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Gandhi and Islam

Gandhi’s Islamic appeasement in South Africa

The first seeds of Mahatma Gandhi crawling at the sect of Islam can be seen during his days in South Africa.

He had made a Gujarati translation of Washington’s Irvine’s Life of Mahomet and started serializing it in his weekly. The Muslims snarled and ordered him to stop the series. He surrendered without going through even the motions of a protest.

He had asked Hindus to be very hospitable to Professor (Bhai) Parmanand, who was on a visit to South Africa. But the moment the professor uttered a few words in criticism of Islam, the Mahatma turned his back on him and advised Hindus to have nothing to do with him.

The Muslims in South Africa criticized him for ‘sacrificing’ their interests when he signed an agreement with General Smuts and called off his satyagraha.

A Pathan attacked and almost killed him. He kept quiet when Muslims accused him of not giving an account of the money they had contributed to his campaign fund. Again, he kept quiet.

The acme of his surrender to Islam was reached when he came out in support of the Khilafat agitation, and persuaded the Indian National Congress to launch the first all-India Non-Cooperation Movement in co operation with the mullahs. The encomiums he heaped on the ‘noble faith of Islam’ sound like a mad man’s ravings.

The mullahs were mighty pleased with him. But as soon as he withdrew the Non-Cooperation Movement in the aftermath of Chauri Chaura, the same mullahs came out in their true colours and accused him of stabbing them in the back! He never came out with a rejoinder, and kept mum even when foul abuse was hurled at him.

Soon after, he did something much worse; he praised the ‘brave’ Moplah butchers of Hindus in Malabar for ‘being true to their religion as they understood it’, and denounced the British Government of India for putting down the gangsters. (Moplahs who got killed by the British are now being hailed as freedom fighters!)

When his attention was drawn to the fact that mullahs were inviting the Amir of Afghanistan to invade India, his only comment was, ‘But that is what their religion teaches them.’

He could never find any fault with any teaching of Islam, howsoever ugly, crude, cruel, and inhuman.


  2. Freedom of Expression - Secular Theocracy versus Liberal Democracy by Sita Ram Goel (page 13 of 193)