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  The solution has to come from within Muslim society  


By: Lachman Sippy
July 23, 2003

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There was a letter in Dawn of Karachi-Pakistan Dt 6th July 2003. The letter refers to response of an American Professor to the request of three students of Aga Khan University- Pakistan for research fellowship in Duke University- USA.

Misplaced suspicion

American Professor has expressed his frustration in admitting students from Islamic societies by giving below mentioned observations to Pakistani aspirants. Perhaps the authors of jihadi campaign were not prepared for this type of response, fire fighting efforts of Musharraf & Co notwithstanding :

a) Your ethnicity and your age (student age = idealistic) are so similar to those of the jihad-minded terrorists from the schools that nurtured the Taliban and Al Qaeda that it is not worth our trouble to try to determine if you are a well-disguised terrorist or a real learning-motivated medical student. You may well be innocent, but some of your neighbours are as potentially lethal as anthrax or HIV, and must be protected against.

b) The problem of such global terrorism, motivated by a delusion of holy sanction for the killing of the "infidels", comes mainly from your world and culture. You must solve it internally, or face rejection and suspicion such as mine from outside.

c) If you and your fellows do not root out such unreason from your own ranks, you leave it to be solved by unsympathetic military violence from outsiders. I believe it can only be finally solved by your internal action, and I pray you can find better and less violent solutions than we outsiders must use. You will then stand forth as true heroes and peace-bringers to all of humanity, rather than as members of a culture suspected of fostering, tolerating and covertly sympathizing with the deluded and doomed pseudo-heroism of future-hating jihad-minded suicide bombers. War-makers are no longer the heroes humanity needs.

The reply from One of the applicants is indicative of the inability of those in Islamic society who are the real victims of this jihadi mindset. The inner resilience to take on the jihadi groups is lacking and an effort is made to find the causes that give birth to Jihadi warriors.

It seems that Islamic societies are more determined about the need to carry out Jihad rather than the need to spare the world from the ravages of it. The trend has to be reversed by the adherents of Islam only. Rest of mankind is not antagonistic to Islam as is being made out by the followers of that faith.

The solution has to come from within Muslim society. While the anguish of Muslims in such situations can well be understood, Muslims also have to understand the deep wounds and torture that has afflicted millions and millions around the globe due to their ill conceived and intolerant “jihad”.

Lachman Sippy

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