“Culture is the root of politics and religion is the root of culture,” Richard John Neuhaus said.
This truth is demonstrated by the way non-Muslims are treated in Pakistan, Turkey and Arab nations versus the way Muslims are treated in India, Greece and Israel.
Pakistan was majority Hindu before the jihadist Islamic conquest that began in the eighth century. Modern Pakistan was created by the partition of India in 1947. Now, due to Muslim persecution, the indigenous Hindu community is on the verge of extinction.
A report by the Hindu American Foundation noted, “The number of Hindus declined from 15% in West Pakistan at the time of Partition [in 1947] to approximately 2% in 1951. … Today, Hindus comprise only 1.6% and continue to flee to India to escape persecution.”
“There has been an even greater decline in major cities with historically large Hindu populations,” the report found. “In Lahore, for instance, the Hindu/Sikh community was approximately 40% of the population in 1941 and today makes up less than 1%, with only two functioning Hindu temples remaining.”
The report also stated that the abduction and forced conversion of Hindu girls is rampant. Minorities live as second-class citizens. Ancient Hindu temples have disappeared and new ones are under attack.
India, by contrast, has significant minority representation in government and the military. It is a refuge for faith communities fleeing persecution, such as Tibetan Buddhists; Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afghan Hindus; and Ahmadiyya Muslims.
India’s Muslim population has consistently risen since partition. Today, it is the world’s third-largest. The percentage of Muslims has risen from 9.8% in 1951 to 14.4%.
Greece and Turkey also differ in their treatment of religious minorities.
The Western Thrace region of Greece is home to a sizable Muslim community, estimated at 120,000. It may be as high as 150,000. They enjoy religious freedom and fundamental human rights. There are Muslim lawmakers in the Greek parliament.
The Muslim presence in Greece dates to the Ottoman occupation, which lasted from the 15th to the 19th century. Many Greek Muslims are descendants of Christian Greek converts.
By contrast, according to a 2005 news report, only around 1,200 indigenous Greeks remain in Turkey. They reside in Constantinople/Istanbul, a city their ancestors built centuries ago and stolen from them by Turkish invaders. Their population collapse is not a result of natural causes but of decades-long persecution.
In 1955, for example, the Greeks of Constantinople suffered a pogrom that prompted many to flee the country. This occurred only decades after a targeted genocide. Today, Greeks in Turkey are on the verge of extinction. Turkey’s government has effectively completed the genocide.
One sees the same contrast in the way Israel treats its Arab citizens versus the way Arab governments treated their Jewish citizens.
Israel has a growing Arab population of more than 2 million, 21% of the population. Arabic has a “special status.” Arabs serve in government and have hundreds of mosques and schools. There is no legal segregation.
This has not been reciprocated by the Arab countries. In the second half of the 20th century, approximately a million Jews from nine Arab countries and Iran were forced to flee the lands their ancestors had lived on for more than 2,500 years, long before the advent of Islam.
Jews have been ethnically cleansed from Gaza and parts of Judea and Samaria. Hamas does not allow any Jews to live in Gaza. In Palestinian-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, selling property or land to a Jew is a crime punishable by death.
It is clear that the traditional Muslim treatment of Jews is systemic discrimination and eventual ethnic cleansing.
In Christian Greece, Hindu India and Jewish Israel, Muslim and other minorities do not suffer from persecution. That is why they are attractive places for asylum seekers and migrants.
Conversely, Pakistan was once majority Hindu, Western Thrace was Christian and Anatolia (now Turkey) was majority Christian before their populations were Islamized or expelled.
Today, in Pakistan, Turkey and the Arab nations, non-Muslim citizens are exposed to systemic human rights abuses. In countries ruled by Islamic sharia law, the situation is worst of all. Even Muslims who want to leave their religion are subject to the death penalty, imprisonment or confiscation of property. Blasphemy is also punishable by death.
According to a report by the Jubilee Campaign submitted to the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, “Currently, there are six nations that maintain the death penalty for apostasy only: Malaysia, Maldives, Qatar, Somalia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Additionally, there are seven countries that maintain the death penalty for both apostasy and blasphemy: Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.”
All are Muslim nations.
The source of this civilizational difference is one of religious ethics. The belief systems of Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and even most atheists agree on the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The Hebrew Bible states: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19.18).
The New Testament holds: “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
Hindu scripture states: “One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality” (Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8).
Islamic religious texts, in contrast, largely refer to non-Muslims (kafirs or infidels) with hate and dehumanization.
Dr. Bill Warner, the president of the Center for the Study of Political Islam International, noted: “The Quran defines the kafir and says that the kafir is hated (40:35), mocked (83:34), punished (25:77), beheaded (47:4), confused (6:25), plotted against (86:15), terrorized (8:12), annihilated (6:45), killed (4:91), crucified (5:33), made war on (9:29), ignorant (6:111), evil (23:97), disgraced (37:18), cursed (33:60), stolen from (Bukhari 5,59,537), raped (Ishaq 759) and a Muslim is not the friend of a kafir (3:28).”
“Christians and Jews are infidels, but infidels are kafirs too,” he stated. “Polytheists are Hindus, but they are also kafirs. The terms infidel and polytheist are religious words. Only the word ‘kafir’ shows the common political treatment of Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, animist, atheist and humanist.”
Political Islam’s hatred of kafirs is antithetical to the Golden Rule. Dr. Warner explained: “The Golden Rule is an ethic of unity. Everyone is treated the same—one ethical system for all people. This has been said in many ways in many cultures, but there is one doctrine that does not agree with these ethics—Islam.”
“Islam divides the entire world into Islam and kafirs and has two sets of ethics, one for Islam and another for the rest,” he continued. “The Golden Rule has the equality of all humanity as its basis. It is not: ‘Do unto some people as you would have them do unto you,’ but ‘do unto all people as you would have them do unto you.’”
“Islam denies the universality of the Golden Rule because Islam starts with the division of the entire world, all humanity, into two different groups—Islamic and non-Islamic,” Warner noted. “Every aspect of Islamic ethics is based upon this separation. Having two distinct groups leads to two different ethical codes. Said another way, Islam has dualistic ethics.”
The cultures of non-Muslim nations such as Greece, India and Israel adhere to the Golden Rule. They organize their political systems accordingly.
Sadly, Muslim governments do not possess the same ethical code of conduct. That is why there are no Muslim-majority countries where non-Muslim citizens are free and safe. This civilizational and cultural difference stems from the spiritual difference between Islam and other religions, and it leads to the eventual demographic collapse of non-Muslim communities.