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article imageOp-Ed: Juan Williams, Vivian Schiller, and Suicide Bombers

By Frank Kaufmann     Oct 25, 2010 in World
Multan - Khalid Tanveer, in his AP article, writes of the suicide bomb killing five and wounding 13 during morning prayers Monday at the Farid Shakar Ganj shrine in the Punjab province in Pakistan.
The bomb, planted on a motorcycle, exploded at the gate of a famous Sufi shrine dedicated to a 12th century saint.
Reading through the short article alerts us to similar recent events including the suicide attack earlier this month on a beloved Sufi shrine in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, killing at least eight people and wounding 65 others, the suicide attack in July that killed 47 people at the nation's most revered Sufi shrine, Data Darbar in the eastern city of Lahore, and the roadside bomb that struck a passenger van in the Orakzai tribal region on Monday, killing three people and wounding two others.
According to Tanveer, the attacks derive from the perception that the practice of mystical Sufism clashes with hard line interpretations of Islamist militants
Pakistan, formally known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is 95% Muslim.
The overwhelming burden of sadness that fills our hearts as we ponder the tragic and violent deaths and maiming of innocent people who had arisen in their modest lives to pray at dawn, is so perfectly different from the gagging I feel when wading through more media narcissism this time on the pampered over importance afforded such celebrity bourgeoisie as Juan Williams and Vivian Schiller. Yet both stories address the same deeply serious matter, namely the contemporary dimension of violence associated with Islam.
In Tanveer’s report, we are spared for a moment the confounding and confusing factor of “Islam” and “the West.” In the 95% Muslim nation of Pakistan we have a more “pure case.” We can engage this question filled with a human heart of care and compassion, and still for a moment the inane screeching and ignorant artifice of American, mid-term politicians wielding grotesque wedges in obedience to the cynical campaign leeches and numbers-crunchers they hire.
The horror, the sadness, and the sacrilege here is in a single fabric and cultural sphere. Regardless of what frightens Mr. Williams, the blood on the ground, the weeping mothers and infants, whose crime for execution was arising at dawn to walk chilly streets to pray says clearly, that somehow, at some point, and in some way the world of Islam with its many many jewels of beauty is, or has become infected with a virulent strain of violence. Many of my friends write in a most sophisticated way that violence is inextricable from the roots of the faith. So far I argue against them. But this question aside, there can be no doubt that one of, if not the most pressing task for sincere Muslim leaders in this time, is to take very seriously the mission to root out this link and association. The violence, the murder, the disfigurement, and the perversity must be stopped.
I for one would love to spend my dawn hours communing in the light that still shines from the saintly life of Hazrat Bābā Farīduddīn Mas'ūd Ganjshakar. There should be peace and serenity in such places. Especially at dawn.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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