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A New Face of Western Imperialism - by Yoginder Sikand

Sacrificer           Yoginder Sikand
Sacrifice code       wfor0334
Sacrifice date       25 march 2009
  • http://www.christianaggression.org
  • A New Face of Western Imperialism - by Yoginder Sikand

    Some months ago I wrote an article on western Christian
    evangelical groups active in various Muslim countries, pointing out
    how many of them were actively working for promoting the strategic
    interests of Western governments, particularly the United States. I
    had been careful to buttress my arguments with ample quotations from
    Christian sources themselves so as not to appear to be making any
    unsubstantiated claims.<

    Normally, the Muslims in India are hand in glove with the
    missionaries as part of the wider anti-Hindu alliance. And as a
    missionary religion itself, Islam would naturally oppose anti-
    conversion laws. Yet, lately the Muslims have found themselves on
    the losing side in the conversion equation. Hindus could learn a
    thing or two from the missionaries' succesful infiltration in Muslim
    communities and baptism of surprisingly high numbers of otherwise
    inconvertible Muslims. Especially in Kashmir the figures are
    impressive. So now at last the international antagonism between
    Christianity and Islam is making itself felt in India too. Possibly
    because both are starting to treat the formerly majoritarian Hindus
    as increasingly irrelevant, but that's another matter. At any rate,
    a skillful Hindu strategist ought to be able to make good use of this
    emerging Muslim-Christian antagonism.

    Meanwhile, I would like to draw your attention to my article on how
    to deal with certain new tactics of the Church. Originally written
    for an audience of British Hindus involved in a deepening conflict
    with Church strategists, it may be of interest to others as well.

    kind regards,

    Koenraad Elst

    How to deal with clever Christian missionaries

    The ongoing commemoration of the abolition of the slave trade in the
    British empire (1807) is being used by Christian missionary circles
    as an occasion for Hindu-bashing through the theme of caste
    oppression as a still-existing form of slavery. Hindu polemicists
    typically react by highlighting the human-rights abuses committed by
    Christians or in the name of Christianity through the centuries:
    witch-burning, persecution of pagans and heretics, racism, apartheid
    and of course the slave trade itself. The intended implication is
    that Christians are morally in no position to berate Hindus for their
    social injustices and had better not meddle in inter-Hindu matters.
    This may be a correct and convincing position to take in front of a
    neutral or as yet uninformed audience, but with Christians who know
    their religion, it is hopelessly ineffective.

    Whereas Christian missionaries have invested heavily in studying
    Hindu society and its subsets as defined by language, caste or social
    class, most Hindus including anti-conversion activists are unfamiliar
    with the Christian mentality. Hindu polemicists listen to their own
    and each other's words and then think: how great, how clever. But if
    you want to get a message across to an audience, you should listen to
    the effect you're having on this audience. So, as an ex-Christian
    and still daily in touch with Christian circles, I would like to
    point out certain beliefs and attitudes that immunize Christians
    against the charge of being no better than Hindus with their caste

    First of all, the historical facts and present eyesores which you
    want to shove into their faces and of which you expect that they will
    shock & awe Christians into silence about caste, are already widely
    known and acknowledged. On the 900th anniversary of the Crusades, a
    perfectly justified Christian reaction against Muslim imperialism,
    numerous Christians indulged a guilt trip and said sorry to the
    Muslims. But most of all, they impressed it upon themselves (far
    more thoroughly than you could hope to do) what evil sinners they had
    been back then, and how this should spur them into being nice to
    today's Muslims. To Christians, past sins are a matter for
    repentance vis-à-vis God, but ultimately only the normal course of
    things, since we're all sinners. So they are not uptight about
    having sins on their record and won't be blackmailed about this.
    Secondly, repentance about sins past is proven precisely by a
    commitment to avoid and combat similar sins in the present. It is
    not enough to say your confession of sins, you have to resolve to
    undo the sins' consequences and go out of your way to remove them
    from this world. So, precisely because Christians have been guilty
    of slave-trading etc., they have a duty to combat similar inequality
    now. And this must not be limited to their own backyard, for sins
    are both by commission as by omission, i.e. standing by passively
    when others get away with committing them. Because of their past
    sins, they feel obliged to meddle in your sins today. Just as after
    abolishing the slave trade and then slavery itself in the British
    Empire, the British felt obliged to go out and impose its abolition
    on the Ottomans, the Arabs and others. This is a moral imperative.
    In missionary-speak: "We have been part of the problem so now we must
    become part of the solution."

    Hindus could have guilt-tripped modern Westerners into
    leaving the injustices of Hindu society alone if they had been
    Africans or Muslims. More perceptive Westerners would not be
    inhibited versus these two either (Muslims traded black, white and
    Indian slaves; while Africans enslaved and sold off their own
    brethren to Arab and European slave-traders), but most of them, and
    especially politicians, don't dare to speak against those two
    groups. But Hindus are a different matter altogether.

    Hindu polemicists talk about "white racism" as if they are
    totally oblivious to the torrent of anti-racist re-education that has
    swept Western society in the past half century. The problem is not
    just that Hindus cultivate an anachronistic world-view, apparently
    drawing a good feeling about themselves from pretending to live in
    the colonial age and occupying the moral high ground of the anti-
    colonial struggle. This is bad enough, for movements based on self-
    deception stand defeated from the very start; but in the present
    case, it also blinds them to the transformation of anti-racism from a
    force working in favour of the standing of non-European peoples to
    one that actually makes things worse for them. Or at least for those
    among them who have a solid reputation of racism, viz. the Hindus.
    It is precisely anti-racism that makes Westerners self-righteous vis-
    à-vis Hindus. Whereas social injustice in Western or even in Muslim
    society is duly recognized, it doesn't have the extreme stigma of the
    caste system because the latter is conceived as a form of racism. In
    the past, I have argued left and right that the basis of caste is not
    racial, but who am I? International organizations and influential
    observers keep on repeating that the caste system is a huge instance
    of racial apartheid. And this much must be conceded, that it is at
    any rate hereditary inequality, so that castes can be considered as
    micro-races. The mega-scale and mega-age of Hindu society add to the
    image of the caste system as the most monstrous racism in world

    Indeed, if caste is arguably (though few would argue even
    this much) preferable to outright slavery, even anti-racists consider
    it a few notches worse than the apartheid as it existed in South
    Africa. The whites oppressed the blacks, but they also provided some
    elementary services to them, they gave black elites the sop of
    becoming government officials in the "homelands", they did not
    totally neglect them. The apartheid philosophy (like post-slavery
    colonial policies elsewhere in Africa) was not to ignore the blacks
    but to treat them as children who would benefit from white
    supervision. By contrast, the international image of caste society
    is one of extreme callousness, in which upper-caste people see lower-
    caste people dying on their doorstep and remain unmoved. Doesn't
    everybody outside India know that a Mother Teresa was needed to pick
    up the paupers from the gutter where the smug upper-caste Hindus left
    them to rot?

    Another common anachronism in the Hindu position is to
    identify the Christian missionary apparatus as "white". This does of
    course have a basis in historical reality but is becoming
    increasingly inaccurate. Christian missionaries in Asia are now
    typically Koreans or Filipinos or Keralites, not whites. And don't
    say that they are only the infantry: in most Churches you see them
    rising through the ranks. Remember how in the Anglican Church,
    conservative African bishops formed a formidable bloc opposing the
    Anglo-American progressives on issues of women priests and acceptance
    of homosexuality. At any rate, these non-white converts have
    interiorized the faith and the missionary zeal, just as the white
    North-Europeans (the demographic mainstay of the US Baptists and
    other missionary powerhouses) had at one time interiorized
    Christianity after learning it from Mediterranean missionaries, who
    in turn had it from the Jewish-born "first Christians". It is no use
    denying that Christianity has morphed across racial frontiers several
    times already, and that it is repeating this process right now. Even
    the remaining white Church leaders are clever enough to send coloured
    Church spokesmen to interreligious forums where race could be an
    issue, so Hindus won't be able to use the anti-white line against

    As for the anti-caste mobilization, millions of blacks too have
    accepted the idea that caste is a form of slavery and racism. Just
    as millions of Scheduled Caste converts who had never thought of
    caste in terms of race have by now interiorized the idea that caste
    is the ultimate in racism. You won't shock them into silence with
    references to white injustice. On the contrary, to them the struggle
    against caste oppression is simply the continuation of the historical
    struggle against slavery and apartheid.

    So, that in my opinion is what Hindus are up against. The Christian
    missionaries are nothing if not clever. They sail with the opinion
    winds and have ably made the switch from colonial racism to
    postcolonial anti-racism, and now they are using this new line with
    good effect against Hindu society. Digging up the dirt on "white
    Christian" history will only evoke a yawn, as that dirt has been
    dished out already all over the official textbooks and media in
    Christian countries. If Hindus want to stop the gains continually
    made by the Christians in the battle for the souls, there is no
    alternative to the laborious task of (1) informing the world about
    the more complex and less extreme reality of the caste system in
    history and in the present; (2) actually reforming society to the
    point where caste oppression is only a memory,-- and ensuring that
    the world knows about this; and (3) refocusing the Hindu-Christian
    struggle to its proper doctrinal level, where the defining Christian
    teachings can be exposed as the unhistorical claims and irrational
    beliefs that they really are. Plus, of course, reaching out to the
    converts who are willing or eager to return to the Hindu fold. These
    are big and demanding jobs, but carry a better promise of success
    than locking yourself in a smug self-assurance of how evil Christians


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