Wednesday, July 11, 2007

American Talibans 02-05-17

Talibanism’ in America

By Mirza A. Beg
Birmingham Post-Herald
May 17, 2002

As a small boy in the early '50s, I sometimes accompanied my father on his rural inspections. I remember a small village in the backwaters of Northern India, where I heard an old, wiry, toothless mullah preach to a largely illiterate crowd about the terrible British. The British had left India in 1947, so it was easier for him to rail against them for injuries inflicted, real and imaginary.

Their creed and their religion were an easy prey. One of the statements I remember was, "We spill our blood for our Creator; they drink the blood of their God every Sunday, whom they call their savior."

I suspect he had never really met a Christian, nor had he ever seen the inside of a church. He had no idea of the Sacrament or the Eucharist.

I was going to a Catholic school and thought I knew a few things. I was about to call the mullah wrong. My father stopped me.

He said, "son you cannot have a civil dialogue with sanctimonious ignorance." That was my first brush with "Talibanism."

Attorney General John Ashcroft, in an interview with Cal Thomas, said, "Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you." I still remember my father's wise words. I am sadly violating them. The village preacher was uneducated, with a very limited audience; but Ashcroft is the chief law enforcement officer of this land.

President Bush has taken some pains to convince us that our campaign is against those who have misused the religion and not against Islam. He needs to make sure his attorney general understands it as well, and assure the American people that his attorney general has been made to understand this simple concept.

Judge Roy Moore in Alabama has been a fountainhead of bigotry against all religions and creeds. He has been in the news again. He never misses a chance to appeal to the baser instincts, to achieve his political objectives. He is the chief justice of Alabama.

Pastors such as Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson have also made blanket statements about how terrible Islam is. Graham has since back-peddled saying something to the effect that he does not know much about Islam. No doubt if pressed, Robertson will also hide behind some such statement. These are the American Taliban.

Fortunately the fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution have stymied them.
Accusations, based on intentional ignorance, violates the ninth commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." The American Talibans may follow this commandment with their next door neighbor, in a very narrow construct of the word but do not understand the spirit, just as the Taliban never understood the spirit of their religion.

My friends, from all shades of Christianity, including pastors, cringe when such pronouncements are made in the name of their religion, as I resent the hijacking of my religion. Narrow-minded, ignorant, sanctimonious Taliban took over the government of Afghanistan and brought the innocent people untold misery. Unfortunately the Christian soul mates of those Taliban, "the American Taliban" are not only alive and well in the United States, but they also have a following. Fortunately, the Constitution protects us from the American Taliban.

Mirza A. Beg can be contacted at

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