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Historical Illiteracy

Reader comment on item: Musharraf's Historic Speech

Submitted by aCommentator (United States), Oct 7, 2005 at 10:19

TO: a [keen] student of islam

You have put your finger on an important issue in this discussion: historical illiteracy. Most of the discussants cannot distinguish between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Forget about Wahhabi, Salafi, Shia etc.

My sense of most people who identify themselves with the "West" is they couldn't give a darn about these brown cultures provided they stay out of their way. This is the reason why Ronald Reagan proclaimed that hate-filled, women slapping, islamist Mujahideen in Afghanistan were "freedom fighters similar to the revolutionaries who won independence for the US". As long as the short-term purpose was served, it was OK. Indians have paid a heavy price for this; it is well known that the Kashmir jihad was incubated and conceptualized with money and training given for Afghanistan.

My comments on illiteracy specially apply to the pakistani and indian discussants. They seem to have no understanding of South Asian history in which many religous traditions have flourished in South Asia. They have no sense of the indian freedom struggle and its inclusive and positive character. These are the aspects of south asian culture that make it open-minded and deserve support. Instead, here we have indians and pakistanis issuing themselves certificates of broadmindedness towards jews in tones that appear close to servility !

Mr. Pipes is overall a fair and blunt person while at the same time he does not escape some of the "west-o-centrism" that I referred to above. ... islam in south and south-east asia has historically a different character from the middle-east. That Pakistan is part of South Asia and is attempting in some confused way to reconcile itself to its roots. That is the main significance of Musharraf's speech, however slippery and dictatorial he might be. I disagree ...that Arab culture would in some way be affected (imagine an arab following a "hindu" like Musharraf) ...
Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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