The curious case of Faisal Shahzad

An excellent editorial from the Express-Tribune, Pakistan

Why is it that when it comes to terrorism, all roads – or most of them anyway – lead to Pakistan? As long as the link to the bombing attempt at New York’s Times Square had come through vitriolic messages conveyed by the Taliban over YouTube it had been possible to convince ourselves that these were fabricated.

The dramatic arrest on May 3 of Faisal Shahzad from an Emirates flight bound for Dubai from New York, however, makes such denial impossible. Of course, we still will have the naysayers who will say that Shahzad is an American (he only recently became one) and not a Pakistani (he certainly lived much of his life in Pakistan) and that how could someone from such an educated and ‘good’ family be involved in something like this (Osama bin Laden’s family in Saudi Arabia is among the wealthiest in the world while Ayman Al Zawahiri’s father was a professor and he is a trilingual qualified surgeon).

The investigation that will follow the arrest of a 30-year-old naturalised US national, from an affluent Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa family, may throw some light on his links and how he was lured into leaving a truck, loaded with enough material to make a crude but large bomb, in the middle of New York’s Times Square. So far Shahzad has said that he was acting alone but investigators are likely to discount that theory.

According to one report that quotes details of the charges filed against him in a US federal court, he has admitted to receiving training in Waziristan, and if true, it would corroborate a claim by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) that it was behind the failed bombing attempt. The fact that the material in the truck failed to explode is perhaps the only silver lining of this whole episode. However, it does not bode well for the large Pakistani community in North America.

While New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s warning that any attacks against Pakistani-Americans or Muslims will not be tolerated is welcome and timely, it is unlikely to deter those Americans who will want revenge and see Faisal Shahzad as another Mohammad Ata in the making. Shahzad obviously did not realise that his own actions will create immense problems for a community that is known more for its excellent doctors and philanthropists than for breeding terorrists.

But terrorists is how Pakistani-Americans may be seen by many Americans now. The Foreign Office has said that Pakistan will cooperate fully in the investigation with the Americans. This is good because nitpicking whether the man is a Pakistani or not will not achieve anything and is a reflection of the isolationist mindset that many in this country have when it comes to relations between the west and Muslims. The chief military spokesman has already said on record that it is unclear whether the TTP even has the “reach” to carry out an attack inside the US.

What is the reason for making such a statement when the TTP chief himself made this statement just a couple of days ago? Even if, for the sake of argument, Shahzad was acting on his own, he has admitted to receiving training in Waziristan, where he reportedly met Qari Hussain Mehsud. The world is a small place and people know the history of the Taliban and how they were created. If it is proven — or even perceived by the US — that the TTP is involved in this failed bombing attempt, then the case for a military operation in North Waziristan becomes all the more stronger.

So by disputing the TTP link, is ISPR trying to ward off such an eventuality? Right now, the best strategy for the government of Pakistan — and the institutions that come under it — would be to aid the investigation and help find any accomplices so that the rest of the world does not see even an iota of prevarication. The much-hyped but muchneglected registration of madrassahs should be revisited as should be a previous failed attempt to monitor sermons given by prayer leaders in our mosques. And as a society, we all need to ask ourselves what it is that makes us get involved in such things.

72 Comments

Filed under Al Qaeda, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence, War On Terror

72 responses to “The curious case of Faisal Shahzad

  1. Prasad

    This chap apparently had financial problems, family troubles and then decides to blow up people in Manhattan…likewise with Kasab : financially challenged, L-E-T and 26/11

    Where is the connection guys??

  2. I am wondering if he has serious mental health issues. Not everyone has to be a terrorist.

  3. Freida Pinto

    We do not need bozos like “Prasad” or “davisarttx”
    to dismiss this as ‘This chap apparently had financial problems, family troubles’ or ‘he has serious mental health issues’ wake up people this is serious stuff Pakistan is in a downward spiral and all you can do is make nonchalant comments?
    After partition Pakistan enjoyed a diverse portion of minority groups. Speaking in main cities as Karachi- Lahore-Islamabad_Quettta-Hyderbad when I lived there we all manged to get along with respect. Our children went to school and played together. With so many different religions they enjoyed and celebrated all the religious holidays,
    There was NO TALK of getting rid of any religion we respected ALL religions and we grew as a people that made Pakistan a great country.
    I see now the sadness and the polarization of terror & unless ALL the people of Pakistan from big cities to small villages in one voice say “No more killing of our brothers, sister, mothers, fathers!!!” it will never stop.
    Islam has been hijacked by extreme fanatics who in the name of a peaceful and loving religion where all religions are respected want power in the name of Islam, they despise the education of the masses as they are aware that education brings knowledge and light.
    Everyone reading this should ask the question what have I done and what can I do to save Pakistan?

  4. anandan

    “for a community that is known more for its excellent doctors and philanthropists than for breeding terorrists” 🙂

  5. adavis

    thanks freida for calling me a “bozo” for having the ability to ask questions and remain open minded until more information is had. Unlike you I consider that a good quality.

  6. Parvez

    Faisal Shahzad falls somewhere between Hamid Karzai and Joe Stack. Help me assign his proper place.

  7. Prasad

    Miss Pinto: I understand your exasperation. I am not able to however place the connection between financial troubles & public destruction (outside their domicile) by the both.

    Incidentally one comes with an elite background and the other one from a village- Both however converge under similar patterns of activities. where is the connect and so consistent (looking at many more cases)

  8. swapnavasavdutta

    Wow, what a swift cooperation with US.
    Contrast that with the treatment accorded to
    India after numerous terror attacks in India
    perpertrated by Pakistanis or with Pakistani
    assistance!

  9. Zainab Ali

    It is important for the authorities in Pakistan to cooperate and provide substantive proof to authorities in US, at least for the sake of the Pakistani community living there.

  10. Vajra

    @Zainab Ali

    It is important for the authorities in Pakistan to cooperate with the authorities in the US, not for the sake of the Pakistani community living there, but because, in the face of terrorist activity, it’s the right thing to do.

  11. Yasir Qadeer

    I believe it is too soon to reach a conclusion and the conspiracy theories need to be put on hold for the moment. An article by Gulmina Bilal very adequately talks about this issue on the same lines. It can be read at http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201057\story_7-5-2010_pg3_5

  12. Jamal

    Is my link gone into spam?

  13. Ashraf Lodhi

    Ban and burn Mouduudi books! Revise those of written by Naseem Hijazi and Ishtiaq Ahmad etc. Every other Pakistani kid think of himslef as ‘Muhammad Bin Qasim’.

  14. Jamal

    پاکستان کو سنگین نتائج کی دھمکی

    امریکہ کی وزیر خارجہ ہیلری کلنٹن نے امریکہ میں کسی بھی دہشت گرد حملے کی صورت میں جس کا تعلق پاکستان سے ہو پاکستان کو سنگین نتائج کے بارے میں خبردار کیا ہے۔

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/world/2010/05/100507_clinton_warns.shtml

    This is as good time as any to keep our heads burried in sand.

  15. Jamal

    پاکستان کو سنگین نتائج کی دھمکی

    امریکہ کی وزیر خارجہ ہیلری کلنٹن نے امریکہ میں کسی بھی دہشت گرد حملے کی صورت میں جس کا تعلق پاکستان سے ہو پاکستان کو سنگین نتائج کے بارے میں خبردار کیا ہے۔

    BBC Urdu

  16. Hayyer

    It is an idle threat that Hillary Clinton made. What can America do to Pakistan if some Pakistan based conspiracy succeeds? The threat is just for public consumption. It needn’t be taken too seriously. Didn’t India march its troops up the hill in 2002 and then down again.
    America is looking for ways of escape from the region not opportunities for continued engagement.

  17. Bin Ismail

    @ globetrotter

    Your uniquely innovative Malthusian theory on the growth and control of human population stems from your effervescent dislike for Islam and Muslims. Such prejudice is seen to have robbed many, besides your worthy self, of their ability to engage in intellectual discourse. Your handicap is pitifully apparent, for which I offer my heartfelt sympathies.

    I do not see the prospects of your emancipation from the bonds of your own prejudices and predispositions. However, I feel obliged to extend to you a helping hand with your history. True, Muhammad was born an orphan, but his early years were not devoid of a father-figure, as you perhaps would like to imagine. His childhood began under the loving care of his grandfather Abdul Muttalib, who before his death bequeathed the care of his dear grandson to his son, Muhammad’s uncle Abu Talib. Abu Talib devotedly took care of his nephew. The father-son relationship was a thoroughly experienced thing for him. Also, for your information, Muhammad was indeed blessed with sons, too, whose love and bond was a feeling well known to him. Qasim, Abdullah and Ibrahim were his sons. It is another matter that all his sons died young. This loss did not deprive him of the fatherly attributes, as you on account of your twisted logic infer, it deepened and enriched them. These attributes were manifested in favour of friend and foe alike.

    The battles fought by Muhammad, were all without exception, defensive in nature, and in response to overt aggression.

    Forgive me if I sound inappropriate, but your most sought after attribute of “rebellion-against-father” seems amply manifest in your worthy self. Your rationality, reasoning, logic and thinking, all appear to be the by-products of your “rebellious” soul.

    Your knowledge of Islam and the Quran, is infinitely shallower than what the word “shallow” would suggest.

    In your worthy opinion: “The value of the human being has dropped because of overpopulation”. In my sincere opinion, the value of the human being has dropped because of invaluable contributions from invaluable minds like yours.

    On a suggestive note, theology or comparative religion may not be the best options fo your academic research.You have, however, revealed astounding potentials in your pursuit of a deeper comprehension of the Malthusian theory.

  18. Bin Ismail

    Just as it would not be right to judge Krishna by the conduct of fanatical Hindus, or Moses by the actions of hostile Jews, or Jesus by the dealings of violent Christians, it would similarly not be right to judge Muhammad by the doings of aggressive Muslims.

    Leave aside his treatment of Muslims. Let us take a glimpse, a tiny glimpse of his attitude towards those who did not share his faith. Let us summarily view how he treated Christians, Jews and idolators.

    A delegation of Christian preists form Najran came to visit Muhammad, for religious dialogue. In the midst of the discussion, it was prayer-time for the delegation, who sought leave for this purpose. Muhammad offered them his own mosque. They accepted the kind offer and prayed in his mosque.

    A Christian traveller, in search of an overnight lodging, was graciously accepted as a guest by Muhammad, who offered him his personal bedding. The poor traveller who had a running tummy, lost control and to conceal his embarrassment left before dawn, without the knowledge of his gracious host, leaving a soiled bedding behind him. At dawn, the disciples found the Prophet patiently washing the soiled bedding. They implored him to let them do the service, but he insisted on doing the job himself, arguing “he was my guest”. In the rush of leaving, the traveller forgot his crucifix at his host’s house, for which he felt compelled to go back. He returned to find Muhammad engaged in the cleaning job. To save his guest from any embarrassment, the Prophet once again received him as if nothing ever happened and returned to him his crucifix.

    Once while the Prophet was relaxing in the shade of a tree, a funeral procession approached. The Prophet rose and stood in respect. A companion pointed out “he was a Jew”. The Prophet admonishingly responded,”he was a Human Being”.

    On the occasion of the fall of Makkah, when Ikrama the son of Muhammad’s most sworn enemy Abu Jahl, presented himself before the Prophet, maintaining his idolatrous beliefs, the Prophet rose warmly to receive him with open arms exclaiming,”Salutations to the rider who returns”.

    Such was Muhammad. Such was the founder of Islam.

  19. AZW

    Bin Ismail:

    Well said in your last two posts. Cannot agree more with you here.

    I believe our friend the globetrotter comes in the glorious line of the following people. You may not be familiar with all of them, yet all of them have an overriding proclivity of painting them with a same brush. Stereotypes, generalizations and blind hatred of a class of humans comes easy to our friends because of the others’ perceived sub-humanism as they belong either to a violent, or incorrect or a class driven society. All of these illustrious members hate the others with a passion due to their own and the others’ beliefs. Everything in the world revolves around the others following an incorrect ideology or belief.

    Some, but not all members that I can recount right now include Tagatatha, Vishwas, Ganpat, Kashifiat, Dr. Jawwad, Sardar, Silk Router etc.

    Notice their hatred for each other. Humanity be damned, the others are bad.

  20. Vajra

    @Bin Ismail

    Thank you for your calm but complete answers to ‘globetrotter’. Francis Bacon had said,”Reading maketh a complete man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.” It seems to me that ‘globetrotter’ must be the exception to the rule, as he certainly is to the adage,”Travel broadens the mind”.

    The stories from the life of Hazrat Muhammad show him in an endearing light. I wish you had included the one about his care and solicitude for the old Jewess who daily abused him and pelted him with clods of earth as he passed her house, until the day she fell ill.

    @AZW

    Your recitation of the Common List of villains. What a litany of evil! And yet this forum survives and flourishes! I hope our friend will trot on soon; actually a full gallop would be nice.

  21. globetrotter

    Good stories about dead people are always very entertaining (esp. for the backward-oriented). No one is being judged on the basis of what his followers do. Every sect attributes grand stories to its founder. The founders are diplomats who know how to steal hearts by doing a few good things here and there – even if the ideology or religion that he leaves behind is fascistic in the long run (by the criteria of today’s political situation).

    Are the story-re-tellers (retailers?) practising anything themselves? I wonder when bin ismail last went to wash the clothes of a poor old christian in Pakistan and how many muslims he inspires to do the same?

    Don’t waste my time telling me what great things M. (or some X) supposedly did – let us know what you do today? You muslims are caught in your supposedly glorious past (which wasn’t glorious at all actually).

    “Son rebels against father” – that is a must for a society to evolve towards more freedom/rationality and less oppression/superstition. Sigmund Freud talks of “killing the father” (not in the biological/physical sense but in the psychological/cultural sense). In islam obedient unintelligent cowards are being bred en masse (hence the easy recruitment of killers for a war against all non-muslims). This point made by me remains unanswered.

    Instead a volley of hate-labeling against my person.

  22. globetrotter

    To bin ismail

    I was not talking about love between very young sons and their fathers. Nor about father figures.

    I was talking about REBELLION against the (real, biological) father. This to happen when the son is somewhere between 16 and 32 or 40.

    That is what a society NEEDS again and again to become free from superstition, backward orientation, glorification of the past, tribalism, misogyny, war culture, wrong ideas of honor, family fascism, craziness, machoism, fanatic martyrdom complex etc. etc. – all ills prominent in muslim societies since 1400 years.

    You muslims are caught in a cobweb of self-glorification.

  23. Bin Ismail

    @ globetrotter

    Could I respectfully help you out in straightening your somewhat twisted reasoning.

    1. “…..Good stories about dead people are always very entertaining (esp. for the backward-oriented)…..”

    Inspiring accounts of inspiring people are always enlightening ( esp. for the pragmatic).

    2. “…..Every sect attributes grand stories to its founder…..”

    All revealed religions were sent by the same God, call Him Ishwar, Yahweh, Ahura Mazda, Jehovah or Allah. Thus their founders were essentially ambassadors of the same Deity, Who guided and supported them all along. Therefore the element of grandeur one finds in their accounts is a common denominator to all these holy men.

    3. “…..The founders are diplomats who know how to steal hearts by doing a few good things here and there – even if the ideology or religion that he leaves behind is fascistic in the long run…..”

    These holy founders of religions stole hearts because of their inherent goodness, compassion and wisdom – virtues they manifested with perseverance – not here and there.

    4. “…..Don’t waste my time telling me what great things M. (or some X) supposedly did – let us know what you do today……”

    Pray, conserve your time – and ours – and take your hatred alongwith you. What did I do today? I tried in vain to straighten the reasoning of someone relentlessly bent upon exercising a twisted one.

    5. “……I was talking about REBELLION against the (real, biological) father. This to happen when the son is somewhere between 16 and 32 or 40…..”

    Your idea of a viable society is one that comprises excusively of biological fathers who have male progeny of ages “between 16 and 32 or 40” (whatever that means).

    May I, in earnest repeat my suggestion. Theology or Comparative Religion may not be the best options fo your academic pursuits.

  24. Bin Ismail

    AZW, Vajra:

    Thank you.
    Regards.

  25. Mustafa Shaban

    @Bin Ismail: Your responses were wonderful. Good response, keep it up!

  26. Vajra

    @Bin Ismail

    Very well said. Thanks for rebutting this oaf with such patience and forebearance and lucidity.

  27. I agree with Bin Ismail, well said!

  28. Sher Zaman

    @ Vajra: I guess what I wrote meant the same. Anything that can help curb this global issue must be shared with all the stakeholders.

  29. Can I just ask everyone to hold on a bit?

    How can Faisal Shahzad be condemned unheard, simply on the say-so of an organisation – the FBI – which is renowned the world over as masters of the sting and the set-up?

    Well, actually, the answer to that question is sadly self-apparent : given the ingredients, namely “attempted terror”, a Pakistani, a recent visit to Pakistan, a one-way flight out, arrest, allegation, some plausible-sounding “facts”, an announcement of a “confession”, and lo & behold, the poor sucker has been set up, picked up, accused, abused and — convicted ! All at one go ! The Press trumpets the verdict and the public swallows it whole.

    And not just the American public : the Paki ruling paleet are falling over each other to offer “cooperation” before anyone has even spoken to the kid.

    Since I have already said enough to be accused of being a nay sayer and a conspiracy theorist, well then, let me put forward a conspiracy theory; let me posit an equally if not more plausible scenario than that served up by the FBI.

    Faisal Shahzad, like millions of Americans, falls on bad times. House, job, family are all in jeopardy. But he has a fallback – Pakistan, where his parents and in-laws would be only too pleased for him to return. So he brings his wife and two children to Karachi and Peshawar, and spends a few months enjoying Mama’s cooking and checking out livelihood opportunities in Pakistan.

    Presumeably satisfied that he can make it here, he returns to the USA to wind up his affairs and re-emigrate to Pakistan. He books himself back on a one-way ticket. Remember, he doesn’t need more than that, so its not as suspicious as the FBI would have everyone believe.

    But he – like thousands of others like him – has been tracked on a routine basis. Suddenly, someone like him is urgently needed as a scapegoat. And for what? The answers lie in Wall Street And Afghanistan ! Only a few days earlier, tens of thousands of Americans had the temerity to demonstrate against The Banks, against Mammon, for God’s sake; and 10,000 miles away, the Afghan War is not going well: US and NATO troops are, literally, terror stricken. Pakistan must rescue them, Pakistan must do more, Pakistan must attack North Waziristan, and Pakistan is not willing to do that.

    So, with an attempted mega-terrorist strike in the heart of NYC, hatred, loathing and the Fear of God are re-introduced into the very souls of the errant public; next time you demonstrate, they are told, that bomb WILL go off !

    And the name of North Waziristan is introduced through the “confession” of Faisal Shahzad (as if you need to go all the way there to learn how to make a dud “bomb” with propane and fireworks, both items those guys just don’t have !) Hillary Clinton then loses no time in issuing obscene and dire threats to Pakistan. Thanks a lot ! With friends like these, who needs enemies?

    And why did the hammer fall on Faisal Shahzad? I think it was the one-way ticket that did it; manufacturing the car sale, the phone number and the other “evidence” is a piece of cake – for the FBI, anyway.

    But surely Faisal is entitled to a trial? Yeah, right! Remember Dr. Aafia? Gimme a break! Give us all a break, ’cause Faisal Shahzad is not going to get one.

  30. globetrotter

    to bin ismail

    Everything has two sides to be looked at. Surely.

    But in case of certain sects and religions the evil side has taken over. So ask what went wrong. May be the very axioms and foundations of this sect or religion are wrong.

  31. AZW

    Rizvan Ali:

    Sure, Faisal Shahzad is probably an innocent person framed by the United States to deflect attention from God knows what. Bloody Americans, they really take the cake for planting all the evidence and pulling one on everyone, yet again.

    Also let’s blame the Jews (or American, or Irish) on 9/11. Let’s blame saffron brigade for Mumbai attacks. Darn Hindus pulled one on us again by planting a so called sole surviving Pakistani with a last name that I have not really heard before.

    Now where is my cup of chai. I was all worried for nothing. Its all good in lala land here.

  32. globetrotter

    bin ismail wrote:

    “Your idea of a viable society is one that comprises excusively of biological fathers who have male progeny of ages “between 16 and 32 or 40″ (whatever that means).”

    I talked of the rebellion of sons against (biological) fathers as a factor – not the exclusive or only one – in shaping society away from tyranny, paternalism, misogyny, machoism, tribalism, opportunism etc.

    Why do muslims have this tendency to bring in some lonely exclusivity everywhere? Is it a result of your monotheistic-exclusivistic-totalitarian world-view of everything-is-in-one-book? Narrowminded-ness plus one-and-only-one-ness plus exclusivity seems to be the fixated way of looking at things for a muslim.

  33. Bin Ismail

    @ globetrotter

    1. “…..Everything has two sides to be looked at. Surely…..But in case of certain sects and religions the evil side has taken over…..”

    Religion does not have sides like a coin. If you deviate and turn away from the spirit of religion you move towards a direction that was never intended. What you denote as the “evil side” is nothing but an expression of negative human potentials. Religion is simply used to justify the negativity.

    2. “…..I talked of the rebellion of sons against (biological) fathers as a factor – not the exclusive or only one – in shaping society away from tyranny, paternalism, misogyny, machoism, tribalism, opportunism etc…..”

    Rationality and morality, both, would require a person to do what is correct and right, regardless of whether it is in conformity or clash with what ancestral ways were.

    3. “…..monotheistic-exclusivistic-totalitarian world-view of everything-is-in-one-book?Narrowminded-ness plus one-and-only-one-ness…..”

    Now that is what I call brevity. A longer word for this short term could have been “bad”.

  34. Bin Ismail

    @ globetrotter

    Erratum: “What you denote [by] the “evil side” is nothing but an expression of negative human potentials.

    Sorry.

  35. globetrotter

    to bin ismail

    Absolutism, finalism, mono-ism etc. lead to fascism. Some religions have it indeed ingrained in them. Their followers proudly proclaim it themselves. And in some cases the religion commands them to use violence and terror to enforce the absolutist-finalist world-view. The opponents are said to be no humans but devils (or sons of devils), to allow them to exist (or assert themselves) itself is regarded as disobedience to the supposedly one and only god. That is what the children of this religion are taught at an early age.

    Just take a look at the age of the god’s-warriors. Some as young as 7 are ready to die killing. Which religion is inspiring that 5 and 7 year olds can be sacrificed, can be sent to die killing? Human sacrifice also in this religion – but accusing others of doing it. why can this religion not control “negative human potentials” after so many centuries of its absolutist totalitarian claims and existence?

    The spirit of this religion is ambiguous – vacillates between intolerance-arrogance and careless-god’s-will supplications. This religion gives ambiguous answers to every crucial question and ends up bringing about more conflicts.

  36. Vajra

    @Bin Ismail

    I am sorry to inform you that this jackass was a nuisance and a pain (in the elbow) in this forum some weeks ago, and was finally banned.

    He has now re-surfaced under a different name, with the same, beaten-to-death stale-as-last-week’s-bread philosophy as before.

    We found that it was an utter waste of time to discuss anything with him; he would bore on in an unstoppable way with no regard to any contrary logic, or evidence, or point of view. Finally, in sheer exasperation at the amount of time that he was wasting, in terms of people trying to explain fundamentals and basics to him, he was banned.

    I have often felt that PTH’s rules, especially with regard to obnoxious intruders who intended no positive addition to the discussions but came merely to obstruct, to deride, to insult and to destroy what they could (pitifully little, in the event), have been too lenient.

    In some cases, Akash and his pseudonym, Prasad, even the infuriating BJP lackey Swapnavasavadatta, I was wrong; they were different enough from the description above not to warrant interference.

    In other cases, Tathagatha Mukherjee, G. Vishvas (this donkey’s other avatar), Ganpat Ram and a few other manifestations of evil, they were rightly banned. Karun is a borderline case; he is a gadfly, and irritates but never has a lasting effect, lacking the intellect to cause any lasting damage.

    I must mention that Ganpat Ram had the ameliorating quality of a sense of humour, and a wicked gift of parody, which he used to puncture several gasbags among us; myself most of all. But the innate illwill and bigotry in his thinking broke through finally.

    Be aware of these poisonous pustules and do not waste time answering them: they are not looking for answers, only for pulpits to preach their dogma, which is unvarying and immutable.

  37. globetrotter

    To vajra

    When you can’t refute someone then you start calling bad abusive names.

    The poisonous pustules are those who help a fascist-imperialist ideology cover up its tracks and camouflage its intents.

    Jackasses and donkeys are harmless in comparison to poisonous snakes fed with milk.

  38. Vajra

    @globetrotter

    Your analogies are as brilliant and as illuminating as they ever were. A tree is larger than a bush; but a flowering bush has more flowers than a tree that has no flowers. Truly transcendental. Does such an intellect need to be described by ‘bad abusive names’ (your point that ‘good abusive names’ are acceptable is duly noted in your favour; when the alienists ask, this will be produced in evidence).

    The problem is not with refuting you. You have been refuted a hundred times. You continue on your dreary thankless way, in total disregard of the rest of the world, rapt in your own vision apparent to no one but yourself. What do you call Bin Ismail’s patient explanations but refutation? Have you even understood what he is saying? It is apparent to everybody but you that you have not a leg to stand on, and all your arguments have been proven hollow. Yet when you fail to see this, when according to you, you have not been refuted, do you wonder that people turn away in contempt and in derision?

    Going back a few weeks, I had spent considerable time and referred to political science references and authorities to try and explain to you the difference between fascism, a political concept, and bigotry, a religious concept. As we saw on that occasion, since it has been drilled into your head that fascism is an attribute of Islam, you are unable to accept any contrary proof, or logic, or evidence. Under these circumstances, who can refute your arguments? Whatever the refutation, to you, there can be no refutation.

    As a matter of fact, this is precisely the difference between beliefs held due to faith, due to a closed system not susceptible to outside influence from outside that system, and beliefs held due to reason, which are constantly being modified by the light of fresh facts and findings as they come to hand. You have a set of beliefs held in faith; there is no point in discussing anything with you, because all your arguments are circular arguments (not that you know what that means). It is always that you have a point of view, a belief stuck in your mind, that anybody agreeing with you (not one person to date, but that of course is not a deterrent, as you have enough anonymous Muslims writing to you, speaking to you, confessing to you that Islam bothers them, scares them and downright terrifies them, to make up the difference) is a logical and reasonable character, and anyone disagreeing with you is clearly not fit to be listened to, as all right-thinking people agree with your arguments! QED. And what a clever little tyke you are, to be sure.

    Has it ever occurred to you that not having a single supporter is a sign of something or the other? Dare I say it? It is not the rest of the world that is lunatic.

    The fact is that your views are not interesting, they are not convincing and they are a huge waste of time. Before you are banned again, why don’t you go away? Do you think by staying until you are turfed out you achieve anything? What is it that you think you have achieved last time, and what is it that you think that you will achieve this time?

    Have you any answers, other than colourful and totally meaningless pieces of homespun wisdom from the vertical ghettoes of Pune?

  39. Prasad

    Globetrotter – I think you are like many of us here who detests Terrorism and its growth worldwide/ impact on your& our daily lives.

    Now it becomes very important to identify perpetrators and then involve in discussions with likeminded citizens/residents of affected area. Now at this instance, Many of us from India indulge in sane, civil discussions with our counterparts who also are LARGELY secular in their viewpoints.

    Now if you blame the whole religion and its practioners, what is the difference between you and kashifiat or for that matter any fundamentalist wanting to have his/her say in this or any other forum?

    Everyone takes stands on individuals. I dont think it is fair to take a view on a WHOLE COMMUNITY. This is very divisive in nature and you need to only concentrate on issues/ not some utterly biased views about a community

    We need to be critical of Deoband for their crazy fatwa released yesterday, Somebody who took a stand ‘Women can work but wear burqua all the time’ on this topic in NDTV website, Take a stand on Pravin togadia for his rubbish. However very unfair in developing hatred for a community just on the basis of your wild imagination

    I think Vajra made sensible points. Just that you need to go through them with patience

  40. Vajra

    @globetrotter

    I am glad that you answered in some detail, compared to your usual practice, and not in the woolly cloudy terms that you use otherwise. This comment of yours also goes wool-gathering, but there is some blessed tangibility at least at places; how nice.

    First, correct yourself of the impression that I am writing from Karachi. Since you identified yourself much earlier as a Punekar, we all know where you are perched. Similarly, all who have seen me enter this forum and have read my comments over the last year or so know where I hail from, and it is not Karachi.

    This is to illustrate that the moment you try your hand at concretising any part of your deliberations, you fail.

    You fail also in the very next thing you have said. There is no cleverness in the definitions that I have provided, only precision. Only vague and woolly jackasses – to avoid doubt or confusion, I have you in mind – would make such a mess of these categories, because their mental processes do not distinguish between categories from different disciplines. The terms of political science cannot be universally applied to religious matters, any more than religious terms can be applied to politics, except by journalists who need to do whatever they can to make a striking impression on their readership – anything to sell their papers. Outside that breed, and outside hapless, uninformed and obviously uneducated bloggers – like you – these errors are fortunately rare.

    Do yourself a favour; consult a reference and see for yourself that fascism is a specific, twentieth century movement, which had a beginning in specific socio-political conditions. There are those who in a bygone age were described as ‘the wisest fool in Christendom’, and such fakes have taken to slubbering these categories together in order to sell hastily written books of pseudo-academic nature. Unfortunately, the fall-out of this is that impressionable and weak minds – like yours – fall prey to these false categories.

    Although, like Goldsmith’s village schoolmaster, whom I wrong grievously in making this comparison, you have the capacity to argue even when all your arguments are lost, the fact remains, and will remain in spite of your efforts to create novel classes and definitions, that politics and religion are separate.

    You mention that the Makkan religion – it is not clear why the name Islam scares or repels you, considering its meaning and import – does not separate religion, ideology or politics. For your information, since you are obviously the kind of dunce that has not the slightest exposure to the formal study of religion, every significant religion makes an identical claim. Many of those now no longer practised, the pagan religions of Greece and Rome, made similar claims in their time. It is only, if I could remind you of a painful truth, that you have a hammer and everything seems like a nail; so you have a fixed idea about Islam, and therefore everything is distorted to support your idea. Totalitarianism also is a category that is used for a particular kind of policy of governance, not of a religion; there are no totalitarian religions, since the term applies to a state, and a religion has to do with a deity, not with a state. If you had the slightest idea of the basics of Islam, you would have known that only some schools of thought consider that religion, politics and culture (which you never have mentioned, a telling comment on your mental landscape) are united at any level. There are other, very major schools which disagree and which practise their disagreement. Those reading me who are themselves votaries of Islam will understand very clearly what and whom I am referring to. You need not; it is information lost on you, since you have displayed beyond any doubt that you are incapable of absorbing any new thought which had not taken firm root in your mind decades ago.

    You talked about buying slim dictionaries of abuse for use in forming arguments. That may be your practice; in my case, dealing with bad eggs like you, depicting your folly and ignorance is easy, as the examples are readily at hand, in each and every one of your ghastly errors that you inflict on others, in spite of being told repeatedly that you are making a fool of yourself. This comment of yours is typical; it is not evident to you that your excresences are sufficient ammunition to use against you, you cast around for an artificial prop that those who abominate your comments need to use. There is no need for such props, I repeat; reading your rubbish is motivation enough, inspiration enough, if that word inspiration can be soiled by association with you, however remotely.

    For the refutation of the next piece of effrontery on your part, it is sadly necessary to quote, since otherwise other people reading it may not believe that such egregious errors can be made:

    If the god-concept or politics concept and methodology of a religion are fascistic then the religion too is going to be fascistic sooner or later. And from fascism you cannot backtrack, except after a phase of quasi-total destruction. That is where the whole is headed for.

    You dunderhead.

    Once again, I repeat: fascism is very, very specific and very precisely defined. No god-concept or religious methodology can be fascistic, except in the loose usage of journalists. And do not quote me the babble of instant, ghost-written best-sellers, or wherever else you have got your instant, disposable wisdom.

    There cannot be a fascistic religion, only fascist political views or practices; and your understanding that from fascism you cannot backtrack except after a phase of quasi-total destruction is garbage on par with the rest of your knowledge and understanding.

    For the matter of your misuse and abuse of grammar, I claim no victory; it would be ignominious to claim victory over creatures like you. If you are under the impression that you write well or to a standard, it is clear that you have not read what others have written. Even among bigots, there are differences, and I have no hesitation in informing you that you are among the most debased, the most pedestrian of the nuisances that have afflicted us.

    The rest, your final three paragraphs, are increasingly depressing.

    To take up your denial of having found fascism as unique in Islam, you say that you have examined the fascist content of every religion and your finding is that Islam is at present the most fascistic. This begs the question: it is not at all a fact that this term can be applied to religion or religious matters, and all your attempts at establishing this by ceaseless repetition will not succeed in creating a category that does not exist.

    Even otherwise, your arguments sadly lack conviction; do you not yourself see the gaps? If you have compared different religions on their fascist content, nobody has seen any evidence. Such a study would be monumental, if it were possible; as I have tried to explain unsuccessfully, it is not possible. Suppose it were; such a comparative study is a lifetime’s task, not the bigoted views of a common hack with a single idea which has overwhelmed his sense of discrimination and his common sense alike.

    Let me try to explain what is wrong with your stance, for the delectation of others, since your senses are either numbed or sealed with wax and impervious to any outside influence. If you had genuinely and truly sought to make an examination of different religions, you would not have glossed over the other semitic religions which are so close to Islam. Your statement that you have examined them is an obvious and ridiculous lie, since even a cursory examination would reveal one of two facts: that these other semitic religions are so close to Islam that apostrophising one amounts to apostrophising the others in identical fashion; alternatively, there are sects and factions within each of these, which do not allow such a uniform charge to be levelled against any or all. I leave aside for the moment for the consideration of the examining logic the question of fascism and fascistic signs, of which you have evidently not a clue.

    A gem follows, an old friend from the realm of schoolboy debates, one that I thought had buried itself in ignominy long since. I am referring to your tu quoque argument. This is a last, despairing tactic of those whose main arguments have failed, and who therefore resort to saying, like schoolchildren in a schoolyard dispute, “…and that goes for you too!” It is commonly understood even among these pre-teen children that this is a sign of defeat in argument, and that fisticuffs are to follow. Why am I not surprised to find you resorting to this weak reed?

    As for your peroration, there is less value in it than is usual even for you. There is absolutely no point in even looking at that mishmash of self-important summarising of recent history which springs full-blown from your mental faculties (you will readily appreciate my difficulty in calling these a brain).

    Is it too much to beg you to return to whichever dull occupation passes your time, and to leave alone to those better read and equipped difficult subjects like history, comparative religion, political science, current affairs and the writing of English prose?

  41. Vajra

    @globetrotter

    Ah! Praise from the master of slander and propaganda! What a thrill!

    Of course, in your usual stupid inability to cope, you have not sought to defend yourself besides your inane comment about photons and electrons.

    Objective conditions in society are not the same as natural phenomena; half-educated technicians of your sort, with no grounding in the humanities typically make mistakes of this stupid nature. Fascism did not exist in past society, because the political conditions that led to it were not present.

    Please, before putting finger to keyboard, do everybody a favour and do at least some basic research on fascism. At least once; that is all that is necessary for you to realise what a fool you have been. Even for a thick-skulled ignoramus, that should be enough.

    You will find, no doubt to your surprise, that neither ideologies nor religions – at least you have finally got this separation right! What relief! – fulfilled the conditions of fascism. If you knew in the first place what these conditions were, if you had spent any time in intelligent understanding and a sharing of ideas, apart from your bull-sessions with your cronies where you are master of all that you survey, you would realise this very quickly.

    Since you have a memory only for your own ideas, no doubt because they come from your mind so complete and so fresh and perfect, let me remind you that right at the beginning, when you logged in under your rightful name, I had politely pointed out your mistakes. Your problem is that you cannot listen, largely because you do not want to listen. Your mind (with apologies to those who might wonder at this description) being made up, there is no room for any discussion, any alternative point of view.

    So we have had, in boring and unrelenting identity of statement, since arguments they are not, just the one theme: Islam is fascist, Muslims are unwilling victims of this fascism, the originators are Arabs from Makka, the people of the sub-continent who adopted it are secretly desperate to throw it off, they are all trapped in this fascist machinery because of the brutality with which ex-Muslims are treated.

    Have you anything to add? If not, could you please just state,”The usual, please” and stop just there? Imagine the amount of time that would be saved. Imagine the dozens of unwary young people who would not be distracted to tears by your pedestrian, dull and boring explanations. Imagine the number of sixty-year students of history who would not be driven to the brink of insanity by contemplation of your gormless maunderings.

    In short, go away, since you have nothing more to say.

  42. Vajra

    @Prasad

    Your Hindutvavadi friend is not only a fool, he is a liar.

    Consider his statement to you:

    I have never condemned muslims, certainly not as a whole community – I have always talked of islam and its defects and deficiencies, its absolutism, finalism and resulting totalitarianism. I regard muslims as the first victims of islam – and also its agents (users) and instruments (misused by their muslim leaders).

    Now see what he writes to Bin Ismail:

    Why do muslims have this tendency to bring in some lonely exclusivity everywhere? Is it a result of your monotheistic-exclusivistic-totalitarian world-view of everything-is-in-one-book? Narrowminded-ness plus one-and-only-one-ness plus exclusivity seems to be the fixated way of looking at things for a muslim.

    He clearly believes that every Muslim thinks in the identical stereotyped fashion; so much for his demurring from the thought that he might be anti-Muslim, and opposed without logical application of mind(!) to the entire community.

    If this were possible or true, we would have a community of intellectual clones, and not the turbulent, vigorous debates that go on within that community on matters of religion. While being actively opposed to organised and structured religious systems personally, it is not long before one is struck by the diversity and fiercely opposed opinions on display within this supposed monolithic, ‘totalitarian’ community, to use one more of the terms abused by our wandering scholar, our pedant at large.

    His entire approach is based on bad-mouthing a single religion, which he understands as little as he understands history or political science or literature. My guess is – and don’t feel hurt at this personally; when I speak to someone claiming a corporate background and living in BTM Layout, I may be coming close to the bone – he is one more of those half-educated technicians with a surplus income and a keyboard at his disposal, and two-and-a-half prejudices rattling around an otherwise empty head, who have proliferated in India over the last twenty years.

    Unfortunately, the French got it wrong: ‘tout comprendre’ is not the first step to ‘tout pardonner’. Not in these extreme cases.

  43. Prasad

    Vajra:

    //My guess is – and don’t feel hurt at this personally; when I speak to someone claiming a corporate background and living in BTM Layout, I may be coming close to the bone – he is one more of those half-educated technicians with a surplus income and a keyboard at his disposal, and two-and-a-half prejudices rattling around an otherwise empty head, who have proliferated in India over the last twenty year//

    Well LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG paragraphs from your MIGHTY BRAIN dont make you a BOOKER AWARD winner. You Dud living off Malleshwaram , perenially engrossed in very long paragraphs which neither has a start NOR AN END. Why dont you finish what you intend to say in 2 or max 3 lines.

    You have only 2 USP’s – PERPETUAL APOLOGIES to folks in PTH and secondly VERY LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……( well it never seems to end. But you know what I mean)

    COMPLETELY RUDDERLESS and stupid.

  44. Vajra

    @Prasad

    ROTFL

    Short reply follows.

    Seems to have got home somewhere real sensitive. Is this short enough for you?

  45. Prasad

    Vajra: Now this is your true color. Why write all gyan – Are you Nityananda masquerading as Vajra here? why dont you do tapasya instead

  46. Vajra

    @Prasad

    Back to the topic: it was about techies not having the equipment to deal with these complexities. Believe it or not, it was not meant to hurt. It is a fact.

    Comment?

    BTW, about the gyan: which part of it do you disagree with? Or are you generally against gyan?

  47. Prasad

    Vajra: I definitely appreciate all your gyan. Especially those simple ones which you dole out ( albeit once in a blue moon)

  48. Prasad

    like this gem : //it was about techies not having the equipment to deal with these complexities. Believe it or not, it was not meant to hurt. It is a fact//

    Obviously your stand is accepted. We are trained to deal with complexities in as simple manner as possible. You know in our Engineering we are trained in 64 subjects in 4 years. Now If we are not precise,upto the point, focus on what we intend to specialise on and instead deviate in All possible directions, we can never clear our engineering. Now this was not gyan for you. It is just a real feedback ( no pun intended)

    Now how on Earth will I be able to convince you to keep it simple and brief?

  49. Vajra

    @Prasad

    For you, speshul, it will be simple. Only pointers and terse, block-structured languages. My background is COBOL and BASIC.

  50. Prasad

    Vajra: This is interesting. Welcome to our speshul space. I always thought you are a scientist somewhere in malleshwaram working on language project with aliens. Somewhere in between enter PTH and confuse the hell out of all with your project work

  51. Vajra

    @Prasad

    OF COURSE I am working on a language project with aliens. Don’t I correspond with things like ‘globetrotter’?

    And it confuses only those who need every line to end with a full stop.😀

  52. Prasad

    Vajra: Good one. I’d like to put a ‘full stop’ here since I am convinced you got the message. Happy blogging

  53. globetrotter

    to vajra

    let me know your criteria of fascism.

    why are ideologies or religions not (or cannot be)fascistic?

    May be be I should always write “some muslims” instead of “muslims”. After that the ball is in your court, because coming up with such petty arguments, as you do, does not refute the main thesis.

  54. Vajra

    @globetrotter

    Be happy to respond. What took you so long?

    BTW, just to clarify, ideologies can be fascistic, religions cannot, when defined precisely. More later.

    And I also agree that saying ‘some Muslims’ would make the whole matter rather different, assuming of course that the phrase should fully be ‘some Muslims, as well as some from other religions, especially semitic religions such as Christianity and Judaism, but not confined to those’.

    Please consider this following with some attention, I beg.

    What I am saying is that the full scope of the argument (in my opinion; this is not possible nor appropriate to limit by definition, unlike the meaning of totalitarian, ideology and fascism) in this phrasing acknowledges the overbearing and authoritarian (not totalitarian) nature of religion in general.

    I also agree that with some consensus on these basic meanings and definitions, it is undesirable, even illegal to dismiss your further statements out of hand. Although I disagree strongly, on various grounds, if articulated logically, they will demand attention.

    In keeping with my new avatar, and in obedience to the dictates of the concentration camp commandant, Commandant Prasad, I will try to keep it short. Would you mind giving me time till tomorrow? I am just about to leave to undergo some procedures which will keep me from activity for an evening or so.

  55. globetrotter

    to vajra

    Muslims themselves say that islam is no religion. They call it “din” and wish to tell us that it means a complete system of everything.

    So the totalitarian thing is from them. So also the absolutism and finalism (which is inherent in the kuran itself).

    As regards fascism – we need common criteria of judgement of what is fascism.

  56. Bin Ismail

    @ globetrotter (May 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm)

    1. “…..Muslims themselves say that islam is no religion. They call it “din” and wish to tell us that it means a complete system of everything…..”

    A simple English translation for the Arabic word “deen” would be “religion”. A simple Arabic rendering of the English word “religion” would be “deen”. Therefore, since Islam is a deen, it naturally follows that it is a religion. Islam’s completeness lies in the fact that it offers guidance towards the right attitude needed for every possible situation one may confront. This does not at all mean to suggest that there would be, say, a verse in the Quran regarding how to respond to which traffic signal. However there is a general commandment that “obey the government”.

    2. “…..So the totalitarian thing is from them. So also the absolutism and finalism (which is inherent in the kuran itself)…..”

    How can a book that says, “Whoever chooses to beleive let him believe and whoever choose to disbelieve let him disbelieve” (Quran 18:29), be totalitarian? It appears, you’re not very clear about the semantics, in this case.

    Regarding absolutism, please bear in mind that in the most absolute sense, God alone is absolute, and should be. So, yes indeed, Allah is absolutely absolute with respect to the perfection of His attributes. But so is Ishwar, Ahura Mazda and Yahweh. This also should be so, because He is the same Being Who manifested Himself, at different points in time, at different places, to different people.

  57. globetrotter

    to bin ismail

    Absolutism and finalism are in themselves not evil, every truth-claim is like that – it is only after attempt is made to make a missionary zeal out of it and spread hate, anger and even violence against those who do not bow down in front of this absolutism and finalism (that is fascism at work) that it becomes evil. And here islam is clearly a big long-time culprit. And I see no chance that islam ceases to practise this fascism.

    Let believer believe and disbliever disbelieve – that tolerance is not possible in reality in the islamic framework. Islam means submission – any tolerance that islam shows to others is tactical and temporary only. The long-term goal of islam is the total submission under an arabic god-concept by ALL and SUNDRY. Islam’s tolerance has never been and will never be geuine and trustworthy. There are other sentences in the kuran which de facto push aside or push out the tolerant sentences.

    A god who demands submission sets the scene for fascism. This is an analytic truth. The very word islam means submission and islamic allah says in the kuran that islam is the religion for mankind. “Today I have perfected this islam for you” or some such thing. (You can find the exact quote somehow).

    A god who encourages rationality and honesty and not submissivity is what we need. Submissivity breeds fascists.

  58. Bin Ismail

    @ globetrotter (May 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm)

    “…..And I see no chance that islam ceases to practise this fascism…..”

    And I see that you do not wish to see.

  59. Vajra

    @globetrotter

    A god who demands submission sets the scene for fascism.

    I thought, from the absence of the F word in your posts earlier today, that you had suspended judgement on the betise committed, of conflating the religion Islam and the political ideology Fascism. I have been working hard to put together the note that we discussed I should prepare, and have had to split it into sections, to avoid getting the whole thing far too big for any reasonable reading. The first section, on definitions, is ready. The others will be ready tomorrow, Saturday, I hope; worst case Sunday.

    I am disappointed that you have reverted to these slapdash habits without waiting to go through the material prepared so laboriously.

  60. Vajra

    @globetrotter

    As regards fascism – we need common criteria of judgement of what is fascism.

    I imagine that respectable academic judgement should do, in the absence of equally respectable academic judgement stating the contrary. I do hope that your caveat above is not a device to propose some eccentric individual formula for deciding what criteria of judgement are admissible.

  61. globetrotter

    to vajra

    When Einstein published (1905) his formula E=mc(sqared) it was denounced first as crank and 30 years later as a jewish conspiracy.

    I will send you my “eccentric individual formula” about how to recognize the fascism content of a religion or ideology. Don’t denounce it as a hindu brahminic conspiracy but just study it.

    I have made some general(ized) statements. But I did not mention islam in this context. Do let me know what you have produced through the sweat of your eyebrow and I will respectfully study it. But do keep it short. That there are exceptions to everything that we say in this field is understood – I won’t pester you about them. So keep it short. I too have a short version of my f-criteria.

    To bin ismail I can only say that islam has proved to be so disappointing – especially in view of the extra-large claims that it makes even today.

  62. Vajra

    @globetrotter

    You are priceless. Come forward with your voodoo political science. It is time we all had our brains expanded.

    And just for the record, neither eyebrow of mine sweated to produce the exposition on Fascism that is ready and waiting; it is a compilation of the work of recognised authorities, not of a kook brewing up things in his own unbalanced mind.

  63. Bin Ismail

    @ globetrotter (May 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm)

    “…..How does islam treat or intend to treat ex-muslims – this for example is a crucial criterion for deciding whether islam is a fascist ideology or not. Even Mohammad sent a muslim army to terrorize a tribe (probably in Yemen) back into islam after this tribe had left islam…..”

    ” Those who believe and then disbelieve, then again believe and then again disbelieve, and then advance in disbelief, Allah will not grant them forgiveness nor will He guide them to the Path ” (4:137).

    The treatment that will be extended to an apostate, guilty not only of apostasy, but repeated apostasy, is in nature spiritual – not corporal. The punishment for repeated apostasy is that “Allah will not grant them forgiveness nor will He guide them to the Path “. It is more than evident that this punishment is neither corporal nor can it be delivered through humans.

    The contingent that was dispatched against an uprising was not because of apostasy, it was because the rebellion was military in nature and against the established state.

  64. Bin Ismail

    @ globetrotter (May 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm)

    1. “….. If the believer becomes disbeliever then it is allah’s deficiency…..”

    Whether the believer becomes a disbeliever on account of a change in perception, an acquired misconception or any other reason, the deficiency is essentially man’s own. Any latterly acquired pathology would be classified as the individual’s own deficiency or handicap, not God’s. Also, we must remember that God’s punishment is not a tit-for-tat phenomenon. It’s more like a remedy-for-an-ailment thing.

    2. “…..This differentiation between spiritual and corporal needs explanation – all previous attempts to explain it have proved to be soggy and foggy…..”

    A corporal punishment would refer to a punishment that is physical in nature and executed by the agency of human judgement. A spiritual punishment would refer to a chastisement that is not felt by the body, but inflicted upon the soul, whether in this life or the next. A spiritual punishment is given not by man – not even through man – but directly by God. The worst form of spiritual chastisement is that God distances Himself from man, again not physically, but rather along spiritual dimensions.

    3. “….. The terror that this punishment (be it spiritual or corporal) generates in human minds implies that humans do not really believe or attain knowledge but merely submit and prefer not to raise doubts in order to avoid further terror…..”

    When you read a sign saying “Warning 1000 Volts” or “Fragile. Handle with care”, the purpose is not to generate terror, but to ensure security.

    4. “….. Does islam punish (be it spiritually or post-mortem) the honest, the questioners, the doubters?…..”

    Whether a state stems from honesty or nor, is for God to judge, and God alone. That is why He alone is the “Maalik-i yaumid deen” (Quran 1:4), meaning Master of the Day of Judgement. He alone is qualified to be the Master of Judgement because He alone is truly aware of the state of the human heart and mind. He alone knows how honest or dishonest a person has been. He alone knows what genuine shortcomings befell a certain person and what advantages were available to another. He alone knows the most concealed of intentions. Incidentally, there is a saying of the Holy Prophet: “innamal aamaalu bin niyyaat” meaning ‘actions will be judged by the preceding intentions’ (Bukhari). And no one but the “Aalimul ghaib” or Knower of the unseen can judge intentions.

  65. Nusrat Pasha

    @ Bin Ismail

    Your replies to globetrotter are, by any standards, sufficient and convincing. Indeed, if globetrotter’s queries were genuine, they now stand more than answered.

  66. aurora

    To Nusrat

    Declaring one’s own victory like Bush jr. did?

  67. Nusrat Pasha

    @ aurora (May 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm)

    I wouldn’t say so. Appreciating better logic is more like it.

  68. aurora

    to nusrat

    Who is to judge? Is there a neutral judge around? If not, why this conceit?

  69. Nusrat Pasha

    @ aurora (May 17, 2010 at 8:48 pm)

    Please remember that this is a discussion – not a lawsuit. Each participant is independent in his/her judgement.

  70. @G. Vishvas

    …..I will give you my criteria of fascism.

    The fascism content of an ideology or religion can be judged by the following 9 criteria:

    1,2,3,) Treatment given to ex-members, never-members, women
    4,5,6,) Control over education, media. entertainment
    7,8,9,) Control over judiciary, faith, families (esp. women)

    What have these to do with fascism? Are you clear about the difference between various other authoritarian political ideologies and fascism? Are you aware in the first place that there is a difference? Every one of these criteria (you had proposed these before on PTH, to general derision, and then again on danielpipes.org) fits into an authoritarian envelope, there is nothing about them that specially defines them as fascist? Why are you flogging a dead horse?

  71. @G. Vishvas

    For that matter, are you at all aware of the fact that a fascist system is against religion, and that therefore a ‘fascist religion’ is an oxymoron?

  72. Bin Ismail

    @ globetrotter / aurora

    The manner in which you tend to misapply terms such as “fascism”, “religion” etc, reminds me of this Chinese sage who lived long ago, and knew everything about everything, except two things – the apple and the elephant – about which he was absolutely ignorant. One day an elephant came strolling by. A disciple inquired, “What is this, wise one? The sage, after some deep reflection replied, “It is either an apple or an elephant”.