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My Response to Geert Wilders - Part 2
by Dr. Habib Siddiqui
2011-07-07 08:55:08
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Mr. Wilders, for Egypt’s lack of ‘progress’, whatever that means, you lashed out at Muslims by quoting Winston Churchill, a British soldier and war correspondent for the British Raj who later became Great Britain’s Prime Minister. You quote Churchill as saying, “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities – but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it… No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in our planet, and this, in spite of her unmistakable Christian culture. Is Christianity to be blamed for her lack of progress? How about Ethiopia, Central African Republic, the Solomon Islands, Zimbabwe, Liberia and Congo – six of the ten poorest countries in the world - all with Christian majority population?

Well, such bigotry ridden words from the mouth of the foremost colonist of his time should not surprise anyone. Lest we forget, it was Churchill who as the Prime Minister starved millions of Indians to death in the Bengal famine of 1943. He brought this holocaust – arguably the first and the worst of the 20th century - upon these people and yet had a selective amnesia not to mention anything about this monumental crime in his self-serving six-volume memoir   ”The Second World War” for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. (According to Dr. Gideon Polya some 6 to 7 million people died in the province of Bengal and her contiguous provinces as a result of the famine that lasted from 1942 to 1945.)

The ‘man-made’ famine has long been one of the darkest chapters of the British Raj. In her book “Churchill’s Secret War”, Madhusree Mukerjee, like a good problem-solving engineer, uncovered evidence that Churchill was directly responsible for the appalling suffering. Analysis of World War II cabinet meetings, forgotten ministry records and personal archives show that some of India’s grain was also exported to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to meet needs there, even though the island wasn’t experiencing the same hardship; Australian wheat sailed past Indian cities (where the bodies of those who had died of starvation littered the streets) to depots in the Mediterranean and the Balkans; and offers of American and Canadian food aid were turned down. India was not permitted to use its own sterling reserves, or indeed its own ships, to import food. And because the British government paid inflated prices in the open market to ensure supplies, grain became unaffordable for ordinary Indians. Lord Wavell, appointed Viceroy of India that fateful year, considered the Churchill government’s attitude to India ‘negligent, hostile and contemptuous.’ “It wasn’t a question of Churchill being inept: sending relief to Bengal was raised repeatedly and he and his close associates thwarted every effort,” Mukerjee wrote. “The United States and Australia offered to send help but couldn’t because the war cabinet was not willing to release ships. And when the US offered to send grain on its own ships, that offer was not followed up by the British,” she added.

Churchill was a racist and a bigot. He derided Gandhi as a ‘half-naked holy man’ and once told the Secretary of State for India, Leopold Amery: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion (Hinduism).” The famine was their (Indians) own fault, he declared at a war-cabinet meeting, for ‘breeding like rabbits.’

In spite of his hostile remarks against Muslims, it is well known amongst researchers that Churchill favored Islam over Hinduism. “Winston’s racist hatred was due to his loving the empire in the way a jealous husband loves his trophy wife: he would rather destroy it than let it go,” wrote Mukerjee.

As I have stated elsewhere these European colonizers – Dutch, British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Belgians, Russians and Italians – were inherently racists and bigots, as are today’s Zionists in Israel. The life of colonized people did not matter to them. By the way, in India, that famine of 1943 was not the only one that was man-made to punish her people. Mention must also be made of the Bengal Famine of 1769-1779 in which 10 million people were starved to death in a very systematic way, which was nothing short of genocide, by the English colonial administration.  That was 1 in 3 amongst the population of 30 million dead – planned and executed with the intent of containing any future rebellion from able-bodied Bengalis. As noted by Amaresh Misra in his book “War of Civilizations: India AD 1857” an estimated 10 million people died in British reprisals for the 1857 Indian rebellion. Another 700,000 people of Orissa died in the famine of 1866.

So the hostile and unkind statement of a racist and bigot colonist against the colonized people should not be the litmus test by which the latter should be evaluated.

Part 1 , part 2 , part 3

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