Treason of the Clerics

For 600 years Muslims held sway over the Indian subcontinent. Then democracy and a desultory leadership did them in.

the Babri Masjid, Ayodhya, c.1867.
The Babri Masjid, Ayodhya, c.1867 © Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

History can be hard to erase. Supporters of Delhi’s current ruler, who promises to end the ‘1,200 years of slavery’ that oppressed Hindus have apparently endured at the hands of Muslims, are learning this in a hard school. For even today, with Hindu ascendancy a fact of life, the Indian capital continues to exude Muslim power.

Stroll past the city forest from the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus and you will arrive at the lofty Qutb Minar, the very first of the great examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. It was built by Qutb-al-Din Aibak, from whom it takes its name, the Ghurid slave king who founded the Delhi Sultanate in 1206. The city was to remain under Muslim control until the Great Rebellion of 1857.

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