India's pluralist Islam under siege

Publication Type:



Kuhan Madan


The Diplomat (2016)



<p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22.4px;">Saudi-exported <span data-scayt_word="Salafism" data-scaytid="1">Salafism</span> is trying to “purify” India’s pluralistic strands of Islam. Even a cursory glance at the history of Islam in India will reveal that numerous denominations have coexisted since the religion’s advent in the subcontinent, as early as the <span data-scayt_word="7th" data-scaytid="2">7th</span> century AD. This naturally led to diverse forms of worship and rites, all innately at conflict, finding acceptance. These socio-cultural paradigms underwent periods of crests and troughs that led to them eventually being defined by the more vocally and numerically stronger sections. Islam in India is today undergoing one such trough, that is shifting it from polytheism (shirk, also meaning idolatry) to monotheistic Islam (<span data-scayt_word="tawhid" data-scaytid="3">tawhid</span>).</span></p>