Double standards have screwed up the world - one rule for you and another for us. Muslims are as guilty of this duality as non-Muslims are, calling all and sundry "infidels" with great abandon, even twisting the intent of God if they have to. In the tears over the Danish embassy bomb last Monday, let the context not be lost. Our latest foreign secretary said that Pakistanis are "ashamed" of this incident. But can the same be said about the Danish people? They allowed their media to print and reprint and go on printing the blasphemous cartoons with great abandon too. I use the word "allowed" because public pressure can stop most things. I hope that they will now learn something from this horrible incident, that while all freedoms are highly desirable, they too have limits. It's not a question of "freedom is indivisible" - sound-bytes that stick in the gullet are plain humbug that mean little and only mislead. The limits of freedom begin where the freedoms of others start getting transgressed. You have the right to express anything you like as long as it doesn't hurt others. Blasphemy serves no good whatsoever. If hurt feelings lead to death and destruction, what purpose has your freedom of expression served? To "prove" that Muslims are barbarians who cannot tolerate free expression without going on the rampage? After you taunt and goad them endlessly? Look, my dear Vikings, there is a raging beast lurking in all of us. It is easy to bring to the surface provided you are ready to become shameless. I tell you, it takes even less to goad people who tout all sorts of "freedoms" into becoming barbaric. The blasphemous cartoons were nothing but emotional, mental, religious and racial barbarism. What would you call a people who persistently hurt and humiliate 1.3 billion people to rile them into doing dastardly things just to prove that they are very bad people? Barbaric? Or Satanic? It was a sting operation of the most immoral kind. If you transgress the freedoms of others there should be a bloody good reason for it, like the "greater good" - save millions by sacrificing a few. How does blaspheming the prophet of any faith do any good defeats me. Go talk to the families of Monday's dead and tell them that their loved ones didn't die in vain. They are martyrs in the "greater" cause of "freedom of expression." Then hear what they have to say about your precious "freedom of expression." We had been telling the Danes, the Swedes and the Dutch for years not to rile an already riled people with their blasphemy. Their emotions are bleeding from generations of perceived injustices, minds at explosion point at the unfairness of it all. But would they listen? They all took cover behind the "freedom of expression" excuse to allow blasphemy to flourish - note the recent film Fitna. In reality it is the Danes, Swedes and Dutch, "wannabes" that are inconsequential in the war against terror but want to become consequential, who are spreading fitna and fasad - discord and disharmony. When you go on hurting over a billion people you are asking for it. Go on slashing a raging bull, Mr Matador, and sooner rather than later it is going to gore you. Then don't cry. There is neither any justice nor any fairness in this all, just as there isn't in the "sport" of bullfighting or the world of international real politic, only tit-for-tat retaliation as best people can. You cannot pull out the fairness argument when you are hurt and freedom of expression argument when you hurt others. I'm not justifying, just explaining. I condemn all terrorist acts, State and non-State, with the same vehemence as I do blasphemy against any prophet. Muslims also must realise that just as there are limits to freedom, there are limits to retaliation too. If retaliation kills innocents then it is terrorism plain and simple. I know that helpless people don't have much option but to convert their bodies into human bombs and delivery systems, a weapon and method invented by non-Muslims. I also know that people do not willing give up their lives so horribly. But that does not justify, it only explains. Every time you go out to retaliate against those who have harmed you, recall the first-ever rules of war that God ordained before the Battle of Badr. When will Muslims realise that economic strength is the best protection? Develop your economic strengths so much that no one can dare lift a finger against you. Crack an innocent joke about a Jew and the whole world comes crashing down on you; blaspheme the Prophet (PBUH) of the Muslims and its "freedom of expression" Once you have economic strength, all other strengths follow. Military prowess is the least of them, as witness how 28,000 nuclear warheads couldn't save the Soviet Union or how history's greatest military machine cannot prevail in Iraq and Afghanistan and failed against the ragtag Vietnamese. But economic strength will not even begin to come until you acquire the greatest strength of all, the strength of knowledge - not only understanding and using the knowledge of others (knowledge is nobody's fief) but also learning again to acquire your own knowledge to build your own knowledge bank and using it for strengthening yourself, as once upon a time, long, long ago, you did. Look at the Jews. You can go on blaming Zionist deviousness till kingdom come, but the fact remains that some 12 million Jews have got the world by where it hurts most - if you have got them, that is. You may resent them, you might hate them, but you have to admire them. Else you are an ostrich with your head in the sand, where it will remain till the rest of your body joins it. Over 2.5 billion Christians are dancing to their tune...and also thrashing 1.3 billion Muslims to boot. Why can't we learn from them? Why can't Muslims understand how they do it, how they rise again and again and then apply it to themselves? Why can't Muslims understand that the real advantage is in conquering world market shares, not territory, especially shares in those sectors from which real power flows. The Jews have incredible world market shares in all sources of power: in knowledge, media and communications, global economy and finance, world politics and diplomacy, the military. They are in all the top universities and have proportionately won more Nobel prizes, particularly in the sciences, than people of any other religion or race. The Muslims have not one world-class university or think tank. Jews have most control and influence over the global media. Muslims have none, only comics for publications and cartoon channels aping western news channels. Jews virtually control world financial institutions and the ability to move capital across borders instantaneously, including over the central bank of the most powerful country in the world. Muslims don't have even one meaningful global commercial or development bank or currency that matters. Jews have inordinate political influence, as witness their disproportionately huge numbers in western parliaments, cabinets and think tanks. Not one Muslim country is in the UN Security Council. Jews have not only an awesome military machine in Israel; they also make the military machine of America do their dirty work for them. Muslims make one bomb and it immediately gets a religion All Muslim armies are dependent on western armaments made in western factories, many owned by Jews. This is how Jews make America's strength work of them, even against America if need be America pays them to survive and exist. Is there weakness in numbers - too many people with too much diversity cause disunity while too few cause unity? Then how are 1.5 billion Chinese marching together as one, moving ahead faster than anyone else? It's because, like the Jews, they too have an ideology of their own, not borrowed. They too do their own thing for the good of their own people because they have shed alien Marxism-Leninism and adopted native Maoist-Dengist thought. They have realised that they have to temporarily put aside internal and external differences to first acquire knowledge, financial prowess and military muscle and make their voice heard in the international corridors of power. It is for no reason that they own 40 percent of the US debt. Now they have America by the short and curlies: they recently sold a bit of the US debt and sent the dollar plummeting towards the chute. And then they had the wisdom to stop - no point in taking things to a breaking point. If the biggest importer of Chinese goods weakens economically, who would buy their exports? That's called wisdom, something that deserted us more than 750 years ago. We too have numbers. We too have an ideology - and more. Instead of finding unity in diversity, we have let it twist our religion and reduce it to a set of dogmas and rituals run by clerics of various hues. Many rituals are pre-Islamic, non-Islamic or downright un-Islamic and have been superimposed on the religion so that they have come to be regarded as part of the religion itself. They have arrested their minds, thrown away the key and abdicated interpretation to the mercy of obscurants masquerading as scholars of 72 different schools of thought and movements. The intent of God has been lost. E-mail: hgauhar@nation.com.pk