Saturday, March 28, 2009

On Terrorism: Your Silence Speaks Volumes

This has been another week in which Pakistan has been in the news in America. Pakistan has embarked on a major new path when its people once again stood up for democracy. But that news has not been reported very much in American media. It is almost as if some American media were disappointed that, for a change, the news from Pakistan was good.

You would think that these media would have preferred if Pakistan had a "Long March" which turned to total chaos and anarchy. It would have given some American media and many so-called analysts the opportunity to say, "I told you so." For them it would have been more newsworthy to report "Pakistan near collapse" than the "boring" news that "Pakistanis Face & Reverse Tyranny."

I wonder if it is because most American media, despite their protestations and editorial comments when Pakistan does not have democracy, in their heart of hearts know that American interests abroad are best served by keeping dictators in power.

After all, that is the one thing American governments, be they Republican or Democrat, have always been consistent on. They have always supported dictators in Pakistan. Of course, that is the same reason they use to curtail aid to Pakistan, but always seem to open their wallets when a dictator in Pakistan plays hardball with them.

It would be foolish and irresponsible for us to believe that everything is hunky-dory in Pakistan. Pakistan managed to step back from the precipice of a total meltdown after the Long March. President Asif Zardari and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif finally agreed on a mechanism for the restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chowdhry has taken his office again. But Pakistan is not out of the woods.

The terrorists who carried out the attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team are still brazenly moving about the city of Lahore, posing unknown threats to Pakistanis. The Taliban and their evil supporters have stooped to new lows.

Even the repulsive Zionist army of Israel, invading and slaughtering Palestinians and the Lebanese, or the indiscriminate bombings of American jets in Afghanistan and Iraq, have never been known to specifically directly target a mosque full of worshippers. Yet that is what the scum of the universe, the suicide bombers in Pakistan and Afghanistan, are doing.

How are their actions serving Islam? How they are helping liberate Palestine or Kashmir - by killing 100 Muslims in a mosque during prayers? They are not.

It is all about sowing terror, not spreading Islam. It is all about bloodlust, not about freedom. It is all about evil, not about iman. Yet the silence of leading politicians from religious parties, ulema, imams and other "thaikedars" of Islam is deafening.

The same people who jump on every opportunity to have a press conference, or send out a press release, about deaths happening in Palestine or Iraq seem to have nothing to say on this biggest evil of suicide bombers right in our own home, killing our fellow Pakistani Muslims on an almost daily basis.

Some apologists for these professional so-called "defenders of Islam" try to make excuses for them. They tell me that they did indeed, maybe some time in the past, say something or the other condemning terrorism.

My question is, isn't the slaughter of Pakistani and Muslim worshippers in a mosque a far more evil deed that is being carried out right under our noses? Why is there not a daily fatwa against suicide bombers? Why are we not declaring every day (even by name of the suicide bomber of the day) that they will be burning in the deepest recesses of hell?

What Pakistanis, and Afghans, do not seem to still realize is that their silence is acquiescence. By not uniting and using every available tool to eradicate the scourge of suicide bombing terrorists from within Pakistan and Afghanistan, both these countries are inviting more and more trouble from abroad.

President Barack Hussein Obama has recently released more information about his plans for Afghanistan and, more ominously, Pakistan. The good news is that an American president at least understands the challenges that are faced by America and the West in that region. The bad news is that an American president understands the challenges that are faced by America and the West in that region. What do I mean by that?

What it means is that Obama is winding down on the war in Iraq. He and his advisers realize that while time, energy and money were being wasted in Iraq, thanks to the foolish and idiotic warmongering policies of George W. Bush, the real threat of Al Qaeda was actually growing.

During this time, because of Bush simply outsourcing the hunt for Bin Laden to General Musharraf, the only thing that was achieved was greater hatred for America among the very people of Pakistan and Afghanistan who could have helped eradicate Al Qaeda.

This is a make or break opportunity for Pakistan, as well as Afghanistan. We now have an American president who is actively working to undo the damage done by George W. Bush around the world. He is diligently working to withdraw troops from Iraq. He has already ordered an increase in aid to Pakistan.

He has more than once mentioned that the main conflict between Pakistan and India is Kashmir and that America needs to help solve that problem.

On more than one occasion, in recent speeches, he has directly spoken words addressed to the Muslim population of the world. He has even done the unthinkable for an American president; speaking words addressed directly to America's original arch nemesis in the Muslim world, Iran and its clerics.

Let's remember that this man is still President of the biggest military power on the planet. America still is the only remaining superpower. He is not speaking from a position of weakness. He is not speaking to win any elections in America.

Obama's outreach attempts to befriend Muslims have even been criticized by his opponents at home. Many of them think that reaching out to the Muslim world is caving in to terror.

Think about it, dear reader. We Muslims, with our silence, have allowed things to get so bad that the typical, not highly educated, not very politically aware, citizen of most western countries equates our religion of peace with blood lust and terror.

If we do not speak up, unite and eradicate the evil growing amongst us, it will kill more and more of our fellow Muslims and Pakistanis. It will continue to malign our religion Islam and threaten the very existence of our beloved countries.

Do you still want to remain silent? Speak up now or one day God will ask you about it.

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Imran Anwar is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and imran@imran.com . You can converse with him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar


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