Sunday, September 19, 2021

Tweet Of The Day- Taliban

It's not a tweet from today but rather of seven days ago. However, CNN's Fareed Zakaria has done what few others have done.  In the video below, he can be seen commenting

In other words, the world's most ideologically committed Islamic government has said its closest ally will be a nation engaged in what many observers call cultural genocide against its Muslims. Lesson: the Islamic militant movement has always been more about power than about religion.

Probably, and if so, it is analogous to the GOP's voter suppression in the USA. That is less (although somewhat) directed against blacks as a group than it is an expression of raw, naked power, an effort to acquire unlimited dominance and control. The party's white evangelical Christian base, a critical ally in the endeavor, also is less motivated by race than by power. Fundamentalists have a way of doing that.

Zakaria obviously continued "twenty years after 9/11, we are still not clear on how to think about radical Islam. It is real, it is evil, but it has lost the ideological argument."

In those three sentences, Zakaria has committed the sin of using the terms Muslim, Islamic, and Islam. To be sure, he specifies "Islamic militant movement" and "radical Islam," applying the accurate, and helpful, adjectives.

But in contrast to a current affectation of political correctness, he actually noted that the Taliban are Muslims. That is simply not done in polite company.

In contrast to Zakaria, there is a whole host of politicians, journalists, pundits, and activists. Included among them is Canadian Kimahli Powell, Executive Director of Rainbow Railroad.

Powell chatted on Friday with CNN's Victor Blackwell about Rainbow Railroad's efforts on behalf of LGBTQIA+ Afghans.  His Twitter timeline includes the following remarks by him and/or his organization:

With our partners, Rainbow Railroad is calling on the U.S. government to take ten specific actions to ensure the safety of #LGBTQI+ people in Afghanistan. We'll continue to post updates here as they happen.

Rainbow Railroad continues to liaise with #LGBTQI people on the ground in #Afghanistan. @KimahliPowell updated @CBCToronto and @chrisgloverCBC on our efforts to find safety for people caught in this conflict

In this seven-part thread, focusing on the Taliban's threat to LGBTQ+ individuals, from August 26, Powell addresses the "increasingly dire" plight of sexual minorities in Afghanistan, somehow without mentioning that the Taliban rationalize oppression with their religious zealotry.

There is an abject and reprehensible refusal, with serious and little understood implications, to referring to the Taliban as Islamist. Powell and others thereby are unable to characterize accurately a group which is militant, radical, and fundamentalist The Taliban are motivated by religion- but even more by power, which Zakaria is able to assert because he does what few others are willing to do: utter the term "Muslim."

Zakaria accurately characterizes the Taliban as Muslim while recognizing that they do not accurately represent the faith. They are religious fundamentalists who pose a danger to Afghanistan far greater than posed by religious fundamentalists in many societies, including our own.

Religious fundamentalists pose a danger to many societies, including our own, but especially in Afghanistan, a topic largely unexplored for fear of giving offense. However, Fareed Zakaria, perhaps because he himself is a Muslim, has had his "NIxon going to China" moment. Nonetheless, that doesn't excuse all others from ignoring the elephant in the room.

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