Religion, Rushdie and the Red Rag…


Do I see a red rag?!

I have just finished reading Salman Rushdie’s article in which he is quite vociferous in denouncing Pakistan as a terrorist state and all Pakistani bureaucracy and government agencies as allies of the fundamentalists.

‘Fundamentalists? The word itself is a misnomer and a huge one at that. Islam as a religion and a way of life is based on fundamentals and if you remove those the essence is lost.

Rushdie’s sentiments are strongly pro-Indian and equally anti-Pakistan. Below the article is a stream of supportive comments from all around the world. The article in question in addition is being circulated widely amongst international facebook and twitter users. There are very few who (judging by the feedback) hold back their passions rather than leapfrogging into a dynamite like rhetoric against ‘terrorism’, jihadis, fundos, beards and the like.

Let us for a moment leave religion out of this debate. What is left then? Salman Rushdie as one human denouncing a whole country full of millions of other humans on the basis of  something that was or was not done by the ruling powers – that is shield Osama Bin Laden?

Alright, let us also suppose that they did shield him… and succeeded… on their own?

If Rushdie’s claim is correct, suddenly I feel like giving Pakistan a pat on the back! We succeeded in shielding OBL from the eyes of Big Brother? I’m dumbstruck.

Does anyone notice that the common man in Rushdie’s fantasia of a terrorist state has also been suffering due to intermittent bomb blasts and attacks? Does anyone care that several areas in the north ofPakistan had become no-go areas and that it is only recently that the army, which certain intellectuals have been denouncing repeatedly, has managed to clear those areas partially using its manpower – again the common man soldiers?

Religion happens to be one concept that ironically evokes passions in the breasts of even those who do not believe in any religion. Yet when Muslims protest against defamation of their ideals, it is taken as something akin to a stereotypical illiterate, uncouth, barbaric version of Conan the Barbarian.

Pronouncing judgement on a country never creates dialogue – it only creates hatred which in turn breeds more. Suddenly we have a rise of two clearly distinct viewpoints on the web. One professes the kill all the bearded ones hate tirade and the other sticks  to its see what they are like? – Get-them-before-they-get-you part of the conversation.

And every debate has an audience. The ‘humans’ are watching and waiting – for judgement or Judgement day…

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4 thoughts on “Religion, Rushdie and the Red Rag…”

  1. While I agree with your principle of not judging masses on the basis of random actions of a few select group of people – I also want you to see Rushdie’s pov.

    Muslims and Islam, in the long run, has done enough to provoke ideas that label us as barbarians and illiterate, uncouth, uncivilized assholes who like to blow up buildings for 70 virgins. People can quote verse, ayah, surah to tell you that blowing up Americans is a totally sane thing to do in order to preserve the sanctity of Islam.

    Like I said, I don’t defend Rushdie’s pov in defaming an entire nation but I can’t really blame him for feeling the animosity he feels because let’s face it – plenty of Muslims feel the same way about him post Satanic Verses.

    Tolerance is the order of the day (needs to be, rather) and if Muslims could do that just a bit more, perhaps it wouldn’t give legitimate ground to go around calling Muslims as terrorists, mullahs and whatever other name you can come up with.

  2. Very well articulated Kiran!

    and Minerva do you think that other religions have not anything? there are no terrorists in other religions? Did we label all Christians as Nazis after Holocaust?
    Have you ever read versions of Bible and Jews testament and Hindu scriptures? they have much more weird things? the problem with us is that we don’t read their books specially with as much animosity. and we have made it a fashion to criticize our own religion and our own country because we don’ have knowledge so can’t we discriminate in right and wrong and secondly our nation suffers from serious self esteem crises.
    My advice learn about their books and their rituals and you will be surprised.

  3. I somewhat agree to what you have expressed. The point is, the world is not aware of the true Pakistan. Media and our leaders have wrongly portrayed a bleak picture. Muslims over the world have a not so positive impression. Come to think of it, we have let the world create the impression that they have by our own actions.

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