Pakistan is back in the news for what it is best known in the world — Islamic terrorism. It has been the epicenter of global terror for a while, and also a front line ally of the US in its so-called “war against terror.” Talk about making an alliance with the fox to guard the hen house. Pakistan and terrorism is old hat. Anything written about that is apparently eternally relevant. This is what I had written in October 2009 — but it would be relevant in any month of any year.
The recent spate of Islamic terrorist attacks in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan provides additional weight to the words of that great American political scientist Samuel Huntington, “Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards. The fundamental problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilisation whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.”
The news channels have been clogged with reports of scores of dead at the hands of Islamic terrorists in Pakistan. It is hard not to recall that Pakistan has not only been talking the language of jihad against infidel India but has been following up its rhetoric of jihad with vigorously promoting dozens of acts of naked terrorism in India, the most famous of which was less than a year ago in Mumbai.
The latest in this unending series of Islamic terrorism happens to be in the home country of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. Around 90 have been killed and over 200 injured in a car bomb terrorist attack in Peshawar in Pakistan. It is unlikely that there were any infidels there — all the killed and wounded must have been people of the faith.
These bombs should wake up the civilized world. But then observing the denial that people find so comforting, it is my guess that it still isn’t time for the world to wake up. Many observers have been warning of the dangers of Islam but without any perceptible effect. The usual response is the incredible “Islam is a religion of peace.” Which makes one wonder if there are indeed religions that are not “of peace.”
The fake excuse that Islamic terrorism is not due to Islam but due to poverty and ignorance should have been laid to rest long ago. But it somehow persists. As Sam Harris, author of “The End of Faith,” and “A Letter to a Christian Nation” puts it:
Anyone who imagines that terrestrial concerns account for Muslim terrorism must answer questions of the following sort: Why are there no Tibetan Buddhist suicide bombers? The Tibetans have suffered an occupation far more brutal, and far more cynical, than any that Britain, the United States, or Israel have ever imposed upon the Muslim world. Where are the throngs of Tibetans ready to perpetrate suicidal atrocities against Chinese noncombatants? They do not exist. What is the difference that makes the difference? The difference lies in the specific tenets of Islam. This is not to say that Buddhism could not help inspire suicidal violence. It can, and it has (Japan, World War II). But this concedes absolutely nothing to the apologists for Islam. As a Buddhist, one has to work extremely hard to justify such barbarism. One need not work nearly so hard as a Muslim. The truth that we must finally confront is that Islam contains specific notions of martyrdom and jihad that fully explain the character of Muslim violence.
Sam Harris wants the West to acknowledge that it “is at war with Islam, which preaches a doctrine of religious and political subjugation, not a message of peace.” I say not just the West but the rest as well. It is time that Indians woke up to that fact also. For India, it’s been a civilizational struggle. India has been continually losing ground to the onslaught of Islam for over a millennium and it is high time that Indians woke up.
But here’s the problem. Indians take their cue from what the Americans do. If an American does moonwalk dancing, Indian movies will suddenly be full of moonwalks and synchronized dancing. If Americans have a show about people wanting to be millionaires, Indian TV will ape it with ‘Who wants to be a crorepati’. If Americans have Big Brother (which itself is an imitation of the British show), then Indians would dutifully ape the Americans with Bigg Boss.
Unfortunately, the Americans and the British are asleep. It is widely reported that Pakistan is jihad central. Americans don’t acknowledge it — because if they did, they would have to own up to their own complicity in funding the jihad. They have the means to catch those Pakistan-trained terrorists, but they cannot afford to for fear that it would bring the conflict to an end. So they continue to pretend that it is not a civilizational struggle. And India has to ape the Americans and pretend it is not the biggest victim of Islamic terrorism.
Anyway, c’est la vie. I think the Americans will wake up one day when the Islamic terrorists actually explode a nuclear device on American soil. Then they will go ape-s**t. But by then it may be too late for India.
C’est la guerre.