rainbow-islamHe is not the typical Kifaya topi lungi clad Muslim they show on the TV. He is educated, smart and intelligent. His friends call him Abby, they often say he does not even look like a Muslim. Abby bounces the compliment back with a cheeky smile and a wink. Abby maintains a social media presence and he comes across as person who is well versed with politics and current affairs. Abby is a firm believer in anything and everything that is seen as progressive by his liberal mates.

Abby has just finished work, it was a busy day but Abby knows how to handle work pressure. Negotiating his way through the busy metro traffic Abby arrives at home and throws himself on the couch. Time for catching up with some news.  Disaster! There has been an attack on a gay pub in Orlando Florida. Every news channel is running ticker updating the news of this gruesome slaughter. Twenty people have been killed. Abby is nervous. But why would Abby be nervous about an event that is taking place half way round the world? After all mass shootings are a regular occurrence in the US.

Fifty killed! This is no ordinary incident. Abby is not religious man but still he makes a prayer “Oh God, Oh God, please, please let this not be another Muslim involved in this act of shame”, Abby whispers.  It is almost like when Abby was anxiously waiting to know about his results in the HSC exam, his future depended on it.

Abby knows the drill, he has done this many times before but still he is nervous. It is a never a pleasant experience. Abby switches off the TV and tries to forget about the whole issue. But Abby’s phone is beeping in ever increasing frequency.  Abby figures it out, his liberal friends are tweeting and posting on Facebook, this can only mean one thing. Abby’s fear has come true. The shooter is indeed confirmed as person with Muslim name. Abby takes a deep breath and gets mentally prepared for what is to come.

Abby changes his display Picture on social media to LGBT flag. There should be no confusion about where he stands. His friends are proud of him. He is that rare model Muslim that his friends once believed can never exist. Abby knows he has to be careful. An enthusiastic display of protest can be seen as an attempt to hide is homophobic Muslim existence but not Re-Tweeting his liberal friend’s tweets can also create an impression that he may just be another Muslim who is not worthy to be in the sanctimonious liberal circle.

It was a tough night, Sanghis on Twitter showered abuses on Abby while his liberal friends passionately discussed Islamic theology. Is it the Quran or are the Hadits to blame? Is it this verse or is it that verse that inspired the shooter? Abby, the enlightened soul is visibly uncomfortable; he knows his liberal friends have gently placed him in the box of the accused while they deliberate over Islamic theology. Poor Abby, he has not been exposed to such a high dose of theology even in the month of Ramadan! Or is it Ramazan instead? Anyway!

Abby has gone through this before but it never gets easier. It was a difficult night but he was more scared of the next day.  Casual office conversations discussing the sad news coming from Orlando.  “Abby! What do you think will be the impact of this attack on the US elections” asks one elderly figure in a thick Indian accent. “I am not following the US election but I think this will help Trump” replies Abby. “That is not good news for you is it Abby?” says the elderly man sneeringly.

Abby knew this was never going to be an easy day. Abby quietly buries his head in the papers pretending to focus on work. His liberal friend notices the discomfort and decides to step in. “Fancy as smoke Abby?” he asks, “sure why not?” says Abby and they both head of the designated smoking area.

Abby’s liberal friend is wise. He knows what Abby is going trough so he decides to switch the focus to something light. “What is your opinion about Triple Talaq Abby? “asks the liberal friend who has a passion for reforming Islam and Muslims. Abby is not sure how to respond. Abby is not even married. Last time when Abby found a girlfriend he spent most of his time convincing her how he was not the typical Muslim. Abby broke up some time later. Apparently the conversations were not going anywhere.

In his solitude Abby often wonders why. Why is he held responsible for the act of a person who he did not even know existed before he saw the news on that fateful day just like anyone else.  He was just as appalled and saddened by the loss of so many lives.  A guy born and brought up in the US by his parents who migrated from Afghanistan, a guy who has a history of personal problems, a guy who legally bought guns in US, a guy that Abby has no relation with other than the fact that Abby is also among 1.6 billion Muslims and the guy who carried out this despicable act also identified himself as a part of 1.6 billion Muslims.

Abby is hoping the news cycle will die down soon. But Abby is also prepared to be put in the box of accused once again for something he has no connection with. He loves his liberal friends.



  1. Is there a newspaper report which says that most north Indians have the same gene as those found among people from Middle East or Europe?

  2. What is the difference between the High court telling the Muslims to allow women into the dargah or the Hindus to allow women into the sanctum sanatorium or a grand mufti in some Islamic country telling Christians/Jews/atheists/agnostics to not do this or that with their women or France banning the burkini/hijab/niqab ?

    If the grand mufti is imposing the Islamic sharia, then the judge of the high court is implementing the constitutional sharia.

    In the case of the grand mufti, they do not make bones about the fact that they are enforcing the Islamic sharia, but in the case of liberal secular countries, they keep enforcing their constitutional sharia on people while at the same time claiming to allow all religions to practice as they wish.

    They should be more forthcoming and clearly declare that only those parts of religions will be tolerated which fall in line with the “holy book” of the country, the constitution, till then, such rulings are plain and simple, hypocritical.

    1. Sir, firstly you do not even refer to the position of Hindus in Islamic countries which tells me where they stand.

      Secondly, it is very sad that you refer to the “Constitutional Sharia”. There are many differences, the first of which is that it is a creation of the people of this country, which includes you. The Preamble reads “We the people of India….”.

      It is one of the noblest documents known to mankind, available to us, but denied to the people of many nations.

      It is the Constitution, above all, which enables you to hold the views you do, speak and write about it.

      To speak of the document which allows us all to breathe the air of freedom as “their Constitution” reflects profound ignorance, and is possibly the root of your problems.

      Seshan Ranganathan

  3. By the way, there is another religious group in India who do not allow Men as well as Women of another religion to enter their sacred places, will the High court force them to open their doors to all others ?

  4. Imagine if the Gulf countries ban and criminalize the consumption of vegetables because the Gulf is mainly desert where plants do not grow much, thus they want to preserve any plant they can as they cannot withstand poor plants and vegetables being eaten alive, grilled, fried or boiled in hot water with chilly powder added!

    1. This is not a correct analogy as all people eat vegetables without any religious taboo or prohibition.

      A better analogy is whether in Islamic nations eating pork is permitted?

      As a vegetarian, I am against the killing of all animals. So, since the majority of Hindus are non-vegetarians, I should be having a problem with them. But I accept the fact and adjust with the majority whether Hindu, Muslim, Paris or Sikh.

      In the case of beef, Hindus have venerated the cow for several 1000 years.

      By and large, Muslims have always respected this sentiment and it is such adjustments on both sides, which have enabled us all to peacefully co-exist.

      There has been national condemnation of those who are taking the law into their hands with whatever ulterior motives. The fringe on both sides if the communal divide never want peace.

      It is for ordinary Hindus and Muslims to ensure that there is no divide in the first place.


      Seshan Ranganathan

      1. I agree with you on all points except one. When we talk about beef, why do majority of people consider it to be cow meat only?? Punish those who eat the gau-mass, but why treat every beef as cow-meat??

  5. I went through a number of articles and I am glad I did because I think I got a whiff of what Muslims in India think and feel and also something about Islam, the different Schools and its diversity in India.

    Islam I understand is very old in India with the first mosque coming up in Kerala in 628 AD. Much of the relatively peaceful co-existence over the centuries may have to do with communities left to their individual devices. Without any external force, the cementing may have come from a common culture and those extraordinary individuals from either community who reached out and created bridges which were then emulated elsewhere.

    On a rainy monsoon evening here in Thane, I pray that all men of goodwill reach out to each other and forsake the desire to achieve a false and ephemeral homogeneity. This is our country. There is much that is wrong with it and a great many things we can be proud of.

    Once again, I thank you, for giving me a different point of view.


    Seshan Ranganathan
    Thane, Maharashtra

  6. Hello Brumby,

    I am so thankful to you for this thread that teaches Muslim men our religion and how to treat our wives

    I mean what would we Muslim men have done if not for this thread reforming the barbaric, backwards and selfish ways in which we deal with our wives, finally we have seen bright reformist light at the end of a very dark tunnel after hundreds of years.
    (All the above is sarcasm for those with a weak detector)

    On a more serious note, that twitter thread is as patronizing as one can get, its equivalent is white Australians lecturing you about how to treat your wife and daughters because you come from a brown, third world country, where they treat their womenfolk as chattel….

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