Azmi’s helplessness is symptomatic of the Muslim leadership’s collective weightlessness and worthlessness. Divided into two clear categories, the orthodox and the liberals, Islamic socio-political leadership in this country is hollow, myopic, marginalised and often opportunist. Both the god-fearing, fatwa-fascinated Mullahs and the not-so religious moderates (some of them are known atheists) share a common quality: They are not the real voice of India’s largest minority.
Yet, the desperate search for good quotes and sound bytes makes the media court the members of these two camps. As a result, the average Indian thinks that an uneducated Muslim (who is represented on television by radical loose-canon mullahs) is dangerously communal, and that a suave educated Muslim (represented by English-speaking clichÃ©-afflicted liberals) is ludicrously political correct and knows how to make the right noises. In between these two extremes, lies the average Muslim on the street, and his personality is lost in the sound bytes of the faces media likes.
In the UK we have the Muslim Council of Britain on one side, and possibly British Muslims for Secular Democracy on the other. It is even worse for British Sikhs and Hindus, I would argue, because there is no pressing need for the progressives to speak out. There’s no one attacking them. So it is left to rabble-rousers like the Hindu Forum and Sikh Federation to “represent” while constantly trying to create controversies they can get media attention in.
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Filed in: Hindu,Muslim,Organisations,Sikh