Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Interview with Sharon Chadha - Part 3


In an effort to see what sane Muslims around the world really think of the War on Terror, I'm posting excerpts from an email interview I did with Maqsoodul Haque, lead singer of the band Maqsood O'dHAKA.
Here's one of his recordings on YouTube to download and play while you read this post.For the record, I'm not promoting Mac's way of thinking here as my own. While I believe him to be a person of good will - as someone who wants to build bridges across this great chasm we must now all confront - I disagree with many of his assessments on why we are in the particular fix we are.
And for the record, I'm sure he has lots of, well, quibbles with my views too. But hey, there's room enough in the world for both our points of view, isn't there?The hyperlinks in his responses, incidentally, were supplied by Mac, and I encourage you to click on them as I think they clarify some of his reference points.Yesterday Mac described what he learned about jihad from his parents and Islamic tutors. Here he explains what some real-life (or, as he says, "reel-life") jihads taught him:

...Then came 1971 and we watched the bloody birth of Bangladesh, our nation having fought a heroic guerrilla campaign to oust the Pakistani oppressors. With independence also came our doubts about the US and its intentions in the region. . .when it deployed its Seventh Fleet to the Bay of Bengal – to intervene and frustrate the aspirations of the Bengalees, so as to assist the Pakistani Army in carrying out their various crimes.

All of this happened when I was an impressionable fourteen-year-old.But it was also your great nation, together with British rockers, that organized the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden that publicized our struggle. . .Then there was the Jihad called by the Mujahideen against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1908s that was supported by the [Carter and] Reagan administrations as part of the US interest to do away with the Soviet Union. That was when the mujahideen were seen as freedom fighters by the U.S. Congress. . .The Jihad in Afghanistan was the first Jihad in a thousand years and we could watch it on TV and at the movies (Rambo)….When a Muslim nation declares Jihad it becomes obligatory for other Muslims to join in and the least I could do was watch.

I was surprised by the numbers of volunteers who were queuing up to fight the Jihad but with the US backing and Pakistan providing the supply and support base, this classic Jihad was surely destined for victory.Blow-by-tragic blow, we saw the
fall of Afghanistan, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the departure of the Mujahideen. The initial lessons from this Afghan jihad didn’t come from the Koran, but from
US-funded text books.Then it was the rise of the Taliban, Bin-Laden Terror Inc, the cataclysmic fall of the Twin Towers, the fall of the Taliban, Iraq and its rulers, and - as if this grotesque theatre was in need of a new 'reel-life' drama - the capture and hanging of Saddam Hussein.Who but the lunatic fringe would seriously contemplate any kind of militant engagement with the West? But, despite all the demonization, the mud-slinging, and unhealthy abuses hurled on Muslims since 9/11, there has at the same time been a rise in the understanding and awareness of Islam never before witnessed in history.The state of the world today is a glaring example of how much caution and close scrutiny are required to trap the genie of Global Jihad that has been unleashed on all of us. I am convinced that neither Muslims, Christians, Jews, nor Hindus are the enemy. As my Bangladeshi Poet friend Nadeem Rahman put it:

Christ the Jew has become me and you, the Serb, the Croat, the Muslim
Bosnian, cut to pieces with a burst of hideous laughter from a heartless machine gun. From the Dome of the Rock to the Babri Mosque shot down like a dog in the name of countless gods, Christ cried at the cross and died of shame, for the Judas in all of us.

Sharon Chadha

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