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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Rage Boy – The Interview

Posted by Atilla89 on July 6, 2007

For all those who are in touch with the main blogs, you would all know a certain Muslim protester by the nickname of ‘rage boy’. Now this is not a nice term, but once you’ve seen the amount of pictures of him protesting you can see why it has stuck. Now he has gone to the press and released an interview: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070705/wl_sthasia_afp/indiakashmirunrestdemointernet_070705050008

Here is a segment of the interview

Shakeel Bhat, 31, has been displaying his teeth and shaking his fist over anything from Salman Rushdie‘s knighthood to Danish cartoons, becoming a photographers’ favourite and earning himself the nickname “Rage Boy” in online columns and blogs.

One American columnist has dismissed him as a “professional Muslim protester,” while other bloggers have also held him up for ridicule as a person who appears to be very easily enraged about anything.

But Bhat, the man behind the angry face, said he could take any kind of criticism in his stride.

“Whatever I do, I do for Allah and the Prophet Mohammed,” said Bhat, who admits to having been an armed militant between 1991 and 1994 with a pro-Pakistan rebel group.

“I can’t resist injustice. I protest for all the oppressed Muslims in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan,” he told AFP.

Bhat dropped out of school in his early teens, and quickly found his way into the armed struggle against New Delhi’s disputed hold over part of the scenic Himalayan region.

The nearly 18-year-old conflict has left at least 42,000 people dead, nearly a third of them civilians.

After escaping scores of police raids, Bhat finally spent three years behind bars — a lucky escape from the Indian army‘s “catch and kill” tactics of the 1990s.

While he no longer carries a weapon, Bhat said he was still fuming about the Indian army’s often suffocating presence in Kashmir — where there is one soldier for every four civilians — and what he sees as a wider international conspiracy against Muslims.

“If my photographs get published across the world, it is because my emotions are real and my looks are not deceptive. The photos show the anger inside,” said the full-time demonstrator, who when off the street looks distincly modest and a little shy.

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