The Pakistani Community Reacts

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mohsin Zaheer, editor of the New York-area Pakistani-American newspaper Sada-e-Pakistan, and Mohammad Razvi, executive director of COPO (Council of People's Organization), a nonprofit organization in New York City serving the South Asian community, talk about the local Pakistani community's reaction.


Mohammad Razvi and Mohsin Zaheer

Comments [14]

dboy from nyc

May. 06 2010 09:57 AM

It's amazing how people close their eyes and minds to the fact that revenge, may have played a major role in the actiions of Faisal Shahzad. The Obama's administration policy of increasing predator drone attacks, have taken the lives of many innocent bystanders, including many children. Many of you don't want to deal with the question of revenge, because it forces you to look at the actions that the U.S. has taken, which causes people to conduct such acts of terrorism.
Recently in the town of Wana in South Wazeristan, a drone targeted the wrong house, killing the entire family of a pro-government tribal leader, including 3 children, one of them a 5 year old. People will seek revenge when actions like the above are committed against them.
The attorney general Eric Holder said, " They simply want to do us harm just, because of our way of life ".......what a pathetic response.

May. 05 2010 11:45 AM
snoop from Brooklyn

Abdullah from Afghanistan, bravo. It is nice to hear some responsibilility being taken for the problem of radical Islam by a Muslim-- though given my time in Afghanistan and my knowledge of the Afghan people, I'm not surprised that an Afghan has this kind of courage.

I'm really tired of many Muslims, especially many Pakistani and Middle Eastern Muslims, denying that the people who commit acts of religious violence "are not Muslims."

I didn't like George W. Bush. I don't believe that he interprets American values and laws correctly. I believe that his misinterpretation of our values and laws has led to avoidable violence and death in the world. But while I was and am embarrassed by this man, I would never say that he is not an American and thus not my problem. That's part of being an adult, taking responsibility for the world you live in.

May. 05 2010 10:33 AM
dboy from nyc

This is not any kind of justification of this deplorable act - merely a point of consideration.

Could this be an example of another casualty of the economic fallout here in the US?

Here is a guy successfully living the American dream - a decent job, a wife, two kids, a new home - until it blows-up in his face - he loses his home, goes bankrupt and turns to radical Islam as a form of retribution...

This sort of financial catastrophe causes incredible mental stress. Did this desperation contribute to his radicalization?

May. 05 2010 10:33 AM
Maureen from Staten Island

I think all this stuff about this man being Pakistani and Muslim may be less important than what his life here in America has been. I am a devout secularist who has no truck with any organized religion but I find myself wondering more about the man who, having adopted Western ways - becoming an American citizen, being a MBNA, having a house in the suburbs - suddenly gives all this up and returns to a savage version of an old religion. What happened to him? Who is this man? He was part of our capitalist system (MBNA). In my mind I see a man who has had a serious breakdown for some reason. He has given up all his material worth as well as his family and done something totally out of character as demonstrated in his last few years. Did he lose his job? He gave his house back to the bank. Did he just find himself in total agony over what happened in this economy - the death of a dream that became empty? Why not talk about this man and why he did something so crazy. All religions have had their crazies and these crazies have murdered and killed people behind that veil. But this was a single man who has done something that could not be predicted. What happened to this man? What will happen to his family? Why discuss this all in terms of his nationality?

May. 05 2010 10:32 AM
RPS from Brooklyn

Where is the moderate Pakistani voice in all of this? Why are they not organizing to counteract the institutions that perpetrate such radicalism. The safety of this secular state allows for silence and silence codones extremism.

May. 05 2010 10:29 AM
John from New York

There is no need to color entire Pakistani community because of the actions of few extremists.

But the infrastructure of terrorism exists in Pakistan. Ask India who has been brunt of terrorism from Pakistan for a long time.

Denial is not the best way to deal with that.

May. 05 2010 10:28 AM
Yogi Mahesh from Philadelphia

As an Indian.. and a non-religious Indian, let me say this.
We know, that this country has only one export - religious terrorism. That this person came from this country is NOT a shock. Neither to us, not to its own citizens. Your guests keep talking about how this act does not fit certain religious texts.. but that does not matter, does it. That is just a way to avoid answering real questions. They will continue to play victims, but they have to pick themselves up. No neighbors of Western countries can help them even if they want to!

May. 05 2010 10:28 AM
JG from Philadelphia

I am so sick of hearing this same sorry excuse trotted out every time another Muslim terrorist attacks: "He was not a real Muslim." The Catholic Church could use the same sorry excuse in the priest abuse scandal. "They were not real Christians."
The excuse is just as weak. Violence is inherent in the Koran and called for in advancing the religion. Christianity was largely advanced through violence and oppression of 'heretics' for thousands of years.
The problem is not entirely religion, there are issues of power and poverty as well, but religion gives people an excuse to act in the name of something larger than just their base hatred of others.

May. 05 2010 10:25 AM
delmore from brooklyn

why is it that every time a domestic terrorist is apprehended we discover that some local imam has been involved in his radicalization? we NEVER hear these disavowals coming from the primary source of inspiration for these heinous acts. . .the clergy of islam.

May. 05 2010 10:24 AM
bernie from bklyn

as predicted...blahblahblahblah.
brian, why was this guy allowed on the plane when he was on the no-fly list?
oh wait,'re too busy placating and coddling when it's not necessary. we all know this doesn't represent pakistanis here.

May. 05 2010 10:17 AM
Estelle from Austin

You asked why would a successful person with a happy life turn to terrorism. To me it seems obvious: mental illness/depression. Terrorism has a deeply self-destructive undercurrent. I think the recent attacks on children in China were driven by mental illness too. The only differentiating factor that causes us to label an act "terrorism" is the possible political angle. And that would not be sufficient to provoke an act without the presence of some degree of mental illness.

May. 05 2010 10:16 AM
Zahid from Brooklyn

Brian thank you so much for providing a forum to condemn actions of this terrorist. Every time an event like this occur the first thing that comes to mind is hopefully its not a Muslim, Once a Muslim connection is established one just hope he is not from Pakistan and once that one is established the person of interest is from Pakistan, One really really hopes he is not someone from your circle.

I really think Pakistani Community should arrange a protest against this kind of behavior, and condemn these kind of activities to convey a message to "would be terrorists" that you are hurting your fellows.

As far as backlash is concerned people in NY treated us in a very positive manner after 9/11. So i am hoping people would understand that these kind of individuals does not represent Pakistan or Islam. Just as Timothy Mcveigh does not represent US.

Once again thank you so much.

May. 05 2010 10:12 AM
bernie from bklyn

c'mon brian, you're a better journalist than this. there's so much intricate information and fascinating facts regarding this case already and you have to go to your old standby"have to be super-sensitive to the ethnic group in question and get their reaction". we all know what their reaction will be- we love the USA and these rogue individuals do not represent the pakistani community as a whole. yes, we all get that and get on with exposing the story that's here. you don't have to reach out to every community that is called into question by an act of terrorism. we all get it- these acts don't represent the community at get on with the story, please.
your show is great and you are a fantastic radio host, it's only because we expect the best from you brian...sorry to complain!

May. 05 2010 09:52 AM

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