Saturday, July 7, 2007

Barkha Dutt confesses her prejudices in an almost sensible article.

Note -an important update to this post below the fold.

Barkha Dutt gets it -almost. It is too much to expect that she get it all.
We have hoped against hope that it is not true. We have tried to convince ourselves that this must be a grand conspiracy of racial profiling — you know, White Man hunts for Brown victim. Happily unmindful of how bigoted and quick to conclusion we are when terror hits the home turf, we have wondered whether the British police are shooting darts at soft targets.

I have always argued that the Indian media is quick to impute racism to people and authorities of Western nations without any evidence. Barkha is now admitting this prejudice in print. Good for her.

But what about looking inwards? Can we confront the fact that Political Islam may be growing roots in our own backyard? Are we brave enough to consider the possibility that the assimilation of the Indian Muslim has not been as successful as we like to believe?
This week, an emotional Prime Minister met some of us at his house and argued that terrorism had no nationality or religion. He warned against the labelling and stereotyping of communities and said that after he had heard the mother of the arrested doctors break down on national television, he lay awake all night.

The Prime Minister’s empathy and liberalism is laudable. But the fact is that if three Indian citizens are actually found guilty in this terror plot, we cannot afford to disown their nationality. For too long now, our instinctive need to protect India’s minorities from the onslaught of the Right has prevented us from looking at this issue honestly. We hesitate to use the word Islam and Terrorism in the same sentence. But we can no longer allow political correctness to obfuscate the debate. It may help to know that even the conservative clerics of the Jama Masjid in Delhi recently took the initiative to debate why radicalism had permeated their religion.

Another Barkha confession -that her instincts (and those of others like her in the media) have" ----- prevented us from looking at this issue honestly." This is a day for admitting prejudices. Good.

But this is Barkha Dutt. There are some fundamental errors that she just has to make-

But can we afford to ignore these questions this time around as well? What was an Indian engineer from Bangalore doing partnering an Iraq-born doctor on a suicide mission? Why did he care enough to call a meeting of Muslims on World Chechnya Day in a city where most people don’t know what the dispute between Russia and the Chechens is about? If the doctors being investigated by British authorities are really part of a global terror module, have we underestimated the response of India’s Muslims to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan?

No, Barkha, this is not about Iraq and Afghanistan(see the previous post below - The Hindustan Times is clueless about jihad). Septemper 11, 2001 happened long before Iraq and Afghanistan. The plot to blow up 12 airliners happened before Iraq and Afghanistan.Bali was bombed before Iraq and Afghanistan.Indians were not involved in these and many more others, but the ideology behind them is the same. Iraq and Afghanistan vex many muslims but are only a recent addition to a long list of 'grievances' , 'grievances' that in fact go back centuries and are never ending.

It is only your own blinkers , that you have admitted to, that have prevented you from grasping this.

update - Samizdata points out this from an article in The Telegraph-
Mr Husain, whose book, The Islamist, exposed the workings of Hizb ut-Tahir, is contemptuous of the idea that the latest plots were inspired by the West's intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. "This is just an excuse. They reject Western culture full stop, not just 'slags in night clubs'. They would have supported the bombing of Muslims attending the cinema in Cairo in the 1950s. They do not want Muslims to enjoy social freedoms. If it was not Iraq they would cite Chechnya. Or Palestine. These are angry men. Accommodation is not an option. It has to be containment or annihilation.

Also from the same article-
All the suspects under arrest are adherents of the Wahhabi doctrine which dates back to 18th-century Arabia. Bilal Abdulla, 27, is a devotee of the extreme form of the Wahhabi teaching, which advocates "hate and hostility to infidels and polytheists".

Some Middle East commentators have argued that the would-be bombers were motivated by the civilian killings in Afghanistan and Iraq. But one suspect is said to regard the Taliban, who routinely butchered their own people for the crime of adultery, homosexuality or for a woman showing too much flesh, as the leaders of the definitive moral society. And Mr Husain, whose book, The Islamist, exposed the workings of Hizb ut-Tahir, is contemptuous of the idea that the latest plots were inspired by the West's intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Samizdata post is titled - No, it really is not about Iraq or Palestine or Afghanistan...
Quite aptly, methinks.

(all emphasis mine)


Anon3 said...

Sorry, it's you who's not getting it.

Barkha Dutt didn't receive any sudden enlightenment, she just ran out of options. Such is the strength of evidence about the nature of Islamic extremism now emerging that to keep denying it would be to leave no one -- not even your fans perhaps, if there are any -- in doubt that you are a bigot.

Deny the obvious, and lose the last shred of credibility? Or make a tactical concession, and get an extended lease of life? That's the predicament that the likes of Barkha Dutt are in. And not being in a position to wear an anti-establishment halo around them either, they are choosing the latter.

When the noise dies down a few weeks later, they will get back to being their normal, bigoted, prejudiced selves. Power and privilege are at stake.

Original comment date- 2007-07-08. See here-

pawan said...



Original comment date- 2008-08-22. See here-

pawan said...

infact..i think she would happily convert to Islam right now...only her muslim kashmiri militant hurriyat boyfriend must have told her are more uselful to us as non-believing, pseudo-liberal seeming HINDU who can understand the fake hurt of muslim terrorists!

Original comment date- 2008-08-22. See here-