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Pakistan’s Deep State – After OBL

By AA Khalid

America Gets Closure

The Deep State in Pakistan received a shock and a major blow with the death of Bin Laden. Under the noses of the Army and Intelligence services the world’s most wanted man resided in idyllic tranquillity, whilst the streets of Iraq and Afghanistan burnt at the hands of an angry and wounded United States. The US constructed its foreign policy based on anger after 9/11, but it should have heeded the words of Benjamin Franklin, that, ‘‘Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame’’. Iraq and Afghanistan will end in shame; America gave up on its own values of liberty and freedom to pursue senseless wars, corrupting its very soul in front of the world’s eyes.

But with the death of the man who can only be described as evil incarnate, will America finally get ‘’closure’’? The wars it seemed was a brutish reaction by the American state and it seems now that the only way America could over get over its obsession with Islam and stop being transfixed on dangerous neo-con visions of ‘’nation building’’ was through the death of Bin Laden.

Bin Laden is gone – now perhaps finally Americans can take a rational look at their foreign policy and being to disengage with the Muslim World so it can tackle real issues that we face as global citizens in the 21st century. Real issues of economic justice, political justice, climate change, political reform, and applying science to solve the world’s problems of energy – these are the problems people all over the world are facing. Indeed, solving these problems will relieve terrorists like Bin Laden of the oxygen that sustains their nihilistic ideology. The US should finally have the moral courage to be a fair arbiter in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it should finally have the moral courage to question the brutal acts of Arab monarchs which it supports and funds with billions of dollars worth of arms. It should revise its policy on drone attacks which only fan the dangerous flames of extremism in Pakistan. America should stop supporting dictators in the Arab World and finally practice democracy in partnership with Arabs rather than simply preaching about it. America should finally have the nerve to be consistent with its own values.

Make no mistake, America needs to change now more than ever and finally confront its hopelessly unjust foreign policy. America has got the cathartic redemption it so desperately desired but now rationality needs to make a comeback in American politics.

Pakistan’s Bleak Future

But what about Pakistan? This marks perhaps the greatest blow to the Deep State in Pakistan. Let’s face it Pakistan is not a normal functioning democracy – it has all the rituals of democracy such as conducting elections but without the spirit and substance. Our political parties are feudal estates owned by families who simply hand the leadership of the party to their sons and daughters. Add to this, the Army which really calls the shots on all the critical policy decisions in Pakistan.

If Zardari’s and the Sharif brothers idea of democracy involves passing power onto their children then I think that sums up the problem of Pakistani ”democracy”.

The idea of a ‘’Deep State’’ is coined and elaborated by Turkish intellectuals who experienced constant army interference in cooperation with a bureaucratic and political elite who kept interfering in civilian politics and kept subverting the democratic process. Gareth Jones describes it eloquently in the Turkish context:

‘’ The “deep state” is made up of elements from the military, security and judicial establishments wedded to a fiercely nationalist, statist ideology who, if need be, are ready to block or even oust a government that does not share their vision.

“They believe they act on behalf of the nation and the state and so may sometimes be willing to ignore the law,” Semih Idiz, a commentator for CNN-Turk and a TDN columnist, told Reuters.

Apply the idea of the ‘’Deep State’’ to Pakistan and the political landscape becomes clearer. It’s not really a democracy; it’s just an exclusive competition for select feudal families who toe the line of the Deep State and the Pakistani Army. Pakistan is a place where the Army has a country not where the country has an Army. The work of Ahmed Rashid and Ayesha Siddiqui, Khaled Ahmed and Ejaz Haider make this abundantly clear.

Why can’t we do the sensible thing and make peace with India? Why can’t we spend a greater percentage of GDP on education? Why can’t we cut our defence spending? Why don’t we even know how many Generals there are in the Pakistani Army? Why can’t we move towards reconciliation with our fellow citizens in Baluchistan and the Northern Areas?

The charade of democracy, where the established parties don’t even hold internal elections is wearing thin now.

It’s funny that Pakistan is a democracy, but the ordinary Pakistani feels so frustrated and so desperate. That’s not right; there is something deeply rotten right at the core of our party system.

The latest failure of the Deep State in Pakistan this time however has made itself an enemy to the world. The whole world now doesn’t trust the Deep State; everyone now is fully aware of the double dealing our military establishment and the continuous subversion it undertakes of the democratic process. Whereas in Turkey, the military had at least a clear cut ideology it consistently enforced (brutally aswell), in Pakistan the military establishment has been more opportunistic. Nowadays, it peddles the theocratic elements in Pakistani politics and aims to quell any real democratic dissent.

Pakistan is an odd nation. It is a country with democratic mechanisms but where democracy fails because of the Deep State; it’s like a bike with no wheels. Pakistan’s establishment has now put the country at grave risk. To international observers, Pakistan is either dishonest or incompetent, and to our domestic nutcases Pakistan has committed the ultimate betrayal, while the ordinary Pakistani just feels this strange mix of humiliation, shock, sadness, happiness (Bin Laden is gone) and bewilderment at the whole affair. In short, Pakistan comes out of this whole sorry affair as a Judas-like figure in the West, while Pakistanis have to ask some deep questions and face brutal retaliation. As ever, normal innocent Pakistani civilians and brave Pakistani soldiers, security personnel and police will pay the price for the establishment’s adventures.

This latest adventure the establishment has taken the country on leads only to destruction. But this latest incident has perhaps delivered a blow to the Deep State internationally and perhaps this will filter through in Pakistan. Time to ask questions and finally confront the demon within.

Real democracy, with intra party elections with a free and fair electoral process and where politicians are not tainted by corruption, feudalism and army collusion is something that Pakistan has never experienced. This latest episode could mark a turning point or watershed moment. It could be the ‘’Eureka’’ moment when Pakistanis realize it’s time for civilian to control the political process and for the soldiers to back to the barracks once and for all.

Without the death of the Deep State all anti-terror measures and reform initiatives will ultimately fail.

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33 Responses to "Pakistan’s Deep State – After OBL"

  1. Prasad India Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Dear AA Khalid,

    Very frank article…You have been extremely frank in nailing your inept Govt and kudos to you….millions of such people raise their rightful voices against an inept Govt which allows Foreign power to fiddle with their affairs!!

    Your concerns on Democratic governance well addressed…however let me highlight certain anomalies…

    You said//The US constructed its foreign policy based on anger after 9/11, but it should have heeded the words of Benjamin Franklin, that, ‘‘Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame’’. Iraq and Afghanistan will end in shame; //

    Your points on Iraq taken with 50% negation…..as we are still not sure what Saddam Hussein would have wreaked…so far so good…but pray tell me why do you think the Taleban rule ought to have been continued??? do you think Karzai would have ever been in a position to rule 30% of his country that he is doing today without the help of USA? I thought it was very myopic of you to have said that US plans on Afghanistan was one sided

    HAD TALEBAN was to rule afghanistan, i am sure, we in India would have had another 10 attacks by screwed up mussalmans brainwashed and angered needlessly for their ummah..Not sure what that means….Hindus in India never cry for Hindus in Nepal, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Guyana , Malaysia and Pakistan!! how could I ever forget

    Now How the hell can any screwup can vouch for the so called ummah and fight MEANINGLESSLY….attacks on our parliament, mumbai were all the fruits of alquaeda, taleban and their offshoots which are being fostered by the state of pakistan

    Lack of education and economy is leading to catastrophe AND NOT USA!!

    DONT BLAME THE USA, ISRAEL AND INDIA FOR ALL THE FOLLIES CAUSED BY YOUR BEARD AND MULLAHISM

  2. [...] And even if D.C. should finally decide Pakistan isn't even worth the name of "fair weather' ally, nothing is going to change there without changing the dynamic whereby a "deep state" military and feudal elite make a charade of democracy. In a must-read post, A.A. Khalid writes: [...]

  3. Feroz Khan Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    AA Khalid

    Are we to wait till the United States does A-Z of this list or should we be more concerned about ourselves and start to put our house in order or should be still exist in a believe that once the world becomes perfect, we will become perfect?

    The prime minister of Pakistan said that the failure of the world to catch Osama bin Ladin was a global intelligence failure so it is wrong to blame Pakistan. Yes, there was a global intelligence failure to capture bin Ladin but the world did not lie and say that Osama was not present on the Earth!

    How long are we going to deny the obvious and keep making conditionalities for acting for the betterment of our own selves?

    ciao

  4. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    @ Feroz Khan

    I am not going to excuse the injustices of the United States just because of who I am. What is wrong I will say quite frankly and I do not care if others do not speak out because of their ”complexes.” Even people of conscience in the West speak up against American foreign policy such as Robert Fisk.

    Let’s be frank and consistent.

    If you notice I have frankly said its the Army, the Intelligence services fault in this whole affair.

    The latest events are the culmination of the Deep State’s consistent failures in the last 63 years. There is no two ways about it – the Deep State with the Army, Intelligence Servics of this country and this country alone is the reason why Pakistan slips into anarchy.

    If Pakistan is to be rehabiliated then change will have to come from within, and only from within can any serious reform be possible. This is a time for introspection indeed.

    As for the Prime Minister, as far as I am concerned what any Pakistani politician of this country has to say is irrelevant, because Pakistan is a military dictatorship with the outer trappings of a democracy. Real policy decisions are taken by Kayani not Zardari.

    Have you noticed on the talk shows, anchors fearfully tip toeing around the issue of the Army and Intelligence Services. Kashif Abbasi on ARY was frankly pretending as if there was no such thing as the Pakistan Army or ISI – he took the easy route and blamed the civilian politicians.

    The nation is gripped in fear not only because of the real threat of retaliation but also because we cannot ask the questions and more to the point address the real issue at stake. Its time for the Generals to go back to their barracks, cut off ties with political leaders and stay there.

  5. A Shaikh United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Pakistan’s Deep State Messers Kiyani, Pasha,Waine,Hamid Gul,Imran Khan, Fazal ur Rehman Mir Geo Rehman, ARY Gold smugglers remind one of an American expression “All are in a Deep Shit”

  6. Humanity United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    AA Khalid has nail both issues on the head; a crazy US response to 9/11, which opened a Pandora’s box and a two-faced policy by Pakistan by harboring terrorists and extraction a fee for fight the war on terror.

    US must re-map its foreign policy to reflect the ideals its preaches to others. US must restore the US constitution and close the book that claims its legal frame work was in sufficient to tackle terrorism. It must shut Gitmo and allow a fair trial for the detainees. Here is a good article on this topic: http://www.slate.com/id/2292778?wpisrc=newsletter_tis

    Pakistan must become honest with itself for a change and figure out how to become a trust worthy civilized country to be to included in the global polity. Sixty-four years is ample time to grow up and stand on its own two feet.

  7. [...] Pakistan’s Deep State – After OBL [...]

  8. Shaheen Sultan Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    AA Khalid, you have hit the bulls eye! Kudos to you.
    Best,
    Shaheen

  9. sikandar United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Turkey had military dictatorship because that is what west wanted.
    Egypt had military controlling everything because US wanted it.
    South America had countless coups because of a banana company wanted it.
    Haiti is same thing.
    Chili, Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, Greece, on and on.

    Pakistan is same way. You guys aren’t that special.
    If India had Oil. There would be no pakistan.

  10. Feroz Khan Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    AA Khalid

    What if there is no will to for introspection and no desire to bring about a change from within, but a wish to pretend that nothing is wrong?

    What makes you certain that Pakistan has ability to bring about this change?

    In this introspection, are you willing to blame the role of religion in Pakistan’s downfall?

    ciao

  11. Feroz Khan Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    AA Khalid

    You said that it is time to confront the demon but what if the demon turns to you and shows your own face to you? How will you confront yourself knowing that what you believed in was wrong? Are you willing to admit that you were wrong or this nobility of an introspection is only introspective as long as it does not prove that we are ourselves were at a fault?

    Where do the intelligence services and the ranks of the Pakistani armed forces come from? Pakistani society? What does that society believe in? What if the demon turns out to be your most sacred values; are you willing to confront them? What are you prepared to lose for all this? Is there a limit that you will not cross and if not, then why not?

    Are you willing to destroy the very thing you love and love the thing you destroy?

    ciao

  12. Well_Wisher United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    In Pakistan, deep state isn’t a recent concept. It was founded way back in 1950 when the military and civil bureaucracy, along with all the leading politicians of the day, decided that Pakistan would be run by them, not by any kind of a democratically elected government. They started by assassinating the Prime Minister of the day and, after 60+ years and untold damage that they have caused to the state – indeed to the very concept, of Pakistan, they show no signs of letting up. Witness that, far from eating any humble pie, yesterdays press conference following the meeting of the “corpse” commanders, indirectly laid the blame for the Abbotabad debacle on inadequate funding for intelligence operations and homeland security. Ergo, another healthy increase in the defense budget is in the offing in the coming budget.

    Whether America will get closure, or not, only time will tell. For those of you who still believe that there is a God Who Has a Say in the evolving shape of human history, there is plenty of historical evidence to clearly show that nations which practice and promote injustice and oppression with their policies come to a sorry end in the long run.

    And, given the state of affairs, and the moral fiber of its citizenry, I agree that the future is indeed bleak for Pakistan.

  13. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    The actions of the Deep State now need to be monitored in the next few weeks. Already, the Generals are beating their chests about America and India.

    The Generals and Kayani have dodged all the questions about OBL’s presence in a restricted area of the Pakistani Army. The Generals do not have the guts to address this question directly.

    As for the future – thanks to the Deep State expect more boots on the ground operations by the US in the future. Don’t be surprised if the US goes after Mullah Omar and the other leadership of terrorist outfits based in Pakistan such as LeT.

    But I still think there is hope. The Turks are now speaking about a new constitution and a new post-Kemalist Republic where civilians are sovereign and have control over other institutions such as the Army.

    The transformation of Turkish politics in the last 10-15 years where citizens finally broke the hold of the Turkish Deep State gives one hope. But of course Turkey and Pakistan are totally different cases. The point of the Turkish case study is to provide some hope; its not a perfect model to follow (Turkey still has serious problems with corruption, extra-judicial killings and media freedoms) but one can draw some critical lessons from the Turkish experience.

    Just 10-15 years ago such talk in Turkish politics was unheard of, but it just goes to show the transformative power of social movements and political parties which are truly democratic.

    The fear barrier has to be broken in Pakistan. The Pak Army is more brutal than the Syrian Army, which is currently involved in a massacre of its own people.

  14. Feroz Khan Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    AA Khalid

    The generals will have the courage to address this question when the militry stops believing the fairy tale of religion and that it is the champion of Islam in the world, because it is religion that gives reason to the Pakistani army dominating the discourse in Pakistan and it is religion, which gives grounds for creating a perpertual hatred for India, by the army, in Pakistan.

    I saw that you ignored my questions, which is understandable. The Pakistani state or the Deep State or Deep Space 47 will be unable to confront the demons, because the demon is the religion and no Pakistani has the guts to admit that it was religion that sowed the seeds of all the problems in Pakistan.

    It was the existence of religion in the public sphere in Pakistan which led eventually led to a sectarian and political apartheid in Pakistan practiced by the state and endored by both the civilian and military leadership, with silent approval of the vast majority of Pakistanis. Religion in Pakistan justified every injustice, prejudice, intolerance, hatred, immunity from law and accountibility and offered a carte blanche for oppressive policies designed to suppress any dissent against the monopolization of the religion by the state for its own ends.

    No one is going to confront the demon in Pakistan because the demon is sacrosant and beloved of all Pakistanis. Pakistanis are willing to see Pakistan ruined for the sake of protecting the honor of the demon and if there is fight between Pakistan and the United States and the world, Pakistanis will be on the side of the demon against the world.

    As long as Pakistan continues to linger and cling to a justification of religion as its source of identity, inspiraton and purpose of being, it cannot develop the necessary courage to admit to the roots of its own self-created problems and solve them. Without an honest admission of its problems, Pakistan will create the narrative of “Islam in danger” and use this pretext for selecting a more regressive, suppressive set of political choices and will seek refuge in its own follies with the end result that it will be incapable of solving its problems and will be doomed to accept failure as its self-chosen destiny.

    ciao

  15. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    @ Feroz

    May I remind you that some of the biggest victims of the Deep State have been brave religious dissidents and religious intellectuals like Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, the late Dr Mohammad Farooq Khan and the modernist intellectual Fazlur Rahman.

    Religious Pakistanis of conscience have also suffered under the Deep State. Religious intellectuals of substance have been driven out like Ghamidi or brutally silenced like Dr Mohammad Farooq Khan.

    Islam prohibits corruption, oppression of the other and encourages charity and human brotherhood. But do our Generals heed these moral values? Of course not. Our whisky drinking Generals use Islam as a means of placating the masses.

    Our Generals and Intelligence Services come from the so called ”cream” of Pakistani society. They are Westernized, Western educated in universities in the West and institutions like Sandhurst. This is clear manipulation of religion by some very Macheivillian actors. Our so called ”Westernized” Generals were the ones propagating theocratic politics.

    Any one who believes the Pakistani Army is pursuing a moral or even ideological project is mistaken and naive. The Army is opportunistic – they will peddle any sort of nonsense that gives them ”Strategic Depth” and allows the exploitation of people’s grievances and emotions.

    If the Army had to it would preach the Gospel of Marx to stay in power!

    I have always said religion is abused and we must remember religion and faith are two different things. I have faith and I say unequivocally that I am a Muslim and I am not ashamed of saying this – but I detest the type of religion present in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan.

    Religious dissidents have paid the ultimate price in many cases of arguing against the Deep State.

    In Pakistan there is an Islam of Power and an Islam that has become impoverished of spiritual upliftment and it has become a prison. But this is just one interpretation.

    Its like saying the secular polity is forever discredited because of Soviet policy….that’s just really bad scholarship.

  16. Feroz Khan Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    AA Khalid

    Why not use the word Pakistan intead of Deep State? Is this not a form of denial? Or is it because nothing of this sort can happen in the Land of Pure but since it has, we do not want to admit that the land of the pure might impure so we seek alternative realities? The enemy is Pakistan and not some mytical Deep State! Call the enemy by name!

    Again, you cannot confront the demon if you do cannot recognize the demon !

    ciao

  17. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    @ Feroz

    Who gives a damn about the everyday Pakistani who lives in those God forsaken villages or in those urban slums whilst our Generals smoke cuban cigars and entertain both the West and the Taliban at the same time! The Pakistani citizen is helpless because the Deep State holds all the puppets and pulls all the strings.

    There isn’t even a single real democratic party in Pakistan – all the political parties are familiy run businesses that are run in an oligopolistic fashion. The ruling leaders of this country play a game of musical chairs – sometimes its a Bhutto other times its a Sharif but its the same old tired tune.

    Get real Feroz, the fact is that Pakistanis have never been able to forge their own destiny. Does our dear Army even think that Pakistanis are human beings? Does our dear Army even consider asking what our fellow Pakistanis think? Does our dear Army give a damn that thousands of young Pakistani soldiers are sent to their death fighting an entity that it supports behind closed doors?

    As Mosharraf Zaidi writes:

    ” The Pakistani elite has always been incurably obsessed with Pakistan’s image on the Upper West Side and in K Street bars, rather than with the realities of its inner city ghettoes, and its God-forsaken villages.”

  18. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Whilst the Army doesn’t even declare its assets, and the Generals hide their income and we don’t even know how many Generals there are in our Army the average Pakistani is suffering brutally under the crippling pressure of daily life.

    Get real Feroz – this sort of ”liberal” scholarship where one ”imagines Pakistan” rather than seeing the reality at the grassroots runs away from the failures of the so called ”westernised and educated” class in Pakistan. The same elite who make up the bulk of our bureaucracy, military top brass and intelligence chiefs.

    Do you think the poor of this country are calling the shots? Please….

    Look at the centres where power is concentrated Feroz….and I mean the real power which no one in public has the guts to question (and for very good reason because the Army is judge, jury and executioner).

  19. Feroz Khan Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    AA Khalid, you are quite em0tional aren’t you? Who do you think is going over throw the army and liberate Pakistan? The United States of America? India? Israel? EU? NATO? UN? The Boy Scouts of Andorra? The Swiss Guards of the Vatican?

    You said, and I quote “Who gives a damn about the everyday Pakistani who lives in those God forsaken villages or in those urban slums whilst our Generals smoke cuban cigars and entertain both the West and the Taliban at the same time!”

    Having said so, what makes you different than those cuban cigar smoking whisky drinking generals and the Taliban? Are you griping because you have no power yourself?

    It seems you share a lot in common with the people whom you profess to loath.

    ciao

  20. Well_Wisher United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    If Pakistan is to survive at all, the deep state HAS to be dismantled. It is no longer a matter of choice; the common people of Pakistan have to do it. The people of Tunisia and Egypt did it not too long ago. Yemenis and Libyans are in the process of doing it. Its about time the citizens of Pak developed some spine.

  21. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    @ Feroz

    Let’s not get personal Feroz. Havind dismantled your ludricous assertion to treat the whole of Pakistan as an enemy you are now just crying over spilt milk and oh wait oh yes I do detect that unmistakable scent of sour grapes….

    You’re naive neo-conservative scholarship of ”Duhhh, its religion stupid” doesn’t really hold alot of water both scholastically or sociologically. Pakistan’s legal code was directly inherited from the British and with a few ostentatious displays of ”Islamic Law” its clear to say that Islamic Law is dead in Pakistan and pretty much dead everywhere else. The driving out of scholars and murder of religious intellectuals is rife.

    Pakistan has been riven more by class division, ethnicity, provincialism, traditional social structures and the yawning gap between rich and poor. But of course you conveniently forget this – looks like someone is suffering from a mild case of amnesia…

    Anyway I will let you get back to your Dawkins like analysis – in this case Feroz you share so much with the fundamentalists you claim to loathe – at the sight of complexity and multi-factoral explanations you whip out the ”religion” card (the easy route to take and taken by most ”liberals” in Pakistan, because it’s fashionable).

  22. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Feroz’s motto of ”Religion is the root of all evil” is only the flipside of the mind numbing and hopelessly utopian assertion of ”Islam is the solution”.

    Both show a scary reluctance to engage with diversity and complexity, staying within their own ideological prisons, trapped by imagined dichotomies which in the real world don’t exist but in order to rely on some sort of certainty they construct this narrative to make sense of a deeply complex world. In the end these two different responses from the Muslim World are but desparate cries and pleas for certainity in an age and world which demands we live with uncertainity and engage with the ”Other” rather than demonizing the ”Other”.

    This is the sign of a dogmatic mind – it has nothing to do with what creed you hold but what your mindset is…

  23. Feroz Khan Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    AA Khalid

    Sour grapes are on your end.

    Nothing will save Pakistan except Pakistanis taking ownership of their problems and solving them and not blaming it on others because the time for that has gone.

    No, you have not refuted my questions because you have ranted but not answered them. As much as you disagree, religion is a problem but then if I remember correctly, you still support religion in the public sphere where it has caused so much problem.

    As to personalizing the issue, it was you and it is you who was characterizing my comments. I have only asked questions and it is you who has become emotional and are not answering my questions but calling me names. When you post an article, you have to respond to all questions and remember; there are no “ludricous ” questions, only “ludricous” answers and you are one who is giving the answers.

    Anyways, I wish you the best in your attempts to find out the problems of Deep Space 47 and solve them.

    ciao

  24. Feroz Khan Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    AA Khalid

    Religion means all religions and not just Islam. All religions are a problem.

    ciao

  25. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    @ Feroz

    Its easy to blame religion – in fact its what all the literrati are talking about these days – for some reason it is considered fashionable. Its the ”New Atheism”, which is nothing but intellectual candy floss. It thrives on dividing the world into ”us” and ”them”. For the ”new Atheist” unlike the old critiques of organized religion, the only way to be modern is to be an atheist – otherwise you are just kidding yourself.

    Oh yes you can’t put me in a box in your ideological prision of ”atheism – good, religion – bad”. The world is a little bit more complicated than that.

    Religious people too want democracy, freedom and liberty and to pretend they suffer from a dissonance or feel sorry for them by ascribing to them some psuedo-psychological analysis of ”oh poor religious people they want liberty but because they can’t renounce their God I guess they will always remains slaves”. Ascribing to others ”false consciousness” – telling people what they think is false and telling them that what you think about what they think is what they really are thinking and of course you are always right whilst the other is hopelessly wrong and it is only you who are gifted with the monopoly ove reason to put those darn religious people straight.

    For instance you think that people who think Islam and democracy are compatible are deluded therefore in order to apply cement to the foundations of your crumbling ideological prison you hasten to add ”Stop denying the problem blah blah, Islam is the problem and that’s why Islam and democracy cannot be compatible and you are deluded”. This is quite a common practice among people who live in ideological prisons.

    I once confronted a religious dogmatist who argued like you in a similar fashion who was adamant that people without faith cannot be moral, even though people without faith frequently take moral positions. When I said people without faith (particularly in Western societies) give a great deal of charity and that faith has nothing to do with how moral you are, he rambled on about ”true morality” being equivalent to holding a faith.

    No matter what you said to the religious dogmatist he remained adamant that morality and religion are inseparable. And the same is with you Feroz- you remain adamant that modernity and religion are mortal enemies. Feroz you operate using simplistic circular reasoning just like many religious fundamentalists.

    To make sense of the prison you have to keep other people in chains and pretend that diversity and complexity doesn’t exist otherwise the house of cards comes tumbling down.

    Enjoy strolling the corridors of your ideological prison – I hope you find the key and realise that liberation means to confront complexity and diversity – to realise the world is not black and white and not be so condescending to people who hold different creeds (I guess this is what passes for ”tolerance” which surprise surprise only breeds resentment – it produces a watered down version of acceptance without any engagement . In our world today we need pluralism).

    As Amartya Sen says we need to transcend the politics of identity to construct a new politics of values. People of different backgrounds, secular or religious believing in the same values but reaching those values using different paths (different sources of reflection and reasoning – for the secularist it may be solely human reason but for the religious person it may be reflecting on the core values of the religious scriptural sources) and different expressions.

    At the crux of liberalism is not skepticism of one’s beliefs or holding a particular belief system – it is to believe that human beings are fallible creature prone to mistake. This powerful concept has both secular and religious understandings. It gives rise to the whole framework of having ”checks and balances”.

    James Madison the American Deist wrote:

    ” Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. ”

    But many religious traditions of spirituality and secular philosophy come to the conclusion that human beings are not angels and that is where an ethic of humility is born that can give rise to a profound understanding of liberal democracy.

    For example:

    Kenneth Wald writes: ”The concept of government as compact gained such ready acceptance among colonial Americans because it bore such a close resemblance to a central element in Puritan theology, the covenant”

    In America, religious people view the idea of Biblical covenant as a more convincing moral foundation for democracy than the ”social contract”. But the ”social contract” and ”covenant theology” are two acceptable ways of making sense of democracy – they do not conflict with each other but are two different paths towards the same destination.

  26. big United States Safari  Android 3.0.1 A500 Build/HRI66 says:

    Yeh Amratya, Mad Ka son, Kenneth Baldy … Yeh Gandu log Koun Hai?

    Seems all of them are some alien book thumpers hailike our dear chikna draculla. Why don’t they start working in Dharavior like our Mahatma in Champaran http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champaran_and_Kheda_Satyagraha.

    I do not see this AmratyaGandu at Anna’s rallyto eradicate corruption. Papi secular gandus also do not mention Anna in their farticles. Seems sub sale darbari gandus Hai! Poor Allahrakhi probably knows all this gandugiri.

    Oh Desi Bandhuo, Papi cgiratee phooki Some Rehman Ya suited-booted tie wala YLH is not friend of India or its civilization. Bin Laden did not kill Indians but these so called liberal western biodi phookies and whiskies are the handlers of poor brainwashed Ajmals and other foolish enslaved Jihadis.

  27. Sachbol United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    For the sake of argument,the difference between man made religions/ handcuffs /one size fits all theories and individual spiritualism leading to infinite wisdom, real enlightenment and manifestation of inherrent divinity must be made clear to distinguish these 2 intermingiling terms. Religion is problem, obsession with religion is great problem and when an individual or society at large cant go to rest room or cant wipe or wash without making refernece to God and dogma then with build in expansion at all cost and hatred of “others” principle, it becomes the greatest problem and immediate threat to humanity at large . I believe Khalid Ahmed’s article yesterday have good pointers to the third stage / greatest threat to humanity posed by Islam , especially of Pakistaniat kind. Major chunk of Humanity have given up hope of Muslims ever joining the relam of logic and introspection . BtW , these are the first signs of spiritual sprouts.

  28. Prasad India Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    BIG//dear chikna draculla. Why don’t they start working in Dharavior like our Mahatma in Champaran http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champaran_and_Kheda_Satyagraha.//

    I like this LOL :)

    Chikna Drakula is the ROOT CAUSE OF all this. His ego was mightier than the beard of OBL, Zawahiri, Mullah Omar, Laqvi, Hafeez Sayeed, Jeelani and our pseudo mullahs all put together

    Musharaff is a traitor because he refused to grow a flowing and needless to mention a glowing beard to guide his country to the right path..what a pity..

  29. AKG United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Feroz Khan:

    Irshad Manji on the need for reform, in the Wall Street Journal:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703992704576305412360432744.html

    “Prof. Bilgrami chalks up the defensiveness of moderate Muslims to their fear that openly criticizing other Muslims “would amount to a surrender,” the ultimate abdication of group honor—and thus identity—to a contemptuous West. But, as Prof. Bilgrami astutely points out, the reverse holds true: The final triumph for colonizers is the Muslim habit of denying and deflecting our internal dysfunction. Avoidance strips Muslims of the ability to be introspective and, therefore, free. Moderate Muslims throttle the very moderation to which they claim to be devoted……

    “It is time for those who love liberal democracy to join hands with Islam’s reformists. Here is a clue to who’s who: Moderate Muslims denounce violence committed in the name of Islam but insist that religion has nothing to do with it; reformist Muslims, by contrast, not only deplore Islamist violence but admit that our religion is used to incite it.

    Notice that I say “used.” Islam is being manipulated. That is why Muslims should acknowledge the awkward passages of our own holy book and reinterpret them—publicly. The Quran, I believe, encourages this: It contains three times as many verses promoting critical thought as opposed to blind submission.

  30. Raj 2 too Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Reposting, as the earlier post was deleted. The post was deleted earlier. The Pakitanis seemed to be scared like sh*t to face the truth! So much for [b]introspection[/b]!!! :lol:

    AA Khalid,

    Your use of the term “Deep State” is as Feroz mentioned in itself an effort to put more wool over the eyes of the world, than an effort in introspection.

    When you speak of introspection, you speak of going into a house, in which on all doors is written “No Entry”, so you come out without going in into the rooms, calling it introspection.

    What is Pakistan? Pakistan is a privileged Elite which uses all the aggressive memes intrinsic to Islam, fashioned into a state ideology, by instrumentalizing them to secure the Elite’s domination over the people residing within the state, and by brainwashing the people to support their crooked state ideology by asserting the ideology’s and state’s relevance to the salvation of people’s religious beliefs.

    So Islam may or may not be the root problem, but Pakistani Elite’s Islam-nurtured Nationalist Ideology is a problem for the whole world. As long as the Pakistani Nation is around, you will find this Islam-nurtured Nationalist Ideology also around, simply because the Pakistani State is for the sole purpose of nourishing the Pakistani Elites and not the people! Pakistan was never created for serving the common people, so why do the common “Pakistanis” believe that they would get something out of it. They serve the Pakistani State by nourishing its roots with Islamic fervor. That is their job description apart from slavery.

    Of course, one can consider Islamic Reform, the division between Religion and State, etc. etc. but this is meaningless as long as you have a State, which gets its glue from an Islam-nurtured Nationalist Ideology.

    It is also useless to look for an alternative narrative for Pakistan, some alternate ideology to keep Pakistan together, and make it behave as a normal country.

    The only way is to break Pakistan, to dump its Pakistaniyat and to alternatively build ethnically harmonious independent states which have a progressive nationalist narrative. In that context, it would be easier to talk about Islamic Reform, and a division between Religion and State.

    Don’t mix up Pakistan with the people living within its boundaries.

  31. Raj 2 too Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Cohesion of Pakistan is dependent not on Islam for that alone would prove insufficient; especially in light of the open abuse of power and illegitimate privileges the Pakistani Elite and their supporters extract from the state, especially in light of colonialist attitude of the Pakistani Elite towards the outlying areas of Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Chitral, Gilgit, Baltistan, etc; especially in light of the cultural and historical brotherhood of the peoples of the Subcontinent, and the appeal of India next door.

    So it is not Islam which is being used as the glue, but rather an Islam which is hyper-aggressive, uses a siege narrative, and demands purity. It nurtures itself from a hate for the Hindu and needs to reject the pre-conversion history of its people!

    This is the Islam-nurtured Nationalist Ideology and Pakistaniyat I speak of!

    So those who speak of reforming Islam in Pakistan and making Pakistan a modern state devoid of its India hate, do not know what they are talking about!

    Reform of Islam would be good in itself, but it would not stop the Pakistani Elite from harvesting Islam’s aggressive memes to nurture their Pakistaniyat as defined above!

    They need a cohesive Pakistan for their exploitation and any dilution of Pakistaniyat would lead to either break up of Pakistan, or empowerment of the common people or even reunion with the parent nation of India – all eventualities which lead to the demise of the Pakistani Elite!

  32. Feroz Khan Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    @ AKG ( May 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm)

    The idea of Islamist reformers and moderate Muslims being able to do anything positive can only work if they are allowed the space to implement such ideas into practice.

    The question is not what the Quran promotes, but what the state does not tolerate or willing to tolerate.

    There is no scope for a reformist movement in Islam as long as this argument is being denied on the basis of violence, intimidation, intolerance and a general sense of hatred towards all who dissent from the mainstream view points. The only reconciliation sought, in this case, is the idea of dissenters of the popular Islamic narrative in Pakistan reconciling to the dominant Islamic view point.

    Salmaan Taseer tried to reconcile the Islamic view with the reformist view and was shot dead and the person who killed Taseer and showed by his actions, in killing Taseer, that such reformists views will not be tolerated, was cheered and lionized by the Pakistanis.

    Funeral prayers were held for Osama bin Ladin in Pakistan and it is the only country in the world, where protests are being held to mourn his death; the death of a man who did more than anyone to discredit Islam and who in nation like that, which believes in a nihilistic vision of Islam, wants to see a progressive idea of Islam take root?

    In the words of Robert Graves, Pakistan is a hopeless place.

    ciao

  33. Ayub Khattak Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ Prasad could you tell me whom did the Taliban Government kill or attack? The people who crashed in the twin towers were all Arabs so why was Afghanistan attacked? Afghanistan was and is still living in the 18 century so one cant expect them to live in the 21st Century.
    @ Feroz Khan could you point out one religion which preaches cruelty? Besides Hinduism that is. Read history about the time of Salahuddin Ayyubi who had to retreat and the Christian monks and the Jewish Rabbai retreated with him as they feared their own people that the crusaders would rob them of their wealth. All religions are preach kindness, goodness and all other good things. Religion is condemned when people use it for gaining power or use it to hold hostage the people. These people misquote religion to gain from it. You guys remind me of people who read the cover and then discuss a book ;)

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