Sympathy for a devil

Sorry in advance for going all Fox News on you, but I’m fed up with those trying to find excuses for the Times Square terrorist.

On CNN tonight some writer speculated that Faisal Shahzad was let down by America. The U.S., she said, too often fails to live up to its reputation as that shining city on the hill. She’s right in one sense — America often falls short of the ideal. Plus,  the poor guy lost his home to foreclosure. And like so many others who’ve faced financial struggles, he tried to blow up scores of innocents. Perfectly understandable.

Based on his alleged associations, Shahzad is a psychopath whose disappointment with America has more to do with its tolerance for those who aren’t Islamic fundamentalist men. Poor guy couldn’t treat his woman like a slave, or stone his deviant gay neighbor to death. How could we be so insensitive to his culture?

Fortunately, an increasing number of Pakistanis seem to have a more sober view of their former countryman’s action:

Although some Pakistani officials and media figures remain skeptical of Faisal Shahzad’s link to these radical organizations, the op-eds and letters available on English-language Pakistani news sites are largely sympathetic to the American situation. In fact, in the condemnations of the terror attempt lie more than a few reproaches: some Pakistanis evidently don’t feel the country or Muslims in general are doing enough to combat extremism. That doesn’t mean they aren’t critical of the U.S. as well.

  • ‘Why Do Educated Individuals Resort to Such Extremist Tendencies?’ asks Sadia Hussain from Islamabad, writing in a letter to the Express Tribune (tied to the International Herald Tribune). Another letter-writer, Sheraz Khan, echoes that question. “This act has caused pain and suffering to not only his loved ones but to each and every Pakistani living abroad. What is worse is that some Muslims do not even believe all this and say that this is all part of a conspiracy to defame Muslims.” Hussain declares “it is imperative that the state clamp down on all potential recruitment centres of terrorism.”
  • Pakistani Soul-Searching “It is about time,” writes A. Khan from Karachi, also to the Express Tribune, “that we faced the bitter reality and accepted that we are a breeding ground for terrorists who then go to other countries and carry out attacks. Our madressahs graduate thousands of ‘students’ every year and most of them have been indoctrinated to become suicide bombers or jihadis.” Adds Mansoor Khalid: “America should try Faisal Shahzad under its law and give him exemplary punishment if he is found guilty of what the American authorities are accusing him of. At the same time, we need to ask ourselves that why are so many Pakistanis prone to the extremist bug and in the process bent on sullying our good name?”

One response to “Sympathy for a devil”

  1. “America” doesn’t fall short of anything. It is individuals who either succeed or fail. This Pakistani was able to come to this country and become a citizen and a homeowner? Sounds to me like “America” succeeded wildly. Very likely he simply lived beyond his means and, instead of paying off his house, kept re-financing it to suck out equity he had done nothing to accumulate, spending money that market forces claimed were now a part of his home’s value. My brother did this, and left a home he had paid $130,000 for in 1995 owing over $300,000. He simply lived beyond his means, year after year. I think it was Peggy Noonan who decried liberals as the “Blame America first” crowd, and she was right.

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