In better days, the RISA-list was open to dissident opinions. This one, of 28 November 2008, was very dissident though softly worded:
“It's not going to do me any good, but someone has to do the dirty work of stating a fact that stares us all in the face but is not allowed to be mentioned in career-conscious company.”
Then I quoted a list member based in Israel who wrote: "Here in Israel, as around the world, the press is very much occupied with the attack (...) As far as the domestic, this seems to lead to the Indian-Pakistani conflict, and Kashmir was already mentioned. As far as the international, this may relate to the 'International Jihad' and to groups associated with Al Qaida." And I added:
"There is also the internal Hindu-Muslim and India-Muslim conflict, invoked as justification in the manifesto of the Indian Mujahedin "explaining" their recent bomb attacks in Mumbai, Jaipur, Bangalore etc. etc. Though two prominent scholars at the SAMAJ conference in Paris in September 2008 described that manifesto as 'a work of genius', it was only a rehashing of the common litany in the secularist press bewailing the 'persecution' of Muslims in India. Outsiders notice how the inward-looking education of Muslim youth in Muslim schools (facilitated by their constitutional privilege of subsidized yet totally autonomous communal schools, a privilege denied to Hindus in the prevalent reading of Art.30) leads to their unemployability in the modern labour market; but the Muslim leadership, encouraged by the secularist media, prefers to deny its own responsibility and blame Muslim disadvantage on others. This mentality of resentment feeds terrorism, as indeed acknowledged in the Indian Mujahedin manifesto. Likewise, that the police more easily suspects Muslims and tends to associate them with terrorism is true, but not unrelated to their own actions (e.g. the Jamia Millia VC's recent refusal to cooperate with the police when some of his students were suspect).”
The Israel-based list member opined: "Apparently, the terrorists where looking for Americans and British citizens, and besides, the Chabad House was attacked." I replied:
"True, but let us not forget that there were the more usual Hindu and security forces targets also. This terror attack gets a lot more attention because of the foreigners involved as victims, but in scale it is not unusual. When the victims are merely Indian, and merely Hindu (the death roll in e.g. the latest Delhi attacks shows that the terrorists carefully located their bombs so as to kill as many Hindus and as few Muslims as possible), the media are not that interested.
“The common denominator is pretty obvious, viz. Muslim resentment against Infidel control of any Muslim land: Anglo-American in Iraq and Afghanistan, Zionist in "occupied Palestine", secularist (‘Hindu’) in Kashmir. This ties in with Islamic political doctrine as laid down through example by Mohammed himself. While all manner of ‘experts’ exhaust their creativity in inventing alternative explanations, the terrorists themselves (remember Mohammed Atta?) are explicit and unanimous about Islam as their sole motivation.
“Unlike ‘secularists’ who impose their own explanations on Muslim actions and disallow Muslims to speak for themselves, I respect Muslims and take their word for it.
“Incidentally, this denial of agency to Islam is not limited to 'secularists'. It is done by most people who try to avoid trouble, e.g. the latest statement of the Hindu Council of the UK condemns the terror attacks as 'not justified by any religion'. Academics are often far ahead of the rest in forging contrived explanations for simple facts, but in this case, even the meanest politician mouths the artful delusion that 'terrorists have no religion'.”
The Israel-based list member added: “I was struck, for example, about an article entitled ‘Attack may sway voters towards BJP’, that appeared in the Times of India on line.” I replied:
“Well, that's the normal procedure in a democracy. The Indian government has failed in its central duty of providing security, so voters may consider voting the opposition to power. Not that the terrorism toll was that much lower under BJP rule (1998-2004; attacks on Parliament buildings in Srinagar and Delhi, Godhra, Akshardham etc.), and even if it was, it may have had less to do with the government's policy than with the then less advanced terrorist technology and strategy."
He signed off: “With great sadness.” I ended:
"Well, sorry for pointing at the elephant in the room. I know it is taboo in these circles to mention the motive of the terrorists. But out of respect for the victims, I thought that naming and shaming the ideological culprit for their death is essential.
“Sharing your sadness,
“Dr. Koenraad Elst, unaffiliated scholar”.