The center of Islamabad was rocked by a powerful explosion even as thousands of young radical Islamists gathered to mark the anniversary of the storming of the famous Red Mosque by Pakistan police. A suicide bomber blew himself up close to a group of police killing 15 and wounding 22. The police were on duty because a large crowd was expected since Islamic militants had been promising to hold mass demonstrations. The Red Mosque was the center of young Muslim females and males who were angry at policies by President Musharraf that favored the United States. The mosque was finally stormed with many deaths. A demonstrator in yesterday’s demonstration shouted “we are here to demand that the madrassas that were destroyed last year be rebuilt and people should pay for their crimes against Islam.”
The Musharraf government expected violence ever since launching an attack in Peshawar against the Taliban forces of Baitullah Mehsud. Lost in the controversy is the reality that m any madrassas have been built and financially supported by Saudi Arabia which propogates an extreme form of Islam even while decrying militants in their own nation. As long as clerics exert power in Saudi Arabia they will be teaching youth to hate the west even as their own government is allied with Western powers.