Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mumbai Jihad - another way forward

Tom Friedman considers the reverse scenario (which I pray must not take place).

After all, if 10 young Indians from a splinter wing of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party traveled by boat to Pakistan, shot up two hotels in Karachi and the central train station, killed at least 173 people, and then, for good measure, murdered the imam and his wife at a Saudi-financed mosque while they were cradling their 2-year-old son — purely because they were Sunni Muslims — where would we be today? The entire Muslim world would be aflame and in the streets.

The end of terrorism that stalks the world today and rears its dirty head every couple of months somewhere in the globe will only go away when the Muslim grassroots start to believe that it is in their self interests and in the best interests of their religion to condemn attacks like what happened in Mumbai. The condemnations should not be empty rhetoric aimed at garnering temporary headlines but should come from deep within the inner Muslim heart (the majority of whom are a great and a decent group of people). Governments across the world will continue spending money on beefing up security but will not be able to contain that single determined individual who thinks nothing of giving up his/her life in the misguided notion that they are waging a holy war for their religion.

Again, in the words of Tom: Because, I repeat, this kind of murderous violence only stops when the village — all the good people in Pakistan, including the community elders and spiritual leaders who want a decent future for their country — declares, as a collective, that those who carry out such murders are shameful unbelievers who will not dance with virgins in heaven but burn in hell. And they do it with the same vehemence with which they denounce Danish cartoons.

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