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Not in our Name

12 July, 2005

By Farzana Shah


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Thursday July 7th bombing in London has drawn thick flak from the peace-loving people across the world. Every one, not only from the western countries but also from the Muslim world has condemned this act of barbarism.
Muslims are particularly shocked by the incident where innocent people were killed and injured, for the simple reason that it would not serve their cause in any way and rather would add to their problems and difficulties.  If it is the handiwork of al-Qaeda, as was reported in the press that a group calling itself "The Secret Organization of al-Qaeda in Europe" posted a claim on their website for the  responsibility of  Thursday's blasts in London, saying that it was in retaliation for the Britain's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, then it will neither do good to the Muslims in these war-hit countries nor to the Muslim Ummah as a whole.

If al-Qaeda is involved in this heinous act and its members claim to be Muslims; they are not, because there is no room in Islam for killing the innocent in any manner or for any cause. Islam is the religion of peace. Its very name Islam is a synonym of peace. Its very greetings, ‘Assalam-o-alaikum” means peace be upon you.  Qura’n says, “killing of one person (innocent) is like killing of the entire humanity”. Then how can the al-Qaeda  terrorists claim to be the Muslims and still perpetrate what is forbidden in Islam?!

The mainstream Muslims of the world have denounced terrorism on numerous occasions. Thousands of the Muslims including Pakistanis have signed petitions denouncing 9/11 to show their solidarity with the world and that the Muslims and Islam do not support terrorism in any form.

Pakistan, in particular, has not only denounced the acts of terrorism in the strongest words, but is also playing a very active ‘front line’ role in fighting the war on terrorism in its north western mountainous region after the 9/11 incident.

If the Londoners are shocked so are we here in Pakistan. Who else can feel their pain better than the Pakistanis who have been fighting the war on terror for bringing peace to the world for more than three years now. Pakistan  has  deployed thousands of its soldiers on its western border fighting the terrorists there and suffering casualties in the process.

There have been innumerable terrorist attacks all over Pakistan and many an innocent life has been lost. The terrorists have not even spared the opportunity to kill our top leadership and several attempts have been made on the life of  President General Musharraf including two suicidal bomb attacks. Similarly Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had a very narrow escape when a bomb exploded on the wrong side of his car that he was entering.

President Musharraf and the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz have condemned the London bombing and expressed their heartfelt grief and sorrow over the killing of innocent people, besides expressing sympathies and praying for the departed souls on behalf of entire Pakistani nation.

In this hour of great bereavement of the British people, we the Pakistanis - also being a  favourite target of the terrorists – highly appreciate the resilience, the fortitude, the courage and the a very high sense of discipline shown by the Londoners in facing the calamity. They are certainly a proud part of a great nation.

The London subway attacks also call for a serious examination for their  raison d’etre.  Apparently they look to be the part of an on going series of attacks. Their pattern and style akin to Madrid railways bombing strongly suggest them to be the act of the same perpetrators – al-Qaeda.  Now, what is al-Qaeda and why is it doing such insane, inhuman, unIslamic heinous brutalities?  What has driven it so mad? There seems to be no other consideration among its terrorist members except their murderous agenda. They kill anyone, Muslims just as quickly as the non-Muslims, as long as they feel the target qualifies for their agenda, irrespective of his faith, nationally or the origin.  Unfortunately, they also seem to be blinded by their own agenda and hatred and believe themselves to be right. Their agenda is political, not religious, but Islam is used to justify it. Just as unjust wars have been fought in the name of religion throughout the history, the same still applies today.

Even a cursory look at the events would reveal that it all started with Afghanistan. Reversal of the US policy against the Talibans, after they had not only ousted the Soviets from the Afghan soil after 11 long years of war and suffering huge casualties and other untold miseries at the hands of the USSR, but also caused disintegration of the USSR leaving USA as the sole Super Power on the planet,  was the root cause which gave birth to such terrorism. Talibans felt not only badly betrayed by the USA, left high and dry in the lurch as they say,  but also  their very existence was now being threatened by the cruise missile attacks and bombings.  The same Osama bin Laden, who was ‘imported’ from Saudi Arabia and was the main protégée of the US in Afghanistan turned against them. One thing led to the other, till the most heinous of the crimes - 9/11 happened. Now there was an open war between the US and the al-Qaeda. In declared wars the enemy and the targets are known and neutralized as such. Though the battle ground was Afghanistan, but the enemy’s whereabouts were not certain. US soldiers were mostly fighting the ghosts of al-Qaeda. Anything moving was targeted and ‘Daisy Cuttered’ – including innocent men, women and children in the weddings and marriage parties. Donald Rumsfeld shrugged off such wanton killing by inventing the word ‘collateral damage’. However, Afghans and al-Qaeda did not buy this word which not only hardened their attitude against the coalition forces  but also provided them with many dedicated fresh recruits for induction in al-Qaeda. A new breed of terrorist – suicidal bombers – came into being.

War on Iraq – totally uncalled for – gave further impetus to such suicidal bombings. More American, British and the coalition forces’ soldiers have died after the war in Iraq than during the war itself. Similarly many Iraqis have suffered and are suffering from the chaos unleashed on their country by a war waged over demonstrably false premises (i.e. that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, which it did not.). US and its partners are faced with the proverbial “To do or not to do  --.  “To pull out or not to pull out?”.  They are stuck and even if they wish to pull out they cannot. Military pundits equate Iraq with an other Vietnam for the Americans and this time for its allies as well. Britain being the foremost ally had to suffer 7/7.  They all knew it.  Only, they did not know ‘where and when’. 

There are, however, many people in many places who have a huge stake in the senseless and endless war and not all of them live in the caves of Afghanistan or are sheltered across the Pakistani border. They are economical and political interests of much wider scope than they appear to be. Oil from the Mid East and Central Asia is alleged to be the uppermost consideration. I'm not trying to condone the terrorists from their dastardly and cowardly acts of crime against the humanity, but we need to examine all aspects of London bombing instead of just focusing on one group only for its happening.

 We need to look whether some elements (zealots) in the Middle East are angry about U.S. Middle -East policies and they want Coalition Forces (the U.S. and England) to get out of Iraq and they had showed their anger by bombing the subways and buses in England. This is their method of threatening British government and forcing them to withdraw their troops from Iraq. July 7 was to them the most opportune time when the eyes of the entire world were focussed on the G-8 summit taking place in Scotland.

This war ‘On Terrorism’ and ‘For Terrorism’, despite the claims from both sides, does not seem to have any foreseeable end. It is a war of attrition on both sides. None of its proponents seems to gain much, except loss of life, face and despondency on the coalition side and loss of life and material (though not much) for the terrorists. None of them will be able to subdue the other or its will. It is likely to slobber perniciously and perennially.

Will there be an end to all such senseless killing, ask the saner element of the world? Or will it  go on for ever by the slaves of their egos?  Expecting the mainstream Muslims to talk and tell the terrorists to abandon their activities will be like telling black people of America that they should simply go to Los Angeles and sit down and talk to the ‘Crips and Bloods’ and tell them to stop the gang violence and it would just stop or telling Christians to sit down and talk to Christian terrorists like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph. The repercussions of 7/7 are already on the streets, mosques and churches of Great Britain. Hundreds of Muslims are being interrogated and rounded up. The spill over will most certainly meander to the European continent, to the detriment of the Muslims.

Afghanistan was the first to experience the worst bombing resulting in the killings of hundreds of innocent civilians due to the presence of very same al-Qaeda elements there. Palestinian and Kashmiri freedom movements which already suffered a set back due to 9/11 will find it still more difficult now after the London bombings to convince the world of their genuine struggle for freedom.

This incident will cast its damaging shadow over the entire Muslim community although they have nothing to do with it. Neither has Islam anything to do with it. These terrorist groups like al-Qaeda cannot be termed as Muslim groups, as they are  rather violent, pseudo-religious cults led by men who play on the disenchantment of the people and use the religion as the justification to influence them to do their bidding. Though the Muslim countries are doing their bit to help in tracking down and condemning such terrorists yet, the western world’s viewing them with suspicion and likely to discriminate against them at the social level would not be healthy and the Muslims will justifiably be dismayed and consider it an unfair turn to them.

The need of the hour is in closing the gap rather than distancing themselves further apart. Terrorists are to be considered as a common enemy and combated together. However, in fighting this evil and menace more brain has to be used than the bran.  Whether you saw a young handsome but dishevelled and wounded British being interviewed by the BBC after the bombing or not, I did. He said something which could come out only of the most sagacious, the most compassionate and the most humane being in this world.  On being asked what did he feel about the terrorists who had bombed the trains, he said, “I feel pity for them”!  The BBC reporter not prepared for such an answer, questioned somewhat startlingly, “pity?” and the gentleman calmly said, “Yes, pity.  What else can one feel for people not in possession of their senses?”.  
 
Terrorist are persons deprived of their senses.  Killing them will neither cure them nor finish them. They breed fast.  Let’s kill the root causes of terrorism, ignorance, poverty and injustice.

The End

Reader Comments:

Standing together

Just exactly what started all this in the first place? Does anybody remember?

A HUGE SUICIDE BOMBING ON 9/11.

That's what...




Carollan, United Kingdom - 15 July, 2005

To Farzana&those who comment on her article

Farzana Shah has done a commendable job by analysing all the aspects of the situation and background. Well done dear Muslim sister for conveying our feelings as we being Muslims deplore these kinds of barbaric acts. Farzana you are right to say that in Islam there is no room for violence.
And I feel sorry for some of the people who without understanding the true spirit in which the article had been written, have commented in negative. I specially would like to point out to Carollane that instead of understanding our feelings being conveyed by Farzana Shah you just had termed it an interesting article. Well you pleas learn to laud neutral writing as Allen had claimed that American are liberal people than why you people don't understand our honest feelings and carry with your hatred towards Muslims.
And to Ms Allen, we are more liberal than you as you can see on this discussion forum the most racial comments of miss Aniruddha from India against Pakistanis are also been published by editor.
Malik Shahid deserves the praise for rightly and honesty understanding writing of Miss Farzana Shah. Mr Malik Shahid you are right when you said called Farzana's believe a breath of fresh air I also agree with you.
Im new to pak tribune but I would like to congrat its management for posting such good articles and encouraging female writers and I would also like to say to Farzana plz keep writing.
Salam to all
Sobia Ahmad


Sobia Ahmad, Pakistan - 16 July, 2005

Please answer my question if you can!

Dear Makil,
I have asked straight question,I repeat,
"Only 19% of world follows islam,but you take any terrorist incident, it always involves Islamist.
Whys is it so?"

Please correct my knowledge if I am wrong.
Before you make statements out of emotions please check your knowledge.
Regard.
Aniruddha



Aniruddha, Pakistan - 16 July, 2005

Farzana Shah has articulated well the pain that a majority of people from Pakistan probably feel at this heinous crime committed by a bunch of mindless terrorists.
unfortunately for Pakistan most of the trails post any event like this happening in the world ends up in Pakistan. This is something that people from Pakistan must ponder over. I am sure that almost all travellers from Pakistan must be viewed with suspicion when
they enter the shores of any country in the world.
Just issuing parrot like statements that 'Islam is a religion of peace and does not permit killing of innocents' will not solve the problem. By making this statement an inherent admission is present in Islam that you can kill. This is where terrorists like to take shelter in and have their ringside mullahs and other bigots cheer them on.
And these ringside mullahs and their political comrades in arms are present in plenty in Pakistan. Its a cancer that the ordinary well meaning people of Pakistan must root out ruthlessly. This does not seem to be the case. NWFP seems to be heading towards the medieval times and towards malignancy.

And lastly it does not pay to always be complaining that the west/ India/ Israel and the Great white sharks are responsible for all the ill's facing muslims worldwide. Muslims must learn to live and integrate with other cultures and societies. Indian muslims have done that to a large extent and are quite sucessful and free to practise what they want to without bring obtrusive.
There is a lesson to be learnt. North Vietnamese did not go around with bombing campaigns around the world when their country was peppered. Today they have integrated and are marching towards a progressive society.

aarvey, Hungary - 16 July, 2005

Responding to Anusuddha

More Muslims have been killed in the last half century or more then any other peoples. Which has led them to strike back, which gets labeled as terorism, while what happens to them is just!!!
It is a pity that people like you who seemingly look educated can ask such dumb questions. Terrorists and specially suicide bombers have no religion and hope and that is why they do what they do.
Terrorism is a form of psy-warfare and Hindus have great history in such acts, so you should know better that Muslims are not terrorists, as you would not exist if that was the case, as Muslims did rule for over a thousand years this sub-continent. In many way they do still, that is why you come here. Cannot live without us!!!

Malik Shahid, Pakistan - 18 July, 2005

Reply arravey India. Let the world integrate with Muslims.

What you mean to integrate? Muslims are not ready to bow down or compromise to injustice of the west and it's allies. If you mean selling to Isreal/west for pennys that only u can do? Muslims want conflicts be solved or get yopur s out from the muslim nations and don't preach mulims your version of democracy.

amin, Hungary - 18 July, 2005

I think Col. Jafri is wrong when he blames ignorance, poverty and injustice for actions such as suicide bombings. Poverty and ignorance are spread all over the globe and may lead to desperate actions such as theft, murder, and rioting. The bombings we are seeing, especially the suicide bombings in London and the attack on the World Trade Towers were not carried out by the poor and ignorant. (This assumes the suspects are if fact the attackers.) Religious fundamentalism seems to be root cause of much of the directed, although random in terms of victims, violence we are seeing. If Moslems are assured a place in heaven with houris to take care of them if they die in battle, and killing whomever counts as battle, there is a powerful inducement to commit a suicide-killing with a bomb. Christian fundamentalists such as Eric Randolf kill and have their religious supporters and their scriptural rationale. Given the number of reasons we were given for the invasion of Iraq, it could be that this is something like the Crusades. (It may also be an attempt to spread democracy or to secure more petroleum.) Hindu fundamentalists destroyed the mosque at Ayodhya to widespread approval. Jewish fundamentalists build settlements in Palestine and defend them with arms against removal by the Israeli army.
I don't have an answer to stop the bombings but I don't think we can blame this on the poor and ignorant. I think we need to blame religious fundamentalist extremists and their supporters.

Scott Swindells, United Kingdom - 18 July, 2005

I am not too sure if you live in India but nevertheless since you have such strong feelings about different social systems i would suggest that you 'rent' an island far away from the civilised world and start your caliphate and welcome people with the same faith and ideas to live here. when the world at large is attempting to live together we do not need people who want to live within physical and socio economic barriers.
And please stop complaining the world is not the cause of all the ill's of Islam. if you were not able to make a mark the problem could be within you or the way you think!!

aarvey, Hungary - 19 July, 2005

Re: Carollane

Carrollane, I disagree with you that 'Dubya' is not after oil. Infact, he is. Not for the US comsumption, but for china not to get access to oil from Iraq. US knows that China will be a future threat to the US if it gets the MiddleEast Oil.

Girish, United Kingdom - 20 July, 2005

RE: Misha

All the evidence points to the islamic fellows involved in the terrorists acts. The courts are too secular to say anything against a muslim, so you do not see any convictions. Did you see any hindu, jewish, christian nnames associated with kiilings.

Girish, Pakistan - 22 July, 2005

arrvey, I am a Muslim I may phisically live in India but I am citizen of the Islamic world and brother to a Muslim who suffers in Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir and anywhere in the world. Some Muslims feel other Muslims pain. By the way, We don't need to rent an island we own half of the world and live in 50 nations. You better think it renting now we may take over you any time you knever know, "Uoont kisibi waqat Karvat badal sektaa hai."

amin, Indonesia - 24 July, 2005

Lack of Knowledge

Remember one thing, It is true that ever Muslim is not a terrorist, but it is also true that every terrorist in this world is a Muslim.

amol, Hungary - 28 November, 2008

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