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Follow agent provocateurs!

Reader comment on item: Intimidating the West, from Rushdie to Benedict

Submitted by Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai (India), Sep 30, 2006 at 06:06

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dear Dr. Daniel Pipes,

This refers to your article: ‘Intimidating the West, from Rushdie to Benedict'.

As a serious analyst, Dr. Pipes should not have overlooked the fact, that all the six incidents that he has listed and that have raised storm of protests from Muslim world, are all the result of some degree of deliberate and intentional instigation, provocation and triggering of trouble and discord.

It is widely believed that Salman Rushdie was given the job of writing around the incident of some verses that he rejected as inspired by Satan. This rare incident has been in polemical literature of both Jews and Christian intellectuals for last 14 centuries. It is still a mystery, as to who had put Rushdie on the job --- be that a publisher or an outside financier, with full knowledge that it would trigger a reaction. Rushdie's whole writing career up to the point of that book, had not given any inkling that he was so immersed in religious polemics or had delved deep in Islamic studies. Rushdie could not have imagined that what he is writing was an outrage for any Muslim to read. The outrage was picked up by a Hindu reviewer, one Ms. Jain, who wrote in INDIA TODAY about the book's blasphemous theme. The English language review was read by Muslim readers and Indian Government was notified, as to the possible reaction in Indian Muslim circles. Indian government being very sensitive about communal riots, which need hardly any excuse to trigger widespread bloodshed, in its wisdom banned the book, without much ado. The rest was done by Left liberals to inject the 'freedom of expression' angle into the banning of the book and the later chain of events that would have cost Rushdie's head. Still, the fact should not go unnoticed that Rushdie was not killed in the final analysis. He had visited Mumbai as a dare to some of the more violent groups based here; but the whole episode has now treated as long forgotten if not forgiven. I can assure you, that if he was to be attacked in Mumbai, the underworld is so strong even today, that they can send out any number of sharp-shooters that would carry out their job, without even charging any contract money. So it can be adduced from this scenario that the essential element of instigation was at best missing now. Nobody bothered when Rushdie came out of the Taj Hotel and went out across the street to give local media some picture opportunity.

I would feel that the whole trigger was provided by India's Left Liberals, specially who with Muslim names, are challenging the hold of Muslim clerics on the Muslim community. In fact, their challenge did prove that the latent influences of the Ulama in India on their community, is still overwhelming. The Leftists could not dent it. Recently they are trying to make common cause with the Muslims, for reasons of their own political expediencies.

The Danish cartoon and Supreme Court incident is too recent to need recapitulation. But here too, it was the work of a single individual who took it himself to test, how Muslims will react. Muslim reacted with clockwork precision. While the world castigated the Muslims, the agent provocateur was hardly touched and got all the sympathy from the Left liberals and Jewish groups, who have been holding up ‘freedom of speech' in another more sinister contexts and had needlessly tried to show their agitational prowess over something that hardly was of their interest. In the end, they made it their prime agenda as their focus has now shifted from dictatorial regimes to Islam. Here again it was Muslims who had sought confrontation. They were deliberately and intentionally provoked.

The other 4 incidents that followed in rapid order as you have correctly noted, are all media orchestrated and tie up with the general anti-Muslim mood of the western world, following the incidents was 9/11, which are now being question as possibly an inside job and another case of deliberate provocation, to help US go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

So the key to study the reason why the frequency of such incidents is increasing is to focus on the trigger mechanism that is being deliberately used to incite and provoke Muslim masses around the world. Global communication has contributed to the mass reaction from the widely dispersed Muslim community all over the world.

You have asked a very valid question: "And why so much violence in India?"

I will quote Dr. Tariq Ramadan's words, while speaking on MSNBC on the same subject:

"Leaders who deny their people freedom of expression, he wrote, find it convenient to allow their people to let off some steam as long as it is about Danish cartoons or words uttered by the Pope."

In India, Muslims are so oppressed that they are only allowed to mass protest, on issues that have no bearing on their internal plight and focus only on international media events. The state gives them a chance to air their pent up frustrations, only on such international issues.

The deaths are all at the hands of Indian police whose communal record is well-known.

If West is threatened, it better go an extra mile to find out what triggers such rage and help the Muslim world with understanding and cooperation.



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Daniel Pipes replies:

Even if you are right that all six were "the result of some degree of deliberate and intentional instigation, provocation and triggering of trouble and discord" (which I do not: for example, the Supreme Court frieze was meant as a compliiment to Muhammad), nothing in those statements or actions justifies the intimidation and violence that came from the Muslim side.

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