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PrefacePrefacePrefacePrefaceThe movement for the restoration of the Ramajanmabhumi Temple atAyodhya has brought to the fore a suppressed chapter of India’s history,namely, the large-scale destruction of Hindu temples
by the Islamisedinvaders. This chapter is by no means closed. The Appendix to thisbook provides details of many temples destroyed by Muslims all overBangladesh as recently as October-November 1989. Currently, temples,or whatever had remained of them, are meeting a similar fate in theKashmir valley.This chapter, however, though significant, was only a part of the Muslimbehaviour-pattern as recorded by Muslim historians of medieval India.The other parts were:1) mass slaughter of people not only during war but also after the armiesof Islam had emerged victorious;2) capture of large numbers of non-combatant men, women and childrenas booty and their sale as slaves all over the Islamic world;3) forcible conversion to Islam of people who were in no position toresist;4) reduction to the status of zimmis or non-citizens of all those who couldnot be converted and imposition of inhuman disabilities on them;5) emasculation of the zimmis by preventing them from possessing arms;6) impoverishment of the zimmis through heavy discriminatory taxesand misappropriation of a major part of what the peasants produced;7) ruination of the native and national culture of the zimmis bysuppressing and holding in contempt all its institutions and expressions.Nor is this behaviour pattern a thing of the past. It persisted even afterthe Muslim rule was over. The Muslim revivalist movements in thenineteenth century, particularly in Bengal, tried to repeat, as far as theycould, the performance of the medieval Muslim swordsmen and sultans.More recently, after the Islamic state of Pakistan was carved out, Hindushave been forced to leave their ancestral homes, en masse from itswestern wing and in a continuous stream of refugees from its easternwing, now an independent Islamic state of Bangladesh that came intobeing with the help of India. Hindu temples and other culturalinstitutions have more or less disappeared from Pakistan, while theycontinue to be under constant attack in Bangladesh.