Pakistanis protesting against cartoons

The grisly show continues, as mobs in Pakistan swing into action to defend the Prophet by…vandalizing businesses in Peshawar.  That’ll show those villains at Jyllands-Posten. 

I’m reminded a bit of race riots in this country, where rioters often shoot themselves in the foot by trashing shops and other scarce economic infrastructure in their own communities.  The psychological reasons are complex, of course, but it’s still tragic.

Moreover, with all its economic and political problems–not to mention the soaring influence of its rival and sworn enemy next door–Pakistan really can’t afford to piss off the rest of the world, or further sully its already abysmal international image. 

What is accomplished by these ugly displays of demagoguery, other than further weaken Pakistan’s already fragile state of law & order, I don’t know.

Insha’Allah, the delegation of ulema in Pakistan will douse these fires. [HT: Seeker's Digest]

But at this point, people organizing riots probably aren’t terribly concerned about Pakistan, Muslims, or the Prophet’s honor.   This is about raising or maintaining their political profiles.  Today, it’s defending the Prophet (pbuh); tomorrow they’ll find another pretext to create a crisis.

Of course, American media coverage will ignore the role America played in creating these destabilizing social forces in Pakistan by showering money and prestige on even the most ferocious and homicidal jihadi groups during the Afghan Jihad (see Asad Abu Khalil’s THE BATTLE FOR SAUDI ARABIA and Mahmoud Mamdani’s GOOD MUSLIM, BAD MUSLIM) and instead take Pakistan to task for being a "failed state". 

Aljazeera.Net – Mobs rampage in Pakistan

    More than 70,000 protesters in Peshawar have burnt a fast-food restaurant, offices of two mobile phone companies and three cinemas as violence continues in Pakistan for a third day over the Prophet Muhammad cartoons.
    Three people were killed and dozens injured in the violence in two cities, police and witnesses said on Wednesday.

  • Deni

    I think these mobs are suffering from an irony deficiency.
    There was a Sufi Shaykh in Algeria, I believe (someone please correct me if I’m mistaken) it was Sidi Ahmad Al-Alawi RA (cf A Sufi Saint Of The Twentieth Century by Martin Lings), who said something along the lines of…”The West has conquered us with technology…we will conquer them with love…” There isn’t a day that goes by where I feel more and more that this is the righteous way. Why did our Creator send Prophets (millions of salaams be upon them all)? For what purpose? Was it to create a change in consciousness (thus leading to a “withering away” of the injustice and malice that humans love to heap upon each other) or was it to create earthly empires based upon tribal glory? Will the application of fire and steel upon human flesh (or buildings for that matter) actually change the baser instincts of man?
    Yes I’m an “Islamic Hippy”…why not? It doesn’t mean that I reject Jihad. I support struggle and just war against the forces of tyranny and malice. However, my only ammo and weapons are Love and Truth….they’re actually quite disarming against your opponents…the Umma should try giving it a go.
    Wasalaam from an Islamic Hippy.

  • svend

    Very true. The Romans used to say Amor vincit omniam, Love conquers all. Of course, they meant a different type of love (unbridled passion and loss of self-control), but the saying applies on multiple levels.