Was There An Islamic "Genocide" Of Hindus?

WAS THERE AN ISLAMIC "GENOCIDE" OF HINDUS?
Koenraad Elst

Kashmir Herald, India
Sept 28 2006

"The Partition Holocaust": the term is frequently used in Hindu
pamphlets concerning Islam and the birth of its modern political
embodiment in the Subcontinent, the state of Pakistan. Is such language
warranted, or is it a ridicule-inviting exaggeration?

To give an idea of the context of this question, we must note that
the term "genocide" is used very loosely these days. One of the
charges by a Spanish judge against Chilean ex-dictator Pinochet,
so as to get him extradited from Great Britain in autumn 1998,
was "genocide". This was his way of making Pinochet internationally
accountable for having killed a few Spanish citizens: alleging a crime
serious enough to overrule normal constraints based on diplomatic
immunity and national sovereignty. Yet, whatever Pinochet’s crimes,
it is simply ridiculous to charge that he ever intended to exterminate
the Spanish nation. In the current competition for victim status,
all kinds of interest groups are blatantly overbidding in order to
get their piece of the entitlement to attention and solidarity.

The Nazi Holocaust killed the majority of European Jewry (an estimated
5.1 million according to Raul Hilberg, 5.27 million according to the
Munich-based Institut fur Zeitgeschichte) and about 30% of the Jewish
people worldwide. How many victim groups can say as much? The Partition
pogroms killed hardly 0.3% of the Hindus, and though it annihilated
the Hindu presence in all the provinces of Pakistan except for parts
of Sindh and East Bengal, it did so mostly by putting the Hindus to
flight (at least seven million) rather than by killing them (probably
half a million). Likewise, the ethnic cleansing of a quarter million
Hindus from Kashmir in 1990 followed the strategy of "killing one to
expel a hundred", which is not the same thing as killing them all;
in practice, about 1,500 were killed.

Partition featured some local massacres of genocidal type, with the
Sikhs as the most wanted victims, but in relative as well as absolute
figures, this does not match the Holocaust.

Among genocides, the Holocaust was a very special case (e.g. the
attempt to carry it out in secrecy is unique), and it serves no
good purpose to blur that specificity by extending the term to all
genocides in general. The term "Holocaust", though first used in a
genocidal sense to describe the Armenian genocide of 1915, is now
in effect synonymous with the specifically Jewish experience at the
hands of the Nazis in 1941-45. But does even the more general term
"genocide" apply to what Hinduism suffered at the hands of Islam?

Complete genocide "Genocide" means the intentional attempt
to destroy an ethnic community, or by extension any community
constituted by bonds of kinship, of common religion or ideology,
of common socio-economic position, or of common race. The pure form
is the complete extermination of every man, woman and child of the
group. Examples include the complete extermination of the native
Tasmanians and many Amerindian nations from Patagonia to Canada by
European settlers in the 16th-19th century. The most notorious attempt
was the Nazi "final solution of the Jewish question" in 1941-45. In
April-May 1994, Hutu militias in Rwanda went about slaughtering the
Tutsi minority, killing ca. 800,000, in anticipation of the conquest
of their country by a Uganda-based Tutsi army. Though improvised
and executed with primitive weapons, the Rwandan genocide made more
victims per day than the Holocaust.

Hindus suffered such attempted extermination in East Bengal in 1971,
when the Pakistani Army killed 1 to 3 million people, with Hindus
as their most wanted target. This fact is strictly ignored in most
writing about Hindu-Muslim relations, in spite (or rather because)
of its serious implication that even the lowest estimate of the Hindu
death toll in 1971 makes Hindus by far the most numerous victims of
Hindu-Muslim violence in the post-colonial period. It is significant
that no serious count or religion-wise breakdown of the death toll has
been attempted: the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ruling classes
all agree that this would feed Hindu grievances against Muslims.

Nandan Vyas ("Hindu Genocide in East Pakistan", Young India, January
1995) has argued convincingly that the number of Hindu victims in
the 1971 genocide was approximately 2.4 million, or about 80%. In
comparing the population figures for 1961 and 1971, and taking the
observed natural growth rhythm into account, Vyas finds that the Hindu
population has remained stable at 9.5 million when it should have
increased to nearly 13 million (13.23 million if the same growth rhythm
were assumed for Hindus as for Muslims). Of the missing 3.5 million
people (if not more), 1.1 million can be explained: it is the number
of Hindu refugees settled in India prior to the genocide. The Hindu
refugees at the time of the genocide, about 8 million, all went back
after the ordeal, partly because the Indian government forced them
to it, partly because the new state of Bangladesh was conceived as a
secular state; the trickle of Hindu refugees into India only resumed
in 1974, when the first steps towards islamization of the polity were
taken. This leaves 2.4 million missing Hindus to be explained. Taking
into account a number of Hindu children born to refugees in India
rather than in Bangladesh, and a possible settlement of 1971 refugees
in India, it is fair to estimate the disappeared Hindus at about
2 million.

While India-watchers wax indignant about communal riots in India
killing up to 20,000 people since 1948, allegedly in a proportion
of three Muslims to one Hindu, the best-kept secret of the
post-Independence Hindu-Muslim conflict is that in the subcontinent
as a whole, the overwhelming majority of the victims have been
Hindus. Even apart from the 1971 genocide, "ordinary" pogroms in East
Pakistan in 1950 alone killed more Hindus than the total number of
riot victims in India since 1948.

Selective genocide A second, less extreme type of genocide consists
in killing a sufficient number who form the backbone of the group’s
collective identity, and assimilating the leaderless masses into
the dominant community. This has been the Chinese policy in Tibet,
killing over a million Tibetans while assimilating the survivors into
Chinese culture by flooding their country with Chinese settlers. It
was also Stalin’s policy in eastern Poland and the Baltic states
after they fell into his hands under the 1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact,
exemplified by the massacre of thousands of Polish army officers in
Katyn. Stalin’s policies combining murder of the elites, deportation
of entire ethnic groups and ruthless oppression of the survivors was
prefigured in antiquity by the Assyrians, whose deportation of the
ten northern (now "lost") tribes of Israel is attested in the Bible.

During the Islamic conquests in India, it was a typical policy to
single out the Brahmins for slaughter, after the Hindu warrior class
had been bled on the battlefield. Even the Portuguese in Malabar
and Goa followed this policy in the 16th century, as can be deduced
from Hindu-Portuguese treaty clauses prohibiting the Portuguese from
killing Brahmins.

In antiquity, such partial genocide typically targeted the men for
slaughter and the women and children for slavery or concubinage.

Thus, in 416 BCE, the Athenians were angered at the Melians’ reluctance
to join the war against Sparta, and to set an example for other client
states, Athens had Melos repopulated with Athenian colonists after
killing its men and enslaving its women. Another example would be the
slaughter of the Jews of Medina by Mohammed in 626 CE: after expelling
two Jewish tribes, the third one, the Banu Quraiza, were exterminated:
all the ca. 700 men were beheaded, while the women and children were
sold into slavery, with the Prophet keeping the most beautiful woman
as his concubine (she refused to marry him).

Hindus too experienced this treatment at the hands of Islamic
conquerors, e.g. when Mohammed bin Qasim conquered the lower Indus
basin in 712 CE. Thus, in Multan, according to the Chach-Nama, "six
thousand warriors were put to death, and all their relations and
dependents were taken as slaves". This is why Rajput women committed
mass suicide to save their honour in the face of the imminent entry of
victorious Muslim armies, e.g. 8,000 women immolated themselves during
Akbar’s capture of Chittorgarh in 1568 (where this most enlightened
ruler also killed 30,000 non-combatants). During the Partition pogroms
and the East Bengali genocide, mass rape of Hindu women after the
slaughter of their fathers and husbands was a frequent event.

At this point, however, we should not overlook a puzzling episode in
Hindu legend which describes a similar behaviour by a Hindu conqueror:
Parashurama, deified as the 6th incarnation of Vishnu, killed all the
adult male Kshatriyas for several generations, until only women were
left, and then had Brahmins father a new generation upon them. Just
a story, or reference to a historic genocide?

Genocide in the Bible For full-blooded genocide, however, the book
to consult is the Bible, which describes cases of both partial
and complete genocide. The first modest attempt was the killing by
Jacob’s sons of all the males in the Canaanite tribe of Shekhem, the
fiance of their own sister Dina. The motive was pride of pedigree:
having immigrated from the civilizational centre of Ur in Mesopotamia,
Abraham’s tribe refused all intermarriage with the native people of
Canaan (thus, Rebecca favoured Jacob over Esau because Jacob married
his nieces while Esau married local women).

Full-scale genocide was ordered by God, and executed by his faithful,
during the conquest of Canaan by Moses and Joshua. In the defeated
cities outside the Promised Land, they had to kill all the men but
keep the women as slaves or concubines. Inside the Promised Land,
by contrast, the conquerors were ordered to kill every single man,
woman and child. All the Canaanites and Amalekites were killed. Here,
the stated reason was that God wanted to prevent the coexistence of
His people with Pagans, which would result in religious syncretism
and the restoration of polytheism.

As we only have a literary record of this genocide, liberal theologians
uncomfortable with a genocidal God have argued that this Canaanite
genocide was only fiction. To be sure, genocide fiction exists,
e.g. the Biblical story that the Egyptians had all newborn male
Israelites killed is inconsistent with all other data in the Biblical
narrative itself (as well as unattested in the numerous and detailed
Egyptian inscriptions), and apparently only served to underpin the
story of Moses’ arrival in the Pharaoh’s court in a basket on the
river, a story modelled on the then-popular life story of Sargon
of Akkad. Yet, the narrative of the conquest of Canaan is full of
military detail uncommon in fiction; unlike other parts of the Bible,
it is almost without any miracles, factual through and through.

And even if we suppose that the story is fictional, what would it
say about the editors that they attributed genocidal intentions and
injunctions to their God? If He was non-genocidal and good in reality,
why turn him into a genocidal and prima facie evil Being? On balance,
it is slightly more comforting to accept that the Bible editors
described a genocide because they wanted to be truthful and relate real
events. After all, the great and outstanding thing about the Bible
narrative is its realism, its refusal to idealize its heroes. We get
to see Jacob deceiving Isaac and Esau, then Laban deceiving Jacob;
David’s heroism and ingenuity in battle, but also his treachery
in making Bathseba his own, and later his descent into senility;
Salomon’s palace intrigues in the war of succession along with his
pearls of wisdom. Against that background, it would be inconsistent
to censor the Canaanite genocide as merely a fictional interpolation.

Indirect genocide A third type of genocide consists in preventing
procreation among a targeted population. Till recently, it was US
policy to promote sterilization among Native American women, even
applying it secretly during postnatal care or other operations. The
Tibetans too have been subjected to this treatment. In the Muslim
world, male slaves were often castrated, which partly explains why
Iraq has no Black population even though it once had hundreds of
thousands of Black slaves. The practice also existed in India on
a smaller scale, though the much-maligned Moghul emperor Aurangzeb
tried to put an end to it, mainly because eunuchs brought endless
corruption in the court. The hijra community is a left-over of this
Islamic institution (in ancient India, harems were tended by old men
or naturally napunsak/impotent men, tested by having to spend the
night with a prostitute without showing signs of virile excitement).

A fourth type of genocide is when mass killing takes place
unintentionally, as collateral damage of foolish policies, e.g.

Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward inducing the greatest man-made mass
starvation killing 20 million or more, or the British war requisitions
causing the Bengal famine of 1943 killing some 3 million; or as
collateral damage of other forms of oppression. Unlike the deliberate
genocide of Native Americans in parts of the USA or Argentina, the
death of millions of Natives in Central America after the first
Spanish conquests was at least partly the unintended side-effect
of the hardships of forced labour and the contact with new diseases
brought by the Europeans. In contrast with Nazi and Soviet work camps,
where forced labour had the dual purpose of economic profit and a slow
but sure death of the inmates, there is no evidence that the Spanish
wanted their Native labourers to die. After all, their replacement
with African slaves required a large extra investment.

The Atlantic slave trade itself caused mass death among the transported
slaves, just as in the already long-standing Arab slave trade, but
it is obvious that purely for the sake of profit, the slave-traders
preferred as many slaves as possible to arrive at the slave markets
alive. Likewise, the Christian c.q. Islamic contempt for Pagans made
them rather careless with the lives of Native Americans, Africans
or Hindus, so that millions of them were killed, and yet this was
not deliberate genocide. Of course they wanted to annihilate Pagan
religions like Hinduism, but in principle, the missionary religions
wished to convert the unbelievers, and preferred not to kill them
unless this was necessary for establishing the power of the True Faith.

That is why the mass killing of Hindus by Muslims rarely took place
in peacetime, but typically in the fervour immediately following
military victories, e.g. the fall of the metropolis of Vijayanagar in
1565 was "celebrated" with a general massacre and arson. Once Muslim
power was established, Muslim rulers sought to exploit and humiliate
rather than kill the Hindus, and discourage rebellion by making
some sort of compromise. Not that peacetime was all that peaceful,
for as Fernand Braudel wrote in A History of Civilizations (Penguin
1988/1963, p.232-236), Islamic rule in India as a "colonial experiment"
was "extremely violent", and "the Muslims could not rule the country
except by systematic terror. Cruelty was the norm — burnings, summary
executions, crucifixions or impalements, inventive tortures. Hindu
temples were destroyed to make way for mosques. On occasion there were
forced conversions. If ever there were an uprising, it was instantly
and savagely repressed: houses were burned, the countryside was laid
waste, men were slaughtered and women were taken as slaves."

Though all these small acts of terror added up to a death toll of
genocidal proportions, no organized genocide of the Holocaust type
took place. One constraint on Muslim zeal for Holy War was the
endemic inter-Muslim warfare and intrigue (no history of a royal
house was bloodier than that of the Delhi Sultanate 1206-1525),
another the prevalence of the Hanifite school of Islamic law in
India. This is the only one among the four law schools in Sunni Islam
which allows Pagans to subsist as zimmis, dis-empowered third-class
citizens paying a special tax for the favour of being tolerated; the
other three schools of jurisprudence ruled that Pagans, as opposed to
Christians and Jews, had to be given a choice between Islam and death.

Staggering numbers also died as collateral damage of the deliberate
impoverishment by Sultans like Alauddin Khilji and Jahangir. As
Braudel put it: "The levies it had to pay were so crushing that one
catastrophic harvest was enough to unleash famines and epidemics
capable of killing a million people at a time. Appalling poverty was
the constant counterpart of the conquerors’ opulence."

Genocide by any other name In some cases, terminological purists
object to mass murder being described as "genocide", viz. when it
targets groups defined by other criteria than ethnicity. Stalin’s
"genocide" through organized famine in Ukraine killed some 7 million
people (lowest estimate is 4 million) in 1931-33, the largest-ever
deliberate mass murder in peacetime, but its victims were targeted
because of their economic and political positions, not because of their
nationhood. Though it makes no difference to the victims, this was not
strictly genocide or "nation murder", but "class murder". Likewise,
the killing of perhaps two million Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge
was not an attempt to destroy the Cambodian nation; it was rather an
attempt to "purify" the nation of its bourgeois class.

The killing of large groups of ideological dissenters is a constant
in the history of the monotheistic faiths, of which Marxism has
been termed a modern offshoot, starting with the killing of some
polytheistic priests by Pharaoh Akhenaton and, shortly after, the
treacherous killing of 3,000 worshippers of the Golden Calf by Moses
(they had been encouraged to come out in the open by Moses’ brother
Aaron, not unlike Chairman Mao’s "hundred flowers" campaign which
encouraged dissenters to speak freely, all the better to eliminate
them later). Mass killing accompanied the christianization of Saxony
by Charlemagne (ca. 800 CE) and of East Prussia by the Teutonic
Knights (13th century). In 1209-29, French Catholics massacred the
heretical Cathars. Wars between Muslims and Christians, and between
Catholics and Protestants, killed millions both in deliberate
massacres and as collateral damage, e.g. seven million Germans in
1618-48. Though the Turkish government which ordered the killing of
a million Armenians in 1915 was motivated by a mixture of purely
military, secular-nationalistic and Islamic considerations, the
fervour with which the local Turks and Kurds participated in the
slaughter was clearly due to their Islamic conditioning of hatred
against non-Muslims.

This ideological killing could be distinguished from genocide in the
strict sense, because ethnicity was not the reason for the slaughter.

While this caution may complicate matters for the Ukrainians or
Cambodians, it does not apply to the case of Hinduism: like the Jews,
the Hindus have historically been both a religion and a nation (or at
least, casteists might argue, a conglomerate of nations). Attempts to
kill all Hindus of a given region may legitimately be termed genocide.

For its sheer magnitude in scope and death toll, coupled with its
occasional (though not continuous) intention to exterminate entire
Hindu communities, the Islamic campaign against Hinduism, which was
never fully called off since the first naval invasion in 636 CE,
can without exaggeration be termed genocide. To quote Will Durant’s
famous line: "The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest
story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is
that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order
and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by
barbarians invading from without or multiplying within." (Story of
Civilization, vol.1, Our Oriental Heritage, New York 1972, p.459)

Hinduism’s losses There is no official estimate of the total death
toll of Hindus at the hands of Islam. A first glance at important
testimonies by Muslim chroniclers suggests that, over 13 centuries and
a territory as vast as the Subcontinent, Muslim Holy Warriors easily
killed more Hindus than the 6 million of the Holocaust. Ferishtha
lists several occasions when the Bahmani sultans in central India
(1347-1528) killed a hundred thousand Hindus, which they set as a
minimum goal whenever they felt like "punishing" the Hindus; and they
were only a third-rank provincial dynasty. The biggest slaughters took
place during the raids of Mahmud Ghaznavi (ca. 1000 CE); during the
actual conquest of North India by Mohammed Ghori and his lieutenants
(1192 ff.); and under the Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526). The Moghuls
(1526-1857), even Babar and Aurangzeb, were fairly restrained tyrants
by comparison. Prof. K.S. Lal once estimated that the Indian population
declined by 50 million under the Sultanate, but that would be hard
to substantiate; research into the magnitude of the damage Islam did
to India is yet to start in right earnest.

Note that attempts are made to deny this history. In Indian schoolbooks
and the media, an idyllic picture of Hindu-Muslim harmony in the
pre-British period is propagated in outright contradiction with
the testimony of the primary sources. Like Holocaust denial, this
propaganda can be called negationism. The really daring negationists
don’t just deny the crimes against Hindus, they invert the picture and
blame the Hindus themselves. Thus, it is routinely alleged that Hindus
persecuted and destroyed Buddhism; in reality, Buddhist monasteries
and universities flourished under Hindu rule, but their thousands of
monks were killed by Ghori and his lieutenants.

Apart from actual killing, millions of Hindus disappeared by way of
enslavement. After every conquest by a Muslim invader, slave markets
in Bagdad and Samarkand were flooded with Hindus. Slaves were likely to
die of hardship, e.g. the mountain range Hindu Koh, "Indian mountain",
was renamed Hindu Kush, "Hindu-killer", when one cold night in the
reign of Timur Lenk (1398-99), a hundred thousand Hindu slaves died
there while on transport to Central Asia. Though Timur conquered
Delhi from another Muslim ruler, he recorded in his journal that he
made sure his pillaging soldiers spared the Muslim quarter, while in
the Hindu areas, they took "twenty slaves each". Hindu slaves were
converted to Islam, and when their descendants gained their freedom,
they swelled the numbers of the Muslim community. It is a cruel twist
of history that the Muslims who forced Partition on India were partly
the progeny of Hindus enslaved by Islam.

Karma The Hindu notion of Karma has come under fire from Christian
and secularist polemicists as part of the current backlash against
New Age thinking. Allegedly, the doctrine of Karma implies that the
victims of the Holocaust and other massacres had deserved their fate.

A naive understanding of Karma, divorced from its Hindu context,
could indeed lead to such ideas. Worse, it could be said that the
Jews as a nation had incurred genocidal karma by the genocide which
their ancestors committed on the Canaanites. Likewise, it could be
argued that the Native Americans had it coming: recent research (by
Walter Neves from Brazil as well as by US scientists) has shown that
in ca. 8000 BC, the Mongoloid Native American populations replaced
an earlier American population closely resembling the Australian
Aborigines — the first American genocide?

More generally, if Karma explains suffering and "apparent" injustice
as a profound form of justice, a way of reaping the karmic rewards
of one’s own actions, are we not perversely justifying every injustice?

These questions should not be taken lightly. However, the Hindu
understanding of reincarnation militates against the doctrine of
genocidal "group karma" outlined above. An individual can incarnate
in any community, even in other species, and need not be reborn among
his own progeny. If Canaanites killed by the Israelites have indeed
reincarnated, some may have been Nazi camp guards and others Jewish
Holocaust victims. There is no reason to assume that the members of
today’s victim group are the reincarnated souls of the bullies of
yesteryear, returning to suffer their due punishment. That is the
difference between karma and genetics: karma is taken along by the
individual soul, not passed on in the family line.

More fundamentally, we should outgrow this childish (and in this
case, downright embarrassing) view of karma as a matter of reward
and punishment. Does the killer of a million people return a million
times as a murder victim to suffer the full measure of his deserved
punishment? Rather, karma is a law of conservation: you are reborn with
the basic pattern of desires and conditionings which characterized
you when you died last time around. The concrete experiences and
actions which shaped that pattern, however, are history: they only
survive insofar as they have shaped your psychic karma pattern,
not as a precise account of merits and demerits to be paid off by
corresponding amounts of suffering and pleasure.

One lesson to be learned from genocide history pertains to Karma,
the law of cause and effect, in a more down-to-earth sense: suffering
genocide is the karmic reward of weakness. That is one conclusion
which the Jews have drawn from their genocide experience: they created
a modern and militarily strong state. Even more importantly, they
helped foster an awareness of the history of their persecution among
their former persecutors, the Christians, which makes it unlikely
that Christians will target them again. In this respect, the Hindus
have so far failed completely. With numerous Holocaust memorials
already functioning, one more memorial is being built in Berlin by
the heirs of the perpetrators of the Holocaust; but there is not even
one memorial to the Hindu genocide, because even the victim community
doesn’t bother, let alone the perpetrators.

This different treatment of the past has implications for the future.

Thus, Israel’s nuclear programme is accepted as a matter of course,
justified by the country’s genuine security concerns; but when India,
which has equally legitimate security concerns, conducted nuclear
tests, it provoked American sanctions. If the world ignores Hindu
security concerns, one of the reasons is that Hindus have never
bothered to tell the world how many Hindus have been killed already.

Healing What should Hindus say to Muslims when they consider the record
of Islam in Hindu lands? It is first of all very important not to
allot guilt wrongly. Notions of collective or hereditary guilt should
be avoided. Today’s Muslims cannot help it that other Muslims did
certain things in 712 or 1565 or 1971. One thing they can do, however,
is to critically reread their scripture to discern the doctrinal
factors of Muslim violence against Hindus and Hinduism. Of course,
even without scriptural injunction, people get violent and wage wars;
if Mahmud Ghaznavi hadn’t come, some of the people he killed would
have died in other, non-religious conflicts. But the basic Quranic
doctrine of hatred against the unbelievers has also encouraged many
good-natured and pious people to take up the sword against Hindus
and other Pagans, not because they couldn’t control their aggressive
instincts, but because they had been told that killing unbelievers
was a meritorious act. Good people have perpetrated evil because
religious authorities had depicted it as good.

This is material for a no-nonsense dialogue between Hindus and
Muslims. But before Hindus address Muslims about this, it is imperative
that they inform themselves about this painful history.

Apart from unreflected grievances, Hindus have so far not developed
a serious critique of Islam’s doctrine and historical record. Often
practising very sentimental, un-philosophical varieties of their own
religion, most Hindus have very sketchy and distorted images of rival
religions. Thus, they say that Mohammed was an Avatar of Vishnu,
and then think that they have cleverly solved the Hindu-Muslim
conflict by flattering the Prophet (in fact, it is an insult to
basic Muslim beliefs, which reject divine incarnation, apart from
indirectly associating the Prophet with Vishnu’s incarnation as a
pig). Instead of the silly sop stories which pass as conducive to
secularism, Hindus should acquaint themselves with real history and
real religious doctrines.

Another thing which we should not forget is that Islam is ultimately
rooted in human nature. We need not believe the Muslim claim that the
Quran is of divine origin; but then it is not of diabolical origin
either, it is a human document. The Quran is in all respects the
product of a 7th-century Arab businessman vaguely acquainted with
Judeo-Christian notions of monotheism and prophetism, and the good
and evil elements in it are very human. Even its negative elements
appealed to human instincts, e.g. when Mohammed promised a share in
the booty of the caravans he robbed, numerous Arab Pagans took the
bait and joined him. The undesirable elements in Islamic doctrine
stem from human nature, and can in essence be found elsewhere as
well. Keeping that in mind, it should be possible to make a fair
evaluation of Islam’s career in India on the basis of factual history.

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