These Muslims I tell you..

ahmed-mohamed-clock-cartoon-luckovich

You are a kid, a fourteen year old, and you spend hours on a science project. With the help of some God gifted talent, you hope to impress your science teacher on the first day of high school; you make a clock. What should you expect from school?

Well there are two scenarios that can follow. One is pre-9/11 and the other is post 9/11 – 9/11 is September 11th, 2001 when a few terrorists of various nationalities allegedly carried out the most violent terrorist attack on American soil (I say allegedly because to this day there is evidence to suggest that 9/11 may have been an inside job, evidence that hasn’t been inquired into or addressed by any state or government in official capacity and has only been ignored and successfully labeled a result of cuckoo imagination. Well I am one of those “cuckoo conspiracists” so I will continue to use the term “alleged”.)

A pre 9/11 reaction would entail appreciation of your talent by your teachers and fellow students. You would succeed in impressing your science teacher and school, and this impression would go a long way in your success at high school and after.

Post 9/11? You will be arrested.

You will be arrested for trying to make something that bears a similarity with a bomb, and moreover, for the fact that your name bears a similarity with Muslim names. If you have a very Muslim name like Ahmed Mohammad, you should consider going to school naked and without any books or stationary.

For Muslim kids, especially ones with names like Ahmed Mohammad, your uniform is not just clothes, it is an item that “looks like” something that can be tied together and used to strangle innocent civilians. (For reference: “Terrorists” means Muslims, and “innocent civilians” means non-Muslims. Post-9/11, a non-Muslim cannot be a terrorist, regardless of what he blows up or how many people he kills, especially if he kills Muslims, and a Muslim cannot be an “innocent civilian”.) Your Books aren’t books, they are items that “look like” something that can be used as a blunt object to hurt innocent civilians. Your pen or pencils aren’t stationary, they are items that “look like” sharp objects that can and may be used to stab innocent civilians.

Ahmad Mohammad should not have carried his home-made clock to school, and then have the audacity to go on and show his project to his teachers. Only a terrorist would do that, it’s like he wanted to be arrested. He brought this on himself, and is now playing victim to seek sympathy and attention, huh! these Muslims I tell you..

Ahmed behaved like a terrorist, if he weren’t a terrorist, he would do the following;

  1. First and foremost: NOT be called Ahmed, or by any other Muslim name.
  2. Not carry his “looks like bomb” object to school, instead he would have concealed and carried a real weapon, a gun maybe, to his school or a cinema.
  3. Not plan on impressing his teachers, but in fact go on a shooting spree killing as many as he could.

As is evident by several events, these actions are committed by “deranged”, “disturbed” or “victimized” “innocent” civilians and not terrorists.

All this sympathy and support for Ahmed is unjustified and stupid. I salute his school and teachers for their bravery and courage which saved billions of human lives, a few dolphins and the climate.

Ahmed’s case made the media ignore a vile act by another Muslim kid. A four year old Muslim boy named Mohammad Abdullah al-Bakistani, gave a balloon to his kindergarten teacher and was arrested for sexual assault, because the balloon was not inflated and “looked like” a condom.

These Muslims I tell you….

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COAS Speech: Spoken and the Unspoken

Army-Chief-General-Raheel-Sharif

Concise, clear, strong and effective, chief of the army staff (COAS) spoke like a man in charge.

In a short speech on the 6th of September, Pakistan’s defense day, COAS addressed the nation for the first time.

Okay, it was not an address per se, but it was telecast live on all channels and the nation was all ears. I got the feeling that he knew he wasn’t just addressing a gathering to celebrate the defense day, he knew he was addressing Pakistan.

This wasn’t the first time a COAS addressed the nation, may be the first without “meray azeez hum watno”, and this was a welcome deviation from past precedent.

In times like these when the country is engaged in its own war on terror and economic terrorism, and when our neighbor keeps expressing its hostile desire for misadventures, both in words and in actions, General Raheel Sharif’s address was seen as most significant.

We all listened to his words, but did we hear what he said?

For me there were some subtle messages in today’s ceremony at Rawalpindi.

  1. Our media dubbed the ceremony at general headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi as the main ceremony of Pakistan’s 50th defense day celebrations and it was given complete live coverage accordingly. The chief guest of this principal occasion was the COAS and not the President or Prime Minister. We did see the Chairman Senate next to the COAS, but then he is just the acting President when the President is absent or incapacitated.
  2. In his speech General Raheel Shareef aptly covered the matters relating to Pakistan’s defense, which he is entitled to do since he is the head of our armed forces. He bluntly replied to cross border aggression as well as India’s inciting statements. In addition he also covered the following;

A) Pakistan-Afghanistan relations – which fall under the ambit of foreign affairs,

B) the Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – relates to both foreign and economic affairs,

C) the Kashmir issue and demand for a plebiscite – again foreign affairs,

D) operation zarb e azab – which is a matter of interior and defense affairs,

E) Karachi and Balochistan law and order – a subject of interior affairs, and

F) National action plan – strictly a matter if interior affairs.

He didn’t just mention these crucial subjects, he owned them. General Raheel Sharif did not speak just as a chief of the Army staff, he also spoke as a man in charge of the state’s business. Foreign, Defense and Interior are the three most important branches of a State. COAS clearly stated the direction in which these sectors are moving and he was very commanding in his statement.

  1. He did not once use the words “under the leadership of”, “as per the directions of”, or even “with the cooperation of” political leadership of the country. Only once did he make any reference to the civil leadership, and that is when he used the phrase “civil-military cooperation”.
  2. COAS said that the ongoing operation against financiers, supporters and sympathizers of terrorists will continue at all costs, operation against economic terrorism included. This may be a message for some who are obstructing, or planning to obstruct any action that exposes their past and present misdeeds.

There were rumors that General Raheel has been in-charge after last year’s Peshawar tragedy, last night’s speech was practically an affirmation of this perception.

Could this speech be seen as a late admission of the subtlest coup ever? Is General Raheel Sharif actually in charge? Most importantly, does anyone have a problem with that?

Reversion to the politics of 90s? You wish!

Zardari

In his fiery and “courageous” speech, followed by his “courageous” exit from the country, Asif Ali Zardari seemingly tried to intimidate the country’s establishment in general, and the Army in particular.

The speech was filled with direct and indirect attacks at, and threats to Pakistan Army, apparently as a preemptive response to what followed.

It was later that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) clarified that these accusations and threats were actually hurled at ex-army men and not ones currently in service; this was the first of many unbelievably lousy explanations put forth by PPP as part of a damage control exercise.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was already an aggrieved party facing Rangers operation in Karachi against militant wings, terrorism and “economic terrorism”. Immediately after the raid at MQM’s head office 9-0, Altaf Hussain started with his careless accusations, threats and cries of foul play.

Some may remember how PPP initially tried to side with MQM but then, sensing how that could expedite the process – in which they were the next likely target, went silent and chose to wait their turn. But as soon as it became imminent, Asif Ali Zardari  boarded MQM’s bandwagon and adopted Altaf Hussain’s style of offensive defense.

What was previously being alleged a conspiracy against MQM was now also a conspiracy against PPP. Though PPP preferred to portray it as an independent conspiracy against them and not part of a conspiracy against both MQM and PPP, since till recently PPP seemed to believe that MQM’s cries were unjustified and lacked merit.

After Zardari’s speech and exit, PPP and its co-chairmen remained silent on the matter. But the day Dr. Asim Hussain – an ex-federal minister from Zardari’s term – was arrested by, and remanded to Rangers’ custody, all that changed. First Mr. Khurshid Shah, opposition leader in the National Assembly delivered a not so subtle message from his boss threatening “war” if a hand was laid on Zardari. Then came Zardari himself with threats of dire consequences to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for engaging in “politics of vengeance”.

During his stay abroad, Zardari seems to have learnt that the “conspiracy” against PPP is not Army’s or the establishment’s doing, but Nawaz Sharif’s. In fact, as part of the damage control exercise, Zardari seemed to praise the Army while threatening Nawaz Sharif. He said,

… when Pakistani Army is fighting a decisive war against the terrorists and also fighting at our borders, Mian Nawaz Sharif, instead of challenging the real enemy, is targeting Peoples Party and other political opponents.

Zardari’s speech against the head of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN); the Prime Minister , has effectively put an end to the “politics of conciliation”. Friends have, unilaterally for the time being, become foes.

Some say this may be part of a larger plan to disrupt the ongoing operation against corruption and the corrupt. Some say that PMLN is in cahoots with PPP and MQM on this, since they see themselves as next in line. Some believe that since MQM’s resignations failed to create the perception of a political turmoil, a rift between PMLN and PPP may just be another attempt to do just that. But then, all this is just hearsay.

Zardari accused Nawaz Sharif of reverting to the “politics of 90s”.

In a way, many believe that we may see a partial re-run of the 90s after all; the decade that saw Zardari being charged, investigated and imprisoned. But I don’t think that’s what Zardari was referring to. He was referring to the pre charter-of-democracy rift between his wife’s PPP and Nawaz Sharif’s PMLN. The times that preceded the politics of “conciliation” and brotherly ties between the two major political parties. PPP and PMLN were engaged in a tug of war in the 90s. With help of the establishment, neither let the other rule in peace. Some say it was more about not letting the other loot in peace than rule in peace.

Imran Khan’s version of this conciliation is a ‘loot and let loot’ arrangement between PPP and PMLN. Implying thereby, that neither party will hold the other accountable for any crimes or corrupt practices. I haven’t yet seen the PMLN affirm Khan’s view, in words or by implication. Asif Zardari, however, did imply that Imran’s assertion is somewhat accurate. In his speech he said,

“We accepted the results of 2013 general elections for the sake of democracy, although those elections were ROs elections…”

We may doubt the allegations of rigging but Zardari appears to be saying that he knew the elections were rigged, and mandate acquired thereof was fake, nevertheless he chose to let PMLN rule in the interest of democracy. Now that gives credence to Khan’s version of PPP-PMLN “conciliation”.

So how sound is Zardari’s accusation of reversion to the politics of 90s?

First of all, Benazir’s PPP of the 90s was a muscular political party with strong public  support throughout Pakistan. Zardari’s PPP has been reduced to a frail provincial party with negligible support in other provinces. The allegations of a conspiracy against PPP in the 90s are not baseless and have been proven in the Supreme court. But Benazir’s reception upon arrival in Pakistan in 2007 and the result of 2008  general elections showed how the conspiracies failed. But where the establishment failed in the 90s, Mr. Zardari succeeded with flying colors in just five years of co-chairmanship. So I don’t think the “enemies” of PPP need a conspiracy  anymore, not one to remove Zardari from office at least. To keep him there? may be.

Then there is Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI). There was practically no third force in the 90s. PPP and PMLN took turns at running the country. Thanks to the own-foot-axing PTI, the nation now has a third option. PTI has already overtaken PPP, and PMLN is more concerned with its new worthy adversary.

Lastly there is that hearsay about the Prime Minister not being in charge, so even if it were a conspiracy, it couldn’t have been hatched by PMLN.

So Mr. Zardari, I don’t think there’s any conspiracy. Pakistan does not want a conciliation which puts you, or anyone else, beyond accountability. I can see you have a hand that used to be a good hand in the 90s, but it’s not the 90s anymore and the Sindh card, the Bhutto card, the political victimization card or the conspiracy card, are not the cards they used to be.