Articles of the year 2005

The Suicide Bomber
Published on May 23rd, 2005

The preferred mode of attack in the recent past has been the Suicide Bomber. A weapon against which there is very little protection, as the Israelis have found to their dismay. In Iraq the war is being fought through the suicide Bomber, and it seems these are the weapons of destruction that the US had not accounted for in their evaluation of the Iraqi weapon systems. The Iraqi resolve is growing formidably by the day, and the US casualties are mounting as there seems to be no safeguard against an individual who is prepared to sacrifice his own life. In Iraq the war is being fought against an occupying foreign force, who had arrived as liberators and hunters for the enemies of the Iraqi people, but the welcome was short lived and it was not long before the American soldiers went from the hunters to the hunted. And so the war on terror has a target now more accessible to the Iraqi Bombers--- in Iraq itself.

However in Pakistan the target is neither an occupying force nor any foreigners but the Bomber's handlers have cleverly projected our President and Prime Minister as the proxy of the US "empire of Satan" an epithet being broadcast from every pulpit on a Friday. Before 9/11, the weapon of suiciders had been used in mosques, mainly in sectarian killings, of Sunni vs Shia, or the Churchs where the Christians were considered fair game by both sects.Unfortunately for us the Ulema sat back, making the standard condoling gestures, wringing of hands, without any decisive ruling.

At last some sense has prevailed, and a Fatwa has been given on the Suicide Bombers and for once the Ulema have come out clearly by saying that the killing of Muslims by other Muslims is haram, by Suiciders or others. This is a remarkable achievement for Dr.Amir Liaqat-- none other than Alim on Line, who has succeeded by bringing his telegenic prowess to bear upon the members of the Ulema in issuing this Fatwa. This is indeed a step in the right direction, for if the Ulema are part of the Political process, then they must shoulder their political responsibility, and speak publicly against such a horrific act. They should ensure that any bomber as he has been named a Kaffir should not be given the burial rights within a Muslim cemetery, and his body or what's left of it should be buried in a special area marked for heretics. All graveyards are hallowed ground and it should be made clear to every Suicider that he will not be welcome around other Muslims, and would have to suffer relegation to a heretics grave for time immemorial. Nor should a Namaz-e Janaza be offered at his burial. This should be given as much publicity so that the would-be Suicider should have second thoughts and a discussion with his handler of what to do with his remains.It is also time that Television should be used intelligently, in putting across these messages to the people, as this is a public service. Some ministers should be prohibited from appearing on TV as they have a negative credibility. There are some people who have a very positive and credible presence which the camera projects,-- one such person is President Pervez Mussahraf, in fact the success of his trips to India was his transparent credibility, which the Indian public lapped up. There are others who should be used on the floor of the House to bang desks or heads, but please keep them away from the screen, lest you give the wrong message.