THE SPINE OCTOBER 10, 2010
"The war on the educated" is what the New York Times called it on Saturday. And the fact is that there is much evidence that there is a relentless stalking of modern intellectuals and moderate Muslim clerics in Pakistan.
The Times story by Jane Perlez reports the assassination, one of many, of Farooq Khan, "doctor to the poor, scholar of Islam and friend of America," who represented something the Islamic extremists hated.The assassination of Dr. Khan, cool and quick, was the latest in what appears to be a sustained campaign by the Taliban to wipe out, or at least silence, educated Muslims in Pakistan who speak out the militants, their use of suicide bombings and their cry of worldwide jihad.
The Khmer Rouge program of mass murder of Cambodians focused on the literate and was identified with Pol Pot. But it was executed by a vast army of killers. It was also aimed, as a demographic shorthand, so to speak, on people who wore glasses. As you can see from the photograph accompanying the article, Khan did wear glasses, poor man.
A journalist and friend of the doctor, who himself had received death threats, observed that "the government doesn't have the will or capacity to do much. It's unrealistic to expect them to do anything."