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Many are in denial about Pakistan
By Raheel Raza, The Ottawa Citizen May 23, 2011
Sadly, if you pick up a news report anywhere in the world, from Abbottabad to Ajax, today, you will find at least one story dealing with the many problems related to the land of my land of birth, Pakistan.
Pakistanis, who are Muslim in majority, are spread all over the world but also live in large numbers in Canada. In fact, the latest statistics show Pakistan to be one of the five major countries from where the largest number of immigrants come to Canada.
Being one of those immigrants, I have interacted with them and observed behaviour patterns over the years. And I’ve found they tend to live in denial. Most Pakistanis love conspiracy theories, so they believe it must be a media conspiracy that their fellow countrymen are in the news.
Let’s take a quick look at current events and the denial that goes with it.
According to many well-educated, elite Pakistanis, Osama bin Laden was really not living in Pakistan and is actually not dead -all this is a hoax; two Florida imams accused of supporting the Taliban have been set up; the “Toronto 18” were all innocent; and a PakistaniCanadian businessman accused of links to the Mumbai bombing is being framed.
Yes, they would love to believe this just as many of them think Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was not selling nuclear secrets and that in fact, there is no danger with Pakistan’s 100 nuclear warheads.
Much of the rhetoric is peppered with words like “U.S./Zionist conspiracy,” and they can wax eloquent for hours about blaming everyone else but Pakistan for their problems and the problems of the Muslim world.
Rarely are phrases such as “reflecting on our weaknesses,” or “cleaning up our garbage before we blame others,” used.
None of this comes as a surprise to those of us who saw the writing on the wall many decades ago and left Pakistan because it was falling straight into the arms of Wahabbifunded Islamists fighting an armed jihad, and the country had lost its ethical and moral compass.
But many of these same expatriate Pakistanis now yell discrimination, racism, Islamo-phobia and now the new term “Muslim-phobia,” when Pakistan becomes the main focus of world attention in terms of anti-terrorism policies.
Many confused Pakistanis complain that they live under a kind of McCarthyism in Canada. Let me remind them that if they had actually been living through a McCarthy era today, they would not get up every morning and trot off to their 9-to-5 jobs or live and move around freely as we do today.
Under a true McCarthyite regime we would all be questioned wherever we are and have to prove our innocence in the face of fingers pointing at the complicity of our fellow countrymen in inciting terror, violence and hatred in the name of Islam.
I would love to see these Pakistanis take to the streets when Christians and Ahmedis are indiscriminately killed in Pakistan; lobby against honour killings in their homeland; shout out when the governor of Punjab was shot and killed, followed by the minister for minorities.
Many of them are complicit by their silence. They have been so busy pointing fingers at others that now when all fingers are pointing to Pakistan, they are lost. We don’t have to support rogue nations, even if those nations are our native lands.
Let me remind my fellow countrymen and co-religionists that our faith does not ask us for allegiance to corrupt regimes but encourages us to show loyalty to the lands in which we live and earn our living and where our children have a future.
Raheel Raza is the author of Their Jihad … Not my Jihad.
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