Monday, November 12, 2007

Conservative candidate calls for ‘revolution’ in Pakistan

Forget the bloodshed, loss of life, untold pain and incalculable suffering that might ensue, the Conservative Party’s parliamentary candidate for Gillingham has called for revolution in Pakistan to overthrow General Musharraf.

This is quite at variance not only with the stated position of HM Government, but also with the Conservative Party’s rather more cautious and responsible official policy on the matter, which is that General Musharraf should grant free and fair elections and release political detainees following the recent violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.

Yet Atta-Ur-Rehman Chishti can’t be doing with this sort of tedious diplomacy and political moderation. This is jihad, pure and simple, and ‘there is no other option’, he said. Mr Chisti will, of course, continue to sit back in his comfortable armchair in the Garden of England and ponder the next step of his meteoric political rise.

He does not appear to realise that General Musharraf has been a steadfast ally of the UK in the ‘War on Terror’, and is presently confronting his own home-grown terrorists with their illiberal Islamist creed. Of course, none of this excuses the General’s actions, and Cranmer places him and his regime at the remotest boundary of acceptability, not least because of his accommodation of pro-Taliban and pro-al Qaeda movements. But while he has undoubtedly given succour to Islamists, he has simultaneously constituted a bulwark in the prevention of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal falling into their extremist hands. At his core, General Musharraf is a moderate – at least in religious, if not political terms – and this is of great importance in an era of increasingly aggressive assertions of religio-political Islam.

But none of this matters to Atta-Ur-Rehman Chishti, who never supported the ‘War on Terror’, opposed the Iraq war, and supports the irredeemably morally-compromised UN. He professes to be a close friend of Benazir Bhutto, and apparently they talk ‘every day’. As a result of their conversations, he declares: ‘We have decided the concessions made by Musharraf are not enough’.

We have decided? The astonishing arrogance and pomposity of the man is astounding, yet it is consistent with the strident tone emanating from the ascendant Conservative Muslim Forum, which has already demanded that Conservative policy must conform to their particular brand of Islam. Among their policy demands have been that Iran has a right to nuclear weapons, the Party should cease its support for Israel, a compulsory history curriculum in schools should give ‘full recognition to the massive contribution that Islam has made to the development of Western civilisation’, and preachers who advocate a rejection of democracy and its institutions should not be denied entry into Britain. They even support al-Qaradawi’s message of ‘gay-hate’.

All of this has gone unchallenged by the Conservative Party leadership.

And now a Conservative candidate is articulating the Salafist creed of Islam, which, like Wahhabism, is concerned with political supremacy and the restoration of a golden age in Islam. But while Wahhabism asserts a notion of divine right, Salafism adopts a form of egalitarianism that deconstructs any notions of established authority within Islam. It takes a more Protestant approach to authority, asserting that all Muslims are equally qualified to return to the original sources and speak for the divine will. By liberating Muslims from the antiquated traditions of the Islamic jurists, Salafism has contributed to the real vacuum of authority in contemporary Islam. It purports to heed the values of modernism and to come to accommodation with the West, including the principles of democracy, liberty, and respect for the nation state and their constitutions.

By advocating revolution in Pakistan, Atta-Ur-Rehman Chishti is articulating an Islam which is fundamentally centred on power and the assertion of power. And he is being consistent with Salafist Muslim apologetics by invoking the logic of necessity or public interest to justify this course of action, at the expense of moral imperatives.

It is utterly irresponsible of a prospective Conservative MP to be inciting violence and bloodshed by urging the people of Pakistan to rise up in revolution. And to portray Benazir Bhutto as the rightful saviour of the nation is to ignore the fact that her name is also synonymous with corruption. Mr Chisti should be working towards uniting British Pakistanis around the Conservative cause, not stoking damaging divisions by advocating the Bhutto cause. He really ought to consider that not all British Pakistanis support Benazir Bhutto, not all denounce General Musharraf, and not all desire to civil war in their heartland.

And his incitement to revolution is all the more unacceptable because this man is supposed to be an adviser to David Cameron on race issues. He seems remarkably unsuited to such a role, manifesting, as he does, a self-absorbed, intolerant, undiplomatic, and unconciliatory arrogance. But will the Conservative move against him? Demand an apology? Force him to toe the Party line? Threaten him with deselection?

Not a bit of it - simply for fear of being accused of being racist.


Anonymous miss jelly bean said...

They all need to go. Musharaff, Bhutto, Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid and nawaz sharif. If change is to occur in Pakistan and the formation of a stable government, we need to remove martial law, bring back the judiciary, allow the media to be free of governmental control and of course... WE NEED NEW POLITICIANS! The current situation is both pathetic and embarassing.

If there is to be a revolution, we need to start by reforming the education system.

Ya Allah, guide this lost ummah. Amen.

12 November 2007 at 12:08  
Anonymous The recusant said...

The elephant in the room is the comparison between the sacking of Tory parliamentary candidate Nigel Hastilow [he was forced to resign] by the party's chair Caroline Spelman faster than you can say multiculturalism, and the same which will not be required of the other Conservative Parliamentary candidate Rehman Chishti. This Action by the party grandees, the ones who always champion subsidiary and decentralisation, was soundly against the wishes of the chairman of the Halesowen and Rowley Regis Conservatives. Subsequent events reveal that it is was called more to appease the BBC and Observers obsession with racial matters that it was from any real conviction that Mr Hastilow had damaged the party.

So Mr Cameron, what is it to be one head or two?

12 November 2007 at 12:16  
Blogger Homophobic said...

Musharraf = Colonel Kurtz

12 November 2007 at 17:45  
Blogger Sam Tarran said...

There seems to be a mood of misunderstanding of the affairs of Pakistan among the political elite. In the House of Commons today, both Hague and Miliband called for reforms to Pakistan along a more western model.

As you, Your Grace, pointed out, there is the matter that Pakistan under its current leadership has been a valuable in the war on terror. There is also the small issue that Musharraff is trying to prevent an Islamic revolution, something I don't think any western leader is too keen on considering current world events.

They also do not understand that what Musharraf has done, viewed by many westerners as a simple usurping of power, is actually exactly what he is meant to do. The function of the army in a number of predominantly Muslim nations, including Turkey and Jordan, is for it to become the guarantor of electoral governments, i.e., whenever the electoral system produces an extremist regime, the army assumes power for a short time, gets rid of the Islamist threat, and then returns to the barracks.

American Thinker explains it better:

12 November 2007 at 18:11  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Why does not this "person"stand for election in pakistan as he is so emamoured with the criminal bhutto?we can clearly see where his loyalty lies and as a muslim it is not with us,as with all immigrants they want our money and thier own country, it seems that they are not content with only one,so i suggest that he returns to his own country where he and his countrymen can engage in dodgy politics and vote rigging to thier hearts content,oh and take the boy with you , he is usless to us.

12 November 2007 at 19:57  
Blogger Dr.D said...

Why in the world is Paki politics a matter of interest in English politics? This sort of thing should be strictly off limits for an English politician; it is no concern of an English politician, but rather it is a matter of foreign relations and something for the government in office to deal with. For anyone else to make statements about it is simply meddling where they have no business.

12 November 2007 at 22:52  
Blogger Buenaventura Durruti said...

'the guarantor of electoral governments' by overthrowing elected governments. There may be some sort of perverse neo-con logic in there but it escapes me.

As I recall not a single elected government in Pakistan has lasted its course without military intervention.

Musharraf a 'steadfast' ally in the war on terror. This explains why he is locking up judges and lawyers (they do get in the way) instead of jahadists.

13 November 2007 at 21:20  
Anonymous king kong said...

"He seems remarkably unsuited to such a role, manifesting, as he does, a self-absorbed, intolerant, undiplomatic, and unconciliatory arrogance. But will the Conservative move against him? Demand an apology? Force him to toe the Party line? Threaten him with deselection?"

Having heard him speak on several occasions, I agree with you on the assessment, Your Grace. God, as the faithful flock says, moves in mysterious ways. Those who anointed Rehman Chishti for the Conservative Party must wait for the public of that constituency to decide if he is truly the chosen one. The man on the street would say that cucky boggers don't last long.

Maybe, Mr Chisti might find his calling in Pakistan.

29 December 2007 at 02:34  
Anonymous Gewyne said...

Maybe we can let Atta-Ur-Rehman Chishti live up to his expectations of others. A 1st class flight to Lahore airport, give him a pistol and some money upon boarding the plane and wish him luck.

I am so tired of armchair generals willing to risk others lives for something they themselves do not have the courage of conviction to do.

4 March 2010 at 21:54  

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