...(T)he Pakistani American who refreshed and brought home the horror of the 9/11 last week for Americans with the Times Square bombing plot, ostensibly got the best of everything that the great American dream could offer.
Yet something went wrong somewhere and he snapped. His innocent, likable cherubic face with an infectious smile that stares out of television screens and newspaper front pages doesn’t quite fit the profile of a killer or a terrorist who could bomb a square full of people. But then looks can be deceptive.
I might look like a thug to my colleagues and neighbors but I couldn’t kill a fly. Honest! Timothy McVeigh who killed 168 people in cold, mindless rage in 1995 in the worst case of domestic terrorism in US history continued to smile until the very last. Faisal Shahzad is in detention now and is said to be already singing to glory. Such is the persuasive power of “enhanced interrogation techniques” as Dick Cheney would call them.
That doesn’t mean he is guilty though. Or that he is the one who planted that vehicle out there on the Times Square, one of New York’s — and America’s — most celebrated landmarks. It could have been any one. It’s too early to pronounce him guilty— or otherwise. So many innocents have been summarily framed, imprisoned and expended in this never ending war that even Americans do not believe their authorities when usual suspects like Faisal Shahzad are routinely picked up and accused of everything under the sun.
According to stories done by America’s own hallowed newspapers including The New York Times and Washington Post, most of those languishing in the Guantanamo Bay are likely innocent men, who just happened to be at a wrong place at a wrong time.
Apparently, in these extraordinary times being an Arab or Muslim is in itself a crime, especially when you also sport a beard and are found within the striking distance of a plane or other equally dangerous flying objects. But if Faisal Shahzad is indeed guilty of the crime he’s being accused of, it would come as no surprise to anyone, including his folks back home in Pakistan — or Muslims around the world.
Whatever the reasons and excuses — justified or imagined — this is increasingly becoming a disturbing pattern, not just in Pakistan but across the world.
Everyone is now suitably sick and tired of the worn out arguments about the historical US and Western policies and actions being responsible for the radicalization of the Muslim world. For we have been there too often and done that ad nauseam. I’ve myself done hundreds of articles for what they are worth, underscoring the historical circumstances and colonial machinations that have turned the Middle East and the larger Muslim world a blazing and blistering inferno. Those arguments are still valid. As ever, big powers continue to play their little games in our part of the world. Nothing has changed.
But how long are we going to remain stuck in this all-consuming, infernal quagmire, even if this mess is not of our making? How long are young Muslims like Faisal Shahzad going to kill and be killed to avenge the Western excesses and historical injustices?
For this is not just against the spirit and teachings of a great faith, this self-destructive mission consuming thousands of young and talented lives like Faisal Shahzad is not helping anyone, let alone the so-called cause of global Islam. Despicable and totally indefensible acts by characters like Faisal, Abdulmutallib, and Ajmal Qasab, another Pakistani who with his comrades went on the rampage in Mumbai in 2008 killing 166 innocent people, do not just distort and degrade a noble religion, they are turning the whole world against its followers.
If this is a war against the US and its Western allies for their blind and unquestioning support and mollycoddling of Israel, as we all understand it to be, it has yet to make the West revise or amend its wretched policies. In fact, every attack, successful or not, makes Americans and rest of the world even more hostile toward Muslims everywhere and strengthens their enemies...
Got that? It's not about Allah's comand--command, mind you, with no wiggle room--to spread the one true faith (by terrorism, if that's what works) until it's numero uno world-wide. It's about young Muslim lads who suddenly "snap"--and who can really blame them?--at the sight of infidel mafeasance.