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Pakistan - India - Mullahs and Heretics (Excerpt - Good Read - Long
London review of Books ^ | February 2002 | Tariq Ali

Posted on 05/02/2002 8:25:12 PM PDT by swarthyguy

We also explored the many burned houses. How were they burned? I would ask the locals. Back would come the casual reply. 'They belonged to Hindus and Sikhs. Our fathers and uncles burned them.' Why? 'So they could never come back, of course.' Why? 'Because we are now Pakistan. Their home is India.' Why, I persisted, when they had lived here for centuries, just like your families, and spoke the same language, even if they worshipped different gods? The only reply was a shrug. It was strange to think that Hindus and Sikhs had been here, had been killed in the villages in the valleys below. In the tribal areas - the no-man's-land between Afghanistan and Pakistan - quite a few Hindus stayed on, protected by tribal codes. The same was true in Afghanistan itself (till the mujahedin and the Taliban arrived).

One of my favourite spots in Nathiagali lay between two giant oaks. From here one could watch the sun set on Nanga Parbat. The snow covering the peak would turn orange, then crimson, bathing the entire valley in its light. Here we would breathe the air from China, gaze in the direction of Kashmir and marvel at the moon. Given all this, why would one need a multi-layered heaven, let alone the seventh layer that belonged to us alone - the Islamic paradise?

One day, to my horror, my mother informed me that a mullah from a neighbouring mountain village had been hired to make sure I completed my study of the Koran. She had pre-empted all my objections. He would explain what each verse meant. My summer was about to be wrecked. I moaned, groaned, protested, pleaded and tantrumed. To no avail. My friends were sympathetic, but powerless: most of them had undergone the same ritual.

Mullahs, especially the rural variety, were objects of ridicule, widely regarded as dishonest, hypocritical and lazy. It was generally believed that they had grown beards and chosen this path not out of spiritual fervour, but in order to earn a crust. Unless attached to a mosque, they depended on voluntary contributions, tuition fees and free meals. The jokes about them mostly concerned their sexual appetites; in particular, a penchant for boys below a certain age. The fictional mullah of the storytellers and puppet-shows who travelled from village to village was a greedy and lustful arch-villain; he used religion to pursue his desires and ambitions. He humiliated and cheated the poor peasants, while toadying to landlords and potentates.

Read the article here as well: Mullahs and Heretics

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: clashofcivilizatio; india; islams; mullahs; muslim; pakistan; southasialist; tariqali
Worth reading for a secular Pakistani viewpoint. Lives in London now.
1 posted on 05/02/2002 8:25:13 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: dog_gone
I'll be doggonned!
2 posted on 05/02/2002 8:31:06 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: *southAsia_list;*Clash of Civilizatio

3 posted on 05/02/2002 9:29:15 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: swarthyguy
Excellent piece, read it all.
I believe I have gained new insights.
4 posted on 05/02/2002 11:00:49 PM PDT by Drammach
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To: swarthyguy
Interesting, but LONG! It's too bad more muslims don't realize that 90% of the Koran is folklore.
5 posted on 05/03/2002 5:55:54 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
Just mentioning that is enough to get your head chopped off.
6 posted on 05/03/2002 8:20:14 AM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: swarthyguy
A most interesting read. Succinct history of Islam and how we got to where we are today.
7 posted on 05/03/2002 9:40:01 AM PDT by happygrl
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To: Drammach;dog_gone;happygrl
I found it very interesting too.

The excerpt I posted highlights the irrationality of the very concept of a seperate Muslim 'nation' on the subcontinent. The populations of the religions were intermingled; not only town to town, but literally street by street and house by house. This is what Indians consider a tragedy and some Pakistanis too. Reading the pakistani press, you see the debate going on between those who want a 'secular' Pakistan and those who want an islamic pakistan closely tied to the Arabs with whom they identify more than with the people of the subcontinent.

I heard Tariq Ali speak at the Palestinian rally in DC a little while ago. To me, speaking there was virtually endorsing the terror strategy of the Palestinians. If a sane, rational guy like this (albeit with a leftist viewpoint), can speak enthusiastically at the rally, it makes me wonder about the 'secularists'. By vindicating the terror strategy, how much help can we hope for from the 'moderates' and what are the implications for us in conducting a campaign to win the 'hearts and minds' of the arab/pakistani world as Charlotte Beers is doing?
8 posted on 05/03/2002 10:14:41 AM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: swarthyguy
In response to your post about Tariq Ali and his endorsement of the Palestinian tactics, I think we are seeing the first "North-South" world-wide conflict. Previously, these conflicts were in the form of a colonizing "North" nation and a subjugated "South" nation. Now that the First and Second World nations (Industrialized democracies and the Communist Bloc) have made their peace, it appears that the formerly Non-aligned Nations (the "South") are finding common cause and supporting each other.

As assymetrical warfare is the most effective tactic for them, expect more terrorism.

As Bush said, this war may go on for several generations, as did the Cold War.

9 posted on 05/03/2002 7:58:57 PM PDT by happygrl
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To: happygrl
Only nit I have is that India, head of the 'NonAlignedMovement' has now moved into the North category. In fact, one of the ArabAmbassadors recently lamented "Where is the non-aligned movement when we need it" in regard to the Palestinians and India's past support, but no more, for the PLO.
10 posted on 05/05/2002 11:19:12 AM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: swarthyguy
Non-aligned movements decline: ha ha haha ha !

A pox on you, PLO!

It says something that India has moved to the "North" category.

First, movement toward a market system and away from socialism.

Second, creation of a viable and growing middle class.

11 posted on 05/05/2002 10:21:16 PM PDT by happygrl
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To: swarthyguy
I heard Tariq Ali speak at the Palestinian rally in DC a little while ago.

And now, a year and a half later, he's cheering for terrorists killing American soldiers, and has a book out, Bush in Babylon, with a picture of a boy urinating on an American soldier on the cover:

Resistance is the first step towards Iraqi independence ^
      Posted by Pikamax
On 11/02/2003 9:30 PM CST with 15 comments

Guardian ^ | 11/03/03 | Tariq Ali
---------------------------------------- Resistance is the first step towards Iraqi independence This is the classic initial stage of guerrilla warfare against a colonial occupation Tariq Ali Monday November 3, 2003 The Guardian Some weeks ago, Pentagon inmates were invited to a special in-house showing of an old movie. It was the Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo's anti-colonial classic, initially banned in France. One assumes the purpose of the screening was purely educative. The French won that battle, but lost the war. At least the Pentagon understands that the resistance in Iraq is following a familiar anti-colonial pattern. In the movie, they would...

12 posted on 11/06/2003 11:20:08 PM PST by Stultis
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