Comprehension Exercise

112 Comments

October 7, 2001: In a last-ditch effort to avoid a military strike, the Taliban says they are willing to detain suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden and try him under Islamic law, if the United States formally requests.Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban’s ambassador to Pakistan, made the statement on Sunday.The Taliban made a similar offer to the United States last weekend, but this time did not stipulate that evidence should first be provided.”Under Islamic law, we can put him on trial according to allegations raised against him and then the evidence would be provided to the court. It is up to (the United States) to come to us. It is their problem,” said Zaeef. [link]

December 9, 2008: Pakistan on Tuesday said any of its citizens found to be linked to the Mumbai terror attacks will not be handed over to India, but tried under the country’s own laws.

“The arrest being made are for our own investigations. Even if allegations are proved against any suspect he will not be handed over to India,” Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said today.[link]

Comprehension question: Find the connection between Talibani Afghanistan (dictatorship, terror state, 2001) and Pakistan (democracy, front-line ally in the war on terror, 2008).

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112 thoughts on “Comprehension Exercise

  1. This is futile. We continue repenting our choice to embrace Misha during the Cold War. From Mig-21 coffins to paternal indulgence from America towards Pakistan, there will be no end to our suffering till we get our act together.

    At the same time I feel for the Americans who keep getting hammered by their former “allies” (e.g. the Taliban…dont Americans cringe whenever they watch “Rambo” these days?). How long will it be till Pakistan turns against them?

  2. Nothing new. Pakistan has always behaved like this. It is upto India now to take neccessary measures for its security. Look at what Turkey did in the case of Iraq, a country where NATO already had troops. They didn’t care. We should show some spunk as a nation. All economic progress is useless, unless backed with strong political and security prowess.

  3. OMG. I suspect that these lines are from hypocritical media outlets.

    Its obvious. The Western Media is no different from the English Language Indian Media, when it comes to hypocrisy and double-standards especially visible in their India-hating, Hindu-baiting editorials.

  4. @Dibyo
    >We should show some spunk as a nation.

    As much as we wouldn’t want to, we pretty much _have_ to rule out any chance of military action against Pakistan, or specific targets that may not be under Pakistan’s control. In that same context, I don’t get why everyone compares India’s situation to United States’.

    The US bombed a country almost halfway across the world. There was very little (almost nil) chance of a military retaliation in this case. The only retaliation America would protect herself against would have to be another terror attack.

    Now consider our case. Pakistan is right next door. It is just beginning to stabilize its democracy again. The Taliban still controls almost 75% of Afghanistan. They’ve threatened to take over Pakistan in the recent past. Combine all those statements together and you will either have a civil-war, or a military coup in Pakistan (should we choose to attack) with a more harmful implication on its relationship with India.

  5. Sanjana:
    Some questions.
    1. Do you think a “democratic Pakistan” is in better control of anti-India Jihad groups than a factionalized free for all Pakistan?

    2. Do you think a civil-war like scenario in Pakistan will increase Jihad attacks in India?

  6. Democratic Pakistan ==> at least some hope for leverage from US Uncle who gives Pakistan ~$1 billion a year.
    Factionalized free for all Pakistan ==> Somalia hugging our northwestern border.

    Civil-war like scenario in Pakistan ==> chaos all around, which is bound to include attacks in India, just like chaos in Somalia has spread to its neighbors & across the Indian Ocean.

    However I don’t think a civil war is particularly likely in Pakistan. The army is just too powerful. If Zardari (whose whiny op-ed in today’s New York Times is one for the ages: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/09/opinion/09zardari.html ) pisses the generals/colonels/majors/assorted angry people with big guns off too much, they will just oust him in yet another military coup. It’s not like they don’t have practice.

  7. @ Wafa

    If a factionalized “free for all” in Pakistan in not going to happen because of its Army, then is a military dictator in Pakitan better than a weak civilian government?

    Either way, does it effect the capabilities if cross-border acts of “Jannat quest”?

    Is any “state authority” in Pakistan powerful enough to curtail Jihadis?

    If not, why not?

    @ Sanjana
    I would wait for your response too.

  8. @Anonymous:

    1. The amount of control exercised today is merely a function of the pressure the United States (and not India) has put on Pakistan. If Pakistan falls to the people who don’t care about what the United States says or does, your guess is as good as mine as to what the outcome will be.

    2. Yes.

    Now put your cards on the table.

  9. @Anonymous:

    >Is any “state authority” in Pakistan powerful enough to curtail Jihadis?
    >If not, why not?

    This, is a _good_ question. Something I’ve been struggling to think about. And while I don’t know enough to be able to answer it, if I were to hazard a guess, at a very low level it seems obvious that the answer has to do with the source of monetary support to the jihadis. _Where_ is the money coming from when the country is in such a state??

  10. @ Sanjana

    So if I am reading you right-

    Pakistan’s rulers dont give a rats hiney about India’s sabre rattling. It is only American pressure that is making them “do” things. If Jihadis come to power, even that pressure will go away.

    Also, there will be increase in Jihadi attacks if democratic government doesnt survive in Pakistan.

    If that is the case,

    1. What does India do, if it knows that anything it does doesnt effect Pakistan’s decision making?

    2. Will the US allow Pakistan to continue to have nuclear devices, if it is under the treat of falling in control of Jihadis?

    3. How can India’s situation, vis-a-vis Jihadis be termed different from the Neville Chamberlain’s vis-a-vis Hitler?

  11. @Anonymous,
    I feel like I’m taking an exam. I’m going to answer your questions in reverse order.

    > 3. How can India’s situation, vis-a-vis Jihadis be termed different
    > from the Neville Chamberlain’s vis-a-vis Hitler?

    How can it be termed different? It’s different because Germany and England did not have more than a quarter of the country beneath the poverty line. It’s different because neither side can afford a war right now. If India goes all out and declares war on Pakistan, she has to be prepared for the economic impact it will have on the country. Then again, the war will probably have a more detrimental impact on Pakistan’s economy (and potentially the jihadis’ ?). Which brings me back to my original question. Where is the money coming from? That will decide who will suffer the most in this war, or whether it will have any effect on preventing the attacks.

    > 2. Will the US allow Pakistan to continue to have nuclear devices,
    > if it is under the treat of falling in control of Jihadis?

    China, and not US has contributed to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. And it is no secret as to how much control does China exercise today. If she wants, the conflict in Darfur can end tomorrow morning.

    > 1. What does India do, if it knows that anything it does doesnt
    > effect Pakistan’s decision making?

    There are other ways of countering terrorism (read: intelligence) that India has _MISERABLY_ (and I can’t stress that enough) failed in.

    Also, there is only one reason why the number of attacks in the rest of the country gone up in recent years. It is because the rest of the country has become SHAMEFULLY IMMUNE to the conflict in Kashmir (or Assam for that matter). It is to bring attention to that conflict. That is the elephant in the room that India needs to address.

    At this point, I am definitely interested in what your viewpoint is. And if maybe GB obliges, we could continue the discussion off this blog post.

  12. @Anonymous: I think point 3 is a false comparison, because India is not appeasing/enabling a genocidal strongman in Pakistan. The trouble with Pakistan is that the country is falling apart — the economy is in a shambles, its credit rating is now 2nd worst in the world, & there is no law & order; a bomb seems to go off every other day somewhere, & even Peshawar is practically under Taliban control. And there is no-one in charge. The kindest thing I can think of to say about Zardari is that he’s a corrupt buffoon.

    So what is India to do? Whom to pressure? At this point, to my mind the only option is to leverage Pakistan’s economic crisis. Pakistan is on the brink of bankruptcy & Zardari is going with a begging bowl to China, Saudi Arabia & the other Gulf states. So Zardari is on a PR offensive. India needs to holler LOUDLY about how Pakistan is sheltering Dawood Ibrahim & other such types & pressure lenders to not bail out Pakistan financially unless these folks are extradited to India. It would be a good time to pressure US Uncle except, dammit, no-one is in charge here either.

    And to make matters more complicated, the method by which terrorists transfer money & fund themselves, i.e. hawala, is also the method by which Indian politicians hide their ill-gotten gains. So don’t expect any financial crackdowns from India. Why do you think the investigations into the 10-odd terrorist attacks over the last couple of years have been so pitiful? You think they investigated the Sadhvi & the major because of political pressure? Kind of — only thing is I think ATS wasn’t prevented from investigating them because the Sadhvi & the major weren’t using hawala.

  13. @ Sanjana,

    I do not think you are providing a cohorent response to anonymouses queries.

    1. Your argument that India and Pak (unlike UK and Germany) has more than 25 % poverty – hence neither can afford war is strange logic. So, when does war become ‘affordable’? when poverty of both country is 2.5%? How about a scenario where India’s poverty is 2.5 % and Pakistan’s poverty is 75% ? Can one not argue that war is now even more ‘unaffordable’ because Paks have nothing to lose and their first response would be to lob a nuke on Amritsar? (Note I’m ambivalent on an all out war – because I’m an NRI and will not ‘suffer’ the consequence of a war). Second – can a ‘war economy’ not help eradicate unemployment and poverty? (like the Nazis did)

    The ‘money’ which typically contributes to the jihadi economy is drug money (from Afghanistan) and other benefactors like Saudi Arabia, local donations etc etc.With the current crisis where Pak has hardly any benefactors willing or able to help – isn’t it a good time to plan a war? Similarly a war might disrupt the drug trade of ISI and therefore even more impoverish the pak army?

    second, I think you give way too much credit to China – a country which was brought to its knees because newspapers reported that their milk is tainted and their toys use bad quality paints. Yes China has helped pak (only because the US looked the other way), but China on its own will not dare to buck a really powerful rival (look at their response to the nuke deal).

    That said – yes ‘intelligence’ is a major issue but there is no reason why India cannot multi-task. Improve intelligence and overtly punish pakistan.

    Personally – I believe that a slow implosion of pakistan would give me even more satisfaction than it going up in a puff of smoke.

  14. The US cannot have India get out of hand (progress economically) and hence supplement the power struggle in the region from time to time. Am not saying that the US did what happened in Mumbai but the out of court settlement is always regulated by them. Its a political war that everyone fights. The foot solider is convinced about the religious part of the bullshit though not without a political angle.

    The thing that gets me is: why do we want these guys to be handed over? what will we do with them? Have a 12 yrs gestation period before we take a call on if we need to extract info from them or take them to court. Come on….we did not grow a pair of nuts when we HAD one of em. I see many more IC-814’s in the pipeline.

  15. When the Indian govt. did not attack POK after the parliament attacks it wont do it now also.That attack to me holds much more significance. India has indeed been soft in this regard. But a fruit becomes soft when it gets rotten from inside. And we all know that why the US is helping…coz it does not want Pak army to shift from its western border to eastern border & also coz of the fact that US nationals were victims of 26/11.

  16. My 2 cents on the ongoing discussion, I have only cited points that have not been brought up by earlier posters:

    Consider America’s interests here, Pakistan serves as the supply conduit for the war in Afghanistan. In the last few days, the Taliban has struck and destroyed two large supply bases. Recognizing that the American supply route is from Karachi all the way up to Afghanistan by land, the Americans can ill afford to have this supply route in jeopardy due to a war between India and Pakistan. Therefore, there will be considerable pressure brought upon both the parties to avoid an escalation and to seek a diplomatic solution, in other words more verbal gymanistics from Mr. 10% Zardari and farcical arrests.

    In the desire to seek justice, I hope the Indian government does not lose sight of the glaring deficiences that were exposed by these attacks…..in the areas of follow-up of intelligence reports, resources, training, coordination etc.

  17. @Satya

    An excellent point. This situation is like an impotent old man going around crying that nobody’s marrying him. What can HE do if a virgin is indeed handed over to him?

    If at all someone guilty is handed over, you will see them covered in pink pillow covers ad nauseum on the Aaj Taks and NDTVs….I mean did any of you see for how many hours the released pictures of the dead terrorists were aired on the idiot box last evening! And one stupid guy had his forearm covering the top half of the photographs. Ostensibly to prevent the young and the innocent from seeing the blown off heads….Man, wasn’t there anything else other than that hideous hand???!!!

  18. “Personally – I believe that a slow implosion of pakistan would give me even more satisfaction than it going up in a puff of smoke.”

    Me too 🙂 blow’em up slowly and telecast live

  19. Yesterday there were leaks that the Indian Government sources were pleased that Pakistan has started acting. One understands that GoI is impotent but at least they could pretend to be angry for a bit longer.

    For all those who want to see the slow implosion of Pakistan – it is happening right now. Like all natural phenomena you will notice change after some time.

  20. @Arnie:

    > 1. Your argument that India and Pak (unlike UK and Germany) has more
    > than 25 % poverty – hence neither can afford war is strange logic.
    I didn’t mean you to take the word “afford” in its literal sense. I don’t mean that India doesn’t have enough in its coffers to start a war. “Does India have enough to sustain it and rebuild the nation after the war, should it end?” is more of an immediate concern. Look what four years of a one-sided (and I mean one-sided because there have been no attacks on US civilians) war has done to a country like United States. If you’re saying that India will do better, then you’re just fantasising.

    > Second – can a ‘war economy’ not help eradicate unemployment and
    > poverty?
    India? A war economy? Are you kidding me?

    To answer your third question, if, as you say, the monetary source for jehad is the drugs in Afghanistan and (oil) from Saudi Arabia, can you please explain to the rest of us how is a war on Pakistani soil going to help?

    @Satya,@ratt:
    Excellent points, both. The US is only applying pressure on Pakistan for its own vested interests.

  21. I got hooked up by the discussion going on between @sanjana, @wafa, @anonymous and now @arnie

    I was n am still wondering what can be done in such a situation. We cant bomb PoK bcoz that will start a Indo-Pak war? which i hardly see as a solution (check Palestine,Iraq,Iran,Afghanistan,somalia,bosnia,congo, wars never end) and such wars wud mean more innnocents killed and more recruitment for the Jihadi likes, economic slowdown for India(4get Pak), and other sanctions on India by the rest of the world(may be civil nuclear ban like).

    What we can do is exercise economic sanctions on Pak but thats also not in our hands, we need to ask US to do that. Now US will keep on helping Pak until its a real threat to US itself, China will keep on helping Pak to counter India, Saudi helps Pak wid its oil money to grow its clout in the world(that answers yr question sanjana as to y saudi is helping war in pak)

    I dont know how much of help is Russia in such a situation (especially when oil is down in dumps).

    UK, France are gonna tow the US line so I dont know how they cna be of any help to us.

    Also people talk about getting to the base of the problem of these terrorists to end it, but seriously is that even possible? I mean we can include them in our economic growth (kashmir, assam, nagaland, etc), shun the religious n regional bias against them, be more tolerant towards humanity in general but these are holy solutions which I don’t see happening.

    People who want to be in power, control land, oil, gold will keep on creating such situations, keep on brainwashing kids.
    So is education the solution but I see highly educated involved in terror activities and also in talking crap on bulletins boards, n blogs.

    So whats the solution? I m still looking, searching, hoping……
    is this gonna result in a war and then only then will people relise that peace was always a better solution but till then it will be too so much destruction, loss of lives…
    hope that never happens….

  22. @Arnie: A war economy can only help growth if the war isn’t happening on your own soil, so there isn’t any (or very little) actual destruction, & if you have a lot of unused capacity, like the US in WW2 post Depression. As for the Nazis, you forget that Germany was completely wiped out by the end of the war & only rebuilt itself with US help (Marshall Plan). And even the US was bled dry by Vietnam, & is being bled dry as we speak — a trillion dollar budget deficit! — because there is almost no unused capacity any more. Even the US army is bumping up against the very limits of its supply chain.

    If you go to war with a neighbor who shares a long border, the conflict is bound to cause a lot of destruction on both sides. It’s also going to scare away foreign investment & destroy the economy. So that’s a _terrible_ reason for wanting to go to war.

    The big question is: will war end the terrorist threat? Given that the much stronger US military has been unable to defeat the Taliban, & that the Indian army has been unable to defeat the Naxalites, ULFA, or homegrown Kashmiri terrorists over the last few decades, I would not hold my breath.

    Moral: any solution has to be one that avoids war. And that’s from a purely practical perspective, not considering the human costs of war.

  23. just after i finished posting my comments on this blog, I came across this blog …

    http://acorn.nationalinterest.in/2008/12/09/hurting-the-pakistani-economy/

    do read the links in the article as well.. interesting suggestions, a few things which I was unaware of, like our former PM Gujral being such a jerk.

    specially these links by Prof Vaid(IIM-B)
    http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1212468&pageid=0
    and Raman’s
    http://ramanstrategicanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/12/pakistan-thus-far-no-further.html

    waiting for yr comments @Sanjana,@gr8bong, @wafa,@arnie,@bengalvoice n the rest

  24. Dear Sanjana,
    You are replies here suggest that you equate military action with war. The 2 aren’t the same. You are quite right (me thinks) on war not being an option; but covert military strikes on terror camps on pak soil is a option whose time has come – again and again and yet again!

  25. Why do we lack the balls in this country to see things as they are and decide to fix our problems ourselves? Is US our national guardian? If we never can excercise our military options even when provoked time and time again, why don’t we disband our military or sub-contract it to UN for a fat lease? Better still, why not invite “bids” from the US/UK to acquire us (india)? atleast we’ll finally get better governance including national security.

  26. @vinay:
    >>You are replies here suggest that you equate military action with war
    Just to make my views clearer – I do not believe in the viability of any form of attack (covert or open), that leads to a subsequent larger attack on Indian soil, potentially leading to an open war.

  27. @ Sanjana

    I get it, I get it. War is evil it will hurt the economy, take time to rebuild etc etc. That is because war is a war not a football match. The question you need to ask is – do the Indian polity consider terrorism exported by pakistan a big enough threat to do something about it. Are they willing to risk war to end this? Perhaps you don’t want to, perhaps I don’t want to but perhaps the families of the 170 odd Indians who died – may wish to. So your argument does not hold about a ‘good time to go to war’. Essentially there is no such ‘good time’ for war. Either you have one or don’t have one.

    No I’m not kidding about a war economy. Rhett Butler (Gone With The Wind) put it best when he said that there is money to be made in the building and the destruction of empires.

    Third, if you are looking at a war with pakistan to solve all your problems (Wahabism from Saudi Arabia, drugs, ULFA, Naxalism), then I suppose we should continue this ‘paralysis by analysis’. But broadly – the destruction of the pak army will hamper the supply lines of the drug trade from Afghanistan to the rest of the world (temporarily at least). Does it matter? One could argue (As Sir Humphery does). The whole WW-II was a stupid mistake because all it did was replace Nazism with Communism with a loss of 70 million lives.

  28. @Arnie: your entire argument is based on the assumption that Pakistan will be either unwilling or unable to strike back. I highly doubt that would happen. If India were to take out some terrorist camps on Pakistani soil, they would also have a similar rally-around-the-flag burst of nationalism & it would definitely result in all-out war.

    I would like to remind you that: a. Gone With the Wind was fiction. b. War profiteering is different from building the economy. War profiteering benefits a few, like Rhett Butler’s character in the book, who made money while the entire South was destroyed. Have you forgotten that he spends some time in prison, in the story, for his misdeeds?

    And lastly, communism existed long before WW2, though the Yalta compromises in exchange for Stalin’s help & Russian sacrifice during the war did enable the Iron Curtain.

  29. @ Wafa and Sanjana

    Conflict sucks. We all know that. It sucks more for some than for others. Thats why they are fought.

    You have to understand this.

    India’s resources > Pakistan’s pro-Pak Ummah’s resources

    India’s conventional strike capabilities > Pakistan’s pro-Pak Ummah’s

    India’s nuclear capablities = Pakistan’s (but the nuclear option can be ruled out from both sides due to international pressure).

    A limited conventional conflict is much more favourable to India than to Pakistan and its supportive Ummah elsewhere.

    It is a tactical move, but a useful one that will give us a window of 20 years or so to clean up our act.
    In the long run, India still has to deal with the Ummah’s demographic war if it wants to survive as a democratic secular nation.

  30. @ Wafa

    Not at all. I’m not discounting Paks ability to strikr back at all. The point I’m making is this terrorism attack is posing a question to the Indian polity about the threshold of their tolerance for such attacks. In other words, would India be willing to fight a war despite knowing that Pak will strike back. The result of the war is a forgone conclusion but would the Indian polity be ready for the tradeoffs involved?

    Re Rhett Butler – the point I’m tring to make is that in such times of dampened demand, a war can actually boost demand and employment. I’m not getting into the moral issues at all.

    Re Communism – the point was not about the ‘existence’ of communism before Nazism – the point was about the pervasiveness of communism post WW-II and the ‘era of peace’ never dawning despite at a huge cost of men and material.

  31. @Arnie: Given the US experience with wars in response to terror attacks, I think the answer is pretty obvious. 7 years later they are still bogged down in countries much weaker than they are. If India is to take one lesson away from that it should be that war ought to be the _last_ option, exercised only when everything else conceivably possible has been exhausted. The issue is effectiveness, not whether Indian politicians have the balls to go to war.

    I get your point about war boosting demand & employment. I just think history shows it drains & destroys more than it creates. Artificially-increased demand without an increase in productive capacity only leads to inflation in the long run, not growth.

    About communism — you’re right; I misunderstood what you meant.

    @Anonymous: demographic warfare??? Come on, are we China now, telling people how many children they can have?

  32. @ Wafa

    The US experience becomes moot only if India plans to occupy the territory. I do not think it is in India’s interest to reintegrate pak with India. How about the option of the scorched earth policy? destroy the current hydra of the punjabi pak army and feudals? The cleavage in pak is already there – why not destroy the only component that holds that failed state together (the army) and create 3-4 separate states? The US is already thinking along those lines – there was a recent article called ‘blood borders’ I believe.

  33. @Arnie: I don’t think the US planned to occupy either Iraq or Afghanistan for this long either. But you can’t leave chaos behind; it spills over everywhere. Terrorists are not bred in the educated enclaves of Lahore & Karachi, they’re bred among the poor & the poorly or barely governed.

    What is India supposed to do? Invade Pakistan, chop it up, & rewrite the constitution so that the military has less power? Or invade, destroy it, chop it up, & then retreat, so that there’s a civil war all along the northwestern border?

    @Anonymous: I’m not rising to the bait any more.

  34. @ Wafa :”Terrorists are not bred in the educated enclaves of Lahore & Karachi, they’re bred among the poor & the poorly or barely governed”.

    True. Except for the ones who are from middle-class backgrounds, possess degrees from colleges, smartness and articulation, and terrorise merely from an overpowetring urge (Blade’s “the thirst”) to inflict misery and pain on weaker, humbler, more docile and CIVILISED kaffirs.

    Like the ones involved in 9/11, London bombings, Madrid bombings etc etc etc. Ramzee Yousef had degrees in both chemistry and electrical engineering. Hmmm? what’s that you ask? Who’s Ramzi Yosef? Pray, he’s the guy who bombed the World Trade Centre. Noooo. Not 9/11 silly. The original bombing. 1993. The bombing that killed 6, injured 1,000s, and came back with typical Isla..c inevitability to ‘finish’ the jehad in 2001.

    Oh how oversigthful of me. That is not for terrorism at all, but for ‘injustices’ in … hmmm, let me see … Guantanamo Bay, Bosnia, Kossovo, Albania, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mindanao Phillipines, Southern Thailand, Kashmir, Palestine, Lebanon …. any place I’ve missed?

    I like the way you cite ‘breeding’ of terrorists. I can just picture millions of couples, even as we speak, engaged intensely amd mutually, keenly focussed on doing exactly that.

  35. Ok, my mistake to make a sweeping generalization. I should have said South Asian terrorists. Or terrorists in South Asia as against terrorists of South Asian origin in the West.

  36. @wafa
    How about getting more honest.
    Islamists is a more suitable word.

    btw, Ramzi Yousef, was a “South Asian”.

    See a good way to start considering the solutions to a problem, is by beginning to accept where the problem is.

  37. Wafa,

    The appelation or the nomenclature of terrorism is not the issue. The cause of terrorism is.

    What is the real cause of terrorism? There are enough unadulterated statements from pontiffs, mass demonstrations of overbred obese fanatics, and clear references to scriptural proscriptions to enable anyone to determine the truth.

    Poverty, injustice, illiteracy are not the cause of terrorism. At best they are catalysts. At worst they are skilfullty employed diversionary smoke-screens. I believe they are a RESULT of terrorism. But they are definitely not the cause.

    What is the cause, my friend?

  38. So if Islam is the cause, how do you explain Maoists, LTTE (who pioneered suicide bombing, btw), ULFA, IRA, ETA, FARC, Red Army, Baader-Meinhof, etc etc?

  39. Apart from Maosits and Bader Meinhof, who are basically nihilists to the core, the rest are are political movements, with clearly defined, narrowly articulated and specifically set political objectives.

    You can do ‘business’ with them, knowing that once their political objectives are addressed, their anxiety will disappear.

    That is why most of them are either in retreat, or at the negotiating table. Or will be at the negotitating table within 20 years.

    Even the all-consuming hatred of Maoism and Bader Meinhof will dissipate. After all, they do not have a one and a half millenia old hate system to finance, encourage, educate, train and sustain them.

    The first suicide killer was not from the LTTE. If I remember correctly (I’ll have to check up), Ottoman bashibazooks were used with terrifying effect in carrying explosives and blowing themselves up amidst enemy lines. They were used with devastating effect in the siege of Malta in 1565.

    Besides, the LTTE suicide bomber is qualitatively far different from the Islamic one. The former focuses on military targets in Sri Lanka alone, though some civilians have been killed as well.

    The latter takes particular gory glee in targeting children, hospital patients, office staff bar revellers, Buddhist monks, cafe visitors, tourists with cameras …. basically defenceless folk. From New York, to Baghdad, to Jerusalem, to Mumbai, to Bali, to Karachi, to London, to Madrid, to Germany … etc etc etc.

    Do you see the stark distinction? At nearly every level?

  40. HHBB,

    Bashi Bazook? When I was a teenager, I thought Bashi Bazook was some sort of a sailor swear-word used by colorful Captain Haddock (in Tintin) until I read this poem describing the exploits of the Ottomans in the Levant and Europe …. and then my blood ran cold:

    O hark to the screams of the wounded and dying…
    A mother who takes a last lingering look
    At her infant aloft, understandably crying
    Impaled on the spear of a Bashi Bazook

    O see where the vultures are patiently wheeling
    As the Scimitars flash and the yataghans thud
    O innocent victims, vainly appealing
    To dreaded Janissaries lusting for blood.

  41. HHBB,

    Thanks for pointing out the epoch-making siege of Malta in 1565 (where Islamists used suicide bombers to great effect). That the Christian army held onto Malta – a small Mediterranean island of Malta (inspite of Jihadi Ottoman terror) speaks volumes of their resilience.

    If vitally strategic Malta fell, the Muslim Ottoman Empire would soon dominate the Mediterranean. Even Rome would be in peril. In England, Queen Elizabeth I acknowledged that if Malta had fallen to the Turks, England itself would probably have fallen to the Muslims.

    How the beleaguered, outnumbered and overwhelmed Christian army overcame the siege of Malta (by the vast, well-equipped Ottoman Turkish hordes) is a wonderful lesion in tenacity and warfare strategy/tactics that we Indians can learn from.

    Wave upon wave of screaming and scimitar-wielding Jannesaries, Iayalars and Dervishes rushed towards the Christians, trampling over the bodies of their own slain, laying down ships’ masts to bridge the debris-filled moat into which the walls of St Elmo had slid.

    Each time these Turks were met by the ragged and diminishing band of Christian defenders, fighting with pikes and battle-axes, firing muskets and dropping blocks of stone, throwing fire-hoops that set ablaze the flowing robes of the Muslims and sent them burning and plummeting to their deaths.

    The fire-hoops – covered in flax and cotton, dipped in brandy and coated with pitch and saltpetre – were the Knights’ own invention. Dropped blazing over the bastion walls, they could engulf three Turks at a time.

    It was psychological warfare at its most brutal. In a clear religious taunting of their Christian foes, the Muslim Ottomans beheaded many captured Knights (of the small Fort St. Elmo), nailed their headless bodies onto wooden crosses and floated these crucified corpses across to their fellow-Christians in Fort St Angelo on the far side of the harbour.

    The Christians in Fort St Angelo sent a fitting rejoinder. The Christian army had every single Turkish captive beheaded and had the heads of his Turkish captives fired from his most powerful cannon direct into the Muslim lines.

    The Christian message was defiant and equally brutal: “There would be no negotiation, no compromise, no surrender, no retreat. We Christians will fight to the death and take you with us.”

    The Turks tried every twist and tactic in their military manual. They tunnelled beneath the Christian defences to bury gunpowder and blow the knights to bits. The Maltese responded with their own mines to blow up the tunnels and there were terrible skirmishes below ground.

    Next the Turks drew up siege engines, giant towers designed to pour their infantry direct on to the battlements. The knights removed stones at the base of the battlement walls so that they could run out cannon through the openings they had created, and blast the siege engines apart.

    On several occasions those walls were breached, the Turks rushing through eager to slaughter all in their path. Triumph seemed at hand but they found too late that the knights had improvised an ambush, creating a killing zone into which they were funnelled and slaughtered.

    Success for the Turks was slipping away. The furnace temperatures of July and August sapped morale and strength; the sense of failure clung as pervasively as the surrounding stench of death.

    The Turks’ commander, Mustapha Pasha, marched inland to take the walled city of Mdina, only to withdraw when scouts informed him of its substantial and well-armed garrison. It was a trick. Mdina was largely undefended, its governor ordering women and children to don helmets, carry pikes and patrol the walls.

    Frantic, with casualties mounting and autumn storms looming, the Turks hoisted a giant bomb – a fiendish barrel-shaped object packed with gunpowder and musketballs – over the walls and rolled it into the Christian positions.

    Seeing that the bomb had a slow-burning fuse, some brave Knights promptly rolled it back over the walls and it blew the massed Muslim ranks (eagerly waiting below the fort) into smithereens.

    The skies opened up and it rained. Believing the gunpowder of the Knights to be damp, their muskets and cannon useless, Mustapha Pasha again sent his troops forward.

    They were met by a hail of not only crossbow bolts but gunfire, for the Christian leader Valette had anticipated such an moment, setting aside stores of dry powder.

    Finally, relief reached the knights in the form of a small army from Sicily. Believing the enemy reinforcements too weak to be of any consequence, Mustapha Pasha angrily ordered his troops – who had bolted on hearing of the new arrivals – to turn back and march towards them. It was the last of his many grave blunders.

    The cavalry of the relief force charged, then the infantry, tearing into the Turkish centre, putting it to flight. Rout turned to bloodbath. The once-proud Ottoman force scrambled in disarray for its ships, pursued across the island, cut down and picked off at every step. Thousands died and the waters of St Paul’s Bay ran red.

    Of the 40,000 Ottoman troops that had set sail in the spring from Constantinople, only some ten thousand made it back home. Behind them they had left a scene of utter devastation.

    In one of the greatest examples of courage and endurance the world has ever witnessed, the Knights of St. John prevailed.

    Only 250 Knights survived at Malta, and almost every one of them was wounded, maimed or crippled. Europe, however, was now free of the Muslim threat that had appeared so invincible.

    The Ottomans were defeated; Malta was saved; and eventually, so was Europe.

    Replace “Malta” with “India” and the story is the same. In an endless siege, India was and continues to be attacked by barbarians from within and without.

    In what form and shape should we Indians deliver a reply to the barbarians who attack India relentlessly – day in and day out?

  42. @Wafa

    The Islamic group Hezbollah that pioneered and perfected the use of suicide bombings (in 1983) much before the LTTE copied them (in 1987).

    Just to give you three prime examples:

    1) In 1983, the Hezbollah (the Arabic name translates to: “Party of Allah”) conducted the suicide bombing of the United States Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon on April 18, 1983 that killed over 60 people. The car bomb was detonated by a Islamic suicide bomber driving a delivery van (packed with about 2,000 pounds (910 kg) of explosives) straight into the embassy building, destroying it.

    2) In 1983 again, it was the Hezbollah that carried out the suicide bombing of the United States Marine Corps barracks and French military forces – members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon.

    On October 23, 1983, the suicide bomber drove a rainbow Mercedes-Benz truck into the US Marine Corps barracks and detonated his explosives, which were equivalent to 5,400 kg (12,000 pounds) of TNT. At least, 241 American servicemen were killed and 60 were crippled.

    3) About two minutes later, another Hezbollah suicide bomber drove his truck down a ramp into the French military forces HQ building’s underground parking garage and detonated his bomb, leveling the eight-story building and killing 58 French soldiers. Many of the soldiers had gathered on their balconies moments earlier to see what was happening at the United States Marine Corps barracks.

    International expert on suicide terrorism Dr. Robert Pape, examining the proliferation of suicide operations, points out that the exposure to Lebanese training and tactics influenced the adoption of suicide operations by the LTTE in Sri Lanka. The LTTE and its erstwhile affiliates had received advanced military training in Lebanon during the early eighties.

    Four years later (in 1987), in a copy-cat move, Captain Miller (of the LTTE) who drove a small truck laden with explosives into a Sri Lanka Army camp in Nelliady, Jaffna peninsula, on 5 July 1987, killing himself and between 39-100 Sri Lankan soldiers.

    So yeah, let’s be generous where credit is due…The Islamists get credit for pioneering the art of suicide bombings too.

  43. @Hujur & @HHBB: A rousing story. If we want to go all the way back then Japanese kamikaze pilots were also suicide bombers.

    It still does nothing to prove your thesis that Islam is responsible for terrorism. That would be like saying the world was all sunshine & roses till Islam came along, with no war or conquest or anything. Which is absurd. Also there is plenty of war/bombing/killing in areas where there are no Muslims. As for India, with a few exceptions, war & conquest were a pretty normal part of history long before Islam came along.

    Also: “Besides, the LTTE suicide bomber is qualitatively far different from the Islamic one. The former focuses on military targets in Sri Lanka alone, though some civilians have been killed as well.”

    Rajiv Gandhi probably qualified as “some civilian,” given he certainly was not a military target in Sri Lanka.

    Additionally, by lumping all “Muslim” terrorists in the same category, you achieve precisely what Al Qaeda wants, which is to make this some sort of Pan-Islamic struggle. What it is, at its root, is multiple territorial/political struggles, just like the others you dismiss. The Palestinian struggle is separate from the Kashmiri one, is separate from Chechnya, etc. And Lebanon was its own crazed civil war.

    The IRA looks reasonable now, after their 90-year terror campaign is over. Wasn’t so reasonable when they were bombing schoolbuses in the 1970s.

  44. Didn’t Ghani Khan Chaudhury similarly defend Malda from CPM bashi bazooks back in the day?

    Wafa, Hujur, H2B2 – how about some lectures on YouTube, like those Stanford & Berkeley profs?

  45. wafa
    it is the self-denial of well meaning children of converts, like you that has helped Jihadis lead Islam from the front.

  46. hi wafa !

    i used to do the same thing you do – got defensive, defended the indefensible and acted as a useful apologist by bringing up other terrorist ideologies at the drop of a hat etc.

    if you asked me – all such beliefs/ideologies are false. normally, no sane person will defend the terrorists’ belief system. but our community seems to excel in perpetuating the violence by condoning it and coming up all sorts of tangential excuses to say: “hey! others are doing it too”. that sort of justification is highly dangerous and show a complete lack of introspection about the roots of jihad.

    such arguments don’t explain why god has to explicitly prescribe violence against non-believers for all eternity. i disagree with a god who makes jihad against kafirs an obligation and i was very happy to part company with the likes of those who unquestioningly follow such a god.

    for a long time, i made excuses and pretended that osama, taliban, simi and other co-religionists weren’t real muslims, and smugly believed that only i was a real muslim because i was non-violent etc.

    but the fact is i was non-violent because i was a nominal believer – a muslim only by name and hindu by culture/behaviour – because thankfully i grew up in india, not any islamic country.

    it was then that i realised that there was only so much that i could do to fool others – because deep inside, i knew i was desperately trying to fool myself.

  47. @Aasma: I’m not going to question your choices or beliefs. That’s something completely personal. But I will dispute some of your points.

    Jihad is an obligation but it doesn’t just mean war. Go back & read the Quran in its entirety, rather than a few sentences taken out of context. If I can pluck a sentence from the Quran out of context to show that Muslims should kill kafirs, I can also pluck a sentence from the Bible out of context to show that Jews & Christians should bash their enemies’ babies against rocks. (Psalm 137, look it up.) Let’s not even get started on all the bloodshed in the Mahabharata. All these lines are meant to be read in a larger context; they say that the Devil can quote scripture for his purpose.

    Jihad is also supposed to mean one’s own internal struggle to be good & righteous. The Prophet never led a war of aggression against anyone, he only fought in self-defense. Muslims are only supposed to fight back when attacked.

    I do not bring up examples of terrorists who aren’t Muslims because I’m being defensive. I do it to show that evil people exist everywhere, in all countries, & in all religions. If you take a historical perspective the only reason it looks like most terrorists are Muslims is the particular time & moment we live in.

    I do not allow evil people to define my faith & what I believe. That’s why I’m still having this conversation with people here, even though the probability of me changing anyone’s mind is vanishingly small. The fact that so many people genuinely believe that true believers cannot be non-violent only means that true believers have been quiet for too long, & have allowed the evil (but loud) to spread their propaganda. As GB says in his latest post, the fundamentalists are loud, hysterical, & wrong. But the sensible folk have been just that — quiet & sensible, & too moderate to make headlines.

  48. @Wafa:

    Kindly keep your ignorance to yourself. Mahabharata, for your kind information, is not the religious book of the Hindus. Just like the Illiad is not the holy book of anyone. The violence in Mahabharata is part of the story and is not part of any religious instruction. Geez.

  49. @ anonymous
    Its not Wafa’s fault. That kind of propaganda is fed to them, so that the conscientious amongst them, dont diverge from the path of being apologists for Jihad.

  50. And see how the Americans responded to the Taliban offer, and how India responded to the Pakistani offer.
    We know all too well that, had it not been for the western and Jewish casualties, the media coverage outside India would have been fleeting at best. This offered us a golden opportunity, which has a shelf life of one month at best.
    Nobody, including the Messiah, Obama, would have faulted India were we to drop a few bombs in POK, or even have a battalion violate the cease fire line…..
    On the other hand, maybe I am wrong, maybe the people running our Pakistan policy have bigger plans afoot. Plans which will solve the problem completely. A plan with inputs from the Americans, British, Israelis, French and Australians. A plan, which when completed, would make the world a much safer place, and in the process give Afghanistan a sea port.
    It could happen, no?

  51. hello wafa !

    that’s whack ! i don’t mean this as an offense or undue comparison – i swear you and i think (or thought) of the exact same reasoning (at some point). we could be sisters. 🙂

    seriously, have you even read the quran? i have – from cover to cover. and i’m scared shitless, yaar!

    jihad is the religious obligation to struggle and remove all things non-islamic internally (inside our minds) and remove all things non-islamic externally (in the world). jihad is the way to struggle to do two things – (i) brainwash yourself to complete submission and (ii) brainwash the whole world into complete submission (and that’s putting it mildly).

    yes, i admit that the prophet was my hero when i was a child. from the fictitious stories that my parents had told me, i imagined he was a knight in shining armour and very chivalrous. but then, my parents weren’t religious and had no knowledge of the scriptures – they had simply told me heartwarming but fictitious, robin-hood style stories that they had woven around the prophet. about 3-4 years ago, i was very shocked and angry when i found out that he wasn’t who i had imagined him to be. instead of being my role-model, he was my worst nightmare. to this day, i am angry at my parents for feeding me a load of tripe about such a bad man.

    it is perhaps wishful-thinking on your part when u write that the prophet never led a war of aggression and fought in self-defense. u wish to superimpose your mind’s image of what a prophet SHOULD BE LIKE on what the prophet ACTUALLY WAS LIKE. if u care to do some research by reading the scriptures, the prophet led several unprovoked attacks on trading caravans and killed, robbed or raped the captured people. the prophet surrounded and killed entire tribes for their refusal to accept islam. the scriptures say it openly and proudly. so are you kidding me?

    if we have a problem with the image of islam being spoiled, it is better we argue with muslims (instead of arguing with hindus who have always been at the receiving end of muslim-led violence). why take out our frustration on someone else instead of focusing on the problem? if we want to ‘reform’ islam, let’s do it – but the problem is obvious – our own community will ignore us or oppose us fiercely. we might be killed for even suggesting that islam be reformed. no wonder we are caught in an endless cycle of violence. who wants to waste our entire-lives by living so hopelessly, with no peaceful future?

    if your analogy is correct, then how come we don’t see christians/jews bashing their babies heads on rocks? how come we don’t see hindus fighting massive wars in kurukshetra today? lets be honest with ourselves. where is all the islamic-driven violence coming from? are the muslim terrorists getting their inspiration from some non-islamic books? are they getting their inspiration from the bible, torah and hindu stories? no way, jose. the muslim terrorists (and their silent supporters) draw their inspiration solely, completely and totally from the quran.

    one might claim that hey! they are misinterpreting the quran. but if it is truly god’s word, then it cannot be misinterpreted. the word of god must be clear and tamper-proof.

    let’s look at an interesting conclusion. according to the quran, god(allah) sent many prophets with His message in the past (ibrahim/abraham, musa/moses, jesus/isa etc) but over time, the message got corrupted or misinterpreted (like in the case the jewish scriptures and christian scriptures). so god sent mohammad as the last prophet and told him to bear His message (quran) that was clear, incorruptible and beyond misinterpretation.

    if indeed the muslim terrorists are misinterpreting the quran and turning its meaning upside down (“be peaceful” gets misinterpreted as “be extremely violent”) then, we admit that the quran too is liable to get very corrupted or misinterpreted (just as the quran claims the jewish and christian scriptures had become), then god is going to need to send another prophet (after mohammed) to re-clarify and correctly interpret the scriptures once again. so, in that case, mohammed is not the last prophet of god. right?

    after a great deal of sadness, introspection and soul-searching, i have realised this and admit it without hesitation – the root of this violence comes from dozens of verses that preach unprovoked violence. first to reform islam, we should expunge all the violence-inciting verses from the quran, don’t u think? are we ready to do this?

  52. “On the other hand, maybe I am wrong, maybe the people running our Pakistan policy have bigger plans afoot. Plans which will solve the problem completely.”

    Wow Trilok, that sounds like the Final Solution

    In sister Aasma’s words, I’m scared shitless, yaar…

  53. @Anonymous: I thought the Gita was part of the Mahabharata. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    @Aasma: The Christians & Jews & everyone else have some very violent & ugly phases in their history. The Protestant Reformation led to wars & Inquisitions & rebellions of all kinds before it settled into what we see today. Islam where we see it today is exactly where Christianity stood about 1400 years after its founding, & that was a pretty ugly place. We are basically at the same stage of development.

    I’m not trying to make excuses for terrorism. I’m not even denying that Islam is in dire need of reformation from within — one visit to Saudi Arabia is enough to prove that. But being afraid we’ll be shouted down is a bad reason to shy away from telling it like we see it. Any reform is going to be a long & ugly process which will never be complete — even Christianity is still evolving, just (relatively) more peacefully. I don’t think this reform will require giving up what is essential to the faith, like the Quran. It does mean our interpretations of it will have to change, & those who hate the terrorists will have to stop being afraid of taking them on. Yes, terrorism is a disease spreading through the Muslim community like a cancer, but we have to cure it ourselves rather than blaming the victim. (And before the others jump down my throat for this, “Muslim” terrorists have in fact killed lots of Muslims along with many others. Often deliberately, in Iraq, Jordan etc.)

    All I’m saying is that evil people are everywhere. Some are brainwashed into doing evil deeds; some believe that what they are doing is actually right; some turn to it because of society, & some are just born evil. That’s the way of the world. That’s what human civilization has always been like. All societies have dealt with this. Hitler & the SS were German; doesn’t make Germans, Germany, or German culture evil. Same way Bin Laden, Kasab & the rest of them don’t mean there’s anything wrong with Islam, but there’s plenty wrong with them.

    At the same time there were a number of things in German society that enabled Hitler to come to power & stay there — the WW1 defeat, Versailles & the ensuing hyperinflation, & a longstanding antisemitism. Same way there are a lot of things wrong with some Muslim societies today — they don’t value learning, they treat women as second-class citizens, & they blame all their problems on outsiders rather than looking within. But it’s not Islam that’s responsible for that. If it were, how to explain all the peaceful & prosperous Islamic societies that have existed throughout history & still do?

  54. @Anonymous: Gita is told to Arjun during the Mahabharata. It is only the Gita which is holy as it is supposedly the word of God told in the context of a story. The Gita as the holy book of the Hindus is read as an independent book without the Mahabharata. Now that you know, clear the cobwebs from your mind and get the facts before you fire your mouth. Finally kindly desist from using the false thesis of the equivalence of all religions and accept the fact that there are some religions who do not ask for the murder of non-believers. Gita, should you choose to read it, does not talk about “spreading faith” or “convincing others that Krishna is the only true God and Brad Pitt is his messenger” but discusses how one should lead one’s life, how to discharge one’s duties, how to reconcile with conflict, death and sorrow.

  55. @Anonymous: Gita is told to Arjun during the Mahabharata. It is only the Gita which is holy as it is supposedly the word of God told in the context of a story.

    In fact here too there is perfect deniability. The Gita is related by Sanjaya (the charioteer of King Dritharashtra) as the word of God. So hindus can theoretically challenge the word of Gita as something that Sanjaya might have misinterpreted. The more I think about it, the more humbled I am.

  56. I read the comments on this thread, and I found some really useful things to learn. I ‘ll keep them to myself for now. Of particular interest to me were the posting made by Wafa (by the Wafa, do you know there is a lady called by your name from Syria, her full name is Wafa Sultan and she is Syrian, Google her name sometime) and Asma. There is something I would like to mention with regards to the points raised by the two ladies here about Islam.
    Now there are two varieties of Islam, the real Islam as understood by the Quran and Sunnah and the other is cultural Islam. The first variety of Islam which is the real Islam is truly followed by countries like Saudi Arabia whereas cultural Islam differs according to the Geographic locations. Now the second variety of Islam is Bi’dah or innovation. This does not hold any beef when looked in the light of the Quran and Sunnah. It would be unwise of me to say this, but most of the cultural practices of Indian Muslims including Saint worship, offering Fatiha, etc are innovations.
    Wafa spoke of reformation in Islam. Now for Islam to be reformed would mean a major change in the Quran and the Sunnah. Plus we also have to see the fact that according to Muslims Islam cannot be reformed, simply because it has been reviled by Allah. So any reformation in Islam would amount to Blasphemy. The Ahemdiyaas, Kadiyannis, Baha’i were examples of this reformation business. What happened to these sects is something most of us especially the Muslims and Ex-Muslims like me are very well familiar with.
    Another important point that needs to be taken into consideration is that reforming Islam means throwing away 90% of the sources of Islam. Now that would not that not much of Islam would remain in it.
    Now let us take a crash course in the History of Islam. Reformation to a Muslim does not mean changes the basic tenets of his religion, rather it means going back to the original source of Islam. What are these original sources The Quran and the Sunnah. I am sure Wafa must be familiar with the history of present day Saudi Arabia, where a scholar called Ibn Tayymiyya had arisen to clean the the changes that had taken place in Islam by going back to the Sunnah of the Prophet. His disciple Ibn Abdul Wahab, whose name is today revered throughout the Arabic world followed the teachings of his Prophet. As a result he came around to be the biggest iconoclast of the 18th century. He destroyed every tomb of Muslims saints, he did not even spare the tomb of his prophet. He repeated the actions of his Prophet who had 1200 years back broken the idols of Al-Mannat, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza in Mecca.
    So you see history comes around full circle. Any talk of reforming Islam simply does not hold an beef. The only way to do away with this menace is something anyone can guess.

  57. In a hurry I forgot to add certain points in my above post which has now been declared anonymous. I shall continue posting here with my views.
    Now as the Arabs say ??????? ??? ??? ?????? ???? ???????. Which when translated into English means that Allah made us Arabs great because of Islam. This statement is echoed by every Arab, even those who are atheists. I feel there is truth in this statement.
    Arabs were a race of marauders before Islam came. However after Islam these same Beduins were turned into war mahines who knew that they were fighting a win win war, no mater who the enemy. If they lived they would get booty, if they died they would get Paradise with its slendours and rewards from their Lord. However what I would like to ask the Non-Arab muslim friends of mine that, what they got after becoming Muslims. Absolutely nothing. In fact great civilizations like Persia and India were reduced to ruble by the marauding armies of the Muslims. The Muslims in today’s India who feel proximity to the Arabs are merely a generation whose ancestors were forced into conversion by the invaders. No doubt South Asian Muslims like to believe that they share the same genetic pool as that of Mir Kasim. But is it true? genetic tests reveil otherwise. The arabs consider South Asian Muslims as nothing more than Zilch. Not many Muslims would concede this fact. None the less the reality remains.
    Most Muslims especially the ignorant and the apologists go around telling people that Islam is totally free of racism.
    However the question is, is this statement true. Let me give you a few examples, the word in Arabic for a slave and a black is exactly the same Abd. This word was used extensively by the Arabs and is still used. It formed a useful part of the vocabulary of the Quran. This is not to say that there were not slaves from the white. Yes there were, however they were called Mamuluks. Now anyone who has read the Islamic history will know how the African slaves were brought to Arabia and castrated so that they could not reproduce further. The women were sold off in the slave markets to adorn the harems of rich sheiks. The offerings in case they were male, were again castrated if Female were resold in the slave markets.

  58. @ Wafa, Arnie and the rest.

    The Gita is part of a Smriti. A Smriti is not the direct divine words, but its timebound and subjective interpretation.

    Technically even Gita is a intepretation, even though during the past 500 years, it has taken a position of primary scritpure.

    In the aastik Hindu panthas (not Charvaka, Jaina and Bouddha Panthas), ONLY the Vedas are considered Shrutis.

    Upnishadas, Puranas, Vedangas, Shastras are all interpretations and time bound and subjective.

    To all except Wafa:
    We Hindus need to know more about their own religion…right?

  59. I stand corrected about the Gita.

    @Ibrahim Lone: I can’t speak for Indian Muslims in general but I feel no particular proximity to Arabs. I’ve met some Arabs I really like & some who were jerks. Some Arabs have a sense of cultural superiority because they happen to speak a modern version of the language of the Quran; frankly that attitude gets on my nerves when I see it.

    I also couldn’t care less about sharing the gene pool of a traitor like Mir Qasim. In fact without doing any genetic tests but knowing what I do of my family tree, I am pretty sure (& thankful!) that I don’t. So please refrain from speaking for the entire Indian Muslim community as if it were monolithic & thought exactly the same thing. Are you even aware that the very first Indian Muslims were converts in Kerala around the 9th century CE, who converted after extended interactions with Arab traders? Not as a result of conquest, intermarriage, or migration?

    As far as I know, the word “abd” is used in the Quran to denote a slave of Allah, eg “Abdullah.” Which basically implies all of creation, same as the Urdu word “banda” is used to denote any man — it implies a slave of God. If you believe in the all-powerful, all-knowing God of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic scriptures, you have to believe that we are all His slaves. If not then the term shouldn’t matter anyway. Having displayed my ignorance of Hindu theology I will refrain from commenting on how Hinduism sees it & wait for the others to tell me.

    Arab slave traders enslaved anyone they could; white, black, or brown. They were mercenaries, not particularly racist. It just turned out that Sub-Saharan Africans were easier to enslave than others, given the king of what is today Ghana was selling his own people into slavery. Once again people are mistaking the actions of some Muslims as being sanctioned by the Quran, when the Quran clearly states that all races are equal & people are distinguished only by their piety.

    So reforming Islam would not require dumping 90% of it. It would not involve dumping any part of scripture except some of the weak Hadith. It would probably require a reinterpretation of things that are abstract & not clearly spelled out. And it would involve cleaning up the cultures that discourage education, sanction honor killings, & prevent women from being equal citizens. Those people seem to forget that the Prophet’s wife Khadija was a rich successful businesswoman in her own right; that the Prophet never attacked anyone & never fought a war except in self-defense (& since Aasma claims otherwise I would like to see proof); & that the Quran places mercy as one of the highest virtues.

    As for Abdul Wahab, I do in fact see him as a somewhat Martin Luther-esque figure in Islam. He wasn’t right about everything & his legacy has often been distorted by his 20th & 21st century followers, but his aims & intentions were in the right place.

  60. @Wafa

    “Prophet never attacked anyone & never fought a war except in self-defense (& since Aasma claims otherwise I would like to see proof)”

    Timeline of Muhammad’s Life (A.D)

    570 – Born in Mecca
    576 – Orphaned upon death of mother
    595 – Marries Kadijah – older, wealthy widow
    610 – Reports first revelations from angel at age of 40
    619 – Protector uncle dies
    622 – Emigrates from Mecca to Medina (the Hijra)
    623 – Orders raids on Meccan caravans
    624 – Battle of Badr (victory)
    624 – Evicts Qaynuqa Jews from Medina
    624 – Orders the assassination of Abu Afak
    624 – Orders the assassination of Asma bint Marwan
    624 – Orders the assassination of Ka’b al-Ashraf
    625 – Battle of Uhud (defeat)
    625 – Evicts Nadir Jews
    627 – Battle of the Trench (victory)
    627 – Massacre of the Qurayza Jews
    628 – Signing of the Treaty of Hudaibiya with Mecca
    628 – Destruction and subjugation of the Khaybar Jews
    629 – Orders first raid into Christian lands at Muta (defeat)
    630 – Conquers Mecca by surprise (along with other tribes)
    631 – Leads second raid into Christian territory at Tabuk (no battle)
    632 – Dies

  61. Richie Rich,

    You forgot a key word. “Self defense”. Wafa will say they are all in “self defense”. We know they were not but that’s an entirely different matter.

  62. Ibrahim Lone, my blog isnt the place for endless religious debates and the inevitable discussions of the personal lives of Prophets that follow. Kindly take your discussions about the Prophet elsewhere. Enough is enough to more appropriate forums. This discussion is not germane to the post. More comments on this line will be removed. Thank you

  63. No the moment Wafa starts making “personal” comments about Krishna or Rama I will say the same thing. O Krish, do desist from firing before you have even seen what I have moderated. As the owner of the blog, I have the right to draw the line when and where I wish. If you or anyone have a problem with that, then well…

  64. Goood. GB now goes around telling people to shove it. What can one say.. except.. Ibrahmim Lone atleast does not seem like a Hinud fundamentalist.
    I of course do not know what Ibrahmim said, but then your space.. your right.

  65. @wafa !

    sorry, I was unable to reply to your comments immediately. I realised that my previous comments looked funny so this time, I took my time to run my reply through a spell-check this time and use upper-case letters appropriately.

    I vehemently object to your trying to trivialise what is happening to the Hindus in India. Excuse me for saying this, but one shouldn’t be too clever-by half. And I’ll tell you why !

    >>>No-one else seems to be talking about how the specific targeting of foreigners means this really was not so much about Hindus as such, but India & the West in general.

    All life is precious. And so, is the truth. In Mumbai, around 10 foreigners were killed. In contrast, around 150 Hindus were killed on the same day. The ratio of Hindus to Foreigners killed was 150:10 . There is simply no comparison. The primary targets were Hindus – along with Jews and Christians. There is no denying that. The death ratio of 150:10 point to this truth.

    The foreigners (Jews, Christians) killed were specifically targeted, tortured and killed for their religion. Many of the Hindus killed were also hostages who were specifically targeted and killed because of their religion – they were beheaded, their throats were slit, they were lined up against wall and executed one by one (while they lay helplessly bound and gagged). The Hindu hostages killed included a 7 year old boy. The Hindu and Christian Hotel employees had their hands and mouths tied, and were crying. But the terrorists showed no emotion and continued to speak with each other ‘quite jovially’. When the Hindu hostages cried and begged for mercy, the terrorists sneered and taunted them – “Remember Babri Masjid? Remember Godhra?” before slaughtering them.

    The killers had meticulously checked the ID cards to identify the religion of those they planned to kill. Those lucky hostages who miraculously managed to escape (due to the NSG operations), revealed that the terrorists even asked the Hindus what their castes were. They were bent upon targeting not only Hindus, but also Brahmins (since the Brahmins provide the spiritual support structure to the Hindu community). You should read the Rediff interview of a hostage (K.R.Ramamoorthy) who the terrorists thrashed mercilessly, asking him if he was a Brahmin. I wonder why !

  66. @ wafa !

    its me again.

    >>>Those from Bombay will note that the big old Anjuman Islam mosque is diagonally across from CST station, on DN Road, which probably also accounts for the high numbers of Muslim casualties.

    The terrorists did not spray any gunfire at the worshippers at the Anjuman Islam mosque even though it is just diagonally across the CST station. I wonder why !

    All the hostages were asked to identify their religion. A Turkish Muslim family (the Muezzinoglu family) have told their story here. The killers took good care of any Muslim hostages that they had inadvertently seized or were trapped in the hotel. The terrorists told them that they would not be harmed. See this Times of India newstory here:

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/They_let_them_go_as_they_were_Muslims/articleshow/3766945.cms

    An interesting bit of trivia for readers – in the Turkish language, Muezzinoglu means “Son of a Muezzin” (Prayer caller at mosque).

    Several times, the arrested jihadi terrorists (in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places) are interviewed by the media and asked why they did not care for the “collateral damage” i.e. the inadvertent deaths of innocent muslims who die in drive-by shootings or bombings targeting US troops. The jihadis just shrug their shoulders and say that if any muslim civilians die accidentally in such shootings/bombings, then these dead civilians too are shahids (religious martyrs) and will go to heaven. That explains the indiscriminate firing at the train commuters at the CST terminus. Mostly hindus will be killed, and a few unlucky muslims too (who will be lucky to go to heaven) – that’s the logic.

    >>>The fact is that Bal Thackeray, Advani etc have spent much of their careers calling for Muslims to be killed or sent off to Pakistan

    Stop exaggerating, dear. When has Advani ever called for Muslims to be killed or sent off to Pakistan? Not once.

    >>> but at least when Congress panders, no-one dies.

    You still don’t get it? When the Congress panders, India dies – slowly but surely.

    >> Hitler & the SS were German; doesn’t make Germans, Germany, or German culture evil.

    Yeah, I complete agree with you. The people or country or culture cannot be blamed for an ideology that was forced on them. After all, the present-day Germans don’t venerate Hitler as their Prophet any more nor do they treat the Mein Kampf as their holy book. Most important of all, the present-day Germans don’t follow Nazism nor do they call themselves Nazis. Do you see the difference here, wafa?

  67. Asma:
    Girl!! You are amazing.
    Admire your courage and knowledge exposing the reality of Islam.
    Never seen a revert speak with so much confidence.

    But I think this forum is not the place where people would understand your point of view.

  68. Great Bong Blog should be renamed as the Great Dhimmi blog. The Moderator of this blog allows Muslims to spread lies and chockes the throats of Ex-Muslims like us who want to tell the truth.
    I dont think Aasma we should care for these people. They want to be slaves. If some one is so willing to be a slave, there is nothing you can do about it.
    (To the Moderator: if you have some honesty and intregrity left inside you, maybe you will allow us to post the truth, however if you are more interested in getting press reviews and earning money, Go ahead with your dhimmitude)

  69. @Ibrahim Lone (since Ibrahims IP matches with Ibrahim Lones),

    Post “the truth” on your own forum. Do not try to hijack this one and “freeload”. This blog is like my “house” and if you cannot go by its rules (see the TOS) then you are no longer welcome. Got it?

    As an aside, I am called an RSS f-er by one commenter (moderated) and a Dhimmi by you. Thank you. That means I have not become a fundamentalist.

  70. @Aasma: When I said proof, I meant a reputable, trustworthy source. Not to imply that you’re not trustworthy but I mean a primary reference.

    And of course all life is precious. All I meant was that the selection of victims & the methods used showed this was not the typical attack carried out in India.

    I’m not going to try & analyze what the terrorists are thinking. Evil people just need an excuse to murder & create mayhem. They’ll take what they can find, wherever they can find it. I stand by my point that Islam is not responsible for their actions.

    Think about it this way: there are 1.5 billion-odd Muslims in the world. Out of whom maybe 1000 are terrorists. Maybe 2000, 5000; maybe even 10,000. Heck, even if it’s 100,000 that’s still 0.0067%. The rest are just perfectly ordinary people going about their lives as best as they can. So what is more likely — that the terrorists are the only “true Muslims”? Or that the remaining 99.9933% are more representative?

  71. @Richie Rich: same goes for the timeline you provided; where did you get it?

    @Anonymous: do your powers of telling the future also apply to the stock market? If yes, I hope your money is in Treasuries because I’m not about to say something is self defense unless there’s proof.

  72. @ Wafa
    read the Koran. Girl.
    Any translation you want.

    See the good thing about Islam, is that it has a very linear and single track approach. As Asma and Ibrahim pointed out, Mohammad’s “you are either with us or you are the enemy” approach really made things easy for the everyone to understand. Kind of like President Bush.

    The Koran has been discussed here many many times and GB doesnt really like anybodto bring it up again.

    However, please go through posts here before to get a grasp of everyhing.

    PS: I know you know what we are talking about 🙂

  73. @wafa !

    Merry Christmas to you ! I must correct you on some basic facts when you write –

    >>>Are you even aware that the very first Indian Muslims were >>>converts in Kerala around the 9th century CE, who converted >>>after extended interactions with Arab traders? Not as a >>>result of conquest, intermarriage, or migration.

    The very Indian Muslims were forced Brahmin converts in Sindh around 711 A.D. when the Muslim invaders came to India, they faced much resistance. They found brave armed men (Kshatriyas) and also a Brahmin class capable of providing cultural and spiritual leadership. Mohammad bin Qasim, the first Arab invader, showed the first act of his religious zeal by ordering the circumcision of Brahmins. “But on discovering that they objected to this sort of conversion, he proceeded to put all Brahmins above the age of seventeen to death,” writes Dr B.R. Ambedkar. As a result of such genocide, there are virtually no Sindhi Brahmins left today. Think about it !

    The Kerala story is different. The Arabs have been trading with the Malabar coast even before the advent of Islam. The pre-Islamic Arabs worshipped at the Hindu temples in Kerala with ease.

    After the 7th century (when the violent Islamic takeover of Arabia was complete), these the Islamicised Arabs turned into missionaries of the “one true faith”. They knew they couldn’t defeat the martially skilled Malabar Hindu Raja’ army. So they used a different tactic to invade and spread demographically. These Arabs informed the Malabar kings that they needed a separate shrine to pray and that they couldn’t pray in the temples anymore. So, given the Hindu propensity to be generous in religious tolerance (“Sarva Dharna Samabhava”), the Hindu king gladly built them a mosque with the kingdom’s funds. These Arabs were free to practice and preach their religion without any fear.

    The Arabs requested the Hindu Raja to help find Indian wives for them. Again out of Hindu magnanimity, the Raja arranged for four Hindu wives for each of the Arab settlers – as per the Arab religion. The native Hindu families were ordered to treat these Arabs like their own “Mapilla” (“Son-in-law” in the Malayalam language) – whose anglicized name “Moplah” was used much later by the British. The Hindu wives were converted to Islam and Nikah was performed. Again the Hindus did not object because they thought Islam was another harmless sampradaya (sect) like the various Hindu sects in India who inter-marry and live amicably. When these Arab-Indian unions produced many children, they were all raised Muslim. Again the Hindus did not object due to Sarva Dharna Samabhava. Thanks to the multiple wives policy, each new generation of Muslim men married other Hindu girls after converting them to Islam. The Muslims thus took advantage of the Hindus’ generosity and multiplied rapidly.

    Medieval rulers like Tipu Sultan also contributed his bit to the cause by killings and mass-conversions of Hindus in Kerala. I would definitely read this book –

    “TIPU SULTAN – Villain Or Hero “: http://voiceofdharma.org/books/tipu/

    Once the converted population grew to critical mass, then the killings of Hindus was quite common. In 1921, the Moplahs wanted a global Islamic Caliphate and fought against the British. In parallel, they carried out the gruesome genocide of Hindu civilians in what is now euphemistically termed as the “Moplah Rebellion”. The number of Hindus murdered was 1500, the number forcibly converted 20,000 and property looted Rupees 3 crores.

    Annie Besant stated: “They Moplahs murdered and plundered abundantly, and killed or drove away all Hindus who would not apostatise. Somewhere about a lakh (100,000) of people were driven from their homes with nothing but their clothes they had on, stripped of everything…Malabar has taught us what Islamic rule still means, and we do not want to see another specimen of the Khilafat Raj in India”

  74. “Live Witness Accounts of the Moplah Massacres – by Annie Beasant, Dr. Ambedkar”

    http://newstodaynet.com/2006sud/06dec/2712ss1.htm

    More recently – on May 2nd, 2003 in Marad (Kerala), 10 Hindus sitting near a Hindu temple were chopped to death by a Muslim mob that stormed out of a mosque.

    Today, the Muslim population of Kerala is 25%. There, the Muslim population has grown from 0 to 25% in a few centuries. So, why would the native Hindus not feel threatened that they won’t be wiped out soon, Wafa? After all, look at the zero Hindu population left in Kashmir, Kandahar and Karachi – all were once thriving Hindu-majority regions.

  75. @ wafa !

    >>>Those people seem to forget that the Prophet’s wife Khadija was a rich successful businesswoman in her own right; that the Prophet never attacked anyone & never fought a war except in self-defense >>>(& since Aasma claims otherwise I would like to see proof)

    I am a woman but this is a sad state of affairs. If I were a greedy man who desperately wanted money, and I saw a rich widow (like Khadija), I would gladly marry her for the money (even though she were 20 years OLDER than me). Remember all of the seven younger men who married Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor for her money (while she was in her sixties and seventies). The same goes for greedy women (like Anna Nicole Smith) who marry rich old men for their money. Such greedy people are called gold-diggers. What do the rich, old, horny spouses get in return? A youthful partner to satisfy their carnal desires. The story is timeless and you will find such people in all centuries and countries.

    Ok, you want proof that disproves your war and self-sense. Here’s the proof .. just click on any of the links on this page – http://www.faithfreedom.org/challenge.htm

    >>>> As for Abdul Wahab, I do in fact see him as a somewhat >>>>Martin Luther-esque figure in Islam. He wasn’t right about >>>>everything & his legacy has often been distorted by his 20th & 21st century followers, but his aims & intentions were in the right place.

    oh really? pray tell me what his aims and intentions were? how were they distorted? I can’t believe that you girl, of all people, would defend Abdul Wahab. I couldn’t have imagined a secular muslim woman (like you) would defend Abdul Wahab – the stepfather of jihadi terrorism and enslaver of women.

  76. Aasma Riaz,
    Beautiful. Spot on. Wonder why sister Wafa’s ignoring your points? Can’t argue with facts, can she?

    Wafa,
    HHBB & Hujur have given enough historical facts to show that suicide bombing was first invented by paradise-seeking Islamists in Malta (in 1565 C.E.) and revived in our lifetime by Hezbollah – who too are paradise-seeking Islamists in Lebanon (in 1983).

    So yeah, Islamists get credit for pioneering suicide bombings for the first time in history as well as in our lifetime, not the “Japanese” or the LTTE, gotcha?

    If you still don’t get the meaning of the word “pioneering”, please look up the English Dictionary.

  77. Aasma: when I say a reputable source, I mean a well-researched scholarly work. For example:
    Maclean, D. N. (1989). Religion and society in Arab Sind. Monographs and theoretical studies in sociology and anthropology in honour of Nels Anderson, publication 25. Leiden: E.J. Brill.

    Which says:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=xxAVAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA25&lpg=PA25&dq=But on discovering that they objected to this sort of conversion, he proceeded to put all Brahmins above the age of seventeen to death&source=bl&ots=iMwNZXAVEj&sig=P-Xo5YtPU1Q4kq3M58foE8iqTtc&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result

    (hope the link works; I can’t paste the text. Either way the quote you cite is from Titus, not Ambedkar. And it’s factually incorrect.)

    Also there is good reason to believe the (peaceful) conversions in Kerala happened before the invasion of Sindh — starting 644 AD to be precise when Malik ibn Deenar landed there.

    If you have some special insight into the Prophet’s mind that proves he was a “gold-digger” then good for you. I make no such claims about people’s intentions. Same with the attack on the caravan — for every interpretation that it was unprovoked, there is another saying it was to recover goods stolen by the Quraish. You can look at the assassination as an assassination or as eliminating an enemy who was plotting against him. The events are what they are; if you’re searching for a bad interpretation you will find it. And if you want a good interpretation, you’ll find that too.

    As for the 20th century incidents you describe, then once again there is an opposite example of massacre for every one by Muslims that you describe. I don’t say we should whitewash history but eventually you end up with an endless chain of what went first, where terrorism gets blamed on Gujarat riots get blamed on Godhra gets blamed on Babri Masjid gets blamed on Babur & eventually people die today because of an arrogant conqueror 500 years ago.

    @Me, myself & Iran: as it happens I have a life & do not check blog comment threads every day. Shocking, I know. And admittedly I was not alive during World War 2 & probably most of the people reading this blog were not, so it is not during our lifetimes & you are technically correct. I would still argue that it belongs squarely in the modern era. Ergo Japanese kamikaze bombers were the first suicide bombers in the modern era. Which I would define as being the post-World War 1 period, in case anyone is wondering.

    Isolated examples of suicide attacks, like the Malta story, abound throughout the middle ages, including some done _by_ the Knights Templar during the crusades, by the Mongols, the Chinese, & on. One might point out that Samson destroying the Philistine temple in the Old Testament is carrying out a suicide attack. Islam did not invent the idea & does not condone suicide under any circumstances.

  78. lol

    It so sad that educated aplogists of Islam dont try to protect Islam’s injunctions any more. They know they cant. Instead they try to prove that others have done bad things too.

    Its a sad state of affairs.

  79. @anon: 1 word, since you asked: oppose.

    @dhrishtadyumna: there is nothing to say about Islam’s injunctions because there are no injunctions to discuss in this matter. We’ve been over that already. As for bringing up examples of others, the context was whether Muslims invented suicide bombing or not, & whether Islam was responsible for terrorism or not. If others have done it and there are no injunctions to murder innocents in Islam then it follows that Islam is not responsible, any more than Shintoism is responsible for kamikaze pilots.

  80. @ wafa

    Yes yes.. Kamikaze suicide bombers were very much influenced by Shinto philosophy.

    The difference though…

    While Shinto philosophy is limited to the protection of Japan and its devine soil, Islam considers the entire world a free meal and applies suicide attack as a means to that end.

  81. @Anonymous: I’m sure the Japanese conquest of China & all of South-East Asia was “limited to the protection of Japan and its d[i]vine soil.”

  82. @ wafa
    Kamikaze attacks only started getting employed when the US Navy succeeded crippling Japan’s Navy and Air forces after the Mariana Turkey Shoot (and the US marines were getting ready to reach Japanese territory.

    Wafa… we can go on and on about the details of all these….and you can jump from Japan to Gibralter, in order to prove that bad things happened outside Islam too.

    What cannot be denied is that, Islam as a ideology has inspired thousands of innocent human beings to commit acts of genocide and butchery, almost unparalleled in history, in its longevity and magnitude.

    You are as much a victim of it (if not more), as I am.

  83. So obviously this is pointless; you will simply ignore every counter-example & 5000 years of human history, selectively picking out the examples that reinforce what you have already decided to believe.

    Apparently there was no genocide or butchery before 600 AD. If that’s what you insist on believing, so be it.

  84. @wafa !

    Dr.Tawfik Hamid, a reformed ex-Muslim, writes and I quote:

    “Sadly, mainstream Muslim teaching accepts and promotes violence.

    Shariah, for example, allows apostates to be killed, permits beating women to discipline them, seeks to subjugate non-Muslims to Islam as dhimmis and justifies declaring war to do so. It exhorts good Muslims to exterminate the Jews before the “end of days.” The near deafening silence of the Muslim majority against these barbaric practices is evidence enough that there is something fundamentally wrong.

    These “progressives” frequently cite the need to examine “root causes.” In this they are correct: Terrorism is only the manifestation of a disease and not the disease itself. But the root-causes are quite different from what they think.

    As a former member of Jemaah Islamiya (a group led by al Qaeda’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri), I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist.

    Listen closely. Let’s imagine that I, Dr. Tawfik Hamid, commit a terrorist act. The media invites another Muslim to appear on TV and talk about what I did. This person says, ‘Islam is against terrorism. Islam is against violence.’ But he does not say my name. I get the message. By not mentioning my name, he is telling me to do it again. It’s like a hidden language in our culture. I know I am being given the justification to act.”

    Looks like Dr.Tawfik Hamid knows what he is talking about, sister wafa !

  85. @Wafa
    Yes there were human misery and violence before Islam began around 600CE and there will be human misery and violence after the end of Islam as a ideology.

    [edited]

  86. @aasma riaz: Tawfik Hamid has always referred to himself as a Muslim reformer, not a reformed ex-Muslim. From his own website: http://www.tawfikhamid.com/bio.html
    “A courageous as well as scholarly initiator of Islamic reformation, Dr. Hamid seeks to build new thinking within Islam to overcome the hatred and violent extremism that have metastasized within his religious tradition.”

    I don’t know when & where he said: “This person says, ‘Islam is against terrorism. Islam is against violence.’ But he does not say my name. I get the message. By not mentioning my name, he is telling me to do it again. It’s like a hidden language in our culture. I know I am being given the justification to act.”

    Whether he actually said it or not, is your point really that when a person says something listeners magically “know” that he means the complete opposite of what he says because he does not mention them by name? Seriously?

    I seem to be the only one around who lacks these mind-reading powers. It’s starting to get kinda lonely.

    @Anonymous: Seems to me that your argument has come down to Islam is singularly motivated towards violence because you say so.

  87. @ sister wafa!

    If Tawfik Hamid is a Muslim, and not an ex-Muslim (who can be accused of hating Islam), then it underlines all my points even more strongly – as they come straight from the horse’s mouth.

    Do you see the contrast: Tawfik Hamid insists that mainstream Muslim teaching accepts and promotes violence. Whereas you try to deny this and whitewash this simple fact.

    While calling himself a “reformer”, Tawfik Hamid lives in hiding and his address/location is undisclosed. Why? Because so-called “reformers” face the death sentence at the hands of their co-religionists. Why? Their Religion cannot and dare not be changed as the God ordained it to be the way it is.

    If that is his predicament as reformer, do you think Tawfik Hamid will be able to survive if he come out of the closet and announced to the world that he was an ex-Muslim?

  88. @wafa!

    If you like to read more about Dr.Tawfik Hamid’s explanation of the Muslim mindset (and how your denials empower and justify more Jihadi attacks), please read http://www.FrontPageMag.com

    If educated Muslims cannot bring themselves to honestly admit that the root of the Jihadi violence lies in the Quran – and that they should stop following it blindly, then what hope is there of any reform?

    To give you an analogy – If the qualified Doctor cannot bring himself to tell the Patient that the cause of his Cancer lies in Cigarettes – and that he should stop smoking them, then what hope is there of any cure?

    Please don’t get angry at me…You don’t have to reply if you don’t wish to.

    But please …please…please ponder upon what I have written instead of blindly defending Islam. That is what got us into this mess, in the first place.

  89. @ wafa

    To give u a example.
    Cancer causes death as do many other diseases and old age.
    One must not stop looking for a cure for cancer, just because people will still die of other reasons, once cancer is cured.

  90. hey sister wafa!

    looks like u were completely off when you hinted that the terrorists may have targetted their muslims intentionally.

    Here is the latest report by Times of India reporter Ahmed Ali.

    —————————————————

    Cama Hospital attack plan dropped to avoid Muslim casualties

    9 Jan 2009, 0325 hrs IST, S Ahmed Ali, TNN

    MUMBAI: If the 10 Pakistani terrorists were asked by their handlers to go to the highest floors of their given targets and take hostages why did two of them — Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan — not take hostages at the Cama and Albless hospital?

    Sources said Kasab has said that they had clear instructions from their handlers in Pakistan to avoid Muslim casualties so when they saw several burkha-clad women and children at the hospital they decided to leave the place.

    Many lower middle class Muslim patients from nearby areas such as Bhendi bazaar, Mohammed Ali road, Dongri, Pydhonie, Byculla and even Sewree and Wadala visit the hospital which is a walkable distance from CST railway station.

    On 26/11 after their attempt to climb up to the office of CST failed due to resistance from railway cops, the duo walked out of the station and entered Cama hospital from the rear entrance. At Cama Hospital, a group of policemen (led by additional commissioner Sadanand Date) engaged the two terrorists, who were on the terrace, for 45 minutes. Finally, the duo threw hand grenades in which two policemen were killed and Date and the others were injured.

    After leaving Cama Hospital, the duo hid behind the bushes near Rang Bhavan and opened fire on a police jeep, killing three senior officers, including Hemant Karkare. Kasab also told the police that the actual plan to attack Mumbai was in September which was the holy month of Ramzan.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Cama_Hospital_attack_plan_dropped_to_avoid_Muslim_casualties/articleshow/3954353.cms

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