These days we hate America. The state encourages us to think that the United States is involved in terrorism in league with India and Israel.
Hate is intensified by the joining of three categories: India, which doesn’t like having us around and was responsible for our painful birth; Israel, which usurped the land of the Muslims and is described in the Quran as the enemy of all Muslims; and America, which poses as a friend but stabs in the back.
By aligning the three, we arrive at the most intensely deep-seated hatred backed by ‘evidence’ from both the spiritual and existential worlds.
This kind of venom prevents us from living normally unless aggression is committed. Our weakness prevents us from doing something violent. When we can’t carry out violence against America we rage against ourselves, divide ourselves as pro-American and anti-American. What gets obscured is the identity of our real killer. In fact, we feel the same way as our tormentor. Deep down, by dying at the hands of al Qaeda, we are engaged in sacred self-immolation. Hate permeates the body like slow poison. To prevent this slow death, human societies invented culture. It allows communities with opposed identities to congregate creatively. Most cultures are dominated by religion.
The Muslim saints of South Asia inaugurated a period of peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Hindus. Hate gave way to tolerance and led to the kind of pluralism that Jinnah wished to achieve in Pakistan after 1947. Now culture is under attack jointly by us and the Taliban.
Culture has three aspects: spiritual, sociological and intellectual. We have no cultural contact with China, our closest friend. We have a sociologically coextensive culture with India. We have a spiritual commonality with the Islamic world. We have an intellectual nexus with America, as there is also a population of Pakistanis living there as expats. Despite commonality of religion, we have the least cultural communication with the Islamic world.
The culture nexus with America is most significant. In his, Sunday column for Dawn on July 17, Intezar Husain quoted Allama Iqbal: “The only course open to us is to approach modern knowledge with a respectful but independent attitude and to appreciate the teachings of Islam in the light of that knowledge, even though we may be led to differ from those who have gone before us”.
In America, the UK and Europe, Pakistanis enjoy full citizenship rights. They falsely claim identity with the Arabs in whose states they have curtailed rights and face linguistic barriers.
Every time you hate someone who is culturally coextensive with you, you end up hating a part of yourself. That is what is happening in the case of India. Pakistani TV propaganda against India creates self-hatred at the subconscious level. The current wave of anti-Americanism has the same effect but in the form of a self-destructive rage of the impotent.
Unfortunately, the expat Muslim community has refused to assimilate. According to official statistics, there are 3.97 million Pakistanis living overseas. If you count the ‘illegals’, the count is 7 million, almost all unassimilated and unhappy.
The new ‘synthetic’ identity of the expat Muslim is puritanical and ‘judgemental’ of host states. It is also judgmental of other Muslims. This expat identity rejects the West on the basis of the unchanging divine text, but it also focuses on the ‘heresy within’ and rejects fellow-Muslims.
Muslims are gravitating to the identity of a community that hates because it can’t afford aggression against western civilisation. The Islamic world is at the bottom of the ladder in human development indices. Is refusal to be educated deliberate because it is not madrassa education?
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2011.
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In principle I agree, but the liberals have the backing of America and as a consequence they are very vocal.
I agree wholeheartedly, and not only in principle, that the other side has the support of petrodollars, as a consequence of which they are very lethal.
Ever heard of a suicide bombers who was satisfied with being 'very vocal' alone.
@Huma I'm guessing you are in Dubai. If so that place is full of Malayalis (or Malabaris as you call them)
I was there briefly for some business..but I thought Indians/Pakistanis/Bangladeshis seemed to get along quite well. After several years I am still in touch with my Pak friend who lives there.
Who knows why your Indian friend didn't like "Malabaris"? His loss :) But some people are just haters and its best to avoid them.
Thanks for the clarification. I did not know that people from Kerala are addressed as "Malabaris" in the Middle East (I have never been to the M. East). Yes, the south western coastline of India extending from Kerala to Karnataka is known as the "Malabar".
@Ashok: Huma meant Malabaris. People from Kerala. I have lived in the middle-east for 13 yrs.
@ashok ....i just noticed the misunderstanding (after i asked my husband). i was talking about "malwaris" or "malabris" ....people of malabar who are south indians, whereas you mentioned "marwarhis" who are rajhistanis & are business people (my husband tells me that birla was also one of them). i think now this clarifies what i wrote earlier.
@ashok ....i'm a pakistani & know india/indians as i see them or hear about them from indians themselves. that's what i heard that these are south indian malwaris. i've no idea about them otherwise. but from what i saw & observed, whether south indians or malwaris or both, these people are good & peaceful. if they like to speak their own language & accommodate those who speak their language, i don't feel anything wrong with it (something for which i saw people ridiculing them). if they are rajhistani business people then all i can say is that i've been provided wrong information. but now, i'll definitely check this on my own. thanks ashok for your feedback.
Marwaris are from Rajasthan and are business people - they are not South Indians.
An interesting articles & views that cannot be refuted from where we Pakistanis stand today. However, nothing can be seen in isolation. i am a Pakistani married to an Indian national & therefore, have experienced a few things while living with Indians. Let me be very honest, they hate Pakistan and anything related to Pakistan much more than I see Pakistanis hating India or Indians. I had the opportunity to watch their news channels and they had nothing but venom against Pakistan. During my stay in Dubai, where we (the couple) had the opportunity to meet Indians (mostly Muslims) and Pakistanis, I observed that none of the Pakistani brought Indo-Pak issues or politics during a social gathering whereas Indians didn't lose a single opportunity to ridicule Pakistan in my presence (rather they made it sure that I hear every word that they say). Many a times I was bombarded with questions without giving me any opportunity to answer. At times I felt that no meaningful discussion was possible with them as they were never ready to listen. Instead of discussing with logic and reason, I found them playing with volume. As for the concept of "Muslim Ummah" and feeling affinity with Arabs, I never felt any closeness with any person of Arab origin. Rather I found them to be highly arrogant for no good reason. However, I also saw a very clear divide between North Indians and South Indians (there are too many South Indians in Dubai). I found South Indians to be peaceful people who feel closer to all those who speak their own language. But I never felt any biases in them. On the other hand, I found North Indians always ridiculing the South Indians ("I will wear a glove while shaking hands with a malwari", was a statement that I heard very frequently, or "I'll go and wash my hands after a handshake with a malwari") I don't expect much good coming from North Indians for anyone, be it Pakistan/Pakistanis or South Indians, even when we associate themselves (culturally) with them. Hatred breeds hatred, it's never one sided.
@Frank You never disappoint me!
@Frank I am thinking about sending the following petition @Khalid Ahmad.
"Sir, we have made up our mind.Do not confuse us with facts,analysis,reasons etc."
I am counting you among prospective signatories.
@Domlurian: I'm not so sure about that. Even prior to the Turkish incursions beginning in 1192 there were several invasions from Central Asia: e.g. Toramana of the White huns. He was sent back by the Guptas, but the fight weakened the Gupta empire immensely. Toramana was a Shaivaite, but its likely that Toramana's people were ancestors or at least related to the Turks who came in 1192.
The Mughals contributed immensely to Indian culture: cuisine, music, dance, architecture etc. Our film industry itself was started by unemployed musicians and dancers from the Mughal courts. Even then, unfortunately a lot of us judge all Mughals (unfairly IMO) by Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb came to power when his father had spent almost the entire treasury building Taj Mahal and various other monuments. The Deccan was still very unstable, plus they had a number of years when there was a drought all over the empire. My feeling is that in the midst of all this chaos he must have thought he needed to move the empire closer to some Islamic ideal. Its a natural human tendency to turn to the supernatural in times of distress, unfortunately it brought about the decline of the empire even faster.
Too bad. I would have preferred having an enlightened,tolerant Mughal empire to having British rule over the sub-continent for 150 years.
Dear Khalid Ahmad, stop showing us a mirror.....we have burried our head in the sand...!
Call us a "A nation of haters."
Hatred is a lucrative business. For more, ask Army.
In principle I agree, but the liberals have the backing of America and as a consequence they are very vocal. Despite their little victim act they are drowning out the voices of reason and pragmatism. This is not healthy. I see an Iran-like situation building up here.
Pakistanis should not hate anyone although others may hate us. Pakistanis should not hate anyone even though they may be trying to destroy Pakistan. Indians living in Western countries do not let go any chance to defame and put down Pakistanis.
I think you are also indulging in self immolation since you wants to love America even though it is killing your own people
Your article is great, but I have a gripe with this statement: "The Muslim saints of South Asia inaugurated a period of peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Hindus. Hate gave way to tolerance..." There was tolerance and non-violence in the Indian subcontinent long before islam came here. In fact vegetarianism began in the Indian subcontinent from the teachings of the Jains. It is only when islam invaded the subcontinent that things like hatred and violence against people of other beliefs began to take effect. And now we are facing the results of those invasions.
If only we could build a time machine and go back and repel the islamic invaders, we wouldn't be having all these problems in the Indian subcontinent. Alas, wishes never come true...
@usman My feelings, exactly.
Good question. Why we are so obsessed with "hate"? Food for thought,for sure.
They like making sense to themselves, in their own little bubbles. Though i appreciate Pakies allowing free discourse no matter its nonsense or lack of reason.
These days we hate America??? Not at all...these days we hate ourselves for being a part of a mediocre family .... For not being able to get new clothes/shoes for our children on coming Eid...for not saving our children from hunger and desease...for getting our children into poor education...and so forth
Hate is hate; in whatever form, shape, or color does it exist. There is something seriously wrong with us and we never tried to find its root-cause what to say of diagnosis.
A new phrase "LIMOUSINE LIBERALS", for those really caring for pakistan, is being created by "FRANK". Great work. If you could show so much ingenuity in improving the situation, pakistan will be on real path of progress, as the author and many other wishes.
everytime i read ya article i learn somthing new, something profound. i owe u KA.
Blaming others for killings at the hands of our own people is a dumb but efficient way of furthering the fortress of Islam narrative. India is the old foe, US is hated as it kicked out our strategic assets from Afghanistan otherwise it is the chief patron of the Pakistan army. People hate Israel because it has occupied Palestinian land, so the state just translated that hatred into an imaginary external threat. Otherwise Israel has nothing to do with Pakistan. Israeli foreign minister, army chief or prime minister has never expressed any concerns regarding Pakistan. Murd e Momin, Zia was involved in the military operation supported by Israel that crushed the PLO in Jordon. Israel gave mules and Soviet made weapons for the Afghan jihad. Israeli weapon experts were stationed in Peshawar to train mujahedeen. Israel like Pakistan is an unrecognized nuclear state and both are ‘ideological states’.
Mr Khalid Ahmed,You have penned very balanced and very mild assesement of your Pakistan society of present day.When I was growing up in Hyderabad (daccan),I had all my friend,In India never let go of any opportunity to put me down on account of my Hindu faith.Pakistani friends do the same here in USa,they dare not do it in the presence of big and burly white guys as they will have broken nose and fat lips,but in private they rail and shout how their woman are sluts and how their govt,is evil.and their attitude about India and Hindu is disgusting,more and more Indians have very little to with them,who wants this holier than cow,attitude,it never occure to them,they were the recipent of American largeness since 1947,some gals,to come and live in West and look down on their society.I can understand,if were developed first world,we are down right in dump.We hope,we sopme how get right kind education and get out this mind set,what sadens me is educated people who are here indulge in it,who should know better.Your last paragraph said it all.
The pathologies that afflict our culture are laid bare here. Hate is institutionalized in our culture. Worse, we celebrate its violent expressions. Across the world, people ask with complete shock - why we hate "others" so much? Why do we hold grudges like no one else? People whisper, if we practice a "warrior" form of religion where hate is a required ingredient to keep the embers of "justice" alive. We hate india even though most of us converted from amongst the Hindus. Our culture is "Indian" but we would deny it with our life! We share so little with Arabs but aim to embrace what is unnatural for us. We have shared values with Christianity but we loathe the US.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT US THAT WE HATE others and ourselves? What is it about us that suffocates introspection Why is it that we cannot compromise without foisting our Islamic credentials on others? Can someone learned answer my questions?
Ahhhhh........1001 dilemmas and paradoxes of Muslim world.
Dear Mr. Khalid Ahmed, all the links you gave to support your assertions were to the Express Tribune. I see the same thing in other articles by liberals here. Do you know what a feedback loop is? I would humbly suggest all the limousine liberals here put down their revered copies of the New York Times for a while and study a little engineering.