10 August, 2022


Modi Feted By Muslim Countries: For Indian Muslims “Umma” A Mirage

By Saeed Naqvi –

Saeed Naqvi

“A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country.” This Biblical dictum would fit Prime Minister, Narendra Modi like a glove, because Indian Muslims continue to paint him in lurid colours while leaders of the global Umma shower petals of adoration on him.

When Saudi Arabia’s highest Civilian Honour, King Abdulaziz Sash was conferred on Modi by King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the Royal Court in Riyadh on April 3, 2016, the acceptance of it was an act of supreme selflessness on the part of Indian Prime Minister.

Selfless, because any other Indian politician so honoured by the Keeper of Islam’s two holiest shrines, Mecca and Medina, would have publicized the event for Muslim votes. But Modi has been quite clear on this one point: he is not interested in Muslim votes.

On the contrary, his growing unpopularity among Indian Muslims is in inverse proportion to his expanding popularity among Hindus with geometric progression.

In fact a case study for social psychologists might well be traces of masochism in the behavior of President Mahmoud Abbas. He conferred “The Grand Collar of the State of Palestine” on Modi who happens to be the closest friend, indeed soulmate, of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas’s dedicated tormentor. Abbas’s obsequiousness may well be traced to his fervent hope that Modi will put in a good word with his Israeli friend.

Mahmoud Abbas’s voiceless wailing is, for that reason, also inaudible. None of the GCC or other significant Arab countries are interested in the Palestinian cause eversince US and Israeli strategists have given a new blue print for West Asia. The Sunni-Shia faultline supersedes the Arab-Israeli faultline focused on the Palestinian issue. Iran is the only regional country single mindedly dedicated to Palestinian rights. Iran considers Hamas as the authentic voice of Palestinian resistance. The Ramallah leadership is seen as a Western poodle.

Other than fawning over Modi, Riyadh keeps a steady gaze on other power centres, near and far. Saudi princes have visited the Maldives to receive the island nation’s highest honour – “Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen”. The US and all its allies out to play a helpful role in making things difficult for China’s Belt and Road initiative, are making a beeline for any real estate in the Indian ocean – Maldives, Sri Lanka, an atoll anywhere. Little wonder, then, even this Muslim nation (Maldives, that is) has held Modi in a loving gaze. The Nishan Izzuddeen has been conferred on him too.

Modi being the apple of Saudi eyes has obviously been infectious in other GCC kingdoms. Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa conferred “Kind Hamad Order of the Renaissance” on him. The ruler of UAE, Shaikh Mohammad bin Zayed graced Modi with the “Order of Zayed” medal, the Kingdom’s highest civilian order. Zayed has done one better. He has set aside acres of land around Abu Dhabi’s grand Akshardham temple.

Modi has not left untouched the destroyed nation of Afghanistan as well. On June 4, 2016, he became the recipient of the nation’s highest award named” Amir Amanullah Khan”. A pity, he will not be able to catch up with Morarji Desai. The late Prime Minister received Pakistan’s highest honour, Nishan e Pakistan in 1990.

For the self flagellating Indian Muslims, a scrutiny of the catalogue listed above may be instructive. The lesson is not that Modi is the darling of the Muslim world. Individual Muslim countries ingratiate themselves with India, which he represents. Raw self interest is the operating factor. That Indian Muslims are under pressure does not matter a jot to the great “umma”. That is the point.

In the days of yore these very same nations had erected a body like the Organization of Islamic Conference but it looked operational only so long as there were competing blocks affiliated to one or the other power centre. In those days, India mattered. The Indian “Muslim” factor was of some consequence but only minimally.

Did we not send a thoroughbred Muslim, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad to the OIC in Rabat and were snubbed? We fell between stools on that and other occasions. Why did we need to have a Muslim, and none else, as ambassador to Riyadh? To neutralize the influence of the Ambassador of Pakistan who, by virtue of being Muslim, would strike a better rapport with the Saudis? Did the Americans, Europeans and the rest of the world send Muslim envoys to Riyadh? South Block’s job should have been to identify the best person for that posting – Hindu, Muslim, Sikh anybody, based on merit and not on communal considerations.

You miss the basic point (they will say) there are those arrangements to be made for thousands of Haj pilgrims. Fair enough, for that kind of assistance the mission in Jeddah could have been suitably staffed.

Has not the logic of New Delhi’s appointments to that one station for the past 70 years been made to stand on its head by Modi. Despite his record with Muslims, he has been graced by award after award by Saudis and others on the US leash.

Saudi monstrosity in Yemen, repression in its Eastern oil being province; Bahrain where an overwhelming majority are the opposition; UAE, financing mercenaries (along with the Saudis) and firepower to destroy Yemen, once a proud, civilized nation.

Is this the “Umma” from which you, Indian Muslims, expect Modi to have picked up lessons of peace, compassion, charity? And is this Umma of any value to you in your distress, whether in Kashmir or elsewhere?

Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey are all Muslim but caught in the whirlpool which is what the current world order is. When President Bill Clinton decisively intervened during the Kargil war, there was still hope that some kind of order was being sought to be imposed. That hope has dissipated in the Trump era.

In brief, Muslims must remember that their holiest of shrines are elsewhere, but their salvation is here in India and its people, all of whom are under pressure. Together, we shall overcome. Hundreds of years of social, cultural commerce cannot be wilfully rubbed out.

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Latest comments

  • 4

    “The Sunni-Shia faultline supersedes the Arab-Israeli faultline focused on the Palestinian issue.”
    Indeed, the US Isreali weaponization of Shia-Sunni divides in the Mideast to divert attention from Palestine resonate with recent attempts to spread conflict between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhists in Asia.

    This is part of a wider strategy to weaponize Buddhism and religious identity politics to divide, rule and set up US military bases in the Indian Ocean region at this time, through promoting intra-religious and inter-religious violence.

    Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, were also aimed at fermenting Buddhist nationalism and wrath on Muslims to destabliz the island to set up foreign military bases. However, Buddhism is harder to weaponize and Cardinal Malcom Ranjith stymied this project to cause an inter-religious blood bath against Muslims in Sri Lanka for the moment, but the project is on going, also using corrupt Muslim Ministers a the cats paw to further the land grab for US bases in Mannar Island, as well as, in the Eastern province and Trincomallee.

    • 3

      Naqvi’s article points to the fact that Sri Lankan Muslim analysts and intellectuals need a far more sophisticated and complex analysis of transnational and geopolitical players role in local identity politics. Muslims, particularly SL Muslim politicians, are their own worst enemies and enemies of Lanka and SL Muslims. But rather than recognize this, Muslim community distracts itself with MMD reform.

      Saudi and UAE funds to Corrupt Hizbullah and Bathudeen to land grab while keeping US puppet bondscam Ranil and his network in power, is the root cause of the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment and attacks on Muslims. This, US bases project with MCC to Land Grab is the root of the weaponization of the Buddhist-Muslim fault line in Sri Lanka now. Of course this project to weaponize religion by the biggest rogue state in the world that promotes Superpower Terrorism has been on going since the LTTE was destroyed and US citizen and war criminal Gota set up the BBS and Mahasohon Balakaya to attack Muslims who are now the targets for Sinhala Buddhist extremists monks.

  • 1

    Your article is confusing and is not clear who your target is. Saudi Arabia has lot of oil. But, I heard Saudi arabia too would be beginning austerity measures. How come. what happened to the so much money they earned. Foreign journalists label Pakistan as “Pivot to the World”. Imran ?Khan recently explained how his country became economically ruined. Even though it was a different and an Asian system, that region including pakisthan was part of India. So, Imran Khan has to be cautious which I think he is aware. Imdian muslims are muslims. They just at the expense all others want their religion established all over the world.So, are you saying Hindus must stay silent because, the Handler’s of muslims need something to complain. Muslims were pawns against the spread of communists – cord war and now Other programs focused with Asia. Because, North America is struggling. Most of Europe is bankrupt. Indian OCean has the busiest Ocean Passage.
    Anyway, congress party was ruining India. Hindians are fortunate Modi came. Brazil is in ruins because it was partnering to BRIC. Now, India should be the next which Modi is not letting to do. I here, they want Sikhs to be active and break the Hindu’s might. Other thant that, India’s over one billion population is a very good market, good for geo-political military advancements. Hindians are intelligent, hard working and ambitious, therefore, good crowd to exploit.

    • 3

      Modi know about the US-Saudi-UAE terrorism compact to destroy Asia’s rise by economic terrorism and weaponizing religion — as visible in Yemen.
      The bottom line of is: US usse Muslims and the Islamic State narrative to divide and sink the rise of Asian countries economies, where there are many Muslims and multi-religious countries. Modi knows this and hence acted to take over Kashmir as there was fear that Kashmir will become like Hong Kong where the US destablization operations is on-going. Both Kashmir and Hong Kong, like Palestine are part of British colonial project to keep the Middle East and Asia divided.
      Muslims must act responsibly and stop supporting Saudi and USA to export terrorism and de-stablize the rise of Asia’s great powers – China, India and Indonesia by economic terrorism and weaponizing religion, particularly Islam and Buddhism.

  • 2

    I here, Modi knows what is happening with respect to his country and He even knows what is happening in Srilanka.

  • 3

    As long as Saudi and Gulf countries are slaves to west, there is no hope for Muslim world. Now. oil is drying out and now , Saudi depend on Hajj and Ummra money. I think now its 40% of incomes come from Ummara and Hajj. this includes all hotel and related industries. Some clerics argues that second time Hajj and Ummra are haram now.. This fatwa is given by many north African clerics. They argues most of these money( income collected from Hajj and Ummra goes to buy weapons that kill children in Yemen so, they argue it would be haram to give them money…Now, saudi support India against people of Kahsmir and Pakistan.. because. Pakistan refused to send it armies to Yemen: These idiots do not know politics of this world .. Let us wait in 20 years Saudis will come back to India to beg as they did before 100 hundreds years ago. People in Egypt, India and turkey used to send food for people in Arabia … Now they have all forgotten. They are support by stupid Salafi and Whahabi cult who prefer Jews over Muslim people. The history will repeat itself soon. So wait and see.

  • 1

    Recently we wrote in CT “India captured Kashmir, but OIC would bring economic Sanctions against India only if Hezbollah happened to notice that”. When people demanded to investigate Hezbollah’s part in 4/21, he induced OIC to bring their economic sanctions against Lankawe. All Muslim ministers together negotiated the private party Hallal deal for Old Royals. It was Muslim Mass, in opposition for Muslim Ministers request, voted for Yahapalanaya government. Those who are reading this essay may have word on the political aspirational differences between the Lankawe Muslim writers and leaders and Indian Writers and leaders. The situation is really in contrast in India. India was a prime secular country and still, in constitution, it is. When India was splitting, there was real tension between Muslims and Hindus. It is still present as Pakistan & India. But that died immediately within India. Unlike Don Stephen’s UNP, Gandhi- Nehru’s Congress played a pivot role on that. Same situation with India and Bangladesh exist after the Bangladesh internal war with West Pakistan.
    That was never the case of the Lankawe. Lankawe modern communal history started to incubate with the birth of Anagarika Dharmapala and boiled up first with the 1915 Sinhala-Muslims riots. The country’s racial volcano was never dormant after that, though time to time it changed the exit mouth as South, Middle, North East & West. The similarity with India and Bangladesh is they started as poor countries and keep advancing. The similarity with Pakistan and Lankawe is they started as rich countries and keep slipping. The Religion is the main contributing factor for these opposing similarities between the two pairs of nations on the same location.

  • 1

    Indian Muslims leaders & writers, immediately after the freedom, whether they won or lost, attached them to mother country. But Lankawe Muslim leaders played a heavy role of opportunity game. The played an important role to disenfranchise upcountry (the so called Indian) Tamils. They played same with MMDA to disenfranchise the Muslim women, while holding their votes. They expelled out Tamil students from universities with their Standardization. They continued it as military’s Tamil spies against the Tamil population, until 2009.

    The annexation of Kashmir needs not to be a weakening incidence to Indian Muslims as a whole, may even become as strengthening too, though certainly a big loss to Kashmiris’ sovereignty. Again that is not the case with Lankawe Muslims, Their leaders not simply put Muslims’ stability very uncertain terms, and they even destroyed Tamils’ life too, by being the right hand to racist Sinhala Buddhist Government. In 2009, For perks and females, all Muslim ministers in Old Royal government went to Geneva and argued that they had achieved the best life in the history of Lankawe under Old Royals’ government. Further, faithlessly now all Muslim parties as trying to strike new deals with Old Royals, even before the government changes. But Indian Muslims did not go for that on Kashmir matter. Indian Muslims will feel them included in as soon as Congress fixes it mistakes and come back to power. But that will not be case for Lankawe Tamils and Muslims, Irrelevant of who the Sinhala party comes to power.
    “In brief, Muslims must remember that their holiest of shrines are elsewhere, but their salvation is here in India and its people, all of whom are under pressure. Together, we shall overcome. Hundreds of years of social, cultural commerce cannot be willfully rubbed out. That is very learned and realistic statement.

  • 2

    In brief, Muslims must remember that their holiest of shrines are elsewhere, but their salvation is here in India and its people, all of whom are under pressure. Together, we shall overcome. Hundreds of years of social, cultural commerce cannot be wilfully rubbed out. – AMEN.

    I think, you know what you write. Saudis know they screwed up Islam by letting Wahhabism and Salafism take over Islam. Modi knows what to do.
    Islam has very peaceful sects as well as Wahhabism. I am not taking about Hindu kush dominated Muslims like Murderers.

  • 1

    Why are these Muslim nations still supporting Modi, when it is obvious Muslims are treated badly in India? Modi is a racist, who did nothing when Muslims were raped, attacked, and tortured, when he was a Minister, and he seems to still be in the same mindset. Shame on these Arab and Muslim nations who keep ignoring Modi’s anti Muslim stance, and ignore the discrimination, and murders, of Muslims in India.

    “Radical cow protection groups in India have killed at least 44 people over the last three years and often received support from law enforcement and Hindu nationalist politicians, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch.

    The 104-page report unveiled this week examines Hindu nationalist vigilante attacks and said 36 of the dead were members of India’s large Muslim minority. About 280 people have been injured in more than 100 attacks between May 2015 and December 2018, the report by the New York-based group said.

    Members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which supports policies to protect cows revered by the country’s majority Hindus, have “increasingly used communal rhetoric that has spurred a violent vigilante campaign against beef consumption and those deemed linked to it,” the group said.” Bloomberg

    • 3

      Worst racists in the world are Muslim countries with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia at the front. There are anti-Muslim violence in non Muslim countries but they are far fewer than violence against non-Muslims in Muslim countries. Recently in an economic forum in Australia, where Pakistani delegates participated, Pakistan was accused of money laundering and supporting terrorism worldwide, for which Pakistani delegates assured the conference that they will take measures to correct that. Pakistan is in a state of economic collapse and begging for money from IMF and western countries. Concept of Islamic power is being proved as rubbish. China is committing more crimes against Muslims in Xinxiang than what is happening in India, and has any Muslim country open its mouth. What is happening to expulsion of Rohigyas, where Muslim countries are unable to do anything, even giving money to support refugees in Bangladesh. Remember what Russian president told “We do not need Muslims and Muslims need us. Those Muslims who do not like to live according to our customs can leave”, for which speech he received a standing ovation. This is the same in other countries though they are not openly saying.

  • 3

    “In brief, Muslims must remember that their holiest of shrines are elsewhere…”
    Another fact they must remember is that their holiest sites are protected by Israel/American anti ballistic systems.


  • 1

    I think, MODI has to target his work for another time and not just two terms and leave the PM’s post. India had western problems long ago too. The struggle to debilitate Hindus are going on in full throttle. MODI has to change those. Even in Sri lanka, they use buddhists to brain wash Srilankans and to criticize Hindia.

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