When Porucpine read of the troubles in London, his mind flitted to a book he had recently finished. Called The Reluctant Fundamentalist, it is a slim 184 page book in the form of a monologue by Changez, a Princeton educated Pakistani, making a future for himself in the world of Manhattan finance. Then, Sept. 11 happens, and he returns to Pakistan, disturbed most of all by his own emotions. Changez is in Manila on 9/11 and sees the towers come down on TV. He tells the American who serves as his audience in the book, "...I smiled. Yes, despicable as it may sound, my initial reaction was to be remarkably pleased... I was caught up in the symbolism of it all, the fact that someone had so visibly brought America to her knees..." especially in the world of finance, which he knows so well, where America has chosen to demonstrate its global supremacy. Later, he speaks of the Janissaries, "The janissaries were always taken in childhood. It would have been far more difficult to devote themselves to their adopted empire, you see, if they had memories they could not forget". The implication is that the West is attempting to create a class of economic and social Janissaries with its education of Middle Eastern students, and exposure to the freedoms of western life. After all, how can they want to return to rigid Sh'aira law after they've been to Disneyworld, and voted in Presidential elections? The book became even more relevant when the professions of the Glasgow and London terrorists were revealed. They were medical doctors, with secure places in the society and financial circumstances of Liverpool. One commentator said that he found it odd that they chose to become suidide bombers, as they could have killed dozens as physicians. Porcupine shook his head. How little we understand, or respect, the deep and sincere impulses that drive these souls. The ability to wait for years, attending parties and cordial coffee breaks with those you will eventually try to kill. Because the Prophet would have it so. We were so sure we had bought them off with status and respectabiltiy, weren't we? We simply cannot believe that anyone would turn their backs on a world of soft beds and full bellies for a religious principle. Perhaps because we had our own cleansing fire in the Reformation, 400 years ago, we cannot remember that people have always been willing to die for faith. And yet here they are (HERE).
As a sidebar to the UK story, it is worth pondering that the Senate was going to allow the skilled and educated (who can produce more tax revenue?) to jump to the front of the line as 'desirable' in the recently failed immigration bill. Perhaps this is one more nail in the coffin of that miserable hodge-podge. Perhaps now we will recognize that we need to enforce our laws, and stop trying to run background checks on people whose names and credentials may be fictitious. It is time to recognize that a western education is not the brainwashing we think it is.
There was a time when that soft-spoken Indian in the Saville Row suit was Mohandas Ghandi, whose only threat - and it was an effective one - was to resume a dhoti upon returning to his native land. We must recognize that now he is just as likely to be Usama bin Laden, intent upon a scene like this one
UPDATE: After writing this post, Porcupine came across this piece in the UK's Daily Mail, which is a chilling insight into the mind of fanaticism - Porcupine urges all to read and consider it - HERE.
Labels: terrorism, UK