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Peshawar Taliban Massacre: Global Turning Point Against Religious Fanaticism

By Feroze Mithiborwala

21 December, 2014
Countercurrents.org

Pakistani school children light candles for their dear departed

The Peshawar Massacre is a turning point against the forces of religious extremism, terror and the Anglo-Zionist Imperial war-machine. The struggle against these very reactionary forces, will define the course of our collective human history and over the course of the coming decade. The struggle will lead to the rise of the secular, liberal, Left democratic and liberatory spiritual forces across the world.

It will also now ensure that the believers across all faiths will look deep within and introspect at the sheer insanity, hatred, divisions and strife that has been unleashed by their religious leaders and co-religionists. The people of faith will need to wage a concerted struggle to redefine and reclaim their core beliefs based on the universal values of love, compassion and a caring, sensitive society.

Clearly what we have witnessed in Peshawar is a sheer disbasement and dehumanization of religion. The answers to this existential crisis will emerge from the various spiritual compassionate streams that abound in our civilizations.

In the wake of the Peshawar terror attack, the conscience of the people of Pakistan has been stirred beyond comparision and they are no longer willing to be cowed down in fear by the threat of the gun of a terrorist. There is clearly a major break, as the various religious extremists as well as even the orthodox conservatives that have been supportive of the Taliban as well as the other extremist violent terrorist organizations are all facing the ire of the masses and have thus been compelled to condemn this vile act - more out of the public pressure, than by a sense of conviction.

The brazen massacre of the school children by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, further unbelievably justified in their warped understanding of Islam, has further shocked the masses.

Depraved: The Taliban gunmen who slaughtered 148 innocent people, including 132 children, are pictured just hours before the massacre. The white banner they pose in front of is the flag of the Pakistani Taliban and reads: 'There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger’

In the immediate aftermath of the terror attack, the very first responses and the calls for widespread protests emerged from within the Labour unions, secular mass organizations and NGO's. This even as the religious orthodox sections were running to hide their faces.

Protests broke out across every city and town across Pakistan, all the way from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Quetta amongst others.

The fact that India too is witnessing protests across the country is heartening, and says Com. Farooq Tariq (Leader of the Labour Party Pakistan, LPP) "the protests in India, the solidarity that we have received from India has been heartwarming and is being widely discussed and appreciated across Pakistan". He also said that "Peshawar is a turning point for Pakistan beyong any doubt, as all the major religious parties and organizations stand exposed for their ideological and material support for religious extremism and terrorism".

Clearly here to in India, the anger over Peshawar is being linked to the threat that the rabid Hindutva forces pose to India's democracy and secularism. Here too the message is that we have to stand and fight against the forces of religious fanaticism without any exception.

Most interesting was the fact that the people laid siege to the infamous Lal Masjid in Islamabad, as Imam Abdul Aziz refused to condemn the vile terror act, even as he continued to support the Tehreek-i-Taliban. The protesters held a vigil at the Lal Masjid and demanded that the police arrest the terror sympathiser Maulana and open all the old cases against him.

As the numbers at the vigil grew, so did the tension between the Taliban supporting Imam Aziz and the protesters and soon the police arrived in large numbers. Even as the police officials led by SSP Operations Asmatullah Junaejo asked the protesters to withdraw, the people responded with angry heackling, boos and slogans.

“Instead of lecturing us, arrest the terrorist sitting inside the mosque,” one shouted in the crowd. “Protect the general public and their children instead of protecting terrorists and Lal Masjid,” yelled another.

“Why he is Maulana Aziz openly propagating his thoughts based on hate? He should be put behind bars by the authorities", said the protesters.

Naeem Mirza said that the "Lal Masjid was openly supporting terrorists who carried out attack on school. He also demanded stern action against such elements freely rooming in the society."

The siege of Lal Masjid continues, even as the protests are spreading to include more and more sections of the youth, students, women and working classes.

This clearly is indicative of a situation where increasingly the masses are no longer willing to remain beholden and entrapped in the name of religion, which they clearly see as having been taken over by a cult of hate, violence, fear, sectarian division, murder, mayhem, suicide terror attacks and worse - all in the name of religion, which has now been debased and abused way beyond recognition.

These terror cults, beholden to a very supremacist and virulent interpretation of Islam, that labels 'the other' as a kafir and thus a legitimate target for death, the reward for which is heaven and the famed 72 hurs.

Within these cults of terror are also operate the international drugs and weapon smuggling cartels as well as mercenaries of death, who are now operating from the battlefields of Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, Mali, Afghanistan to Pakistan, as well as in other theatres of destabilization and war.

All of these non-state terror organizations are backed by the deep Pakistani Military and Intelligence apparatus and have now grown into gargantuan Frankensteins targeting their very masters and creators. They range from the Al Qaeda, Haqqani Network (CIA linked to both), Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipaha-e-Sahaba and myriad others.

It is after Peshawar that a consensus has emerged within the Pakistani political and military establishment that they have to end their narrative of "good terrorist and bad terrorist" and finally end support to and wipe out all Non-State Actors.

In the case of ISIS, supposedly the new global threat, it's very creation and sustainability is specifically linked to the American CIA, Saudi and Qatari Intel, the Turkish MIT, Israeli Mossad, British MI5-MI6, German BND and the French DGSE Intelligence agencies.

Thus there is a deep relationship between the forces of Imperialism, Zionism and Religious extremism and fanaticism.

These objective realities are now being understood by both intellectuals and the masses alike.

During the course of the last three and a half decades, the world has witnessed the rise of the forces of Anglo-Zionist imperialism, the unchallenged growth of a violent predator capitalism, closely linked to the growth of the conservative supremacist religious right, as well as the cult of religio-sectarian terror organizations.

The Peshawar massacre symbolises the very crisis of Imperialism. Even as now the people will begin to move away from the system of mass control, namely the religion of fear. Today millions of believers across the world are ashamed to identify with these religio-sectarian forces, deeply embedded and controlled by the imperial financial structures - and are no longer willing to be cowed down and are challenging the narrative of hate and death.

Clearly, across the course of the last three decades and more, even as the role of religion has increased in the public sphere, it has largely reduced the space for 'democratic-spiritual' spaces and the freedom of thought and expression. Thus far removed from the exclusivists concepts such as Kafir, Goyim or Heathen and therefore the crisis within the three faiths of Abrahamic Semitic origin are more deep rooted.

On the other hand, there is another liberatory stream of religion committed to the emancipation of humanity, and poses a challenge to the politics of fear, hatred and exclusion. Even as all forms of organized religion are facing a existential theological crisis, even as they are being taken over by the most rabid of extremist elements, we also observe that people who seek a relationship with the Divine, to experience the Divine, are moving towards various spiritual paths and experiences, far removed for the dogma of religion based on fear and hate.

Thus it is here we witness the expansion of spiritual democratic spaces, which are ushering a compassionate and a sensitive inclusive understanding of religion and an experience of the Divine.

This is far removed from the cacophony of the hate-based exclusivist cults, all who believe have the monopoly over the final truth and the keys to heaven and hell. These divisions and religio-sectarian hatreds have only served to divide entire societies and nations, leading to civil wars and strife, thus only serving the agenda of the global ruling elites and their local collaborators.

This even as the mortal battle between the US-NATO on the one hand and Russia-China on the other, will redefine the international balance of power, leading to the rise of a multi-polar world, and also where the Eurasian land mass will challenge the power of a declining USA.

The glaring covert ties between the Anglo-Zionist axis and the religio-sectarian terrorist cults are most glaringly evident from the battlefields of Palestine, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine, Chechenya, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It has been in the battlefields of Kobane (Kurdish Autonomous Province in Northern Syria) that the valiant resistance of the Kurdish women and men of the YPJ-YPG ensured that the ISIS could not conquer their territory.

The Kurdish resistance ably led by the PYD, which is essentially linked to the PKK, or the Kurdish Workers Party. The fact that they created democratic committees at the grassroots, which were inclusive of all diversities, namely gender, ethnicity and religion, was a unique model for the sharing of political power and self-rule for the larger region. At every tier of the political leadership, administration and to the army, the women formed 50 percent of the membership of the committees without any exception. This very progressive, inclusive and empowering structure has ensured that the society is united in their struggle against ISIS which has failed to even capture the small town of Kobane on the Syria-Turkish border. This even whilst ISIS has succeeded to conquer large swathes of land in a deeply divided Iraq. Ths Kobane clearly does have some answers for the world.

The resistance in Kobane brought out the obvious connections between the ISIS and their US-Nato-GCC-Turkish backers. The fact that ISIS camps were functioning in the Hatay province of Turkey, with the entire operation run by top operatives of the CIA and Mossad as per Scott Rickaard an ex-FBI agent, amongst many leading intelligence experts.

It should also be noted that the gains made in Syria by the ISIS is on the strength of foreign fighters and mercenaries drawn from over 80 countries across the world, all of whom are are part of the US-Saudi global network of fanatical fighters with an extremly wraped and racist supremacist version of Islam. The ISIS gains in Syria are mainly due to the fact that the support in terms of highly trained fighters, weapons and logistical support that continue to pour in from across the four neighbouring countries namely Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

Similarly the entire ISIS operation underway in Syria has been tracked back to these very forces. The funds for the ISIS and similar religio-sectarian organizations flow from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, as well as other GCC nations, front companies receive these funds in London and Ankara, after which they are disbursed to fund the army of mercenaries.

Syrian President Bashar al Assad, is clearly a secular leader, acceptable to all sections of Syrian society and is a unifying force that represents a progressive inclusive Syrian nationalism.

It was again the resistance of the Syrian Arab Army, supported by the the overwhelming majority of the people, who accepted the secular leadership of President Bashar al Assad and refused to be divided along religious, sectarian and ethnic divisions, who have resisted the regional and global onslaught on their nation of 23 million. Here inclusive Syrian nationalism has triumphed over the forces of division and strife, even as the nation unites to counter the Imperialist aggression.

Thus clearly the resistance to the forces of religious chauvinism, clearly aligned with the forces of Anglo-Zionist Imperialism and their local collaborators, are being confronted by the democratic, secular, leftist, progressive forces, as is evident from the battlefields of Syria, Kurdish Kobane to now in Pakistan.

The world is witnessing a grave crisis of political and economic systems, the monopolies of Trans-National Corporations and Bankers, even as our religio-cultural discourse and values have moved far towards the extreme right, as is evident.

It is over the course of the coming decade that we will witness great changes of epic proportions that will sweep across the world, changes that will lead to the re-ordering of the international architecture, as well as struggles that will challenge the internal inequalities. And clearly as important are the democratic spiritual struggles that need to be waged against the forces of the religious cults of violence and strife.

Feroze Mithiborwala is President of Bharat Bachao Andolan Email: feroze.moses777@gmail.com

 

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