The outcry on the death penalty awarded to Muhammad Afzal, the accused in the Parliament attack case of Dec 13, 2001 is more of a policy and position of a community than the issue of hypocrisy. When the streets of Bangalore just one kilometer away form my office are disturbed with communal tension for the execution of Saddam Hussein, I feel both are different sides of the same coin.
Official records say that India has executed fifty five people after independence from the assassins of Mahatma Gandhi in 1949 to the rapist cum murderer Dhananjoy Chatterjee in 2004. In the case of the death penalty awarded to Afzal, the nation has been a witness to the opposition to the same as has never happened before.
In the case of the assassins of Mahatma Gandhi, that Gandhi was a messenger of peace and an advocate of ahimsa and even the connotation that the atma of the Mahatma has already forgiven his assassins for the biblical model of forgiveness and mercy that he practiced and preached did not generate this much objection in sending his assassins to the gallows. The ruling Congress lost no time in executing them.
The execution of Dhananjoy Chatterjee was solidly campaigned against by the wife of the West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and the Congress administration in New Delhi was not reluctant to dismiss his clemency appeal either. The President, APJ Abdul Kalam later criticized the media for the sort of coverage that they had given to the execution of Dhanajoy, saying that a criminal has been made martyr by the media.
Our secular politicians are against sending Afzal to gallows as they hope that they can win the hearts of Muslims and converting the same to votes for this. The belief that this opposition to death penalty at a wrong time can win Muslim hearts, brings to light the Muslim minds.The Muslim leadership of India is opposed to the execution of Muhammad Afzal as for them he has committed no crime under Islam but his action was a part of the Islamic Jihad, waging a war in thirst of the take over of India and of the entire world. His conspiracy to attack the Parliament, the highest seat of lawmakers of the world's largest democracy and the second largest country of infidels, form an Islamic perspective was an attempt to annihilate anything that is un-Islamic and is something for which he should be praised.
He has been awarded the death penalty not under Shariah, the 'god'-made legal system, but under the provisions of a man made law and penal code of a non Muslim country. Forget that Indian Muslims are opposed to a uniform civil code and that they are in favor of Shariah ruling them on personal matters but at the same time would prefer a uniform man-made criminal code. Now that they see these tactics does not serve their purpose, they are opposed to the punishment awarded as per this man-made criminal code as well. Here the Muslim community wants Afzal to be tried as per Shariah, or is it that he can not be even charged under Shariah for waging jihad?
Their objection to the death penalty to Muhammad Afzal is no objection to the death penalty in general, but it is an objection to the process of a Muslim being tried by a non-Muslim establishment which has no scope under Shariah, the charge of conspiracy being filed by a non-Muslim prosecution, most of the witnesses being non-Muslims, the verdict being given by non-Muslim judges, the execution to be carried out probably by a non-Muslim hangman and the decision on the clemency petition to be taken by a non-Muslim dispensation.
That the head of this dispensation happens to be a Muslim is just accidental, moreover the Presidency is something highly decorative for the Indian constitution. They may even doubt the credentials of our president as a Muslim who reads Bhagavad Gita and begins his day with M.S. Subbulakshmi's Suprabhatam.
Under Islam there is no validity for an infidel charging a Muslim or the infidel punishing a Muslim, but only a Muslim charging and punishing the infidel. For Islam, an infidel charging or punishing a Muslim is as oxymoronic as a slave charging or punishing his Master.
The same Muslim leadership which is opposed to the capital punishment awarded to a terrorist has ironically taken a 360-degree turn in so many cases or themselves have awarded capital punishment as the Uttar Pradesh Minister Haji Yaqoob Qureishi, announced a cash reward of Rs 51 crore for anyone who beheads the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Prophet Mohammad.
It is further observed that our secular intelligentsia and the media are silent on such instances. The secular media, which is self-determined to wipe out even the last drop of communalism from the face of our society either totally ignore such inhuman laws of seventh century Arabia or at most they deplore such barbarian justice even with a sympathy to the takers of the same.
Many rape victims have been sentenced to death in Islam, given the bias and prejudice of shariah towards women, but in no case our Muslim leadership or the secular intellectuals have condemned this. In Islamic Jurisprudence, a woman being raped is a crime committed by her as projected by the Australian cleric with his controversial unveiled woman and uncovered meat comparison. Stoning rape victims to death is thus acceptable for them.
Apostasy is a concept completely alien to Indian religions and Indian tradition, but for Islam this is one of the major crimes that a Muslim can be put to death. Even recently, an Afghan namely Abdul Rahman was charged with rejection of Islam and was awarded capital punishment, but our Muslim leadership had no objection and they were definitely happy in killing an apostate of Islam. Secular members of our parliament did not drag this issue to the floors of the house as they had done with Danish cartoons. The initiative of the central government might have been a prerequisite here, but the West Bengal Chief Minister never ever thought of extending this innocent man a political asylum in his state in the name of secularism as he had done with a post-Godhra Muslim victim of Gujarat.
Apostasy of Islam is any action by a Muslim that invalidates Islam. Islamic theocracy Saudi Arabia is infamous for beheading innocent people for even possessing a Bible. As long as this is the interpretation of apostasy for Islamic law, our Muslim leadership has no problem with capital punishment and we see no secular politician condemning this as they have condemned the execution of the former Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein.
The opposition of our Muslims to the execution of this tyrant, who ordered many of the worst genocides of our times too shall be understood in the same sense. That the victims of this dictator were mostly Muslim hardly matters here, as the his trial and his execution were not under shariah but under the international law which is no compatible to Islamic law and further this was at a time when a Muslim territory was under non Muslim occupation.Therefore, there are offenses that Muhammad Afzal could be beheaded or hanged or stoned to death, but that sentence should have to be awarded by an Islamic court. For this, Afzal should have either rejected Islam or should have desecrated a copy of the holy Koran or should have drawn some pictures of Prophet Muhammad killing time in his condemned cell.
"Crucify him, crucify him" might be the cry of our Muslim community then, which now shouts, "release unto us Afzal, release unto us Afzal, let us not forget Salman Rushdie."
The signal that the Muslim community is sending here is clear - for us first is Islam, not India and we are subject only to the Islamic law and not to the law of the land. The politicians who are concerned only about gathering votes by whatever means, have no problem with releasing a terrorist.
Pardon for terrorists and tyrants, penalty for apostates and blasphemers is thus a fascinating slogan for both our Islamic crusaders strong minded for the holy takeover of the world and for our hypocritical politicians on whom we have trusted our destiny and the achievement of a presidential pardon to Muhammad Afzal would be a key milestone in our journey to dhimmitude and later to submission.