Will the Qutub Minar and the Taj Mahal too be destroyed by Hindutva vandals like the five-hundred-year-old Babri Masjid and replaced with temples?
Muslims in India can’t seem to catch a break. Every week there is a new assault on their faith, their culture, their heritage, their property, and even on their person.
The burgeoning culture war against Muslims includes an elaborate multi-issue assault on the Islamic heritage of India. Hindu rightwing groups are now demanding that the Qutub Minar’s name be changed to Vishnu Stambh (Vishnu Pillar). There is already an ongoing campaign to designate the Taj Mahal as a Hindu temple and rename it as Tejo Mahalaya, which is now being pursued more aggressively.
The playbook and the players that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid and beginning of construction of a Ram temple in its place is at it again. This time the targets are Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and Shahi Eidgah (royal place of Eid worship) in Mathura.
The strategy to erase Islam from the past has two elements, both of which can be summarized as civilizational vandalism. The first tactic is simple, destroy Islamic icons from the past and replace them with Hindu monuments or simply rename them. The destruction of the Babri Mosque and the allocation of the land to build a Ram temple is the most dramatic example of the first strategy.
Dr. Muqtedar Khan is a professor at the University of Delaware and host of the YouTube show Khanversations. He is the author of the award-winning book Islam and Good Governance: Political Philosophy of Ihsan (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). He Tweets @MuqtedarKhan.