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Ovamir Anjum



Can we justify scholarship in apocalyptic times? “Across the world, genocidal
states are attacking Muslims,” reads the title of an opinion piece by
sociologist Arjun Appadurai, “Is Islam really their target?”1 “As Israel incarcerates
Palestinians and Myanmar drives out its Rohingyas, a reflection
on the predicament of ethnic and racial biominorities,” reads the by-line.
Welcome to the club, I thought. For decades, this has been the question
Muslims have asked themselves. The piece ends with little great insight,
but it is the banality of the observation, one made by an Indian-American
sociologist, not an al-Qaeda operative ready to blow things up in revenge,
that caught my attention. The banality of Muslim blood, that is.
Palestine is being shot and bled to death by a fanatic ethno-religious,
nationalist, colonizing, apartheid state. We are Palestine. The Rohingya are
being burned, raped, and annihilated by another ethno-religious, nationalist
state. Rohingyan mothers are birthing en masse the children of their
Myanmar rapists. We are Rohingya. The Kashmiris and millions of Indian
Muslims are being deprived daily of their dignity, humanity, and life by yet
another religiously-inspired ethnic nationalism. We are Kashmiris. In China,
Uighur Muslim men are being exterminated, held in torture and brainwashing
camps, while their women are forced to cohabitate with Chinese
men.2 In all four cases, an ancient religion has been conscripted to provide
identity, unity, passion, and even the narrative to justify the carnage, some
bordering on genocide. A secular, enlightened Europe is pulverizing its
Muslim minorities, minorities that are there only because their lands were
invaded, exploited, divided, and left to rot under ruined institutions and
puppet regimes propped up by the very same Europeans who cannot tolerate
Muslims in their midst. And now, China, the emerging superpower,
surpasses them all in its systematic extermination of its Muslim population
or identity. We Muslims (ought to) know better than to blame all Jews, ...

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