???What’s all the hate for

الكاتب : kaser119   المشاهدات : 379   الردود : 0    ‏2004-03-19
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    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?p...18-3-2004_pg3_5

    OP-ED: What’s all the hate for? —Kamran Shafi

    Why are only Muslims incensed when the French have banned all religious symbols from schools, including the Jewish skull cap, including large versions of the Christian cross? If Jews have no problem, if the Christians have no problem, why do Muslims have a problem?

    What the devil did the Spanish do to deserve the train bombs that killed many hundreds of innocent people in Madrid the other day, babies, children and old folk among them? We do remember do we not, that the Spanish were vociferously against the invasion of Iraq? We do remember do we not, that despite the support their government led by former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar gave to George Dubya, the people of Spain came out in millions to protest that dishonestly conceived war. Why then were they attacked in such a cold-blooded and vicious manner? What did the terrorists gain by making this wholly unprovoked attack, other than to turn the world even more against Muslims?

    Isn’t this yet another example of the loonies doing the absolutely wrong thing? Of making the Muslims more enemies, as if their actions had not made us enough already? What in the world is wrong with this lot, for heaven’s sake; that they should behave in the most bizarre fashion all of the time? In this particular case, not only were the Spanish people against the Iraq war, the mass of them have been most welcoming to the poor from Muslim countries. Why then did the terrorists act in this inexplicably stupid, and incredibly cruel, manner?

    Indeed, the attacks on the Spanish are not isolated attacks but seem part of a new campaign to attack European countries in general and France in particular. France? Well, why France too, when that country loudly opposed the US-led attack on Iraq, particularly that country’s arrogant unilateralism? We are told that there is now a written threat to the French by an hitherto unknown terrorist group that it will soon attack targets within France because of the banning of the Muslim headscarf in schools, and because the French are ‘swine-eaters and alcohol drinkers’!

    Well, while I have a definite opinion on the banning of the scarf, first the proposition that the French are swine eaters and alcohol drinkers, and that therefore they should be blown up. Well, so what if the French eat pork and drink alcohol; what skin off the noses of the holy ones? How can they, cold-hearted terrorists and murderers, arrogate to themselves the right to speak down to someone else, indeed to determine what they should eat and drink?

    As for the French banning Muslim girls from wearing the headscarf, it is their country, is it not? Should they not apply any law that pleases them, whether any foreigner likes it or not? Will those who agitate so at this act of the French be honest and answer this question: What if foreigners in this country asked that because it is not against their religion, pork should be served openly to them in restaurants and hotels and PIA flights?

    In any case, why are only Muslims incensed when the French have banned all religious symbols from schools, including the Jewish skull cap, including large versions of the Christian cross? If Jews have no problem, if the Christians have no problem, why do Muslims have a problem? Must we always try and prove the point that we are a unique people, unlike all other people? Standing alone and completely apart from the rest of the world?

    Why don’t those that threaten innocent French people and their children with death and destruction, those who like other of their compatriots and brothers-in-Islam in other European countries use (and misuse and abuse) the benefits provided by their ‘swine eating and alcohol drinking’ hosts, get out of these dens of sin? And migrate back to Algeria or Morocco, or Egypt, or Syria or wherever they came from in the first place? Even back to the Land of the Pure? In which case they will not have to be part of the secular and therefore rotten European culture they so detest, and live more fulfilling lives in the cradles of Islam that are the countries they sprang from, practising freely what they consider are the tenets of their religion?

    Whilst the fault is mainly of those that bite the hand that feeds them, the Western states who opened their doors to all comers when they needed unskilled and semi-skilled workers to run their factories and buses and trains after the World War need to answer a question, too: Why didn’t they take cognisance of the antics of Muslim militant organisations within their own countries when they first began to poison the minds of young Muslims? Why did they not take action at the very time that these young and marginalised immigrants first began to show their teeth by actually invading British university campuses, for example? And spout the height of incendiary nonsense in the name of Islam?

    Why didn’t these governments take a hard look at these militant organisations, let’s name one: the Hizb ut-Tahrir, formed in Palestine in 1953, now headquartered at 56, Gloucester Road, SW 7? Why didn’t these so-called ‘advanced’ countries pay any heed to the demarches and verbal requests of other countries, that the Hizb be stopped from advocating the overthrow (by any means) of the governments of countries as diverse as Turkey, Libya and Pakistan? Nobody listened then, for they were all sitting on their high horses: the only countries in the line of fire were other countries. Well, just deserts now, what!

    It should be understood that the poison is spread far and wide now. Indeed, Britain is one of the countries most exposed. Let me here add my voice to that of my friend Irfan Husain, who whilewriting on these pages on the Guantanamo Five just a few days ago asked why these young men were in Afghanistan at all? This is not gainsaying the fact that they were probably most horrendously treated by the Americans; but what the devil were they doing in Afghanistan in the first place? Irfan is also right when he says that wanton acts such as the one in Madrid can only serve to put at great risk innocent Muslim immigrants in Europe, most of whom abhor terrorism like any other half-way decent human being.

    Let me end by saying that during both the One-day matches there was this great big lump in my throat, and a tear in the old eye, when I saw the camaraderie and the bonhomie between the cricket fans, supporters of both the teams, Indians and Pakistanis. The slogan painted on many banners “We Want Peace” should send the message to our leaders loud and clear.

    Oh, and kudos to General Musharraf for appearing at the Rawalpindi match looking so sure of himself, so cheerful. This is the only way to stare down his enemies.

    Kamran Shafi is a freelance columnist
     

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