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Swat, Pakistan: US and Moderate Muslim Countries, Both at Fault

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The shocking news that the Pakistani government gave in to the radicals in the northern region of Swat, is not so shocking when one come to know the events and causes that has lead to this unfortunate development.

First let us make the facts clear and straighten some of the terminology misused. The difference between Sharia (Islamic) law and the law of the jungle is very clear and could not be more evident. Those masked, disorderly, untidy men each carrying his rifle roaming the Swat region exposing locals to all kinds of humiliation and sometimes distortion, in the name of Islam and Sharia law, are far from the spirit of Islam or Sharia


It is sad that all media broadcasting the news in the West and in Muslim countries refer to their demands that they want to apply Sharia law.  What these fundamentalist, Talibanists are doing, from arresting people, to public flogging, to preventing women from walking in the streets or working, is totally un-Islamic.  The prophet's Mohammed wife Khadija was a business woman who employed the prophet to work for her.  Who are these fanatics in Swat to tell us what is Sharia and what is not?


Why Moderate Muslim nations are at Fault


Moderate Muslim countries with their well-established Islamic Institutions know well what most of these fanaticTalibanists in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan are applying is a very strict, radical form of Islam which has no basis or support from the Quran (Islam's holy book) or the prophet's sayings.  These political groups seek power and money under the cover of Islam and have been given a free hand to fool the public that they are the protectors of Islam--while in fact they have hurt Islam more than anyone else. Anyone who sees their actions will wonder what religion is so cruel and inhumane--quite the opposite of what Islam is all about.


Yet, Muslim people and governments keep silent and do not inform the public in Afghanistan and Pakistan that the difference between what those fanatics are doing and real Islam is huge, which puzzles me


Why the US is at fault


The US lack of respect for local culture and values, especially when the US has the upper hand such as in Iraq, is a major reason for many of US failures in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The moment the US became the controlling party in Iraq (and Afghanistan) there is an immature rush by the US controllers on the ground to see woman in the streets exposing her body, or establishing all-women music bands and forcing women in the local councils and committees


The speed and the rush with which this was done in Iraq or Afghanistan gives the feeling that the reasons behind this is not women rights, but to antagonize the public and punish them.  Regardless of what are the US objectives, this is how it is understood by the public. Another example is the Iraqi police uniforms.  The uniforms were made as if Iraq is another US state

How does the US expect the public not to side with radicals when it antagonizes them in their homeland with lack of respect for the identity and culture


Hamad S Alomar


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