The coming of the prophets

The Times of India describes how the foundations of enmity against their subcontinental neighbor has been laid, deep and unshakeable, by the Pakistani policy of indoctrinating children from their earliest years into regarding the Hindu as only slightly less evil than the Westerner.


Terrorism in Pakistan has its roots in the culture of hate and the ethos of inequality on the ground of religious faith, leading to their being deeply ingrained in the Pakistani psyche and mindset. One factor that has played a crucial role in creating this culture of hate is the educational policy of the government of Pakistan pursued since 1977. The officially prescribed textbooks, especially for school students, are full of references that promote hate against India in general, and Hindus in particular. …

The Class 5 book has this original discovery about Hindu help to bring British rule to India: “The British had the objective to take over India and to achieve this, they made Hindus join them and Hindus were very glad to side with the British. After capturing the subcontinent, the British began on the one hand the loot of all things produced in this area, and on the other, in conjunction with Hindus, to greatly suppress the Muslims.” The Std VIII book says, “Their (Muslim saints) teachings dispelled many superstitions of the Hindus and reformed their bad practices. Thereby Hindu religion of the olden times came to an end.” … And this great historic discovery is taught to Std V students, “Previously, India was part of Pakistan.”

Each culture approaches the problem of winning hearts and minds in its own peculiar way. The Washington Post, for example, describes how the CIA tackles the problem by aiming low — or getting people high — depending on your understanding of the word. It’s secret weapon: viagra. After all, when a man has matrimonial obligations to a harem of women he may need all the help he can get.


The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

“Take one of these. You’ll love it,” the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

In their efforts to win over notoriously fickle warlords and chieftains, the officials say, the agency’s operatives have used a variety of personal services. These include pocketknives and tools, medicine or surgeries for ailing family members, toys and school equipment, tooth extractions, travel visas, and, occasionally, pharmaceutical enhancements for aging patriarchs with slumping libidos, the officials said.

“Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people — whether it’s building a school or handing out Viagra,” said one longtime agency operative and veteran of several Afghanistan tours. Like other field officers interviewed for this article, he spoke on the condition of anonymity when describing tactics and operations that are largely classified.

Which approach will emerge triumphant — indoctrination or drugs — is something history will eventually reveal. Of course there’s the chance that both sides will simultaneously win and that the eventual result of the Afghan/Pakistani campaign will be a population of pill-dropping, break dancing, sunglass wearing, Oprah-watching Muslim fundamentalists, half working for Osama and the other half reporting to Langley. Cultures have a disquieting tendency to take Yogi Berra’s advice: “when you come to a fork in the road….take it.” The process through which a culture is able to believe two contradictory things at once is called syncretism. “Syncretism consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contrary beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term may refer to attempts to merge and analogize several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, and thus assert an underlying unity allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.” People believe irreconcilable things all the time. Islam itself, according to Wikipedia, is regarded by some scholars “as incorporating syncretically from other religions, particularly Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism”.


Islam supplies the harem and the CIA supplies the viagra. Why can’t a prophet be called Joe?

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