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
By Kashan Wali, exclusive to the PTH
As the United States economy took off for most of the 1990s, the new found wealth across the world was staring at the best of both worlds; high economic output due to technological advances, cheaper labour entrance into the global economy from India and China, entrance of Eastern Europe and Latin America in the democratic capitalist system, all combined with a lower inflation. What could go wrong?
In some ways, the situation was similar to the roaring 1920s of the United States. 90 years ago, the US economy was expanding rapidly. New technological advances in automobile and telephone technology were erasing geographical distances within and outside of the United States. Rising productivity was increasing wealth and the signs of prosperity were evident in the stock market and the housing market.
The stock markets in the United States took off for most of the 1990s. Most of the rise was understandable; internet was revolutionising the distribution of knowledge. And modern economy is a knowledge based economy, not the traditional manufacturing based economy of the 20th century. Technology is a self perpetuating phenomenon. It builds on a wider base and increases exponentially. The equity market future expectations of higher revenue in the future due to higher revenues and profits down the road were probably justified.
Unlike third rate commentators such as Fareed Zakaria and Sassanad Dhume – inspired more by their national bias (both are fanatically anti-Pakistan Indian ultra-nationalists) to pin Pakistan down than any real objective analysis- Fouad Ajami is a true academic. His article in the Wall Street Journal hits the nail on the head. Americans are well advised to read Ajami’s analysis carefuly and realize that the problem facing Pakistanis and Americans is the same. However even Mr. Ajami hasn’t made the real connection i.e. connection with Islamic extremist organizations operating on US Campuses. -YLH
By Fouad Ajami (Courtesy Wall Street Journal)
‘A Muslim has no nationality except his belief,” the intellectual godfather of the Islamists, Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, wrote decades ago. Qutb’s “children” are everywhere now; they carry the nationalities of foreign lands and plot against them. The Pakistani born Faisal Shahzad is a devotee of Sayyid Qutb’s doctrine, and Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, was another.
Qutb was executed by the secular dictatorship of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1966. But his thoughts and legacy endure. Globalization, the shaking up of continents, the ease of travel, and the doors for immigration flung wide open by Western liberal societies have given Qutb’s worldview greater power and relevance. What can we make of a young man like Shahzad working for Elizabeth Arden, receiving that all-American degree, the MBA, jogging in the evening in Bridgeport, then plotting mass mayhem in Times Square?
The Islamists are now within the gates. They fled the fires and the failures of the Islamic world but brought the ruin with them. They mock national borders and identities. A parliamentary report issued by Britain’s House of Commons on the London Underground bombings of July 7, 2005 lays bare this menace and the challenge it poses to a system of open borders and modern citizenship. Continue reading