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The Real Victims of Terrorist Acts

27 July, 2005

By Nazim Rahman


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In the wake of recent bombings in London, the spotlight and blame for the acts has once again been pointed at Pakistan and Pakistanis. Once again, the Western and Indian media has moved quickly to disgrace our nation and us. Once again, the government of Pakistan is forced to defend itself against unjust accusations. We blame the media and the bombers for our disgrace and it is only natural that we defend our tarnished reputation but there is a lot more at stake than just our reputation.

When we speak of victims, we usually speak of loss of life, sorrow of family and friends, shock and disgust felt by the nation, and economic costs of the event. Terrorist attacks have an immediate negative impact on the local businesses and in particular the travel and tourism industry. A terrorist attack affects the livelihoods of everyone in one-way or another. The trauma caused by such an attack increases ethnic and racial tensions while increasing religious intolerance. As has been repeatedly seen several times since the world trade center attacks, a terrorist attack makes it easier for governments to pass laws restricting individual liberties and violating individual privacy in the name of security.

A terrorist attack clearly has a detrimental effect on the local population. However, the largest victims are the community from which the attacker has originated, since they will be subject to discrimination for a long time. In the case of London bombings, this represents the Pakistani community and Muslims in general.

Muslims make up 3% of the UK population of which a significant percentage is of Pakistani origin. A vast majority of these Pakistanis are born in Britain and are British nationals. For these persons, UK is home and their country. This is where they were born and this is where they expect to spend the rest of their lives, just like any Briton whose ancestors have been living on the island since the middle ages. These individuals might now face discrimination in the job market and are at the risk of finding themselves in various uncomfortable and embarrassing situations.

Muslims living in United States often mention the various uncomfortable events they had to suffer through. Events such as being singled out and led away by security guards at the airport for "questioning" while hearing the whole crowd at the terminal whispering and looking at you. Events such as losing a flight to satisfy the suspicions of someone or having police show up at your doorstep because the neighbour was suspicious about the two large boxes the person was carrying into his own house. Many Muslims moved to different countries. There was a large exodus of Muslims from USA to Canada. Those who still live in the US face discrimination in the job market and have a general sense of insecurity. All this is particularly difficult for children who are too young to understand or deal with such events.

The effects of attacks such as the London bombings are more far reaching than Britain itself. Pakistan is a developing country with a huge population. To develop our country, we desperately need foreign educated and foreign qualified individuals. Just look around at high-level posts in any major company in Pakistan. You will find Pakistanis educated overseas, or Pakistanis with previous foreign work experience. Even our prime minister, who has literally turned around our economy, spent a significant portion of his life in the US and we all benefit from the skills he has acquired there. Since the world trade center bombings, the number of Pakistanis being able to go to the US for education or work has declined significantly and this would certainly have a negative impact on our economy in the future. The events in London have already started a debate on immigration policies in Britain. This will surely have an affect on the opportunities available for Pakistanis in the rest of Europe as well.

We depend on the industrialized nations for their expertise, defense equipment, finance (in the form of loans and direct investment), and we also benefit from the foreign exchange sent by hardworking Pakistanis living in these countries. Overseas Pakistanis have changed the demographics of Pakistan. A poor uneducated man can go overseas and earn enough money to fulfil the financial needs of his family, send his children to school, and guarantee financial security of his entire family. In villages, such financial strength enables a family to move up the social classes.

Pakistan, like any other developing country, benefits from our citizens living abroad or returning home after having lived abroad. Therefore, we must ensure that our young generation continues to have the opportunity to go overseas for work or for study. Terrorist events only serve to close doors of opportunities and expose us to discrimination. Whenever there is a terrorist event in which a Pakistani or Muslim can be somehow linked, we as nation, suffer.

People who have conducted such horrendous acts or approve of such acts in the name of Islam should be ashamed of themselves. Our religion preaches tolerance, humanity, kindness, and peace. Murder of innocent persons is strictly forbidden regardless of the circumstances. In fact, Muslims all over the world have expressed their sorrow and grief over criminal acts such as London and Madrid bombings. Governments of all Muslim countries have strongly condemned such acts. Such events only cause more suffering for Muslims all over the world.

The international media should stop blaming entire nations or a religion for the actions of a few. Media has enormous influence over public opinion and with this power comes a responsibility: The responsibility to work towards a better and more tolerant and more peaceful world, for us all. Inciting hatred against a community, nation, or religion is very irresponsible. It hurts both the nation fallen victim to an attack and the nation blamed for such events.

End.

Reader Comments:

anguish

Nazim's article mirrors the anguish and frustration he feels and i am sure a lot of well meaning citizens of Pakistan feel the same way.
A good educational foundation is what is needed to overcome these narrow minded tendencies of extremists and religious bigots.
this world of ours is bound to have diversity of religion and other socio economic parameters. we need to live and let live and when religion alone becomes the benchmark for judgement then it becomes a problem as we are seeing in Pakistan today.
Unfortunately seeing what is happening in the NWFP with the Hasba bill does not augur well for Pakistan and the world.
Roots of hatred are being crystallized there which will spread to all of Pakistan and the world.
all said and done this article needs to be appreciated for its objectivity.

aarvey, Hungary - 27 July, 2005

Everybody should read it!

This reminds me of the words from an ordinary US citizen to her own government during the Vietnam War: “Fighting power may get you a battle. Even two or three. Even a thousand! But to win a war, you need to be strong enough to prevent fighting. And stopping your own force may be as difficult as terrorizing the opponent’s.”

Alain Debecker, Swaziland - 27 July, 2005

terrorism and Muslims

By the grace of God I have crossed the age of 50. Some friends of me are advising me to keep beard. They advise me if I die without beard it will face hardships in the Divine. I agree with them. But I feel, I am a religious minded man and have sympathy with the Muslims of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine who are being killed like crushing turnip. Sometimes words of sympathy and deploring the killers' come out from inside. If I keep beard in similar situation, I will be labeled either as “terrorist” or “extremist” and extradited to America. Then I will be declared as “enemy combatant” there with no chance to seek justice and poisoned to death. Death is certain but I do not like to die on American soil with no one available to recite Holy Quran at the time of my death. I, therefore, request those friends to” exempt” me from keeping beard. However if the situation changes and the bearded Muslims are again called “ Mujahideen” I will definitely keep a beard but never join the rank of Mujahideen as the situation may turn again as we have seen in Afghanistan.
Muhammad Riaz,
Thana Malakand Agency,



Muhammad Riaz, Pakistan - 27 July, 2005

I THINK THIS IS BEST ARTICAL I HAVE READ,KEEP UP GOOD WORK MR N.RAHMAN

Abdul R. Saleemi, Pakistan - 27 July, 2005

The best artical. Media particularly Indian Media... When they have not blamed Pakistan on daily bases in last 10 years. This is their job and they never stop. Pakistan must understand the world behaviour specially OIC not having encouragement on fight against terrorism.

K Khan, Pakistan - 28 July, 2005

Use ur unused brains...

hey abdul...Its not a question of good artcle. he is telling the FACT..you must realise the present situation.
must do something great which help to restore ur image of ur country.may be most muslims do not follow the real ISLAM.
i also know that ISLAM means peace ..first u must correctly understand the true meaning of Prophet Mohammed sayings...NOT THE SAYINGS OF TERRORISTs..

Bangaloreboy, Hungary - 28 July, 2005

Hi Mr... Pakistan doing well on each subject. India will never be satisfied. I propose - you aslo follow your relegion true prinpciples and then preach others. How Gujrat CM was re-elceted If you pepole are true follower of your relegion?? If aggression is stopped by world on Iraqi, Afghani, Chachen, Palesteny and Kashmeries then no terrorism will prevail in the world.

K Khan, Pakistan - 28 July, 2005

Time for Introspection.

Good article. But then again, people in Pakistan prefer to listen to the illiterate mullahs than read a fair analysis and do something about their sorry state.

J. Mathew, Ukraine - 28 July, 2005

come again?

Mr. Rahman doesn't live in America or the UK and thus can't really shed light on what its like to live there. Secondly, while extra security measures might be taken at the airport because someone might have a Muslim name (this is an unfortunate side effect), I have never seen discrimination in the US against Muslims. Further, even after 9/11 there were only a dozen or so minor anti-Muslims incidents. Several of my friends are Muslims and they have gotten great jobs and are doing much better than I am. When my Muslims friends meet new people, they tell me that most people ask them about their religion, where their family came from, and are simply interested in learning--no hostility.

As for Europe and the UK, I cannot comment on their treatment of Muslims. While only 2 or so million Muslims live in the US, many more live in Europe. Europe has openly anti-Muslin and anti-Foreigner political parties that are racist and outspoken. These do not exist in the US.

I have to agree that it is the media's fault. I was recently in Srinigar and spoke to many young people there. They asked me why all Westerners think that all Muslims are terrorists. Its the media--the only time we hear about Muslims in the news it is related to terrorism and the only time we hear of terrorism it was committed by muslims. Unfortunately, this is the only news from the Muslim world that news channels deem important enough to show. They don't talk about upcoming elections in Egypt, reforms in Qatar and UAE, Islamic religious summits in Jordan, or the growing and successful Muslim communities around the world. The only thing they cover is militant Islam and terrorism.

Many Westerners hate Islam because all they hear are bad things about it. Many Muslims hate the west because all they hear are bad things about it. I believe the educated and enlightened populations on both sides of the divide, however, view each other with respect, interest, and eagerness for cooperation. Militant Islam, like countless other phenomenonns throughout history, will eventually disappear. Right now, however, it is the big news. One day there won't be hate and misunderstanding on both sides and we can try to share this earth. We just have to wait for media to stop centering on terrorism and for terrorism to stop basking in the light of media coverage.

Ethan Beck, United Kingdom - 28 July, 2005

Regarding your article

I was surprised to read that you felt that the "western media" had placed blame on Pakistan and upon the people of Pakistan for the London Bombings. While I certainly cannot speak for all of the US, I know that I've neither heard nor read about any blame placed on Pakistan or its citizens at all, and I've followed the reports quite earnestly. The only nationalities I've read about is that of one suspect who was from Eritrea. Let me say that I consider myself an "average" American and I hold Pakistan and the Pakistani people in high regard. Your posistion in the world has been a difficult one and yet your people seem to consider and express that position, even when it is critical of the US (which is your right) with the care and the honor normally associated with a great people. If Pakistan feels reviled by the west, then there needs to be a dialog between our citizens exclusive of our governments. In the US we understand that there are a small minority of people who will commit heinous acts against all mankind, but we certainly don't believe that ALL followers of Islam are doing this. We know that Islam, like all great religions is based in the peaceful worship of God. I think that people need to communicate, outside the political agendas of governments, and without the influence of the media, whose job it is to sell advertising. When people speak to one another with respect and understanding, bridges are built. Pakistan in general may or may not agree with the US, and I honestly don't pretend to know how the average Pakistani feels about the US, but we as Americans have respect and would like to share sense of brotherhood with her citizens. May God bless all people who seek peace. And may we all forgive those who seek hatred.

Paul, United Kingdom - 28 July, 2005

Thats the worst excuse ever.

Muhammad Riaz, thats the worst excuse I have ever head from someone about not keeping a beard. I live in the US with a beard, nothing happens to me. Millions of Pakistanis live in Pakistan with a beard, no one deports them to the US.

Ahmed, Pakistan - 29 July, 2005

A question to US citizens

I have a question to ask to the US commentors.

I am Swiss since generations and Belgian since history can retrace. I have no connection to Pakistan other than a visa for “education purposes” on my passport. However, when I visited US as a tourist not so long after 9/11, any change of plane did meant three complete search (naked search and all the luggage to pack up again) especially for me and for my wife, which had no connection at all with Pakistan.

So here is my question: Maybe there is an understanding to US paranoia about security, but is it mandatory to export it? To export it militarily?



Alain Debecker, Pakistan - 29 July, 2005

don;t blame indian media

The problem is with the pakistan and its people. Please don't blame indian media for it. We can understand if it is a internal matter and the media is poking its nose. But this is a international problem. When people from developed countries are showing outrage at outsourcing jobs to eastern countries, your country men are strongly supporting outsourcing of terrorism to all the countries.

Indian media has the right to speak agianst this as we will directly or indirectly bear the consequences of terror.

Instead of blaming everyone, please blame it on your ISI and religious mullahs.

Because, anything done by these people will directly affect the 98% peaceful islam followers, whether they are in US or pakistan.

Please condemn these acts of terror strongly and detain those who talk of terror, even if the person is a respected mullah.

Uprooting terrorism is not in the hands of US or UK or pakistan police. It is in the hands of the ordinary public who report such activities.

When you act this way, you will not see any terrorism related links to pakistan and then indian media will not have anything to say against pak.

General Musharaff has taken a right step in deporting the foreigners from madrassas. I really appreciate that. At the same time ordinary public should also lend a helping hand to the General in nabbing terrorists by identifying persons who talk of terror, even if it is related to kashmir!.

Girish, United Kingdom - 31 July, 2005

Hi Mr.Khan..Then get ready to branded as a terrorist while you are in airport. Don;t complain about human right abuses and all the crap that "we innocent people are targeted by everyone in the world".

If we apply the same logic, the whole non-muslim world will become terrorists by the way the muslims treat them in their countries. hindus were plundered for centuries by muslim invaders and so it makes us easy to become terrorists. Fortunately we don;t have mullah types in our religion who spread hatred.

And don;t talk about modi and gujarat. It is our internal matter and our counrts are well equipped to handle these sensitive matters. You don;t have to fight for many indians (both muslims and hindus) who oppose Gujarat killings.

It is better you spend your energy in fighting the terrorist in your backyard who is ready to blow himself and the people around, because he is totally brainwashed.

Girish, United Kingdom - 31 July, 2005

The Victims of Terrorist Acts

A sea change is engulfing the Muslim world in somewhat same manner as Europe was placed before it spanned the oceans and discovered the sea routes. Muslims have to unshackle themselves from the West's paranoia. Where should they begin action, you might ask? Well, first of all, accept the current democratic system of polity. Said Churchill, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those others that have been tried from time to time." Mind you, there is no escape route for Islamicregimes anywhere, especially in Iran. Next, look deeper in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. A simple solution of "Israel" syndrom is to give the country a new name: A "safe Haven" for Judaism. The state of Israel was created by inequitous Zionists in a serious violation of Torah teachings. Unless its state-hood is undone, the world Jewry faces a grim retribution from on high. Killing with kindness is the cutting edge of both prudence and diplomacy. Palestinians have the whole wide Muslim world to move to and vacate voluntarily the West Bank to the looming "exodus" of the American Jewry. They need only to read the writing on the wall. The centre of gravity is fast shifting to the Middle East. The Jews have passed the better part of their 'exile' under the Arabs and the Ottoman regimes. The fault line lies with the Palestinians. They had just to provide "refuge" to the fleeing Jews from Hitler's Holocaust. The hurdle that keeps the Palestinians and the Arabs in offering a refuge to the Jews lies in their "PRIDE". But there is a way to both save their 'pride' and shine it. The state of Israel can be renamed as a "Safe Haven" for Judaism. It would undo the statehood of Israel in a jiffy. Think on these lines and a bright light would be seen shining at the end of the tunnel.

Sher Mohammad, Pakistan - 01 August, 2005

Real Victims! Part 1

On August 1st 2005 Daily Telegraph published an article written by Jonathan Petre, entitled “The Converts”. In this article Mr. Petre described the Britons “clamoring to convert to Islam” forming a “lengthy queue to join religion that offers 'sense of direction'”. He wrote that according to the latest estimates about 15,000 have converted over the last few years. “Even more remarkable, given the unflattering portrayal of Islam in much of the media, is that the majority of converts appear to be well educated, middle class, middle aged and female.” Mr. Petre wrote.

He quoted a Muslim who runs the New Muslims Project, an “after care” service for fellow converts who said: “They are often attracted by the sense of stability, Islam offers a specific framework for living that provides them with a sense of direction.”

With this rosy depiction of Islam even I would like to reconvert to Islam. Who does not want a sense of direction, stability and peace? But is this the real picture? Is the Media honest in depicting a true image of Islam?

Mr. Petre continues: “Paradoxically, the terrorist attacks in America and Britain , as well as the conflict in the Middle East , have served to fuel the recent surge, and the new wave includes its own sprinkling of celebrities and offspring of Establishment figures.”

There is no paradox. The media has lied to them; their politicians have lied to them; they all claim Islam is a religion of peace, that it offers stability and sense of direction; that the terrorists have hijacked the peaceful Islam and that Islam is a “beautiful religion”. They interview and publish the Islamist apologists who lie to promote their faith. The Islamists spend millions of dollars advertising and promoting their cult by depicting a very deceptive image of Islam. Yet, no one is even listening to the voices coming from those who know the real Islam and try to warn the world of its danger. These voices of opposition are often silenced and the critics are labeled as racists and Islamophobes. They are accused of inciting religious hatred. If a radio producer or a journalist dares to say a word against Islam, the Islamists rally and flood that radio or newspaper demanding resignation and apology and write to their advertisers asking them to boycott them.

Recently the Radio talk-show host Michael Graham was suspended by station WMAL-AM for describing Islam as a "terrorist organization" on his program. CAIR the Islamic organization operating in America asked hundreds of Muslims to write to WMAL and demand the suspension of Graham. When he was suspended they demands and that he be fired. They also contacted the advertisers of the radio asking them to boycott WMAL if Graham is not fired. Tens of thousands of concerned citizens wrote and called WMAL and expressed their support for Michael Graham until he wrote in his website begging his supporters to stop calling 630 WMAL, because the folks there are overwhelmed with all these calls and emails. This shows people are aware while the Media is still playing dumb and tries to appease the Muslims and be politically correct.

Mr. Jonathan Petre of Daily Telegraph did not tell the whole story. The truth is that most of those who convert to Islam, within months or a few years, realize they have been duped and Islam is terrorism. These people leave Islam and with dedication strive to eradicate his cult of lies and deception. I know hundreds of these people who had converted to Islam but now have left it. Many of them started their own websites and weblogs and are exposing the truth of Islam.

There are also millions of those who were born into Islam but now they have left it. If Islamic apostasy can be called a movement, it is indeed the fastest growing movement today.

However, the voices of apostates of Islam are not heard. Judeo-Christianity was attacked and vilified for hundreds of years but Islam has not been exposed. Those who attack Islam are forced to live in secrecy or they will face the same fate of Theo Van Gogh. The Western media that so eagerly accommodates the Islamists and promotes their lies dreads publishing the articles of the apostates and those who oppose Islam. The criticism of Islam is not PC.

Islam relies on lies to promote its cause. A few days ago CBS and CNN interviewed the Islamists who in order to fool the public, issued a fatwa denouncing terrorism. These Islamists were given ample opportunity to lie and pull wool over the eyes of the uninformed American viewers. The anchorwoman in CNN asked the Imam about the verse 9:5 which says “slay them wherever you find them”. The Imam explained this verse is for those who kill innocent people and it means we should slay those who attack civilians. The anchorwoman asked, so this verse authorizes us to go after the terrorists and kill them? The Imam paused for a sec and said, “Oh well, it is better that we educate them”.



Jeffery clamis, Seychelles - 03 August, 2005

Mr. Girish, who is brainwashing you to mention unnecessary facts? In world where you pepole have been attacked other tahn in your own country?? Terreroism does not come by Mullah, Sahdoo, ISI or RA. This is a natural phenomina... wherever brutalism prevailed - reaction will come. By the way why you could not forget Muslims invasion on India which is history now. You cannot forget foreign muslim invasion 4 hundered years back ?? how you are preaching us to leave the fight against foreign occupation. 1947 India fought back to foreign occupation with force and strength?? My question to you now why ?? they did not accept Britain's rule. Ghandi Ji fought for you to get freedom...this was a peacefull freedom without any bloodshed by foreigners?? Pls. study Indian History. Terrerorism can be finished by sorting out political issues... no thing else. Who was training 30 thousand Afghani , Arabs to fight against USSR?? Pakistan or Mulims?? only west?? Pls. think rationally and do not scared any one to have terreor brand. No one care now since this is rediculus phenomina or phobia of west. Freedom is a right by birth of every one. We have to live with India and India has to accept Pak exisitance.. No one can separte these two... land is one. Even AGGRESSIVE Media cannot STOP the peacefull movement by both side>

, Pakistan - 03 August, 2005

We have to Blame our leaders

We Muslims only blame two parties when these awful atrocities, like London bombing occur, Western Media or Government and people who commit these atrocities. May be because, blaming others is easier than realizing that we may a problem. Yes, it's true that Western media only shows negative things about Muslims, but they only show what people want to hear. Our big problem is that your leaders are corrupt, and we have lost self integrity.

Muslims don't have any one to represent. I really don't understand when we will start realizing that we have got a problem. All we seem to do blame US and other Western countries. For God sakes!!! Its human nature to take advantage of your power. If today US was a Muslim country, we probably would have similar foreign policies.

Muslims need two things a real strong representation in the world, who is not afraid to saying right thing and self-respect. Those people who are willing to blow themselves, they should rather go back to their native countries and educate people so they could chose better leaders. We have to be patience about this, it wont happened over time but some one has to start, including me.


Ali, United Arab Emirates - 04 August, 2005

MI5 terrorists did London bombing



The common viewpoint in terrorist England is that the London bombing was carried out by the MI5 which is the terrorist intelligence organization of England.




ayaz
terrorist England




ayaz, United Arab Emirates - 09 May, 2006

Hindu terrorists in fascist India



Aarvey, there are more religious fanatics and terrorists in fascist india than anywherelse. Your treatment of the dalits is known to the entire world. We are working with the dalits in London to show the true face of fascist india to the entire international media.

The dalits of india call themselves BAHUJANS and not Hindus. Dalits hate hindus and they abuse them 100 times a second.




ayaz
London

ayaz, United Arab Emirates - 09 May, 2006

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