Battle for God; Battleground Pakistan
15 February, 2008
By Anwaar Hussain
The killing frenzy in Pakistan has reached a feverish pitch. In a rapidly darkening scarlet hue, the extremists are marching on suicide-bombing, beheading and maiming innocent citizens on their bloody path to their murky goal. The naive victims, out of their love for their religion and lack of knowledge of the same, not only cannot tell the difference between the killers and the messiahs, sometimes they indeed sympathize with their executioners. It is a battle for God and the battleground is Pakistan.
Perhaps a time has finally come to call a spade a spade.
By their terror strikes the extremists aim to inspire horror in Pakistan so that she bows her head meekly beneath the brutal yoke of the radicals. It is high time to take cognizance of the fearsome conditions upon which their tyrannical power wants to raise and maintain itself. It is time to see that it is in the name of religion that all oppressors act, only in name. They invoke it, yet they violate it. These extremists are no different.
It is time to tell the killers that they will never succeed because we know who they are and what they stand for. It is time we unmask for all who are watching, the hideous contours of their ghoulish facades.
We vividly remember the brutal reign of the limb chopping, women beating Taliban when they were the law, the masters and the arbiters in the neighboring Afghanistan. We know that these extremists are the progeny of the same people who became renowned for the gruesome punishments meted out to ordinary criminals in Kabul’s stadium, when men and women were routinely stoned to death for the sin of adultery, when limb chopping became so frequent that pictures of a smiling Afghan kid with wreaths of chopped hands and feet around his neck started doing the rounds on the web, when even kite flying was declared a sin and a crime. When, for an Afghan citizenry deprived of all entertainment, those grisly public displays were turned into a patent pleasure.
We know that these extremists are the flag bearers of a tradition that foisted such an excessive violence upon Algeria that its parallel is hard to find in annals of history. Around 200,000 innocent Algerians fell prey to these monsters in the 1990s. In areas south and east of Algiers, for example, their ideological brethren massacred innocent Algerians with a ferocity that shocked the entire world. The Rais and Bentalha massacres in particular were horrific beyond imagination. Pregnant women were sliced open or impaled on spikes, children were disemboweled or hacked to pieces or dashed against walls, men’s limbs were chopped off one by one, and, as the attackers retreated, they kidnapped young women to keep as sex slaves. The GIA, the Armed Islamic Group, claimed credit for both Rais and Bentalha calling the killings an “offering to God” and the victims “impious” supporters of tyrants in a press release.
We know the views of Ali Belhadj, the vice-president of yet another radical Algerian Islamic party, FIS (Front Islamique du Salut), in which he stated;
‘There is no democracy because the only source of power is Allah through the Koran, and not the people. If the people vote against the law of God, this is nothing other than blasphemy. In this case, it is necessary to kill the non-believers for the good reason that they wish to substitute their authority for that of God.’
Of course, he conveniently forgot to add that he and his co-sponsors would be the sole translators of the laws of God a la the Iranian Mullahs. Our home-grown extremists have the same war cry.
It is time to tell the extremists that we know their claim of being the sole interpreters of the divine is a clever move to command every facet of our lives with their wicked creed. It is time to tell them that they are not only way outside the perceived religious center of Pakistani society; they indeed brazenly violate all standards of ethics and morality. It is time to tell them that their ideology is ruthless, irrational, counterproductive, unjustifiable, and otherwise unacceptable to our society and that while they were day dreaming of a distant past, the entire citizenry now wants to participate in political life. The Generals of Pakistan not withstanding, they want the country governing itself by the alternative displacement of majorities and not by granting to a few hallowed ones the right to interpret the divine for all and sundry. And by all that is sacred to the scribe, they WILL achieve this goal in not too distant a future.
It is time to tell the extremists that we know that they want to be the judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one. That we know that whenever the one charged with executing the laws was at the same time the legislator, tyranny has been the natural result. It is time to remind these extremists that the world has moved on since their dream times. That now the peoples look upon themselves as the arbiters of their own destinies. That the people almost have, or will do soon, destroy privilege, finish undue merit and establish the principles of equality and that they are going to hold these tenets as dear as the blood they are shedding to attain them.
It is time to tell the extremists that we are aware of their game plan and that it is plain to see but hideous. Their ‘Justice for all through Shariah Laws battle cry is but a ruse they are employing to fool the gullible citizenry. They just want to use the law as an instrument of suppression for those who dare to speak out, an excuse to keep the status quo of women, stifle progressive thoughts and choke the sense of inquiry. That they are going to turn the law, more or less, into a whip of convenience with which to flog dissenting views, political or modernistic, whenever required. That their version of the law is going to laser beam onto women as if they are the only sinners. That for the rest of us flogging, amputations and jail-terms are going to be the central theme of the law.
It is time we blew into smithereens their cry of ‘Justice for all’ as well. We do indeed recognize that justice is a basis for the existence of any society. But the foundation of justice is morality whose principles have in them nothing uncertain or ambiguous. These principles, embossed in radiant letters on the conscience of men, are written with bold script into all religions, not just into that of the extremists’. It is from this flawless source in all successful societies, regardless of religion, from which spring all laws, social, political, monetary, and global.
It is time to tell them that we know that when their kind of people is made the sole translators of the divine, the principle of divine sovereignty itself becomes a destructive tool. Shedding ever more blood in the name of God, it becomes the very incarnation of violence. Like the Taliban’s era of the yore, it makes not just the rulers but of the people too a ferocious beast which sleeps only when satiated with blood. We have to only look around in the Islamic world. We need to tell the extremists that their kind of divinity goes in cycles of first engendering demagogy that causes mayhem that produces dictatorship which gives birth to savagery which in turn gives the rulers an excuse for even more draconian measures.
If this battle is to be won, it is time to arm ourselves with knowledge about those who have thrust this battle upon us. It is time we knew who these people really are. It is time we discovered that these extremists are people who are simply incapable of moderation in the exercise of their religion. It is time we understood that religion is just a convenient excuse they are using to launch their dark agendas. It is time to comprehend once and for all that whoever kills innocent human beings for a better social order is more an agent of the Satan than God. It is time to disgrace their sick creed, not to build altars to it.
It is also time to ask a few questions of these extremists. They need to be asked why it is only young children they use as suicide bombers, why not the fat handlers themselves who are gorging senseless on rice and mutton while these kids explode in crimson showers of their own blood. They need to be asked if it is true that because the head of the suicide bomber is almost always found intact, giving clues leading to the vipers nest, the kids now have instructions to look down the moment they are pulling the handle so that their faces go to eternity with them. They need also to be asked if it is true that Baitullah Mehsood, the chief of suicide bombers, issues certificates to these kids to show at the pearly gates of heaven.
It is also time to ask these extremists that if we worship the same God, why their God is so blood thirsty?
Author’s Note : Nothing of what has been argued above suggests that if the ideology of the Pakistani extremists is evil, that of the Neocons’, their nemesis, smells like roses. That, to be sure, already lies dead and decaying buried deep beneath a million Iraqi corpses. The answer perhaps lies somewhere in between, the scribe knows not where.
Copyrights : Anwaar Hussain