The taming of islamophobia


Everything perishes save His Face

The Taming of ISLAMOPHOBIAI never thought I would write on a topic I always considered overly hyped, but sooner than feared, a stage came when it pricked me. Time and again, as events unfolded, the concentrated but shoddy research being done on Islam by the ‘Unskilled’ stupefied me, and then those researchers certified their characterisation of Muslims that was angled at a particular stance. This gratuitous attention seemed to be the trend in many places globally. For we had heads of states praising the goodness in Islam but castigating its followers for becoming ‘Islamists’; scholars were busy laying the groundwork for a civilizational war where the problematic followers of Islam, it was assumed, would be lined up against the rest of the world. Then some sundry upstarts, who were never Church-goers, or least conscious of their faith, were teaching Muslims the proper tenets and values of Islam. In a matter of a few years, it seemed there was an Islamic scholar at every second corner stretching from the United States of America to the Republic of India. And if we were to believe them, a terrorist was lurking around the in-between corners with a rusty Kalashnikov left behind by the Russians.

While this artificially induced claptrap was going on, Muslims in various parts of the world found themselves at the receiving end of ridicule and chastisement…

 Finally, I came to my senses and realised Islamophobia was here. I had to now either live with it in shame or accost it. I have already gone through over six decades of variable experiences, hence, not unduly enthused about what more is in store, but I am certainly worried about the world I would leave behind for the children. So I opted to confront Islamophobia, no matter if it was asking for confrontation with the big-wigs…

When I took upon writing on this subject, I knew I will come across sordid stories that needed to be exposed to make any impression, and that this writing was going to turn out into a sort of ‘combat writing’. But by softening it, the whole exercise would have been fruitless. Someone had to bell this inveterate menace.

Syed Rizwan

The Taming of Islamophobia


             Syed M. Rizwan




 During the presidency of Jimmy Carter, the Harvard University scholar Samuel Huntington was the Coordinator of Security Planning for the National Security Council, and his 1993 thesis, Clash of Civilisation, was on none other than the emergence of a post-Cold War New World Order situation. As per his rather dramatic views, wars in the future would be fought not between nations but between cultures and religions. He has categorised the civilisations of the world as Western, Latin American, Islamic, Sinic (comprising Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese), Hindus, Slavic Orthodox, and African. Of these 7 or 8 civilisations, he has singled out Islam as the biggest threat to Western domination.

 No prizes for guessing who has been caricatured and then demonised as a consortium of terrorists. The next question is does the White race have two right hands, while both hands of Muslims are wrong? Nuclear arsenals all over the world are safe as long as they are in the right hands, but they instantly become dangerous when they fall into the wrong hands. An incongruous instance is the Chinese discovered gunpowder in the 9th Century, and Muslims acquired its knowledge in the 13th Century, but its potency was first tested thoroughly by the two right hands in two successive world wars that obliterated 15 million lives.

The infected can be a Christian, a Jew, a Sikh, or a Muslim, but nowhere does their respective religion teach them how to use guns. It is the people around a potential gunman who meddled and tormented him long enough for him to pick up a gun and fire back at the society that failed him. It fails to mollify the reason a Muslim who picks up a gun to fire randomly is immediately branded a terrorist and not as a delinquent who could be suffering from a major psychological disorder. Why must his religion be co-accused, and his community pay the price? What method has been practiced for this equation?

Not to be missed is that though the language of the phrases and slogans may differ, the right wings of both the West and India are obsessed with the fear of minorities catching up with them in numbers and wealth. The private moral-police contingent of Islamophobes of both regions have taken it upon themselves to censure and punish Muslims and other minority groups sometimes for historical wrongs, no matter if the wrongs are imaginary, sometimes for pseudo-nationalism, sometimes for sedition, sometimes for religious and cultural differences, sometimes for the type of meals and styles of dress, and more often to gratify the penchant of settling the ancient score….

I have recalled the short history to give the background to the new fervour that was enforced to spread hatred for profitable polarisation through Islamophobia. After the political alteration, Muslims in India had been consistently losing political ground, which left them defenceless against slander and targeted hatred. Corruption had a temporary role of enacting the enemy, as its continuance would have created hurdles for the new regime, which now reverted to its tried and tested stratagem of Muslim-bashing. This module had now become much easy to practice because Indian Muslims continued to discard pretentious godfathers, and it left the considerate leftover legislators without punch. 

An excerpt from my upcoming novel, THE COMING DAYS

Kabir walked on foot because he needed to guide Zima alongside, while he held the reins of his horse with the other hand. Many times a chirp or a flutter caught Zima’s attention, and she wanted to explore. But Kabir would cuff her by the neck and put her back in stride. They walked around shrubs and over rocks and twigs for more than a mile, and finally Kabir tied the horse to a tree and he patted Zima down to sit against a nearby tree that stood behind a cluster of bushes. Zima was now breathing animatedly and with her head raised was listening and looking expectantly for action. She could sense something was brewing. Frequently, she would glance at Kabir for a cue or a command.

Zima didn’t have to wait long. For now, she could hear Zorro’s intermittent barks. She wanted to get up for a better view, but Kabir, who had his arm around her neck, kept her down. Though Zima was now a full-grown tigress, she had spent a lifetime with pet dogs that included a foster mother. So her temperament and attitude were that of a trained canine. Her master was waiting for Abdul and Zorro to draw close and then to check what they had brought in the beat. Soon he could hear Zorro’s barks in repetition, and the hustle of dried leaves showed animals on the run. He got up, and so did Zima. Some distance away, he could see a group of sambhars scampering across a row of trees. Kabir pointed them out to Zima and then ran to get astride his horse. He jumped on it and then turned to know Zima’s whereabouts.

He had to pull back. For the beat had brought not only the mob of sambhars, a huge sloth bear too. The fearsome animals had seen each other; so the hairy, harried, and angry bugger had stood up on its hinds and the domesticated, striped feline was tensed and crouching. Both were on the verge of war, and to make matters more volatile, the German Shepherd’s barks sounded next grove. Kabir took out his holstered Colt as he didn’t want Zima to get scratched, and he was also worried Zorro would get entangled in a ferocious scrap.

At the war front, both the animals had displayed their fangs and furs, and in that electrifying moment, entered an animated Zorro on fire. The taut scene startled him, as it had done to Kabir. However, the rampaging dog didn’t think twice and in a flash, it jumped over the back of the bear to grab its neck. Taken by surprise, the hairy animal let out a shriek and dropped on its hunches with Zorro still astride its back. But the sloth, like all other endangered bears, put into action the immense strength of its powerful muscles to shrug off the dog.

 Abdul Karim was next to enter the arena on horseback. But he could only gaze wide-eyed at Zima, who was charging towards the beast that had dared to hurt Zorro. In two mighty leaps, Zima was on the bear to slap the offender on both sides of the jaw. The volley of clawed paws was too much for the cornered creature, and it rolled on its back to defend with its bigger claws. Zorro, by this time, recovered to attack from behind and caught the beast’s teensy tail.

A cacophony of growls, shrieks, snarls, and neighs created a commotion that carried for miles in the jungle. These were the sounds that make monkeys leak excreta from treetops, and some men pee in their pants, which was the case with Abdul Karim, ex-paramour of the late Queen. 

From the start, Kabir wanted to scuttle the scrap and was looking for an opportunity to scare-fire the sloth. Zima well understood that Zorro had done a marvellous job by attacking from the rear, so she too moved to the bear’s rear-end. That was when Kabir fired at the bear’s raised leg. He followed that with two more stinging shots to instil more fear in the rugged beast.

The deafening sounds produced the desired effect. For now, the bear rolled back on its feet and dashed. Zorro presumed he had won, so he went for the chase to claim the prize. But then Kabir called out, “No, Zorro, stay!”

The dog slowed down and Kabir galloped to overtake it. Then he got off the horse and caught hold of Zorro’s collar. Zima and Abdul also reached there, and so Kabir patted and hugged both pets to calm them down.

“So Mr. Abdul Karim, did you ever go for a hunt like this in your Bartania?”

“Nay, Sir!”

Kabir looked down at his pyjamas and teased, “I can see that. But you tell no one what happened today, and I’ll tell no one about your pyjamas.”

A Bachelor in Goa

Towards the end of our wanderings, the soul’s yearning is to record the lyrics of the song that was the joie de vivre of life. Here in this delightful memoir, a number of extraordinary incidents have been recalled in a manner which make them more scintillating in retrospect.

Two years may not be a long time, but in Goa the days are so stretched out that supplementary phaenomena can find room, and, as such, the basket may fill up faster.

What was a soliloquy has now become a dialogue between the writer and the reader.

Book Launch

I would like to invite you to the launch of my latest book *The Taming of Islamophobia*. Through this book, I hope to dispel the phobia against Islam and change the perception of Muslims for the better. 

Event details:

Date: *10 September 2022*, Saturday

Time: 7-8pm IST

Google Meet Link:

_Just click on the link to join the meeting. You do not need a Google/Gmail account to join._ 

The book is available for purchase at:



Looking forward



I would like to invite you to the launch of my latest book *The Taming of Islamophobia*. Through this book, I hope to dispel the phobia against Islam and change the perception of Muslims for the better. 

Event details:

Date: *10 September 2022*, Saturday

Time: 7-8pm IST

Google Meet Link:

_Just click on the link to join the meeting. You do not need a Google/Gmail account to join. 

The book is available for purchase at:



Looking forward, 

Syed Rizwan

The latest – Quest of soul in God’s plan

The subject of this book is less about the history of religion and more about the spiritual journey of a curious mind. The study of history was necessary to know how the flight took off, which reinforced the conviction I have in the existence of souls and the unobtrusive link they have with the mystical part of life. The exploration of this aspect of life took me to the spiritual path that a thirsty soul forever seeks.

“Highly recommended for those who seek the world of souls and the inception of souls in life.” – Col M. Zahid Siddiquie (Author & Social Activist)

From Concept to Composition

What was there when nothing was there? And what will be there when nothing remains? Man is the custodian of nature and he has to live with it in peace, for if he tries to overcome it, he will fail because it is nature that has the final word.

Season’s greeting

The unusual weather, restriction of movement, social distancing, Covid variants, current electioneering in India are reflections of what I had expressed in The Heavily Indicted Man. See for yourself @

and @

Have A Go

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Till Break of Dawn

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Survivors of a Mutiny Book 1 & 2

A Bachelor in Goa

Beyond All Frontiers

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At a time when wolves are let loose and lambs are under vigilance,

When the world seems to be standing on its head then what is an ordinary citizen to do?

When a sword-like feeling dangles over the soul

During moonlit nights and sunny days, in winter and and in rain;

When pain stabs the chest again and again;

When beauties, gratification and similar luxuries

Compete for an embrace with the outstretched arms of humiliation;

When a fire is felt lighting up the darkness within, and the cup overflows;

When the fragrance of wounded dignity rises up from the bottom of the heart

Then the desire is to reach out to the heavens

And to pluck at the mute moon, and the blinking stars.

To tear them all at one end, and to rip them apart upto the other end.

To seize not one or two of them but to wipe out the entire horde of helpless onlookers,

The brain numb bystander silently watching the saga of scarcity here

And a disgraceful display of abundance there.

When numbers of the majority of the meek and mild gathers

Then the heart can only beat faster.

Then the command of the conscience is to confront the tormentor,

To seize the weapon of destruction from the hands of the despot.

Whether someone else chooses to do so or not,

This the time to smash the stone glittering upon crowns

And to end all performances of song and dance.

It is time to set fire to the garden of pleasure, to smoke up not just the throne

But to ignite into oblivion the entire house of injustice

Before the autocrat gets away with that no one should get away with.

To express similar emotions is a natural response of all human beings with a heart to injustice. To be disgusted with all things that have been not addressed, and with things that have in fact got worse than the last laugh, is to be human. It is only fair to human beings to react strongly to wrongs and to inequity. Lucknow has an old tradition to revolting against cheats and thugs. Lucknow has expressed aversion countless times when the individual is treated unfairly, but also on behalf of others. The desire for justice and a more fair world has been the dream of citizens throughout the history of the city, from freedom fighters to poets.

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