Lal Masjid, Jamia Hafsa and Things to Come

Personally, I have faith and confidence in the Pakistanis — they will overcome this crisis, and they will over time do what’s right for their children and grandchildren. They will make better schools, they will drive out extremism, and they will become a beacon of true science and scholarship for all things;

musharaaf-in-uniform.jpgdjinn-abdul-aziz-ghazi.jpgUp to now in the coverage I’ve been laying out just the facts I could find, and some minor speculation, but during this lull I will take some time to analyse what is happening; so below you will see some of my opinion. 

The siege at Pakistan’s Red Mosque, where two radical mullahs defied both the government and sanity for months continues. The only thing operative in the building is a telephone and since ring and battery are provided up the line, the remaining un-captured cleric, Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, is able to make calls and interviews with the press.

His brother was captured making a cowardly escape in a burqa Friday, but Rasheed says that they have enough food to hold out for “70” days; he also says that 70 students have been killed.

Both brothers exaggerate everything; as if life were a drama on the screen or stage. They started with threats they could not carry out, and demands they knew Pakistanis would not accomodate. So I find both of these statements hard to believe.

All the proof you need for Lal Masjid is the scene of Aunty Aziz escaping in the burqa –which will tell you the hypocrisy of the two liars who presided over a court of young, impressionable children. It would be a funny drama, however 19 are dead and untold lives have been shattered.

Around the mosque the residents of G-6 suffer under a curfew, which is sporadically lifted as tensions and shooting stops; but many of them cannot get enough groceries, make it to work, or even sleep since much of the action happens in the overnight hours.

Across the country the people are glued to their televisions – and their lives are interupted as well. In the US a similar event occurred years ago at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco Texas, and the lessons from that lie grimly in front of all. Nobody wants the children to die but for the mad mullahs — for then the dead children become propaganda show-pieces in their drama.

Meanwhile outside the parents with children inside grieve and worry, indeed some have been shot trying to go into the mosque to retrieve their loved ones. A delegation of conservative clerics tried to go inside, but shooting started — since they hardline clerics are allied with the one inside and the terrorists from Balochistan, they paint it as the government forces firing first, but who really believes that the government would interupt anything that would possibly get some of the children out? The soldiers outside would much rather not be there, they would rather be going about their normal duties.

Where does the blame for this lie? Clearly with the people of Pakistan, the same people who suffer now. They could have insisted on better schools, and better teachers for the poor, but they did not. They could stop blaming Musharraf, or whoever currently occupies the seats and halls of power for the problems – but they don’t. People of any country get the government they deserve.

Pakistan could have stopped the Jihad years ago when the Soviets pulled out, but it was convenient for them to continue it. Like all other nations in the region, they send subversives cross-border to keep their neighbors weak, and spew propaganda — it’s always easier to externalize your problems than to deal with them head-on.

In turn they get what they give from their neighbors, as India, Iran, and in the future if things continue this way, Afghanistan, will spew venom and hate about them, and use the schisms of their society against them. These games of destabilization, insurgency, and propaganda have gone on centuries if you look back, but in the end the chickens always return to the roost and then you must deal with them.

So it goes now.

The cure starts at the madrassas: the violent brand of Qutbism currently the fad was exported to them by the rich Sauds, who sit and laugh atop their oil fields at the foolish Pakis doing their bidding. Fools who think suicide bombers and terrorism will somehow establish Kalifa deny reality, deny sanity, and deny life. If the Pakistanis want a future that’s bright they will whip the murder-mullahs from the mosques, they will turn the incompetent and corrupt politicians from office. If not, they get what they deserve in the end.

Will the Pakistanis choose their future wisely?

kabul-destroyed.jpgMany futures lie before them — they could be like Afghanistan; where the Soviets, Hekmatyar, and the Taliban turned the country to dust, despair and rubble long before NATO and the US arrived. What are the prospects for the average Afghani as long as suicide bombers continue to cross the border and kill Afghan soldiers and civilians?

batebi_0.jpgWill they be like Iran, on a crash-course to war with the world, where students are beaten, imprisoned, and tortured for protest, and women are stripped and whipped in the streets for wearing their scarf wrong? Where there is no internet, no future, no redress for grievances, and elections are pre-determined by mullahs?

Personally, I have faith and confidence in the Pakistanis — they will overcome this crisis, and they will over time do what’s right for their children and grandchildren. They will make better schools, they will drive out extremism, and they will become a beacon of true science and scholarship for all things; they will stop the madness of importing terror and repression in the form of schools from the kings of Saud. They have the drive to do it and they can and will do it. To close I would say that it’s better for them to be shouting “Pakistan Zindabad! than “Allah Akbar!” — their neighbors who encourage the latter sure don’t like the idea of a truly unified Pakistan.

UPDATE: As the crisis hits the fifth day, it begins to reverbrate — especially in the frontier, as Bill Roggio reports on Taliban using the Masjid standoff as justification.

Maulana Fazlullah is the son-in-law of Maulana Sufi Muhammad, the jailed leader of the outlawed Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM – the Movement for the Implementation of Mohammad’s Sharia Law). He is said to have “close links with the administration of the Lal Masjid,” according to Sharif Virk, the chief of police for the Northwest Frontier Province.

This is a time of decision for Pakistan as the MPT is held in London, the stand-off in Lal Masjid continues, and the flood relief efforts go forward in Balochistan. It’s a decsion for all Pakistanis: tribals, Sardars, the Punjab and urban elites alike.

  • Do you want acid in your daughter’s face if she tries to go to school, or do you want her educated?
  • Do you want to sing the praises of Allah, or do you want to shout them in hate as you kill fellow muslims?
  • Do you want rubble, dust, death and despair, or do you want a future?

 Time waits on nobody — as the quatrain goes:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

10 thoughts on “Lal Masjid, Jamia Hafsa and Things to Come”

  1. Thanos,

    This is an excellent opinion on Pakistan’s crisis and their course in general. My suggestion, if it’s a slow news weekend, is publish your entire piece here on the front page so everyone reads it (some of us are lazy sometimes and just skim the front pages).

    Your faith in the Pakistanis, your concern for them has always come through in your writings and this is a heart felt plea for them to steer towards the right course. I only hope they heed your advice. In my opinion, they are only months away from a collapse that could turn this country into an absolute nightmare.

    Again, great job on not only this piece but your covering the entire Red Mosque situation.

  2. Thanks Ornery, I might do that since I”m painting today and won’t have time to post much. (Since my wife retired it seems we are redecorating every room in the house at once….)

  3. All that was written above was just a bull shit and a biased opinion.You cannot fall more. It’s the utmost of ignorance depths that tou have succesfully traversed.

  4. Much have been said on this topic. I want to say one thing:

    All the religious extremism that the world is now facing and experiencing is the byproduct of American Policy.

    Don’t you think, these extremists are the Frankenstein’s monster of America who made them and now is unable to control them?

    These “Afghan Mujahids” were prepared by America to crush Soviet Invasion. Osama Bin Ladin, A Saudi Arabian Shiekh, who came to Afghanistan, to fight a proxy war of America against Soviet Union. Saudi Arabia is one of the America’s trusted friend who always provides funds to USA for the wars .e.g. Afghan War, Gulf wars etc.

    It was the biggest blunder of American Policy that the Arabs and Afghans got training of tactics of warfare against a super power ( USSR ) by a super power ( USA ).

    All what extremists are doing, you teach them to fight a proxy war for your political interests and at the end, when they are out of control, you cry loudly that extremism is spreading worldwide and the world is at danger.

    When you use them, they are “mujahids”; when they refuse you, they are terrorist.

    As a common citizen, I can predict that the USA will be one of those countries which suffer their downfall due to their own policies.

    Before the Afghan war, there was no extremism in Pakistan. But now they are suffering from it a lot. And you are responsible for it!!!

  5. I know that is the popular myth and it’s easy for you to follow along, however the Sauds were funding mosques before the US was ever involved, and there were camps for the Kashmir before we ever got involved. Please tell another tall tale friend.
    The US supplied some specific arms and training true, but so too did the Iranians. So why is it not the Iranians fault? They continue to supply IED’s, landmines and armaments, so why is it the US’s fault? The deminers are not out there removing US mines in Afghanistan are they? They are removing Soviet and Iranian mines.
    There are no US troops in Thailand, but there are bombings there every day, how is that the US’s fault? Please explain. There are no US troops occupying the Moros, but last weekend religious extremists beheaded people there. How is that the US’s fault? There are no US troops in Algeria, but there are terror groups there, how is that the US’s fault? I could go on and on, but I do hope that by now you can see that your argument is silly if you honor truth at all. At some point people make their own choices, and their own purpose. They can choose good, or they can choose ill. If you are a believer, then how will Allah judge you if you follow a lie?
    It is your leaders who did not wind down the camps after the real fight against evil was over, it was your leaders who encouraged the continuance because they thought it was to their benefit. So how is that US ‘s fault again.
    It’s an ancient game, it predates Islam, but all Islamic countries play this geopolitical terror dance.
    To see what I think about all of this, please read from the sidebar, the essay titled “Ancient Enemies”.
    If you continue denying your problems, then you will never solve them.

    Oh yes, when a mujahid turns thug for personal power, then yes he does become a terrorist. If you cannot tell the difference in morality between firing stingers at Soviet military helicopters who invaded another country and took over their goverment and blowing up muslims in marketplaces because they don’t dress the way you like, I hold out little hope for you to understand this however.

  6. Iram, you stated:

    ” It was the biggest blunder of American Policy that the Arabs and Afghans got training of tactics of warfare against a super power ( USSR ) by a super power ( USA ). ”

    So you are saying that the USA taught the Arabs, the Afghans and Al Qaeda the tactics of: flying Boeing 727’s into skyscrapers? driving a minivan loaded with TNT into a market? beheading a woman in the city’s center for exposing a lock of hair? utilizing children under the age of 12 to deliver bombs into a cafe’?

    You are saying those are the tactics the U.S. military uses today in their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    Pull your head out Iram. Live up to your own consequences. And take responsibility for the slaughter of innocents. In other words, be a man. For once.

  7. That’s nice tale too.

    My argument is not silly, but you don’t have the courage to listen to it.

    So you’re denying the ground facts of Cold War Era. The Americans and Russians were afraid of each other by the threat of nuclear war, and ultimately both were engaged in reinforcement of secret activities against each other. Many countries and many groups insides the different countries were fighting the proxy wars of their respective Super Powers or Regional powers.

    Let me know:

    Whose war is South Korea fighting and whose war North Korea fighting?
    What is happening in Iraq? Isn’t that all for the war for oil?

    You illustrated your arguments by the events of Thailand, Algeria, Iranians etc. Maybe there are no USA involvement. Quite possible!! But because of these events, you cannot deny the reality that your FBI has world-wide hands. Your “heroes” are busy in worldwide activities like JAMES BOND 007 for stabilizing a uni-polar world.

    I guess, you don’t watch 007 movies. ( It is another tale. )

    You said:

    “If you are a believer, then how will Allah judge you if you follow a lie?”

    First, keep in mind that Allah and God is the same. And God knows better who follows lie or who not, irrespective to the casts, creeds and nationalities.

    You said:
    “It is your leaders who did not wind down the camps after the real fight against evil was over, it was your leaders who encouraged the continuance because they thought it was to their benefit. So how is that US ’s fault again.”

    What if “big boss “himself wants continuity of “real fight against evil”. In this uni-polar world, every one knows, who is “evil”. Any country or nation can be “evil” if it does not fulfil commandments of “big boss”.

    You said:
    “It’s an ancient game, it predates Islam, but all Islamic countries play this geopolitical terror dance.”

    How about your history!!!! Was there no war in your fore fathers, which predates yours as well?????

    As far as, “geopolitical terror dance” is concerned, it is the “Western Imported Culture” to our society.

    I read “Ancient Enemies”. I know what you mean

    I believe, liberalism and moderate attitude are always right. I also believe that 95% population of every nation is usually liberal and moderate. I count many Ulema of my country; they are true Muslims as well as liberal minded.

    But the ways adopted to spread liberalism and secularism are so wrong that this extremism and fundamentalism is the reaction of it. The people take it as cultural invasion.

    Every one wants to progress and peace in the world. Every one and every nation hates suicide bombers and terrorism.

    Is it liberalism what the west is doing in the Middle East?

    The building a country on the dead bodies over the half of the century cannot be liberal and secular issue to any sensible person.

    Look, what you find the solution of Middle East!!! Only Accept Israel, and just nothing else.

    Can I tell you the most liberal solution.??????

    The Middle East is the centre of civilization of three great nations: Christians, Jews, and Muslims. In the past, the Muslims and the Christians were fighting many Crusades on it. Now the Muslims and Jews are fighting.

    It means, if one nation occupies it, other nation wages a war against that nation.

    Solution: Like Vatican city, if only Jerusalem is made an International city for these three nations, instead of insisting the occupation of one nation, leaving other frustrated. Then the rest of the region will be a political issue. The Christian, Jews and Muslims can live where ever they want in Middle East. That will not be an issue.

    Now you will surely say, ”Iram, it is another tale. Your Allah will judge you follow a lie.”

    No way!!!!

    Good Luck!!!

  8. Iram, we are mostly in agreement, except perhaps on secularism. I am not saying that the US is pure as the driven snow, but on the other hand we do not use terror as a weapon (there is an exception to this of course as with almost all things — MAD, or “mutual assured destruction” was a terror threat because it was intentional targeting of civilian targets. Most of the US did not agree with or like that policy, but once enacted it became a grim reality that was very difficult to tear down.)
    We certainly have intel operatives around the world, not as many as we would like, they are not the FBI however. FBI is for domestic, you are thinking of the CIA.
    On secularism, although I am an aetheist I do not agree with you. Religion has accomplished too much good, and too many people need religion. Besides, even though I am an Aetheist, I am willing to admit I could be wrong.
    Our biggest problem post-retreat of the Soviets was abandoning the area. We probably should have stayed and helped with education, development etc. more.
    Your three religion solution for Jerusalem I would support if it would work, however I do not think it would. There are too many hard-liners pushing against it, both sides of the issue. Perhaps we could get Ghurkas as police, it works ok in a couple places. Probably not for Jerusalem. Even if the Jews were 100 percent peaceful there you would still have the Shia and Sunni jostling for control (somewhat like you do now, for who else is HAMAS but Iran’s proxy?) Also, these are not nations, they are religions. The US is a nation, founded on freedom of religion — no religion can make the others, or even aetheists like me bow to it. It works well for us, it works well for Turkey most of the time (recently there were persecutions of some christians there.)
    This is garbled and short, sorry I am typing on my phone.

  9. One more thing, I assume you are from Pakistan – pardon me if I am wrong. The thing I see most important for Pakistan’s long term future is energy. It needs to be cheap and plentiful for your burgeoning population if you are not to become like Bangladesh. (no doubt terrorism and religious hardliners is most urgent, but over time energy is really more important.)
    Everyone in Pakistan should be pressing the politicos on what their energy policy will be if they are elected — just as we are in the US. That’s important for the future of all humanity. Please do not buy into the environmental imperialism of Europe and the american left, the “small is beatiful” philosophy they use from EF Schumacher is a certain path to misery untold.

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