The purpose of writing this paper is to bring to notice how people, calling themselves Islamic scholars openly make detestable and pathetic statements while trying to comment upon an issue which has been the bone of contention between Hindus & Muslims since ages. We have all heard of a term called Kafir. It has been often used in Islamic terminology to mean specifically anyone who is not a Muslim as per the Islamic teachings or doctrines laid down by Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.
In other words simply speaking, the word Kafir is always used for addressing a Non-muslim while discussing and interpreting the Quranic literature. Some apologist scholars may argue that Kafir referred to the pagans in medieval Arabia. But the truth of the matter is that since each word of the Quran is necessary to be applied to ones life forever, what is the modern day interpretation of this word? There are no pagans in Arabia now. They have no clear answer because it has and will always mean a Non-muslim.
Let us see its implication in the Indian context. Since the Quran contains multiple derogatory and disgraceful remarks against a Kafir (non-muslim), this word has always served the vicious deed of hurting the feelings and sentiments of Hindus in India. There have been scattered protests here and there but to no avail. While some apologist Islamic scholars have tried to give it a secular, broad-based meaning, the most universally accepted meaning mentioned above still persists in the mind of the common man.
Here I present to you what an Islamic proselytizer called Dr.Zakir Naik, originally an Indian and based in Mumbai mentioned in his website named www.irf.net
In the FAQ (frequently asked question) section, he wrote the following under the segment of most common questions asked by non-muslims (Question no.20) :
NON-MUSLIMS REFERRED AS KAFIRS
Why do Muslims abuse non-Muslims by calling them Kafirs?
Kafir means one who rejects.
Kafir is derived from the word kufr, which means to conceal or to reject. In Islamic terminology, Kafir means one who conceals or rejects the truth of Islam and a person who rejects Islam is in English called a non-Muslim.
If non-Muslims are hurt - they should accept Islam.
If any non-Muslim considers the word Kafir i.e. non-Muslim as an abuse, he may choose to accept Islam and then we will stop referring to him as or call him a kafir i.e. a non-Muslim.
Now, please see clearly the grossly irresponsible and careless answer given by this preacher of Islam. It is filled with sheer disregard and mockery of the beliefs and sentiments of the non-muslims, in this case specifically Hindus of India. He does not mind at all in injuring the feelings of almost a billion of his fellow citizens and those living abroad. It is time to strongly seek adequate explanation and demand an unconditional apology from Zakir Naik. He must take back his disrespectful and ignorant statement from the website too. It is no wonder he is being backed by petro dollars from the Arabian soil but he has got no right absolutely to insult and mock others who do not follow his pathetic ideas and views. His full contact details as given in the website are as follows.
DR. ZAKIR ABDUL-KARIM NAIK
ISLAMIC RESEARCH FOUNDATION
56/58 Tandel Street (North), Dongri, Mumbai - 400 009 (India)
Tel : (0091-22) 23736875 (8 lines) Fax : (0091-22) 23730689
e-mail: [email protected] website : www.irf.net
To condemn his views with the strongest possible words and demand his unconditional public apology. If needed, strong action against him from the judiciary system must also be demanded for hurting and making mockery of the majority community of India and their belief system which is rooted in its national culture and heritage.
Yours in Dharma,