Pakistanis protesting against cartoons

Pakistanis protesting against cartoons February 17, 2006

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.

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