Drishtikone Newsletter #344: Nupur Sharma and the Geopolitical Storm

Nupur Sharma's case opened up many cans of worms on the geopolitical front. US, Qatar, Saudis/UAE, Russia and the West have a lot going. Let us look at the complete picture.

Last updated on Jun 12, 2022

Posted on Jun 12, 2022

Image by MagicalBrushes from Pixabay
“The great delusion of modernity, is that the laws of nature explain the universe for us. The laws of nature describe the universe, they describe the regularities. But they explain nothing." ― Ludwig Wittgenstein

Being tolerant of intolerance is also a form of violence.  Against your own self.

One needs to have a clear vision of the way forward when it comes to tectonic shifts within society and around the globe.  

Global battles are not fought in some esoteric international arena but in local neighborhoods.  Man to man, one group to another.  Fissures are identified, exploited and accentuated.  

Used to make a statement often, but more importantly to twist the governments into choosing between two alternatives:

What is good for it internally Vs What is good for it globally.

If what is good for the country geopolitically - which has longer and wider ramifications - has to win, then the government needs to take some temporary and tactical sacrifices and retreat.

Nupur Sharma's case was one such scenario.  Honestly, it could have been any case.  This seemed most promising for those who want to control the next century.

When the question was World Domination, what will a little Nupur Sharma be worth?


A remark in a debate and geopolitical storm

Nupur Sharma's case, wherein a TV debate she debated fiercely against the insults to the Hindu Gods from an adversary and discussed what is often shared about Islamic Prophet and it snowballed into a controversy that has had many ramifications.

Riots have started. The Islamic nations brought pressure on the Indian government to take action and also show their displeasure.

There are many aspects to this issue and episode.  

Geopolitical shenanigans

Nupur Sharma's case was picked up most stringently by Qatar, then joined by Kuwait and then Oman.

In a tweet, Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah al-Khater said: “The Islamophobic discourse has reached dangerous levels in a country long known for its diversity and coexistence. Unless officially and systemically confronted, the systemic hate speech targeting Islam in India will be considered a deliberate insult against two billion Muslims.”  Kuwait warned that if the comments against Prophet Muhammad go unpunished, India would see “an increase of extremism and hatred”. The grand mufti of the sultanate of Oman described the “obscene rudeness” of Modi’s party towards Islam as a form of “war”. And Saudi Arabia said the comments were “insulting” and called for “respect for beliefs and religions” as it and Iran lodged complaints with India. (Source: Al Jazeera)

Saudis did register their protest but were reserved in doing so.

Nupur Sharma shared her apology and was suspended from BJP.

And that was fine by the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia has welcomed the BJP decision to suspend its spokesperson following her remarks about Prophet Muhammad. The country had slammed Nupur Sharma’s statement on Sunday. Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry, led by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud, reiterated the nation’s position calling for religious and belief freedom. The ministry emphasised its opposition to any violation of Islamic symbols as well as any violation of the symbols and important figures of any religion. (Source: News18)

It may be of interest to see how the Saudi reaction post-Nupur Sharma case was played up in the left-liberal press, both in the US and India.  It almost seemed as if this was their foremost desire.

Why the lead by the Qataris and the response from the Saudis and then the welcoming of BJP action?  Because of the aspirations of Qatar to lead the Islamic world, a battle that Saudis do not want to lose on the one hand and the desire to deepen trade ties with India on the other by both the groups, which Saudis and the UAE are clearly winning.

Source: Deccan Herald

One needs to also see that despite the Nupur Sharma row, ties with the Saudis and the UAE are expanding.

In an article in the Times of India, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al-Saud shared his views in May 2022.

India has strengthened its ties with Saudi Arabia in a strong way in the last few years.  Just this year, the trade between the two countries increase by close to 100%!

Source; Times of India

In June's first week, the Modi cabinet approved a pact on industrial cooperation with UAE.

India-UAE pact on industrial cooperation receives Cabinet's approval - Business Standard

The Arab states - specifically the Saudis and the UAE are playing a different tune while they play the whole issue down.

Post-script

Here is the latest from Kuwait.

Asian Muslim expats including Indians who staged an agitation against Nupur Sharma in Kuwait City will be arrested and deported to their home countries, Kuwaiti media has reported. (Source)

The authorities are identifying them and will cancel their visas and deport the anti-Nupur Sharma protesters!


Side note: Sadhguru and his visits to Saudi and UAE

As a side note, it is not without coincidence that when Sadhguru went on his journey to Save Soil, on a 100 days of solo biking, traversing 27 nations covering a distance of over 30,000-km in the journey that he began in the United Kingdom and covered Europe and the Middle East to arrive on June 5th in New Delhi to share the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he went through UAE and Saudi Arabia where he was received very warmly by the government ministers.

Take it for whatever it is worth.


US and Saudi relationship in tatters

Meanwhile, the US relationship with Saudis and the UAE, under Joe Biden, has nosedived.  Primarily because Biden had campaigned on treating Saudi Arabia like a pariah (Source: NYT) because of the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

However, he wanted to visit Saudi Arabia after the Ukraine war had made Russia in to an enemy of the US and the West as well.  In March news came out that Biden was planning to visit the Saudis (Source: Washington Times)  But it came out in the first week of June that the West Asia tour by Biden had been "put on hold".

Source: The Cradle

Interestingly, instead of finding a way out of the jam that he had put himself, his administration, and America as a whole in by dissing the Saudis during his campaign, Biden doubled down on his so-called Human Rights concerns.

“I have no direct plans at the moment,” to visit Saudi Arabia, Biden said Friday in Delaware. “There is a possibility that I would be going to meet with both the Israelis and some Arab countries at the time, including, I expect, would be -- Saudi Arabia would be included in that if I did go.” Biden said he’s been working on bringing more peace to the region, while adding, “I’m not going to change my view on human rights.” Asked if he would be open to meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he replied: “We’re getting way ahead of ourselves here.” (Source: Bloomberg)

What he sowed during his campaign - a caricatured lens to play geopolitics from - is now coming to haunt him as foe and friends alike, are pushing him to align by his own "principles,"

Biden criticized over report of planned Saudi trip to discuss global oil supply - The Guardian

But this was before he did have plans.

Biden administration officials are in talks with the Saudis about arranging a potential in-person meeting while the President is overseas next month, current and former US officials said. Saudi Arabia currently holds the presidency of the Gulf Cooperation Council, so any engagement between Biden and bin Salman, known as MBS, would likely coincide with a meeting of the GCC in Riyadh, the sources noted. (Source: CNN)

Which were rebuffed by the Saudis.

Biden rebuffed as US relations with Saudi Arabia and UAE hit new low - The Guardian

The Saudis are not even willing to take his calls.

As per some reports, the officials may be talking behind the scenes though as the Saudis drive a hard bargain.

Source: Anadolu Agency - Turkey

The Qatari relationship with India while it has deep ties to the Islamist and terrorist groups working in India also cannot be ignored.  Listen to Abhinav Pandya, founder of Usanas think-tank who bares the whole network and nexus that Qatar and Turkey are using around the world.

So all the riots that are being engineered in India have a sponsor and a backing.  It may very well be the nexus of Qatar-led terror and radical Islamist groups.  Maybe even backed by the Biden administration.

You see, it is not without reason that the Biden administration and the media aligned with it in the US and India have been trying to portray the Modi administration as an "authoritarian regime" since the beginning.

How Long Will Joe Biden Pretend Narendra Modi’s India Is a Democratic Ally?
“For America’s principled alliance of democracies against China to work, the constituents of the coalition need to be, well, democratic,” writes Debasish Roy Chowdhury
Biden Is Already Embracing an Authoritarian Regime
When it comes to China, the U.S. and India are squarely on the same side, but the partnership is not as obvious as it might seem.

And now comes the Russia-Ukraine war, where the US and West are on one side and Russia on the other.  The high-sounding moral ideas notwithstanding, the fact is that this war, like the Vietnam, Afghan, and Iraq wars, is being sold on ideological frameworks that back the larger ambitions of the American establishment.

"Fuck the EU" and the world

That is why when the highly controversial and regime-change enthusiast Victoria Nuland landed in Delhi, it was noticed by many.

Because Nuland is best known for orchestrating regime change in Ukraine to control the government there.  The infamous "Fuck the EU" tape bared it all.

A strong reason for Putin's military action.  

Drishtikone Newsletter #331: Ukraine, the next Afghanistan?
From NGOs for Democracy Promotion to takeover by Private Militias, Ukraine’s slide was ‘managed’. Detailed behind-the-scenes games in Ukraine.

And, in India, she may have been trying to orchestrate something similar.

Nuland was also one of the officials in the State Department when Modi did not get a US visa.

The letters from New Delhi were sent out even as senior State Department Officials including erstwhile Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland and now-retiring Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, were quoted saying that Mr. Modi was “welcome to apply” again for a visa and that the review of that application would be “grounded in U.S. law.” (Source: The Hindu)

So what's the link between the US and the Qatar/Turkey nexus?

Central to the geopolitical struggle is how Qatar and Turkey align and promote the Muslim Brotherhood, while the Saudis, UAE, and Egypt see that group as an existential threat.

Regional Realignment in the Middle East? - Institut Montaigne

Now it is interesting that back in 2019 President Trump was working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO).

Trump weighs labeling Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group
President Donald Trump is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization (FTO), the White House said on Tuesday, which would bring sanctions against Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement.

An organization that the Obama administration (where Biden was the VP) courted to orchestrate the Arab Spring.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden served as Barack Obama’s vice president for eight years, so it is safe to assume that a Biden presidency promises a return to the Obama era, following the same path and repeating the same political, economic and health miscalculations and blunders. Throughout his election campaign and rallies, we see Biden emphasizing the same priorities that the Obama administration concentrated on at the time. This brings to mind the US’s alliance with Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood during the arduous times of the so-called Arab Spring, which only led to chaos and failure. We can also recall the way the US intervened in the region by relying on the Qatari Al-Jazeera channel with its Arabic and English teams as a media arm for this purpose, thus instigating chaos and political and economic devastation in Arab countries. The region suffered losses amounting to nearly $830 billion. Now we all know that the Arab Spring was nothing more than a bait that Arabs swallowed unquestioningly; it was not a typical historical development, or a social trend that spread due to difficult economic or political circumstances. (Source: A Biden presidency promises a return to the Obama-era Muslim Brotherhood alliance - Al-Arabiya)

A charge - of how the US under Obama and his VP backed Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood - by the Arabs was also seconded by US Senator Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz site

In December 2015, Obama had invited Imam Mohamed Magid of the prominent Northern Virginia mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, or ADAMS; Dalia Mogahed, a scholar with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding; Khaled Latif, chaplain at New York University; and Hoda Hawa, director of policy at the Muslim Public Affairs Council (Source: Washington Post).  

They represent groups that are either part of or have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood (Source).

Muslim Brotherhood and its network have been active in North America deeply.

Source

Not only have the Obama and Biden administrations been undermining the US interests in Saudi Arabia/UAE/Egypt but also undermining the US national security.  Of course, their operatives - with their regime-change zeal - are on a dangerous path ahead.

US, Qatar, Muslim Brotherhood, Russia, and India - Bottomline

Let us look at the facts:

US vs Russia

Biden is calling for a regime change in Russia.

Joe Biden is calling for regime change in Russia and this time it isn’t a gaffe
As President Joe Biden challenges Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s legitimacy, professor Rajan Menon warns of two consequences that could prolong or even deepen the war in Ukraine.

Before one jumps to the Biden administration's characterization of this whole conflict, one must understand the fundamental reason why the US and the West are fighting this battle with Russia.

Drishtikone Newsletter #342: Of Pearls and Diamonds - Maritime Battlegrounds
Quad members met recently over the Indo-Pacific Region. Why is the Indo-Pacific area so critical to the world? Why is it so central to the future of China and that of India and also the West? A deep investigation.

This war has nothing to do with Ukraine.  Really!

The Ukraine war is about the ARCTIC CIRCLE and its control with Russia that the US and West want. The next century will be won by the country that controls this area. From minerals, oil and gas standpoint and also supply-chain/logistics and trade routes stand-point!

Indian rebuff to Biden

Meanwhile, India is steadfast in its independent approach to the Ukraine conflict.

Buying cheap Russian oil, China and India help Putin blunt west’s sanctions
China and India pursue “their own advantage,” allowing “Russia to continue earning revenues from energy exports amid EU extending embargoes,” expert says.

Cornering Modi is critical for the US and its allies.  So there are attempts to identify and accentuate fault-lines within the country.  One of them is the religious issue.

What better way to use it than to get the Muslim Brotherhood alliance in motion?

Qatar, Muslim Brotherhood Alliance

Biden administration and its loyalists from the Obama era have used their close ties to the Islamists to not just undermine the conservatives within the US but also regimes globally.  Those are the allies - specifically Qatar and Turkey that are being used.

The three warfares

The Political Work Regulations of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in China came out with three tactics called 三种战法,  - Sān zhǒng zhàn fǎ

This became the official political and information pre-kinetic warfare strategy.  The aim is to use three areas to fight pre and non-kinetic wars.

Source: Georgetown Security Studies

While that may be the Chinese strategy as they have articulated, propaganda tools in non-kinetic wars where gray zones are exploited have the same components.

That is why the media, the Islamist groups, and the activists have been pressed in support of the campaign against Nupur Sharma.

The idea is clear - bring Modi to his knees by breaking the nation or bringing it to a brink so a pliable leader could be used to twist arms elsewhere.  

Using the Islamic blasphemy argument is an easy way to hit at the India-Saudi/UAE relationship and get that going while breaking the country apart.

About Nupur Sharma's remarks

As for the veracity or otherwise of Nupur Sharma's remarks, this one compilation - left a note from the Answering Islam website and on the right, the verses from Islamic sources say it all.  One does not need any lengthy explanations and discussions.

Muhammad and Thighing of Aisha Sahih Bukhari Sources - 1: 268 (Ghusl), Hadith #264/282, Sahih Bukhari 1:231, Sahih Bukhari 7:17

Quite simply, the whole episode was never about the remarks but something else.

Video Corner: Crippled by knowledge

Does knowledge cripple one's freedom to inquire?  What a fascinating dialog between a deeply religious, and I would say fanatic and myopic Buddhist scholar for he has approached Buddha as a theologian and not a spiritual seeker.  He meets Jiddu Krishnamurti who is a razor-sharp mind.  How inadequate and confused he comes out.  

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