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Thursday, March 16, 2006

On the Necessity Of An Adversary - US And The Muslims

Mirror of Truth
the sages found and fought over
now the mirror of Truth lies
shattered, each piece valued, possessed
for the truth it deflected


If living memory is the period from the end of the WW II to the present, then the world experienced and survived in a bi-polar world. The U.S. and U.S.S.R. at either end, and other countries allied with one or the other.

There was an attempt to make it tri-polar world led by Nehru, Sukarno, Zhou Enlai, Tito and Nasser to float a Non Aligned Movement but it fizzled out. The vision was briefly re-launched on September 3, 1979, in Havana. Since then it has met eight times but is reduced to photo-ops and the passing of bombastic resolutions.

For the moment, we live in a uni-polar world. The U.S. is the new god, prophet, and church rolled into one. This of course cannot last forever, but we have to live through these times. However, there is an interesting paradox.

The U.S. psyche operates on the presence of an adversary. Without an adversary, the key players of today are at sea. After the fall of U.S.S.R., the think-tanks recognized this and tried to manufacture an adversary.

Their initial attempts to fill the void with Muslims failed. The intellectual arguments did not cut it with the average Joe and Jane. They proved more insightful and intelligent and were not easily persuaded to buy into the case. They knew Muslims spread over scores of countries and continents were as diverse as Christians, Jews, or followers of any other faith.

The shoe drops: 9/11!

That changed things in a hurry. The think-tankers with a push from the neconzix succeeded in manufacturing an enemy. Al Qaeda was born and branded in a miraculously short period of time. Overnight it became synonymous with Muslim terrorism.

What took Coke, Pepsi, and McDonalds decades to achieve was done almost overnight. Voila! We have an adversary now. Haliburton and other multi-nationals rubbed their hands in glee.

This sudden elevation of and focus on the beleaguered Muslims delighted the hard liners in the world wide Muslim clergy and saddened the Silent Majority of Muslims--the ones we dub and chastise as Moderate Muslims today.

(FYI: I am neither, having been dubbed immoderate by Desicritic's Publisher Aaman Lamba.)

Islamophobia? I am not in favor of throwing this term around. How can any rational person lump over 1.2 billion diverse Muslims world wide together so naively? Try Jewphobia, Hinduphobia, Christophobia for a fit and see for yourself how ridiculous they appear.

I consider 9/11 a wake-up call for the Silent Majority of Muslims. The moderate Muslims have no choice but to stand up and be counted. They have to overcome their natural proclivity to be silent spectators. There is no room left for that. For if they continue to maintain their traditionally low profile, the void will be filled by the volatile and outspoken hard liners.

Islam and the majority of Muslims would suffer. The Silent Majority has to wrestle their turf away from the hard-line clergy. It will be a long and uphill task. They have no choice! Do we help or hinder?


Blogger Surya Ragunaathan said...

gr8 poetry!! especially Sleeveless words for that one....just excellent!!

March 17, 2006 1:41 PM  

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