Regarding the Mumbai bombings, a great deal of time and huffing and puffing is going into examining, as happened on NPR’s “On Point” recently, whether or not Al Qaeda is involved, or Lashkar-e-Toiba, or Pakistan’s ISI, or the man in the moon. The correct answer is: they all wish India ill. All could have had a hand in it, all share the same aim, all but that proverbial man in the moon — unless he is a Muslim Believer, in which case he too is adding his mite to the Jihad.
The same program was a classic study in wasting the valuable time of listeners on trivia and carefully tiptoing around the subject of Islam. Why is it that there is no conception of having a duty to discuss, straight on, the contents of Islam, the Qur’an and Sunnah? Why is there no felt need, by the NPR muck-a-mucks, to force such people as Tom Ashbrook to learn about the contents of Islam, and then the history of Jihad-conquest, and give evidence of such? Do they not, does Ashbrook not, have a duty to instruct — but first to learn a bare minimum themselves?
Annoyingly rapid-talking, keeping up a mountebank’s bright patter, Ashbrook has recently grown more cocky than hitherto. According to reports from inside, he was apparently bucked up a few months ago by a puff-piece, and by the fact that while another, quite similar talk-show host was fired, he, Ashbrook, remained in place. Ashbrook, of course, left the Boston Globe some time ago for a fast-buck dot-com scheme that came to naught (so much for his commitment to the profession). Then he came crawling back, desperate for a job that WBUR’s then-czarette, Jane Christo, gave him.
And here he is, inviting on as his only local “guest” one Adil Najam, whose sole claim to expertise about Islam, about Jihad and dhimmitude and terrorist groups and the history of Islam in India, is that he happens to be a Muslim. By training he is an engineer; by association with the Fletcher School at Tufts, he teaches courses on economic thisandthat. By inclination he is an apologist, falling all over himself reminding people that there has been all sorts of “communal” violence — what with that Sikh terror attack, and Hindu terror attacks, and — he adds quietly — some problem with Muslims as well.
A few years ago this Adil Najam began his speech at a “Muslim-Jewish Dialogue,” according to someone who attended, by saying, dolefully, “I have a theory, a theory that Muslims are the new Jews.” There’s much more about Adil Najam to know, but the main thing to ask is: why does an NPR news program have him on to discuss Muslim terrorism in Mumbai? Can they find no one else in the whole wide world who can put that attack not only in context — the context of all the other attacks in India by Muslim terrorists, of which we hear about only the biggest?
Ask yourself this question. Were you fully aware of the previous attacks in Mumbai, in 2003 and 1993? Have you already forgotten, or did you never know, about the attack on the Indian Parliament in Delhi in 2001? Do you know about the dozens of attacks that take place every year in Kashmir? Do you know about the expulsion of 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits? For that matter, do you know about the history of Muslim massacres of Hindus (the Brahmins were wiped out) hundreds of years ago? Do you know what the historian K. S. Lal is referring to when he says that 60-70 million Hindus were killed by Muslims during the period of their rule? Does the name “Aurangzeb” mean anything to you? Do you know why Hindus revere the memory of the Mughal emperor Akbar, but Muslims don’t?
If some of these matters are entirely new to you, or you can’t quite figure out why they are relevant today, you have an excuse. You are not running a talk-show on NPR, and hosting program after program where some latest Islam-prompted atrocity, in India, or Thailand (no, that isn’t on Ashbrook’s, nor NPR’s radar — not a peep about that), or Bangladesh (no, nothing about the attacks on Hindus there, in NPR), or Indonesia (ditto about the steady attacks on churches and Christians, and so on) is supposed to be discussed intelligently, with an informed host carefully asking the right questions.
You have an excuse.
What is Tom Ashbrook’s excuse? What is NPR’s?