Pakistanis must learn from Iran's rush to revolution

Karim Sadjadpour,
January 21, 2008. The Australian:

AS the future of both Pakistan and its President, Pervez Musharraf, wallow in uncertainty in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination, parallels are being drawn to the 1979 fall of the Shah and the Islamic revolution in Iran.

Once again, a "pro-American" autocrat seems to be rapidly losing his grip on power, with his US ally only half-heartedly standing by him. The liberal elite and intelligentsia rail against the dictator, confident that their country is primed for secular democracy.

The obvious lesson to be drawn from 1979 is that the US unwisely rested its entire strategic relationship with Iran on the shoulders of an unpopular dictator. When his regime crumbled, so did the US's ability to realise its interests there.

However the Iranian revolution holds another lesson for Pakistani liberals: obsessed with evicting the Shah, Iran's intelligentsia was delusional about their own society and their potential to emerge victorious via an abrupt political upheaval.

Once the Shah left, the radical minority that was willing to fight and die for its cause devoured the "moderate majority", establishing Islamist rule in short order ...
Yup, and Australia should also learn from Iran and Pakistan. But no, we don't. All of a sudden, at just the wrong time, Australia develops a superiority complex to believe that our Muslim community will be different, ours will be peaceful. Sure. A moderate majority will be devoured in short order.

And what is even more illustrative in this article? The expert doesn't offer any useful solution. Why? Because he can't. Spencer: "peaceful Muslims have never formulated an Islamic response to the jihadists' claim to represent pure and true Islam". Until the moderates differentiate themselves ideologically, and are prepared to die to defend their beliefs, they will always be devoured in short order.

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