An anti-war demonstration with real legitimacy

Terry Glavin draws our attention to some Canadians who recognize truly bad guys worth protesting against:

Pashtun Canadians To Rally Against Taliban This Sunday

TORONTO – Pashtun-Canadians of Pakistan and Afghanistan origin are organizing an anti-Taliban rally to protest the ongoing massacre of Pashtun people in Northern Pakistan by the Taliban. In our first ever anti-Taliban rally in Canada we are protesting outside Queen’s Park to highlight the unreported “Genocide of 52 million Pashtuns” by the Taliban and militants.
The once peaceful and serene Swat Valley in northern Pakistan has now being transformed into another Afghanistan by the Taliban. While hundreds of innocent people have been beheaded and butchered, 300 educational institutions have been bombed and destroyed, people on ground perceive that the Pakistan ISI/military is supporting Taliban because of the infectivity of the operation and intentionally fanning extremist religious thought in the region. Out of the 1.7 million local population about 700,000 people have already forced to migrate to other areas by the war.
We want to educate and apprise fellow Canadians, the Canadian media and journalists of this unreported genocide by the Taliban, who are massacring Pashtuns in the name of Islam. We are urging Canadian newspapers and TV networks to send photographers, videographers and reporters to talk to hundreds of Pashtun women, children and men whose family members are being killed in Pakistan’s Pashtun areas on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Date: Sunday February 15, 2009 Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM Location: Ontario Legislative Building , Queen’s Park, Toronto [emphasis added].
-30-
For information call Inayat Khan Kakar (905) 277 2854 – (647) 895-6566
Canadian Pashtun Community 315 Elgin St N, Cambridge, ON, N1R 8C9

Meanwhile:
In Kabul, Taliban suicide bombers struck government buildings at three sites on Wednesday, killing at least 20 people and wounding 57 in coordinated attacks.
In the Swat Valley, militants have kidnapped a Red Cross worker, apparently an American, according to local media reports. The worker was kidnapped two days after Taliban militants beheaded a kidnapped Polish engineer when the government failed to meet its ransom demands.
“Everything in Swat is destroyed, they are bombing schools, killing notables and targeting government employees.”..

Mark C.
Update: This post is rather relevant:

Canadian angers and attitudes

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11 thoughts on “An anti-war demonstration with real legitimacy

  1. So all this time it was just fine for the Taliban to murder 100 of our soldiers?
    Canadians should wake up to this new mind set created by Multiculturalism where people check-in to the Hotel canada and then self-segragate into their little pockets of people that want to feel just like they did back home.
    I’ll go out on a limb here and guess at what the religion is of these protestor by stating that i don’t believe these are Christians wanting the terrorism to stop.
    Since the top 7 out of 10 nations that oppress Christians are Islamic States, i get the feeling that this group is only upset because Muslims are killing Muslims.
    That is, the bad-Muslims are killing the real Muslims who fled to canada and meanwhile the Taliban can murder the non-Muslim canadian troops in Afghan but don’t they dare attack other Muslims.
    I warned someone about 12 years ago that Global fights will one day be brought to our soil as protests in our streets because newcomers are encourage to have no Interests in canada as their New adopted land for a new life.
    We are merely a rest area as they pass through their crusades for Justice and domination back home , just imagine all the jobs there would be in canada if all these millions of people didn’t send OUR money back home to fund wars or get relatives to canada as refugees to go on welfare and pop out the babies like a pez dispenser.
    We even have Americans fleeing to canada as refugees and the females even get pregnant to assure a stay under compassionate grounds.
    The new scam is know as “Anchor-babies” that secure the parent to canada by the Chain of being born here , Mexicans did it to california and now do it in canada by coming here to give birth , or they give birth in the USA and then come to canada to assure the child can sponsor them one day to get into the USA.

  2. Roger: A nasty and deluded rant. The fact that these Pashtuns are Muslim does not make their opposition to the fanatically Islamist Taliban any less sincere–or less worth paying respectful attention to. The people rallying in Toronto are on our side. Wake up.
    Mark
    Ottawa

  3. I’m guessing that Roger would have been one to want us Irish sent packing as well, but as for the Pashtun Peace Forum, it’s made up of Canadians, and they do not consider it “fine” that more than 100 of our soldiers – their soldiers – have been killed. Like Mark says: These people are on our side; to which I would add, so are the overwhelming majority of the Afghan people.

  4. I think the point that Roger was trying to make, before he digressed, was simply that there’s been precious little support for Canada’s military effort in Afghanistan from the Canadian Muslim communities. Muslims have been killing Muslims since time immemorial, but sure, why NOT support the Pashtun anti-Taliban protest? Hey, maybe they’ll come out and stand with the ‘Support Israel’ rallies, make some new friends…

  5. Daninvan: Wondering what Canada’s Muslims think is, quite frankly, as unhelpful as a preoccupation with what Canadian Christians think. As for there being “precious little support for Canada’s military effort in Afghanistan from the Canadian Muslim communities,” that’s quite a leap; I think that you’ll find that Muslim Canadians support the effort as much if not more than Canadians in general. I have not seen any polling data to support either assumption, but in my personal experience, the most fervent support for the Afghanistan mission can be found among Afghan Canadians (they happen to be Muslims, generally speaking), and some of the harshest critiques of the tropes deployed by the so-called “anti-war” movement are to be found among Pashtun intellectuals (who also happen to be Muslims, generally speaking).
    I still get a kick out of the hullabaloo General Hillier set off when he referred to the Taliban as “scumbags and murderers”; everybody wet their trousers for fear that Hillier had upset Muslims. You should hear the language certain Muslims I know employ when they talk about the Taliban. They make Hillier sound like an English choirboy.

  6. Mark:
    You never did get back to me on this (b/c), but as I noted on that occasion:
    I’m confused. I thought the Pashtun had supported the Taliban:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0412/p06s01-wosc.html
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C01E4DF153BF931A25757C0A9659C8B63
    Now I hear that 52 million of them have been killed by the Taliban. I trust that was a mistranslation.
    Is this really an inter-ethnic conflict? That wasn’t my initial impression. But now it’s been framed that way.

  7. Right, Mark. As usual, Glavin spins a good yarn. I’m afraid I’ll have to settle for scholarship:
    “On the ethnic side, the Taliban movement is primarily Pashtun, the majority ethnic group that ruled Afghanistan for the past two and one-half centuries. During the civil war following the collapse of the Communist government, the struggle for power between rival factions developed ethnic underpinnings. Continued control by the Tajik-led government of Burhanuddin Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Masud created discontent and a sense of powerlessness among the Pashtuns. The emerging Taliban movement began in the Pashtun area of Kandahar and then received extensive support from Pashtuns across the country who thought that the movement might restore their national dominance. Even Pashtun intellectuals in the West, who seriously differ with the Taliban on many issues, expressed support for the movement on purely ethnic grounds. Conversely, non-Pashtun intellectuals have opposed the Taliban, again for ethnic reasons.”
    Source: http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/990306-taliban.htm
    Obviously I was wrong about the ethnic component, although I was merely inquiring. But Glavin, as usual, is being tendentious. It’s a habit with him, I’m afraid.

  8. Dr Dawg: The current Taliban movement originated amongst refugees from the Soviet invasion in Pakistan, with a lot of Saudi influence–not “began in the Pashtun area of Kandahar”. The Talibs took Kandahar in 1994, having come in from Pakistan with a lot of ISI help; look it up:
    http://www.institute-for-afghan-studies.org/AFGHAN%20CONFLICT/TALIBAN/intro_kakar.htm
    “However, most of the leaders of the current Taliban regime in Afghanistan have been influenced by the teachings of Islam in Pakistan, where they had migrated with millions of other Afghans after the Soviet invasion. There, they attended religious seminaries or “madrassas”, while many of them also remained active fighting the Soviets in the battlefields. They are the followers of the “Deobandi” school of thought, preached by mullahs (clerics) in Pakistani madrassas. The Deobandi school emerged as a reform movement in British India with the aim of rejuvenating Islamic society in a colonial state. The Pakistani version of the Deobandi schools in Afghan refugee camps were, however, often run by in-experienced and semi-literate mullahs, associated with Pakistan’s Jami’at-e ‘Ulema-e Islam (JUI) political party. Saudi funds and scholarships, during the Afghan struggle against the Soviets, in combination with a lack of appreciation on the part of the mullahs of the reformist Deobandi agenda, brought the schools and its curricula closer to ultraconservative Wahabism, which claims to teach strict adherence to the practices of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the Four Rightful Caliphs. (See Foreign Affairs, November 1999, The Taliban: Exporting Extremism, by Ahmad Rashid.). But it must be pointed out that the majority of Taliban foot soldiers are the products of Afghani Masjids, may they be inside Afghanistan or within Refugee camps.
    The Taliban’s close ties with the Deobandi schools and in turn their association with JUI and its links with the religious, military, and political establishments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have been prime sources of political, financial and military aid for the group. (See Pakistan’s Deceitful Game.) Their opponents charge that even Pakistani military personnel have taken part in their military operations. While hard evidence to substantiate this charge has not surfaced yet, it is well known that the Pakistani madrassas in Afghan refugee camps have continued to supply the Taliban with fresh military recruits.”
    Many other sources are similar. And it is so charming that you use the US Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office (604 Lowe Drive
    Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2322) as an example of “scholarship” in support of your position. Not that the FMSO does not produce good scholarship generally; I look forward to your quoting from it on a regular basis.
    Mr Glavin knows more about Afghanistan than you, or your ideology, will ever allow.
    Mark
    Ottawa

  9. Mark,
    Your comments are interesting, but wide of the mark. I don’t need to be told about the religious roots of the Taliban. My point was that the present Taliban movement, in Afghanistan, is Pashtun, and indeed has been since 1994.
    Incidentally, just to preclude any silliness, this isn’t a knock on the Pashtun people.
    From your own source:
    “As a military and political force, the Taliban surfaced in Qandahar in 1994 when Afghanistan was plagued by a vicious civil war.”
    and
    “Perhaps the lasting legacy of the fighting among factions of the Mujahideen is the deepening ethnic division of Afghanistan. During their struggle to defeat their rivals, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar tried to win over Pashtuns, while Burhanuddin Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Masood appealed to Tajiks. Similarly, Hazara and Uzbek strengthened their militias and fully participated in the fighting, which was deliberately projected as an ethnic crusade. Unfortunately because of the blatant ethnic killings of the Mujahideen era and its continued practice during the Taliban era, the “ethnicization” of Afghan politics has cut deep rifts among Afghans in Afghanistan and abroad.”
    You will recognize the name Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, of course.
    Indeed, as I delve into this with an inquiring spirit, I realize that I had badly underestimated the ethnic aspects in the conflict, and, for that, mea culpa. Although it seems you are doing the same thing: if I understand you correctly, you see the matter simply as one of warring ideologies.
    I do hope your last sentence gave Mr. Glavin a little pang of pleasure.

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