By Justice Markandey Katju–
(Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own)
Dr Akbar Ahmed is a former Pakistani High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, and currently lives in the United States where he is a professor of the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, School of International Service, American University in Washington DC.
He recently gave a talk in Washington DC.
While I regard Dr Ahmed as a good man, in my opinion his talk was mostly sentimental maudlin and baloney, revealing little understanding of reality. He no doubt rightly emphasized on the importance of religious freedom and human rights, and condemned religious fanaticism, but beyond that, his talk was mostly unrealistic moonshine, twaddle, and claptrap.
He spoke of spreading love, inclusiveness, openness, destruction of tribal culture, and spoke of Jefferson, Hafiz, Isis, Jinnah, etc and the need to know more about Islam. Unfortunately he has not said a word about economics, when the truth is that politics is concentrated economics.
Dr Ahmed spoke of spreading love. But how can there be love when developed countries are determined that underdeveloped countries must not be allowed to become developed countries, for the reasons I explained to Pakistani journalist Moeed Pirzada in this interview?
Unless underdeveloped countries such as India, Pakistan, etc become developed and highly industrialized, we can never abolish massive poverty, record unemployment, appalling level of child malnutrition, lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, etc — the great evils that plague our societies.
Evidently, the interests of developed countries are in direct conflict with the interests of underdeveloped countries. Developed countries fight tooth and nail against underdeveloped countries becoming developed, and for that they spread (through their local agents) religious, caste, racial and linguistic hatred in the underdeveloped countries (as they have been doing in India, Pakistan).
With respect to Dr Ahmed, he does not understand these economic realities, and so he talks superficial drivel, poppycock and balderdash.