Lessons for Sweden From the Successful Persian Integration into India

The essay below by our Indian correspondent Krutya is a follow-up to his previous post about the Partition of India and its applicability to Sweden.

Lessons for Sweden from the successful Persian integration into India — The Ultimate Culture-Enhancer

by Krutya


The following essay may serve as an addendum to a reply in my earlier post .

I had conjectured that Islam finds its strength in numbers, and their influence on a nation changes radically as the proportion of their population in that nation changes. The link to that hypothesis is here.

Since a nation with a high Muslim population tends to be less open and stricter with the implementation of the Islamic worldview, perhaps then ghettoisation of a locality in a nation must be avoided. If Islam finds its strength in numbers, then their presence in a given population must be highly diluted. (Now I may find some detractors here, but a similar argument against a Christian-dominated colony in India can be made where the Christian sensibilities supersede indigenous ones. Although the repercussions are rarely as violent as when Islamic sensibilities are ignored.)

So if the Muslim population is 5% in Sweden, perhaps every Muslim family would have to be surrounded by 20 indigenous Swedish families. I understand its a very crude solution and more crudely presented, but I hope the gist is conveyed. I refuse to believe that every Muslim is a potential terrorist or harbours hostile intentions towards the host nation. But I am not blind to their violent history and the genesis of the current troubles.

I also agree with the idea of a “Culture-Enhancer”. But the local culture can only be enhanced if the foreign element immerses itself within the indigenous one, not the other way around. A pinch of sugar makes for a sweet cup of milk; a sugar overdose ruins the drink. If Sweden is the Land of Milk and Honey, the refugee’s culture can only be a nutmeg added to it.

In the essay below I recount an episode from India’s history when a group of Persian refugees agreed to follow the Three Rules of Integration laid down by the Indian king. Parsis (people from Persia), as they are called today, mixed with the Indian culture like sugar with milk eventually making the Indian one more tasteful.

In the 7th Century AD, Islamic expansion had conquered all of Arabia, destroyed the original religious beliefs prevalent there and was beginning to make its incursions into Persia (modern day Iran). The dominant religion of the Persian Empire (then Sassanid Empire) was Zoroastrian. One must note that Iranians, even modern-day ones, are not Arabs but Caucasians.

Anyway, Persia in 7th Century AD was not what it used to be at the time of the Greeks, and it began to yield to the Islamic invaders. By the 8th Century Muslims had conquered large parts of the region and the major trade routes such as the Silk Route and the ports were under their control. As is well-documented, the Muslims imposed a “Jazia” or jizyah — a tax on non-Muslims — as protection money. Zoroastrian traders along this route were no different, and had to pay the tax. Given the twin challenges of Islamic invasion of their homeland of Pars (Persia) and the Jazia Tax, the Zoroastrians became refugees fleeing Islamic persecution and immigrants seeking better financial lives. As refugees and immigrants, the Zoroastrians turned east to India.

Between the 8th and 10th centuries Zoroastrians landed on the western shores of the modern Indian state of Gujarat. The port of Sanjan where the Zoroastrians arrived was then under the rule of the Hindu king Jadi (Jadhav) Rana.

The fleeing Persians/Zoroastrians were warlike empire builders, astute merchants and carrying arms. Theirs was not an Indian religion. And yet they felt they could find refuge in an alien land — they could find peace and prosperity amidst the Hindu people. They realised first that they were the seekers and guests, asking for a hospitable land from an Indian king. Jadi Rana on his part was already known for his fairness among his subjects. When the Persians/Zoroastrians encountered him, requesting land and the freedom to practice their faith, Jadi Rana was concerned. Firstly he was concerned whether he could trust these warlike armed refuge-seekers to live peacefully among his subjects. Secondly, he was not sure if he could accept any additional population and expect his subjects to share their resources with these foreigners.

What followed is a unique combination of realpolitik and legend.

To ascertain whether they were indeed looking for a peaceful haven to practice their beliefs, he asked the Zoroastrians to show what they could find in common with the prevalent Hindu religion of his kingdom. The Zoroastrians referred to 15 Shlokas (Hymns) in Sanskrit/Hindu belief system telling King Jadi Rana that those were the most important tenets of Zoroastrianism and therefore were common ground between Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. Pleased with the foreigners’ knowledge of his customs, he added a 16th Shlok responding to them.

Still, he was concerned that these armed foreigners might be treated as hostile by his own subjects. He would have been keen to avoid a civil war between these foreigners and his subjects. So he laid down Three Rules for the foreigners to follow. I believe these three rules agreed to between Jadi Rana and the refugees of Persia fleeing religious persecution in their homeland in the 9th Century will find practical utility between Sweden and the refugees they are agreeing to harbour amidst them in the 21st Century.

The Three Rules were:

1.   The foreigners will learn and adopt the local language.
2.   The womenfolk of the foreigners will adopt the local dress code.
3.   The foreigners will cease to bear arms.

(It is my conjecture that, since Zoroastrianism, like Hinduism, is not a proselytizing religion, there was no further need to hold them to the promise of not converting the natives from their Old Gods.)

To his second concern, that he could not possibly accommodate so many foreigners given the limited resources, he pointed the Zoroastrians to a cup full to the brim with milk. He indicated that his land was full and could not find a place for these new foreigners. To which a wise old Zoroastrian took a pinch of Sugar and dropped it in the cup full of milk without spilling any milk; indicating the Zoroastrians would mix with the Indian culture like sugar with milk, and sweeten the milk.

There is a concept in the Indian thought system – that of Janma-bhoomi and Karma-bhoomi.
Janma Bhoomi = Birth Land, Karma Bhoomi = Duty Land.

Usually the man finds his call of duty in the land of his birth. There is no conflict of loyalties. But when a man leaves his Janmabhoomi for better prospects in a different land, the new land becomes the Karmabhoomi. It is this Land of Duty that nourishes him and helps him to maintain his future generation. Therefore, his loyalties must lie first to the Karmabhoomi. He can still worship his Janmabhoomi as holy and sacred, but his loyalties must clearly be to his Karmabhoomi.

Zoroastrians are now called Parsis (people from Pars or Persia). They have been India’s most successful refugees/immigrants. India owes a lot to the Parsis, as much as the original Parsis owed to India. Only 60,000 Parsis are left. Its not because of any religious persecution, but due to the rigid matrimonial laws of Parsis. The Indian Government is going all-out to increase the numbers of Parsis in India. In fact, India is the last final home of the Parsis.

For the Parsis, Iran was still sacred, but a motherland of their ancestors. India was their Karmabhoomi, and for their children, their Janmabhoomi. They truly are the sweetener in India’s culture.

And that’s how one finds and comes to live with a “Culture-Enhancer”.

What I am aiming at is that Sweden needs to make certain that the refugee (coming to Sweden because he faces death in his homeland) and the immigrant (coming to Sweden for better economic conditions than his homeland’s) integrate into Sweden, adopting these Three Rules of Integration. Before the Asylum Seeker is handed a pass into Sweden:

1.   He/she takes a oath in Swedish to adopt Sweden’s culture,
2.   Dresses as a Swede, and
3.   Vows to never bear arms or protest again that are detrimental to Swedish peace.

He can be a Culture-Enhancer only if he immerses in the culture of the nation that provides them the security to live dignified lives. I would that it is a fair trade. And a rational argument for the left-leaning ultra-liberals and Islam-apologists.

In the privacy of one’s home, one is free to act according to one’s beliefs, and wear the clothes one wears and speak the language one speaks. But in public one talks like a Swede, looks Swedish, and thinks like a Swede. Is that too much to ask?

— Krutya

Sources on the Parsis:

32 thoughts on “Lessons for Sweden From the Successful Persian Integration into India

  1. “Is that too much to ask?”

    In today’s uber-PC climate, I fear that may be the case. A while back, someone had the bright idea to ask arrivals adhering to the Religion of Peace to fill out a special questionnaire. Guess what the reaction was, from the likes of the Guardian?

  2. All well and good, but Islam is not the same as Zoroastrianism. One historical point, there are good grounds for believing that the Arabs did not conquer the Sassanid Persians, but that Chosroes II converted to Islam, or what might be called “proto-Islam” (since no such thing as “Islam” as yet existed). Certainly he converted to some strange form of Christianity, and began stamping his coins with the Aramaic legend “Besm Allah” (“in the name of God”). It would appear that thirty or forty years later the Sassanian Empire was taken over from within in an internal coup d’état by a group of Arabs led by the first Umayyad Caliph Muawiyah. From that point on the Arabization of the Persian Empire commenced, eventually culminating in a fabricated history which claimed the existence of a prophet named Muhammad and the conquest of both Byzantine and Persian Empires (almost simultaneously!) by a group of Arab nomads led by a man called Umar.

  3. Muslims do not feel bound to any oath or contract if the other side is a non-believer. They will betray them the moment they feel confident that their numbers suffice to back them up. And they don’t have any self-limiting rules which would cause their numbers to dwindle over the generations. Understanding Islam has consequences, not understanding or refusing to understand it has even greater consequences.

  4. Its never a case of integration. The globalists want to create unrest so they can profit from weapons sales.

  5. “Is that too much to ask?” Unfortunately yes. The precedence has already been set by the regressive left/Islam apologists. Populations where Muslims are above that critical percentage and growing and agitating for their religious privileges (at the expense of the indigenous host population) already have the attitude Europe owes them something.

    • The other flaw in this essay is that it describes a monarchy where the monarch doesn’t need the votes of the newcomers to stay in power.

      If the monarch were about to get deposed and needed the newcomers to help him stay in power, he would likely tell them to do whatever the heck they wanted as long as they helped him stay on the throne so to speak.

  6. No arms?
    No thanks, I’ll pass on this one.

    Without arms, how does the newcomer defend his (new) land–or himself, for that matter?
    Or–is this a new population of “non-men”on some new planet in some galaxy far away free from insult, strife or aggression?
    If a society does not trust its citizens with arms–it really is not a “society” at all; but some other social construct based on SOMEBODY ELSE’S use of lethal force.
    The new question is–whose?

  7. Sounds nice but when a primitive tribal culture embraces taqiyya, oaths, vows, etc., mean nothing. Islamists have proven that again and again.

    Quran (2:225) – “Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts”

    Know your civilizations enemy

  8. With all due respect….a lovely sentiment for any other culture besides Islam. The history of Islam’s introduction to India reveals this recipe for Karmabhoomi / Janmabhoomi has generally failed with repeated genocides. Islam does not yield now nor has it in the past…and is not likely to yield in the future.

    • Hindu Kush, for one
      Important genocide in early times of mohammedans conquering into Indian lands

    • Thank you for the comment.

      Evidently the recipe of Janmabhoomi / Karmabhoomi suits to sensibilities of certain cultures.

  9. “What I am aiming at is that Sweden needs to make certain that the refugee (coming to Sweden because he faces death in his homeland) and the immigrant (coming to Sweden for better economic conditions than his homeland’s) integrate into Sweden, adopting these Three Rules of Integration.”

    This sentence demonstrates why Europe is being lost, even by those that believe they are fighting for it. The only word that can be used to accomplish what the author ostensibly desires is assimilation.
    Integration means that a particular group, in general, learns to ride the trains, use ATM’s and the other overt, essentially mechanical, actions required to function within a society.
    Assimilation requires an actual entering into and joining with a larger culture. This entails a surrendering of one’s original culture and an active willingness to turn one’s children away from it. This is a word that essentially must be forgotten in order for a culture to be deluded into the false premise that multi-culturalism, something that has not existed anywhere at any time in human history, is real. No European writer ever uses this word, or if they do they immediately cancelling it by using integration within a sentence or two.
    In story after story out of Europe and comment after comment by Europeans there is a continual mantra of integration, integration, integration. As long as integration is the goal then cultural death is the inevitable outcome. Words have meaning and meanings, as goals, have results.
    Mohammedanism has provision for integration, it’s called Jizya (Tax for being Different); and assimilation, it’s called Islam (Submission). The first supports and, by design, coerces the second. Until Western Civilization gets its head around this concept then immigration is a poison pill which the end result of ingesting is inevitable.

    • Assimilation isn’t an all-or-nothing sort of thing. I’ve talked to enough 2nd generation immigrants to know that this is the case. The goal should be “good enough” assimilation that at the very least people are able to function without violating everyday social expectations (committing crimes or behaving inappropriately enough to cause angry conflict).

      • assimilation:
        n. 1. The act or process of assimilating or bringing to a resemblance, likeness, or identity ….

        Integration, which is what you are essentially defining, is like being sort-of-pregnant. Assimilation is not about not loving Granny in the old country, or being able to recite the preamble to the Constitution, or not liking “traditional” family recipes. It is about common understanding of the purpose and authority of the laws of a culture, a general acceptance of moral imperatives that are the foundation of manners and honor.
        When a person is assimilated in a culture they are beyond the “cultural” event horizon. It is all or nothing for practical purposes, this is why it rarely happens to the first generation unless a by great personal effort. One cannot be in two cultures at once. It is not possible to adhere, simultaneously, two different belief systems, which is what is required to be multi-cultural. People make dozens of decisions daily that are predicated almost entirely on cultural identity. When those decisions begin to be made without conscious effort within the new paradigm then it can be said they have been assimilated. Language is the most important single factor in this process.
        I have known many people myself. Some immigrants to the U.S., I have lived and worked with host nationals overseas, met and become very familiar with ex-patriot Americans and their adult children who never lived here, but I have never met anyone who was multi-cultural. They were either assimilated or integrated, wherever in the world they resided.

    • Tom S, thank you for your comment.

      But I am really talking about integration and not assimilation as you define it. Parsis have been in India for 1,200 years. And they follow a distinct culture other than Indian. Their places of worship, dresses (in formal occasions) and their reluctance to marry outside of Parsi community are some of the ways they maintain their distinctness. They even have Muslim sounding names, which is likely to have pre-dated Islam itself.

      In many sense Parsis are fully integrated into the Indian culture, but they bear a distinctness. They are not assimilated as you define it. And we would hate it if they were to lose their distinctness.

      I may agree with reservations, that a single individual is unlikely to be multi-cultural. But in India, where inter-religious marriages are not uncommon, children generally show a tendency to accept and thrive upon both cultures.

      That argument holds true if you equate religion with culture. If you don’t, India still has many different cultures within Hinduism itself. So a South Indian is culturally diffferent from a North Indian although both share the same religion. And culturally the Sikhs (a totally different religion) from the state of Punjab in India have more in common with the Punjabis of Islamic Pakistan, than the Sikhs have in common with an East Indian. And yet a child of such a Sikh-East Indian heritage is multi-cultural.

      And am certain it holds true for any inter-national marriages. In all such cases, both cultures are seamlessly integrated – one does not shun for the other.

      In any event, my argument is not for an individual. Its for a society and certainly a nation can be multi-cultural. And almost every non-Islamic nation today is indeed multi-cultural.

      “As long as integration is the goal then cultural death is the inevitable outcome.” I don’t follow this line of thinking. Could you elaborate?

      I would have imagined that the cultural death is only inevitable under mass genocide of a native culture – much like the European invasion of South American empires. Or of course the Islamic invasion of erstwhile Persia.

  10. This all sounds good but as people have pointed out it doesn’t address the willingness to assimilate problem which is a problem with the outside group, not the dominant group. The only thing a dominant group can do is provide pressure to assimilate and reject those who explicitly or implicitly (through actions) refuse the agreement.

    Since the main problem right now is refusal of the outside group, it might be more useful to publish this on a Muslim web site and see what kind of responses you get. That would provide a lot more information.

    • Thank you, Nimrod. And that’s a brilliant solution. I shall do just the same and see what responses I get.

      Would CAIR be such a place? If not, perhaps you could suggest some more Muslim websites.

      • CAIR is a jihadist organization working for the Islamic supremacist Muslim brotherhood so I doubt that would work out too well. The best you’d get from them is lies.

        I wish I could make a good recommendation but I gave up on talking to Muslims about Islam a long time ago. There may be some site that is more concerned with integration than jihad, but it’s hard to tell because jihadists will lie and claim to support things they don’t really support.

        If there is a Muslim site where people are allowed to at least do things like question the validity of Hadith, that may provide a reasonable litmus test.

  11. Sweden integrated Muslim refugees from the former Yugoslavia fairly well, in the sense that they weren’t seeking to impose Sharia law and make Sweden an Islamic State. I think this experience led them to believe that the same could be done with Muslims from other parts of the world.

    I would suggest that Muslims from European Bosnia are very different from more recent arrivals. Add to that the fact that the numbers are much greater than in the past. Sweden is currently attempting to control the number of entrants. I would say that, in the absence of such controls, integration of new refugees/immigrants will be all but impossible.

  12. I should add, I do think this is a very good essay and I like reading about Indian history.

    Looking up Jadi Rana on Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jadi_Rana it seems like there is some disagreement as to how historical or legendary this tale is. I suspect that it’s an idealized legend and the true history (which it sounds like nobody knows) is probably a bit more messy.

    • Thank you again, Nimrod.

      Like I said, the truth is lost somewhere between History and Legend. And if I may be boastful, much of India history is really lost somewhere there.

      But the Parsi chronicle of Qissa – does mention of a Jadi Rana of India and describes him a Hindu King.

      I would hope that unless there was a fraction of truth in it, the Zoroastrians had no need to sing peans for a Hindu King.

  13. It is a pretty good description of how European immigrants were assimilated into U.S. society. For instance, my Czech ancestors were in Minnesota by 1874. Since the first generation had trouble with English (though at least some of them could also speak German, which helped) They did tend to stay in community. However, the second generation learned English in school, though Czech was spoken at home. The pattern continued with the third generation, staying with the Czech Presbyterian Church, Czech Nationalism etc. However, their first loyalty was to the United States, when it came right down to it. When called up for military service they went without question, participated in the U.S. political system, dressed and talked like Americans, and of course married into other groups with increasing frequency. Friends with Swedish ancestry reported similar experiences. The melting pot. Czech men married Irish girls and the marriages tended to last. When Czech or Polish girls married Irishmen, usually the Czech or Polish grandfather ended up having to be the father figure for his grandchildren.

  14. The point was that most of these European groups wanted to assimilate into American culture.

  15. It’s like playing Where’s Waldo?. Invariably, in any Counter-Jihad essay or utterance, there is the asymptotic spasm:

    “I refuse to believe that every Muslim is a potential terrorist or harbours hostile intentions towards the host nation. ”

    Until the Counter-Jihad can exorcize this and adopt a Zero Tolerance of All Muslims using rational prejudice, it will be serving to reinforce the memeplex that is inhibiting the West’s ability to reconfigure into a self-defense mode sufficient to save itself from destruction at the hands of Mohammedans pursuing their global revival of jihad in the 21st century.

    • Thank you for your comment, Hesperado.

      But you must kindly empathise with my statement there. I can assure you, I am not being politically correct. And I needn’t pretend to be broad minded as the left leaning liberals.

      I am Indian. And we have well near 170 million Muslims amongst us or 15% of the population. For practical reasons, I can’t sustain Paranoia round the clock. I have a few dear Muslim friends and I would hate to paint them with the same brush.

  16. I am from India. I found this to be a very bizarre post. The Hindu – Zorastrian model is Completely Different from what is happening in Europe now. No host country has been able to assimilate Muslims, be it India or USA or Canada or China or Western Europe or Russia or Myanmar for that matter. Making concessions will only embolden them to make more and more demands till the whole things explodes.

    • Ramesh, thank you for the comment.

      I would have to disagree to certain extent there – but only a little. Like I mentioned very early in the essay, the influence of Muslim population in disprorporationate to their proportion in the native population. (The link is somewhere up there). And they do find strength in numbers.

      What I am proposing then is a highly diluted Muslim presence in a given population. Islam can never be expected to integrate as the Zoroastrians did. But their impact can be blunted if the so-called Three Rules of Integration can be applied by the Swedes (or Europeans) on every incoming asylum seeker and they are made to interact with the local population more frequently. For a Muslim from Arab and North Africa that is nothing short of a Shock Treatment. I am suggesting the treatment can be sustained if he has to deal with it all by himself and finds no place for solace in the company of the familiar.

      While the tendency of Muslims to gather in a ghetto may be given, political correctness and the ill-minded liberalism of the current Swedish populace shouldn’t be accommodative of this ghettoisation of “poor” alien in a foreign culture. Because the foreign is the asylum seeker and not the asylum provider.

      The Refugee seeker may or may not hope to be a sugar in the milk, but the host nation can design the process such that the refugee has but no option but to dissolve into the larger national culture.

      • There are two implied rules missing that would really be needed to force integration. These would have just been a given at the time of the story so they’d never be stated:

        4. No welfare payments.
        5. No voting.

        Without #4 most of them wouldn’t even immigrate. Without #5 there wouldn’t be so much interest in allowing them in. While these additional rules might be temporary, they’d need to be in place long enough to force integration.

        • Nimrod, I should think your additional 2 rules are rather well-thought of.

          No welfare payments would be too cruel. I am certain you would also agree that there are certainly some of those who genuinely need asylum. What could be provided for them is that Welfare Payments be matched to what they themselves earn from being usefully employed. If they work hard, they are rewarded more. If not they are not. Also, perhaps like a game or in any corporate, they ought to be given performance targets. Like achieve 50% of current average Swedish percapita within 3 years of registry.

          And “No Voting” would have to be implemented on first generation Refugees and Immigrants of all ages above 3, perhaps. So there won’t be any incentive for Polticians to shed crocodile tears for another 15 years. Some semblance of rationality may set in.

          You think your suggestions could be put out there in the mainstream. It seems fair and reasonable.

          • I was really just trying to state unstated assumptions that would have existed at the time of the legend. Monarchy means no voting, and charity would have been a lot more limited. It probably would have existed to some extent though since there’s a long Indian tradition of handing out food to the poor to gain good karma. (For those who don’t know, this tradition predates Buddhism and modern Hinduism.)

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