By Mohsin Naqvi
Living most of my adult life in the West, the questions most asked of me by my friends here are: who is behind all this extremism, and why? Why does the Taliban attack Pakistan when the general impression is that Pakistan harbours them? And finally, what is the responsibility of the world to help eliminate terrorism?
No religion, especially Islam or Christianity, promotes killing the innocent. Some in the west however like to blame Islam as a reason for such bombings for political gain. However, contrarily, The Quran says: “if anyone killed a person — it would be as if he killed all mankind.( 5: 32).” The Prophet of Islam (PBUH) Muhammad taught his disciples the Islamic rules of engagement. Peace be awarded to women, children, elderly, animals, trees and all those who throw down their weapons, he preached. The question then arises: who are these war mongers of Al Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS? And why they are under the flag of Islam?
The answer is well documented. Saudi Arabia, the oil rich nation with Wahabi oil money, has spread extremism globally and sparked a battle for the soul of Islam. The ideology states that humans should worship Allah and nothing else, anyone who doesn’t follow, is an infidel deserving death. This not only makes Christians but also 1.3 billion Muslims infidels. Al Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS follow this Saudi school of thought and often recruit angry, uneducated and disenfranchised young people, lured by money and trained for new way of life through false explaining of scriptures to commit heinous crimes against humanity. The world is silent because an oil embargo by Saudi Kingdom would disrupt the life we are accustomed too in the West.
In the case of Pakistan, for years Saudi money was channeled into Pakistan through religious school to teach “Jahad” or religious martyrdom, creating Jihadists to wage war in Afghanistan against the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980’s. Later these self-proclaimed “Islamic robo cops” were left, unattended and without rehabilitation, to find their own way by the Western allies.
The recent Taliban bombs in Pakistan can be traced back to Pakistan’s strategic decision in 2001 to stand with the West in the war on terror. Then President Musharraf provided Air bases and logistical support to allied forces in the war with the Taliban. Soon Taliban declared Pakistan an enemy of the Islamic State of Afghanistan and dispatched suicide bombers into Pakistan. Threek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) formulated within Pakistan soon afterwards. Since becoming allies of the West, Pakistan has lost 60,000 civilians in suicide attacks.
Sadly, the Taliban blame Pakistani for being allies of the West, and the West blames Pakistan for harbouring the Taliban. The reality is, more Pakistani citizens are dead in the war on terror than in the entire world combined.
Lastly and most importantly, it’s not a religious war of Islam and Christianity. If it was a holy war, do you think Muslims would be killing Muslims? We have seen four bombings in New York, London, Paris and Brussels in the last 15 years while Pakistan alone has suffered six bombings in the last three months — not to mention blasts in Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq in the same period.
It’s not Islam but one theological country, Saudi Arabia, silently waging war on the world.
The underlining cause for recruitment by these extremist organizations in a country like Pakistan is poverty, and a lack of education and economic opportunities. We have spent billions on security in our airports but we have failed to nip the devil in the bud.
In my opinion, nations with terrorism problems should not be given financial aid but offered “Open and Free Trade.” Let’s stop pampering their corrupt leaders with cash and offer them free western style schools and universities.
And let’s stop the military assistance to their establishments and offer their students financial aid with graduates job opportunities in the west and I assure you both East and West will economically flourish and world will become more peaceful place for everyone.
Mohsin Naqvi is secretary-general of the Pakistan Canada Association of Windsor.