Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Don't Blame the Taliban -- Islam Really is the Problem!

Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Or so insists Kunwar Khuldune Shahid, the Pakistani journalist whom I wrote about several days ago, for he has posted another bold critique of Islamic ideology, "Don't blame the Taliban II," this one appearing in The Telegraph (October 19, 2012), where the original can also be read. But here's some of what he writes in the follow-up:
Which ideology can possibly justify killing a 14-year-old school going kid? . . . The Taliban claim that their ideology does . . . . The Taliban have defended the attack on Malala Yousafzai according to their scriptures and history . . . . Like for instance the case of Asma bint Marwan, a poetess whose murder was sanctioned in 2 AH[, i.e., two years following Muhammad's move from Mecca to Medina,] after she conspired against Islam and the Holy Prophet, as narrated by Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Sa'd. And then there are Ibn Khatal's two slave girls Fartana and Qaribah, who used to sing songs against the Holy Prophet and were among the ten shortlisted to be executed at the Conquest of Makkah[, i.e., Mecca,] in 8 AH -- one of them was killed, the second managed to escape (Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat - Vol 2). Women were ordered to be killed for conspiring against the religion by their ideological predecessors, and so is it entirely the Taliban's fault for taking cue and attempting to kill a girl who criticised their fundamentals; the fundamentals emanating from their 'authentic' religious scriptures? . . . [Moreover, a]ccording to Islamic teachings you're an adult and responsible for your actions when you reach puberty -- if a 9-year-old is considered old enough to get married [i.e., Aisha to Muhammad], a 14-year-old should be old enough for being condemned for 'conspiracy'. A plethora of Malalas under the pretext of threat to the religion bit the dust when the religion was expanding and therefore, if you're defending Islam as the ultimate truth you can't blame the Taliban for adopting violence as a means to assault the sceptics, unless you denounce the violence in 7th century as well and question the ideology.
There's much more that follows, wherein Shahid dismantles three critiques of the Taliban by moderate Muslims. His point seems to be that if you oppose the Taliban, you have to oppose Islam itself, for everything that the Taliban does can be condoned on the basis of Islam's fundamental sources. He closes his own critique by calling for voices to be raised against silence in the face of such barbarism:
Condemning violence but remaining shushed about its roots is not only hypocritical but pointless if you actually want to uproot the cause . . . . [L]ives are being taken every single day in our neck of the woods in the name of the 'religion of peace'. Considering the response to last week's piece there are many who are categorically against this ignorance -- how long do all of you plan on remaining silent about it?
I'm guessing that the man was shamed out of his own previous silence by the bravery of Malala Yousafzai -- even though he himself now must face the same threat of being shot . . .

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