Contrary to the propaganda promoted by the Hindu pacifist who crow that we laid down for each and every conqueror and turned the other cheek to religions such as Islam and Christianity who inflicted untold damage to our civilization, actually ancient Hindus were far more tougher and no nonsense breed.
Only slowly we are becoming aware that we were a militarily powerful people who celebrated heroism and physical courage , no thanks to the defeatist NCERT/JNU style education. However it was believed that no matter what no Hindu could be provoked to do something as dastardly as destroy a mosque.
Now mind you, I don't like destroying mosques or cartoons mocking Prophet Mohammad, or burning Korans as I believe these are anti social and destructive pursuits. However at some point you begin to realize that radical Muslims(whose active terror groups are at the most 5%) source of strength come from the silent majority of Muslims who either tolerate it ,ignore it or passively support such atrocities amongst non believers living vicariously through them.
In the latter I don't judge them too harshly as I went through this phase myself. There was a time when I was an ardent supporter of the LTTE . I didn't mind at all when they killed Rajiv Gandhi or engaged in suicide bombings and other terrible acts against civilians including smuggling,extortion and fraud. I told myself that it was necessary to use methods against the wicked Sinhalese. While the Sinhalas are far from perfect in their treatment of Tamils in the past, there in reality was little justification for Tamil acts. So why did I believe that? I was rather affected deeply by dismissal of South Indians as a non martial race in British and post Independence Indian thought. Though I am not Tamil, as a Telugu I was related to Tamils by blood, culture, language and civilization. Hence I took pride in what the FBI declared to be the most deadliest insurgent group in the world.
There is something raw, visceral and pre modern about their propaganda, imagery and commitment.
Alas while they built on notions of Tamil ethos of heroism and sacrifice, they were ultimately a Marxist and Leninist group whose bloodthirstiness got out of control that they were shunned even by Tamils, not to mention the world community including myself.
So when Muslims who haven't won a war against non Muslims on their own in over a 100 years see the AQI,ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas etc etc give a bloody nose to Western powers and their allies such as Russia, India and Israel, I certainly cant empathize but I understand the thought process behind it.
Adam Smith noted that the best way to put morality in practice was to ensure to do so was in the subjects self interest. Hence Smith was an ardent opponent of slavery in moral terms, made the economic argument against it to bolster abolition effort. He believed that hiring employees instead of slaves would bolster productivity and efficiency.
Similarly Muslims will turn away from terrorism when it affects THEM badly as well. Support for terrorist groups took a sharp dive when Al Qaeda slaughtered tourists in Egypt and bombed a hotel in Jordan. And most of Iraqis turned against Islamists only after it become a hell hole not mostly to due to Bush bungling but to intra Islamic sectarian hatred that unleashed the most monstrous side of Mesopotamian politics described as observed since pre Biblical times.
What does this have to do with razing mosques? Muslims in general typify the Arab psyche encoded in the Quran where they understand the language of force than that of reason.
It is for this reason, that when Ranjit Singh and other Sikh misls turned mosques into horses' stables, the Mughal ruler did nothing. Similarly when Durgadas Rathod threw junks of pork in mosques,Aurganzeb could do nothing. Soviets would throw live pigs at worshippers in Central Asian mosques, Saudi Foreign Service didn't utter a single word. Vladmir Putin had a free hand in slaughtering in nearly 1/4th the population of young men in Muslim Chechnya, a few years later he was felicitated by the Arabs and Iranians and Turks grovel to him. Contrast this with Bush who in hapless attempt to help Iraq Muslims became an object of scorn and hatred.
After the Babri Masjid demolition, the Saudi mufti of Mecca actually gave his blessing for the construction of the Ram mandir. Only Indian Hindu seculars were deadest against it!
Which brings to topic at hand. The events in Cambay were apparently due to the incitement of "fire worshippers" in the words of the Turkic chronicler Mohammed Ulfi , a mob under the rule of Chaulukya king Siddharaj Solanki destroyed a mosque which was built and patronized by Arab traders domiciled in the area.
Ultimately Siddharaj did apologize and compensate the traders for their loss and punish the culprits,we have to keep a few things in perspective.
Contrary to the Pakistani fantasy of a 1000 year caliphate since the arrival of Mohammad Bin Qasim, the Arab efforts in India were ultimately a complete failure and humiliation.
Sitaram Goel narrates it best
- Two Arab naval expeditions repulsed in Thana and Broach in the reign of Caliph Omar(634-644)
- Land Expedition in Debal ,Sindh ended with the army leader Mughairah captured and killed
- Another land army sent under the fourth caliph ended with the defeat and slaughter of the entire army in 662
- The next Caliphs 5 expeditions were met with slaughter and defeat. Only the last was successful in occupying Makran in 682
- Muhammad Bin Qasim was successful in subduing Sindh in 713 but it was a shortlived victory. The subjects rebelled and the Arab rule was reduced to a narrow coastal strip for mostly mercantile activities
- With in the next 20 years , Sindh was reconquered and the Arabs advanced through Rajputana and down to Gujarat and Maharashtra where they met their match in Chalukya ruler Pulakesi in 738
- Pratihara king, Bhoja I defeated an Arab army in 725
- Lalitaditya of Kashmir halted the Arabs northern advance around 750 and compelled the losers to shave off their hair as a sign of submission
Contrast this to:
The Byzantine provinces of Palestine and Syria fell to them after a six month�s campaign in AD 636-637. Next came the turn of the Sassanid empire of Persia which included Iraq, Iran, and Khorasan. The Persians were defeated decisively in AD 637, and their entire empire was overrun in the next few years. By A.D. 643 the boundaries of the Caliphate touched the frontiers of India. The Turkish speaking territories of Inner Mongolia, Bukhara, Tashkand, and Samarkand, etc. were annexed by AD 650. Meanwhile, in the west, the Byzantine province of Egypt had fallen in AD 640-641. The Arab armies marched over North Africa till they reached the Atlantic and crossed over into Spain in AD 709.
In other words Islamic armies conquered a lands equivalent of a continent with all its varie peoples, armaments, treasures, cities, cultural artififacts and local religions at the disposal of Muslim triumphalists but couldn't make a foot hold in India despite determined efforts of resourceful Caliphs.
Now we begin to understand the psychology of the mob who tore down the mosque a little better. Successful and tyrannical conquerers who smashed Hindu sovereignity, temples, ravaged Hindu women and the economy and thereby Hindu self respect and self confidence such as Ghazni,Ghori, Aibak, Tughlaq , Khilji and Kafur were yet to arrive on the scene.
Hindus still held their head up and held Arabs in contempt. And these the people who were descended from and allied to Pulakesi and were in no mood for Arab assertions of supremacy. We do not know for sure what caused this act of destruction. It could be the unfair trading practices of the Arab merchants ,whether perceived or real. It is possible it was due to a misunderstanding or an attempt to thwart the competition. Keep in mind, Arabs were well respected as traders in Kerala and were so integrated that they started speaking Malayalam and dressed like Nairs. But also note the cultural differences, the Keralites were an warrior people who despised the notion of trade and markets. While the more pragmatic Gujaratis were a mercantile lot and shrewd traders to this very day. They even give the talent Jews a run for their money where they recently have overtaken the centuries old Jewish diamond merchants and cutters in Amsterdam.
So it is possible , it was attempt to clip the power of a rival party by using what is presumed to be aggressive Chalukya settlers from Karnataka to do the deed.
Remember it was mentioned that the mob was "incited" implying that there was no previous animus.
However the mosque was eventually rebuilt by Siddaraj but a hundred years later it was again destroyed by a king of Malwa(probably Bhimdev II)
But that is my take on the situation. The fact of the matter is that a mosque had not earned the aura of sanctity and fear that it would later acquire. Even the stalwart Hindu defenders of faith Shivaji and Vijayanagar kings would spare mosques in the conquest of Muslim held territories.
Ultimately while we don't wish to destroy mosques, most certainly not nuke Mecca and Medina as one colorful American politician Tom Tancredo considered , nor would we wish to burn Korans and mock the prophets but if Muslims learn that their sanctities are not more sacred than others and that they too bleed when others strike back, they become more likely to be good citizens.
It is human nature to be on best behavior when there is some sort of Damocles sort hanging over ones head and in the case of Muslims , more so.