Kashmir Truth Be Told Blog
Yus neereth gassan, pheereth cha yevaano: morda che gassan zinde (Kashmiri saying)

4/27/09

Debating the Taliban doctrine

This post is in continuation to the previous one where I had some harsh words against the Taliban murder of a young couple in Swat, Pakistan. Many of my fellow bloggers had advised that we should not jump to conclusions before all details of the event are fully known. While I agree that jumping to conclusions is not something I should do because at stake is the reputation of our great religion, and our society as a whole. But, at the same time, it is important to debate this issue, and I will be the first to happily tender an apology should it turn out that the news story was inaccurate.


It is without doubt our society has lost its moral bearings and immorality is sinking in, but defending these thugs as a knee jerk reaction to fighting immorality is also not an appropriate response from our society. It is important that we not shy away and have this debate prior to us being granting our independence, and not after the fact, as some Hurriyat leaders have suggested in the past. What kind of society do we envision ourselves living in? We clearly have several options before us, and the Taliban route is certainly one of them.

 

We need to debate this option very rigorously so there is no doubt what the people of Kashmir truly aspire. I have absolutely no personal interest in politics. This blog, even though political, is my contribution to my motherland for her freedom, because I feel everyone should give back to their motherland. But that does not mean I am a politician. I can be considered an academic, a researcher, a writer - but absolutely not a politician. I am able to write this blog because I am currently in Srinagar, working at a popular bookshop for a salary of Rs 1700 a month and will be here for about another year before moving back to my village and taking care of family and responsibilities such as taking care of trees. Therefore, once I move back to my village, I doubt I will be able to contribute here anymore. That is the reason I am very particular in not revealing my identity because I still have to get married, settle down, and exposing oneself as a separatist tends to be a good way of scaring away good families who might see you as a potential groom for their daughter because then they are afraid their daughter will likely live the life of a half-widow just like thousands of other young Kashmiri girls are.

 

The reason for the digression and the above tale is that I write what I truly feel and I have no hidden agenda in that one day I will finally reveal who I am and jump into the separatist political camp or contest elections once we are independent. That is not going to happen because politics as a career is not my idea of a satisfied life. I somehow do not think that life as a politician would be very attractive with people constantly judging you and also the fellow crop of people that call themselves politicians is pitiful. The only reason for this blog is that I like to write and through my writing I am adding my drop of water into the ocean of the freedom struggle of Kashmir.

 

But, if that freedom translates into trading one form of Slumdog oppression for another Taliban style government as we saw in Swat, then I am already calling foul. Not only do people of Kashmir deserve to know what options will be present before them while deciding the final solution to the Kashmir conflict, but we also deserve to know what sort of government our nation will form and the freedom parties need to disclose this in no uncertain terms to the Kashmiri public. This is important because the enemies of the freedom struggle will most certainly feed stories from Swat and mislead the Kashmiri people that after independence they will be heading straight that way. To be honest, as a Kashmiri, I am also in doubt as to where exactly does Hurriyat stand in terms of what sort of government will an independent Kashmir have.

14 comments:

  1. Dear Koshur, You don't need to fear anything. Our dreams will come true. Look at the past and present of Kashmir.Kashmniris have never and will never be extremist. It is not in our nature.Gandhi said that he saw a ray of hope in kashmir. What did that mean? He meant that inspite of large scale killings on both sides during partition, Kashmir did not report any communal voilence inspite of being majority Muslim area. Look at 1991, how inspite of Indian opression and 17 day long curfew, we set up relief committees and prefered to distribute food, Onions, patotoes etc to Kahsmiri pundits first. Look at the fact that inspite of Hindu fanatics of Indian army torturing us, killing us, raping, Kashmiris did not attack even on mandir.Look at the fact how inspite of so much of provocation, Kashmiris did not hurt a single Hindu yatri last year.
    I agree that we need to really know what kind of Kashmir do we want. Trust me Kashmiris in general have no idea of what we should look for. There comes our (you, me and other like minded ppl) role to define as leaders what we should be like after indpendence. This needs lot of deliberation, engagement, selflessness and even to some extent a degree of compromise as our thoughts may be different. Post that it needs a great effort to get people buy that vision.
    I would recommend to have a pure Islamic (democratic,secualar, progressive) set up for kashmir. Needs a big debate to set up definitions. Trust me I everyday think about going back to Kashmir and restart the movement which seems to be sluggish. I hope one day I will be able to do it.. Insha Allah... ajaztam@hotmail.com

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  2. @koshur,

    This post really addresses your fellow Kashmiris, so I will try to be brief.

    Taliban's version of Islam is seen around the world. If educated and moderate muslims do not put distance between their version of Islam and the hideous version practised by the Taliban, the world will continue to think they are all the same. That would be quite unfortunate.

    There are enough moderate people in India who would support you. These are the same people who have put the distance between their version of a gentle, tolerant hinduism and the BJP's version of a militant, intolerant one. BJP lost the power so you know what sort of people are in majority in India.

    In spite of what your fellow bloggers say, stay true to your moderate ways, Koshur.

    - LiberalM

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  3. I think You are right in saying one suppression should not lead to another form of supression. there is nothing wrong with Islam but the way it has been interpreted to achieve selfish means has created a bad name . Islam is a religion of brotherhood and all of us know that islam gives women a right to say yes or no for marriage but at times that freedom which islam has given to women is taking away and that is what leads to her running away and then under pretext of honor killing she is killed but my dear If her freedom was respected before such incidents would not have occurred at all. Unfortunately islam has been misued by people who want to gain power even saddam hussain or present leaders in pakistan and even our seperatist or pro india - all leaders .
    Do you ever think why father is not ready to give her daughter to seperatist since due to various factors we hardly believe in freedom movement and infact this freedom will simply lead to bigger suppresion .
    Kashmir is what makes US control both India and pakistan - they would always want it to be burning issue so that asian countries are busy fighting

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  4. @anonymous above
    honour killings happen in Hindu and Sikh families also. So everything you wrote about rights of women in Islam and those taken away by others can also be said about Indian women. Therefore Islam is not the problem, rather the society.

    Please do not divert focus of this topic, and take cheap shots at our religion.

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  5. @LiberalM

    I agree that unfortunately the Taliban have become the face of Islam in the world and that is very unfair.

    I am not afraid to write my views. That is the power of anonymity.

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  6. Where some above found Islam mis interpreted.Lay off from our religion or write in concrete what u found misinterpreted.Quran is one and nobody can change it for his nefarious purposes.There is no such thing in Islam moderate or other.There is Muslim non Muslim or Hypocrite.This juggling of words is not going to work
    Allah says

    AND WHOMSOEVER ALLAH WILLS TO GUIDE, HE OPENS HIS BREAST TO ISLAM; AND WHOMSOEVER HE
    WILLS TO SEND ASTRAY, HE MAKES HIS BREAST CLOSED AND CONSTRICTED, AS IF HE IS CLIMBING UP TO THE SKY.THUS ALLAH PUTS WRATH ON THOSE WHO BELIEVE NOT.SURA ALANAM AYAH-125


    “Secret counsels (conspiracies) are only from Shaitan(satan).In order that he may cause
    Grief to the believers. but he cannot harm them in the least, except as Allah permits. And
    In Allah let the believers put their trust”Surah No,58 Almujadilah ayat-10

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  7. @Ajaz Ahmed

    Your post accurately reflects the situation as it stands right now. We need to define what post-independence Kashmir would really be like. You are also absolutely correct when you say that Kashmiris have never been extremists and there is very little likelihood that we will ever become extremists. But this is where selfish people might again hijack the entire nation (as has happened many times in the past) and impose yet another totalitarian regime consisting of our very own hardliners aka Kashmiri Taliban or their sympathisers.

    This is where the word "interpretation" comes in. I believe that we can have a truly progressive muslim country without resorting to the tactics that Taliban used in Afghanistan or are currently imposing in Swat. I will not claim to be very knowledgable on Islamic jurisprudence, but my common sense has not taken leave just yet to believe that our great religion condones the brutal murder of someone suspected of having committed adultery and therefore is mercilessly shot by a bearded 20 year old thug simply because he belongs to a group called Taliban. I do not believe that our freedom struggle has been fought to any give gun-wielding criminal the power to be the judge, jury and executioner just because they claim to be the self-styled guardians of Islam. Can anyone claim that the muslims of Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia etc are lesser muslims?

    In my vision of a free Kashmir, everyone is entitled to a fair trial no matter how hideous the crime. Anything less is barbaric and un-Islamic and un-Kashmiri in my interpretation of Islam and from what I have been taught about by my Kashmiri culture and religion.

    From all the blogs of other bloggers that are on the internet and all the posters here, it definitely represents all the views that can be brainstormed about Kashmir. I feel that we can truly have a debate about whether we could be hijacked by hardliners again and whether we need to persuade the leaders of all freedom seeking parties to define what exactly they have in mind about the governance of Kashmir.

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  8. @Dr Waleed,

    I have to disagree with you that there are not moderates or hardliners in any religion.

    That is why we need to ask the majority of Kashmiris what kind of government they wish to be ruled by. That is respecting the views of the majority of Kashmiris. Anything else is replacing one tryranny for another. When I talk about an independent Kashmir, which is free of Indian tyranny where they cannot simply shoot at someone because the Kashmiri looked at him the wrong way or because the Indian slumdog armyman suspected he was a militant. I am not for a minute going to accept that these very liberties that I am dreaming of in a free Kashmir will be robbed by some self-sttyled guardians of Islam. No one but Allah(SWT) can tell a person whether are a good muslim or not and I will not stand by and watch some Taliban stop a Kashmiri on the roadside (like the slumdog CRP currently do) but the future Kashmir Taliban will beat them up for wearing jeans and not growing a beard.

    This is the interpretation that I am talking about. That is what moderate and hardline interpretation means. In my view, people should have the liberty to practise their religion in whichever whey they wish. DO NOT impose your views on others. That is my vision of an independent Kashmir. Anything less is not acceptable.

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  9. THERE IS NO COMPULSION IN THE RELIGION.VERILY, THE RIGHT PATH HAS BECOME DISTINCT FROM WRONG PATH.WHOEVER DISBELIEVES IN TAGUT AND BELIEVES IN ALLAH,THEN HE HAS GRASPED THE MOST TRUSTWORTHY HANDHOLD THAT WILL NEVER BREAK.AND ALLAH IS ALL HEARER,ALL KNOWER. SURA AL BAQARAH-256

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  10. In all faiths, fundamentalists see themselves engaged in a "battle for God." Every single fundamentalist group is convinced that secular or liberal society wants to wipe out religion. All are rooted in a profound fear of annihilation. The movements begin by opposing members of their own faith and their own people; it is only at a later stage that they turn their attention to foreigners

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  11. it is true honor killings are in hindu's , sikhs and even in Christians . If any religion supports that then i would say that religion is against humanity .
    what I see is that it people who interpret religion in a way to support these heinous crimes in name of religion.
    Hindu extremists , christains and even jews - all these voilent forces are equally bad than islamic bombers who kill innocents.
    Let * decide who to kill for He is strong enough to do that on his own

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  12. How is a secular foundation for an 'independent' Kashmir different than the one articulated by Jinnah for his vision of Pakistan ? Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be a secular state populated mostly by Muslims. He believed that religion was a personal matter and could not be the business of the state. His Pakistan died with him. Within six months of his death, Liaquat Ali Khan had the "Objectives Resolution" passed which turned Pakistan into a theocratic, Islamic republic that went completely against its founder's vision of it.

    What is the guarantee similar things wouldn't happen in a future 'independent' Kashmir ? It would be easy to pass a resolution "saying all Kashmiri laws have to be in consonance with Sharia" .. who will oppose that ?

    - LiberalM

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  13. While its true Pakistan may not have become what Jinnah had wanted, its unfair to say that its a theocratic state. Pakistan is not being ruled by clerics like in Iran. Besides the people by an large have accepted the Objectives resolution so it doesn't matter anymore.

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  14. please go through all this...and there is nothing like Liberal Muslim or a moderate muslim.One can only be a practicing muslim or a lesser practicinf muslim or a non practicing Muslim.i m not gonna buy this Liberal-Moderate crap of yours & your perception of Taliban is completely stereotyped by media ofcourse.I m sure you ppl havent heard about Yveonne Ridley have you...anyways posting a link try to take a look n filter your perception
    http://everything2.com/title/Things%20the%20Taliban%20supposedly%20banned

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