Saturday, July 16, 2005

Vinod Mehta On Terrorism

We find ourselves frequently in opposition to Vinod Mehta's left-liberal views. This is why we were surprised by the following sensible words he has written in Outlook:

.. what one would dearly like to see is more Muslim countries and more Muslim voices unequivocally confronting bin Laden ideologically. We are constantly reminded that the overwhelming majority of Muslims find the Islam propagated by bin Laden repugnant; Islam's reputation as a strict but tolerant faith has been badly damaged by this "medieval savage". If there is a backlash against innocent Muslims in Britain, who is to blame? It is only when traditional Islam defeats this pernicious variant that Mr bin Laden can be isolated. Sadly, those moderate voices are few and far between. The argument that Al Qaeda is not a Muslim but a global problem will not wash because Mr bin Laden is not giving Christians or Hindus or Jews a bad name, but Muslims.

While on the subject, let me confess I am greatly disappointed that more Muslims in India did not speak out against the Imrana fatwa issued by the "wise men" of Deoband.

And while we are on this topic, let's please quit this annoying habit of changing the subject whenever Islamist terrorism is brought up. Other horrors attributable to non-Muslims are hardly the point. If terrorism is repugnant (as most sensible people agree), then why give it the legitimacy of any possible political justification? As long as moderate Muslims (& their naive liberal allies) keep offering up these rationalizations for Islamist terrorism -- thereby rendering their condemnations equivocal, we're afraid there's not going to be much progress at all.


Rezwan said...

If terrorism is repugnant (as most sensible people agree), then why give it the legitimacy of any possible political justification?

You people can't get this thing off your head. There is no Islamist terrorism. There is terrorism of some fucked up Islamists in the name of Islam. Because the Islam Bin Laden & Co.'s persepectives are based on some utopian thoughts and not necessarily represent the 27% of world population which happens to be Muslim. And I fail to understand why say a Muslim in Nigeria has to suffer any backlash or discrimination because of some nutheads are blowing innocent people (Muslims among casualties) elsewhere? The notion of maligning Islam to terrorism is sending far off Muslims in the backfoot. If you let the backlash grow, then one day all the browns will be in trouble, because we are not born with religious marks, religion is a part of our cultural identity(not necessarily its fair to deem everyone pious and say martyrs).

If you read William Malley's 'Fundamentalism Reborn' then you will understand where & how the recent uprise of Islamic fundamentalism has happened. Banna's radical movement from Egypt fueled much of the Afgahan Mujahedin uprise against the Soviet occupancy during 1979-1991. The jihadi ideology was exported from there and infected much of the Middle East. Then in 1994 Talibans was created in the border situated madrassas in Pakistan. These were created to change the then Afghan govt. which Pakistan did not want. They succeded but later found that they have created a monster they can no longer control. Pakistan has been a radical state since its birth. Instead of quoting radical states like Pakistan you are talking about the general term Muslim (Muslim this or Muslim that), which enclaves an wide range of people. As far I gather, almost all the Muslim countries have condemned for the attacks. So what more they can do? Nobody is taking any hard measures against Pakistan because there are superpowers backing them. Instead they are scapegoating Muslims generally for deeds of a theocracy.

If the world could force Pakistan, Isralel and many of the Middle Eastern countries to have a pluralistic democracy, then much of the world disputes would have been sorted out.

You see its a case of intrigue politics and you are beating around bush. For example, Bangladesh is not Pakistan. Bangladesh was separated from birth because it wanted a pluralist state and did not want to be discriminated (Pakistanis treated Bengalis lower caste Muslims as they lived with Hindus). Its true that the radical Islamists are playing their part in Bangladesh in recent times, but as early as in 1996 election they did not get more than 5% vote. There are majority of Muslims which do not represent the radicals. But if you generalize your hatred against all the Muslims then you are dishonoring the struggles of these majority against the radicals (I hope you are aware of that) and in fact giving those radicals a chance to manipulate (They propagate 'everybody is against Muslims, so Muslims unite and do blah blah').

To help the traditional Islam defeat the radicals, these generalizations must stop.

Primary Red said...


What do you mean by the expression "you people"?

Your suggestion that this blog is somehow generalizing our "hatred" against all Muslims is outrageous. We have been just as tough on Hindu fundamentalists as we have been on their Muslim counterparts. If we can be accused of having hatred for Muslims simply for telling the truth, then there is a much worse psychosis that's pervading that society.

We recognize the efforts of the very few brave Muslims who've tried to counter this cancer in their midst. If you read this blog regularly, you'll find much expression like that. But that does not absolve the same people when they try to diminish the horror of these terror attacks by cynically linking them to other bad acts -- in effect, you are seeking to prevent the larger Muslim society from taking responsibility for what's happening in that society; instead, blaming the cancer on all sorts of other people. Thats a disgrace.

When terrorists say such things, it's easy to dismiss them. When someone clearly sensible such as you does, we have a problem that cannot be solved.

And, please don't pull that racist "brown skin" business to once again avoid the real issue at hand. This blogger has seen more racism & discrimination against brown skinned people in Arabia than in the West. (In Saudi Arabia, this blogger wouldn't even be allowed to worship his God -- what kind of neanderthal law is that in the 21st century? Have you ever protested against that?)

Best regards.


Blog Archive