This is a worth a read if one is struggling to make sense of the deadly attacks that happened in Pakistan and Kenya over the weekend.
As Ahmed points out, actions by foreign governments against Muslim people are causing reactions. The US government in Pakistan and Kenya defense force in Somalia.
What happened in Nairobi and Peshawar was quite different. In Peshawar, the Taliban group responsible for the attack declared that they had committed the suicide bombing of All Saints Church in revenge for American drone strikes in the Tribal Areas. A Taliban statement read, “Until and unless drone strikes are stopped, we will continue to strike wherever we will find an opportunity against non-Muslims.” In Kenya, al Shabab announced its assault on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi as revenge for the 2011 Kenyan military invasion to oust al Shabab from control of southern Somalia, where Kenyan troops are still stationed. An al Shabab spokesman stated, “Either leave our country or live with constant attacks.”
Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, DC and the former Pakistani Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Harrison Akins is the Ibn Khaldun Chair Research Fellow at American University’s School of International Service and served as the senior researcher for Ambassador Ahmed’s latest book The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam (Brookings 2013).