A Pakistani-American on the Times Sq. bomber

I vehemently condemn the attempted bombing of Times Square by, I am ashamed to say, a Pakistani American.

Fellow, non-Pakistani Americans, before you judge all of us, please remember that there is a silent majority of Muslims who wholeheartedly, emphatically condemns such terrorist activities. Why don't hear about them? It's because they remain mute, too afraid to speak or not passionate enough to get out there in public and condemn such acts of terror for fear of reprisals. They wait for others to speak for them and because of that reason they are "silent".

The moment the Pakistani suspect was arrested, there was a deluge of emails from my family and friends condemning the actions of this misguided individual. Some family members were openly urging the US to try him in military court and condemn him to death; some were blaming the Pakistani governments, past and present, for not taking stern action against the radicals. One friend solely blamed the intelligence agencies of Pakistan, ISI, for not sharing intelligence and harboring such terrorists. Another person's advice was for the US government to send more drones and finish the "devils" once and for all. Thus, no expletives were spared in condemning the radicals, the misguided so-called Muslims.

The fact is that military might will not be able to solve this problem of radicalization. Young Muslims are being brainwashed into following Wahabiism- the Saudi Islam. This intolerant and radical version of Islam has to be fought ideologically. The Muslims, the majority of who don't subscribe to this version must unite in their efforts to root it out of their neighborhoods, their schools (madarsahs) and their lives. It is in the best interest of the entire Muslim Ummah to unite in this cause otherwise this will eat us all like a cancer. This also means that the government of Pakistan has to deal heavy-handedly with hatred inciting clerics. For this, moderate, silent majority, of Pakistanis must come out of their drawing rooms and support the government and military in their efforts to root out the radicals. Even though, the US government is channeling billions of dollars of aid, anti-Americanism is at its peak in Pakistan. Some people attribute that rise to the shortage of basic necessities for the common people, power, jobs, food shortages, and Zardari government's inability to solve these crises have compounded the problem of anti-Americanism. The only two institutions that are capable of rooting out terrorism are the civil society and the military. However, they need the support of millions of Pakistanis that are US and UK educated, work for the multinationals or run successful businesses. They are the ones that can bring the ideological change required to pull Pakistan out of its quagmire.

Anila Ali
(name accidentally omitted in first posting)
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