Oh, the irony.
Türkiye’de WordPress yasaklanmış.
One of the most prominent (and, publishing-wise, prolific) Islamists is a guy named Harun Yahya. Evidently his real name is Adnan Oktar. He and his lawyers have convinced the government of Turkey to ban all of WordPress because of WordPress’s refusal to remove what Oktar alleges to be defamatory material about him.
This is an atrocious state of affairs. But I am quite happy to see that WordPress has not given in to Oktar’s lawyers’ demands; and, I dare say, WordPress will never give in.
The problem about free speech — which Oktar should know plenty about, seeing how he is a demagogue himself — is that one must permit what one does not like in order to see what one likes to flourish.
Oktar likely either knows nothing about free speech or does not care about free speech. But his attitude and tactics are very revealing of today’s Islamists.
Consider yourself warned: if you don’t stand firm, they will knock you down.
My salutations and admiration to the WordPress team for demonstrating one element that has made The West the best: freedom of expression.
WickedPinto and S. Weasel recently have inquired whether I am Indian or Pakistani (ethnically, I assume).
I tend, as WP has probably noticed, to avoid answering such a question. But let me answer and let me explain why I am reluctant to answer it.
My ethnic ancestry descends from two primary areas: the northwest area of South Asia (between Pakistan and Afghanistan) and Punjab. Specifically, regarding the former, I have ethnic roots that may be said to be Pashtun or Patthan. (As a point of reference: the Taliban is overwhelmingly Pashtun. The Pashtuns comprise one of Afghanistan’s significant ethnic people.) How Punjabi I am depends on how far back my Punjabi ancestors go.
What complicates matters is that my recent ancestors, for a number of generations, have not been from where they are ethnically from. Whereas my ethnic origins are from the northwest region of South Asia, my ancestors were most recently in northern central India (namely Uttar Pradesh) and Rajasthan.
Considering my ultimate ethnic origins, I can say I am Pakistani. Considering, furthermore, the fact that “Pakistani culture” is basically Muslim South Asian culture, which my ancestors have been for many generations, I can say I of Pakistani cultural origins. I and my relatives and ancestors, with regard to traditions and customs, can be quite different from the Hindu culture thereof, even though there has been a lot of syncreticism in the Muslim culture of South Asia.
However, the creation of a Pakistan in contradistinction to India — that is, to divide South Asia into such regions — really does not make sense or, for me, is relevant as South Asia is South Asia. Whereas I have no political inclination towards either of the states that could claim me as a South Asian (Pakistan on basis of my ethnic origins or my ancestors’ religion and culture; India on basis of my ancestors’ recent places of residence), I really cannot choose. And I still need to determine whether, all things considered, I would be more Indian or Pakistani.
There are many South Asians who identify as Pakistani even though their connection to the geopolitical area is tenuous at best: many have had parents or grandparents migrate to Pakistan.
So, to answer the question: Neither. I am of South Asian origins, and in a somewhat stubborn move I would like to refuse to classify myself as either Pakistani or Indian. The division is artificial and ridiculous. That said, culturally I do belong to the Muslim South Asian (Barelvi Hanafi Sunni) cultural milieu, which many classify as “Pakistani” for various reasons.
It is important for all of us to remain vigilant.
An issue that is somewhat thorny is that of so-called “racial” profiling. This is the belief (or practice) that certain “races” (that is, people appearing to be of certain ethnic origins) should or ought to receive especial attention and scrutiny to prevent or thwart criminal activity. With regard to Islamist terrorism, the “races” or ethnicities targetted are often said or considered to be those of the Arabs and South Asians (namely, Pakistanis).
On the one hand, this makes perfect sense. Read the rest of this entry »
Harvey of IMAO answered a question asked in a comment thread:
Exactly why is the U.S. deployed in Iraq, according to you?
Our Overlord, Dread Lord Karl Rove — known with great honor and awe by His many Republican minions as “Darth Lord Rovius”, “The Dark Lord” and “The Dark Lord of the Sith” –, has announced He shall resign at the end of August.
All the peoples of the world have broken out in gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, donning sackcloth and sprinkling of ashes. Our grief is inexpressable.
After leading the American Empire for so long, to whom shall we turn for guidance, leadership, and orders? Who shall dictate our every move? Who will control the weather, unleashing powerful hurricanes against decadent cities and flooding their unused busses (buses?)?
Oh, woe is (are?) us!
And the most pressing concern: shall He reveal His apprentice or keep his identity secret? Only time (and our Dread Lord, The Dark Lord of the Sith) will tell.
Tariq Azim, minister of state for information, said talk from the United States about the possibility of U.S. military action against al-Qaida in Pakistan “has started alarm bells ringing and has upset the Pakistani public.” He mentioned Democratic presidential hopeful Barak Obama by name as an example of someone who made such comments, saying his recent remarks were one reason the government was debating a state of emergency.
(From “Pakistan may declare state of emergency” by Matthew Pennington of AP.)
As if one needs any more reason to oppose Obama. His remark was most irresponsible. It has provoked outrage, and for good reason.
I have no problem with unilateral action against or in Pakistan if the target warrants such. But a public statement explicitly stating such is entirely unacceptable. Doing so harms the interests of The United States. Doing so was a stupid, stupid thing to do. If anyone is truly aware of the delicate situation in Pakistan, one would know how disastrous such a statement could be.
Obama’s statement has brought even more public opposition to Pakistan’s cooperation with America in World War III, cooperation that could only be sustained because Musharraf acts because of his monopoly of force and not democratic legitimacy.
And to think that Pakistanis are rabidly pro-Democrat and anti-Republican. The Republican Party has always been the best one for Pakistan and Pakistanis. I hope Pakistan realizes this, and I hope American Pakistanis realize this next year when they have to help us elect a new president.
Funny, isn’t it, the various ways Democrats undermine American national interests.
News sources, Pakistani and otherwise, have been very active in reporting two significant stories. The first is that Pervaiz Musharraf, Pakistan’s president, abruptly canceled his visit to Afghanistan to attend a jirga (tribal council) to solve the problems plaguing Afghanistan, Pakistan, and their border areas. (In other words, work out some diplomatic mumbo-jumbo on how to deal with those pesky terrorists.) In Musharraf’s place will be the Pakistani prime minister, Shaukat Aziz (who is seen as Musharraf’s puppet). The second story may explain why Musharraf abruptly withdrew from the jirga: there are reports that Musharraf (with other significant authorities in Pakistan’s military government) is planning to impose emergency martial rule in Pakistan. No explanation is given as to why.
I am puzzled. I am not aware of any significant developments in Pakistan that would necessitate such a measure. Well, other than what has been happening for some time. But I doubt emergency martial rule would do anything. As it is, Pakistan has been under de facto martial rule since Musharraf took power. The immediacy with which Musharraf came to his conclusion (and the urgency with which he is meeting with his top advisers) suggests that the military government has become aware of something or is anticipating something. What this something is, I haven’t even an idea, and seems like no one else does either.
Maybe this is in preparation for the failure of the Afghanistan-Pakistan jirga. Maybe if the jirga fails and no accord is reached, Musharraf and his military government will use the opportunity to execute a major operation in the areas of concern, using martial rule to stifle the inevitable outrage of the opportunistic politicians and people.
What has increased the need of such a measure is the recent blow to Musharraf’s legitimacy in the people’s eye, that is, when the Supreme Court reinstated the Chief Justice that Musharraf dismissed. That the legal/juridical apparatus has come out against Musharraf (and, it seems, with a vengeance) means more idiotic distractions for Musharraf. (It’s all politics, and I hope Musharraf knows not to take it personally. But at the same time, he cannot let opportunistic or idiotic legal people to bring him or his regime down.)
Regarding all this, the LA Times had a remarkably interesting article on President Bush and his strategic ambiguity regarding Pakistan. Bush did something right for once! According to the LA Times, when asked about potential policy towards Pakistan, Bush evaded the question. This was crucial. America has a large number of tools in its toolbox with which to pressure Pakistan to cooperate. Invasion is very, very, very low on the list. Perhaps the best tool is the promised jets, which have been a sore point in Pakistani-American relations for decades. By remaining silent, Bush does not assist anti-American propaganda nor does he let lazy Pakistani military authorities get away. He essentially permits the American and Pakistani governments to continue whatever arrangement they have made without having to deal with public outcry from either side.
In contrast, when other politicians openly threaten Pakistan, it makes an already complicated situation even more complicated. With regard to international politics and relations, one simply cannot threaten to invade an ally. I think why this is so is so blatantly obvious I don’t need to detail further.
Let us see what transpires.
And remember: we may not like Pakistan or its government or its military or its autocrat or its people, but the fact remains that Pakistan is a major geopolitical area in global terrorism. We need to keep paying attention and to keep making the right decisions if we are to win in that threatre of World War III.
Want to know just how insane (and insanely anti-American) some Pakistanis are?
There was a drive to administer polio vaccine to children in Pakistan. One of the regions to which health workers went was Bajaur, a district in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which has been a significant problem for Pakistan because of its support for Islamist militancy and Islamist militants.
The polio drive was recently canceled after health workers were attacked by villagers. The villagers threatened to kill them if they returned. Villagers, tribal elders, and religious leaders all condemned and refused the polio drive, claiming that the polio vaccine was a Western (that is, American) conspiracy to sterilize the region’s people as a way to destroy Islam.
Really, parodying these people cannot come close to how ridiculous the truth is.