5428reaction in Muslim world
- Mar 26, 2004Below I am posting a piece I wrote for a weekly here, Peter wanted me to post it here.Doing that but bit of late.Sorry for that.FarooqMarch 11 leaves Muslim world in shock
By Farooq Sulehria
Shock, sympathy for the victims and sorrow. This has been the general
reaction in Muslim world to Madrid tragedy. The reaction to March 11 was
different than that of September 11.
Following the September 11 attacks, there were public celebrations in
Latin America. The CNN, ignoring Latin America, deemed it fit to air a
film showing Palestinians congratulating and cheering. The film later on
proved fake. Though there were no public festivities in the Muslim world
yet a sense of triumphalism prevailed supreme. Farooq Tariq, secretary
Labour Party Pakistan, sent a report that summed up the mood in Muslim
world. In his report Six days after:How ordinary Pakistani feels?
I am writing this article from Toba Tek Singh, my home town, 300
kilometers away from Lahore, situated in the central Punjab. It is
mainly a peasant dominated area. In the Seventies, It was once a hub of
peasant movement led by the Stalinist Left. On 23rd march 1970, over
500,000 attended a peasant conference in the town.
Now the town is in the grip of religious fundamentalists. On the main
center of the town, we see the paintings of the martyrs (those youth
who have been killed during the holy war of Kashmir in last few
years). Many religious madrasas (schools) can be found at every street
I was in Lahore for four days after the Tuesday terrorist attack on
American cities. At Lahore, the mood among many workers and ordinary
citizens were of joy and happiness that the Americans have been taught
the lessons at last.
But there was also a sympathy for those been killed in the terrorist
attack. It was not a mood of fanaticism of all out support for the
But at Toba Tek Singh, the mood was of fanaticism. As I arrived here
after six hours of driving from Lahore to see my aging father, I was
bombarded with questions by him.
When I condemned the attacks and also told what could happen to the
Talban government in future, and that the act has endangered the lives
of the Muslims across the globe, he was untouched and told me that you
could be the only one talking this in the town
One villager told me that the incident of America is like this that if
a peasant gets up in a village and fight against the feudal lord with no
weapons. No one in the village ever thought of fighting against the
feudal before. Then this peasant win the fight, the whole village
peasants will be very happy. So is America, a big feudal lord of the
world who have lost the fight at the hands of some one without any
resources, we must celebrate. Whenever I raised the issue of innocent
American loosing the lives, the normal reaction was, yes we sympathies,
but what about those millions of Palestinians, Sudanese, Vietnamese and
others who have lost the lives at their hand. Who support Israel? is
another questions raised immediately by every one.
(Full report is available at www.laborpakistan.org)
The colonial history, the imperialist exploitation, the US role in
destroying democratic and popular movements in Muslim world, all that
have contributed to a complicated consciousness towards West in the
Muslim world. This has got even complicated in post-Cold War period.
The French opposition to US war plans in Iraq, made Chirac the most
popular personality in the Muslim world. The historic demonstrations on
Feb 15 still are fresh in mass mind across Muslim world.
This has helped Muslim masses see the difference between the governments
in different countries. Also, the large peace demonstrations in London
have driven home the fact that it is Blair that supports Bush plans and
not the British masses.
Al-Qaida by claiming, or by executing if that is the case, Madrid
bombings has isolated itself, it seems. These terrorist groups, no
matter how popular the act of September 11 was, are not the sole
representatives of the Muslim world. On the contrary, in most of the
Muslim countries such groups will find themselves pretty isolated.
This is how some of the newspapers from Muslim world have reacted to the
Seen against the background of the US-led war on terror in the
aftermath of 9/11, Islamic terrorism seems to have become the bugbear
of some western governments and sections of the media. However, as the
Spanish tragedy shows, it would be folly to discover the hand of
Islamists behind every act of terrorism. Pakistan's Dawn
A mass demonstration was staged in the streets of Madrid in protest
against these attacks. However, it reflected the resentment against the
Spanish government's policy in supporting the war on Iraq... It is hoped
that the Madrid bombings will open the eyes of the coalition, led by the
US... so that it can look into its mistakes and find a way to rectify
them. -- London Al-Quds Al-Arabi
Terrorist acts everywhere, the latest being two days ago in Spain,
prove that containment, not confrontation, will stop bloodshed in this
world... the crazy policies being applied in many places world wide
bring more losses, destruction and disaster. -- Saudi Arabias Ukaz
Whether the bombings were carried out by ETA or al-Qaeda, the reality
is that terrorism today is a deadly threat to all human beings... --
Unlike Feb 15, March 20 witnessed an increased activity of anti war demonstrators. In Pkaista, there wer protests in 63 town, though small in number.Bengla Desh's capital Daaca and Egyptian capital Cairo also had demonstrations with few thousand participating.The phenomenon of fundamentalism will not go on forever. It will see its downfall but not until there is an alterative, a radical anti imperialist alternative.
"Pip, Peter & Zoe" <ppz@...> wrote:
farooq sulehria wrote:
> Also, one importnat thing was: the reaction in Muslim world to Madrid
> was different from S 11. If comrades here are interested , I can post
> a small piece I wrote on that.This time, there were no 'celebrations'
> instead it was sympathy for victims.
I'd be interested.
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