Mudcat Café message #2972532 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131368   Message #2972532
Posted By: Wolfgang
25-Aug-10 - 10:06 AM
Thread Name: BS: So little empathy for Pakistan?
Subject: RE: BS: So little empathy for Pakistan?
I have let Google translate an article by a German Muslim in a left-wing (green) newspaper (TAGESZEITUNG). I have amended only those blunders of the translation that have made the text unintelligible. In partiular, the order of words and phrases is still very German, but that should not prevent understanding.


No heart for Mullah Omar

In Pakistan, millions of people struggling for survival - yet the willingness to donate here so far very limited. Why does this affect us so little? BY DENIZ YÜCEL

Pakistan has 14 million people in the water up to their necks, but donations are used only sparingly.

The Germans spend too little for Pakistan's flood victims, much less than after the earthquake in Haiti or after the tsunami. Says Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (FDP). Says Government spokesman Steffen Seibert. Says the diaconate. Says Caritas. Says pretty much everyone who is somehow involved.

This has, so we hear mundane reasons such as the holiday season, donor fatigue after the collections at the beginning of the year or the lack of shocking images. Above all, the lack of donations has something to do with the country itself. For example, believes the spokeswoman for the Alliance Action Germany Helps Birte Steigert: "Pakistan is perceived as a country with a difficult political situation. "

One can formulate it this way. But can express things also a bit more concrete. You may recall that in Pakistan, such as Amnesty International reported that "torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement and security agencies are on the agenda". That the Taliban have established a reign of terror in some regions. That the government forces in fighting insurgents as well proceed with excessive violence. The fact that the Pakistani intelligence supported the Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan can afford nuclear weapons, but in international rankings, whether it be literacy or corruption, is reliably landing on the rear seats.

Not only the government and the militias are the problem. The problem is also the tribal structures which prevail especially in the flood hit northwest of the country. There, a group of elders may order a gang rape or settle a dispute between two families through the forced marriage of girls. The distinction between "state and militias evil, ordinary people good," works here even less than usually.

In any case the Pakistani government as well as the Pakistani society in the past few years have worked hard to get a bad image. ... Not only the image of Pakistan is shitty, Pakistan itself is a shitty state. No, not every opinion is a prejudice, and yes, it's stupid but true that many clichés are true unfortunately.

For instance, it happens somewhere in the world anything, by which the Muslims feel offended (and that is a lot), first thing in Islamabad, Karachi and Rawalpindi bearded men and women in burqa turn to the streets, burn flags and loudly wish somebody's death. The fact that they often wear on their feet a little more than a pair of sandals made of car tires, seems to bother these people less than the publication of some cartoons in a 5000 km distant country. Among the permanently taking offence soreheads, as which the Muslims like to present themselves, the Pakistanis are the ultras. But they are not hillbillies. In their way they take part in world events, for instance in June when they protested against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, because users of the site had called for a Muhammad cartoon contest.

"May God give it to you," is a Turkish proverb, with which one fobs off beggars, to whom one would give nothing. One is tempted to call out to the Pakistanis that phrase. (Likewise one is inclined to desire Mullah Omar and his men may perish in their sockets.) However, in Pakistan live people who defend themselves against intolerable conditions. There live children, who are guilty of nothing. They too now need international aid.

... Perhaps, however, particularly in the north of the country at the end of the day it is the Taliban who decide on the distribution and use of food and medicines and who benefit most of the international aid. In any case, it is not morally reprehensible to face such questions before we shall make the transfer. But it is a cheap argument to castigate the lack of willingness to donate without answering such questions.