The Rabbani effect

In wikiLeaks on July 30, 2011 at 4:31 am

Hina Rabbani Khar is the new Pakistani Foreign Minister.  Indian media covered her stunning looks and fashion accessories like they would cover a starlet from Bollywood who has suddenly arrived into the scene.  Pakistan FM in India.  The message and the messenger have traditionally been shot down instantly by all.  The military strategy involved in this case has been brilliant.  We have been check-mated and we love it.  It would require more than a resounding slap in our face, to snap out of this Khar-induced stupor.  What exactly was her message?

Khar brings home a new Pakistan.  The ideals of the youth of Pakistan apparently quite different from our generic over-arching assumptions of Pakistan.  One that the legendary ex-cricket captain, Imran Khan is trying to build.  We hope that they find inner peace, before they launch global ones.  Education and a bustling economy seems to be the healing balm that can save this country.  Trading with neighbors is key to achieving inner peace, hence the reach is beyond the border.

While Khar is bridging the border, there is an increasing need for peace and harmony within India.  We are moving away from, and out of an ideology slump of the 90’s in India.  How do we look at Muslims in India?  Do we have an opinion about their aspirations?  Are they different from the rest of us?  Are there borders between them and us that need to be bridged?  A recent wikileak document exposed Muslims and their aspirations in India quite favorably.  This cable was sent by David Mulford to US State Department in December 2005.  While Rabbani searches for peace, I think this wikileak goes some distance to help us in our own quest within.

The full wikileaks document is a bit too large for leisurely reading pursuits, hence I summarize:

  1. India’s vibrant democracy, inclusive culture and growing economy have made it easier for Muslim youth to find a place in the mainstream, reduced the pool of potential recruits, and the space in which Islamic extremist organizations can operate.
  2. India’s vibrant democracy has ensured that the large Muslim community has a voice in politics and recent elections have demonstrated that Muslim voters are courted actively by political parties. With a Muslim President (Abdul Kalam) occupying the highest political position in the country, Muslims have been encouraged to seek political power in electoral and parliamentary politics, all but eliminating the appeal of violent extremism.
  3. Economic growth has spawned dramatic social change and Muslim extremists must find potential recruits who have not yet participated in or benefited from the economic boom, consumer capitalism and the attractions of the media. These groups are likely to reject any recruit who has already been enticed away from Islamic separatism into secular values.
  4. The message for young Muslims is that they are Indians first and Muslims second, and that they can fully participate in Indian society and culture and win the adulation and respect of other Indians, regardless of religion.
  5. While Indian Muslims feel compelled to express support for their co-religionists in Kashmir, they tend to look upon Kashmiris with suspicion and try to keep the Kashmiri cause at arm’s length.
  6. LeT is the principal suspect in the recent deadly bombings in Delhi, which killed over 70 persons. Most Indians, both Muslim and non-Muslim, view members of these groups as subversive agents of a hostile power, Pakistan.
  7. The Indian media has published colorful stories implying that Madrassas are recruiting centers for Islamic terrorism and that many are funded by Pakistan’s ISI. The accounts are mostly anecdotal, however, and there has been little or no hard evidence linking Indian Madrassas to terrorist recruitment. Madrassas originally started at the secondary level and were confined to boys, with most Muslim children attending public primary schools in their own villages.
  8. Most Indian children are under pressure to get into school, stay in school, and perform well there, in order to obtain higher education and access to well-paid jobs. Attempts by extremist groups to recruit children from Muslim homes are likely to run into a wall of opposition from parents who would see involvement in extremism as counterproductive and a threat to future success of their children. This means that extremism is most attractive to children from families that are so poor that opportunities for education and advancement are all but non-existent. As the Indian economy continues to boom, the percentage of Muslim families who feel there is no hope for their children’s’ future is growing smaller, as is the pool of potential recruits.


A recent interaction:

Today, December 6th, 2012 is the 20th Anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque and the riot that followed which left more than 2000 Hindus and Muslims dead in it’s wake.

Andrew North a BBC reporter had this to say about the uneasy Hindu-Muslim equation in India:

Why Al Qaeda finds no recruits in India, with tks for thoughts of @MaheshNBhatt @Vikram_Sood

@NorthAndrew @MaheshNBhatt @Vikram_Sood thanks Andrew, for this piece. here is what i think the real reasons are though

@peter_vas @MaheshNBhatt @Vikram_Sood tks Peter, wish had seen your post + the cable before

  1. The Saffron Swastika – Fascism’s India moment
  2. Kai Po Che and the reduction of 2002: Zahir Janmohamed
  3. Fr. Cedric Prakash: Yes, it is time to face our demons!
  4. ‘Kai Po Che’ and the Strange Case of the Vanishing Villain

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