In a recent article in the Indian Express, columnist Tavleen Singh writes how the film “Khuda Kay Liye” (For God’s sake) inadvertently exposes the myth of moderate Islam. She writes
“…The message of the film, in its essence, is that Islam is a great religion that has been misunderstood and that the United States is a bad, bad country and all talk of freedom and democracy is nonsense. Alas, this is not how we infidels see things.
What interested me most about the film was that in seeking to show Islam in a good light, it accidentally exposes the prejudices that make moderate Muslims the ideological partners of jihadis…”
and in conclusion
“If ‘moderate’ Muslims believe that the West is the real enemy of Islam and that the free societies of modern times compare poorly with the greatness of Muslim rule in earlier times, then there is little difference between them and the jihadis. As we infidels see it, the problem is that Islam refuses to accept that in the 21st century there is no room for religion—any religion—in the public square. Other religions have accepted this and retreated to a more private space. Islam has not.”
This analysis of religion in general and Islam in particular is as refreshing as it is rare. The ‘moderate’ followers of any religion are those who do not follow the religion in all aspects of their life. To the extent that they still believe in the sanctity of their religion, its prophets and its scriptures, they must sympathise with those who follow their religion fully and consistently. That is what makes them ideological partners of the religious fundamentalists.
Disclaimer: I have not watched the film and cannot say whether the message of the film is indeed what Tavleen Singh says it is.