Friday, December 5, 2008

At the root cause of Islamic terror in Pakistan

Democracies don't go to war against each other, and by and large they don't sponsor terrorism. They're more likely to respect the environment and human rights and social justice. It's no accident that most of the terrorists come from non-democratic countries.”-Bill Clinton

While cause of terrorism is multi-faced, terrorists on the other hand are always unique in their background-ideologically guzzled, citizen of autocratic states and almost invariably exploited by foreign policy makers. While our leftist friends could not recuperate from American conspiracy theory, undeniable nemesis of rise of Islamist ideology and associated fundamentalism in south Asia needs more focus on failure of leftist politics in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. From its birth, Pakistan has been ruled by a few handful families in old tradition of Islamic family centric power politics and this group of elites ruined Pakistan for retaining their power. Worst of this case happened in 2nd December, 1978, when General Zia-Ul-Haq captured the power in a promise to set up true Islamic republic of Pakistan. Secular syllabus was overhauled and general directed Islamic brainwash from the buds-Official school texts of Pakistan started emphasizing glory of Islam and doom of polytheist Hindus in horror Casteism and Sati burning. Note that this anti-Hindu, anti-India propaganda started a year before United States got heavily involved with Mujahidin in Afghanistan at the backdrop of Russian aggression. For Zia, it was a golden opportunity to bolster his power base since he was son of a farmer and didn't belong to power broker aristocratic families of Pakistan. He saw anger among Pakistani poor people against these western educated elites and metamorphosed that anger by feeding them Wahabi Islam to consolidate his basics with added blessing from Ronald Regan, who used the general to counter Soviet in central Asia. Therefore Islamic brotherhood was call of the day since in no other way Pakistan would have been inspired to fight in Afghanistan given long history of animosity between two countries.

When Noor Muhammad Taraki of Marxist PDPA assumed power in Afghanistan in 1978, he started modernization of Afghanistan by land reform and eliminating local landlords. At the beginning, he enjoyed mass support of the poors and the military. But United State found the situation unacceptable as another country falling in the hand of communists. Therefore, US backed up feudal landlords using Pakistan as base. A mass insurgency against PDPA in whole Afghanistan was hatched using Islamic sentiments of the poor Afghans who was actually benefitting from PDPA's land reform. But atheist communists were portrayed as enemy of Islam in Afghanistan and in order to do so massive Islamic machinery was set up in Pakistan which is intact even today. Remember this started even before Russia officially marched in Afghanistan. Many a times, we find, USA has used the pretext of Soviet aggression but in reality, CIA was actively planting Islamism in this area to depose PDPA blessed by Soviet Union. From 1978 since withdrawal Russian troops in 1988, Jamat-e-Ulema-i Islam, a Deobandi school of Islamic scholars, led the task of mushrooming Islamic millitants including Talibans in Pakistan. Given by the present insurgency level in Pakistan, attempt to reverse this militant Islam since 9/11 met with very little success and the gruesome event in Mumbai reminds us once again, strength of ideology can not be reversed unless political leaderships is truly willing for eradication of Islamism. As I said before in another editorial, even if we enhance our security, our flaws against Islamists ideology would remain as permanent seed for causing more terrorism in the future. And at this point, even BJP would not be touching this sensitive issue of virus of Islamic brotherhood which is creating hell in the whole world. Instead, they would be more interested in blame game to reap harvest in voting season. Worst is the double standard of world politicians when we hear, these terrorists are rootless exception among peace loving Muslims, wolves in the herd of the cow, and rest is fine. That's why we don't see even a single protest against Osama Bin Laden in the Islamic world where as even if an order is passed to secularize immigrant Muslim in Europe, the whole Muslim world burns in anger. It never occurred to the Muslims that in Saudi Arabia, all other religions are officially banned. It can never unsettle a Muslim, that in the land of their greatest enemy, that is America, he can open a Mosque, gets his hallal meat and if wishes, he can be a senator as well where as in Saudi Arabia, Bible is burned and religious police looks out for idols in the households of the Hindus. In Middle Eastern countries, only Muslim can be citizen and such gross violation of human right never dodges a Muslim mind. However, thousands of miles away even if a Kashmiri dies in India, their feelings of brotherhood exalted them into terrorist attack on India.

Thanks to overwhelming anger of the Indians, we now know everything about perennial security flaws. But security by definition is like a porous pot-no matter how you tight it, it can always be breached. On the other hand, we can ensure our fight against virus brewing this trouble-that is the ideology of Islam which is expansionist and intolerant. And this fight must be a fight from secular and scientific perspective without giving away to right wing ideology since all the religions in the world are merely a product of sociological evolution and construct of anthropological need and nothing more. I know a religion can be interpreted in thousands of different ways and Islam is not monolithic but when human beings are attempting genetic revolution for immortality and setting out for other planets in solar system, unquestioned loyality of the Muslims to their outdated ideals is becoming anti-thesis of the civilization. Muslims must remember their glorious past of Mutazilas, the free thinkers of ancient of Arabs who questioned Islamic theology and in that critical reasoning, they excelled to be foremost civilization of their time. A society, a religion can not get better without criticism of its past and ideals since we are all evolving with changing mode of production triggered by computers, internets and genetics. That's why Nobel Lauriat Prof Abdus Salam said greatest crime against Islam has been committed when Muslims stopped questioning Quran and its principles like Mutazila-prosecution of the free thinkers among Muslim was the end of Islamic domination in the world. But right now their choice is limited-accept modern ideals or face consequence which our diplomatic leaders will not be able to deter for a long time as the experience of Mumbai would continue to happen.