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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pakistan is not just about Islam

The NYTimes has a piece fleshing out one facet of the differences I was talking about the other day. One element of Pakistan's fractures that the Taleban are seizing on is the rich/poor, urban/country divide.

Pakistani politics has alot of endemic rifts. There are a myriad of Islamist groups seizing on a myriad of Pakistani issues from Kashmir to Afghanistan to economic and social divisions that we collectively call the Taleban.

It's important to recognize that the problem with the Taleban in Pakistan is not as simple as it's presented. It's not a single unified grievance or a single unified group.


  • You mean it's not good guys and bad guys? I've got a headache.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:34 AM  

  • 'zactly.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:43 AM  

  • In some ways -- and understand I mean this in the most abstract way -- what you outline here reminds me a lot of the GOP/right-wing. The Bachmann-Palin kind of "real America" stuff. You know?

    Country/urban. Rich/poor. Educated/uneducated. Religious (bigoted religious anyway)/secular. Xenophobic/multi cultural...

    By Blogger -epm, at 11:19 AM  

  • Except that the divisions aren't as clean as here. It's been more multisided.

    But perhaps that's part of what we're seeing in Pakistan right now, the creation of a clearer single line dividing sides.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:38 PM  

  • I see the same appeal with the Taliban as with the domestic right-wing: they want a return to the past, to a simpler time when things were clearer and people "knew their place".

    That genie is not going back into the bottle, however.

    By Blogger Todd Dugdale, at 2:44 PM  

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