With monsoonal rains continuing, the worst flooding in Pakistan in 80 years is still spreading. Pakistani relief organisations and government agencies are stretched to the limit. Yet despite urgent appeals from the UN and other aid organisations, the level of international aid is pitiful, even measured against the limited assistance donated in other recent disasters.

According to the UN, more than 14 million people, including 6 million children, have been affected by flooding which has ravaged parts of all four provinces in Pakistan. In appealing for further international aid, UN officials pointed out that the number of people affected exceeds the combined total for the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir and this year’s earthquake in Haiti.

I'm trying to understand this. For whites, is it easier to register black suffering than brown suffering? Why the enormous concern for Haiti and utterly no feelings for the catastrophe in Pakistan? Is it because it's a Muslim state? Is it because we now live in an age where religion is the new racism? The West is happy to help black Christians but will turn its back on brown Muslims? My guess? The catastrophe is more and more tied with the war on terror. Always remember that the Chinese character for "crisis" has another significant meaning.