From: Dr. Jagan Kaul
A National Democratic Think Tank on Minority Issues
3145 Gilbert Ave., Roseburg, OR 97471
Ph & Fax 541-957-8414
Dr. Drew Faust, President, Harvard University
Office of the President , Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138 Dec. 9, 2011
Dear Dr. Faust,
Sub: A Hero, Victim of Harvard Bigotry.
When I checked my mail last night and found that Harvard University, one of the leading Ivy League educational institutions in the world, had decided to drop economic courses taught by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, a world renowned economist, I was simply stunned. How could one of the top educational institutions in our country go so wrong is beyond me? In view of the fact that only a few months back the University had upheld the right of freedom of expression of Dr. Swamy and rejected the pleas of his biased and distortionist opponents, the reversal of the initial decision raises many troubling questions.
We firmly believe that the initial decision by the University was right, pragmatic, based on justifiable facts. Its reversal on the grounds of hatefulness, communalism, narrow mindedness, anti-Indianism and anti-Hinduism demonstrated by some of the faulty zealots is simply reprehensible. These fellow travelers have seriously ruptured the credibility of a prestigious educational institution and tarnished its good name. Please note that a billion plus Indians worldwide particularly Hindus have noted this “backward and regressive step” by the University with utter disappointment and disdain. To say the least it has irreparably damaged the good reputation of your institution.
In paragraph 2 of his original article under reference Dr. Swamy has clearly stated that “Islamic terrorism is India’s number one national security problem….and already the successor to Osama bin Laden as the al-Qaeda leader has declared that India is the priority target for that terrorist organization and not the USA” (see attachment A). It should be obvious that Dr. Swamy’s imaginary hatred of Muslims is not the issue. But Muslims must face the reality of their civilizational war against Hindus and their aim of creating a Caliphate in Asia with India as its major constituent that is at the root of the conflict. Towards the concluding portion of his analysis Dr. Swamy has summarized the goals of the Islamic terrorism in India. He believes that their number 1 goal is to overawe India on Kashmir. To combat this goal of terrorists Dr. Swamy proposed removal of article 370 of India’s national constitution and creating Panun Kashmir for the exiled Hindu Pandit community and look for an opportunity to liberate the portion of Kashmir which was illegally occupied by Pakistan. And if Pakistan continues to back terrorists, India should assist the Balauchis and Sindhis to get their independence.
Clearly the central issue raised by Dr. Swamy in his so called objectionable analysis (which became the reason for cancellation of his courses) is the “abrogation of section 370 of the Indian Constitution so the national constitution and the body of laws built under it became applicable to Jammu & Kashmir State like other states and union territories of India. That would considerably improve the law and order situation and afford protection to disenfranchised ethnic minorities. Needless to say that section 370 (which was supposed to be a temporary section) gives special status to this state and therefore, the Indian Constitution and the laws framed there under are not applicable in it. Dr. Faust, abusing the current communally shaped state authority the 20% Sunni Muslims of the Kashmir valley, mostly followers of Wahabi Islam and Osama Bin Laden, who enjoy a monopoly of political, economic, legislative and administrative power, have turned this state in to a virtual “Talibanistan” and have imposed “Sharia” as the law of the state. Thousands upon thousands of non-Muslims have been killed in Muslim induced ethnic cleansing, genocide, massacres, kidnappings and forcible occupation of their movable and immovable properties. More than 75,000 Kashmiris have lost their lives in this civilizational crusade unleashed by radical Islam. In their quest for wholesale Islamization of the state, more than a million non-Muslims have been driven out of the state courtesy of Wahabi crusaders and their supporters in the establishment. These oustees have become homeless refugees in various parts of India and the globe. Dr. Faust, I am myself a Kashmiri American and the lives of seven members of my family were prematurely cut short during the avalanche of the Islamic terrorism. It was Dr. Swamy who raised his voice against this human tragedy but alas the policy makers at Harvard failed to see it.
You must know that Kashmir is progressively assuming the status of another Kabul, Kandahar, Peshawar and Islamabad as a center of Islamic Jihad. Recognizing the fast deteriorating conditions on the ground the Obama Administration has also warned the Indian authorities about the spread and linkage of Indian Taliban with Pakistani Muslim terrorist outfits. In the US itself a Pakistani agent, G.N.Fai, of Kashmiri origin who has admitted to having accepted instructions and millions of dollars from the Pakistani spy agency, ISI, for influencing the US policy towards Kashmir and Pakistan, was recently arrested in Virginia. All these indicators reveal that unless speedy and preventive measures are taken Kashmir may be developing in to yet another radical Islamist volcano ready to explode.
By demanding the abrogation of section 370 of the Indian Constitution Dr. Subramanian Swamy has been trying to reverse the dangerous advance of Wahabi Islam in the Indian sub-Continent and in the process saving the US from having to deal with one more nasty, bloody and complex development in the world. It will be foolhardy on any body’s part to ignore the fact that India, despite being known as a Hindu country, has the second largest Muslim population in the world and the Indian Republic borders Pakistan, the epicenter of Islamic terrorism with multi-continental reach. How unfortunate and regrettable it is that Dr. Swamy is being banished because he showed the wisdom, fortitude and guts for doing the right thing by fighting the Jihadis before it was too late. The UN, US, UK, NATO and the rest of civilized world are following similar policies towards the Jihadis and the radical Islam. But Harvard seems to be adopting a negative policy for extracting a price from Dr. Swamy for following their lead. We must not ignore the fact that it was these Johnnies ( Pakis and Arab Sunnis ) who plotted and executed the first ever attack on mainland USA on 9/11 killing more than 3,000 innocent Americans.
Dr. Faust, I hope you understand the basis of our anger, frustration and disappointment against Harvard University’s decision to exclude Dr. Swami’s courses from your summer offerings. In our opinion the latest decision of Harvard has provided the greatest boost, encouragement and authentication to the forces of Islamic Jihad every where particularly in the most volatile Indian sub-continent. By this thoughtless action, your decision makers have not only violated the University’s covenant of free speech and academic freedom, the University has clearly appeared to have taken the side of the soldiers of the civilizational conquest who have taken everything from us and are now threatening the very integrity and sovereignty of India – the largest democracy of the world.
Honoring the sacrifices of a million non-Muslim humans who were driven in to exile from Kashmir by the followers of Osama Bin Laden and Wahabi Islam and more than 75,000 Kashmiris whose lives were consumed by the Islamic terrorism, we request you to kindly re-examine the matter dispassionately and reinstate the summer courses taught by Dr. Swamy. How shameful and unfortunate it would be if the promoters of Wahabi Islam, radical Jihad, the Bin Laden doctrine and the decision makers of the world famous Harvard University stood side by side as comrades-in-arms against the free and democratic world. That is exactly what your University’s decision about cancelling the courses taught by Dr. Swamy conveys. Let better sense prevail and let the decision making process of your University not be allowed to be hijacked by some radical individuals acting under foreign influences.
Dr. Jagan Kaul, (Rtd) Prof Int’l Law; Chairman Diversity-USA
Sent: Sunday, January 01, 2012 7:05 PM
Subject: Wahhabi Islam invading India via Kashmir
|India Today Special Report Story|
Saudi charities pump in huge funds through hawala channels to radicalise the Valley
|Kashmiri men offer Friday prayers at the Ahl-e-hadith mosque in Gawkadal, Srinagar.
The famed Sufi tradition and spirit of Kashmiriyat in the Valley, already ravaged by decades of insurgency, faces a new challenge. Wahhabism, an austere, puritanical interpretation of Islam promoted by Saudi Arabia, is making deep inroads into Kashmir due to the efforts of the Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith, which calls itself a religious and welfare organisation.
Swelling congregations flock to about 700 mosques that the organisation, which registered itself way back in 1958, has built across the Valley. Practically every village along the picturesque, poplar-lined, 60-km stretch northwest of Srinagar towards Gulmarg has one or more Ahl-e-Hadith-funded mosques. The new mosques and their attendant madrassas make for a contrasting picture with the hundreds of dilapidated mosques built over centuries in the age-old Sufi tradition. Unlike worshippers at the older Sufi shrines, Ahl-e-Hadith mosques are overtly more conservative: women wear burqas or at least a headscarf, while the men sport beards and don skull caps; their traditional salwars end just above the ankle in accordance with Wahhabi tenets.
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police and Central intelligence officers say Ahl-e-Hadith’s funding comes primarily from Saudi Arabia. Based on US intelligence, they believe that the House of Saud, rulers of Saudi Arabia, had in 2005 approved a $35-billion (Rs 1,75,000 crore) plan to build mosques and madrassas in South Asia. “Wahhabi groups across Jammu and Kashmir were beneficiaries of this largesse,” says a senior police officer.
Scarf-clad students at the Salafia Muslim Institute in Srinagar.
Intelligence sources say Saudi charities and private donors route zakat (charity) money to J&K through illegal hawala channels. It increases during the Eid season. Whenever mosque managements are questioned about it, their explanation is that it is donation or goat-skin money. All organisations registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA), 1976, have to submit their annual balance sheets to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). “Not one organisation registered under the FCRA in J&K accounted for money coming in from Saudi Arabia,” says a senior MHA official. However, there is no way to keep track of funds received by organisations that are not registered with MHA. Most of the organisations, which have contributed to the growth of Wahhabi and Ahl-e-Hadith movements in Kashmir, are not registered.
Sources in the Intelligence Bureau admit that they are aware of the large-scale illegal funding, but add that they cannot do much due to the sensitive internal situation. “We have taken up the issue several times with the state police but nobody wants to get into it. It suits them to ignore it,” claim sources.
Paramedics at a diagnostic centre run by the Jamiatahl-e-Hadith in Barbarshah, Srinagar.
Admitting massive cash inflows to the Valley, a senior state police officer says that the bulk of the illegal funds meant for Wahhabi groups and other hardline factions are physically transferred across the Line of Control and and at the trading station in Uri in the form of hard currency-both real and fake Indian currency notes-taking advantage of the barter trade being permitted between J&K and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. “Checks by customs officers are at best cursory. There are no X-ray machines and other standard international border control equipment. The army merely observes the goings-on,” he says. The officer adds that it is impossible to quantify the smuggled funds and that no agency-Central or state-has made any effort to do so.
What concerns police and intelligence officials more is the possibility of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen militants relying on Ahl-e-Hadith members to provide them hideouts. “Indoctrinated Wahhabis are the least likely to turn in Islamist militants to the police,” says a senior intelligence official.
Scarcely visible a decade and a half ago, Ahl-e-Hadith now claims over 15 lakh members, over 16 per cent of Jammu and Kashmir’s Muslims. Besides the 700 mosques and madrassas it built, Ahl-e-Hadith is believed to have funded 150 schools, several colleges, orphanages, clinics and medical diagnostic centres. It has also proposed a Rs 200-crore Islamic university, Transworld Muslim University (TWMU), in Hyderpora, Srinagar, affiliated to leading Saudi institutions. The proposal was referred to a select committee after state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz opposed it in the Legislative Council on October 9, 2010.
TWMU is planned as a multi-disciplinary institution with a stated mission to “facilitate a new generation of leaders in medicine, science, technology and religion based on the ShariahÃ¢”. Ahl-e-Hadith is already engaged in setting up key faculties within its existing institutions across Srinagar. Accepting responsibility for halting the proposal, Soz was reticent about his reasons for refusing permission, since the proposal was cleared in February 2008 by then Congress Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. Official sources claimed it was blocked, following intervention by J&K Governor N.N. Vohra on the advice of security agencies. Both the ruling National Conference and the Opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had supported the bill. PDP head Mehbooba Mufti cautions that any decision to scuttle the university must be preceded by a thorough investigation into Ahl-e-Hadith’s sources of finance. “A knee-jerk response could be dangerous. After all, the organisation is doing a lot of good work and has a considerable following,” she says.
The organisation’s rapid proliferation and increasing popularity among youth is making Kashmir’s predominantly Sufi-Hanafi community anxious. “Opportunities for better education and secure future draw young Kashmiris for whom Ahl-e-Hadith represents a new, untested alternative,” says CPI(M) legislator Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami. The conservative Jamaat-e-Islami, too, is nervous at the prospect of ceding political ground. Ahl-e-Hadith’s feisty General Secretary Abdul Rehman Bhat, 65, insists, “Delhi is unwittingly playing into the hands of separatists like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who are opposed to our university.” Hurriyat leaders Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq belatedly voiced support for the university in a joint statement in November. Non-committal on the Wahhabi proliferation, Geelani says the greatest threat to Kashmiriyat is from “the occupation forces deployed by India”. But Tarigami says Ahl-e-Hadith is contrary to the Jamaat’s ideological framework: “The Jamaat- e-Islami leadership perceives a dilution in their own brand value.”
The Jammu and Kashmir Peace Foundation (JKPF), a Hanafi organisation devoted to reviving historic Sufi shrines, believes that a sinister process of “fundamentalist indoctrination” is under way in Wahhabi madrassas and schools. Based on a district-wise count, JKPF’s Chairman Fayaz Ahmad Bhatt, 40, says nearly 7,000 mosques, including 911 in Srinagar, preach the orthodox Wahhabi brand of Islam. Kashmir’s non-Muslim minority, too, views the Wahhabi ingress as a “conspiracy to Talibanise Kashmir”. “The Taliban had also sprung from Pakistani madrassas funded by the Wahhabis,” says former Kashmir University professor Kashi Nath Pandita.
Ahl-e-Hadith leaders vigorously deny all links to Islamist extremist groups. “We are more liberal than those that criticise us,” says Bhat. He points out that former Ahl-e-Hadith president Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah was assassinated by Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen militants outside a mosque in Srinagar’s Maisuma locality on April 8 because he opposed extremism.
Bhat talks about the Ahl-e-Hadith-run English coaching institute for adolescent girls just above his Barbarshah, Srinagar, office and the diagnostic facility and pharmacy on the floor below that offers services at concessional rates. “No one is turned away, not even CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) jawans,: he says. He also points to the Salafia Muslim Institute, the co-educational school with 800 children on Srinagar’s airport road in Parraypora. “We get strict about scarves for girls only after Class VI,” says Principal Mufti Altaf. Students are segregated by gender after Class II.
Ahl-e-Hadith has two registered charities that are eligible to receive foreign funding under FCRA. But the organisation denies receiving any Saudi money after 1996. Bhat, however, admits there are grants and scholarships for students to go for studies in Jeddah. He claims that the money spent on building new mosques and schools is raised via zakat. The total annual collection from all 700 mosques Ahl-e-Hadith claims to run across the state is around Rs 2.5 crore. Even if one were to accept Bhat’s claim that it costs them only Rs 10 lakh to build a new mosque, the organisation would have ended up spending much more in building the 350 new mosques it has since 2004 than what it gathered through zakat.
Mehbooba is not overly worried about the Wahhabis because she believes Kashmiris would never surrender their inherent freedom so easily. “Sufism is not merely a religious belief but a way of life. Women here did not take to the burqa even when militancy was at its peak,” she says. Her confidence is cold comfort, given the rapid growth of the Ahl-e-Hadith’s influence.
– With Bhavna Vij-Aurora