SCREEN CAP: IMRAN KHAN
Why do so many Moslems hate the United States?
PTC: What has America done to alienate so many people in the Muslim world?
They’ll tell you it’s just the Islamic militants who are angry. But don’t you believe it.
This rage strikes a chord with millions who’d never dream of burning the American flag.
And there’s a lot more to it than just bombing Afghanistan.
This is Pakistan. But feelings here are pretty much the same as throughout the Islamic world.
ISLAM AND AMERICA THROUGH THE EYES OF IMRAN KHAN
ISLAM IMAGES AND IMRAN AT PRAYER:
No one wants to call the military action in Afghanistan a war against Islam, but if you’re a Muslim it sometimes feels like that.
I’m a Muslim.
I have faith in God and I live by the Koran.
Unfortunately there are people in the West who think this makes me some kind of religious extremist. But it's simply not true.
The fundamentals of Islam are Justice, Compassion, Tolerance, Charity and above all Humility before God.
There’s nothing in the Koran that’s against progress and modernity.
We also live, love and enjoy ourselves like anyone else.
SALADIN ON STAGE
This is a concert for peace at an Islamabad women’s college.
The students come mostly from privileged middle-class backgrounds.
This might seem a strange place to start my journey.
But if you’re looking for Muslims whom you’d think would sympathise with America, this is where you’d expect to find them.
The star of the show is Salman Ahmed and his group Junoon.
He 's Pakistan's number one pop star.
He was educated in America, but he certainly doesn't like what the Americans are doing in Afghanistan.
Q : How do they feel towards the USA?
A : The youth of Pakistan love American pop culture they love films they know who Julia Roberts is, they know who Arnold Shwarzenegger is etc …but they fear the US government is like a bull in a china shop.
If people who basically like the American lifestyle think that, take it as a warning.
Backstage are some of Salman’s friends and entourage.
They' re middle class. And like most young people they’re liberals — not fundamentalists.
Terrorism has been going on in Palestine etc… almost as if one white life is worth more than thousands of black or brown ones.
We’re not in America, we’re not white...
Ends on: ‘Imperialist terrorism’
Underlying all their complaints is a feeling that America only cares when its own people or its own interests are threatened.
‘It’s always been a double standard….Ends on: we don’t see that happening at all in practical life
IMRAN IN CAR
I must say I was surprised at the militant mood of these young, cosmopolitan women.
If they feel that way about America, imagine how those with no clue about the Western way of life feel.
I’m travelling north to the city of Peshawar, close to the border with Afghanistan to meet a religious leader.
In this part of the world clerics can be as important as politicians.
I’m here to see Mullanah Mohammed Amir.
He’s a very well-known personality in Peshawar, and a very colourful character.
MULLAHANA MOHAMMED AMIR
His opinions are widely respected and always provoke discussion in this part of the country.
How could you attack a whole nation without providing proof… taking them to a court of law.. following the dictates of justice? Then attacking a whole nation…
He says it’s injustice that’s the main reason …the lack of justice.
Sync Translation: He gave the example of Satan who refused to bow to God. He says what the Almighty hates the most and what he sees in the United States is sheer arrogance and that’s what he sees in the United States...
And he says never was there so much hatred against the United States as there is right now.
IMRAN IN CAR:
INT CAR: IMRAN TALKING TO MOHSIN (DRIVER)
It’s not easy to get every one against you .. I guess it’s the arrogance… what a human being hates most is the lack of humility in dealing with them
This is an anti-war demonstration in Peshawar by a group of women and children.
The protest is very much against American arrogance, but it's also driven by a sense of injustice.
Justice is intrinsic to the Koran.
No-one questions that America is the most powerful nation on earth.
The issue is whether they should arrogantly be judge, jury and executioner of what is right.
WOMAN: This is just an excuse, taking on Afghanistan.
He is after Moslems … he’s after Islam
It's a gift for the international press.
There’s far more mileage in stories that emphasise extremes and differences between cultures, instead of what they have in common.
The net result is often more misunderstanding about the true nature of Islam.
IMRAN: It’s unfortunate that most people in the USA do not understand what Islam is. For them Islam equals fundamentalism. But for the majority of Pakistanis this is not the case. For them Islam gives direction in life. It gives them moral values … that have sustained the family system in this part of the world. Islam means coming to terms with a very harsh reality. The majority of the population live below the poverty line in this part of the world.
Islam also means dignity for a lot of Muslims, because once you pledge obedience to the one God it frees you from having to worship false Gods such as the material God. It also means you believe in the hereafter – this makes you more tolerant, more charitable than people who believe this life is the ‘be all’ and ‘end all’…
Islam has been the dominant force here for over a thousand years.
At a time when England was wrestling with William the Conqueror, and the United States didn’t even exist, this was a mighty empire.
Its descendents today may be vastly poorer than Americans, but this decline has nothing to do with Islam.
It doesn’t mean our traditions and beliefs are in some way inferior.
It’s the feeling that Americans believe in their own cultural superiority and the fear that our own way of life will be overwhelmed that leads to a reaction against them.
The roots of this resentment against America go back to the days of colonialism.
They’ve inherited a legacy of hatred that was once aimed specifically at Western powers who’s empires dominated most of the Moslem world
If this seems unfair because America has never had an empire then look again
Nowadays many feel that we’re still under the control of the West - but by proxy.
And America is seen to be at the heart of it.
Hamayaun Gauhar is a political commentator who writes extensively on development economics.
After decolonisation after the second world war, we moved from the era of physical military colonisation to a more sophisticated economic colonisation… when the IMF came into being these instruments became instruments if economic colonisation.. after all the IMF is basically a bank… they’ve been lending to corrupt governments .. IMF is seen as an instrument of economic colonisation – as an instrument thru which the developing world
…go to the bazaar and speak to the street merchants… they’ll tell you in more colourful language
I decided to do just that.
I took a quick tour of the street merchants and traders in the bazaar in Lahore, to see what Gauhar meant.
The amazing thing is that anywhere else in the Western world the majority of the population would not even know what the IMF is, yet in this part of the world even the poorest farmer, the poor shop keeper, the average person all know what the IMF is.
IMRAN TRANSLATES: Basically he’s saying the IMF is not even referring to the IMF as a separate entity …..
INT SADIQ’S PAINT SHOP
Of course if you borrow money you have to pay it back with interest.
But people like Sadiq (check name) - who I used to play cricket with - is one of millions who think America uses money as an imperial tool.
IMRAN TRANSLATES: He says the IMF is perceived as a tool of the United States America political …
COUNTRY SIDE AND FARMERS
Out in the countryside where the vast bulk of the population still live, the issue is one of survival.
70% of Pakistan’s tax revenues goes into debt servicing.
Pressure from the IMF forces the government to frequently raise utility prices. These are the people who suffer the most.
IMRAN TRANSLATES FARMERS:
Ends on Cannot even cultivate our fields anymore…
People are suffering more hardship than ever before.
The loans are meant to be short term, but the effects are long term.
Pressure of meeting IMF conditions, along with endemic corruption has caused the state education system to more or less collapse.
What you’re seeing here is the children of the majority of the population of Pakistan. It’s learning by rote no individual attention.. all sorts of age groups … bracketed in one class, and the teacher is supposed to teach them all at the same time. This is the biggest problem facing us.. When they come out they’re virtually uneducated.
INT SCHOOL – CHILDREN READING
It makes me feel very sad for Pakistan because these children will never have any chance in life to compete with the rich boys .. they will never have the chance of fulfilling their God-given potential
INT CAR DRIVING TO MADRASSA
As the state system has crumbled over the past twenty years, the vacuum created has been filled by others.
The poor are turning to religious schools.
They're called madrassars and they’re educating almost a million children here.
Some are excellent. Others are a breeding ground for an intolerant version of Islam.
They’re mostly run on charity, and not surprisingly their influence is strongest where neglect and poverty are most pronounced.
The Immam here told me most of his students had left to join the Taliban in Afghanistan.
And some of the remaining boys have also signed up to go.
MULLAHNA NASSER & BOYS SUB-TITLES:
America should not only think of Afghanistan. We should think about Kashmir, Chechnya, Bosnia and Palestine and so on. So long as those problems are not solved between Americans, Jews and Christians, these cases will go on. Until there is peace in Palestine Moslems will protest against infidels.
He visits Afghanistan a lot and most of his students have gone to Afghanistan and are in positions of authority… he says you can’t imagine the way the people in Afghanistan have been destroyed by war… it is completely against the teachings of the Koran to kill innocent people… ends on the effects will be devastating
The Immam’s students feel that America has double-standards. There’s one way of dealing with the people of Afghanistan and there’s another rule where Muslims are facing injustice.
YOUNG BOY: ( sub-titles)
EXT MOSQUE & DEMONSTRATION
Every Friday, after sermons quoting the Koran on 'Justice', young men from the Madrassas are being recruited to join the fight against the USA. Although the attacks on America on September 11th were universally condemned throughout the Islamic world — even by the most hard-line mullahs here, the reprisals against Afghanistan have changed everything. The fundamentalists now occupy the centre stage. So how did Islam get hijacked? Is it only America to blame for the rise of extremism? In my view, Pakistan’s privileged class also has a share in it.
EXT DRIVE THROUGH LANE TO AITCHESON COLLEGE
I think the greatest crime of our ruling classes is that we never bothered to educate our masses.
This is Aitcheson college, considered to be the ‘Eton’ of Pakistan. This is the first classroom I went to … the first ever class I attended and I spent ten years in this school. When I came out, like the majority of children, we understood Western culture better than our own. We were more Westernised, we understood Western culture better than our own…. We read English newspapers they read Urdu newspapers … we had the best jobs because the civil service in Pakistan ran on English…. And so the resentment began to grow, it’s growing all the time, it’s against a small Westernised elite which has hogged everything in this country ... the little privileged class that hasn’t shared anything with the majority … And now when the majority turns against us it also turns against the West, because we epitomise everything that’s wrong with the West
EXTS MILITARY AND POLICE LINED UP FOR DEMONSTRATORSEXT
GENERAL & IMRAN COMM:
Most of the top brass in the army, including Pakistan’s military government, come from that same elite. Siding with America, as the government is doing at the moment, only underlines the gulf that exists between the rulers and the ruled. If it gets any wider, everything could collapse. The stability of the country depends on the army staying united. Someone who understands this more than most is General Mujib. General Mujib-Ur-Rahaman was the man asked by Pakistan's former leader General Zia to direct the covert war against the Russians when they invaded Afghanistan twenty years ago.Pakistan's reward for doing America's bidding was to be left with a volatile, unsolved mess across its border when the Russians pulled out.
The General fears that the loyalty of the army itself will be severely tested if the crisis deepens.
Q: How long do you think the army will support this move, staying with the Americans, without there being divoisions within?
A: The Pakistan army is very loyal. There’s never been a rebellion in the army but there comes a time when loyalty of the soldier is tested, when he feels there is something bigger than his discipline..When the common soldier and man in uniform, we he too feels they’re not talking about the root causes and only targeting the terrorists… if at some stage they feel there is something bigger than discipline … then God forbid..if that situation arises it will be very difficult. To solve a problem is to remove the root cause of it. And then there will be peace …America must understand the psychology of the people of the East particularly the Muslim world
EXT REFUGEE CAMPINT REFUGEE CAMP WITH AFGHAN ELDERS
In a refugee camp near the border I came across a group of men who had fled poverty and the Taliban. What they told me about the ways things are going, made me realise that the General's worst fears are not unrealistic.
AFGHAN REFUGEE ELDERS
I asked them what it’s like being under the Taliban .. they can beat you up for the size of your beard. Having said that they say that if the fighting goes on then they will all pick up a gun and go and fight alongside the Taliban. Not only these people — every man woman and child who can pick up a gun will go and fight…
MONTAGE TRAVELLING PAST MILITARY VEHICLES, POLICE & DEMONSTRATORS
IMRAN IN CROWD
Presented by Imran Khan
Location Fixer Saifullah Niazi
On-line Editor Jonathan Field
Dubbing Mixer Jon Stanton Dunn
Graphics Roger Kennedy
Music Jason Osborn
Production Manager Claire Barry
Producer John Purdie
Executive Producer Alan Hayling
Film Editor David Hope
Filmed and Directed by Bruno Sorrentino
That, I’m afraid, says it all. The bombing in Afghanistan is pushing moderate opinion everywhere towards extremism. In the past few days, thousands of men have been massing on the border with Afghanistan, poised to join the Taliban in the fight against America… prepared to die in defence of injustices committed against fellow Muslims. And that’s why I am on this peace march. There’s no question terrorists must be brought to justice. But the world will only be a safer place when we’ve tackled the root causes of terrorism. Most of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world — feel America must adopt a more enlightened foreign policy. One, based on fairness and justice.