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Showing posts from September 5, 2019

‘Islamist militants’

Muhammad Ali SiddiqiSeptember 05, 2019RECENTLY, a Dawn reader reacted strongly to the words “Islamist militants” appearing in the caption of a picture about Sri Lanka. The reader said it was “painful” to see “the word ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islam’ with any terror group”.Before we dwell on ‘Islamist’ and ‘Islamic’, let us note that the conscientious objector is factually wrong, because the caption spoke of ‘militants’ and not ‘terrorists’. While the latter is an abhorrent phenomenon, the word ‘militant’ under given circumstances could be an objective term, because a militant could be fighting for a cause which he may believe to be just. Civilians may fall victim to what is called collateral damage, but a paladin doesn’t believe in targeting civilians as a matter of policy, as terrorists do — 9/11, 7/7, APS Peshawar, Eid prayers, taraweeh congregations, Shia mosques, churches, concerts and nightclubs.Mustafa Akyol, one of Turkey’s leading intellectuals, responded to my request to throw light on t…