Will anyone please tell the presently outraged population of Afghanistan (and those in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan and everywhere else where needless violence has broken out) that this insignificant trailer of an unknown film is just an excuse for the most diabolical kind of political manipulation from which the people will emerge as the major losers?
In Kabul on September 18, twelve people were killed by a suicide car bomber against a van on the way to the airport, supposedly in retaliation “for the insult of our Prophet” according to the spokesman for the Hezb-e-Islami who takes responsibility for the attack. Three Afghans, nine foreigners including eight South-Africans were amongst the victims. Meantime, in Kunduz, hundreds of students threw stones at the police and burned photographs of President Obama. In this case, posters of Aytalotollah Khamenei were paraded in the demonstration, visible on TV.
Is this really about avenging the prophet?
Look at who‘s doing what. The Hezb-e-Islami, a radical Islamist party and paramilitary faction was founded and is still led by Gulbeddin Hekmatyar, once America’s darling Mudjhadin during the war against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan (1979-1989). This particularly bloodthirsty warlord is said to be responsible for the death of tens of thousands of Afghan both when he was a Mudjhad, busily assassinating the members of the Afghan intelligentsia in Peshawar and destroying much of the city of Kabul including a vast percentage of its inhabitants during the civil war in Afghanistan that followed the demise of the pro-Soviet government . This did not stop him from becoming Prime Minister until he lost his power to the Taliban in 1996. Since 9/11, he has been actively opposed both the Coalition Forces and the Karzai régime, despite talks in 2009 of integrating the present government.
What has Hekmatyar to gain by forcing an unfortunate illiterate woman in a burqa to blow herself up in front of a minivan full of foreign workers?
The answer is chillingly simple.
This exceptionally ruthless politician is staking his claim to the Afghanistan of 2014, when the last of the Coalition forces leave. What better way to do it than kill foreigners – any will do since they are all forcibly associated with the United States. The Taliban (or what goes under that umbrella term) do exactly the same. Is Hekmattyar launching a competition as to who can make more damage as if the winner would stand a better chance of wresting power in Kabul in 2014?
Look at the images of Kunduz from September 18- that poster of Ayatollah Khamenei is a telling sign that Iran too is claiming its stake in post-American Afghanistan when mineral resources will be up for grabs.
Anti-American sentiment of any shape, size or irrelevance is bound to get consensual approval from those who unilaterally oppose the presence of NATO troops. In an appropriately manipulated heated context, blame anyone non-Muslim for insulting the Prophet and you have the crowds cheering behind you.
Will anyone please tell the presently outraged population of Afghanistan (and those in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan and everywhere else where needless violence has broken out) that this insignificant trailer of an unknown film is just an excuse for the most diabolical kind of political manipulation from which the people will emerge as the major losers? As usual…
Carol Mann is a Franco-British social anthropologist and art historian writer and novelist. She specialize on Gender and Armed Conflict, from a historical point of view, but especially on Bosnia and more than anything Afghanistan. A PhD in Sociology, she has been involved with aid projects in war zones since 1993. She has been involved with aid projects in Bosnia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. She blogs at: http://carolmann.net/wordpress/