Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 6: In the Period of 'Muslim Rule'
Continued from here.
Masood Alam Falahi
(Translated by Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com)
[Part 6 of Masood Alam Falahi's Urdu book Hindustan Mai Zat-Pat Aur Musalman ('Casteism Among Muslims in India')]
With its philosophy of human equality Islam would have rapidly spread across India but this was not to be tolerated by the upholders of Brahminism or Manuvad. With the conversion of vast numbers of oppressed caste people to Islam they saw their hegemony, built on the caste system and untouchability, rapidly crumbling. They realised that if they did not modify Hinduism and if they did not halt the spread of Islam, Hinduism would be destroyed forever. Accordingly, they adopted many different strategies to counter the Islamic wave.
Division of Muslims into 'High' and 'Low'
Because political power over most of India was now in the hands of Muslims, the Brahminists could not quash them in the same way as they had earlier destroyed the Buddhists and the Jains—by physically exterminating them on a massive scale. Instead, they tried every means to prevent the further expansion of Islam. To take revenge on the Muslims for their political defeat and for attracting vast numbers of Shudras to the Muslim fold, the Brahmins spared no effort to promote hatred against the Muslims and their faith. In this way they tried to dissuade the Shudras and others from converting to Islam. They branded the Muslims as despicable Mlecchas, and treated them as 'impure' and 'polluted', a tendency that continues even today in large parts of India. This is why, leaving aside the Dalits, even 'low' caste Hindus refused to consume food or water touched by Muslims or to draw water from wells used by Muslims. If a Muslim touched a Hindu's water pot, he would break it, considering it to have been rendered impure. If a Muslim touched a Hindu, he would consider himself polluted and would have to take a ritual bath to 'cleanse' himself.