(L-R): Robert Spencer, Harvey Kushner, Hamid Mir, 2006
The other day at JW we learned more about Hamid Mir, a prominent figure in Pakistani broadcast journalism. The source was an article in The Daily Times, a Pakistani paper, fittingly titled: “Hamid Mir’s terrifying indiscretions.”
That article spoke of “a shocking audiotape of a conversation between Hamid Mir – one of the country’s top TV anchors – and a man purportedly linked to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, has revealed that negative information that Mir passed on to the Taliban could have led to the execution of Khalid Khawaja, the retired Air Force official allegedly killed by a group calling themselves the ‘Asian Tigers.'”
The article also contains a list of “points of interest in the conversation” – that is, in the taped conversation with Hamid Mir – that need a little fleshing out. For example, it notes Hamid Mir’s contempt and hatred for those described as Qadianis – that is, Ahmadis, who on official government forms in Pakistan are not allowed to describe themselves as Muslims. That contempt and hatred is shared by many Pakistanis, but is most pronounced among those who are most fanatically Muslim. And when such people describe the Ahmadis as “Qadianis” and as “kuffar” – that is, as Infidels – they are consigning them, in Muslim Pakistan, to a cruel fate.
It further appears that Hamid Mir, in discussing the Air Force officer Khalid Khawaja who was murdered by the Pakistani Taliban, may have suggested that there was some connection between Khawaja and the Qadianis. It may be that Mir accused Khawaja of having “Qadiani” sympathies, or perhaps suggested that he was related by marriage to “Qadianis” or even that he had been “Qadiani” – that is “Ahmadi” – himself. All of that would make him, in the eyes of many in Pakistan, but certainly in the eyes of the Taliban, to be as an Infidel — and thus deserving death in the endless war between Islam and All The Rest.
The article also notes Hamid Mir’s “nonchalance” about “suicide bombings” of NATO trucks. This “nonchalance” shows, in parvo, what is the more general attitude of Muslims in Pakistan. That includes those in the Pakistani military who are now, for reasons of their own, beginning to turn, very slowly and very reluctantly, and only because their interests are threatened. (The various terrorist groups in North Waziristan are a threat not only to Americans and other Infidels, but to the ruling class of generals and fabulously rich and famously ruthless and cruel landowners – zamindars — in Pakistan).
And there was a personal story as well behind Hamid Mir’s hatred of Khawaja, and willingness to see him killed. Hamid Mir blamed Khawaja for getting him fired from a previous job. But why would Khawaja have done that? Because Khalid Khawaja, an Air Force officer, apparently had been enrolled for some years in the campaign to identify, and possibly to engage in outreach to, the most fanatical Muslims. He knew who was who, and could winnow the Taliban wheat from the Pakistani chaff. Perhaps he understood Hamid Mir better than most, and perhaps even had evidence of Hamid Mir’s dealings and sympathies. This might have led to his being discharged because, in Pakistan now, there are powerful forces who have at long last recognized that the Taliban and other, similar groups (so far still finding refuge in North Waziristan) are a threat not only to Infidels (who cares about them?) but to themselves and their interests.
The taped conversations which Hamid Mir, famous television personality, had with others, showing his sympathies, may have been described as and may even have been for some Pakistanis a “revelation.” But surely such “revelations” would not have been presented in such a way if some in the Pakistani ruling class that is now eager to preserve itself and its power and privileges from Taliban assault – generals and zamindars who remain resolutely Muslim, that is, permanently anti-Infidel in their deepest attitudes and sympathies – had not out of self-interest decided to start taking down those who openly or secretly supported the Pakistani Taliban. And that included Hamid Mir.
The story, as I noted at the time, was, and remains, both incredible and not at all incredible. It is incredible in the sense that the story of Hamid Mir perfectly encapsulates, beyond anyone’s wildest rhetorical dreams, the way in which Muslims are capable of fooling the world, or much of it. For Hamid Mir also came to America four years ago. His mission was to slyly promote the interests of fanatical Muslims by offering up a smooth and plausible faÃ§ade, something Anglophone Pakistanis have become past masters at doing. And he fooled, it appears, a great many people in the United States when he came on his mission, just as he may have fooled, in a different way, even some fellow Muslims in Pakistan. While they were prepared to indulge him as long as Al Qaeda and other groups consisting of people who took their Islam straight up were waging war on Americans, or Indians, they are no longer prepared to indulge or support or protect or forgive him, because the groups and individuals he has now been linked to have decided to wage war on fellow Muslims, that is, the landowners in feudal Pakistan. And that is not to be tolerated.
The story of Hamid Mir is incredible, yes. But at the same time it is not at all incredible to those who have been coming to this website. We are not surprised, just in the way that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has said that when she heard, late on September 11, 2001, of what had happened that morning, she was both surprised and not at all surprised. She was surprised at the operation itself, but not at all surprised in another sense, for she immediately understood who had done it and why. She had been living with the texts of Islam, and the attitudes of Muslims toward Infidels, all of her life.
When Hamid Mir came to the United States in 2006, no one in Pakistan saw him as anything more than a trusty true-blue Muslim. And in the United States, no one cared to see him as anything other than a plausible, nice guy, one more candidate in the “Moderate Muslim” competition. But he said this, and he said that, and Robert Spencer detected the telltale clues of what gives away the phoniness of various “moderate Muslims.”
When Robert grasped what Hamid Mir was about, he said so, thus possibly earning himself, when he was on that panel in 2006, a little distancing scorn from fellow panelists. But for posterity he made the happy choice at the time not to leave it at that, and to forget about that panel and Hamid Mir, but to put up a posting about the man. And it remains there for all to see.
I was surprised, I admit, when so little was made by posters of the Hamid Mir article the other day. It struck me as far more consequential. It had to do, after all, with an example of duplicity, of a Taqiyya-and-Tu-Quoque master who, apparently, plied his trade not only among credulous and unwary Infidels when he came to America, but also among Pakistanis for whom he was simply a television announcer, a good Muslim, but not one to be suspected of complicity in the death of Khalid Khawaja, or of deep terrorist sympathies.
But now let us see – and not merely link to – the original JW article that was posted about Hamid Mir not this month in Pakistan, but the one that was posted by Robert in November 2006:
The America’s Truth Forum symposium in Las Vegas ended with a bang on Saturday afternoon, when a Q-and-A featuring most of the participants (some, alas, including Babu Suseelan, had earlier flights to catch) devolved into an exchange between Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir and me about Islam and the Qur’an.
This was because Hamid Mir asserted in his address that the Qur’an did not sanction lying, and that it held a non-Muslim’s life to be equal in worth to that of a Muslim’s, and that Islamic tolerance was exemplified by the fact that Jewish and Christian women could marry Muslim men without having to convert to Islam.
I responded during the Q and A to point out that Qur’an 3:28 and 16:106 not only sanction deception of unbelievers, but are taken to do so by mainstream Qur’anic commentators such as Ibn Kathir and others, and that mainstream Islamic law does not hold a non-Muslim’s life as equal in value to that of a Muslim, and that the fact that a Jewish or Christian man may not marry a Muslim woman without converting to Islam was a manifestation of the Islamic supremacism that was fueling today’s jihad activity.
Mir replied by saying he really didn’t know much about Islam, and asked, “Why are you pushing me to adopt a more radical form of Islam?” This is, of course, a charge that Dean Esmay and others have made: that by speaking of the way jihadists use the Qur’an and Islamic theology, I am only encouraging them. But whether coming from Mir or Esmay or anyone else, this charge is false, and hides an unwillingness by self-proclaimed moderate Muslims to do what they must do: confront and combat the jihad ideology. Mir, after all, made several assertions about the Qur’an and Islam. If he wasn’t prepared to back them up, he shouldn’t have made them — although perhaps he wasn’t expecting to be challenged on factual grounds.
And this is the problem. Islamic spokesmen in the West make statements like Mir’s to non-Muslims every day, and those non-Muslims are eager to hear them and be reassured about Islam. But I continue to maintain that such reassurance is worthless if these moderates are not able or willing to do battle with the jihadists on theological grounds. If the moderate version of Islam is not convincing to Muslims, it is worthless. And if I can see the holes in it from an Islamic standpoint, so can Muslims. Thus I stand by my statements at the symposium on Saturday afternoon: the jihadists are making recruits among Muslims daily by appealing to the Qur’an and Sunnah. Peaceful Muslims should not ignore or deny this, but should acknowledge the aspects of Islam that are giving rise to violence, and repudiate and fight against them. Otherwise this recruitment will continue unabated.
It is consequently unfortunate that many in the crowd were vociferously supporting Mir throughout this exchange. Evidently even in a crowd of hardcore anti-jihadists there are some who would prefer to believe comforting falsehoods rather than face unpleasant realities.
But then there is Q. I spent a very pleasant Friday afternoon in Las Vegas with my friends Patrick Boylan and Q. Patrick Boylan, you may recall, is a fearless teacher who has made waves at UNLV and elsewhere by speaking the truth. Q is a military man who just returned from Afghanistan, and has also spent considerable time in Iraq. Q is unflappable and unfoolable, and he knows from extensive personal experience what is in the hearts and minds of all too many citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan. Had he heard Hamid Mir’s soothing words, he would not have been misled for a single moment: he has seen too much, and knows too much.
Thus I left Las Vegas with a sense of hope, for every day brings more evidence, for people like Q who are willing and able to see it, of what we are really dealing with. May there be many more Q’s.
Show both this posting, and the follow-up posting put up the other day about Hamid Mir, to others to whom you are trying to convey an understanding of Muhammad’s “war is deception,” and what Taqiyya is, and Kitman, and Tu Quoque. Explain to them that there was nothing magical or divinatory about Robert’s understanding of Hamid Mir. It was merely that he came to the encounter with a mind that was well-prepared, and behind him long experience dealing with Muslim apologists, and thus well-versed in recognizing all the telltale phrases and evasions and deliberate ambiguities that give away the Muslim apologist, and that allow one to gauge the level of meretriciousness, and level of danger, that such a person – a Hamid Mir – presents. I had thought, the other day, when the piece on Hamid Mir was put up, that there would be many dozens of comments. I regarded that piece as among the most important to appear at this site. I thought that posting, and the previous one about Hamid Mir four years ago, made a perfect little package. I hoped that some would run with the name hamid-mir, and help to use it in such a way that it might be made to enter the language, and hence a wider consciousness, a name that might stand as a representative example of all such Muslim apologists who offer themselves as “moderates” and then later are revealed, through an audiotape, or a videotape, to be quite different. Just like such names as Quisling, Martinet, Guillotin, Elbridge Gerry, have entered, for good and bad, the language.
And you know what? There is still time to do this. You can refer airily to the “hamid-mirs” of this world, and then when asked “Waaah?,” you can go into details about him. And if you choose, you can allude to or discuss a great many similar cases.
And that is why, or partly why, I decided to return to the little matter, passed over I thought just a bit too quickly the other day, of The Tale of Hamid Mir.