To ban or not to ban …Shezan juice

Published: February 12, 2012

A couple of weeks back, the Jamaatud Dawa held a well-attended rally in Rawalpindi to remove an Ahmadi religious centre from Satellite Town.

Even though neighbours claimed to have no issues with its presence, the assault on this myopically-perceived menace seems far from over. Just take the little-reported effort to ban a local cell phone company due to its ‘questionable ownership’.

Although proven to be non-Ahmadi owned, the company still raises suspicion because it starts with the same letter that a derogatory term for Ahmadis does. Apparently, a flaw in their phones’ Urdu dictionary which made it impossible to type the name Muhammad is what fuelled the cause.

On Sunday, The Express Tribune reported on a monumental decision taken by the Lahore Bar Association. These lawyers, some of whom vocally supported convicted murderer and all-round crazy person Mumtaz Qadri (also a lawyers’ favourite in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, where garland of roses were placed around his ‘blessed’ neck and offers were placed for his ‘holy’ MP5 submachine gun), decided that a major food and beverage brand should be banned from all court premises because it is owned by every Pakistani bigot’s favourite punching bag, Ahmadis. This was followed up by a vow to “also…ban other products at a later stage”.

With this in mind, in the spirit of banning things based on who owns or manufactures them, I’ve come up with a short list of other items that should be banned.

Guns

Specifically the infamous Kalashnikov Ak-47 and AK-74 rifles which so many feel a religious duty to acquire. The guns carry the name of their inventor, Soviet weapons designer Lt General Mikhael Kalashnikov, an atheist. Of course the fact that he regretted his invention later, saying things like, “It is painful for me to see when criminal elements of all kinds fire from my weapon…I created this weapon primarily to safeguard our motherland” and, “I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawnmower.”

Alternatively, if they love their AK’s so much, wait for the AK-mower to hit the market. I’m sure the 92-year-old genius has one last design in him. They can help pass the time with one of the general’s less famed products, Kalashnikov Vodka

Clothes

Now clothing dates back past the coming of Islam, or any modern religion for that matter, but the problem is, how do you know who made the cloth for that fascinating non-Muslim, European-styled black on white combo you’re wearing? Was it an atheist in China? Was it a Christian in South America? Was it a Hindu in India? Was it a non-whatever-you-are in Pakistan? The only solution to assure compatibility is to make your own cloth and stitch it yourself. Or wear a box (as long as you’re sure it was made by people who share your ideology).

Cell phones

Invented by Christians and manufactured by atheists in China, it is high time to lay those Blackberrys, Nokias, iPhones, HTCs and Samsungs on top of a bonfire. Start with Android phones, since the technology’s father is a Jew.

Paper, printing, and ink

All three are Chinese inventions, if the lawyers are really committed, they will begin a movement to get rid of all written and printed material such as the Constitution of Pakistan. But wait, wouldn’t that mean having to dispose of all the written anti-minority laws? No problem. They can rely on oral histories. Who needs certified written records when any prime candidate for natural deselection can spout a cockamamie theory and present it as fact?

Logic

This may fall into a grey area, as the Greek invention was perfected in no small part by the likes of Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ghazali, and Ibn Rushd. Fortunately, a possible ban would be easy to comply with, as most Pakistanis rejected it years ago.

So in short, we need to ban cell phones, we need to ban clothing, we need to ban the internet, we need to ban paper and printing, and we need to ban logic. However, in the event that all this becomes untenable, we can take the easy way out. We can simply ban hate.

Read more by Vaqas here. Follow him @vasghar.

 

Vaqas Asghar

Vaqas Asghar

A sub-editor on the Islamabad city pages of The Express Tribune, Vaqas holds a Master's degree in IR from Iqra University. Before joining ET, he taught history and was also a member of the editorial staff at Blue Chip Magazine. He tweets as @vasghar (twitter.com/vasghar)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • sachidanand

    dear pakistanis,
    All your ancestars were Hindus. Some reminiscent could still be there.you look at you ancestor so low. It is because of them you still exist.Nothing new about shackles of hatred. Change the attitude . See the beauty of the practices of your past and live with it instead of savoring the foreign and Arabs. Find your own selves of independent existence. You had a very rich tradition and identity which you are so eager to extinguish. No country or civilization could survive this madness.

    / Recommend

  • Khalid Ahmad Khan

    @sachidanand:
    I’ve heard this tale peddled by BJP supporters and others before. Its often used to justify the incendiary suggestion that Muslims, Christians, etc should “revert” to Hinduism. It conveniently ignores the fact that the subcontinent was never homogenous. In it there were Parsees, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews (among others).

    I would like to see more tolerance and less hatred across the subcontinent (and not just in Pakistan). India (with memories of Ayodhya, Gujarat, “disappearances” in Kashmir and the murder of Christian missionaries still raw) is not in a position to lecture Pakistan.

    I despise bigots like the RSS just as much as I dislike their Pakistani compatriots like the Tehrike Taliban or Sipahe Sahaba. I believe in open mindedness, not the racist closed-mindedness that mutters darkly about “savoring the foreign and Arabs”. Both Hinduism and Islam at their best were tolerant places where their leaders believed in “live and let live”. I for one would welcome a return to that attitude instead of the current, ugly, communal mindset.Recommend

  • Sara

    @all those people who say that the bar used its democratic right to vote and it is ok as long as they are not unlawfully forcing you to do something.

    The first person they are forcing their views on is the canteenwala who wants to sell Shezan.Now because of their so called democratic vote he will not be able to do so.That’s not democracy it’s mob rule.If 51% of your street got up tomorrow and voted that you should be killed would it make it right.

    Who wants to join me in handing out free Shezan to people coming out of the gates of The Lahore High Courts.It’s my right as a citizen of a democratic country to have freedom of expression isn’t it?The bar association has it. Babar Awan has it. Why not me.

    This is not the issue of one lack brained vote.It’s about how tolerance is fast fading from our society. We must remember each of us is different from our neighbor in some way. If today we don’t stand up and shoot down this bigotry tomorrow a mob may be gunning for you and me or our loved ones.Recommend

  • Usman Masood

    @Loneliberal PK:
    Its called looking out for oneself. It happens all over the world. And it depends on your perception of a bond. My family comes first, my country comes first, or in this case my religion.

    What if i was to say, lets boycott all foreign products “when” a local alternative is present. Would you call that me hating on non-Pakistanis? I would urge people to buy Olfruite, and Not Nestle. But when I substitute my country first, with my religion first. All of a sudden people have a problem?

    Though interestingly, they are selling Nestle, but banning Shezan. Lol, but thats their problem. And ofc, the perception that all Ahmedis pay a little to their religious authorities, probably played a far larger role in this.

    This article does a good job mocking their decision, but refuses to accept that everyone has his own belief. And if it was the govt banning Shezan, that would be unjust, but a group of people calling for a boycott(not a mob, because they aren’t violent. At least not yet)

    Once again I refuse to see the logic in getting it “banned” from the vicinity. Them calling for a boycott, and personally boycotting would’ve been enough in my eyes to satisfy their belief.

    P.S, some conservatives in the US are already boycotting all Halal foods, in fact some organizations in the EU are calling for a ban at a govt level. Either ways, I would rather talk to them and explain my views rather then term them bigots or haters. Because in their eyes Halal food gives money to a religious authority as well. And thats their opinion, And a christian at the forums told me a very simple notion, that I would perhaps accept. Hes hating a belief, but not the person. And I’m cool with that. After all that was said and done, he and I can always leave the Off-topic Section of the forums and go back to discussing our nerdy StarWars trivia.Recommend

  • Aamir

    I wonder if you are applying logics or supporting the infidel community here? If you are supporting logics, then logic says that if millions of MUSLIMS have rejected these people handfull of people as being Muslims then it should be listened to and be given due weightage. They call themselves Muslims and defy the very first pillar of Islam i.e Allah is one and Muhammad PBUH is the last prophet. Are they not going against logics here? Its time they shouls all immigrate to Canada and spread their infidelism there.Recommend

  • Aamir

    @Talha:
    DEmocracy is means to divide and rule…..divide ppl into parties and take turn at ruling. Its against the Islamic form of governance hence a failed and an unwanted system.Recommend

  • Naeem Muhammad Khan

    Meh, the comparison is false which goes to show the person does not understand the issue at hand. It is not being banned because it is made by Kuffar, it is being banned because the people who make it claim to be Muslims. A Kaffir is not the same as an Imposter in Islamic Fiqh which makes any Transaction with a Wanna be Muslim to be invalid. It is not the same with Kuffar, because they can be given a pact of security but a Pseudo Muslim cant. What a waste of time….. another reason i try not to read articles from people with little of no theological background trying to act all smart.Recommend

  • Khalid Ahmad Khan

    @Naeem Muhammad Khan:
    Dear Naeem

    Please provide an example of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) declaring a person who recites the Kalima to be non-Muslim. Please provide support for your assertion that the Holy Prophet ever declared invalid a transaction with such a person, or that discrimination against him was permitted.

    If he did not, what right you have to peer into a person’s heart and to declare him to be a non-Muslim or a Pseudo Muslim? To do so is arrogant, sanctimonious and presumptuous. And where does your sectarian intolerance stop? What other sects fail to meet your approval? Do you consider to Shia, Ismailis, Dawoodi Bohras to be non-Muslim? How about those extremists who plant bombs in mosques and market places and consider it permissable to cut the throats of brave, captured Pakistani soldiers? Do you consider transactions with them to be invalid? Spare us the hypocrisy and ignorance.Recommend

  • Naeem Muhammad Khan

    @Khalid Ahmad Khan:

    Assalam u Alikum wr wb,

    Sorry but i would like to keep this argument STRICTLY intellectual and unemotional. I can not and will not reply to emotional language because it avails nothing for anyone.

    Its either you ask me the source and claim ignorance or claim knowledge and refute my source. Harping on emotional rhetoric like the examples given below is beyond intellectual reproach. You can’t have your cake and eat it too like they say.

    “If he did not, what right you have to peer into a person’s heart and to declare him to be a non-Muslim or a Pseudo Muslim?”
    “To do so is arrogant, sanctimonious and presumptuous. And where does your sectarian intolerance stop?”
    “What other sects fail to meet your approval?”
    “Do you consider to Shia, Ismailis, Dawoodi Bohras to be non-Muslim?”
    ” How about those extremists who plant bombs in mosques and market places and consider it permissable to cut the throats of brave, captured Pakistani soldiers?”
    “Do you consider transactions with them to be invalid?”

    All these deductions from a Question which has not been answered shows disingenuity towards the questioner. Also reaching conclusion like “Spare us the hypocrisy and ignorance”
    doesn’t help either. What are all these speculative presumptions are based on?? And how do you claim hypocrisy and Ignorance on my part without even giving me the chance to reply? Is this the intellectual integrity of a truth seeker?

    By the way since you are asking me question concerning Islamic history and Fiqh. Do you have any grounding in Islamic theology and Jurisprudence(fiqh)? Because answering a layman is not the same as answering someone accustomed to the sciences if you know what i mean( technical Jargons etc)

    I dont think this is going anywhere, so unless and until i see a genuine concern from you to discern the truth of the matter, don’t expect me to answer back.

    SalamRecommend

  • Khalid Ahmad Khan

    Dear Naeem

    I would be very pleased you to reply to the questions I posed previously. I look forward to your response.

    Are we not all “people who… claim to be Muslims”? Will not God judge each of us and determine who is and is not “Kaffir”, “Imposter”, a “Wanna be Muslim” or a “Pseudo Muslim”?

    Is not God the best of judges? Are any of us better judges than He?

    Wassalam.

    KhalidRecommend

  • rizwan

    @Kay-Lid!:
    thank you.that meant alot:-)Recommend

  • rizwan

    spot on! you forgot to mention antibiotics? our sir says if Americans want to kill us they just need to stop supplying us antibiotics and all Pakistan will die with disease.Recommend

  • salma

    well if they think THEY are responsible for feeding human beings and not Allah then let them try.If Allah has written food in the fate of Ahmadis they can not stop HIM.Atleast I am now going to use all products of shezan only let alone juice.Recommend

  • Qasim

    excellent piece of work..Recommend

  • elementary

    @TAYYAB BALAGAMWALA:
    The point of article which you completely seem to have missed is that if you ban an item on the argument that it’s producer is Non-muslim then you will end up banning everything from telephone to computer to internet to cars to life saving medicines and will need to go live in a cave ,because my friend your contribution as muslim to modern day living is ZERO.Recommend

  • farahbrohi

    Good girl! your parents should be proud of you tobring you up with such good thoughts!Recommend