Sunday, September 19, 2010

Who Will Make The Case For The Muslim Right Of Return--To India?

At a time when rhetoric takes precedence over history, and cries for justice drown out calls for reason, it seems pretty pointless to remind people of the larger context of the calls for a Palestinian Right of Return--but here goes.

Historian Professor William Rubinstein has a guest post on the Daphne Anson blog, where he provides a historical overview of how the rest of the world deals with partitions and population transfers. For example:
At exactly the same time as the Palestine Mandate was being divided into a Jewish and a Palestinian state, a vastly greater partition was taking place 1500 miles to the east, the Partition of British India into a largely Hindu India and a Muslim Pakistan (which at the time included what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh). There, the Partition of India and the creation of a specifically Muslim state was demanded by Muslims.

It is worth remembering that while in Palestine the Arabs opposed the creation of a largely Muslim Palestinian state, in India it was the Muslims who demanded Partition. Pakistan has no historical foundation whatever, and the very name Pakistan was invented by Muslim students and activists in London in 1931. The Partition of British India in 1947-48 was accomplished by bloodshed on an unimaginable scale, with probably 500,000 deaths in communal violence. Literally millions of Hindus and Muslims living in the “wrong” part of British India left for the other state. Karachi became known as a city of refugees.

Yet – in contrast to Palestine – no one demands the “Right of Return” for these “refugees”, and in any case neither India nor Pakistan would be likely to allow any of their former residents back. [emphasis added]
Read the whole thing.

There does seem to be a certain lack of consistency among Muslims when it comes to partitions and creating states, doesn't there? But aside from that, we see again the double-standard where there is no call for Muslims to return to their 'ancestral' homes 'from time immemorial' in India.

Maybe that is because, considering India's size, allowing back in all those Muslims who would actually want to return would fail to turn India into a Muslim state.

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