- New report examines terrorism and religious extremism in Pakistan
- The Gen-X connection with Pakistan's extremism
- France calls for military action in Syria
New report examines terrorism and religious extremism in Pakistan
A new report charts terrorism and religious extremism in Pakistan and finds that, overwhelmingly, the worst offenses are Muslims attacking Muslims. The report was prepared by the Jinnah Institute, a non-government organization (NGO) named after Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
By far the greatest number of casualties identified by the report -- 92.6% -- occurred because of sectarian extremism, most often Sunni-Shia clashes. This will not be a surprise to any long-time readers of my web site, as I've reported many stories of al-Qaeda or Taliban linked Sunni extremists blowing up Shia, Sufi or Ahmadi pilgrims and mosques, with the objective of killing as many of the "apostates" as possible. There was very little violence attacking Christians.
The report concludes with worrying developments:
Three developments are most worrying for Pakistan. First, the widespread acceptance of Al Qaeda’s anti-West stance has permeated large swathes of the population. Second, the US policy of targeting Al Qaeda and its affiliates through drone strikes has forced its leaders to spread out and find new operational bases with- in urban Pakistan. Karachi, for instance, has been cited as a major ground for the continuation of its operations, in addition to Faisalabad, Lahore and other areas. Third and most dangerously, in the past decade, Al Qaeda may have entered into an alliance with home-grown militants such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and sectarian outfits such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Jaish-e Mohammad.
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Pakistan and India are headed for a major new war, re-fighting the genocidal war that followed Partition, the 1947 partitioning of the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan. Historically, dating back almost to the time of Mohammed, Hindus have been allied with Shia Muslims against Sunni Muslims, and so it's expected that Iran will be allied with India and the Shia Muslims in Pakistan and in northern Afghanistan, while Pakistan's Sunni Muslims will be allied with the Pashtuns in Afghanistan. Jinnah Institute
The Gen-X connection with Pakistan's extremism
The historical patterns identified by Generational Dynamics are universal, and apply to all nations at all times in history. So I was startled to read the analysis of Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws in the Jinnah Institute report.
According to the report, the Blasphemy Laws were introduced in 1927 by the British. But in 1986, General Zia-ul-Haq modified the laws to specify harsh punishment, including life imprisonment and the death sentence, for "derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet ... either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly ...." Thousands of people have been charged with blasphemy since 1986. There was an initial surge against Christians and Ahmadis, but the vast majority have been charges made by Muslims against other Muslims. However, instances where Muslims have burned a cross, demolished or damaged churches, desecrated graves or defiled the Bible in front of witnesses, have gone unprosecuted by police and legislators.
Muslims have been kept in jail for years for violating blasphemy laws, and a number of people accused of blasphemy have been killed by vigilantes. What's remarkable is that there are no voices in Pakistan speaking out against this irrational, violent behavior.
With the exception of the English print media, mainstream media in Pakistan has not engaged in meaningful debate on the validity of the Blasphemy Laws under the Quran and Islamic teachings. It has largely failed to analyze and present to the public the details of the law, including potential for misuse and abuse. It has underreported, and reflected a bias when reporting cases of persecution of religious minorities. ...
The volatility of the blasphemy issue and the media’s implicit condoning of extremist ideologies and actions have led to a largely one-sided public discourse. The violent tactics used with impunity by the religious right and the subsequent cowering of the state have proliferated an atmosphere of fear and silenced dissenters. The silence can also be partly attributed to widespread ignorance of the law and the extent of its basis in Islamic scripture. Online forums indicate that some people are reluctant to object to Blasphemy Laws because their own religious sensibilities are offended by the act of blasphemy, so even when undecided about the validity or suitability of the laws, they tend not to challenge them. Thus the public discourse seems to focus on how the act of blasphemy is wrong, as opposed to a conversation on what constitutes blasphemy; what examples of blasphemy and its punishment exist in Islamic texts; the actual laws in the PPC and their misuse; and murder and vigilantism support for which negates the necessity of the law in the first place.
In other words, we have people being jailed, tortured and killed for irrational reasons, with ordinary Pakistanis refusing to speak out against it.
This is exactly the kind of behavior that I've been describing in Generation-Xers in America, where thousands of Gen-X financial engineers created the financial crisis with the purpose of defrauding hated Boomers, and no banksters are being investigated and tried because Gen-Xers refuse to blame other Gen-Xers for anything, even serious crimes. It's this refusal to blame other Gen-Xers for crimes that characterizes this generation today, and it's exactly the same kind behavior we're seeing in the Pakistani population today.
As I explained in "The Legacy of World War I and the Holocaust", this is also the same behavior that led to the 1930s Holocaust. Germany's Lost Generation (the generational predecessor of today's Generation-X) hated the previous Missionary Generation just as much as today's Gen-Xers hate the previous Boomer Generation.
These situations occur in all times and places throughout history, and result in history's greatest catastrophes. In each case, the generational conflict morphs into a political conflict, as people in every generation are forced to choose sides in the generational debate. In 1930s Germany, it was the Christians blaming the Jews for German humiliation in World War I. In America today, it's the Democrats versus the Republicans for the Nasdaq crash in 2000.
What I don't yet know is how it worked in Pakistan. What I can say for sure is that the generation that grew up following the 1947 Partition war is hated by the generation that grew up in the 1960s and 1970s in Pakistan, but I don't know why, and I don't know why this has morphed into a political split making it OK to arrest, torture and kill any Muslim who accidentally says something wrong about the prophet Mohammed. These are subjects that will require additional research.
France calls for military action in Syria
As the farcical Kofi Annan "peace plan" continues to be used by Syria's president Bashar al-Assad as a shield to allow him to exterminate as many innocent Arabs as possible, as if they were cockroaches, France is raising the possibility of military intervention. France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said on Wednesday that the Annan peace plan was "severely compromised," and that France might invoke Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which can be enforced militarily, with other world powers. In making this statement, Juppé is moving toward the U.S. position previously suggested by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. However, any such resolution presented to the U.N. Security Council is certain to be vetoed by China and Russia. China will veto it because they want to continue to have a free hand in slaughtering Tibetans and Uighurs. And Russia will veto it because Syria's situation gains them a naval port in the Mediterranean, and it makes them a lot of money selling weapons to the Syrian regime for use in massacring civilians. AP