Friday, October 07, 2005

Christopher Hitchens on the Bali Bombings 2005

Seeking rationality is futile - The Age

Christopher Hitchens is nothing if not entertaining:
"The fanatics look at the population of Bali and its foreign visitors and they see a load of Hindus selling drinks, often involving the presence of unchaperoned girls, to a load of Christians. That in itself is excuse enough for mayhem."
I like people who swap sides; it shows at least a degree of freedom of thought. Hitchens is kind of the reverse of Robert Manne (former Quadrant editor turned refugee enthusiast), though a rightie turning left is much more interesting for going against the traffic. My dad told me once that if you're not a communist by 21 you haven't lived, but if you're still one at 40, you haven't made it. Rupert Murdoch had a bust of Lenin on his mantlepiece at Oxford for God's sake.

I posted a link to an article about Indonesian perspectives on terrorism in Indonesia just before. Hitchens, former enfant terrible of the left, looks in a relatively novel way at the motivations of the terrorists.

The left is probably a bit in denial about East Timor being a prompt for terrorism. Hitchens quotes what Al-Qaeda said about blowing up Sergio Vieira de Mello though:
"A communique from al-Qaeda gloated over the end of 'the personal representative of America's criminal slave, Kofi Annan, the diseased Sergio de Mello, criminal Bush's friend'. It went on to ask: 'Why cry over a heretic? Sergio Vieira de Mello is the one who tried to embellish the image of America, the crusaders and the Jews in Lebanon and Kosovo, and now in Iraq. He is America's first man where he was nominated by Bush to be in charge of the UN after Kofi Annan, the criminal and slave of America, and he is the crusader that extracted a part of the Islamic land (East Timor).'"
(One thing you can say about the rise of militant Islam is that it has revived the tradition of florid rhetoric. It rubs off on us too: George Bush likes "evildoers" and Australian Foreign Minister Alexander we-will-not-back-Downer today also wrote an article in The Age optimistically predicting Australia's victory over terrorism (co-operation with the Indonesian police will do the trick) which used the words "tragic", "despicable", "brutal", "tyrannical", "intolerant", "evil", and "warriors".)

And the other interesting thing in the article is the proposition that extremist Muslims despise Hindus above the adherents all other religions. Hitchens draws a link between two Muslim-Hindu battlefields, Kashmir, and Bali:
"Hinduism is considered by bin Ladenists to be a worse heresy even than Christianity or Judaism or Shiism, and its adherents, whether in Bali or Kashmir, are fit only for the edge of the sword. So, it is absurd to think of jihadism that murders the poor and the brown without compunction as a movement against the rich and the 'white'."
We are no doubt guilty of thinking with the "It's all about us" blinkers on a lot of the time, and tend to think that racism is something we inflict on the brown and black.

Is anyone aware of anything which corroborates the proposition of Bin Ladinists despising Hindus?


Blogger matjnewton said...

Well I can't give any direct link but a logical thought train will show this:

Bin Laden and co. obviously Hate Christians... with a capital H. :)

But most Muslims tend to hold a bit of respect for Christianity because it is an Abrahamic faith and Jesus is a respected prophet bla bla bla.

Hinduism has none of that, and also involves the worship of idols, so you can see why it would rank down the Muslim list.


11:48 am  

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