December 6 is a black day for Muslims. Nine years ago it was a milestone in Muslim history in India. On that day in 1992 what was destroyed was not merely a monument of the Mughal era, nor just a place of worship for Muslims. The enemies of Islam tried not just to shake the Muslim will-power but uproot their foundations. They have celebrated this day as a day of victory for the past nine years. Muslims have remained silent, and at times frustrated. For a Muslim the experience is demoralizing. And for a Muslim committed to truth and justice, it is a disgrace. And for a Muslim to live for these crucial nine years as a mere spectator is absolutely unacceptable.
Muslim ‘leaders’ have been begging the judiciary, the media and the government to get the ‘humiliated’ structure (Babri Masjid) liberated. This has gone on for nine long years. The usurpers of the 464-year-old mosque have overcome all such attempts. They have ‘successfully’ declared an ‘ideological’ war, a war between ideological and ideological Islam. Their ‘leaders’ have warned the Muslims that it is not realistic to regain the disgraced structure by force. The Muslims, on the other hand, are yet to realize that with a rejuvenated confidence this war can be fought. Victory need not necessarily be military, but the military might of the usurpers can be overcome. The oppressive motives of the enemies can be defeated. How? Definitely not by averting a bloodbath; there can be no revolution without shedding blood. As Ali Shari’ati, the renowned Iranian revolutionary, said, “ For every revolution, there are two visages, the first is blood and the second is message”.
Muslims in India have a message to convey. The message is the liberation of the oppressed masses from the stranglehold of Brahminical hegemony. The scavenger in India, for instance, acquires his profession not by choice or poverty, but by birth. This is the enslaving theory that the Brahminical class has imposed for centuries; it is one of the oppressions that Muslims are intended to crush. The scavenger can be elevated to the honour and dignity of worshipping only one God, serving only the eternal truth. Bilal Habshi (ra), an Abyssinian slave, being liberated and elevated to the roof of the Ka’ab, is the first historical example of this phenomenon. Islam has thus come with a message of dignity and respect. The oppressed peoples living under the Brahminical tyranny have two options: either continue living as untouchables, or liberate themselves through Islam.
Indian society needs to be reorganized in accordance with a new vision. Millions cannot continue to live under the slavery of the caste system. Casteism, the sanctioned slavery, the sanctified racism prevailing in the Indian social structure, has to be buried. Dignity, freedom, creativity and respect for all should prevail. The existing society should be revivified by a new purpose; Islam is the way to initiate this process. This is why the usurpers of human beings’ rights try to resist it. What they tried to accomplish on December 6, 1992, was not the destruction of a 464-year-old Muslim place of worship. Their satanic strategy was intended to proclaim the supremacy of kufr over Islam. They are in vain. The power of kufr can never really overcome power of Islam. They have succeeded, not in demoralizing more than 200 million Muslims in India but only the spineless status quo-preferring Muslim ‘leaders’.
The memory of 6 December 1992 is thus a disgrace for those who interpret the event as the destruction of a mosque. But for Muslims who read what happened that day as the shahadat of Babri Masjid, the event has produced hope and optimism. What a transformation in perception! Muslims are prepared for confrontation, not necessarily a military one, but definitely ideological. If the demolition of the mosque is a symbolic victory for the oppressors, then the liberation of the mosque from the usurpers is a symbolic endeavour for the justice-loving Muslims in India.
So the Islamic movement in India should take a new turn. The liberation of Babri Masjid from the oppressors should form the nucleus of the movement. All other issues can revolve on the peripheries. At the moment, at least, it seems unlikely that a new leadership will emerge with this vision. But there is one aspiration that Islam has given the Muslims who are committed to truth and justice. This aspiration can overcome any uncertainty and any impossibility: shahadat.
Shahadat is the only weapon that can triumph on any battlefield of truth and kufr. If we are not on the battlefield of truth and kufr of our time, it makes no difference whether we stand for prayer or sit for wine. Both are the same: disgraceful. The shahadat of Babri Masjid has inspired millions of Muslims to struggle in the path of truth and justice. Shahadat motivates generations of seekers of justice and truth.
Muslims all over the world are giving their lives not in frustration, but with confidence and courage. The enemies of Islam are frightened because they do not understand Muslims who run looking for opportunities to die. For Muslims the message of shahadat is supreme. The ‘irrational’ logic is simple: if we cannot kill an oppressor, then we should be killed, and humiliate him, at the same time inspiring others with the message of blood. Once this is offered, freely and willingly, Muslims in India will begin the next revolution. Muslims who are committed to truth and justice will then reorganise the battle of truth and kufr. The humiliation of the oppressive Brahminist regime begins here. Freedom, dignity, honour, mutual trust and respect, all are born simultaneously. The saga of liberation is definitely in the making, insha’Allah.
[M. Z. Abdul Rahman is an Islamic movement activist in India.]