My new found respect for Zardari

I never thought I would waste ten thirty minutes of my life praising our new president, but I just have to write this one. This post on Karachi Metblogs is criticizing Zardari’s comments in the visitors’ log of Jinnah’s tomb on his death anniversary. Though I secretly hope for a day when discussing the Pakistani President’s language skills becomes our only concern, but we have to solve a lot of more fundamental problems before we can focus on developing the desi version of Bushism.

The blog also shared this scanned image of his comments, which says something like:

May Good give us the strut to save Pakistan. Asif Ali Zardari, President, Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Zardari's Comments
Zardari Comments

I think there are many possible reasons for this ‘writo’ and I believe that we should forgive Zardari for this writing “Good” instead of “God”. You see…

  1. He was not typing it, and hence, did not have a spell checker handy. When was the last time you wrote a complete sentence using a pen? (for me it was many years ago). This shows that he may be a l33t geek in disguise who relies on the underlined red lines too much.
  2. He has written either ‘Gaad’ or ‘Good’ – if it is ‘Gaad’, he was either in his l33t mindset, or he wanted to emphasize the word but lacked the tools (bold/italics) to do so, and used the long ‘aa’ as a last resort. If he used ‘Good’, then he was probably trying to translate one of Allah’s 99 names to English. I’m pretty sure one of those names means ‘Good’. This shows that he does care about Islam.
  3. He did not use Allah, as these days, the word has negative connotations, thanks to our terrorist brethren. God is a more neutral and ‘enlightened’ word. After all, the American Army top guys are visiting Pakistan these days, what if the next visitor signing the visitor book is one of them, and what if he gets the wrong impression? We must appericate his foresight and attention to detail.
  4. Good, God or Allah, the important point is that he capitalized the G, and that, my friends, is the line that separates a believer from a non-believer, or so I have been told many times. So Zardari strives to be politically and religiously correct.

Even though the above is enough to start respecting Zardari, we are not done yet. The second word that he used, and one that has been misquoted as “strength” by many people, is actually “strut“. Let us check wikipedia for the various meanings of ‘strut’.

A strut can be

  • A structural component designed to keep two other components apart. Struts provide outwards-facing support in their lengthwise direction, which can be used to keep two other components separate, performing the opposite function of a tie. That is a beautiful analogy! It doesn’t take an engineer to see what Zardari is trying to say. Not only that, but a strut can also mean
  • to walk proudly and with a bounce. and pride is one thing that we need, if we want to save Pakistan.

The above is conclusive proof that Zardari picks his words carefully and has a good command over the English language – good enough to make puns and say a lot in a few words. On top of that, I am assuming he can speak Urdu and perhaps Sindhi equally well, which makes him a trilingual. Now you tell me – how many languages can the US, Chinese or the British leaders speak?

Oh yea, one last thing, he loves his deceased wife so much that he still carries her picture everywhere he goes, even when he is on TV. Brings tears to my eyes really.

Make More Movies like Fitna

As we all know by now, the movie 'Fitna' was taken down from LiveLeak after some threats to their staff today, and is now available on Google Video (watch out Brin and Page).

I was truly disappointed after watching the movie (yes, I watched it, out of curiosity) – it had the same old arguments, partial ayaat, cherry-picked and quoted out of context, mixed with music and select imagery mixed with the beheading videos that have already been milked for all their worth – in an attempt to associate 'terrorist' with 'Islamist'. I was expecting something phenomenal but all I got was 15 minutes of boredom… guess I'm just jaded. I was also looking forward to the debates that the movie was supposed to have elicited, but I guess that isn't going to happen either.

What I don't understand is, why can't the defenders of Islam (extremists or whatchamacallum) realize that nothing better can happen to further their cause than movies like Fitna?!

We keep complaining about how the Western culture is slowly taking over and changing our muslim values… but when a western producer actually stands up and tells the world "honestly" about what he and his supporters think of the jew-hating, brainwashed killing machines that we Muslims are, and that too in a video that is somehow getting world-wide media coverage and can potentially serve to alienate and estrange the muslim population from the rest of the world (something which is a top priority of our 'Islamist' brothers) … our religious superheros miss this golden opportunity by threatening and removing the videos from the internet. That just does not make any business sense, at least to me! I wouldn't be surprised if the threats were a stunt by Gert Wilder himself, just to prove his point.

Like every other muslim, I don't want anyone to draw the prophet's image – either with love or in ridicule, but every time some such incident happens, I can mark the person/entity/group of people as 'bad', 'wrong' or 'evil', depending on my level of faith. This makes hate movies like Fitna excellent tools – wedges that the 'Islamists' can use very effectively to widen the chasm between 'us' and 'them'. Any muslim who watches the video (and is frustrated by the distorted and skewed picture that Wilders paints) and cares enough to research the quotes from the video is bound to become a little less "tolerant" and a little more "extremist" – which is exactly what AlQaida wants. Our terrorist brothers should appreciate Gert Wilders for this honest and public broadcast of his true feelings instead of doing it the KKK way.

To borrow a concept from Richard Dawkin's "The God Illusion", if we are really right and they are really wrong, they are going to hell anyway, and if hell really is all that it is purported to be, isn't that enough of a punishment for them already?

Actually, if I were an AlQaida media representative of some sort, I would have gone one step further and would have sent ALL the Taliban propaganda movies that I could buy from Hall Road, Lahore (they must be in dozens, if not hundreds) to Mr. Wilder as a gift. He surely won't be able to find better raw material for his next "documentary" – or better – a whole TV series. Your infidel enemies bearing the cost of your PR campaigns, and earning some more sins in the process – it can't get any better than this, AlQaida!

If you have come this far in reading this, do also check out the comments here about the pictures of our prophet. I like the way these average 'ferangis' make fun of my religion/ideology, it helps me 'stay awake'. So Al Qaida, please let Wilders make more movies like Fitna, and Mr. Wilders , the next time you make a documentary, please tear a page from the Quran and not some telephone book – we know you want to.