It upsets me when I see high-profile people from different sections of our civil society eager to come on the media condemning the ongoing terrorism without underpinning the root causes of the happenings. These so-called public representatives feel pride to denounce terrorism by referring it as ‘Islamic terrorism’ or ‘Muslim terrorists’ etc but noticeably they avoid to bring up those political, ethnical and geopolitical disputes which are the main reasons behind the acts of terrorism.
Recently, one Indian satellite news channel invited few well prominent Indian Muslims from different sections of civil society to debate on post Mumbai attacks situation. These prominent members of the Muslim community demonstrated solidarity with the rest of the Indian nation. They claimed themselves as patriotic Indians by denouncing Muslim terrorists and Islamic fanaticism. They stated that whatever these Muslim terrorists were doing was not Islam and Islam condemned all sorts of inhuman acts. Their statements were optimistic and appreciative.
Certainly, there is a need of these kinds of public debates which extend opportunities to the community representatives in order to make assertions about their integration with the mainstream society. Nevertheless, I find a selective agenda of the organizers of these forums rather than broader public interest. The point I would like to raise here is that in Indian secular society, why Muslims being the largest minority need to clarify their position and show their loyalty whenever tragic incident occurred where directly or indirectly Muslims are appeared to be involved.
The media is supposed to work in the larger interest of the public. Especially, in the wake of Mumbai attacks, when the Indian media invited Muslim representatives in open debates it should also have brought those issues on the table as well which were the root cause of these attacks.
Talking about the root cause, who could deny to the fact that the main reason of contention between Muslims and Hindus or India and Pakistan is the Kashmir dispute. Gloomily, on all these forums and public debates held by different Indian TV channels except accusing Pakistan and Pakistani-administered Kashmir-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, yet, not a single time anyone brought the Kashmir issue on the table.
Moreover, if Indian media is so sincere to play active role in bringing peace and harmony among the foes then they should invite activists and other prominent leaders from Kashmir and give them chance to openly discuss their grievances, what they want and let them debate why this mayhem has been ongoing for the last 60 years. Kashmir dispute is not only the issue which has flourished the militancy and culture of revenge among the victims and activists in the subcontinent.
Today’s global network of terrorism has changed this world, indiscriminately, into an insecure and unsafe place to live. The international terrorism which has strong bases in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the end-product of long-standing political and geopolitical issues not the Islam or Muslims of these territories.
There’s no mistaking that terrorism is a threat as it has always been. There is also no disputing that those responsible for acts of terrorism in any shape or form must be held accountable. Nevertheless until these disputes will not be resolved the repulsion from the victims in the form of violence and terrorism cannot be eliminated. As this is all happening on the Muslim lands, the world will continue to see Muslim names on TV screens and newspapers’ headlines and the anti-Islam and anti-Muslims will continue to blame Islam and Muslims. Why and how young people are inspired to tie-up bombs on their bodies and blast themselves killing people and indiscriminately? Is it due to Islam or Islamic ideology which is as old as Christianity or Jewdism and which has as many believers as the other main global religions OR it is due to those injustices and dominations has been happening in the Muslim world.
Eventually, it came onto the surface that the drama of Iraqi weapon of mass destruction (WMD) was all made up by US and Britain intelligence agencies which was the basis of military invasion of Iraq, eliminating Sadam Hussein and controlling the country by the United States, UK and other Western allies. It’s a shame that after 8 years of brutal military operation killing more than 600,000 civilian (as per many reports of international agencies) now Secretary of State of United States, Condoleezza Rice, in her latest interview regrets on the US relied on flawed intelligence and mismanaging the post-invasion occupation. In another recent interview, President George Bush said that the mistreatment of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was ‘a terrible disappointment’. President Bush might satisfy the friends and allies of US but how can US and the entire world will provide peace and justification to the mothers, sisters and children of those who have been killed in Iraq by US and her allies in bloody military operations and tortures? Now will the international community redefine who the real terrorists are? and which one is real terrorism?
Half-century old injustice, victimisation and suppression of the people of Palestine by the Israel are the main reason of suicide attacks by the young generation in that land. Israel doesn’t want to withdraw from the occupied territories of Palestine. Israel has continuously been ignoring the resolution of the United Nations which was passed in 1948 for the independent state of Palestine. Yet, United States and the West supports Israel’s bloody operations against the people of Palestine. So, after more than a century old continuous struggle for their freedom what are the other options left for the people of Palestine.
The United States and her allies have been hunting Osama Bin Laden his Al-Quaeda, Mulla Omar and his Taliban since the 9/11 attacks in United States. The world supported President Bush on attacking Afghanistan. Yet, how many would have remembered when praising President Bush on his agenda to defend their freedom from the Islamic fundamentalists that those Islamic fundamentalists were actually the same people who had been supported by US to welcome Muslim extremists from all over the Muslim world into Afghanistan and Northern frontier region of Pakistan (Pak-Afghan border) to fight against Russia on the name of Jihad. These forgotten Taliban are now taking revenge with Pakistan, US and entire world. Pakistan has been crying for help to the world to deal with the militants left over by CIA. Until the recent attacks in Mumbai, India has been the silently watching the sequence of terrorists’ attacks in Pakistan. It is shocking to observe that just in few days to the attacks in Mumbai a bomb was blasted in the marketplace of Peshawar. 34 people killed and more than 100 injured but this no reaction from Washington of that extent which we saw on Mumbai attacks.
Thoughts and philosophies cannot be changed by using power. Political injustices cannot be satisfied by using military might. Freedom is equally important for everyone no matter what country, race and belief they belong to. The democratic rules of civic societies have to be delivered in trouble countries by peaceful means not by power.
Coming back to which Indian media claims as ‘nine eleven of India’ the blame game of Indian media, government spokespersons and politicians is still on. Pakistan is being accused of not controlling the infiltration of Muslim terrorists aiming to destabilise India. Today, the world’s superpowers particularly United States is displaying full solidarity with India in dealing with these terrorists.
They are pressurising Pakistan to deal with terrorist and to clean up terrorists and their groups and training camps. Whereas the fact of the matter is that the current wave of terrorism including recent in India are the outcome of long standing issues created by India, US and Britain. Today, Pakistan has received the most terrorist incidents and killings in Pakistan. Pakistan arm forces have already been fighting against militants in Northern Pakistan which is the gift of CIA.
On the other hand, after pledging and offering all sorts of help to India in hunting down the perpetrators if belong to Pakistan and as the reports are coming Pakistani authorities are already cracking down on these militants group in Kashmir. Yet, these powers never force, the largest democratic, India to hold a free and impartial plebiscite in Kashmir which was passed in 1948 and which was agreed by both India and Pakistan. One should remember that India is the one who went to United Nation for this resolution.
Living peacefully and promote friendly relations between India and Pakistan is in the interest of both India and Pakistan and their people. As a matter of fact this is what majority of people in India and Pakistan want. However, it is very important to understand that conflict and resentments between India and Pakistan cannot be eliminated until India sincerely solves the main dispute of Kashmir with Pakistan following the resolution of United Nation on Kashmir.