how the world sees america

American Literature Can Inspire Secularism

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Malegaon, Maharashtra - In 2004, American Embassy representatives visited Malegaon to scope out its Muslim population and donated US$9000 worth of books to Professor Mustufa Khan’s secular university. But they gave nothing to the many madrassas they toured. This was a grave mistake, Khan tells me after prayers at Jamia Mohammadia Mansoora Madrassa.

The sprightly English professor speaks as though he’s reading aloud from a book in his mind, describing how American literature opened a world to him fifty years ago. Mark Twain passed through Malegaon’s main road over a century ago as he toured India, broke. Khan, among the few in the town to learn English, was curious and read Huckleberry Finn. He was transfixed by Huck’s “chicanery,” liberation and sense of equality. He went on to write a PhD dissertation on Twain and become an English professor, and still dreams of visiting the U.S.

“America must donate books to the madrassas,” says Khan, so its students can see the lively side of America, “what is positive about it” rather than “just the policies they disagree with.” Literature opens readers to new worlds. And textbooks also show “America’s great strength in education,” which, he surmises, might encourage madrassa students to pursue higher studies in secular fields like engineering or computer science, and might encourage some of them to come to the U.S. to work or learn. This is a good thing, preparing them to enter the world’s job market, and giving them a new view of America.

But he believes Americans, including the ones who visited him, see “madrassas as radical places where students are indoctrinated against America and are trained to fight.” The American Embassy officials who visited Malegaon “thought some medieval education of the dark ages was being given to the Muslim youth.” When the embassy officials visited, they were “pleasantly surprised,” and the visitors log book records them praising the madrassa staff. But they weren’t pleased enough to send any books here.

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Comments (24)

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when did i say i had any feeling for pak or bangl? i did not mention them. are you sure you are responding to my post.
im the guy who thinks that all islamics that follow the koran are terrorists.



I appreciate the time and effort to provide the information.

I have no qualms about the history. We know there were terrible things done by Muslims to my country in the past. As stupid as it may sound we are ready to forget all those and I think most of us did already.

My only problem is when you were given 2 countries just for you out of my motherland to practice your henious culture you decided to not go there and decided to live with us.

What more can any one do..and in return what we got is car bombings and terrorist plots day in and day out and treason in every muslim corner of india.

If you loved Pakistan or Bangladesh so much why dodnt you move there and leave us alone.

We waited more than 50 years for them to change their ways and now is the time to act.

Purge every pakistan loving jihad practicing muslim traitors (That would be all muslims in India).



I have no doubt that giving books to anyone is a worthy cause even if it doesnt work. At the same time I have no false hopes that any number of books and teachings are going to change the Muslims.

You could have argued that they were doing all this because they were poor and illiterate but no more not after seeing so many educated and well to do Muslims blowing themselves to kill others.

All the 911 hijackers were educated and the london and everywhere else.

Agreed there are always exceptions like Prof. Mustafa but trying to help the few exceptional people (peaceful muslims) is not worth the risk of doing nothing or not enough about the overwhelming majority.


orl is pathetic

Muslims are not persecuted today.

Muslims are the ones doing the persecuting. They are the ones killing Christians in the Middle East and Dafur. Get it straight moron.

frank collins:

islam spreads itself with violence. there is not one country in the world that is islamic that chose that originally. even india was the subject of the most violent acts of islam.
and why does anyone think that a few western books will make people who have been taught from birth by their islamic parents - that the god of islam require hate and murder? dont forget that you get killed for leaving islam.
i have already posted the history of islam in india.
and talk about bigots. every islamic is a bogot - hating and murdering simply because someone is not islamic and does not want to be.
islam is a terrorist cult of death, and it has been for 1400 years.
you really think a book is going to change that?
ask some hindu's who live in towns that islamics took by force and now control - even hundreds of years later hindus and others are still oppresed by them.


My two submissions would be

"Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls and "Hatchet" by Gary Paulson.


As far as the longevity of Western culture goes, the display of "simplicity" of thought by several of the above posters is not a comforting sight. Cultures spread themselves through exposure and propaganda, and people cannot evaluate evidence that they never see. Exposing younger members of other societies, especially Islamic ones, to positive views of Western culture makes possible any ability to reject extremely negative views offered to them by radical imams.

Young children in schools are not animals or terrorists. The teachings of Jesus of Nazareth are quite clear on that point.


and where are islamics persecuted today.


x2 writes:

margaret is a stupid idiot.

Muslims are violent NOW.

Christians were violent.

I'm not living in the past.


X2 is a stupid idiot.

Muslims are persecuted NOW.

Christians were persecuted.

Muslims live in the present.


margaret is a stupid idiot.

Muslims are violent NOW.

Christians were violent.

I'm not living in the past.


when the civilized world were fighting the nazi scum what side was islam on? i will give u 3 guesses and the first 2 dont count.

here is the answer:

frank collins:

if you are islamic and you do those things i posted, vile and evil things, YOU ARE COMPLYING WITH THE DEMANDS OF ISLAM.
if you claim to be a christian and you do those vile evil things YOU ARE VIOLATING THE COMMANDS OF JESUS..


Margaret :

The history of Christianity is no more peaceful then the history you have layed out of Islam.


here is a hint. go on line and download the book. many of them are not public domain.
not one american penny for schools that only want to force the terror of islam on those that dont want it.
and dont tell me that islam is peaceful. here is islam in india.
here is a outline of the love and peace showered on india by their peace loving islamic brothers. a good number of these accounts have come from the writings of ISLAMIC writers extoling the victory [?] over the lowly hindus:

the Islamic invasion actually attempted to decimate the Indian religions of Dharma and the Culture of Bhaaratvarsha, but they did not succeed.

(From the accounts of arikh-i-Yamini of Utbi the secretary of Mahmud of Gaznavi) talking about killing indians and battles.
At Thaneshwar.
"The blood of the infidels flowed so copiously at Thanesar that the stream was discolored, not withstanding its purity, and people were unable to drink it. The Sultan returned with plunder which is impossible to count. Praise be to Allah for the honor he bestows on Islam and Muslims."
At Somnath
"The Muslims paid no regard to the booty till they had satiated themselves with the slaughter of the infidels and worshipers of sun and fire.... The number of infidels killed exceeded 50,000"
At Mathura
"The infidels...deserted the fort and tried to cross the foaming river...but many of them were slain, taken or drowned... Nearly fifty thousand men were killed."
Mahmud of Ghori
(from Hasan Nizami's Taj-ul-Maasir) Kol (Modern Aligarh)
"Those of the horizon who were wise and acute were converted to Islam, but those who stood by their ancestoral faith were slain with the sword"
Kol (Modern Aligarh) 20,000 prisoners were taken and made slaves
'Three bastions were raised as high as heaven with their heads and their carcases became food for the beasts of prey
Kalinjar - 50,000 prisoners were taken as slaves
Varnasi or Kasi (Benaras) : Kamil-ut-Tawarikh of Ibn Asir records,
"The slaughter of Hindus (at Varanasi) was immense; none were spared except women and children,(who were taken into slavery) and the carnage of men went on until the earth was weary."
Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq
(from Insha-i-Mahry by Amud Din Abdullah bin Mahru)
Delhi: -a punishment in detail (from Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi)
"A report was brought to the Sultan than there was in Delhi an old Brahman who persisted in publicly performing the worship of idols in his house and that people of the city, both Muslims and Hindus used to resort to his house to worship the idol. The Brahman had constructed a wooden tablet which was covered within and without with paintings of demons and other objects. An order was accordingly given to the Brahman and was brought before Sultan.The true faith was declared to the Brahman and the right course pointed out. but he refused to accept it. A pile was risen on which the Kaffir with his hands and legs tied was thrown into and the wooden tablet on the top. The pile was lit at two places his head and his feet. The fire first reached him in the feet and drew from him a cry and then fire completley enveloped him. Behold Sultan for his strict adherence to law and rectitude."
Delhi : (after Hindus paid the toleration tax (zar-i zimmiya) and poll-tax(jizya) they were foolish enough to build their "Under divine guidance I (Sultan) destroyed these temples and I killed the leaders of these infedility and others I subjected to stripes and chastisement "
Gohana (Haryana):
"Some Hindus had erected a new idol-temple in the village of Kohana and the idolaters used to assemble there and perform their idolatrous rites. These people were seized and brought before me. I ordered that the perverse conduct of these leaders of this wickedness be punished by publicly abd that they should be put to deathe before the gate of the palace."
Jajnagar:(Expedition objectives as stated by Sultan: Source:Ainn-ul-Mulk)
massacring the unbelievers, demolishing their temples, hunting the elephants, getting a glimpse of their enchanting country
Orissa:'Sirat-i-Firoz Shahi' records his expedition with the following words:
"Nearly 100,000 men of Jajnagar had taken refuge with their women, children, kinsmen and relations The swordsmen of Islam turned the island into a basin of blood by the massacre of the unbelievers. Women with babies and pregnant ladies were haltered, manacled, fettered and enchained, and pressed as slaves into service in the house of every soldier."
The Jihads of Shihabuddin,
the Sultankalka of Ghur

Around 1140, the Islamized Turko-Mongol chiefs of the Shansabanid tribe occupied Ghor in Afghanistan. Initially it was a vassal of the Ghaznavid Sultans, but around 1130 it came into conflict with them, after one of the leading Shansabanid nobles was murdered by the Ghaznavid Sultan, Bahram. A ferocious war ensued between the Sultans of Ghor and Ghazni, till Alla-ud-din Ghori invaded Ghazni with his entire cavalry and wrested it from Bahram. Alla-ud-din sacked the Indian spoils that Mahmud had placed there, massacred the city’s population in a 7-day killing spree and subsequently burnt it down. The next Ghaznavid Sultan, Khushro Maliq was driven out of Afghanistan by a coalition of Oghuz Turks and the Ghorids in 1157, and the Oghuz took Ghazni. The sons of Alla-ud-din, Ghiyas-ud-din Mu’azz-ud-din Ghori and Shihab-ud-din Muhammad Ghori defeated the Oghuz and annexed Ghazni in 1174. Ghiyas-ud-din, crowned himself Sultan, and appointed his brother Sultankalka. Shihab-ud-din was assigned the task of extending the kingdom to the East and he naturally gravitated towards India. 13 bloody campaigns that ravaged Northern India followed:

• Early in 1175 he invaded Punjab and sacked and burned Uch...(1)

• In 1178 he advanced south and marched towards Gujarat, but here the Indians acted quickly and rallying under the western chAlukya king MUlarAja II routed the Islamic forces completely forcing him to retreat...(2)

• In 1179 Ghori sent a message to PrithivirAja chAhamAna to make common cause with him against the Chalukyas. Prithivaraj however, wise disregarding his foolish minister, kadambavAsa’s advise to make a common cause with Ghori, preemptively attacked NaDDula and reconquered it from the Moslems.

• Shihab recovered in 1180 and invaded Sindh and ravaged the population carrying away much loot...(3)

• Then Shihabuddin Muhammad, quickly followed it up in 1181 and 1184 with two invasions of Lavapura (Lahore) accompanied with much slaughter...(4+5)

• In 1186 he invaded the Ghaznavid occupied Punjab and defeated the Sultan Khushro Maliq and wrested Punjab...(6)

• 1188 The Ghur Sultankalka invaded the ChAhamAna kingdom and sacked the fort of Tabarhindah killing the Hindu male populace and raping the women. Hindu refugees flocked around Delhi alarming the ChAhamAnas...(7)

• 1191 PrithivirAj advanced to meet Shihabuddin’s raid and routed him in the great battle of Tarai. While the Muslims suffered a crushing defeat, the Indians failed to butcher them to man and allowed Shihab to get away unharmed. He fled back to Central Asia leaving Punjab completely undefended...(8)

• 1191 PrithivirAj attacked Tabarhindah and took it back from the Muslims. Here the biggest mistake of the Hindus was not to reconquer and arm Punjab suitably.

• 1192 Shihab returned and sacked Tabarhindah again. This was followed by the second battle of Tarai, the ChAhamAna army was crushed and Prithiviraj was captured and brutally tortured to death...(9)

• 1192 the Ghur Sultankalka made a second trust towards Ajayamerupura (Ajmer) and sacked it smashing Hindu temples and a Hindu university in course of this invasion. The Hindus captured in this expedition caused slave prices to fall to a few Dirhams in the Muslim markets...(10)

• 1193 The sultankalka invaded Kannauj and slew the GAhadwala king Jayachandra. He followed this up with an invasion of vArANsipura slaughtering Hindus with great savagery and desecrating the holy city...(11+12)

After this, his viceroy Kutub-ud-din (also his lover?) and the Turkish adventurer Ikhtiyaruddin Khalji furthered the violence of Islam in the land of Hind. Meanwhile Shihab’s brother died in Ghazna and he crowned himself Sultan and immediately launched himself into another Jihad on the infidels of Hindustan in 1206. The exact course of this campaign is not clear. While on the North-western reaches of the Sindhu, he was ambushed by the Khokar chiefs and shot down by an arrow...(13). Thus ended the carrier of the Moslem brigand who brought misery to the whole of northern India through his 13 invasions.

Aurangazeb (1658 - 1707 )
Aurangzeb considered himself "The Scourge Of The Kafirs" (non-believers) and closed Hindu schools and libraries. In his lifetime he destroyed more than 10,000 Hindu, Buddhist and Jam temples and often erected mosques in their stead.3 In 1669 in Agra he had hacked off the limbs of the recalcitrant Hindu King Gokla and in 1672 several thousand revolting Hindus were slaughtered in Mewat.

From: Maasi-i-Alamgiri

Issued general order to destroy all centers of Hindu learnings including Varnasi and destroyed the temple at Mathura and renamed it as Islamabad
In Khandela (rajastan) he killed 300 Hindus in one day for they resisted the destruction of their temple.
In Udaipur all Hindus of the town were killed as they vowed to defend the temple of Udaipur from destruction.
172 temples were destroyed in Udaipur.
66 temples were pulled down in Amber. All Hindu clerks were dismissed from the office of the Imperial empire.
In Pandhpur , Maharashtra, the Emperor ordered and executed the destruction of temple and butchering of cows within the temple.
Aurangazeb also tortured to death the disciples of Guru Tegh bahadur before his death and also killed Guru. Guru Tegh Bahadur - the pride of Hindustan was martyred for he spoke for the persecuted Hindus of Hindustan. Aurangazeb also killed Guru Gobind singh's two children aged less than ten by walling them alive for not accepting the choice of Islam. In Punjab Muslim governors killed hundreds of Sikh children and made Sikh women eat the flesh of their own killed children. Banda Bahadur another great Sikh martyr before being torturd to death was also made to eat the flesh of his own children killed before his eyes. Any Muslim bringing the head of a dead Sikh was also awarded money

Zahiru'd-Din Muhammed Babur (1526 - 1520 )
Babur's Own Words on Killing Hindus:
For the sake of Islam I became a wanderer,
I battled infidels and Hindus,
I determined to become a maryr
Thank God I became a Killer of Non-Muslims!

From Baburnama, the Memoires of Babur Himself:
In AH 934 (1538 ) I attacked Chanderi and by the grace of Allah captured it in a few hours. We got the infidels slaughtered and the place which had be Daru'l-Harb (nation of non-muslim) for years was made into a Daru'l-Islam (muslim nation).

Guru Nanak on Babur's atrocities:
Source:Rag Asa Guru Nanak Dev witnessed first hand the atrocities Babur committed on Hindus and recorded them in his poems. He says: Having attacked Khuraasaan, Babar terrified Hindustan. The Creator Himself does not take the blame, but has sent the Mugal as the messenger of death. There was so much slaughter that the people screamed. Didn't You feel compassion, Lord? pg (360)

On the condition of Hindu women in Babur's monster rule:
Those heads adorned with braided hair, with their parts painted with vermillion - those heads were shaved with scissors, and their throats were choked with dust.They lived in palatial mansions, but now, they cannot even sit near the palaces.... ropes were put around their necks, and their strings of pearls were broken. Their wealth and youthful beauty, which gave them so much pleasure, have now become their enemies. The order was given to the soldiers, who dishonored them, and carried them away. If it is pleasing to God's Will, He bestows greatness; if is pleases His Will, He bestows punishment pg(417-18)

On the nature of Mughal rule under Babur:
First, the tree puts down its roots, and then it spreads out its shade above. The kings are tigers, and their officials are dogs; they go out and awaken the sleeping people to harass them. The public servants inflict wounds with their nails. The dogs lick up the blood that is spilled. Source:Rag Malar, (pg.1288)

From an article by Dr. Harsh Narain on Muslim Testimony (Indian Express 2/26/90):
Since the establishment of Zahiru'd-Din Ghazi's rule, officers and religious leaders spread Islam vigorously desteroying the Hindu faith. We cleared the filth of Hinduism from Faizabad and Avadh.

Jahangir (1605 - 1628)
Source: Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri
Though in the beginning of his rule Jahangir followed the humanistic rule of his father Akbar the great -the policy of sulehkul even issued a proclamation against the forcible conversion of Hindus to Islam, he revoked Akbar's orders that those who have been forcibly converted from Islam could return to Hinduism. He severely punished Kaukab, Sharif and Abdul Latif for showing inclination to Hinduism. He also prohibited the free inter-marriage customs between Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir. Hindus marrying Muslim girls and those who had already married were given a hoice between Islam and death. Many were killed.

Jahangir's torture of Guru Arjun Dev ji: Guru was imprisoned at Lahore fort. He was chained to a post in an open place exposed to the sun from morning to evening in the summer months of May to June. Below his feet a heap of sand was put which burnt like a furnace. Boiling water was poured on his naked body at intervals. His body was covered with blisters all over. In this agony Guru used to utter.

Tera Kiya Metha lage, naam padarath Nanak mange(whatever you ordain appears sweet. I supplicate for the gift of name)

The Guru was ordercd to be executed. In addition a fine of Rupees two lakhs was imposed on him. Some historians say that, as a measure of clemency at the intervention of Mian Mir, this fine was imposed in lieu of the sentence of death. The Sikhs offered to pay the fine themselves but the Guru forbade them to do so. He replied to the Emperor, "Whatever money I have is for the poor, the friendless and the stranger. If thou ask for money thou mayest take what I have; but if thou ask for it by way of fine, I shall not give thee even a Kaurz (penny)." The Guru accepted death by torture.

Shah Jahan (1658 - 1707)
In 1632 Shah jahan ordered that all Hindu temples recently erected or in the course of construction should be razed to the ground. In Benares alone seventy six temples were destroyed. Christian churches at Agra and Lahore were demolished. In a manner befitting the Prophet he had ten thousand inhabitants executed by being "blown up with powder, drowned in water or burnt by fire". Four thousand were taken captive to Agra where they were tortured to try to convert them to Islam. Only a few apostacised, the remainder were trampled to death by elephants, except for the younger women who went to harems.

Shahjahan put enormous eonomic pressure on Hindus particularly peasents to become Muslims. The criminals too were forced to become Muslims.

Source: Badshah Nama, Qazinivi & Badshah Nama , Lahori

When Shuja was appointed as governor of Kabul he carried on a ruthless war in the Hindu territory beyond Indus...The sword of Islam yielded a rich crop of converts....Most of the women (to save their honour) burnt themselves to death. Those captured were distributed among Muslim Mansabdars.

Source: Manucci, Storia do Mogor vol-II p.451 & Travels of Frey Sebastian Manrique

Under Shahjahan peasents were compelled to sell their women and children to meet their revenue requirements....The peasents were carried off to various Markets and fairs to be sold with their poor unhappy wives carrying their small children crying and lamenting. According to Qaznivi Shahjagan had decreed they should be sold to Muslim lords.

mustufa khan :


Splendid coverage featuring me, though laudatory it is down to earth reality. Many would love reading American literature to dispell the artificial gloom that is the by product of war on terrorism.
I am really grateful that you have made a nonentity feel so overwhemingly happy. May be we will see better days in our own life time.
Thanks again.
yours humbly
mustufa khan

frank collins:

as long as islam feels that anyone not islamic is a valid target - that reading our books will make then disrergard what they feel is the inspired word of god via the koran.
wake up - it does not work that way.


humanizing them? like the 911 animals. the islamics dont care about you if you are not islamic, they just want you dead if you dont conver.


Reading the literature of a people humanizes them in the mind of the reader, and that will be the primary benefit of reading American books, to humanize Americans in the minds of nonAmericans. By the same token, America needs to learn about the rest of the world by reading the world's literature too. But it is much easier for the US to invade a country and attack a people about which common Americans know absolutely nothing, of course, forget about reading their literature.


Using American literature to spread ideas and debates is a wonderful and underestimated tool of public diplomacy. Some people just don't have access to the kind of materials that would make them question prevailing negative opinions about the U.S. I'm curious- are there any non-governmental organizations (think tanks, foundations etc.) that lead such politically-motivated literary initiatives?


what fool gives money to islamic terrorists. and yes every islamic is a terrorist. why do i say that - becasue the koran demands that they be terrorists.
The Hadith No. 284, The Muslim, volume one, says that any Jew or Christian, who heard of Muhammad but did not convert to Islam, and died in disbelief, would rot in hell! Thus Islam withdraws from all Jews and Christians the right to believe in their faiths, and practice them as such.
"The unbelievers of the People of the Book and the idolators shall be in the Fire of Hell therein dwelling for ever; those are the worst of creatures. But those who believe, and do righteous deeds, those are the best of creatures..." (XCVIII: The Clear Sign: 5)
Here those Jews and Christians, who spurn Islam, have been lumped together with the idolators such as the Hindus, and classified as 'the worst of creatures'. Therefore the Koran commands:
"O believers, take not as your friends those of them, who were given the Book before you, and the unbelievers, who take your religion in mockery and as a sport..." (V: The Table: 60)
"The true believers say: Has not God ordered a chapter that commands the holy war" (Sura 47:22); or elsewhere: "Kill the idolaters wherever you find them, imprison them, besiege them, ambush them" (Sura 9:5); and, "Make war on unbelievers" (Sura 9:29). "When you come upon unbelievers, massacre them, tighten the bands of the captives that you will have taken. Then you will set them free, or you will release them for a ransom" (Sura 8:57).
"To Allah, there are no animals viler than those who do not believe and remain unbelievers" (Sura 8:57). That is why it is necessary to Islamize them by force and by humiliation. And those who resist Islam and its founder must be chastised, according to the Koran: "Here is the fate of those who fight Allah and his messenger: you will put them to death or you will make them suffer the torture of the cross; you will cut their hands and their feet alternately. They will be driven from the country" (Sura 5:37).
"Do not display cowardice, and do not call the infidels to peace when you are superior to them" (Sura 47:22). THIS ALLOWS THEM TO MAKE PEACE SO THAT THEY CAN MAKE WAR AGAIN LATER.
4.89": They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.
"4.90": Except those who reach a people between whom and you there is an alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you or fighting their own people; and if Allah had pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they should have certainly fought you; therefore if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way against them.
"4.91": You will find others who desire that they should be safe from you and secure from their own people; as often as they are sent back to the mischief they get thrown into it headlong; therefore if they do not withdraw from you, and (do not) offer you peace and restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them; and against these We have given you a clear authority."


Hi Amar.

Imagine sending them books by all the great American minds that have insisted: "YOU should think for yourself!"

Powerful message.

Cheaper than your usual war.

Cheaper than Voice of America...

Take care.

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