyle, A. W. R. Sipe, Patrick J. Wall, (Bonus Books, 2006) ISBN: 1566252652.

Sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy burst onto the American scene in 1984. Revelations about such abuse since then have confirmed that this tragedy is not limited to the U.S. Catholic Church, nor is it a new phenomenon that grew out of so called secularizing trends of the late twentieth century. The Doyle-Sipe-Wall report clearly demonstrates a deep seated problem that spans the Church's history. This collection of documents from official and unofficial sources begins its survey in 60 CE and concludes with the contemporary scandal. It reveals an institution that has tried to come to grips with this devastating internal problem from its earliest years.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcial_Maciel
Marcial Maciel Degollado (Mar 1920 – Jan 2008) was a Mexican-born Roman Catholic priest who founded the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement. Late in his life, he was revealed to have abused boys and maintained relationships with at least two women, fathering up to six children, two of whom he allegedly abused as well.

Money paved way for Maciel's influence in the Vatican
National Catholic Reporter; Jason Berry; 06 Apr. 2010

In his time, the late Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado was the greatest fundraiser of the modern Roman Catholic church. He was also a magnetic figure in recruiting young men to religious life in an era when vocations were plummeting. Behind that exalted façade, however, Maciel was a notorious pedophile, and a man who fathered several children by different women. His life was arguably the darkest chapter in the clergy abuse crisis that continues to plague the church.

The saga of the disgraced founder of the Legion of Christ, a secretive, cult-like religious order now under Vatican investigation, opens into a deeper story of how one man's lies and betrayal dazzled key figures in the Roman curia and how Maciel's money and success helped him find protection and influence. For years, the heads of Vatican congregations and the pope himself ignored persistent warnings that something was rotten in the community where Legionaries called their leader Nuestro Padre , "Our Father," and considered him a living saint.
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http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/07/13/un-child-rights-group-demands-vatican-detail-its-response-to-abuse-scandals/
UN child rights group demands Vatican detail its response to abuse scandals
Nick Squires, The Telegraph | 13/07/13

ROME — Pope Francis toughened up the Vatican city state’s laws on child sex abuse Thursday, in the latest demonstration of his determination to overhaul the Holy See after years of damaging intrigue and scandal.

But the measures were dismissed by anti-abuse campaigners as little more than administrative tinkering because they applied only to the tiny city state and would have no impact in protecting children in the rest of the world from predatory priests.

The new laws about the sexual abuse of minors came shortly after the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child demanded that the Vatican divulge documents about its treatment of abuse victims around the world and its leniency towards predatory priests.

As reported by the Vatican Insider:
In the document, the UN committee asks the Vatican to specify what measures have been put in place to ensure no priest accused of sexual abuse is authorised to come into contact with children. It asks the Vatican to inform the committee of the “explicit instructions given at all levels of the clergy to ensure the compulsory reporting to national competent authorities of all cases of sexual abuse.” The Vatican is also asked to cite cases where leaders of the Catholic Church were asked “not to report such offences, and at which level of the clergy.”
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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/revealed-publisher-owned-by-the-catholic-church-sells-pornography-6257572.html
Revealed: publisher owned by the Catholic Church sells pornography
Germany's bishops promise to stop the company's distribution of erotic novels
The Independent, 05 Nov. 2011

Germany's biggest Catholic-owned publishing house has been rocked by disclosures that it has been selling thousands of pornographic novels with titles such as Sluts Boarding School and Lawyer's Whore with the full assent of the country's leading bishops.
The revelations made in the publishing-industry newsletter Buchreport concern Weltbild, a company with an annual €1.7bn (£1.5bn) turnover and 6,400 employees. It is Germany's largest bookseller after Amazon and wholly owned by the Catholic Church.
Buchreport revealed that Weltbild's massive assortment of titles available to customers online includes some 2,500 "erotic" books with unmistakably lewd titles including Call Me Slut!, Take Me Here, Take Me Now! and Lawyer's Whore, to name a few. The publisher's website also pictures the titles' lascivious dust jackets that feature colour photographs of scantily clad women in high heels and erotic underwear.
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http://www.nativeweb.org//pages/legal/indig-background.html
International Law and Indigenous Peoples

International law (IL) is a system of norms, customs, and binding agreements designed to regulate the behavior of nation-states. IL is dependent upon the notion of states and sovereignty (effective control of territory)...
In the West, formal codes of IL began with Roman laws to manage relationships with outsiders on the frontiers of the empire. IL developed into its modern form with efforts by European nation-states to consolidate control over expansive territories.
This expansion was fueled by resource acquisition and motivated by a zeal to proselytize and convert in the name of Christianity. (See The Papal Bull, Romanus Pontifex and The Papal Bull, Inter Caetera).
Early IL commentators (e.g., 16th century Dominican clerics Bartolome de las Casas and Francisco de Vitoria linked international law with Natural Law, as they incorporated so-called "uncivilized people" encountered in the "New World" into the IL discourse.
As colonial interests of Christian-European nation-states solidified in the "New World" and the institution of the nation-state itself became more fixed, the law of nations turned away from treatments of the "uncivilized" and focused nearly exclusively on interaction between states. (See, e.g., the early 17th century writings of the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius). This was seen as a turn from Natural to Positive law, from dictates of God and Nature to politics of man and state. It was a turn that left "non-state" indigenous peoples out of IL until the middle of the 20th century....
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http://natcath.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2000d/102700/102700f.htm
Indigenous demand revocation of 1493 papal bull
National Catholic Reporter, October 27, 2000
It was scripted as a moment of high drama. In the fading twilight of Oct. 12, a spokesperson for a delegation of indigenous persons from the Americas approached a Swiss Guard in St. Peter’s Square and handed him a document for the pope. It was a copy of the 1493 papal bull Inter Caetera urging that the “barbarous nations” of the New World “be overthrown and brought to the faith.”
“On the part of indigenous persons throughout the world, we call on the pope to formally revoke this, which led to our subjugation in the name of Christianity,” said Steve Newcomb, a member of the Shawnee and Lenape nations of North America. He asked the guard to inform the pope of their request, delivered on the 508th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean....
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http://www.doctrineofdiscovery.org/
Doctrine of Discovery? What's that?
Papal Bulls of the 15th century gave Christian explorers the right to claim lands they "discovered" and lay claim to those lands for their Christian Monarchs. Any land that was not inhabited by Christians was available to be "discovered", claimed, and exploited. If the "pagan" inhabitants could be converted, they might be spared. If not, they could be enslaved or killed.
The Discovery Doctrine is a concept of public international law expounded by the United States Supreme Court in a series of decisions, initially in Johnson v. M'Intosh in 1823. The doctrine was Chief Justice John Marshall's explanation of the way in which colonial powers laid claim to newly discovered lands during the Age of Discovery. Under it, title to newly discovered lands lay with the government whose subjects discovered new territory. The doctrine has been primarily used to support decisions invalidating or ignoring aboriginal possession of land in favor of colonial or post-colonial governments.
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http://bullsburning.itgo.com/500Yrs.htm
Papal Bulls Burning!
FIVE HUNDRED YEARS OF INJUSTICE: The Legacy of Fifteenth Century Religious Prejudice (1992)
By Steve Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape Legal Scholar)
When Christopher Columbus first set foot on the white sands of Guanahani island, he performed a ceremony to "take possession" of the land for the king and queen of Spain, acting under the inter- national laws of Western Christendom. Although the story of Columbus' "discovery" has taken on mythological proprtions in most of the Western world, few people are aware that his act of "possession" was based on a religious doctrine now known as the Doctrine of Discovery.
Even fewer people realize that today—five centuries later--the United States government stil uses this archaic Judeo-Discovery. Even fewer people realize that today--five centuries later—the United States government stil uses this archaic Judeo- Christian doctrine to deny the rights of Native American Indians.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_the_Age_of_Discovery
The Catholic Church during the Age of Discovery inaugurated a major effort to spread Christianity in the New World and to convert the Native Americans and other indigenous people. The missionary effort was a major part of, and a partial justification for the colonial efforts of European powers such as Spain, France and Portugal.
Christian Missions to the indigenous peoples ran hand-in-hand with the colonial efforts of Catholic nations. In the Americas and other colonies in Asia and Africa, most missions were run by religious orders such as the Augustinians, Franciscans, Jesuits and Dominicans.
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http://www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/indig-romanus-pontifex.html
The Bull Romanus Pontifex (Nicholas V), January 8, 1455.
Background
The kingdoms of Portugal and Castile had been jockeying for position and possession of colonial territories along the African coast for more than a century prior to Columbus' "discovery" of lands in the western seas. On the theory that the Pope was an arbitrator between nations, each kingdom had sought and obtained Papal bulls at various times to bolster its claims, on the grounds that its activities served to spread Christianity.
The bull Romanus Pontifex is an important example of the Papacy's claim to spiritual lordship of the whole world and of its role in regulating relations among Christian princes and between Christians and "unbelievers" ("heathens" and "infidels").
This bull became the basis for Portugal's later claim to lands in the "new world," a claim which was countered by Castile and the bull Inter caetera in 1493.
An English translation of Romanus Pontifex is reproduced below, as published in European Treaties bearing on the History of the United States and its Dependencies to 1648, Frances Gardiner Davenport, editor, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1917, Washington, D.C., at pp. 20-26. The original text in Latin is in the same volume, at pp.13-20.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jaulin#The_concept_of_ethnocide
Robert Jaulin (1928, Le Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes - 1996, Grosrouvre) was a French ethnologist. After several journeys to Chad, between 1954 and 1959, among the Sara people, he published in 1967 La Mort Sara (The Sara Death) in which he exposed the various initiation rites through which he had passed himself, and closely analyzed Sara geomancy. In La Paix blanche (The White peace, 1970), he redefined the notion of ethnocide in relation to the extermination by the Western world of the Bari culture, located between Venezuela and Colombia. If a genocide designs the physical extermination of a people, an ethnocide refers to the extermination of a culture.
The concept of ethnocide
Robert Jaulin redefined the concept of ethnocide in 1970 with his ground-breaking La paix blanche : introduction à l’ethnocide ("White Peace: Introduction to Ethnocide"). This capital work, which remains to be translated into English, gives a detailed account of the ethnocide-in-motion suffered by the Bari, an Indian people living on the border between Venezuela and Colombia, in the second half of the sixties, as witnessed by Robert Jaulin himself.
Whether conflicting or collaborating among themselves, multiple vectors of ethnocide in place (the Catholic Church and other Christian confessions, the Venezuelan and the Colombian armies, the American oil company Colpet, and all the “little colonists” as Jaulin calls them) converged to the relentless disavowal and destruction of Bari’s culture and society.
In Jaulin’s understanding of the notion, it is not the means but the ends that define ethnocide. Accordingly, the ethnocide would be the systematic destruction of the thought and the way of life of people different from those who carry out this enterprise of destruction.
Whereas the genocide assassinates the people in their body, the ethnocide kills them in their spirit.
Collective and arbitrary murder, systematic abduction of children to raise them away from their parent’s culture, active and degrading religious propaganda, forced work, expulsion from the homeland or compulsory abandonment of cultural habits and social structure, all these practices, described by Robert Jaulin, have in common a deep despise for the other man and woman as representatives of a different cultural world.
Along with a detailed description and analysis of Bari’s case, La paix blanche is also a broad reflection on Western civilization’s tendency to disacknowledge, lower and destroy other cultural worlds as it comes in touch with them, while extending its own domain, bringing the focus of the discussion back from the frontiers of Western civilization to its core and its history.
As he takes his inquiry back in time, Jaulin shows that the way the West relates to other civilizations is a continuation of the way it has always related to its own inner cultural diversity, from the monotheistic exclusion of the representatives of different and differing cultural spaces (the “other” gods, divinities, entities, etc.) to its reinstatement under the successive garments of Reason, Revolution, Progress or Science.
A long reflection on the dynamics that led to worldwide ethnocide, its different “masks”, its history and, according to him, one of its earliest manifestations, monotheism, led Robert Jaulin to a complete reappraisal of the phenomenal and conceptual fields polarized by the notion of ethnocide.
This reassessment took its final shape in the 1995’s work, L’univers des totalitarismes : Essai d’ethnologie du “non-être” (in free translation: "The Universe of Totalitarianisms: An Ethnological Essay on “Non-Being”").
In this book, the notion of “totalitarianism” (which should not be mistaken for Hannah Arendt’s concept of totalitarianism) depicts the underlying dynamics of which ethnocide becomes a manifestation among others.
Robert Jaulin defines totalitarianism as an abstract scheme or machine of non-relation to cultural otherness characterized by the expansion of "oneself " ("soi") through an election/exclusion logic. The totalitarian machine operates by splitting the universe into its own “agents” on the one side, and its “objects” on the other, whether they be individuals, families, groups, societies or whole civilizations. It proceeds by depriving the later of their quality of cultural subjects through the erosion and finally the suppression of their space of tradition and cultural invention, which mediates their relation with themselves, i.e. their reflexivity.
With the mutilation of their “field of cultural potentialities”, as Jaulin calls it, the totalitarian dynamics transforms its “objects” into new “agents” of expansion, reduced to a mock self-relation defined by the horizon of a potential election. However, to become actual this election needs to articulate with a pole of exclusion; thus the need of a new expansion of this universe of non-relation, the universe of totalitarianisms, by definition an endlessly expanding universe whose theoretical limits paradoxically coincide with its own self-destruction.
The election/exclusion logics works by means of pairs of contradictory and, therefore, mutually exclusive terms. Their content may be as varied as the different semantic domains invested by the totalitarian machine: chosen/doomed, religion/magic, truth/falseness, literate/illiterate, savage/civilized, subject/object, intellectual/manual, proletarians/capitalists, science/illusion, subjectivity/objectivity, etc.
In all these contradictory pairs, one of the poles “means” to occupy the whole field; but at the same time, its own meaning and “existence” depends on the virtually excluded pole.
According to Robert Jaulin, the asymmetrical relation portrayed by these pairs is but the starting point of totalitarian movement, its static and temporary position. Its dynamics derives from the “wished for” or prospective inversion of the relation between its two poles. This may happen through the totalitarian pair defining the pre-existing situation, the design of a new one or, more often, through recovery and adaptation of old formulas.
The recovery of the Marxist proletarian/capitalistic contradictory pair or the even older monotheistic chosen/doomed couple by many Independence or Prophetic Movements in the former European colonies as a means of inverting the pre-existing totalitarian field is an instance of the shifts through which the “totalitarian trajectory” reinvents itself. This example also shows the place of ethnocide within the overall totalitarian dynamics as the dialectical alternate to totalitarian inversion.
Such an inexorable and elementary logic, with its ability to migrate to, pervade and finally destroy ever-differing cultural and social worlds, accounts for the endlessly restarted trajectory of totalitarianism’s two-pole field through time and space.
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http://jesusneverexisted.com/1000years.htm
(Jesus Never Existed by Kenneth Humphreys)
 1000 Years of Carnage & Barbarity in the name of Christ
“Popes maimed & were maimed, killed & were killed... Without question, these pontiffs constitute the most despicable body of leaders, clerical or lay, in history. They were, frankly, barbarians. Ancient Rome had nothing to rival them in rottenness.”   – Peter de Rosa (Vicars of Christ, p48)
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http://jesusneverexisted.com/darkness.html
The criminal history of the Christian Church
A 4th century power struggle that played out across the Mediterranean world brought a minor sect of religious extremists to centre stage. Finding themselves on the winning side in a civil war and rewarded by cosseting within imperial residences, bishops of the Christian Church were able to impose their faith upon a demoralised population using all the sanctions of the State. And as the empire fragmented and fell, ambitious clerics of Christ disseminated a cancer of superstition, fear and brutality far beyond the old imperial frontiers.
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How many people have died in the name of Christ, Christianity and Catholicism?

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Media’s dhande-wale and dhande-walian

Here is what Tehelka's Shoma Chaudhury actually meant by "internal matter" as regards the sexual assault complaint against Tarun Tejpal.

Being a "media" is not just a notional commonality between those who procure sexual services for their customers and those who bring "news" to the public.

Pimping of various kinds comes naturally to India's mass "media" worthies - i.e. billionaire owners and their highly paid agents who describe themselves by such important-sounding appellations as "editor", "managing editor", "executive editor", etc. 

Pimps are often the consumers of the kind of services they provide their customers. 

Shoma Chaudhary --- Tehelka's "managing editor" who has just shown to the world her "managing" skills by "managing" for 10 days to remain unaware of the complaint of sexual assault made by an intern against owner-cum-"editor" Tarun Tejpal while each member of the staff (and very likely several persons outside the organization) knew about it --- told Headlines Today on Friday that there was no dearth of cases of sexual offences being committed in "media" organizations like hers.

"Such things have been happening in other media organizations even as we speak... I know it because colleagues keep calling (to inform me of such cases)."

Really? So why hasn't Tehelka been reporting all those cases of sexual offences within "media" organizations?

That question should immediately sound to us as naive -- as naive as wondering why Tehelka failed to put Vishakha Judgement guidelines in place.

Shoma Chaudhary has, obviously, a special instinct for the "ecosystem", which is not something to take issue with and report on, but something to adapt to. She wouldn't have survived long in the "media", let alone become a "managing editor", without such a special instinct.

Besides, Tehelka has been too busy ensnaring the BJP to have time to turn its gaze inwards. Who can forget 'Operation West End', the 2001 sting that marred the NDA government and that Tarun Tejpal described as revealing the "food chain" in granting of defence contracts. (Has that "food chain" disappeared since NDA bowed out in 2004? Another naive question.)

Here is an excerpt from Tehelka website, laying out the "fact-sheet" of 'Operation West End' and its aftermath.

"Finally, in another desperate attempt to discredit Tehelka and its investigation, in August 2001, some of the Tehelka transcripts that had been submitted to the Army Court of Inquiry and the Venkataswami Commission were leaked to the press. These transcripts related to army officers sexually compromising themselves with female companions provided by Tehelka journalists posing as arms dealers.
In terms of corruption, this is on par with the serious charges of bribery and misuse of power. By indulging in sexual encounters with female companions arranged by people they believed were arms dealers - that too in exchange for official favours from them - these army officers had severely compromised their official positions. Holding high designations in sensitive fields like ordnance and procurement, they had shown themselves not only to be of low moral standing, but had made themselves vulnerable to blackmail. Thereby potentially compromising national security."

http://archive.tehelka.com/channels/Investigation/Docket/How_has_the_political_establishment_reacted.htm

As I said, pimping comes naturally to the "media" worthies and Shoma Chaudhury has always had her special instinct about her.

Here is what Tarun Tejpal reportedly said in 2011 at 'Think' (the event whose latest edition provided the backdrop to the alleged incident of sexual assault involving him and the intern).

“Now you are in Goa, drink as much as you want… eat and sleep well with anyone you think of, but get ready to arrive early because we have a packed house.”

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/202792/controversy-clouds-tehelka-thinkfest.html

Media pimps inhabit an elite and 'incestuous' world -- (no sexual pun intended even though, given Shoma Chaudhuray's revelation, nothing can be ruled out) -- consisting of a few "prestigious" companies where they condition each other in pimping and promote each other on mutually beneficial basis.

Tarun Tejpal, for example, worked with India Today and Outlook before starting Tehelka in the year 2000, according to Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarun_Tejpal

Shoma Chaudhary too worked, unsurprisingly, with India Today and Outlook before joining Tehelka.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoma_Chaudhury

Most of these "prestigious" companies run their "most powerful" rankings which sometimes feature their own kind.
Tejpal, for example, was named in 2001 by Business Week (a foreign publication) "as amongst the 50 leaders at the forefront of change in Asia", according to the Wikipedia.

"Later in 2009, the (same) magazine named him amongst, 'India's 50 Most Powerful People 2009'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarun_Tejpal

Bear in mind that "pimping" by the "media" covers the widest sense of the term, subsuming, of course, the narrow, literal sense.

Take Shekhar Gupta, the part-owner and "editor" of The India Express (who, by the way, had also worked with India Today and currently appears regularly on NDTV as does Shoma Chaudhury).

The following is what Frontline -- which magazine, by the way, is published by an organization that belongs to the same elite and 'incestuous' world I am discussing here, despite its pretensions -- wrote, some time ago, about Shekhar Gupta-run Indian Express.

"The chief sponsor of the Indian Express group's 2011 Ramnath Goenka Awards for excellence in journalism, including ethics in journalism, was the Jaypee Group.
This group of companies has major interests in building dams, both for the Narmada river and in the northeastern region.
“Coincidentally”, a few months earlier Indian Express had mounted major campaigns against anti-dam campaigners in both places, particularly in the northeastern region, and in favour of large hydro projects in the region (which were also to be contracted to the Jaypee Group).
Another sponsor of this event was the seed company Mahyco Monsanto, which produces genetically modified (GM) seeds. Once again, it emerges that Indian Express produced a number of articles and reports in favour of GM crops before that."

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/thscrip/print.pl?file=20120615291104900.htm&date=fl2911/&prd=fline&

Remember Radia Tapes and NDTV's Barkha Dutt's, "What should I tell them? Tell me what should I tell them?"
("Theek hai, not a problem. That’s not a problem, I’ll talk to Azad -- I’ll talk to Azad right after I get out of RCR [Race Course Road, the PM's residence]).

http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/tell-me-what-should-i-tell-them

Sincere pimping is invariably rewarded.

Why, for instance, should Prannoy Roy's and Barkha Dutt's NDTV ever get into trouble, even if the company is involved in malpractices to raise funds, as The Sunday Guardian reported some time ago?

http://archive.is/8a2Sq

(The article has since disappeared from The Sunday Guardian website. Muscle flexing? Quite possible. Media pimps can be pretty ruthless - even in 'fixing' the most powerless, as the report on the following link shows.)

http://www.sunday-guardian.com/news/student-in-trouble-after-opposing-barkha

Here is some more on NDTV's deeds on Wikipedia, which I'd never imagine as anything other than a few scraps that made it to the public domain.

"Allegation of corruption and criminal conspiracy"
(On 20 January 1998 Central Bureau of Investigation filed cases against New Delhi Television (NDTV) managing director Prannoy Roy...)

"Commonwealth Games Contract"
(CAG alleged that while awarding contracts worth Rs 37.8 million for production & broadcasting of commercials for promoting CWG-2010 to NDTV & CNN-IBN...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NDTV

Now we know what Shoma Chaudhury meant by the phrase "internal matter" -- as she did in her preliminary comment on the sexual assault case; don't we?

Crime? IPC? Sections 376 and 354?

You got to be joking!!! That's for ordinary, Hindi-speaking riff-raff!

This guy is an owner-cum-"editor" and speaks English!

Now, if your son or daughter plans to become a journalist, tell them what matters most is getting your 'instinct' right, just like Shoma Chaudhury's.

Let them learn from media's dhande-wale and dhande-walian -- and they'll scale the heights of pimping.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Eminent scholars or charlatans?

Sciolism and charlatanry is now celebrated as scholarly ‘eminence’ among ‘activists’ against ‘communalism’.
 
Asghar Ali Engineer, who died recently, is associated in my mind with Ram Puniyani.

This mental association started in July 2011 when I happened to browse through (and quite struck by) Puniyani's review of Engineer's book, 'The Prophet of Non-Violence', published in Tehelka.

http://archive.tehelka.com/story_main50.asp?filename=Ws050711Fresh.asp

Read the review -- headlined, 'Fresh take on Islam: Go by the Quran, not by the Maulanas' -- to get an idea of Puniyani's 'scholarship'.

I had never heard of Puniyani before I came across his piece in Tehelka, which described him as “a former professor at IIT Mumbai” and gave his email address.

Nor had I been familiar with Engineer, though I might have heard his name.

I have since done some reading about both these men, which revealed their association with each other. 

Until his death Engineer had been the “head of the 'Center for Study of Society and Secularism' in Mumbai, where he closely worked with scholar and scientist Professor Dr Ram Puniyani”, says Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asghar_Ali_Engineer

The Center's website lists Engineer as chairman and Puniyani as a member of both the general body and the executive council.

http://www.csss-isla.com/governingbody.htm

The length and closeness of Engineer-Puniyani association is borne out by quite a few references on the Web, such as the following which mentions the two men as speakers at a convention hosted by "All India Secular Forum".

http://kafila.org/2013/05/23/goodbye-asgharsaab-remembering-asghar-ali-engineer/

This association, read with Puniyani's review of Engineer's book, provides not only an insight into the quality of 'scholarship' of the "former professor at IIT Mumbai", but also that of Engineer, variously described as 'Islamic scholar', self-declared 'believer', 'rationalist', 'reformer', 'champion of democracy in Islam', opposer of communalism', 'champion of secularism, etc.

One should also read some of Puniyani's other writings on the link below to assess the depth of his knowledge and intellect.

(One of his more recent pieces is titled, ‘Ignore Those Who Love to Hate: Hate Speech and Communal Politics’, and can be read on http://www.pluralindia.com/issues-in-secular-politics.php?id=406 )

Take a look at some of Engineer's writings, including the one titled, 'What I Believe', at the following link.

http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~rtavakol/engineer/11.htm

Also read the interview with Engineer whose link is pasted below to have a better idea as to how this 'believer', 'rationalist' 'secularist', 'scholar', 'reformer' (all rolled into one) deals with the issue of succession to Muhammad (which translates into 'Caliphate' or the Islamic state) and, at the same time, exhorts "separation of state and religion".

http://collateraldamagemagazine.com/2012/05/01/interview-with-asghar-ali-engineer-contention-over-the-quran-islam-and-the-partition-of-india-abuse-of-islam-islam-and-emancipation/

("Religion should never be used for political purposes. State and religion should always remain separate.")

I sent an e-mail -- dated 6 July 2011 -- to Puniyani after reading his review in Tehelka of Engineer's book, 'The Prophet of Non-Violence', and got a reply from him.

The full correspondence with Puniyani is pasted at the bottom of this post.

It left me in no doubt about Puniyani. To me this correspondence -- as also the Engineer-Puniyani association and the larger "anti-communal" activist network -- goes some distance in explaining why some people call such activists a gang of fraudsters and charlatans.

I may have more to say on Engineer in the coming days, but, from what I've read of his articles so far, he appears to me to be more hypocritically contradictory and silly in his dealing with Islam, "communalism" and "secularism" than any other 'eminent Islamic scholar' that I know of. 

The unread and uncritical attribution of ‘eminence’ to people like Puniyani and Engineer shows the bankruptcy of our intellectual culture at best and pure fraud at worst.

---------

Date: 6 July 2011

Subject: Your book review in Tehelka


Dear Prof. Ram Puniyani,

Here are a few thoughts on 'Fresh take on Islam: Go by the Quran, not by the Maulanas', your review of Mr. Asghar Ali Engineer's book, published in Tehelka.

1. Your advice, or echoing of Mr. Engineer's advice, fuels my curiosity.

(a) Could you kindly elaborate as to how does it help someone, Muslim or non-Muslim, to "go by the Quran, not by the Maulanas"? What are the problems -- individual, societal and inter-societal -- that "going by the Quran, not by the Maulanas" will solve and how?

(b) How will "going by the Quran, not by the Maulanas" help the Hindus living in Sindh, Muslims living in Waziristan, Coptic Christians living in Egypt, and Sikhs living in Afghanistan?

(c) How will "going by the Quran, not by the Maulanas" help the Muslim women in Uttar Pradesh, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan, and the rest of the Muslim world?

(d) If some or all of the human societies decide to take your advice, what exactly will they need to do in order to "go by the Quran, not by the Maulanas"? Could you kindly try to specify that in bullet points for ease of understanding?

(e) Since you'd like the people of the world to go by Quran in understanding Islam --- presumably Mr. Engineer's interpretation of Quran as well as such other interpretations that you believe represent 'the truth of the religion' --- and not Maulanas, would you recommend mass education of the world population in the 'right interpretation' of Quran?

(f) What according to you is the approximate proportion of the world Muslim population that already "goes by the Quran, not by the Maulanas"?

(g) You describe it as "a mammoth task" to ensure that "Islam is seen through the pages of the Quran and not through the propaganda against Islam, indulged in by vested interests all around." Would you propose that a multilateral agency like the United Nations or Organisation of Islamic Countries should undertake this "mammoth task"?

(h) How do you --- a very distinguished academic --- think this pedagogic challenge can be met? What according to you will be the scale of human and material resources needed to meet this "mammoth task"? Since you do not want the world to "go by the Maulanas," the educators undertaking this "mammoth task" will presumably not be called "Maulanas." What will they be called?

(i) Would you be willing perhaps to draft a preliminary proposal to be made to the UN or OIC?

(j) Your book review suggests that you are convinced that the 'right interpretation' of Quran exists. However, just to be on the safe side, could you kindly give me an idea of the degree of firmness of your belief in the existence of the 'right interpretation' of Quran? Do you believe 100 per cent or 99 per cent or 98 per cent that such an interpretation exists? Any other percentage? Kindly also cite reasons for the degree of firmness of your belief.

(k) What in your view is the mathematical probability that various Islamic denominations, schools and branches across the world will also agree with you that the 'right interpretation' of Quran exists (and it is not necessarily their own)? Are you aware of any discussion on this subject and a degree of convergence of views within the OIC or anywhere in the Muslim world?

(l) Do you think "going by the Quran, not by the Maulanas," will help to eliminate the schism between the Sunnis and the Shias? Will it also help bridge differences within Shias (Twelvers, Zaidis and Ismailis) and within Sunnis (Hanafis, Shafi'is, Malikis and Hanbalis)? Will it also help bring together various movements within the Hanafi school of law, such as Barelvi and Deobandi, as also such movements in other schools of Islamic law?

(m) Will "going by the Quran, not by the Maulanas" help abate violence between Sunnis and Shias in Pakistan?

(n) What in your view is the mathematical probability that Wahabi rulers of Saudi Arabia can be persuaded to go by the Quran (which presumably emphaises Muslim unity) and not by the Maulanas, so that they stop their policy of religious and economic discrimination against Shia minority?

(o) How will "going by the Quran, not by the Maulanas" help ex-communication of Ahmadiyas by other Muslims and violence perpetrated on the former by the latter?

(p) Do you think "going by the Quran and not by the Maulanas" will affect the status of the communities designated Dhimmi under Sharia in Muslims states?

(q) Since Mr. Engineer happens to be a Dawoodi Bohra Muslim, which is a sub-sect of Ismaili Shia Islam, do you foresee any probability that Muslims belonging to other sects and denominations may find it difficult to agree with his interpretation of Quran?

(r) Do you think all Dawoodi Bohra Muslims of India will agree with Mr. Engineer's interpretation of Quran as the right interpretation? Would you be willing perhaps --- to set the ball rolling --- to arrange a small opinion poll among Dawoodi Bohra Muslims in one or two localities of Mumbai?

(s) Supposing that some or all of about 1.5 billion Muslims of the world actually decide to "go by the Quran, not by the Maulanas", do you see any possibility that they may still not go --- as they actually do not --- by a single interpretation of Sunnah, Hadith, Fiqh and Sharia, which are the other texts central to Islam? What might you propose in such a situation, in addition to proposing the production of more 'right interpretations' of the aforementioned texts and more "mammoth tasks" to "ensure that Islam is not seen through the propaganda"?

(t) Given the indisputable fact that as a military general Prophet Muhammad participated in wars --- only 'just wars' you would probably say --- Sunnah and Hadith (both of which have to do with the conduct of the Prophet) make it incumbent upon Muslims to wage 'just wars' also in the present times. That takes us back to the issue of 'right interpretation' (as to whether a war is 'just' or 'unjust') of not just Quran but also Sunnah and Hadith. Don't you think "going by the Quran, not by the Maulanas" is hardly enough?

(u) How will "going by the Quran, not by the Maulanas" help resolve the differences between the Meccan and Medinan Surahs of Quran and the "doctrine of abrogation"? Who will resolve those differences, if Maulanas are to be kept at bay? Will Quran resolve them on its own?

(v) How many individuals do you know anywhere in the world who will be prepared to go purely by the supposedly 'right interpretation' of a religious text in their everyday lives and not the actual behaviour of the people around them? Would you do it yourself, for instance, if you were a member of minority community in a Muslim country and someone who actually believes that Muslim rulers and clergy continue to "misrepresent the Quran to suit their political and social interests"? Would you even do it as a member of the majority community in India?

(w) Would the Muslims of Gujarat who faced violence in 2002 make the effort to grasp and go by the 'right interpretation' of Vedas, Puranas, Geeta and Ramayana, or the actual behaviour of the people who perpetrated the violence?

(x) Since Prophet Muhammad was indisputably also a military general who was engaged in violent conflicts for many years, could you explain how is Mr. Engineer's description of him as 'The Prophet of Non-Violence' different in nature from the general description of Mahatma Gandhi as 'apostle of peace and non-violence'?

(y) How much of the violence (Muslim-Muslim and Muslim-Non-Muslim) in about 1400 years of Islamic history, whatever be its scale, from the time of Prophet Muhammad to modern times, would you attribute to the work of "propaganda" and "negative projection of Islam"? And how much of that violence would you attribute to the fact that Islam does allow taking up arms and waging war? 

(z) What makes you confident that Mr. Engineer's book "presents the truth of the religion as propagated by Prophet Mohammad"? Have you made the effort of reading the Quran in original or translation yourself? Have you read any other Islamic text?

How is your belief that Mr Engineer "presents the truth of religion" different from someone's belief in a Maulana's interpretation of Quran or Islam?

If your belief stems from your perception of the writer as "a multifaceted scholar-activist, (who) has been a major contributor to the enrichment of humane values," then what prevents others to also predicate their belief in an interpretation of Quran on how they perceive the personality and character of the interpreter?

In that case, how will everyone, or even a significant number of people, agree on a single interpretation of religion as the true interpretation? Don't you think that becomes an even more of a "mammoth task" because you'd like the "Maulanas" to be shunned?

Could you please suggest an objective way in which one can arrive at the "truth of the religion"?

2. Your description accompanying the review --- 'Ram Puniyani is a former professor at IIT Mumbai' --- seems slightly inadequate. Tehelka's editors should perhaps have added a line or two about your scholarship in Islam. For a person who writes with so great a confidence about Islam as you do, you must have read, and perhaps written, quite a few books on Islam.

3. Your book review has left me in no doubt that you are no ordinary intellectual. You are a profound intellectual as one would expect any IIT professor to be. Your review will be as useful -- if not more -- to the reading public across the world as the book you have reviewed.

Warm regards,
kapil
----------------------------------------------------


Date: 7 July 2011

Subject: Re: Your book review in Tehelka


Dear Kapil Bajaj

I think my review article is just focusing on a single point, that when so many versions of Islam are being presented to us, Asghar ALi Engineer's attempt to present the nature values of Islam as per Koran are apt.

So all other comments of your do not apply to this piece. As such I have written some essays on understanding of religion, Islam included, hope this may clarify my understanding a bit more to you. Also couple of my articles to show the difference between religion and politics in the name of religion are also being sent.

Files are attached.

Best wishes
ram puniyani
----------------------------


Date: 8 July 2011

Subject: Re: Your book review in Tehelka

Dear Prof. Ram Puniyani,

1. Your reply clarifies absolutely nothing.

2. I asked you a total of 45 questions, each of which arises quite naturally from the confident assertions you made and opinions you expressed in your review of Asghar Ali Engineer's book, The Prophet of Non-Violence. So, each of my 45 questions does apply to your piece completely.

You have not answered a single question I have raised.
Nor have you given me any idea of your scholarship on Islam.

3. Excuse me for my bluntness, but the "single point" ("When so many versions of Islam...") you cite in your reply is absurd. What makes you think that people presenting you with "so many versions of Islam" will claim for their own version any less adherence to Quran than Asghar Ali Engineer?

And what makes you confident in your own judgement that Engineer's "attempt" amounts to "presenting the nature (sic) values of Islam as per Koran"?
Using the word "attempt" is quite a breathtaking climbdown on your part, I notice.

Your original comments are: "Asghar Ali Engineer’s popular work, The Prophet of Non-Violence, comes as a breath of fresh air, presenting the truth of the religion as propagated by Prophet Mohammad in the war-torn tribal society of Saudi Arabia.

...Engineer does well to refer to the Quran as the base of his understanding and brilliantly yet simply explains the truth behind the misconceptions popularised by motivated critics".

Engineer's version must be the nth version in the history of Islam presenting (again in your words) "the nature values of Islam as per Koran."

It seems, unfortunately, that those other versions somehow escaped your scholarly attention.

That is why I had said in my earlier mail that you are no ordinary intellectual.

While an ordinary intellectual would most likely have wasted a lot of time reading up on Islam, you would use the same amount of time to produce a great many gems of as profound a scholarship as the review of Engineer's book.

I had also said in my earlier mail that your review will be as useful, if not more, to the reading public as the book you have reviewed.

(Tehelka must get a part of the credit for publishing such useful and scholarly articles.)

4. To put it in plainer English, your book review reveals a level of knowledge of Islam that's comparable to a toddler reciting, Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, before her parents and expecting to be kissed and hugged in admiration.

Reading the book review first and then the questions I have raised shows the puerility and absurdity of the assertions you have made in your article. (Such as discovering some kind of uniqueness in "going by the Quran" in educing the "true" values of Islam without realising that such 'uniqueness' is likely to be claimed by other expounders of Islam as well.)

Only a person who has never made the effort of doing even basic reading of Islam (which could not have been easier for anyone with access to the Internet) can write such stupid stuff.

Today, so much information on Islam is available on the Web that any interested person can acquire a basic understanding of the religion in a matter of days, if not hours, and then go on to hone their critical faculties as regards some of the prominent issues surrounding Islam and the Muslims.

I suggest you take at least a month's break from producing such gems of scholarship, a dime a dozen, to do some serious reading. India's secularism will hopefully survive the month-long hiatus in the flow of your creative juices.

5. You need not have taken the trouble of sending me three more of your gems. Having skimmed through some of your articles on pluralindia.com, I have got a pretty good idea of the quality of your scholarship.

Regards,
kapil
--------------------------------------


Sunday, June 2, 2013

FCRA and Christian thugs

Here is an insight into how Christian fraudsters have been leveraging foreign funds and their global network to undermine peace in India and elsewhere.


On April 30, 2013, the central government suspended the authorization that Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) had to access foreign funds under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.

INSAF has been described in an article published in The Washington Post as a “a network of 700 NGOs” that “campaign for indigenous peoples’ rights over their mineral-rich land and against nuclear energy, human rights violations and religious fundamentalism”.  

“Nearly 90 percent of the network’s funding comes from overseas,” says the article posted online (in two pages) on 19 May 2013.


Well known columnist Praful Bidwai describes INSAF as “a coalition of 700 organisations active in anti-communal mobilisations, anti-displacement struggles, and campaigns against destructive projects” and the government action as “the worst case of abuse” of the law by the state in suppressing dissent.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-181195-Choking-funds-to-suppress-dissent

(Note: The words 'communal' and 'communalism' have been used in this article in their Indian-English sense of 'religious' chauvinism or fanaticism.) 

“Jimmy C Dabhi of St. Xavier’s Non-Formal Education Society termed freezing of the INSAF accounts as state terrorism. He questioned nature of the foreign funds that are received by the government,” says an article published in the DNA

http://www.dnaindia.com/ahmedabad/1835931/report-ngos-oppose-freezing-of-insaf-accounts

As a background, The Washington Post article adds: “India has tightened the rules on NGOs over the past two years… About a dozen NGOs that the government said engaged in activities that harm the public interest have seen their permission to receive foreign donations revoked…".

While expressing concern over the repressive use of FCRA, an activist with whom I share an online forum commented: “At the same time. the FCRA official report confirmed a particular religious group get over 80% foreign donation for religious purpose, and mainly it has failed accountability mechanism and used for destroying India's secular character.”

That comment sounded plausible to me, even though I am not sure about the exact share of the foreign money that “a particular religious group” has been receiving.

I am certain, however, about the group my activist friend referred to.

It’s clear from FCRA annual report 2010-11 – http://mha.nic.in/fcra.htm – that this "particular religious group" is Christianity which, through its programmes like Lausanne Movement for World Evagelization and Joshua Project, has not only been "destroying India's secular character", but cultural and spiritual diversity of the entire planet, heightening tensions within societies and across borders and multiplying the possibilities of violent conflicts.



‘Compassion’ on the prowl
Take a look at the FCRA annual report 2010-11. The top funders and recipients include several Christian evangelizing organizations, even if one discounts the outfits that sub-serve the Christian agenda in less overt ways.

The top funder over the year 2010-11 was US-based Compassion International, which not only describes itself openly as a proselytizing agency, but also flaunts the results of its targeting – through its local church partners – of non-Christian children across the world for conversion to Christianity.


Even commercial businesses are ethically or legally barred from targeting children. For Christian thugs, however, no Constitutional provision, law or ethical norm would remain unbroken or unbent.

(That includes, by the way, the cover-up of sexual abuse of thousands of children across the world by members of Christian clergy in recent decades and continuing to this day.)

"In response to the Great Commission, Compassion International exists as an advocate for children, to release them from their spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults," says Compassion International in its mission statement. 

It adds that its program is "unapologetically Christian" and it "wants children to hear the gospel and be discipled in the ways of Christ" – "but neither they nor their families are under any compulsion to become Christians".


Elsewhere on its website, it claims its converted 1,46,455 children to Christianity in the 12-month period from Oct. 2010 to Sep. 2011.

“Our ministry gives every child in our program the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ.  Our church partners report that last year alone, 146,455 first-time child professions of faith were reported for the twelve month period of October 2010 – September 2011.”


This criminal outfit does not mention on its website – of course – how many children or their families that it “releases from spiritual and economic poverty” actually had made an appeal to it or send it an invitation to come and "liberate" them.

It doesn’t need to, of course, typifying as it does the “Christian compassion”. The hapless targets of “Christian compassion” have never had much choice.    

State and its mission
The top recipient organization in 2010-11 was World Vision of IndiaIt's parent is another US-based Christian missionary outfit that acts virtually as an arm of the US State Department, Iain Buchanan, the British-born Malaysian author of 'The Armies Of God: A Study In Militant Christianity', told DNA in March 2011.


"World Vision, the world’s largest Christian church mission agency, has traditionally been closely linked with successive American governments. The former US Ambassador for International Religious Freedoms, Dr. Robert Seiple, was World Vision chief for 11 years till 1998 when he was picked by former president, Bill Clinton, to head the office of International Religious Freedoms," says an article, ‘Preparing for the harvest’, published in 2004 in Tehelka.    

Adds the same article: "Its mission statement is self-explanatory: World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in working with the poor and oppressed, to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the Good News of the Kingdom of God."


Death and destruction 
The interesting thing about these dollar-operated Christians (like Robert Seiple, mentioned above) is that they have appointed themselves the defenders of "religious freedom" and “human rights”, even as they continue to destroy cultural freedom and diversity across the world through their evangelization projects.

Indian churches and their members – who have been openly collaborating with ethnocidal and criminal outfits like Compassion International and World Vision – don't seem to perceive any contradiction in Christian evangilizers, including "Reverends" in their priestly habits, running "religious freedom" and "human rights" establishments within and across borders.

Seiple has an added qualification in causing widespread death and destruction in Vietnam and Laos in the 1960s while he flew 300 combat missions as a member of the US Marine Corps, earning himself five Battle Stars and many other decorations.


World Vision, of which Seiple became president in 1987, had been thrown out of Vietnam in 1975 by the government for acting as the US strategic outpost in the hapless country, which bore the full brunt of American and Christian savagery during the long war (1955-75). 

Read about the regime of Ngo Dinh Diem, the Roman Catholic president of South Vietnam, to get a sense of how America and its Christian outfits like World Vision supported an ethnocidal assault on Buddhists and caused widespread communal mayhem.




As president of World Vision, Seiple, in a monumental irony, managed to take this criminal organization back into Vietnam in 1988.


Seiple and his son Chris, who’s is the president of Institute for Global Engagement (another “faith-based” outfit that Seiple Sr. founded), have lately been promoting “religious freedom” in Vietnam and Laos, the countries that Americans devastated mercilessly during the war. Their “religious freedom” means, of course, “the freedom for the Christian missionaries to evangelize and destroy local cultures”.


Don’t be surprised if a hypocrite and a killer like Seiple ends up being venerated like a ‘saint’ – given the typically Christian culture that canonizes a hate-filled proselytizer like Francis Xavier who had called for Inquisition to be installed in Goa, which, over 252 years of its operation, terrorized the non-Christians and ‘heretic’ Christians with violence and coercion.

Christians are the police, prosecutors, jury and judge, all rolled into one, in this farce that’s being enacted on the world-wide stage.

The Christian ‘principles’ 
What moral right do Indian Christians – openly collaborating as they have been with ethnocidal savages running outfits like World Vision and Compassion International – have to decide what is “communal” and what is not?

If India were to go strictly by the ‘principles’ propounded by the evangelizing Christians, someone like Praveen Togadia would be the most appropriate choice for running India's own public office for defending "religious freedom" and “secularism”.

What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

What moral principle would Indian Christians invoke to avoid having to support such an appointment?

Right to destroy rights
The US has been using its International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 as a bludgeon with which to threaten or beat anyone attempting to resist evangelization and proselytization.     

The so called 'human rights' movement has long been a tool in the hands of evangelizers and colonizers from the Christendom to demonize and destroy the indigenous cultures and foist Christian dogma upon the people thus robbed of their heritage, as Prof. Mukau W. Mutua, the Kenyan-born professor at University at Buffalo Law School in the US, explains in his book, 'Human Rights: A Political and Cultural Critique'.

"I argue that imperial religions have necessarily violated the individual conscience and the communal expressions of Africans and their communities by subverting African religions. In so doing, they have robbed Africans of essential elements of their humanity...

Since the right to religious freedom includes the right to be left alone  to choose freely whether to believe and what to believe in  the rights regime by requiring that African religions compete in the marketplace of ideas incorrectly assumes a level playing field. 

The rights corpus not only forcibly imposes on African religions the obligation to compete  a task for which as non-proselytizing, noncompetitive creeds they are not historically fashioned  but also protects evangelizing religions in their march toward universalization. 

In the context of religious freedom, the privileging by the rights regime of the competition of ideas over the right against cultural invasion, in a skewed contest, amounts to condoning the dismantling of African religions."

I also argue that the playing field, the one crucial and necessary ingredient in a fair fight, is heavily weighted against Africans. Messianic religions have been forcibly imposed or their introduction was accomplished as part of the cultural package borne by colonialism.

Missionaries did not simply offer Jesus Christ as the savior of benighted souls, his salvation was frequently a precondition for services in education and health, which were quite often the exclusive domain of the Church and the colonial state.
(Chapter 4: ‘Human Rights, Religion and Proselytism’; sub-heading: ‘The problem of religious rights’)

In the same chapter, under the sub-heading, ‘Demonizing the “other”’, Mutua says the following.

“The two most geographically diverse religions – Christianity and Islam – are also the most imperial: they are proselytizing and universalist in their attempts to convert into their faith the entire human race.... Central to them is the belief in the racial superiority of the proselytizers; the "other" is quite often depicted as inferior.”


‘Real truth’ of real thugs
The following are some excerpts from a "prayer guide" on "Hindus" – available on the website of International Mission Board (IMB) which is one of the numerous organizations engaged in "fulfilling the Great Commission" or world evangelization. 

These excerpts bear out Christian fraudsters’ demonization of the cultural and spiritual traditions of what they describe as the "Hindus" – by which they award to themselves the ‘moral licence’ to preach the "real Truth", by hook or by crook, to the "lost peoples".

"Jesus, Light of the World, your desire is that Hindus recognize Your light as the true light. Open their spiritual eyes to see the darkness in which they walk, the darkness of their sin...

Give them the wisdom and courage to reject all the false gods and idols of their religious heritage, and to embrace only you... Free Hindus from the confusing and mistaken belief in the cycle of reincarnation...

God, how your heart must grieve to see Hindus performing meaningless rituals and bowing before man-made idols in their temples and homes. Show them the truth, God, show them your power."


In another “prayer guide,” these Christian criminals openly inveigh and plot against the Jain culture.

"Awesome God, you created the heavens and the earth, and everything in them. Yet, Jains do not believe in a creator God, nor in heavenly beings that would have anything to do with earthly beings. Plant in their hearts and minds a seed of doubt about these views...

We pray that Jains will question their own views on creation, resulting in an openness to the Gospel...

Holy Lord, we pray that when Jains compare the truth as they understand it with the truth of your Holy Word that their eyes and minds will be open to perceive the real Truth. Show them that they will only find the right faith, the right knowledge, and the right conduct as they enter a relationship with Jesus Christ...

We pray that as others come to faith in Christ they will receive encouragement and training in how to reach their families, friends, and other Jains."


Demonizing every ‘other’
There are similar “prayer guides” on Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims and other non-Christian peoples that are similarly offensive and reveal the darkness and the evilness of the minds of these Christian criminals.

I do not know of any Indian Christian, including the activist types who bristle with rage at the "communalism" of Sangh Parivar, going public with their condemnation and repudiation of such open and vicious attack on the cultural and spiritual traditions of the non-Christian in the name of “religious freedom”.

Returning the compliment
I don't think that the world would be a particularly peaceful place if the peoples profiled and targeted by the Christian proselytizers decide to ‘return the compliment’ by attempting similar ethnographic profiling and sophisticated targeting of Christians across the planet.

Nor do I think that the societies within nation states would be unjustified in the least if the majority public opinion in those societies were to shift in favour of making legal and constitutional provisions to protect themselves from this savage attack on their cultural diversity and societal peace.

What if the majority public opinion in India were to shift, over the next couple of years, in favour of enacting such legal and constitutional provisions? 

Do unto others as you won’t have them do unto u
What if a considerable section of what Christian gangsters describe as "Hindus" get together to devise a vigorously counteracting response to the Joshua Project – by profiling the entire Christian population of India and resolving to "convert" them to what these thugs term "Hinduism"?

For Indian Christians, who have been openly involved in the criminal activities of profiling and targeting non-Christian Indians, anything even remotely suggestive of tracking of their own kind is branded "persecution", as reports from Madhya Pradesh showed in April 2011.




Carrying out the ethnic profiling of billions of Indians and other peoples across the world, over many years, and targeting them with Christian propaganda in every walk of life is perfectly legal and moral because it’s Christians’ “human right” to “fulfill the Great Commission”.

It doesn't even receive a passing mention by India’s mainstream media organizations, entrenched as they are in their monumental hypocrisy and prejudice and in living up to Herman & Chomsky’s Propaganda Model.

Of course, what Christians suspect to be the tracking of their own kind by a government agency cannot be anything but a “sinister agenda” for "persecution", deserving days of mainstream media coverage and demands for a “central investigation”.

Christian hypocrisy and criminality know no bounds!

Homegrown subverters
Despite the global nature of the evangelization project and vast amounts of foreign money involved, it would be a grave mistake – or pure propaganda – to suggest, as some people do, that Christian assault on India's cultural-spiritual diversity and peace is directed from abroad and is carried out only by some rabidly evangelical denominations.

All evidence suggests that Indian Christians are active participants, and often thought leaders, in evangelization projects being implemented not just in India, but elsewhere in the world. The vast majority of missionaries in India are Indians and the denominational factor has little relevance.

The following is a link to an article, ‘Clash in worldview and the people of South Asia’, by Luis Bush, the American mission strategist who was the first to call for targeting of over two billion “unreached peoples” inhabiting the “10/40 Window” (i.e. between the 10th and 40th latitudes of the earth), including India.

In this article, Bush acknowledges the key role Dr. Raju Abraham, an Indian medical doctor, played in identifying and targeting a “people group” as defined by the Anthropological Survey of India (ASI) for “church planting movement”.


Raju Abraham, who is based at Kachhwa in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh, also served as the coordinator of the “Unreached Peoples Track” of the “AD2000 Movement for South Asia”.

The following is what he told the third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization at Cape Town in 2010.

“I am the director of Kachhwa Transformational Ministries (KTM), an effort that involves medical services, holistic ministry, education, microfinance, church planting and leadership development among the poor in North India.
The hospital (Kachhwa Christian Hospital) also serves as a ministry hub for training church planters, who have seen over 1000 house churches planted in the last five years with an estimated 20,000 plus professing faith in Christ.”


The myth of ‘liberal Christian’
That Indian Christians, including the activists, academics and other intellectuals, have either been actively complicit in the cultural assault or passively sympathizing is borne out by their complete silence.

Even those who would probably view this assault with disfavour seem to have reconciled themselves to a state of sufferance – quietly witnessing the tamasha

Another common myth is that it’s the “Religious Right” of the US that is solely responsible for world-wide Christian assault on cultures. The truth is that fires of world evangelization have been kept burning as much by the liberal Christians in the US, India and elsewhere as by the fundamentalists.

On May 22, 2013, Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church – the biggest Christian denomination in the world as well as in India – made the following call to evangelize to his flock, as reported and broadcast by YouTube

"The fire of Pentecost will always produce new missionary energy, new courage to evangelize" the Pontiff explained, urging everyone not to be afraid to surrender to the Spirit, who enables us to "bear witness to our faith," and illuminates "the heart of those we meet." Pope Francis said that on this journey, a Church that evangelizes "must always start with prayer, by asking for the fire of the Holy...


When it comes to unleashing the Christian army in advancing their foreign policy objectives, American liberals are not far behind the conservatives. The “faith-based” approach is a bi-partisan, institutionalized tool of the US foreign policy.

Read on the link below how Hillary Clinton (whose husband had unleashed Robert Seiple on to the world in 1998) pursued “greater religious engagement” during her tenure as US Secretary of State in the Obama aministration.


‘Persecuted’ everywhere
While waging an ethnocidal war against the non-Christian peoples of the whole world and undermining communal harmony, Christian thugs have declared Christianity to be “the most persecuted religion in the world”.

Open Doors, a Christian propaganda organization, publishes a report every year to announce the exact number of innocent Christians that the guilty, sinful world has been “persecuting”. Almost every country of the world is implicated in committing atrocities against "about 100 million Christians” that it deems “persecuted”.

(Christianity) faces restrictions and hostility in 111 countries around the world…,” another Pew report said.” (Without Pew wondering why, of course).

“In recent years, we’ve been hearing that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world – that sounds right to us,” said Open Doors France director Michel Varton…

“Leaders of various denominations – including Pope Benedict, whose Roman Catholic followers account for more than half of all Christians – increasingly make this accusation.”

"Christians risk further persecution and oppression in the future due to the rising number of converts and their boldness in sharing their faith," the Open Doors said.


Dollars, computers and drones
Christian missions annually receive 17 billion dollars (Rs 79,900 crore) – which is just 5.5 per cent of about 309 billion dollars (Rs 14,52,723 crore) that all Christian causes receive in a year, according to US Center for World Mission. (This data could be rather stale.)


“Since the mid-1960s, the evangelical movement has systematically computerised its entire global operation, creating huge databases of information on its non-Christian enemies, centralising administration, and linking some 500 million ‘Christian computers’ worldwide for the purposes of fighting ‘spiritual warfare’ against non-believers in strategic places,” says Iain Buchanan in his interview with DNA.
“And ‘spiritual warfare’, for the evangelical Christian movement, is not just a matter of prayers and metaphor: it is also, very decisively, a matter of ‘virtuous’ troops, tanks, and drones.”
The Nazi model
One of the activists "bristling" at the restrictions placed on foreign funding of NGOs, as quoted in The Washington Post article, is Wilfred D'costa of INSAF.

Apart from development issues, D’costa also fights "cummunalism" and has been a veteran of the activism around the Gujarat riots of 2002. He uses pretty strong language when it comes to condemning "Hindu fundamentalist organizations". 

In a book on micro-credit that they wrote jointly, Sheila McLeod and Mary Ilen quote D'costa as saying that "the BJP government in Gujarat drew its support from several Hindu fundamentalist organizations inspired by the Nazi model".

“Their goal, he said, “is to obliterate the Muslims.”


It didn't occur to D'costa, of course, that the only people who have shown themselves to be inspired by the Nazi model, not only in their goal "to obliterate the Muslims", but also projects made concrete by provision of vast financial resources, are Christian evangelical fraudsters embedded with American military forces.

While American troops have been ravaging lands where Muslims live in their never-ending war on terror, Christian evangelicals have been infiltrating the same countries to carry out their proselytizing agenda. 

Time magazine article, 'Missionaries under Cover', published in June 2003, quotes Luis Bush, the American mission strategist of “10/40 Window” fame, as planning to “penetrate” the heart of Islam “with the liberating truth of the gospel”.

This immense global slice, he explained, was disproportionately poor; the majority of its inhabitants "enslaved" by Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism and, ultimately, by Satan. In a later paper, Bush urged Christians, "Put on the full armor of God and fight with the weapons of spiritual warfare." Of Islam specifically, he wrote, "From its center in the 10/40 Window, Islam is reaching out energetically to all parts of the globe; in a similar strategy, we must penetrate [its] heart with the liberating truth of the gospel." 

The article also gives an insight into the cunning stratagems and illegalities that have been employed in this "spiritual warfare" against the Muslims.  

After the Muslim countries gradually eliminated the "religious worker" visas, the Christian fraudsters took to "tent-making, after the Apostle Paul, who supported himself at that trade while spreading word of the risen Christ through the Mediterranean". 

"Like Paul, the new missionaries did not hang up an evangelist's shingle. They took day jobs  often in aid and development or other areas in which the host country lacked expertise  and preached unofficially. The possibilities are endless  evangelical websites feature references to mechanical engineering in "a large Arab city," computer sales in "an Islamic country" and business teaching in Kyrgyzstan  and missionary-recruitment seminars can sound like job bazaars. At a small Tennessee Bible church, a mission facilitator assured his listeners that "if you're a native speaker and can fog up a mirror, you can teach" English abroad."


In explicating the “10/40 Window”, Luis Bush quotes his fellow American evangelist, George Otis, Jr., as declaiming that: “Two powerful demonic forces, with great biblical significance, stand at the epicenter of the unreached world – the prince of Persia (Iran) and the spirit of Babylon (Iraq) – and both much be penetrated with the gospel before the Great Commission can be completed. Otis observes that this will occur in the region of the Garden of Eden, where the command to ‘subdue the earth’ was originally given”.


Read more about the communal mayhem and violence that Christian groups have been spreading in Muslim-majority Kashmir on the following links.



Hypocrisy and fraud 
Wilfred D'costa’s apparent hypocrisy is in keeping with the general hypocrisy and fraudulence that characterizes most of India’s educated class as regards 'communalism'.

This general hypocrisy manifests itself in pretending that “communalism” only attaches itself to what mainstream discourse in India increasingly and unabashedly term “Hindu” and “Hindutva”.

In only some rare moments does the application of words like ‘communal’ and ‘communalism’ extend beyond ‘Hindu’ to other communities – almost never to ‘Christian’ thugs, however.

The overall effect of this hypocrisy and fraud has been to camouflage the Christian assault on India and non-Christian peoples of the world – a ‘communalism’ whose evilness and order of magnitude is beyond anything that any non-Christian community has attempted in modern times.

Just deserts?
What – to go back to the hypothesis suggested above – if educated and prosperous sections of the "Hindus" across India decide to give evangelizing Christians a heavy dose of their own medicine by drawing up their own "Great Commission" to convert every Christian on this land to "Hinduism"?

Would Indian and foreign evangelizers and their supporters and sympathizers take responsibility for such a swing in public opinion and actions flowing from it? 

Or will they continue to rely on the global mass media resources – wangled through Western hegemony and money – to cry "persecution" – and contend that Christians’ “religious freedom” must take precedence over other peoples’ “religious freedom”.

‘Defining’ deceit
The import and implications of the FCRA report (and the comment of my activist friend) go even beyond that. 

If even a significant fraction of the responses to the Christian assault on the non-Christians were to be based on the 'principles' that Christian thugs have propounded to advance their projects, the world could be pushed to the brink.

It’s easy to see for any reasonable person that Constitutionally provided (or any other notion of) “religious freedom”, including the right to “propagate” one’s religion, was never meant to be proselytizing campaigns – organized and resourced in frighteningly insidious and comprehensive manner – to destroy the cultural diversity and freedoms of the world.

Christian thugs – who have been monopolizing the defining of terms like “religious freedom” and “human rights” – need to be exposed for their utter fraud and falsehood.

That sounds like too high an expectation, though. The activist friend of mine (mentioned above), who broached the subject on the online forum that we share, refrained from even naming the "religious group" whose actions constitute an attack on India's cultural and spiritual diversity and communal harmony. 

What prevents the active citizens – who, in working for their causes, inevitably run up against entrenched power – from even mentioning by name, let alone discussing, this elephant in the room? 

There are several such questions that can be asked.

Why is this overt communalism – whose order of magnitude and criminality is beyond anything that has been attempted within and without any country – not being discussed in the mass media, among academics and intellectuals, and among those who see themselves as fighting against "communal forces"?

Why this hypocrisy?

Why this silent compromise with and embrace of blatant criminality?
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