Sunday, March 08, 2009

COMMENT: Afghanistan - here's a thought ...

Nadeem Aslam is an English writer of Pakistani heritage. He wrrived with his family in Pakistan when he was just 14 years old. His family had fled the brutal regime of General Mohammad Ziaul Haq, one of a series of Western-backed Pakistani military dictators.

Nadeem Aslam is currently touring Australia. In an interview with the Canberra Times, Aslam made these observations about Afghanistan:
... I thought that Afghanistan had been forgotten. Now this sounds like a very strange thing to say, because Afghanistan is in the news every single day. But it's in the news every day for what it is doing to the rest of the world. So many American soldiers have died there, so many Canadian soldiers, so many NATO soldiers.

But what the world did to Afghanistan over the past 30 years seems to be news to most people.
About writing and the Taliban, Aslam remarks:
For me it's about feeling a certain responsibility toward the world I live in, and if the darkness is there it must be acknowledged." He believes too that he, like all moderate Muslims, must speak up for a moderate Islam.

The Taliban said that only one book was allowed and I wanted to have a house in which the books were nailed to the ceiling, so that there is a constant literary rain throughout the novel, so that when the books fall to the ground and the characters pull out the nails there's a hole through them and then they read whatever it is.

I wanted to say that I don't want to live in a world where the Koran is the only book.
I'd also hate to live in a world where only one book existed, even (indeed especially) if it was one millions believe had been sent from above.

(Thanks to CCN)

Words © 2009 Irfan Yusuf

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