Syed Kamran Mirza
The American Taliban! The entire world was stunned
by the heart-breaking news of an American Taliban. The CNN, MSNBC and
all other media’s and various news papers of the West widely broadcast
this “breaking news” about one little Taliban of white Caucasian
origin. We learned/heard
about thousands of Afghan Talibans for the last several months or years,
but those Talibani news were not as sensitive as this single American
Taliban. The question is
What is the meaning of Taliban? Taliban is the Arabic word for Students, i.e., a student who
studies Koran, hadiths and about religion Islam is called a Talib.
The plural form of the word student in Arabic is Taliban.
Now, why this word Taliban so hateful a word to the West? The answer is so obvious that it does not need any
explanation. In 1971,
another middle-eastern good word “Razakar”
becomes a word of extreme hateful to all Bangalees. Though, the meaning
of the word “Razakar” is “helper." By their heinous deeds during the
Bangalee’s freedom fighting in 1971—these Razakars acquired so much
hatreds from the peoples that, now the word ‘Razakar’
had become the most hateful title for any human being in Bangladesh.
The American Taliban
Taliban fighter -- identified by Newsweek magazine as John Phillip
Walker Lindh, who went by the name Walker, and a native of Washington,
D.C., who lived in the Maryland suburbs and later moved to Northern
California -- was among 86 Taliban troops the Northern Alliance flooded
out of a tunnel beneath the mud-walled Qala-i-Janghi (Fortress of War).
The U.S. military forces have taken custody of this one-of-kind Taliban
fighter who claims to be an American citizen and survived a prison riot
last week at a fortress near the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif.
The man is now calling himself Abdul
The father of this American Taliban Frank Lindh (a
lawyer) said that his son Walker, raised as Catholic, was converted to
Islam at the age of 16. His
mother, Marilyn Walker called her son "a sweet, shy kid" and
said she is shocked that he fell in with the Taliban and bin Laden.
"If he got involved with the Taliban, he must have been
brainwashed," she told Newsweek.
Marilyn Walker described her son as having a strong sense of
social justice, said she did not know why he was attracted to Islam.
Two years after his conversion, at age 18, he
traveled to Sana, Yemen, to learn Arabic and Islam before moving to
Pakistan and attending a Madrassah,
or Islamic school, in the village of Bannu,
Pakistan. (Parenthetically I would like to mention that ours Bangabandhu
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was kept in a Dakbangla
- government rest house - interned during the beginning of our freedom
struggle in 1971. The same Dakbangla was used to intern General Yahya Khan when he was ousted
from power in the aftermath of December 16, 1971, victory.
Therefore, what a coincidence it is that the American Taliban was
also housed in Bannu! We
should all avoid this town of Bannu
by all means!). His mother
said the last time she spoke with him was in April 2001, when he was
studying the ‘Koran and about
Islam’ at another Madrassah in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier
Province. This newly converted Muslim American told the reporters that,
he supported the events that took place on September 11 and also
supported Terrorists attack in the destroyer USS Cole, which killed 17
American sailors in Yemen in October 2000. His father said his son
suggested that the bombing in the USS Cole may have been justified
because the ship was docked in the water of an Islamic country. What a
of this incident:
Question could be asked, what made this American
Caucasian a Taliban in the first place?
Who is possibly the real
maker of this Taliban? Was
it his own voluntary reaction, as a reaction of an individual mindset?
How can it be explained that a born white American turned into a bona
fide Taliban who took arms and fought against his own homeland?
Was it a normal phenomenon by any standard?
answer is a big NO! Then, what was the real cause which had
totally made this “young sweet and shy” American boy into a Jihadi
Terrorist Taliban, who was standing on his one foot ready to kill his
own people. What lead an
innocent guy to become the most dangerous Jihadi holy warrior who left
his own homeland for a foreign country thousands of miles away to fight
against the infidels? This
young American could be converted to any religion (Christianity,
Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam), if he chose to.
Let us consider these scenarios below. Let us examine those
If he was
converted to Christianity: He would at best lead an evangelical
life style as the good Christian, or could be a Christian priest.
But never would he be a holy warrior or Christian suicidal
terrorist. There was no chance that he could be A TALIBAN.
Nor, there could be any remote possibility that he would leave
his home country for a distant country to fight a holy war against his
If he was
converted to Hinduism: He would
be a happy, jolly young American Hare Krishna kid without any hair
on his scalp with a very docile and loving attitude.
He would at best leave the American luxurious life style and
shaved head, wore yellowish-red coarse cloths, put Tilak on the fore
head (adorn sandal-wood paste on
his fore head) and dance in the American street singing Hindu
devotional songs—Hare Rama,
Hare Krishna… There was no possibility that this young American Hindu
kid would ever turn into a TALIBAN style Hindu warrior to fight the
infidels in a foreign land. He would never ever fight his own
If he was
converted to Buddhism: He would be a most peaceful young man
with ample love and forgiveness for all, malice towards none. He would
lead a very simple life with no luxury at all, eat no meat, kill no
animals, shave his head, wore yellow coarse cloths and would dedicate
his life to teach people non violence of Lord Buddha. He would never
ever join to fight anybody.
If he was
converted to Judaism: He would at best be a perfect Jewish young
man performing fundamentalist Jewish rituals, would wore a small skull
cap (yarmulke) over his head,
could be bearded, or performed other Jewish cultures, or at an extreme
scenario he could turn into a Jewish rabbi.
But he would never be a TALIBAN, or a Jihadi/holy warrior by any
means. He would never
preach hatreds for other religion or never would love to kill infidels.
Most of all, there is no reason to believe that, this young
American Jewish named ‘John Walker’ would leave his motherland
America for some distant foreign country 10,000 miles away to become a
holy Jihadi. He would
definitely never take weapons to fight against his own country men.
he was converted to Islam:
In this category the result was very obvious.
This is our hero of this story—John Walker Lindh (transformed
as Abdul Hamid) the famous American TALIBAN.
He was the direct product of peaceful ISLAM.
He learned initial hatreds toward all other religions from the
Holy Quran, Ahadiths and Islamic history.
He went to Yemen and later to Pakistan (the cradle of Islamic
zeal), to learn Qur’an, Ahadiths, and all the “good stuff” about
Islam. He did not act like all those million born-Muslims who never read
to understand Holy Quran or hadiths, hence they never assimilated Islam.
But our one-of-a kind hero John Walker read Holy Qur’an and
Hadiths extensively and exhaustively, both.
He digested all those hundreds of Quranic scriptural instructions
to kill the infidels, and rested his 100% belief on the Quran to become
a perfect Mussulman (Muslim). He also learned Islamic zeal, holy duties
as a true Muslim from his Madrassha Huzurs (teachers). He also learned
very well about the unlimited pleasures (72 houri, gilman, wine, honey,
milk, bird’s meat and many other heavenly rewards) of Islamic heaven
especially sanctioned by the Merciful Allah if he can die as the Martyr
(Shahid) of Holy war.
He learned perfectly from his Madrassha teacher (a Maulana, of
course) that, it was his sacred duty to support his Muslim Ummah
(the world community of Islam) in their struggle with the American
infidels, no matter how wrong they (Talibans) were. He got every
direction and pure justification from Allah’s Qur’an to fight for
those pure Muslims of Afghanistan in their war with the infidels.
Therefore, it should not be questioned at all why he became a
Taliban—the famous American Taliban.
Now, could somebody give me any good reason why we
should not blame the fanatic zeal of this hateful religion Islam for the
ardent transformation of this “sweet and shy” American boy into a
dangerously hatemongering Taliban?
Or, could anybody justify that this ‘sweet and shy’ American
kid could be a Taliban even he was not converted to Muslim?
Have I not answered with all prudent logic and cause, as to what
has made this American
sweet boy into a human monster¾The
after thought: The real maker of this American Taliban was of
course our peaceful Islam. Many world famous
philosophers/intellectuals/politicians repeatedly stated that the lethal
effect of a religion is just like the lethal effect of a harmful drug
such as Opium. Fanaticism of a religion can be more dangerous than the
harmful effect of a drug or alcohol. Just as, a very gentle human being
can act strange or dangerous as long as the action of a drug remains in
his system, similarly fanatic zeal of some hateful religion also can
turn a gentle, compassionate human being into a very cruel heartless
monstrous person. We have
seen this phenomenon in 1971, during our Bangladesh’s
freedom fighting, how
many of our gentle Bangalee Maulanas became infamous ‘Razakar’ and
Al-badr—who used to kill our freedom fighters, burn our houses and
rape our sisters and mothers. It was a million dollar question to me how
our local Maulana, (who otherwise was a superb good and kind hearted
human being) was the local Razakar commander. This Maulana was so cruel
that he even killed the only son of our village doctor. It was a mystery
to me how a sober gentle Maulana could have killed some young freedom
fighters. It was all possible by
the fanatic zealotry of the religion Islam. Because, in 1971, all
those Razakars (most of them were Mullahs, maulana and Madrssha
students) were serving Allah in the name of saving Islam. It was the
religion Islam they were highly motivated with, for sure. Like wise, It
was the Islamic teachings by which our American Taliban John Walker Lindh was motivated to join the Jihadi
Holy war of Afghan Taliban. This case scenario of American Taliban John
Walker Lindh is the testament of the lethal effect of Islamic zealotry!
Finally, let me conclude my essay about this world
famous American Taliban with this very appropriate quotation below:
is an insult to human dignity. With
or without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil
people doing evil things. But
for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”--
Nobel Laureate physicist Steven Weinberg.