Daily Archives: May 11, 2010

Faisal Shahzad’s Radicalisation

VIEW: Faisal Shahzad’s radicalisation —Yasser Latif Hamdani (Courtesy Daily Times)

The Islamic organisations on American campuses are even more hardcore than what we have heard of the cancer of IJT, which is plaguing Pakistani campuses

Faisal Shahzad’s arrest has brought renewed focus on our already much maligned country. Commentators with only a rudimentary knowledge of Pakistan and its history have been speculating that perhaps Pakistan’s status as a nation founded on Islam is the root cause, conveniently forgetting that Pakistan was never founded on any Pan-Islamic ideals or theocratic millennialism (as in the case of Israel) but was a result of a breakdown on constitution-making between two representative parties in British India. It is also forgotten that the founding father of Pakistan, Mr Jinnah, was a secular-minded lawyer who had explicitly ruled out Pan-Islamism or Islamism of any kind as the basis of Pakistan. But let us not inconvenience geniuses like Mr Dhume of the Wall Street Journal with boring and inconvenient historical facts.

A much more plausible explanation has to do with the transformation during General Zia’s rule in Pakistan in the 1980s when Pakistan was the most allied ally of the US in the war against the Soviets. He not only Islamised the state in a very fundamental way but also helped arm illiterate and uneducated tribes in the northwest. In this it may well be said that Pakistan’s FATA regions have become hotbeds of militant activity, not necessarily always ideological mind you. This is a problem that Pakistan must urgently deal with as well as undoing the Islamisation put into process by the US’s favourite General Zia for his own sinister objectives. Continue reading

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