Christian Madarasas: Making A Comeback?

Posted in America, India, Media, politics, Propaganda, Religion, Satire by Anuraag Sanghi on March 16, 2013

Just like the Taliban, modern Christian West can be paranoid about people who eat differently, dress differently. Remember the dot-busters. Or the anti-yoga wave.

If Islamic madarsas taught Koran and gave rise to Taliban, will we see Christian madarsas and Christian Taliban when Western schools re-start teaching Bible?

Republican Democracies

By the time Napoleon started secular education in France, Christian Taliban reared in Christian madarsas, had already wiped out entire populations in North America and Australia, ravaged the South American and African continents – and killed tens of millions in India and Asia.

Talibanic Roots

The word Taliban comes from talib – that is one who has received taalim – education. Usually at a madarsa. Designed to give competence in Arabic, build knowledge in Quran and Muslim theology, madarsas have long been the backbone of Islāmic education.

Why is post-Napoleonic, secular, State-controlled education system so afraid of religion? Why is the Bible not taught in schools? The Western experience with the Church, Christianity – the persecution and oppression that came along with it, has deeply scarred the people in the West. Knowing the method of religion, Western liberals resist the idea of religion in public life and State support for religion.

But is there a chance of Christian madarsas making a comeback?

Thirty Days and Thirty Nights

The last one month alone has given a strong indication that Christian madarsas may not be a far-fetched idea.

To start with we have a respected business publication the Wall Street Journal giving prominence, through their Op-Ed page, to the idea that Bible must be taught in American schools.

of the many things we say and do every day that have their origins in the most read, most influential book of all time. The Bible has affected the world for centuries in innumerable ways, including art, literature, philosophy, government, philanthropy, education, social justice and humanitarianism. One would think that a text of such significance would be taught regularly in schools. Not so. That is because of the “stumbling block” (the Bible again) that is posed by the powers that be in America.

It’s time to change that, for the sake of the nation’s children. It’s time to encourage, perhaps even mandate, the teaching of the Bible in public schools as a primary document of Western civilization.

We know firsthand of its educational value, having grown up in Europe—Mark in England, Roma in Ireland—where Bible teaching was viewed as foundational to a well-rounded education. Now that we are naturalized U.S. citizens, we want to encourage public schools in America to give young people the same opportunity.

This is one of the reasons we created “The Bible,” a 10-part miniseries premiering March 3 on the History Channel that dramatizes key stories from Scriptures. It will encourage audiences around the world to open or reopen Bibles to understand and enjoy these stories.

Teaching the Bible is of course a touchy subject. One can’t broach it without someone barking “separation of church and state” and “forcing religion down my throat.”

Yet the Supreme Court has said it’s perfectly OK for schools to do so, ruling in 1963 (Abington School District v. Schempp) that “the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as a part of a secular (public school) program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”

The Supreme Court understood that we’re not talking about religion here, and certainly not about politics. We’re talking about knowledge. The foundations of knowledge of the ancient world—which informs the understanding of the modern world—are biblical in origin. Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president known more as a cigar-chomping Rough Rider than a hymn-signing Bible-thumper, once said: “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”

Interestingly enough, the common desktop reference guide “The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy” best sums up the Bible’s value as a tool of cultural literacy. Its first page declares: “No one in the English speaking world can be considered literate without a basic knowledge of the Bible.”

via Roma Downey and Mark Burnett: Why Public Schools Should Teach the Bible – WSJ.com.

More Important Than The Bible

There are more important parts of Western civilization that probably need studying – which are now hidden. To start with, how about the pagan past – before Christian misrule, oppression and persecution killed all alternatives – except the One Book. Tired of Church oppression and persecution, Western liberals are wary of a Bible comeback.

700 years ago, Cristian authorities governing Europe resisted the idea of using the decimal system – invented in India, adopted by the Arabs and spread across the world by Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire. To see how important this was for Europe, try multiplying using Roman numbers DCLXXVIII (678) with DCCLXXXIX (789).

Could Europe’s 500 year leap of technology have happened without Indian decimal system?

Yoga teacher Jackie Bergenon at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School in Encinitas, California, USA - conducting a yoga class. Credit: Eduardo Contreras / U-T San Diego; source & courtesy - latimes.com

Yoga teacher Jackie Bergenon at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School in Encinitas, California, USA – conducting a yoga class. Credit: Eduardo Contreras / U-T San Diego; source & courtesy – latimes.com

Yoga & Islam

A few years ago, in November 2008, Islāmic clerics in Malaysia declared that yoga was un-Islāmic. A few weeks later, Indonesian clerics added their voice to Malay’s Islāmic voices against yoga – and to be shunned by Muslims. Indians (especially the Right Wing types) nodded their heads, with an expression that said, “I told you so!”

Western media has been quick to pounce on this anti-yoga attitude as Islāmic fundamentalism. Curiously, Islāmic attitudes against yoga were probably inspired by Christian tirade against yoga since the 80s. When Playboy releases a nude yoga tutorial, you can be sure that yoga has truly arrived in the US. Estimated at more than US$3 billion (Rs.15000 crores), a few years ago, with 15-20 million (1.5 crore) users, yoga is no passing fad in the US.

If Not Ban, License It

Conservative, Christian America is doing everything possible to stop yoga.

Starting with licenses and regulation, going to stories planted in New York Times on the ‘harm’ that yoga can cause, to a conspiracy theory that yoga is a plot by Hindu ‘missionaries’ to convert Christian Americans. Canada is not far behind in this anti-yoga activism by the Church.

A few parents are resisting yoga in American schools. Their suit filed in California courts seeks to stop yoga from schools.

Reason: Yoga is religious indoctrination, ‘inherently and pervasively religious, having its roots firmly planted in Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and western metaphysical religious beliefs and practices.

Christian yoga teachers, like Tara Guber, have tried to handle theological objections from Christians by stripping all ‘Hindu’ elements from yoga.

Assertions like these from Christians that seek to strip yoga from its Hindu roots drive Hindu yoga experts up the wall. Subhas R. Tiwari, a professor at the Hindu University of America who holds a master’s degree in yoga philosophy, states: “Such efforts [to Christianize yoga] point to a concerted, long-term plan to deny yoga its origin. This effort . . . is far from innocent. It is reminiscent of the pattern evident throughout the long history and dynamics of colonizing powers” (“Yoga Renamed is Still Hindu,” Hinduism Today, January-February-March 2006). Tiwari believes efforts to Christianize yoga are unjust “encroachment” and thinly veiled Christian proselytism of Hindus.

via The Trouble with Yoga | Catholic Answers.

Rajiv Malhotra of the Infinity Foundation, joins this issue with conservative Christians – confirming that yoga does have a philosophy which goes deeper than simple body positions and physical exercises – which undercut the savior-approach of Christianity.

Prejudice and paranoia. Like in the case of the Russian ‘Barbie Doll!

'Barbie' Valeria on the beach  |  Image source & courtesy - thesun.co.uk

‘Barbie’ Valeria on the beach | Image source & courtesy – thesun.co.uk

From Russia, With Love

Known for her Barbie-doll like looks, apart from her native Ukraine, media attention from the British media has been widespread. Her videos have been a YouTube sensation, with more than ten million hits. And a million followers on Facebook.

Reportedly, a meditation practitioner, Valeria Lukyanova sports a bindi, teaches at a spirituality school. Known to her students as Amatue – from the Atlantean language, meaning “Goddess of the Sun.”

After becoming a vegetarian, she is practicing how to use prana in yogic way, to sustain her life. For long a heavy alcohol user, she now lives on fruit juices and chutney-like vegetable purées.

For some time, her very existence was in question. Her appearance seemed photo-perfect – apart from one breast-augmentation surgery, she is supposedly ‘real’, without plastic surgery.

There is nothing in her background that is known, which can lead the media to be critical of her. Without a criminal record, with no known underworld links, there is no reason for media to be critical of her. Not even drugs. Not hungry for media attention, British newspaper The Independent reported “after much persuasion, Ms Lukyanova agreed to meet The Independent for lunch”.

Valeria Lukyanova with mother Irina  |  Image source & courtesy - thesun.co.uk

Valeria Lukyanova with mother Irina | Image source & courtesy – thesun.co.uk

So why is this British journo so dismissive about Valeria ‘Barbie’ Lukyanova? Is it because she does not eat beef, steak – but instead ‘a glass of freshly squeezed celery and carrot juice, mixed together with a trio of gloopy Indian chutneys into a devilish cocktail.’ Explaining herself, to this prejudiced journo, while ‘taking small sips of the slimy drink.’

Is Shaun Walker worried about ‘Lukyanova’s spirituality, which she propagates online and teaches in a series of lectures and seminars, is based on vegetarianism and meditation.’ while ‘not linked to any religion, though she admits it draws much from Buddhism.’ Is Shaun Walker negative because, ‘Lukyanova remains the best known of the dolls and her “spiritual teachings” and as  ‘found a receptive audience among many young women’. The entire post is dripping with paranoia and innuendo – against a harmless, pretty 23-year old girl from Ukraine.

Why. Just Why? WHY?

21 Responses

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  1. HinduIDF said, on March 16, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Reblogged this on Hindu Internet Defence Force and commented:
    True..Church is a Factory of Christian Terrorists

  2. Soma Visal said, on March 16, 2013 at 7:22 am

    But India is not caring for Hindu scriptures and teachings and very much interested in declaring Sanskrit as the dead language. Indian Schools should make Sanskrit a compulsory subject and start lessons on Vedas to infuse more ethics and honesty in the coming generations.

    • dipak said, on March 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Hindus need to change their mindset. They don’t what;s happening in India. Modern history of India done by UPa is totally ignoring INdia. In the name of secularism, they are encouraging anti-Hindu activities.
      Look for Samktiti Barati, they are doing a wonderful job propagating spoken Sanskrit.
      One thing what surprise me, Jesus was born in Asia( virgin birth to avoid sinner lebel, became white since 19th century.)but all are followers in Europe not in Asia.!

  3. ethicalman said, on March 16, 2013 at 7:22 am

    nice article..

  4. desicontrarian said, on March 16, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Good overview. I hesitate to say this, but the critics of Yoga have a point. Not everything the NY Times says is intended to defame Yoga. There are 2 main traditions of Yoga Asanas, the Patanjali school and the Hatha Yoga Pradeepika school. In the former, Asanas are never meant to be practiced to the extreme (Sthiram Sukham Asanam), while in the latter it is allowed and in some variants, encouraged.

    Some Yoga institutions in the US seem to have taken the extreme route (it may actually increase Ahankar), and practitioners have done damage to themselves. Add to that half-baked teachers who mix Yoga with Aerobics, physical fitness and “beauty”, enlargement of attractive parts, etc, and you have a formula which will bring discredit to Yoga. A corrective and cautioning is needed. The related link on “Hot ” Yoga (elephant journal) is a case in point, LOL.

    The other point about Yoga becoming a doorway to “Hindu” spirituality is also right! Why should modern Christians fear it? Are they worried about it polluting their faith in the Messiah? Then the faith is weak, and should be exposed as such. What’s wrong if some of them want to become Hindus, Buddhists or Pagans? We are supposed to be in the age of freedom.

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on March 16, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Not everything the NY Times says is intended to defame Yoga.

      I agree. But, overdoing anything, anything, is a bad idea. Stupid people who overdo yoga – will probably overdo something else, if it was not yoga. Like you correctly point out there are also some stupid teachers.

      Some Yoga institutions in the US seem to have taken the extreme route (it may actually increase Ahankar), and practitioners have done damage to themselves. Add to that half-baked teachers who mix Yoga with Aerobics, physical fitness and “beauty”, enlargement of attractive parts, etc, and you have a formula which will bring discredit to Yoga.

      It may bear repeating that in Indian classic literature, it was always the Asurs who did extreme penance. Makes me think.

  5. admin said, on March 16, 2013 at 10:52 am

  6. Dipak Bose said, on March 18, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Most Hindus consider Jesus as a Hindu Saint, because the messages of Jesus ( opposed to the messages of the Old Testament) is rooted in Hinduism-Buddhism. Complete non-violence, love your enemy, forgive the tresspassers are not in the Old Testament which called for blood for blood. These messages are from Hinduism-Buddhism.

    Thus, who are the real followers of Jesus, should not have any hesitation to follow Yoga, which means unification of the soul of the devotee with that of the Creator.

    • desicontrarian said, on March 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      I recently watched this interesting video . Good analysis of counter-narratives in Christianity. There is some support from a related BBC documentary.

      • Anuraag Sanghi said, on March 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm

        I recently watched this interesting video . Good analysis of counter-narratives in Christianity. There is some support from a related BBC documentary.

        Some background to this Jesus in Kashmir story, which is the subject of the videos that you have linked above.

        1. This Jesus-in-Kashmir story has been kicking around for the last 100-125 years.

        2. My studied and best opinion on this is that this is a flanking attack by the Church on the Indian population. It grabs attention – and is perfect counterfoil to colonial history. Indians can draw ‘false’ solace from Jesus in India thread.

        3. This story engages Indians with Christianity at a tangent – and creates interest with a pseudo history. Nothing in this story has been verified or has any roots in any Indian texts.

        4. The Church has been hijacking Indian classical bhajans, poems to ‘indigenize’ Christianity. While resisting the slightest deviation in rituals in the West, the Church has been promoting using naariyal+agarbatti_aarti+flowers in Jesus worship.

        5. In my book you are not a Christian if you worship Christ or live by the Bible. You are a true Christian only when you are willing to kill or die for Christ. And that is political use of religion. We have seen that happening with Islam+Pakistan.

        6. Christ as a historical personality is now irrelevant – and Christ as per the Bible+Church is relevant. You can find words and texts in any of the ancient religious texts which will justify anything that you want to ‘prove’. So, one cannot judge a ‘religion’ by what its Holy Book(s)say.

        7. Only actions matter. Desert Bloc history is clear.

        • desicontrarian said, on March 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

          1. I do not know how true the Jesus-in-Kashmir story is. But “Issa in Tibet” occurs in many sources that I have read like Swami Abhedananda and Nicholas Notovich .

          2. Anything can be used by the proselytizers, unfortunately. You might consider the fact that the mainstream Christianity(Catholics, Lutheran, Greek and Russian Orthodox) and the Gnostic Pre- or non-christian religions or movements – were and are deadly enemies. Gnostics had/have a doctrine that reminds me of the JeevAtman-ParamAtman, Dvaita and Advaita theores in Sanatana Dharma.

          3. The Indian Texts may not show these movements as related to Indic religious thought. That may be due to the age of these texts, and the relative youth of Hellenistic religions.

          4. Agree.

          5. That definition makes a fundamentalist Christian quite happy to agree with you, but is not universal. Sorry to disagree.

          6. The video, while focusing on Christ, makes many other points regarding Indic parallels, and acknowledges the debt to such thought.

          7. Desert bloc history, as you have shown in many posts, is bad. But the many wiped-out pagan movements in Europe (perhaps even Arabia!) were victims of the same, and are trying to remember it.

          I am quite opposed to standard operations christian proselytism, even if done by St. Thomas and his followers, but that does not discredit philosophical parallels.

      • JS said, on March 19, 2013 at 3:27 am

        Be careful what you watch and promote, it is just another attempt to lay christian claims on the lands of our country. britardistan is another maor player in promoting christianity, don’t get fooled by their veil of fake secularism, they are christian to the core, a little glimpse into the “free and fair” western media should give you an idea of the people who are getting their undies wet on the arrival of a new pope. The show of secularism is only for the gullible idiots who buy this idea and wish to emulate it in their own countries (like our wannabies in media and khangress)

    • JS said, on March 19, 2013 at 3:24 am

      where is the need to keep the cult of christism separate from it’s roots? Atleast in Hinduism, the people won’t be brainwashed and tortured to look under their bed every night for demons and to look out for those sins! christianity has always has been a cult to grab money and power, just like islam. It has always opposed new ideas and killed anyone who didn’t follow the “party line”. Basically it all trickles down to propoganda, something that west has mastered over the years, it can do anything you want provided you have the money to print glossy magazines and record and project propoganda 24/7 all across the world.

      Most Hindus consider Jesus as a Hindu Saint

      Nope, most don’t, it’s excessively promoted by converted christians down in the south and the “sickulars”. Basically, Hinduism is what it is, Buddhism is a branch of Hinduism and christianity is just a rotted mixture of islamic barbarianism and teachings of Buddha to “pacify” the bloody history, (the witch hunts, the millions of “pagans” killed, the native americans killed, the annihilation off jews in europe and numerous other atrocities that have either been buried deep somewhere in the vatican or is still open but not brought up) of the cult of christianity. It rose to prominence by promoting secular ideas in the roman empire and eventually hijacked the empire’s heads by converting them to christianity. After that, converting europe wasn’t a big deal at all with Rome’s wealth and army, it was a child’s play, just like stealing the lands of north america was for the (christian) british empire. Also, google residential schools to get a very recent glimpse of christian values and how benevolently it is spread among the poor and the weak, with the support of the state (in this case Canada and US)

      • dipak said, on March 19, 2013 at 9:17 am

        Like Islam, Christianity is nothing but a religious (!) imperialism.

        • JS said, on March 20, 2013 at 3:32 am

          That is a given, question is, how do we protect and project our way of life outwards? That can be done only by creating awareness, vocalizing with the general public and giving them information on what is happening in the country is what is needed.

  7. […] Christian Madarasas: Making A Comeback? (2ndlook.wordpress.com) By the time Napoleon started secular education in France, Christian Taliban reared in Christian madarsas, had already wiped out entire populations in North America and Australia, ravaged the South American and African continents – and killed tens of millions in India and Asia. + […]

  8. masculineffort said, on May 2, 2013 at 3:02 am

    Valeria Lukyanova looks like a barbie not because of Yoga practice, rather because of Plastic surgery. She looks perfectly hideous as a barbie to be honest. She was far more attractive earlier.

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on May 2, 2013 at 4:11 am

      Valeria Lukyanova, her beauty and the basis of the beauty are the side issues.

      To me the real issue, is why is Christian theology being used to Satanize her?

      If there are non-religious to criticize Valeria Lukyanova , then the newspaper has none of those reasons listed in the article.

      • masculineffort said, on May 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm

        Reading that article, I did not find any trace of this “christian theology” that you say is being used to satanize her. The article certainly does not demonize her. I found the article more skeptical than anything. Skepticism is a natural response when any person displays physical features (looks, curves) that are several standard deviations away from the mean. It is then worth investigating how she obtained such features.

        Ms. Lukayanova’s claim that it is the practice of Yoga that has given her the features she has is untrue. I’m not saying Yoga practice cannot do that. Just that you have to be an adept at it to be able to pull that off. Ms. Lukyanova is far from an adept in either Yoga or meditation.

        The writers of the article have feminist/social democratic theology as the base of their skepticism. Nothing in that article can be classed as deriving from Christian theology. It is disingenuous to suggest that all ideologies originating in the west such as liberalism, communism/marxism/socialism, feminism, capitalism derive from Christianity.

  9. majorsrikanth said, on May 14, 2013 at 8:38 am

    It is not only Yoga, but i am pretty sure you must have read the book “Breaking India”. It does an RCA of all things published and preached. Even Thiruvalluvar is being shown in a Christian light. Till the time we all unite i mean ppl of other religions also India is going to have a big issue. Its the case of a cold gone the way of tuberculosis.

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