Mumbai and the World We Created 7

The attacks in Mumbai are appalling, but the truth is that to date the numbers killed are small by the standards of inter-communal religious violence in India.

But this time Westerners are involved, so there is far more media attention than when it is “Only Indians”.

This is yet another illustration that the “War on Terror” has been entirely counter-productive and has made the World a much more dangerous place for the very Westerners it was supposed to protect. The apparent al-Qaida copycat motivation of the attackers is a further sign that the “War on Terror” threatens to destabilise not just Pakistan but the whole sub-continent.

William Dalrymple’s excellent “The Last Moghul” details the religous tolerance of old India, and its systematic destruction by the British. These events must be seen in their context, not just of the hideous and violent blundering of Bush and Blair, but of four hundred years of history.

None of which excuses the stupidity of the acts of religiously motivated violence unfolding before us. I am sorry to be obliged to concede that the evidence is strong that we live in a global age of renewed irrationality, where religious impulses can easily be channeled to violence and hate. Important groups of Muslims, Jews, Christians and Hindus seem all prone to the infection. The Christians have commanded the most firepower to date. I do not in the least despise religous faith – it can lead to self-knowledge and to concern for societal good. But Richard Dawkins is quite right about its capacity for evil.

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7 thoughts on “Mumbai and the World We Created

  • Sabretache

    Agree 100% with all of that – but I fear it highly likely that deeper and more Machiavellian forces are also likely to be involved.

    As ever 'Cui Bono?' should be the watchword. For example, to what extent are the 'organisations' claiming responsibility susceptible to 'Agent Provocateur' activities of the sort that have been honed to a fine art by CIA covert operations experience these past 60 or so years? What were the sources of the planning and logistics support for such a large and complex operation?

    My guess is that, as ever, the real answers will be far from the knee-jerk obvious and unlikely to bare much relationship to what eventually becomes the official narrative.

  • Drumcondra

    Another reader happy to see you back in action, Craig. Don't let the bastards grind you down!

    There's more to this incident than meets the eye.

    One of the first people to die was the head of the Maharashastra anti-terrorist squad, Hemant Karkare. He had been investigating a previous bombing in September and his investigation had implicated Hindu nationalists. He had recently received death threats.

    See… for more details. The unusual aspect is that such a senior officer should be directly involved in a developing situation like this. Hopefully more details will emerge.


    I have to disagree with your statement that religious faith has "a capacity for evil". Human beings have a capacity for evil. We all have buttons that can be pressed by those who know how to do so. The Nazis were adept at it. So are certain generals, politicians and religious leaders. Any belief which someone regards as core to their own self-definition can serve as a lever for others to pull, whether it be allegiance to a country, religion, tribe or football team.

  • NigelFurrows

    "But Richard Dawkins is quite right about its capacity for evil."

    Just as a love of violent computer games also creates in us a capacity to do evil, right?

    Religion does not turn a caring person into a blood-thirsty killer. Religion is just being used – or brought to the fore – and it is often not the underlying cause for violence.

    What about World War I and World War II – were they religious wars?

    Hitler was a eugenicist – all "impurities" in the genetic pool had to be eradicated – not just Jews, but Gypsies, blacks, gay people, the mentally ill, the disabled, the poor (because they were supposedly genetically predisposed to being poor), and many others. U.S. states, around that time, were also deeply involved in eugenic programs, sterilizing their population, which is where Hitler got his inspiration.

    Was Stalin religious? Was General Suharto of Indonesia, a U.S. installed military tyrant? One million people were slaughtered to get him into power. In 1975, he invaded East Timor, leading to a further 200,000 deaths. America used its friendly relations with Suharto to acquire cheap foreign labor.

    Saddam Hussein was not religious. He pretended to be religious though. The same goes for Bush and Blair. Religion for some can be an unthinking habit, rather than something real.

    Humans are complex creatures, and can be amazingly contradictory. Nice people interpet their religion in a nice way, with a loving "God" – glossing over the bad aspects of their bible – while nasty people create a vindictive, violent "God", giving their religion the worst possible interpretation.

    I know two supposed Chrisitians. When I condemned how "we" were treating the Iraqis, they started telling me to care about "my own group" – meaning the British, and Westerners generally – a very telling remark. And that is, likely, the real reason for most violence in the world – aside from our corrupt political and business elite – a blind attachment to one's own group! Religion can create such an attachment, but it is not the underlying cause.

    Richard Dawkins has discredited himself as a scientist by claiming there is NO creator of any kind. How does he know this? Science is not about proving or disproving the existence of a creator. Hence, being an academic does not qualify him to make such a judgement.

    Dawkins also dismisses consciousness out of hand. Thus, we are NOT inherently good or bad beings, people who care or don't care about others – we are mere machines doing what our genes are telling us to do – we are nothing but ZOMBIES! Dawkins fails to explain how genes control the mind – he just ignores the problem as if it's not a problem.

    Consciousness has eluded scientific explanation for thousands of years, and it will continue to do so – because it is not a physical phenomenon. Science only deals with what is physical.

    Dawkins, rather simplistically, thinks religion is a "meme", an idea implanted in our heads when we were children, and if only we can shake the notion of a creator out of our heads, all will become clear to us. However, H. Allen Orr, an evolutionary biologist, disagrees with Dawkins, as do I. H. Allen Orr is a far superior writer to Dawkins, and doesn't simplify evolution – or humans! – to kindergarten level. Unfortunately, Allen Orr is more interested in academic research than writing for the public. Dawkins is the reverse, and it shows.

    This is why I gave up reading popular science books – instead of educating the populace, they dumb down complex subjects, make many people think that they are experts, and these "experts" then go around berating others who don't go along with what they've read. So, the Dawkin followers, for example, KNOW there is no creator, and you can't argue with them – if you do, you're a religious nut who's scared of dying.

    Dawkins has mentioned Richard Feynman, one of the greatest theoretical physicists that ever lived. So, let me quote Feynman from his book, "QED":

    "Many 'popular' expositions of science achieve apparent simplicity only by describing something different, something considerably distorted from what they claim to be describing. Respect for our subject did not permit us to do this…"

    It's a shame Dawkins does not hold the same attitude.

    You can find as many scapegoats as you like, but we cannot escape HUMAN NATURE – or British and American foreign policy, for that matter, which is bloody and brutal, and has nothing whatsoever to do with religion.

  • NigelFurrows

    I hadn't read your entire post, but now I have:

    "I am sorry to be obliged to concede that the evidence is strong that we live in a global age of renewed irrationality, where religious impulses can easily be channeled to violence and hate."

    Absolutely disgusting, Mr Murray. As a former British ambassador you know perfectly well that Britain is ruining the lives of vast numbers of foreigners due to its profit-motivated impulses. And, as British ambassador, you likely played a role in all this, as your job, it seems, was to create "opportunities" for British corporations abroad.

    Ha-Joon Chang, professor of economics at the University of Cambridge, discusses how rich countries like the U.S. and Britain keep the poor countries poor:

    An example: In 2000, a consortium, Aguas del Tunari, led by a BRITISH subsidiary of Bechtel, took over Bolvia's water supply and, as soon as it did, prices doubled for some of the poorest people in the world. These are the wonderful "free markets" that Britain forces onto the poor.

    Britain's "non-religious" ways saves lives, does it? Then explain why Britain played an active role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide:

    "Bloodshed and whitewash: Britain and the Rwanda genocide":

    "Britain's political system, clearly more totalitarian than democratic, can enable policy-makers to get away with murder, as the events of ten years ago show."

    You refuse to properly inform the public on British foreign policy, and you are now praising Tory MPs in your posts – the Conservatives only care about the wealthy, Mr Murray – as well you know – and when elected they will make life extremely hard for the poorest members of society, just as Labour are doing.

    You also know that British foreign policy does not change regardless of which party is in power. Your narrow focus on the "war on terror" merely keeps the public ignorant of the true nature of Britain's role in the world.

    The three main political parties do not represent the public and, hence, deserve no praise.

    Mark Curtis, a British historian and journalist (, estimates that Britain is complicit in the deaths of over 10 MILLION people worldwide. How about you discuss that before blaming religion and "religious" fanatics? How about you post up the mountain of evidence that shows Britain's complicity in these deaths?

    Mark Curtis claims the British public are being subjected to an unprecedented propaganda campaign. Clearly, those playing a role in this distortion of reality include former British ambassadors and pseudo academics, like Richard Dawkins.

    Where's your conscience, Mr Murray? How about telling the public what world Britain created before its "war on terror".

    I'm sure you'll ban me from your site after making this post, as you did once before. You'll probably delete this post, too. Very "New" Labour of you!

    You don't like being silenced yourself, but you're happy to silence members of the public on your forum.

  • panhandler

    Craig Murray is totally wrong when he agrees with Richard Dawkins about religion having "its capacity for evil." What Murray and Dawkins aren't able to see is that that "evil" is not the creation of religion but the creation of the human mind on the basis of their gross misinterpretation of Faith. There's NO bigger force than Islam for teaching the values of love, sympathy and forgivness.

    It is Richard Dawkins who's consumed with hate for religion that makes him talk like a lunatic he's always been.

  • George Dutton

    "Other dimensions of the Mumbai carnage"…

    "After all, US media reports have confirmed that more than a month earlier, the CIA station chief in Delhi had notified the head of India's intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), that terrorists would come from the sea to attack Mumbai, especially the Taj Mahal hotel"…

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