This sentiment emerged in conversation with a fellow Pakistani where I said “it’s not the fault of Pakistan, it’s the fault of Pakistanis.”
I’ve moved on with my life and live a fairly acculturated integrated life in blighty (where I think about rocks and climbing a bit too much for my own good). Even so I’m more interested in the pink pages of the FT than the broadsheets of the Daily Telegraph. However I have to see that we are simply seeing a meltdown in the Ummah.
Does it affect me personally? Not especially since I’m ensconced in the West and the only real connections I have to Islam are my surname, my descent from Hazrat Ali & the fact that the Baha’i Faith find it’s ultimately origins in the Shakyh sect.
However I feel pity and sad that the mental shackles of the people of the Ummah blind them to the message of unity and peace that the rest of the world has already embraced (to varying degrees). It is the responsibility of Muslims in the West (who like all Diasporas eventually have outsized roles of influences) to really lead the drive to modernize tradition.
When children are being picked off in schools, when journalist offices are shot down with impunity and now the ongoing hostage crisis in Paris emerging it seems that things are only getting worse and worse. Maybe I am too idealistic, perhaps I should take off my rose-tinted glasses from time to time (but experience has taught me life has so much to do with perspective) and it is too late for the gradual ongoing cultural exercises I used to embark on a couple of years ago.
The BritPak community needs to cultivate home-grown, authentic leaders who can bridge the gulf between civilisations. I don’t know who this cadre is but someone has to issue the call and it has to be a broad-based ecumenical effort. I’m on the UKIP-Tory spectrum because I believe in Britain & British values are resilient & adaptable enough for a modern world. However I always take heed in John Major’s mangled Orwellian quote:
Fifty years on from now, Britain will still be the country of long shadows on cricket grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and pools fillers and, as George Orwell said, ‘Old maids bicycling to holy communion through the morning mist’ and, if we get our way, Shakespeare will still be read even in school.
Those who believe in the above are always welcome to join Britain and the British enterprise.