Friday, December 12, 2008

Cognitive dissonance

Najam Sethi in The Friday Times (Pakistan) - sorry, no URL, the TFT is behind a subscription firewall.

....the contradictory position adopted by Pakistanis on the issue of “Islamist terrorism” is evidence of guilt in the eyes of the world. For instance, we cannot say that neo-con America carried out the 9/11 attacks in order to create a pretext to attack Iraq and Afghanistan, and also claim in the same breath that “America had it coming” because of its imperialist and unjust policies in the Muslim world. In the case of 9/11, the remarkable thing is that both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri have proudly and publicly “owned” the attack not once but several times even as most Pakistanis fervently insist that they didn’t do it! In the case of India, the incompetence of its police and security services is excuse enough for most Pakistanis to make the contradictory claim that no Pakistani non-state actor was involved because such sophistication and audacity could only have been manufactured internally by the Indian intelligence services in their devious agenda to break up Pakistan.

Most? I don't know if Najam Sethi has taken a poll. But this cognitive dissonance - simultaneous holding of the ideas that America (India) attacked itself as part of a devious plot, and that America (India) was attacked because of its anti-Muslim policies - is a common feature of the Pakistani public discourse.

Even worse than "Pakistan is a failed state" is "Pakistanis are a failed people".


CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Step One: Dehumanize the enemy.

Anonymous said...

This is what Mohammed Ali Jinnah(the father of Pakistan) said on March 10, 1941:

".. Hindus and Muslims differ fundamentally. But even amongst the Hindus themselves there are castes sub-castes and numerous other divisions exclusive of each other and 60 millions of depressed classes are considered untouchables. The irony of the situation is that the Hindu caste community which is not only least fitted but unfit for any experiment in the realm of democracy is clamouring for and is falling head over heels in love with democracy. The Hindu leaders are doing great harm to the interest of the country by ignoring realities and building on sand.

It was after mature consideration that the Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution popularly known as Pakistan. Pakistan has been there for centuries. It is there today and it will remain till the end of the world. They are our homelands. They were taken from us and we want them back. What title have Hindus to it? I maintain that it is more in the interests of Hindus themselves. The League advocates independent states for the Mussalmans where they are in a majority and as well for Hindus where they are in a majority that is the Hindu zones. Surely they ought to be contented with that. Their dream to rule over the whole of India will never materialize."

Jinnah said in March 1944:
"Pakistan, the Quaid-e-Azam remarked, was not the product of the conduct or misconduct of the Hindus. It had always been there; only they were not conscious of it. Hindus and Muslims, though living in the same towns and villages, had never been blended into one nation; they were always two separate entities.

Tracing the history of the beginning of Islam in India, he proved that Pakistan started the moment the first non-Muslim was converted to Islam in India long before the Muslims established their rule. As soon as a Hindu embraced Islam he was outcast not only religiously but also socially, culturally and economically.

As for the Muslim, it was a duty imposed on him by Islam not to merge his identity and individuality in any alien society. Throughout the ages Hindus had remained Hindus and Muslims had remained Muslims, and they had not merged their entities - that was the basis for Pakistan. In a gathering of European and American officials he was asked as to who was the author of Pakistan. Mr. Jinnah's reply was 'Every Mussalman.' "

Daily Times Pakistan:
Pakistan Studies textbooks in Pakistan have been used to articulate the hatred that Pakistani policy-makers have attempted to inculcate towards the Hindus. “Vituperative animosities legitimise military and autocratic rule, nurturing a siege mentality,” the report said.

Government-issued textbooks teach students that Hindus are backward and superstitious, and given a chance, they would assert their power over the weak, especially, Muslims, depriving them of education by pouring molten lead in their ears. “Pakistan Studies textbooks are an active site to represent India as a hostile neighbour,” the report stated. “The story of Pakistan’s past is intentionally written to be distinct from, and often in direct contrast with, interpretations of history found in India. From the government-issued textbooks, students are taught that Hindus are backward and superstitious.”

The report added that students were taught that Islam brought peace, equality, and justice to the subcontinent, to check the sinister ways of Hindus.

“In Pakistani textbooks “Hindus” rarely appears in a sentence without adjective such as politically astute, sly, or manipulative,” the report says.
Hafiz Saeed, head of Lashkar E Taiba:
Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir is, in this construction, necessarily evil and oppressive, because "the Hindus have no compassion in their religion." "In fact," Hafiz Mohammed Saeed who heads Markaz Dawa wal'Irshad, a seminary which runs a massive network of charitable and educational institutions in Pakistan, had declared some years ago, "the Hindu is a mean enemy and the proper way to deal with him is the one adopted by our forefathers, who crushed them by force."

Last month's issue of the Jamaat-ul-Dawa's house journal Majallat al-Dawa has proclaimed that its fidayeen commandos would soon "butcher every Hindu and Kashmir will be freed." The magazine flatly noted that "our fidayeen love to slit the throats of Hindu dogs," adding the "Hindus understand the language of knives and guns only."
About a fortnight before two blasts rocked Hyderabad on August 25, 2007, Lashkar-e-Tayeba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed told a gathering at Lahore that he has started a movement to occupy Muslim populated regions in India.

He said Pakistan must reclaim Muslim areas like J&K, Hyderabad, Junagarh, Munabao and West Bengal which, he said, was forcibly occupied by India in 1947. Saeed even released a new map of Pakistan incorporating these areas. A week before Saeed spoke, an al Qaeda video footage warned India of renewed terrorist attacks.

Arun said...

Bullshit, CIP, only humans suffer from cognitive dissonance.

Here is Margaret Bourke-White dehumanizing Pakistan in 1947:

"I think that the tortured appearance of Mr. Jinnah was an indication that, in these final months of his life, he was adding up his own balance sheet. Analytical, brilliant, and no bigot, he knew what he had done. Like Doctor Faustus, he had made a bargain from which he could never be free. During the heat of the struggle he had been willing to call on all the devilish forces of superstition, and now that his new nation had been achieved the bigots were in the position of authority. The leaders of orthodoxy and a few "old families" had the final word and, to perpetuate their power, were seeing to it that the people were held in the deadening grip of religious superstition."

Arun said...

CIP, I also request that you read through Anonymous' post.