Monday, April 27, 2015

The Sophist

How many of us have taken note of the pernicious impact discourses of specious men like ZakhirNaik, Benny Hinn, who deftly practices successfully the art of malarkey and skullduggery? Indeed, I have not ignored the fact that there is now a spurt in con artists in ochre grab and ably aided by Hindutva outfits. However now I’m not intending to pen about all men of such kind. Let me stick with this self-confessed “student of comparative religious studies” (as he himself defines him) ZakhirNaik.

Even if one has distaste and detests a person or his philosophy, it is only civil and decent that one acknowledges the man’s positives. In the case of Zakhir Naik what is starkly outstanding in the vermin of the utter malarkey and lies he preaches is the amazing rote learning he has had. He can quote extempore from various texts and scriptures, mention the verse and chapter without batting an eyelid. That probably bowls over half the gullible who drool astonished and awed like mongrels on a fool moon night, at his discourse and what not. I wonder if someone ever tried to check the veracity of his blind quotes.

If one watch the YouTube clips of some of his liberally attended meetings one can see through the frailty of his contentions and how he uses the power of the number of the virtually blind and gullible folks who stand by him to brow beat any honest and skeptical questioner.

In one of the video I happened to see a young man from California ask Zakhir Naik a couple of questions. The first query was why this omnipotent God ( to read as Allah, here)who created the sky, heaven and the earth with its multitude of living forms, not create man with the power to do only what is right and only what God proposes. Why has this God not created man minus the loathly and ugly side that is the only reason for all the strife and agony? The second question was why God is a sadist, who enjoys banishing human beings to eternal hell, when he, as the creator would have the power to mould his creation without vices.

Zakhir Naik for the next twenty odd minutes went about quibbling, talking hocus-pocus and mumbo jumbo while two menacing looking men positioned on either side of the questioner. He chided the man for his doubts and went about without airing one sentence to substantiate his argument that the God of Islam is always right. Typical of the mindset that we see among fanatics and bigots of all faith! He ends his reply with the question and suggestive answer- “well now do you agree to embrace Islam and become a Muslim?

He goes on to challenge the Christian world to prove that Jesus was born on December 25. What he conveniently forgets is that while there is no historical proof and empirical claim to prove or disprove that, there is no proof either to his claims and that the mumbo jumbo he quotes as facts from an ancient time when tribes were engaged in mindless and internecine killings were providential. The crux of his argument is that only the “book” that he quotes is true and nothing else is.

An atheist, an agnostic and or a person who enquires before jumping on to a wagon of fantasy, no man can sit back and swallow the bunkum that this person reels out. One has to be devoid of common sense and the basic faculty to think if he or she should go gaga over Zakhir Naik. Besides, it is the veiled vitriol and falsehood that he sautés his speeches that makes you retch while his audience are rapturous in approval. No wonder that the British Government after the worst pliability that it showed in case of the mad Ayatollah’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie denied Zakhir Naik visa to enter UK.
It is a pity that this sub continent known for its ancient assemblage of intelligent and sagacious minds should cater and live with such myopic minded and egregious philosophy that is spawned from all direction by men like Zakhir Naik. The inane inclination to twist history, paint myths and fairy tales as facts and historical happenings, distort the past, rubbish and spew vermin on other school of thought and people is ominously increasing in today’s society.

Look at one fantastic argument or rather holy statement of Zakhir  Naik.  To the person who threw the question he said that God created us from the loins of Adam and Eve. While he created us he asked us if we would want to live like the exalted group- the angels. It was Man, he said, who wanted to live in the world possessing the evil qualities. So it was not God who made us with evilness. Mumbo Jumbo is an inept word to describe this fantastic theory. I do not remember someone asking me while I was in the womb or immediately out of it if I wanted to be human or an angel. Zakhir Naik says that man cannot remember such a situation where God gave him a choice, because God erased that instance from our memory and we would be seeing that in replay only on the Day of Judgment. Abracadabra man!
There are certain matters in Christianity that he agrees with and is strangely comfortable with. He argues that the Immaculate Conception and virgin birth of Jesus is true. (He however sees Jesus far below the exalted position he gives to Mohammed). He gives a scientific reasoning to endorse conception without male female intervention. For this he takes out the example of certain species of butterflies and some unicellular creature such as amoeba. He latches on to parthenogenesis to establish that the Immaculate Conception and virgin birth of Jesus “could” have happened.
Any freshman in biology class would explain what parthenogenesis is and would call an argument such as that of Zakhir Naik naïve and silly. For parthenogenesis cannot happen in higher mammals or living beings such as Man.

To narrate more about the fantastic stories of Zakhir Naik is to belittle the genre of old woman’s tales and bed time stories we all have relished. Zakhir Naik must now be feeling the heat with an invigorated Sangh and with its political party in power- more wonderful stories of long distance aircrafts, plastic surgery, of transplanting of the head from the shoulders, of nuclear reactors in ancient India are abound. Certainly these claims might pale a little the fantasies Zakhir Naik narrates quoting his holy book.

When fools are abound, when people miserably ache and seek for magic to lighten up the burden and mundanity of their lives, such bigotry and sophistry thrive in the guise of spiritualism, promise of salvation ,passport to paradise and shameless evangelism. Those of us who show the gumption to stand on our feet and look life in the face and not wait for magic and sorcery to bail us out, can either fret and fume, write blogs and post defiant statements on the Facebook or Twitter and continue with our little lives, hoping that in the frenzied scramble towards paradise these folks would not deny us peace here and not let us keep our little lives to ourself.