Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The World is a Circular Firing Squad

There's a line in one of the greatest "Bollywood" classics, written by the scions of a couple of the greatest South Asian literary families—sons of Urdu poets, to be precise—and delivered by a minor but unforgettable character, "Soorma Bhopali" that goes "Yahaan hamaaree kya zaroorath hai; yahaan tho waisay hee aap kay naam ka warrant nikla huwa hai." [Who needs me? There's already a warrant out for your arrest.]

And that's the thought that's being going through my head as South Asia spirals downwards, some folks caution against jumping to conclusions, and others rally for peace. And I include the arguments over "Islamists did it. No, wait! Let's not jump to conclusions; it could be home grown! …" in that.

How is it realistic to look at everything as either-or? The mess South Asia is in--not to mention the rest of the world--there's enough blame to go around. Neo-purist fanatics (our Islamist/Jihadists; their Sanghis; our--speaking from North America—Christian and Jewish fanatics); civilizing imperialists; ethnic militants (Sena, MQM, racists of white and other hue); everybody's jingoistic nationalists; everybody's military-industrial-intelligence complexes…all feed off each other. In some cases, they work with each other. Just for example, Is it too much of a stretch to believe that what is happening in Karachi (in case either of you missed it) is being helped along by Indian Intelligence (and who knows who else) as a counterpoint to what they see as Pakistani Intelligence "doing Mumbai"? From where I sit, what's happening in the NW of Pakistan also has elements of a turf battle.

And as we all participate in this circular firing squad—including the agonizing over Muslims being targeted or profiled—the folks I list above make leaps and bounds in the struggle for the hearts and minds of their respective target constituencies…

And PS: how many noticed there were riots in the prettiest town in Africa's largest nation, too? Rally anyone?



Cross-posted on the iFaqeer, Wadiblog, ProgressiveIslam.org, Pak Tea House, Urdu ke Naam, Doodpatti (by Tohfay) blogs.
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