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  • Technorati: graph / links

    The Pakistani flogging, and the Taliban


    by Sunny on 6th April, 2009 at 11:54 pm    

    In the Taliban thread earlier, Platinum786 posted this link to the letters page in Pakistan’s The News, all of them condemning the Taliban’s actions.

    We need to stand up to the Taliban. Now is the time for every Pakistani to say no to this kind of cruelty and violence before it is too late. Whenever such atrocious acts are committed and exposed, we start blaming foreign powers or call it a conspiracy against Islam — it is neither — the scourge is within us.

    Muhammad Farhan
    Karachi
    ——
    Up till now I was a supporter of the Taliban — no more. After watching the public flogging of the young girl in Swat all I can say is that I am ashamed. This is not the Islam of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

    Muhammad Naeem Tanoli
    Mansehra

    So what should be done about the Taliban? I doubt Obama will be able to ’save Afghanistan’ even with more troops, as many others have pointed out (it’s a shame European leaders did not pledge more troops for the region). But nevertheless I think it’s the right strategy. The continuing battle in Afghanistan between NATO and the Taliban is likely to further destabilise Pakistan as the Taliban grow more daring in their fight against the Afghani and Pakistani governments. That is a given, but not necessarily the worst medium term outcome.

    The Taliban need to be eradicated and fought - militarily and ideologically. And the only way that can be done is when most Pakistanis realise that the Taliban present a threat to their own nation. More than religion, the one thing that unites Pakistanis is their nationalism. Only when a big majority see the Taliban as a threat to their nation will they stand up against it and force the intelligence services to stop aiding them. In the medium term then, it’s almost necessary for the long term good of the region that the Taliban keep fighting for their survival by attacking the Pakistani state. That’s the only way, in the long term, that the Pakistani establishment will cut its ties with the Taliban. That clash needs to happen otherwise it will come back later.

    Update: Just found that on Sunday the MQM party held a country-wide protest against the Taliban. Pictures here. Very encouraging stuff.



      |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Current affairs, Islamists, Pakistan, South Asia, Terrorism




    88 Comments below   |  

    1. dave bones — on 7th April, 2009 at 12:12 am  

      I’m no expert and there is no way I agree with Taliban justice but I’m wondering if this is as clear as you are thinking. Now a lot of people here are much more knowledgable about Pakistani politics and Islam than I am so do jump in if I am way off here.

      Firstly isn’t there a big divide between Pakistanis from the Punjab and Pakistanis from the NWFP? Don’t most of those in the NWFP who consider themselves “True Muslims” also think that Nationalism is against Islam?

      Then contradicting the previous point in someways-

      Hasn’t a big problem always been the division of the Pashtun people between Afghanistan and Pakistan? Is what we are seeing now all over the eastern border of Pakistan some sort of reaction to that?

    2. DelBoy — on 7th April, 2009 at 3:14 am  

      Nationalism and Islam often go hand in hand. Pakistan was founded on the basis of Muslim nationalism, i.e. it was a national homeland for Muslim South Asians, rather than a truly Islamic state. Jinnah himself was totally secular, and only used the rhetoric of Islam, as have many decidedly unreligious Pakistani leaders, in order to control the Muslim masses.

      I don’t think it is possible to militarily defeat the Taliban. In fact, many predicted that when the US and UK signed on with the Northern Alliance pratts, and toppled the Taliban, that the latter would eventually resurface as they had not really been defeated.

      The Russians tried to conquer the Afghans, and they were brutal sons of bitches. The Americans, especially not under a decent leader like Obama, won’t be able to either. I’m not sure what other solutions there are to defeat the Taliban but sending more troops in is only going to result in more dead troops - Iraq has taught us that some conflicts cannot be solved by escalating the conflict.

      Good call on letting print papers die, Sunny - it’s about time they stopped controlling the flow of information in our democracy!

    3. douglas clark — on 7th April, 2009 at 5:14 am  

      What is really clever about the Taliban / Al Quida is that they are embedded. So the nuclear option is impossible. The minute they become a State, or such, then I’d assume that any US President would press the button.

      It is smoke and mirrors on both sides.

      Least, that is what I think I think.

    4. The Common Humanist — on 7th April, 2009 at 8:00 am  

      The fundamental point is that fuck cultural senstivity. If you behave like the Taleban you are no longer a member of civilisation. You are a barbarian and about as Islamic as I am. Am an amateur historian at heart and to see Wahabism/Salafism/Takfiris (its like an alphabet soup of religious fascists - because thats what they are) emerge as the self proclaimed ‘true islam’ is by turns heartbreaking and absurd. For anyone who has read of and studied Islamic art, culture and science from the period 900 - 1500 the present state of the world of the crescent - from the fascism of the taleban, hezzbollah, hamas and the like to the ludicrous social patterns of the wahhanish and the imbalances of wealth and appalling architecture of the Gulf seems most strange.

      Personally I blame the Mongols and Baibars (long story)……

      Pakistan

    5. platinum786 — on 7th April, 2009 at 8:51 am  

      Dave take a look at the locations mentioned at the end of many of the letters, many of them are from the NWFP. The concept of Nationalism itself is frowned upon within Islam, as it’s seen as yet another dividing factor within our splintered society. There is no direct mention of naitonalism in holy texts, rather the opposition of division of Muslim, through which the negativity of the nationaism concept is derived.

      In reality, in most cases it’s not even an issue and that is helped by the fact the state, the nation was created as a home for the Muslims of SE Asia, hence support of the nation is support of the concept of the ummah or united Muslim body. Partition was a time where Pakistan as a Myuslim nation opened it’s arms to welcome other Muslims, to come and become part of our homeland, whereas the rest of the Muslim world, has a very strict immigration policy. Hence as you can see what you and me might think of as nationalism, is not an issue.

      Regarding the divide of the Pukhtoon people, there are Punjabi people in India, there are Punjabi people in Pakistan. They are all Punjabi, they share that culture, but they tend not to see themselves as one nation (generally) or one people. The reason for this is, because on the whole, tribes and clans and families are not split by the border, partition created the split but also created mass migration. In the NWFP the Durrand line was setup as a stop gap solution to Britains war in Afghanistan. The migration of people was never controlled, particulalry in the tribal princely states on the border, so tribes and families have been living with this paper border for decades, maybe centuries now, and to lock it down now completely is difficult as you have families and tribes split across it.

      The solution to Afghanistan has to involve a strong military capability, because you cannot negociate with the Taliban until you have the stick to beat with, as well as the carrot to present. Right now they have the upper hand, they know it’s only a matter of time until they win in Afghanistan.

      However the military solution alone would simply empower the Taliban. How did the ranks of the Taliban decrease so dramatically post 911 and swell so much recently? The reason being the tribes. The taliban tend not to stand and fight a conventional war, they know the face defeat like that, so a lot of them melted away during the invasion to fight another day. The other thing which has happened is that the pukthoon tribes who are major power brokers in Afghanistan, stood down, took their people out of the Taliban, to see what political situation the invasion would bring.

      After the invasion the Karzai government was formed, the majority of the government was from ethnic minority groups and power was centralised. Furthermore corruption within this government is rife. The minority ethnic groups and the drug lords got richer and stronger, the pukhtoon reacted by backing his horse again, the Taliban.

      After the soviet defeat in Afghanistan, the country was a fighting ground for many warlords, each of them controlling their own territory. kabul fell to ethnic minorities, the Taliban was a pukhtoon umbrella group, led by a religious fanatic and using religion as a advert for soldiers, who then swept across the country and took control over most of it. The tribes backed them then, they back them now.

      In order to win in Afghanistan, first you must get the ethnic politics right. Religion will fall into it’s place.

      Power needs to be decetralized, the provinces must be empowered and funded. Nobody should be barred from partaking in elections, even unpleasant types, i mean it’s hardly like the Northern Alliance have their hands clean. Give every opertunity for the strong to come into power and ensure they are allowed to govern and not be simple puppets. If the tribes feel they have total control in their territory but in an official form, as well as influence in the centre, they’ll be more inclined to support the government.

      At the same time, security needs to be Afghan. Pukhtoons are the largest ethnic group in the country, they need to be represented in the police and the army, there is no inter-ethnic trust in that country, everyone needs their slice of the pie.

      All this will only be possible, if NATO forces and “government” is seen as the stronger faction rather than the Taliban, basically whoever the pukhtoon tribes back will win, simple as that really.

      Assuming you get the tribes backing you, you’ve only won half the battle. You’ll still have the Taliban core to deal with, as well as a lot of people who don’t want to see US forces in the area. A timetable for withdrawal must be lined up, as well as a truce. To get a truce you have to put the Taliban in a position where they see no value in continuing to fight for that time period. That is easier said than done.

      Once you get an audience with the Taliban you need to fracture them too. There will be those who will agree to letting bygones be bygones, in exchange for a role in government and the creation of an Islamic state. Obviously this needs to be presented by the Afghan government or the iSI not the US as the US and NATO can either be visibily seen to be backing the creation of an islamic state (with a parliamentery system) as it’s bad for the “liberty and democracy - Do you want fries with that ” front, and at the same time would appear insincere with the Taliban.

      Once you create that split, then you get down to the Al Queda and Taliban hardcore, whom you have to defeat, not a lot of those, some might go away with money, some might go away by killing their commanders, the others will need to be defeated, but it’ll be done easier without you than with you.

      So in conclusion NATO forces simply have to;

      - Defeat the Taliban whilst keeping a low profile
      - Strenthen the Afghan military to fight the Taliban
      - Strengthen the provincial governments of Afghanistan
      - Try to get the trbes to form the provincial government and increase their presence in the centre
      - Try and influence the Afghan government to talk Sharia with the Taliban

      Whilst at the same time, don’t appear to be interfering and actively appear to be getting out of the country, and taking every effort to reduce collateral damage. Every wedding party bombed is another tribe your probably not going to win over in this lifetime.

    6. platinum786 — on 7th April, 2009 at 8:51 am  

      That Ladies and gents was my short term solution to the Afghanistan problem, what is required to bring about a fragile peace.

    7. Sofia — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:15 am  

      I have never met any pakistani, religious or not that supports the taliban in terms of their ideology. Some pakistanis say that the influence of the taliban is only increasing due to the Americans. (I personally think this is only part of a greater problem). Pakistani politics has had a hugely turbulent past, which makes it easier to divide, corrupt and break leaderships. Zardari is a joke, so is his son and Benazir was an idiot to think the pakistan of 10 years ago was the same political landscape as it is today. South Asian politics needs to grow up. You can’t keep throwing out the baby with the bath water which seems to be the only way that it functions.

      Nationalism is not an ‘islamic’ concept, but then I don’t think that is the point at this moment in time. Pakistanis need to realise that the ‘extremist’ thought is ‘either you’re with us or against’, a la George Bush and co…which basically means anyone is a legitimate target, pakistani or not, man, woman child, the elderly…they don’t give a flying f*ck.

    8. Sofia — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:17 am  

      and as for talking sharia with the taliban…who exactly is ‘they’?? another bunch of misogynist ‘imams’??? Funny how when they interpret ’sharia’, it starts with dehumanising women…it drives me mad…and is a total load of bollocks.

    9. platinum786 — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:19 am  

      ^^^ Sorry, what was the question?

    10. The Common Humanist — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:20 am  

      Platinum,
      V good comment @ 6. V informative. Cheers. TCH.

    11. fugstar — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:28 am  

      encouraged by MQM protest. oh dear oh dear oh dear. in agreement with an aboama tactic that further threatened a neighbouring country with active terrorism? well its ok, obama boy can do no wrong.

      those candle vigil guys neve no ability to protect themselves from a force they are far too aloof from.

      Its all about imran khan.

    12. platinum786 — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:31 am  

      The problem with the MQM is their not a national party, they’re an ethnic party, they still stick to that tag, they still have the same rhetoric, which makes them unpleasant. And lets not forget their gangster past to back it all up.

    13. The Common Humanist — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:34 am  

      I would recommend Lawrence Wrights ‘The Looming Tower’ for a very good (and chilling) charting of the evolution of the Islamists from where they started (essentially small minded assholes but harmless) in Egypt and Saudi in the 50s to the fascistic narsisistic ultraviolence of the 80s/90s and 00s.

    14. Sid — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:36 am  

      The rehabilitation of platinum786 continues. :)
      Good stuff.

    15. platinum786 — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:44 am  

      Excuse me, rehab my arse. I just suddenly decided not to be a pain anymore, since the reaction of people shocked by my comments was getting boring. I was more wind up merchant than cyber jihadi.

    16. Sid — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:47 am  

      you can say that again.

    17. The Common Humanist — on 7th April, 2009 at 10:02 am  

      Are there any books on Pakistan people could suggest?
      And Afghanistan for that matter.

    18. douglas clark — on 7th April, 2009 at 10:15 am  

      platinum786,

      Forgive me, but are you still contributing to the Pakistan Defence Forum?

      The web site with a military solution to tea? With or without sugar?

      Interesting what other names come up over there. Not that different people couldn’t share the same name, heavens!

    19. Beavis — on 7th April, 2009 at 10:37 am  

      Platinum786 reformed?

      You’re having a laugh aren’t you!

      He’s still spouting Jew hatred all over the net.

      http://forum.pakistanidefence.com/index.php?showtopic=81328&pid=1127912&mode=threaded&start=0#entry1127912

    20. platinum786 — on 7th April, 2009 at 10:37 am  

      Yeah I do. I’m a big contributor over there, my E-persona grew up over there. if you were to visit that forum and check similar discussion you’ll note several things;

      1. People who think the Indians or the Americans are covertly support the Taliban in Pakistan to either get revenge for Pakistani tactics of the past, or to ensure that Pakitan feels that the WoT is “it’s war too”.

      2. Other people think that perhaps people within the “establishment” still support the Taliban or elements within them as they feel they provide them with “strategic depth” in the long term.

      3. Some people have opinions which wouldn’t be out of place on PP and feel the Taliban need to be combatted, strategic depth or otherwise. They feel the establishment is not the snake handler is thought it was.

      The truth lies somewhere in between it all. You read some opinions and they seem wild, but all in all, there is never smoke without fire.

      also you’d be suprised to note, that not everyone thinks the military is a solution anymore, not that our governments and political parties do us any good. Shocking I know, even I’ve changed my mind on the issue.

    21. platinum786 — on 7th April, 2009 at 10:39 am  

      Big deal, so i used a racist slur… your boys did kind of provoke the rest of the world over the christmas period.

    22. Beavis — on 7th April, 2009 at 10:42 am  

      How about the “Cockroaches” and the “vermin” remarks?

    23. Sid — on 7th April, 2009 at 10:44 am  

      Christmas period? That racist comment was made on Mar 10 2009.

    24. Jai — on 7th April, 2009 at 10:45 am  

      The Common Humanist,

      For anyone who has read of and studied Islamic art, culture and science from the period 900 - 1500

      You should probably also read about the zenith of Islamic culture in the Indian subcontinent, from approx. 1500 - approx. 1700.

      I would recommend Lawrence Wrights ‘The Looming Tower’ for a very good (and chilling) charting of the evolution of the Islamists from where they started (essentially small minded assholes but harmless) in Egypt and Saudi in the 50s to the fascistic narsisistic ultraviolence of the 80s/90s and 00s.

      I can also recommend a book called God’s Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad, by Charles Allen. Available from Waterstones, WHSmiths and Amazon.

      Are there any books on Pakistan people could suggest?
      And Afghanistan for that matter.

      Well, for a detailed historical overview of the region and the impact on its modern-day inhabitants, Empires of the Indus by Alice Albinia is excellent. It’s available via the same retailers listed above.

    25. douglas clark — on 7th April, 2009 at 10:55 am  

      Platinum786,

      Please agree amongst yourselves, id, ego, superego, whatever, just who you are. I cannot abide folk that say one thing to one audience and another to another.

      I have no objection whatsoever to people changing their minds, or growing up as we used to say, but a remark made on the 10th of March 2009, compared to the semi reasonable case you lay out here does not compute. You are frankly an entryist, and the sort of person that scares good people away.

      If people think I am being unfair they should follow Beavis’s link @ 20.

      Just in case it’s deleted, I’ve saved it for posterity.

    26. platinum786 — on 7th April, 2009 at 10:57 am  

      Vermin etc, might have been hellraiser, seems like his typical lingo, but i might have said it, bad influences and that…lol

      Look the way I see it, i might say nastsy things, I’m no angel, but at least i don’t try to legitimise the massacre of people, i don’t wish that on anyone, not even people i don’t like, because I’m not worthy of having that wish granted.

      I have said it in the past, i might even say it again, but I’m in my early 20’s and trying to grow up, even on the internet, where it doesn’t even matter. How many people am I blogging with who are in their 30’s and 40’s and trying to justify death and destruction as it suits thier agenda? I think people should be more concerned about them, then what a young lad like me says.

    27. Jai — on 7th April, 2009 at 10:59 am  

      Platinum786,

      Big deal, so i used a racist slur…

      Using slurs like that basically negates a person’s moral authority to object if someone who is bigotted against Asians or Muslims (or both) refers to them as “Pakis”. Unless you think it’s fine for non-Asians like that to use such insults (either directly against us or during conversations amongst themselves) due to 7/7 and the ongoing activities of Al-Muj, HuT etc.

      So cut it out, because it undermines your own position and, furthermore, because you’re obviously capable of being far better than that. Otherwise you’re not doing yourself justice.

      Apart from that, your post #6 above was superb.

    28. platinum786 — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:00 am  

      Doug, you could say I have a split personality, I don’t think I do, i have the mean me, and the non mean me. When i feel like being grown up i be objective about things, whe I feel like venting, i don’t. Sometimes I’ll mail a dirty joke, other times i’ll talk religion. Isn’t that normal?

      Jai i agree with what your saying, and being more grown up in my comments etc, is something I’m trying…. it’s not going to happen over night.

    29. Sid — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:07 am  

      Why? Do you have Tourette’s Syndrome?

    30. soru — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:07 am  

      One quibble with Plat’s otherwise good post: the Pashtun are usually considered the largest minority (30-40%) of the population, rather than a majority. Tajiks are only slightly less numerous, with a variety of minorities (Hazara, Balach etc. making up the remainder).

    31. douglas clark — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:20 am  

      Platinum786,

      Fair enough.

      My original post, before I recalled the Pakistan Defence thingy, was to write an equally glowing tribute to what you had written at 6. It even had one of these in it:

      :-)

      It was, and is, excellent.

      You are, clearly, a lot more capable of reasoned debate and even discussion than you used to be. But it will take a while, for me at least, to forget the prejudice that you thought it OK to post elsewhere.

      So, I’ll ask you right out. Do you retract that, or not? And, only you can answer this for yourself. If you do retract it, do you really mean it?

      It is not down to me or anyone else to tell you how to think.

      You decide who you want to be.

    32. Shamit — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:21 am  

      Excellent post Platinum. Good stuff.

    33. The Common Humanist — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:28 am  

      Jai
      Point taken about the 1500 - 1700 on the sub-continent. I am abit Europe and ME focused when it comes to history to be honest.

      thanks the book recomendations as well.

      TCH

    34. Jai — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:43 am  

      The Common Humanist,

      The fundamental point is that fuck cultural senstivity. If you behave like the Taleban you are no longer a member of civilisation. You are a barbarian and about as Islamic as I am.

      You’re absolutely right. I made the same points (albeit phrased differently) on the “Afghanistan” thread recently here: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4033#comment-156992 , specifically in posts #36 and #50 (and most of all in the analogies with the Mongols and the Romans).

      Wahabism/Salafism/Takfiris (its like an alphabet soup of religious fascists - because thats what they are) emerge as the self proclaimed ‘true islam’ is by turns heartbreaking and absurd.

      Like I said on the other thread, they basically interpret (or presume) God as being a vindictive, bureaucratic tyrant, even though they wouldn’t necessarily define him using those terms themselves. Which is no doubt why they behave that way themselves too.

      And the notion that this grotesque, depraved cult has anything to do with God and spirituality is indeed ludicrous. It’s like people claiming to be inspired & supported by God and the angel Jibreel but actually behaving and speaking like Shaitan, to use some Islamic metaphors.

      PS. Do you need any book recommendations about India’s Mughal period ?

    35. Jai — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:45 am  

      I think that another important point also needs to be made. Qidniz made a pertinent remark a few weeks ago about the necessity to distinguish between “Islamophobic” and “Muslimophobic”, in relation to the difference between hostility towards a theology/religious ideology and the people who may believe in it.

      This can be taken further by differentiating between Islam in general and Wahhabism specifically. Because what’s been happening — in relation to the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Al-Muhajiroun, Anjem Choudary etc, and also here on PP in relation to Munir/Blah and similar people — is that the perpetrators are using the term “Islam” when what they really mean is “Wahhabism” and its historical predecessors.

      So you get people essentially implying “Islam is Wahhabism” and “(only) Wahhabism is the real Islam”.

      And subsequently, when there is any condemnation or criticism of actions/beliefs conducted according to Wahhabism (and similar “Arabicised” interpretations of Islam), the response is finger-pointing howls of “Islamophobia” etc. Which, again, deliberately conflates Islam with Wahhabism, with the corresponding accusation of bigotry towards Muslims en masse, rather than specifically hostility towards those who propagate Wahhabism in its various nasty varieties. Using “anti-Islam” when what they really mean is “anti-Wahhabism” is inaccurate at best and deliberately disingenuous at worst.

      Therefore, I think a more accurate term for people on both sides of the fence to use would be “Wahhabiphobic”, in order to decouple it from other interpretations of Islam and facilitate a more constructive way forward. Although even then, the term isn’t 100% accurate as “hostility” towards the ideology is involved rather than “phobia” or “fear”, but until someone comes up with a better term it’s the best I can do.

      And personally, I have no problem with anyone accusing me of being “anti-Wahhabi” or “Wahhabiphobic”, because I am indeed hostile towards the ideology and opposed to those who seek to impose it on others. Bring it on.

    36. Sofia — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:50 am  

      so i can like asian culture but not asians? huh? oh…i don’t like jewish ppl, but their religions ok…

    37. Sofia — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:51 am  

      that is pretty bloody simplistic…

    38. Jai — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:53 am  

      so i can like asian culture but not asians? huh? oh…i don’t like jewish ppl, but their religions ok…

      That’s not quite what I meant. And no, it’s not as “simplistic” as you think, which my previous posts make very clear.

    39. Sid — on 7th April, 2009 at 11:59 am  

      Yeah. Excuse me, but Qidniz is a pro-Hindutva bigot himself. Will be saying that its ok to say anything as simplistic as ‘Hindus good, but Hindu political ideology bad’?

      You’ll have to ask him, but somehow, I don’t think so.

    40. platinum786 — on 7th April, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

      Do I retract that, such a simple question which has no simple answer.

      Have I meant anyone harm with my words in the past, yes.
      Do I still wish people harm with my words, i’m human so from time to time i will yes. If i’d insulted someone in the past using my words, do i still hold that sentiment towards them, absolutely not, i let things go the moment i felt i’ve gotten even, the difference with me now is, that i tend not to feel the need to get even with people on the internet… heck even in real life, road rage seems silly rather than understandibly obvious.

      Have I really wished geniuine harm upon other people, i’d have to say at a stage in my life, particularly my teens, yeah, i was an angry young man, when it came to politics. Do I wish anyone harm no, no, I only wish them enlightenment.

      Do I say nasty things, yeah damn right, old habits die hard, do i mean those nasty things, not really, sometimes i wish i didn’t say them, as it reflects poorly on me.

      I have an easy solution, i could drop the platinum786 ID and post under another name, it’d save me a lot of hassle, i don’t do that as i feel somewhat that it is a part of my identity, a part of me which has evolved, which i don’t want to lose.

      I’ve gone through stages.

      Initially I was;

      I hate Indians, I hate Americans, I hate Israeli’s let them all die.

      Then I was I hate India, not Indians, America, not Americans, Israel, not all Israeli’s. I’ve come to a realisation that this position is not possible. Nor is it truly accurate of me. India is a part of the Indentity of the Indian as much as Britain is a part of my indentity or Pakistan is a part of my ideinity. You hate those things and essentially you hate a part of me. I ask myself do i really hate America when it’s on my list of places to visit in my lifetime? Probably not.

      I’ve refocused on what my problems with people are. With India it’s pretty simple, I have two issues, 1 being Kashmir, my heritage, my homeland, which the state of India is denying the right to determine it’s own future too, as mandated by the UN. To a lesser extent I’m somewhat concerned about the treatment of Indian Muslims. But that is no way my main issue.

      With Israel it’s the fact the state exists on Palestinian lands without the existance of a Palestinian state. It feels like they’ve been robbed on their homes to house someone else, which feels wrong and i am opposed too. Obviously the conflicts and the actions fo teh IDF and their supporters and leaders are horrible too, but the main underlying issue is that.

      With America their international bullying and double standards annoy me. Or at least actions which i deem to be double standards and international bullying.

      I think I needed to be more clear about that, and am trying to focus my energies to do that. I’ve said loads of bad things in the past, loads and loads, will probably say a fair few bit more.

      BUT… I’ve decided like is too short to hate on people, or a body of people etc. So I’m not going too, and I’m willing to say to people that I’m the same person and I’ve changed my mind on some stuff and some of my behaviour.

    41. douglas clark — on 7th April, 2009 at 12:19 pm  

      Sid,

      Interesting you should say that. Just been reading the other thread and Qidniz @ 29 comes across more as a sort of proto Richard Dawkins.

      And, coming from me, that’s a compliment!

    42. platinum786 — on 7th April, 2009 at 12:21 pm  

      Not all Wahhabi’s and Salafi’s are bad guys, though it’s safe to say a lot of the bad guys fall into that catergory. The islamic ideology is ultra conservative, i don’t follow it and i feel uncomfortable with some parts of it, but with all ultra conservative stuff, it can be portrayed as a change, a more holier route and can be exploited easier.

    43. Sofia — on 7th April, 2009 at 12:31 pm  

      The islamic ideology is ultra conservative- dont’ agree with this in terms of definitions…depends who you talk to…

    44. Ravi Naik — on 7th April, 2009 at 12:37 pm  

      Yeah. Excuse me, but Qidniz is a pro-Hindutva bigot himself. Will be saying that its ok to say anything as simplistic as ‘Hindus good, but Hindu political ideology bad’?

      According to Jai, what Qidniz said is that there is a difference between exhibiting hostility towards a religion (Islam) and the people who follow that religion (Muslims). You may agree or disagree with that assessment, but when making a snide comment at least get it right. It is more effective that way.

      so i can like asian culture but not asians? huh?

      There are examples where people may like aspects of the culture, but not the people where that culture originated. Spaniards love Gypsy music, not gypsies. America used to love jazz and “negro” music, just didn’t want blacks to live side-by-side. And Nick Griffin loves curries, he hates Asians. A lot of anti-semites follow a Jewish religion and some rituals (Christianity), but hate Jews.

    45. Jai — on 7th April, 2009 at 12:43 pm  

      Sid,

      You’ll have to ask him, but somehow, I don’t think so.

      You’d have to ask him yourself, but I was referring to the necessity to distinguish between disagreeing with an ideology (in part or in whole) and ordinary people who may be associated with it in some way. I would have made the same point regardless of whoever had made it first, because it’s an important one.

      Unless someone actually believes in a particular religion themselves, there are always going to be aspects of it that they may disagree with. That does not mean they necessarily have any hostility towards people who believe in the particular religion. Hence the inaccuracy of referring to terms literally translating as phobia of/hostility towards the ideology or theology and using them as ammunition to accuse the other party of bigotry towards the people involved. (I see that Ravi has just made the same point too).

      But…..like I said earlier, my main point was to do with the necessity to differentiate between Wahhabism & its similarly ultraconservative varieties, and Islam as a whole, particularly the other interpretations of the faith and of course also involving Muslims in general.

      Otherwise you get people exploiting the deliberate conflation using clever wordplay and mind-games, as I explained in my previous post #35.

      And Platinum786’s points in #42 are very good too.

    46. fugstar — on 7th April, 2009 at 12:52 pm  

      There’s a lot of ring being chatted about wahabism here, very TWAT-centric stuff.

      Understanding the place, value and limitations of it requires an idea of movement of Islamic thought over time and space. It was radical and unconservative in its own time. The problem arises with roadies, short-sighted politcial action and present generations abdicating responsibilty by a) adopting a safety blanket religious approach or b) demeaning essential questions by turning secular.

      Here is Iqbal reflecting on it in his 1930 Reconstruction of religious Thought in Islam, this is pre-oil boom, pre-partition, post-arab revolt and at a time when the indian muslim imagination is being reimagined.

      http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MI_RRTI/chapter_06.htm

      “The great puritan reformer, Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhah, who was born in 1700 studied in Medina, travelled in Persia, and finally succeeded in spreading the fire of his restless soul throughout the whole world of Islam. He was similar in spirit to Ghazzali’s disciple, Muhammad Ibn Tumart - the Berber puritan reformer of Islam who appeared amidst the decay of Muslim Spain, and gave her a fresh inspiration. … The essential thing to note is the spirit of freedom manifested in it, though inwardly this movement, too, is conservative in its own fashion. While it rises in revolt against the finality of the schools, and vigorously asserts the right of private judgement, its vision of the past is wholly uncritical, and in matters of law it mainly falls back on the traditions of the Prophet.”

    47. Sid — on 7th April, 2009 at 1:15 pm  

      Unless someone actually believes in a particular religion themselves, there are always going to be aspects of it that they may disagree with. That does not mean they necessarily have any hostility towards people who believe in the particular religion. Hence the inaccuracy of referring to terms literally translating as phobia of/hostility towards the ideology or theology and using them as ammunition to accuse the other party of bigotry towards the people involved. (I see that Ravi has just made the same point too).

      I know what you meant Jai, I just objected to the use of Qidniz as a reference given what I know about his championing of Hindutva. Sometimes the “Like the guys/Hate the culture” translates to “Love Muslims/Hate the Islam” or analogously, “Love Jews/Hate Zionsism” - which ar,more often than not, dehumanising generalisations which nothing but coded bigotry.

    48. The Common Humanist — on 7th April, 2009 at 1:22 pm  

      “There’s a lot of ring being chatted about wahabism here, very TWAT-centric stuff”

      ????????????????

      Fuck cultural sensitivity. Do you support the Taliban and their actions or not? Particularly in reference to their brutal war against women?

    49. Sid — on 7th April, 2009 at 1:24 pm  

      heh heh TCH.

    50. soru — on 7th April, 2009 at 1:57 pm  

      ‘Not all Wahhabi’s and Salafi’s are bad guys’

      Yes, those are theological terms, so not all that useful. In terms of pragmatic politics, there are 4 meaningful categories:

      1. dangerous
      2. nasty
      3. different
      4. us

      Pretty much all relevant politics can be adequately explained using just those 4 concepts. Why so many politicians and journalists prefer to use language better suited to a sociology professor or Saudi theologian is a bit of a mystery.

    51. Jai — on 7th April, 2009 at 2:15 pm  

      I just objected to the use of Qidniz as a reference given what I know about his championing of Hindutva.

      Well, not necessarily, Sid. He clearly doesn’t believe in the authenticity of Islam (why would any non-Muslim or atheist be expected to ?) but this doesn’t automatically mean he’s motivated by “Hindutva” or indeed by any religious agenda full-stop (Douglas’s observation in #41 is a very good point). As far as I know, he’s made no references to Hinduism or the usual Hindutva rallying cries at all; and tangible proof of the fact that this doesn’t necessarily apply to him are his condemnations of the destruction of Sufi shrines (re: Rahman Baba), as a real Hinduvta nutter wouldn’t give a damn about this and would probably celebrate the destruction of “yet another Muslim holy site”.

      In fact, the guy may not necessarily even be South Asian — he’s made no comments to indicate this.

      However, as before, Qidniz himself is the best person to clarify this.

    52. Sid — on 7th April, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

      Yeah, which is why I suggested he should be asked. I’m merely going on his tendency to champion Koenraad Elst, over whom we had a bit of a fractious exchange not long ago. And anyone who defends Elst is, more likely than not, sympathetic to Hindutva. And we know what the Hindutva stands for, don’t we.

    53. Jai — on 7th April, 2009 at 2:23 pm  

      And we know what the Hindutva stands for, don’t we.

      Ironically, in many aspects practically the same thing that the Wahhabis and other allied Islamist groups/ideologies stand for, except that one swathes themselves in saffron and the other in green.

    54. Jai — on 7th April, 2009 at 2:32 pm  

      There’s a lot of ring being chatted about wahabism here, very TWAT-centric stuff.

      I have no problem with a “War against Wahhabism”. Neither should anyone else, unless they believe Wahhabism really is Islam in its “real” form.

      Understanding the place, value and limitations of it requires an idea of movement of Islamic thought over time and space. It was radical and unconservative in its own time. The problem arises with roadies, short-sighted politcial action and present generations abdicating responsibilty by a) adopting a safety blanket religious approach or b) demeaning essential questions by turning secular.

      Here is Iqbal reflecting on it in his 1930 Reconstruction of religious Thought in Islam, this is pre-oil boom, pre-partition, post-arab revolt and at a time when the indian muslim imagination is being reimagined.

      http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MI_RRTI/chapter_06.htm

      “The great puritan reformer, Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhah, who was born in 1700 studied in Medina, travelled in Persia, and finally succeeded in spreading the fire of his restless soul throughout the whole world of Islam. He was similar in spirit to Ghazzali’s disciple, Muhammad Ibn Tumart - the Berber puritan reformer of Islam who appeared amidst the decay of Muslim Spain, and gave her a fresh inspiration. … The essential thing to note is the spirit of freedom manifested in it, though inwardly this movement, too, is conservative in its own fashion. While it rises in revolt against the finality of the schools, and vigorously asserts the right of private judgement, its vision of the past is wholly uncritical, and in matters of law it mainly falls back on the traditions of the Prophet.”

      Again, all that is only relevant if a person (especially if they’re Muslim) believes that Wahhabism really is “the real Islam” and therefore condoned by God. Especially the way the ideology is currently practised.

      Which, of course, leads us to TCH’s question in #48. Either a person supports the actions of the Taliban (and the associated mindset & interpretation of Islam), or they don’t.

    55. Sid — on 7th April, 2009 at 2:36 pm  

      Actually I think we need to make a distinction between

      Salafi - quietists
      Radical Salafi - jihadi
      Wahhabi - proselytising supremacists

      In my opinion, it’s the radical Salafis who are considerably more problematic than the Wahhabis.

      Just as the RSS are far more virulently radical than the mainstream BJP, but both of which are Hindutva stablemates.

    56. Sofia — on 7th April, 2009 at 2:39 pm  

      i think this can be quite a ‘dangerous’ theory in some cases…not liking or believing an ideology does not equate to a phobia or hate…i could not like something or believe in it and still have the utmost respect for it…

    57. Raja Sahib — on 7th April, 2009 at 2:40 pm  

      Comment 3 by Douglas Clark: “It is smoke and mirrors on both sides.”

      I completely agree. That is the reality of the situation. The rest is our own biases that we are debating (albeit garnished occasionally with pseudo-intellectual, self-righteous, “in-group/out-group” spin).

    58. Sunny — on 7th April, 2009 at 4:11 pm  

      Interesting journey platinum - though not an entirely unusual one. We all become more mature and thoughtful as we grow older.

      And I also want to echo that your above post is actually quite good. I think it should be made into an article… though it might take lots of editing…

    59. comrade — on 7th April, 2009 at 6:43 pm  

      Paltinum 876,

      While I agree with some of your analysis, but I dont agree with suggestion that a only military solution will work in dealing with the Teleban In Pakistan or Afghanistan, Untill the Americans are there, we cant even contepalate in defeating them. Nearly all Muslims see The US as there enemy, and the Teleban are seen as the only ones fighting the invaders. This is the main reasons the ranks of the Teleban are increasing. The sooner the US leave the better, The people of these Nations will be exposed to the true brutality of the Teleban and it is only they that can bring change. We on the left always say that you can not export revolution it will ony come from within. It is not easy interducing progressive thought in highly religous society. You must be prepared to pay a heavy price to take on religous extreamist. And I dont see such forces in these two Nations

    60. The Common Humanist — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:30 pm  

      Comrade,
      How are those A levels coming along?

      This is a British blog so it is ‘Taleban’ BTW.

      Why is the Far Left solution always to blsme the US?

      Whilst am not the biggest fan of US tactics to dat (too few troops, not enough investment and toomuch a reliance on airpower) - If the US left the Afghan Govt could well collapse and the fascists would be back in power. How does that advance progressive values for the men and women of Afghanistan?

    61. The Common Humanist — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:30 pm  

      Comrade,
      How are those A levels coming along?

      This is a British blog so it is ‘Taleban’ BTW.

      Why is the Far Left solution always to blsme the US?

      Whilst am not the biggest fan of US tactics to dat (too few troops, not enough investment and toomuch a reliance on airpower) - If the US left the Afghan Govt could well collapse and the fascists would be back in power. How does that advance progressive values for the men and women of Afghanistan?

    62. Zak — on 7th April, 2009 at 9:57 pm  

      TCH: I’d suggest two books the idea of pakistan by Stephen Cohen and a journey into disillusionment by Sherbaz mAzari one analytical and one a personal account.

    63. The Common Humanist — on 8th April, 2009 at 8:11 am  

      Zak,
      Thanks for the book suggestions.

      Cheers

      TCH

    64. Vikrant — on 8th April, 2009 at 8:19 am  

      And anyone who defends Elst is, more likely than not, sympathetic to Hindutva.

      Sid,

      Not necessarily so. Elst isn’t necessarily a Hindutva ideologue, even though many of his works are sypathetic to them. He is more like FOX news in a CNN-MSNBC world. Some of his books especially the ones on Marxist hijacking of Indian intellectual discourse make pretty though provoking arguments.

    65. Vikrant — on 8th April, 2009 at 8:21 am  

      Aaah book suggestions :).

      Have any of you guys read “A Stranger to History” by Aatish Taseer yet? Its a pretty good book!

    66. munir — on 8th April, 2009 at 10:42 am  

      Sid
      “Actually I think we need to make a distinction between

      Salafi - quietists
      Radical Salafi - jihadi
      Wahhabi - proselytising supremacists

      In my opinion, it’s the radical Salafis who are considerably more problematic than the Wahhabis.”

      More Sid-iocy. Wahabi is a pejerotaive name for Salafi. Salafis call themselves that after “the salaf” -the early generations of pious Muslims. Their ooponents call them “Wahabbis” after Mohamed ibn Abdul Wahab the preacher who created the movement a term they reject.

      They themslves never call themselves wahhabis.

      Seriously you are so clueless it hurts!!

    67. munir — on 8th April, 2009 at 10:43 am  

      Sid
      “Actually I think we need to make a distinction between

      Salafi - quietists
      Radical Salafi - jihadi
      Wahhabi - proselytising supremacists

      In my opinion, it’s the radical Salafis who are considerably more problematic than the Wahhabis.”

      More Sid-iocy. Wahabi is a pejorative name for Salafi. Salafis call themselves that after “the salaf” -the early generations of pious Muslims. Their ooponents call them “Wahabbis” after Mohamed ibn Abdul Wahab the preacher who created the movement; a term they reject.

      They themslves never call themselves wahhabis.

      Seriously you are so clueless it hurts!!

    68. The Common Humanist — on 8th April, 2009 at 10:47 am  

      Munir
      So do you support the Taleban and their brutality?
      No whataboutery, no ifs or buts etc etc etc ad nauseum.
      What did you feel when you heard about that poor girl? Disgust? Thrilled? A sense of justice?

      Do you support their brutality or not?

    69. Sid — on 8th April, 2009 at 10:54 am  

      Wahabi is a pejorative name for Salafi.
      They themslves never call themselves wahhabis.

      Arsewash. Do you actually know any Saudis?

      Wahhabi is a Saudi-specific term used to describe Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab’s reformist ideology of Salafi-ism. It is Saudi-specific because his cause orginated from the Nejd region of what is now Saudi Arabia, his cause aided with an alliance with the House of Saud. The patriarch of whom was Muhammad ibn Saud, whose descendents are now the monarchy of Saudi Arabia.

      Saudis do not regard the term Wahhabi as a pejorative and in fact are very keen to regard their brand of Salafi Islam as Wahhabi, so closely tied is it with temporal power and tribal status.

      Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia fund the Salafi movement outside of Saudi Arabia, where the term Wahhabism loses its provenance and therefore, its meaning.

      Get it right blahmunir.

    70. The Common Humanist — on 8th April, 2009 at 11:01 am  

      Munir
      Do you support the Talebans policies towards women or not?
      Would you have held that girl down?

      Why won’t you answer this question?

    71. Jai — on 8th April, 2009 at 12:49 pm  

      Sid,

      Salafi - quietists
      Radical Salafi - jihadi
      Wahhabi - proselytising supremacists

      In my opinion, it’s the radical Salafis who are considerably more problematic than the Wahhabis.”

      That’s a pretty good breakdown of the problematic groups. I don’t give a damn about the “quietist” Salafis — people from various religious backgrounds (and none) sometimes have all kind of beliefs that others would disagree with, some of which can be quite weird and can even cross the line into malevolence, so I don’t think any right-thinking people would (or should) really care about that if the other individuals/groups generally keep those ideas to themselves and (most of all) as long as they don’t mistreat others by deciding to start putting their nastier beliefs into practice.

      However, personally I think it’s both the Wahhabis and the Radical Salafis (aka “Salafi-Jihadis”) who are problematic, although there’s obviously often an overlap between the two groups these days.

      Therefore, rather than hurling the somewhat sweeping and inaccurate charge of “Islamophobia” whenever it’s politically expedient for them to do so and regardless of the specific context, thereby cynically hiding under the all-encompassing umbrella of “Islam” along with hiding like cowards behind the rest of the Ummah as though the latter were human shields, if the Anjem Choudarys of this world — along with certain people on this website — want to call a spade a spade and accuse other people (both Muslim and non-Muslim) of being “anti-Wahhabi & Wahhabiphobic” along with “anti-Salafi-Jihadi & Salafi-Jihadiphobic”, my own response would be “You’re damn right I am”.

      I am indeed opposed to both those ideologies and the people who believe in them; assuming that individuals who are sympathetic towards these deranged, malevolent cults and believe in the ludicrous notion that they are divinely inspired & condoned (not only to the exclusion of all other religions but also above & beyond all other intrepretations of Islam) and have the guts to admit to it, once again my answer would be “Bring it on”.

    72. dave bones — on 8th April, 2009 at 1:13 pm  

      platinum786

      nice one cheers for your informative answer, sorry it took a while getting back, net was down.

      To the Afghan Situation I though Rory Stewart was very good at The frontline club.

      to the further discussion here- I have leant more in this post about the people here than in any other post and it is nice to see people debating rather than arguing.

    73. Jai — on 8th April, 2009 at 1:50 pm  

      Taking this back to the main article, I posted my thoughts on the previous thread after Platinum786 mentioned the debate on the Pakistani website, but I’d like to re-submit them here as it’s directly related to the main discussion and the selection of comments Sunny has quoted (there are many more of them on the Pakistani website, in the same vein):

      Those comments — and ideally there should be as many of them as possible — should be shown to any Islamist fanatics, particularly the Wahhabi type, who claim that the actions of the Taliban and similar hardliners have the support of ordinary Muslims in general (especially those in/from Pakistan) and that this type of psychopathic behaviour is “real Shariah” and “real Islam”.

      The deranged poodles of the Wahhabis will probably respond that their opponents aren’t “real Muslims” along with making similar remarks about mainstream South Asian Islam — especially in Pakistan — having become “diluted” or “moved away from Islam’s original teachings”, but people have to fight back against all this.

    74. fugstar — on 8th April, 2009 at 4:33 pm  

      Theres a lot of valid and non-’wahabi’ analysis of misdirections in the vast constellation of Indian Islam. but i guess the characiture is easier for the tourist.

      Iqbals view of how the rise of ascetic sufism contributed to making islam static (for many social reasons) holds truer today than it probably did in his day. Overkill has been culturally retarding but our essential monotheism and the importance social stability is essential to recognise. Some have written (schimmel included i think) that a lot of the ’syncretism’ was injected in at an early stage to bridge local religious beleifs with the new monotheism. now the community has matured those doors are no longer relavent.

      I dont think the secular types in the Muslim South are able to do anything but wave lit candles in irrelavence and impotence to what is actually unfolding around them. However, i think at the higher level they know the debates. The problem with the yaar yaar middle classes is they are too busy getting ahead and havent become an integrative social force as yet.

      jai, if you look at the late benazir bhuttos last book, the final chapter… the actual *prog* views (Iqbal, Fazlur Rahman and Nurcholish Madjid) are presented there. they arent probably understood but they are present at least.

      Today in pakistan its up to characters like Javed Ahmad Ghamidi and co, even Imran Khan and Mufti Taqi to continue the work they are doing and endeavour not to be coopted by TWATisms.

    75. Zak — on 8th April, 2009 at 11:56 pm  

      err no..pakistan has very few salafis/ wahabis in it..it is predominantly a deobandi barelvi country

      Yes wahabi is considered a term of offense by salafis..followers of Islamism..from the HT to Qutb’s followers despise salafis for their non political stance.

    76. Sofia — on 9th April, 2009 at 8:51 am  

      44. Ravi, that is exactly my point..it’s an uncomfortable way of thinking..

    77. Jai — on 9th April, 2009 at 10:06 am  

      There are examples where people may like aspects of the culture, but not the people where that culture originated. Spaniards love Gypsy music, not gypsies. America used to love jazz and “negro” music, just didn’t want blacks to live side-by-side. And Nick Griffin loves curries, he hates Asians. A lot of anti-semites follow a Jewish religion and some rituals (Christianity), but hate Jews.

      Those are good points but in case it needed clarification for anyone, I was going for the opposite analogy (and in relation to religion, not culture), ie. people may disagree with some or even all aspects of a particular religion in its accepted mainstream form but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the right to mistreat any of those religion’s followers. (Hence the distinction between Islamophobia and Muslimophobia as described previously, although like I said, I don’t think “Islamophobia” is an appropriate term for multiple reasons).

      Exceptions are the cases I’ve mentioned previously on this thread, specifically in relation to certain interpretations of religions which cause their adherents to behave in quite psychopathic ways towards others.

    78. Jai — on 9th April, 2009 at 10:17 am  

      I just posted a comment but it seems to have been accidentally caught in the spam filter, so apologies if this turns out to be a duplicate post.

      *********************

      Spaniards love Gypsy music, not gypsies. America used to love jazz and “negro” music, just didn’t want blacks to live side-by-side. And Nick Griffin loves curries, he hates Asians. A lot of anti-semites follow a Jewish religion and some rituals (Christianity), but hate Jews.

      That’s a good point but, in case the matter needed clarification for anyone, I was going for the opposite analogy (and in relation to religion, not culture), ie. a person may disagree with some or even all of a particular religion (in its accepted mainstream form) but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the right to mistreat the religion’s followers. (Hence my previous remark about the necessity to differentiate between Islamophobia and Muslimophobia, although as I said before, I don’t think “Islamophobia” is an appropriate term, for multiple reasons).

      Exceptions are the cases I’ve mentioned previously on this thread, specifically in relation to particular interpretations of religions which cause their adherents to behave in quite psychopathic ways towards others.

    79. Jai — on 9th April, 2009 at 10:53 am  

      The following statement should have an addendum, for the sake of accuracy:

      but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the right to mistreat the religion’s followers.

      “…..purely for being members of that particular religion”.

    80. Shamit — on 9th April, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

      Now the peace deal in SWAT is gone after Maulana Sufi Mohammad pulled out — well its being reported in GEO TV and other channels apparently.

      I guess the Army will move back in and I guess you could see some more American and NATO special ops teams in there as well.

      In a way it pleases me that Taliban cannot run its diktat but I am also concerned about the loss of lives. Hope the coalition and Pakistani forces can avoid innocent lives being lost — it is never 100% but the lower the better

    81. The Common Humanist — on 9th April, 2009 at 1:12 pm  

      Shamit,
      Thats why there needs to be boots on the ground. Civilisation is defended - as the Pakistani Army is doing now - by young men and women in the mud.

    82. Shamit — on 9th April, 2009 at 1:18 pm  

      Force can only thwart the Talibanisation of Pakistan for a little while and it would be a short term solution.

      At the end of the day, the issue is better governance. A country that spends less than 2% in education and health care with faltering growth — the lives of ordinary people in Pakistan is really awful. People often send their children to the Wahabi madrassas because there at least the kids get a square meal a day.

      Its about survival and doing the best for your kids. These kids then are taught nothing but the Wahabi interpretation of the Koran and Islam — imagine no history, no geography, no math, no critical thinking. And every step of the way you are told that the fanatical interpretation of Islam is God’s will. And anyone who disagrees is against Allah and therefore killing the enemy would take them to eternal happiness.

      Very powerful narrative especially when it comes from the people who feed you and put clothes on you and give you medical treatment to you — force alone cannot defeat that kind of indoctrination.

      Further policy to involve non state actors in promoting Pakistan’s causes and arming them has now come back to haunt Pakistan.

      The force is now necessary but what is more important is the resurgent civil society and the international community focus on Pakistan to deliver better governance.

    83. Shamit — on 9th April, 2009 at 1:21 pm  

      TCH

      I have always been for boots on the ground and no dealings with the Taliban — and I still stand by it. But if we are t resolve this in the long term and dry up recruits we need to focus on better governance — and also get Saudi to stop the flow of money.

      They can…interesting fact the three princes who were suspected of collusion with the 9-11 terrorists all died under very mysterious circumstances — may be its time to take out some other assholes who perpetrate this fraud in the name of Islam and against humanity -

    84. The Common Humanist — on 9th April, 2009 at 1:35 pm  

      Shamit,
      Agreed, it is education, healthcare and sustained investment that will win the long term battle in Pakistan.

      Let none of us forget the recent Despatches programme. I certainly won’t.

    85. qidniz — on 9th April, 2009 at 9:48 pm  

      Up till now I was a supporter of the Taliban — no more. After watching the public flogging of the young girl in Swat all I can say is that I am ashamed. This is not the Islam of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

      On the contrary, Mr Tanoli et al, this is. (Note the “let not compassion move you” part too.)

      Contrast with this sentiment of another Pakistani — I, of course, believe that the action is inhuman and condemnable, no matter where the girl stands on innocence. Yes, that means that i am declaring a Quranic punishment to be inhuman and barbaric. — which has no place in “liberal, progressive” blogs like this one (because it is neither “liberal” nor “progressive”, it seems, to come out and say that something in the Quran is inhuman and barbaric. Gulp.)

    86. kactuz — on 15th April, 2009 at 5:16 am  

      Quote: This is not the Islam of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

      Sorry, but it IS the islam of Mohammad. In case you don’t know, Mohammad raided dozens of cities and caravans, killed, plundered, enslaved men women and children, tortured, let his men rape captives, abused women and even beat his wife Aisha. These are written in Islam’s own traditions (hadith!)

      What we see in Pakistan is the Islam of Mohammad. That is why the so-called moderates can’t fight it. These evils have the support of the Quran and hadith.

      Kactuz

    87. Jai — on 15th April, 2009 at 9:54 am  

      Qidniz,

      which has no place in “liberal, progressive” blogs like this one (because it is neither “liberal” nor “progressive”, it seems, to come out and say that something in the Quran is inhuman and barbaric. Gulp.)

      That may be true in some cases, but in others I think it might be more to do with not wanting to pour oil on the fire.

      It’s also worth bearing in mind that while the more psychopathic elements obviously take a fairly literal approach to the Quran, others do not, especially in relation to matters involving context, interpretation etc. If you start hacking away at some of the more controversial contents of the Quran then it will risk triggering the counterproductive reaction of unnecessarily alienating the latter group, and you’ll end up throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

      Also, remember my remarks a couple of weeks ago where I mentioned historical precedents involving a couple of other aggressive groups who also claimed divine support for their activities. People can and do believe whatever they want to, ideologically or theologically, but it’s when they actually start acting on those beliefs in a way which starts victimising innocent third-parties that it becomes a problem, and this is what we should be more concerned with, ie. dealing with the manifestation of their beliefs.

      “Picking holes” in the ideology and/or interpretation isn’t necessarily going to make “believers” reassess the root causes of the matter, especially if the criticism comes from “outsiders”; I think these things are best left for the adherents to figure out for themselves. However, obviously you make exceptions in the cases of the really deranged and dangerous psychopaths like the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Al-Muhajiroun, the Wahhabi/Salafi-Jihadis etc.

    88. Jai — on 15th April, 2009 at 9:56 am  

      (continued)

      Qidniz,

      But, to take this back to your main point…..Here’s another analogy and another historical precedent. During the American Civil War, many people in the Confederacy fought to continue slavery because they genuinely believed that Christianity, and the contents of the Bible, gave Christians the “sacred right” to own slaves. As we all know, there is plenty of dodgy stuff in the Bible — particularly the Old Testament — which can be used and exploited to support all manner of unsavoury ideas and activities, including slavery. So people in the South felt they were acting in perfect accordance with the teachings of their religion and the contents of their holy book.

      You know what changed, I assume: It was a combination of the force of arms and military defeat resulting in people being unable to act on these beliefs (although obviously it continued in another fashion in some quarters, re: the KKK, segregation, lack of civil rights etc); people choosing to ignore those parts of the Bible and/or placing them into a context which rendered them “true” but irrelevant to modern times; people interpreting them in a manner which was different to the original interpretation supporting slavery; people taking a more intellectual approach and questioning the authenticity of those parts of the Bible as “sacred”; people placing a much greater emphasis on Christ’s message as detailed in the New Testament; and so on and so forth.

      You get the picture. Most religions, along with their scriptures and any associated material involving “interpretations” etc, include controversial aspects. Therefore, like the previous supporters of slavery in America’s South, and indeed like members of any other religion, it’s a matter of Muslims of all backgrounds deciding for themselves how they’re going to interpret those parts of the Quran and the Hadith. Muslims aren’t the first or indeed the only religious group on the planet who have had to figure all this out.

      Amongst other things, it ultimately comes down to Muslims in general not allowing the fanatics to hijack the religion and claim that their interpretation is the only “true” one, especially if it involves the most hardline, brutal, and indeed barbaric interpretation that involves little genuine spirituality and is just used by its proponents as an excuse for them to behave like malevolent, vicious psychopaths.

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