After my post yesterday about "Muslims in the USA, Muhajirs in Pakistan, and More", I have gotten into some very interesting conversations--which is what I was hoping; we all have to get beyond just the platitudes and finger pointing and to where we are looking at the bigger picture, anger and reaction, no matter how just, can only lead to repeating the cycle of violence and mayhem we see so often around the globe. Here's what I replied to one friend, edited and enhanced very lightly:
My point, in the Pakistani context, but that is just one example, is that there needs to be a voice at the table speaking for the concerns of Urban Sindh--especially Karachi and its Urdu speakers. And not exclusively--other voices need to be at the table, too. And, yes, the MQM has been a very flawed vehicle for that. Just as other groups, the Jiyay Sindh Movement, or Bugti, or what-have-you, have been flawed vessels of other aspirations. But I have always held that the MQM is not a cause of the problems that Karachi has, but a symptom of it. The problem is that since others did not do much for the needs and aspirations of, especially middle- and lower-middle-class, Karachi (and Hyderabad, and Sukkur), when the MQM leadership came along, they had an audience with who had tried every other option (trying to support Fatima Jinnah, the Jamaat, ...) and been bitterly disappointed.
Look at Palestine: I am a very strong opponent of Islamism (both militant and otherwise) as manifested by Hizbollah (and the Jamaat, and others), but it is because the powers that be (including Muslim leadership globally) were not going to sit down and really work with the leadership that the Palestinians had (Arafat, and now Marwan Barghouti and others), the people threw their support behind Hizbollah. That was my point behind the Black Panther Party allusion--Martin and Malcolm were murdered, which made African Americans much more open to the Panthers, and left the Panthers as the only visible "leadership" at some points. Also Kashmir--the complete hijacking of the election under Rajiv is what drove Yaseen Malik and his generation to the gun and made them open to the hot (proxy) war Ziaul Haq was trying to start....
Given that, the problem as I see it, both with Muslims in the West and globally, and "communities of concern" in places like Karachi, and Kashmir, and Palestine, is that, now that there is "leadership" in place that a lot of us find less-than-savoury, in the way that deal with them, we have to be careful not to seem like we're trivializing the real issues that they base their politics upon; otherwise the "silent majority" that we say exists in those communities, and whose "hearts and minds" we say need to reach, get the wrong message and we're set back a long way in terms of solving the problems them that make the current options successful.
Does that make sense?
Technorati tags applicable to this post: Pakistan - Terrorism - Karachi - Kashmir