3. Reforming inclusivity of Indian Muslims in pluralistic society, through a 'peace-lens' offered by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
This review paper proposes a theoretical framework for understanding intra-religious divergences within Islam that politically and religiously position a minority group having varied approaches to applying faith in context to gaining inclusion or fighting for exclusive rights in a multi-faith society. It attempts to unravel 'peace' in its facets and facades of interpreting Islamic texts and creating reformed philosophies of practice by renowned Islamist scholars in the modern world, aspiring towards preserving cultural identity alongside gaining seemingly inclusive rights under the pretext of secularism. 'Are exclusive rights to minorities anti-secular and undemocratic in nature?' is a common question posed by marginalised sections of Indian society.
Unless we, as Muslims, redefine our historic meanings attributed via cross-cultural engagements - to peace treaties, to our ancestral past of invasion and conquest, to the proliferation of religious identity and the principle tenets that dictate universal truth and justice in Islam, we will be considered a threat or anti-national element of any macro-society that has made provisions for our continued stay in their homelands. Indian Islam with the regional faiths must contextualize its specific demands for equal treatment of its believers in a secular nation-state, and not in comparison to the rights enjoyed by the people of majority faith in the country.
Maulana Wahiduddin's works entail such contextualization of Islam in India, making room for a secular way of being to arise amongst the Muslim brethren, in a society of plural cultures and modern views that value harmony over discord across cultures. By reconciliation and inner healing of enlivened traumas of the past, both as victims and perpetrators of colonial feuds, Muslims can gain acceptance by embracing India's rich cultural diversity, rather than being subject to polarized exclusions.