islamic india

One of the things I hate surrounding the dialogue of India/Pakistan/Bangladesh Partition is how people from these countries just blame the Partition on the British. Let’s have a conversation about how lots of Hindu leaders (Nehru) weren’t willing to make compromises for the Muslims which left a separate state as the only option for the Muslim leaders and population. Let’s not disguise the blatant Islamophobia in the leaders of (future) India, who had as much a hand to play in Partition as the leaders of Pakistan and the British.

I understand that yes, the British definitely capitalized off religious tension and exacerbated it to a large extent. But Indian leaders had lots of opportunities to preserve unity if they’d been willing to compromise to safeguard the Muslims and other religious minorities. Don’t throw the religious prejudice in our history and communities, which is a VERY large part of the equation that resulted in Partition, under the rug and put the blame on the British. It’s our fault too and we need to take responsibility for that if we want to move forward as one people, regardless of our nationalities.

Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking, Surrey, England.

The first mosque in the UK, it was a collaborative project between Orientalist Gottlieb Leitner and the Nawab-Begum Shahjahan of the Bhopal Nawabate, originally intended for Muslim students at Woking’s Oriental Institute.

It closed in 1912 when Leitner died, but was reopened a year later by a lawyer from Kashmir, Khwaja Khamal ah Din, who turned it into an Ahmadi masjid. During World War I, the Ahamdi Imam, Sadr-Ud-Din, secured an attached cemetery where several Indian Muslim soldiers were buried.

Photograph date 1903.