Whose Islam is it anyway?

Published: March 13, 2013

This cannot be the Islam of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who offered his own mosque to a Christian convoy from the tribe of Najran when it was time for their prayers. PHOTO: AFP

Billa was his nick name. An uneducated Christian boy, who used to clean sewer lines, remove garbage, and on a good day, play cricket with us on the streets of Lahore. I fondly remember how he could hit the ball out of the park and make the team proud.

But my life in Pakistan was rife with contradictions. At jumma prayers, the team heard Islamic stories of equal treatment of non-Muslims and a few hours later, despite taking a bath, Billa would dare not shake hands with us, let alone eat on the same dinner table. Thanks to cricket though, we remained a team.

Not anymore.

Three decades and over 1000 blasphemy cases later leveled at both the Muslims and non-Muslims of this country, the uneducated poor Christians are under constant religious persecution in Pakistan. On March 9, a mob of over 3,000 people vandalised Joseph Colony – a dilapidated Christian neighbourhood in my birthplace of Lahore, Pakistan – when a Christian man was accused of blaspheming Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). More than 150 houses, including two small churches, were ransacked and set ablaze.

Don’t blame me; harassing minorities in the pretense of blasphemy accusations is not my version of Islam. But regardless of the twisted interpretations of our religious scholars, it’s not Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) version of Islam either. So the question becomes; whose Islam is it anyway?

I don’t know but this cannot be the Islam of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who actually warned us to repel such mobs through his messages of peace. However, when the self-appointed custodians of Islam were actually burning two small churches, where were the “real” Muslims?

This cannot be the Islam of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who offered his own mosque to a Christian convoy from the tribe of Najran when it was time for their prayers.

Will “real” Muslims, who are shameless enough to share an alcoholic drink – declared unlawful by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – with a Christian friend, also share their mosques with them?

This cannot be the Islam of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who took a covenant from the seventh century Muslims to protect the properties and freedoms of the monks of Egypt’s Saint Catherine’s Monastery in specific, and  Christians “far and near”, in general.

Even today, the copy of the original letter is available in Saint Catherine’s library.

So then, how can blasphemy laws – which enable “real” Muslims to masquerade their personal vendettas as religious fervour – protect the honour of our benevolent Prophet (pbuh)?

The reality is inescapable. It seems as though Pakistan doesn’t practice Islam – it practices pandering. By making arrests and offering compensations it panders to the West and by keeping blasphemy laws on the books it panders to the rest.

I could not live with such brazen attacks and contradictions. Hence, 15 years ago, I packed up all my conflicted memories and started a new life in America. But the memories followed me.

So deeply embedded was Billa in my consciousness that for the first few months after immigrating to America, I imagined every janitor in my hospital was Billa in disguise. I felt compelled to shake their hands. We broke bread and built bridges of interfaith equality.

Call it my way of honouring my Prophet (pbuh).

I doubt Billa can or will read my words; I believe he does not even need my words. He must be hoping for his team members to repel future mob attacks by repealing blasphemy laws.

Here is my call to those who believe they are “real Muslims”; let’s set aside all our sectarian differences and take an unequivocal stand to repeal blasphemy laws. Start the conversation at least. Not to appease America; but to please our Prophet (pbuh). Let’s truly uphold Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s covenant of protection for Christians, far and near.

Now it’s our turn to hit the ball out of the park. Now it’s our turn to make our Prophet (pbuh) proud.

Read more by Faheem here or follow him on Twitter @Faheem

Faheem Younus

Faheem Younus

The writer is clinical associate professor at University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA. The author can be followed @Faheem twitter.com/#!/FaheemYounus

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

  • Billa

    My dear friend Faheem, your voice reached to your Billa. Thanks for the wonderful words. My dear friend you packed everything and settled in america. If you still thinks you are my best friend please do something for me and kindly arrange US visa for me. I am hopeless in land of pure. Take me with you. Recommend

  • raji

    this behaviour is because of our past and ancestry with hindus… this is completely brahminic behaviour Recommend

  • Salman Arshad

    How easy it is for you to say that while residing outside Pakistan. Recommend

  • Rationalist

    Great Article, Faheem Younas Sahib, Stop targeting each other for God’s sake.. The Islam of Holy Prophet (S.A.W) will itself come to life. Recommend

  • Taniya

    You have written with such sensitivity it really touched my heart. Your sentiments are exactly what mine used to be when i Was in Pakistan. I could not digest the isolation of any community and the complete lack of acknowledgement towards the minorities . All our minority communities are extremely gentle hardworking and honest which I cannot say for the majority. Recommend

  • bla

    there may or may not be foreign or local political hands involved in this case, but the fact remains minorities are treated as third class citizens in Pakistan. As a child, I had always been told that christians in pakistan can only do one thing, clean up your mess. i was also ridiculed as a child, name-calling was very common, “eesaii” cuz someone has a dark complexion, People have separate “bartans” for them, and the list goes and on ..it is sad and i came to realize after moving to a foreign country that how wrong all this really is, I could be brave and move back and try to change all this, but i dont think im brave enough, i refuse to go back to pakistan cuz my family comes first and i dont want them to become hypocrites and non-tolerant bigots just like the majority, suffer because there is no electricity, water and gas most of the time, or even worse, die in a bomb blast :(Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/britishmuslims Mohammed Abbasi

    I wish Pakistani Muslims could put aside their emotions and listen/read/think of such words as are in this article… Muslims around the world used to look up to Pakistanis and Pakistan as a beacon for the rest of the Muslim world to follow – Recommend

  • ahmad

    But do u see this happening in intolerant Pakistan of today ?Recommend

  • Pessimist

    I don’t get it. I simply don’t get it.

    What is the point & purpose of this article? This article contains nothing more than the usual rhetoric:

    “Islam is a religion of peace..”
    “Islam teaches us to respect minorities…”
    “The Prophet (PBUH) would never treat minorities like this…”
    “We should respect minorities..”

    Every Ali, Shoaib, Hassan, Daniyal and Sidrah know these facts. Every time there is an attack on minorities I see several articles and blogs on this subject along with a 100 comments all agreeing to them.
    I’ll ask again, what is the point of this article? What is your target audience? Every reader here on Tribune would condemn this attack, even the most conservative of them.
    Maybe I’m just being rude or maybe I am tired of seeing the same pattern again & again:

    Attack. Condemn. Update Facebook & Twitter. Write article. Feel good factor.

    Maybe someone can help me out..Recommend

  • Babar

    “This cannot be the Islam of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who offered his own mosque to a Christian convoy from the tribe of Najran when it was time for their prayers.”

    Please share reference from where it is taken. Thanks.Recommend

  • human

    @Pessimist:
    Well said & true .
    All say but no one can do anything Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Anyone with a gift for selective memory and interpretation.Recommend

  • T R Khan

    The followers of the Rahmat lil Alameen (saw), who attacked the Christians are worse than animals.Recommend

  • Hashim

    @Faheem Yousaf

    The true islamic narrative has been hijacked. And unless we reclaim it by bringing forth the light of true islam these unfortunate trends will remain with us.

    I agree with the author above, but disagree with his prescription. His suggested actions are nothing but a useless band aid applied to a severed limb. Suppose the unrealistic that we successfully repeal the laws without ending up like Salman Taseer, will the author stand in front of the next mob and announce that “Go home folks the law has changed?” And will that help in any way shape or form whatsoever?

    Where is the identification of the CORE problem as per the Hadith of Rasulullah SAW?
    Where are the list of practical implementations needed to address the same?

    Writing feel good articles on Express Tribune from the other side of the pond will not teach true islam to the rampaging mobs in lahore!

    This is nothing but armchair activism. “Soldiery of Words” I is believe is the urdu term.

    If anyone is really interested in solving the problems that plague our society, that person should strive to understand the most basic facts: Allah has the solution to all our problems in His divine omnipotent hand. To grant us these solutions He sent down His Messenger to teach us the correct way.

    We have abandoned Allahs commands, and left the way of Rasulullah SAW. Thus inviting divine wrath upon us.

    Fiddling by the legislature will not achieve anything. Be Serious Please!

    @raji, why do you blame the brahmins? Did they make the mob burn down the houses? This is Satanic. Purely Satanic.

    @pessimist: Ill help you. Talk is cheap. “Dont Talk. Do.” Follow the example of Rasulullah SAW.

    @humanist: The way of Rasulullah SAW is clear. Follow it yourself. And encourage others.Recommend

  • Stranger

    I think the root of all evils is lack of education and employment . Give the man a job and he will be busy working and feeding his family. when people have nothing to do , no sources of income , they become easy prey for hooligans or inciting gangs . I personally dont think the mob gives a damn about Christanity or Islam or any religion or cause. They were uneducated/ unemployed( or under employed) had too much time and nothing to loose so they got caught in this ‘religious’ quagmire easily.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Dr.Sahab to hit the ball out of the park……….you have to display courage and stand in the park.Recommend

  • Sulaiman

    Major sign of intellectual poverty; the nation can only speak of inequality and oppression in terms of religion.

    I ask all Pakistanis to learn about what the term “liberalism” entails and to stop using “liberal” as a pejorative. If you can write silly articles like this then surely you can grasp such a concept. Recommend

  • Humanity

    @Parvez:
    The author left the park in obeyance to Allah’s command to immigrate when persecution becomes unbearable. This is the sunnah of the holy prophet SAW when he migrated to Medina.Recommend

  • Humanity

    Blasphy law must be repealed before it dooms Pakistam.

    This man made law violates the Quran. Therefore it is an abomination and cannot be justified as a teaching or practice of the holy prophet SAW.

    Just watch how Palistan is being punished for the blasphemy of the blasphemy lawRecommend

  • kaalchakra

    Great article, as usual. Islam is peace. It is brotherhood of mankind. It is the truth and what it teaches is true. So it can never be the source of any injustice. No violent man can be a Muslim, and no such false accusations be made. Recommend

  • Historian 1

    Article is another ” face saving ” effort. SadRecommend

  • Gengiskhan

    Very simple answer to this. We forgot that god is our protector. All these things started when humans started defending gods, be it of any religion. Its kind of a competition Now as who is the better protector of god. After this we go to our worship places to seek help from almighty. Hilarious. No one realizes that it is a Hippocratic behaviour.Recommend

  • Safi A

    Sad part about having people like you Faheem is that they are quite few in number. I’m not talking about Faheem the Islamic Blogger, but I’m talking about Faheem the Muslim, Faheem who submits to Allah ‘by his ‘daily-life’ actions’. I hope everyone in the mullah party views Islam with sincerity not denying the fact that some of the leaders whom they are following might have said some things wrong. They need to stop following Islam blindly.

    Sincerely,
    Born Sunni, currently a Muslim.Recommend

  • S Bashir

    @Pessimist: Perhaps you can tell us what you would like to see. The article is only trying to
    bring to the attention the dire situation of Pakistan and that something needs to be done to change that. So, perhaps the question is, do you and every citizen of Pakistan condemn such hate-mongering which is going on in the country? And what will you or can you do to change the situation there?Recommend

  • Chic

    @Pessimist:
    Did you read this? I thought this was the point of the article.

    “Here is my call to those who believe they are “real Muslims”; let’s set aside all our sectarian differences and take an unequivocal stand to repeal blasphemy laws.”

    Care to comment on this? Or afraid to expose your thoughts?Recommend

  • Chic

    @Pessimist:
    “you don’t get it because you don’t even read the article. Thats pretty obvious from your comment my friend. Recommend

  • Secular Muslim

    I believe the way non-Muslims are treated here in Pakistan is sad, and we need to do more to protect them and treat them as equal citizens, however as far as the “not eating, not shaking hands” thing is concerned, I’m in the 12th grade and I’ve got around 3 christian friends and there many non-Muslims at my school, and all the Muslims and Christians share their food with eachother and greet eachother, we barely talk about religion, even though we have a few Maulvis in our class.

    I’m not denying your experiences, however not all Muslims discriminate against non-Muslims especially in the bigger cities.

    There are ignorant and hateful people all around the world, Pakistan may just have a few more than usual but Pakistan certainly isn’t that bad for non-Muslims as the media makes out it out to be.Recommend

  • Mahvish

    @Pessimist:
    I beg to differ with your stance in saying whats the point of writing such articles. If no one raises his or her voice to condemn an incident like this, all Pakistanis will appear to be insensitive to minortity rights and possessing the same mindset. If I agree with you and believe that this article has done no good, I would also add what harm has it done?! Instead of the whole community being mute on this incident, at least people are speaking out against it. True that this will not suffice, but can we take this as a first step towards bringing about change?

    I agree with you that everyone on this blog will condemn the attack, of course no one will support it at a place like this. But it is also true that many of the people visiting these pages might be treating their servant (from the minority group) badly in the privacy of their home. We can at least hope that these people might think twice before doing something like that again.

    Speaking out may not be the complete solution to our problems, but it could definitely be part of it. Recommend

  • observer

    @kaalchakra:

    No violent man can be a Muslim

    The Constitution of Pakistan defines who is not a Muslim. I did not see violence being mentioned there. See for yourself.

    http://www.pakistani.org/pakistan/constitution/amendments/2amendment.htmlRecommend

  • observer

    Whose Islam is it anyway?

    Mumtaz Qadri’s and also his garlanding lawyers’, perhaps.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Humanity: The beauty of the use of religion is that one can can find an excuse in it for every occasion………..putting his departure on religion is simply lame.Recommend

  • A Brahmin

    @raji:

    You do not have even a faint idea of what a Brahmin is? Maybe you just read about them somewhere…

    A Brahmin, dyed-in-the-wool kind, would never even venture in an area inhabited by ‘untouchables’, let alone touching the articles used by them, and then setting them on fire.

    Maximum, he will get some person from another caste to visit the area inhabited by these ‘untouchables’, and announce the order for these ‘untouchables’ to leave the area, otherwise they may be forbidden from having any contact with rest of the villagers.

    And, the banias are too intelligent and money-minded to not set fire to valuable things.

    By the way, thank you for telling us, that your innate ‘Hindu Blood and penchant for inequality’, still refuses to be bogged down by equitable Islam, inspite of being converted more than a millenia ago in ‘peaceful’ manner.
    That is a sign of your deep connections with the soil.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    Mahvish 2 hours ago
    @Pessimist:
    I beg to differ with your stance in ………..all Pakistanis will appear to be.

    The population of Pakistan is around 180 million. More than half of the population is illiterate, unemployed and can not read. These people are gullible and are used by politicians and religious folk to spread their own agendas.

    Absolutely not. If they had any logic or common sense in the first place they would not have attacked. However, a jail sentence and some sort of penalty would deter them from committing such an act again. Logic does not work on the poor & the uneducated.

    Does anyone remember the Gojra incident? I’m sure after the incident there were numerous “feel good” articles after that incident. I recall reading a few of them myself. But were any of the people arrested in that incident? No, they were let free. Recommend

  • Pessimist

    I don’t know whether this comment will be published or not, but I’ll give it a try:

    S Bashir
    @Pessimist: Perhaps you can tell us what you would like to see. The article is only trying to
    bring to the attention the dire situation of Pakistan and that something needs to be done to change that. So, perhaps the question is, do you and every citizen of Pakistan condemn such hate-mongering which is going on in the country? And what will you or can you do to change the situation there?

    I’ll tell you what I’d like to see. I’d like to see a Pakistan where people don’t feel proud just because they’re Muslims. Where people spend more time trying to improve themselves instead of lecturing others. Where people learn to live in harmony. Ahmedi, Shia, Barelvi, Sunni or Digimon, I don’t care your beliefs are. Pay your taxes, respect others, obey the law and keep your city clean, you’ll get my respect.
    What else do I want? A Pakistan where people don’t give up their rights just to appease the religious nut heads. A place where people can have debate on religion, a place where
    being Muslim does not give you more rights than a non-Muslim. A place where people respect and admire their own past, heritage & culture, instead of importing the culture of another country.
    As for what I do? I don’t judge people on their race or religion, but on their character & personality.

    I can expose my thoughts, the problem is that ET wont publish them. I did give my views in my previous comment (the one addressed to Mahvish), you’re more than welcome to read that and deduce what you feel from it.Recommend

  • Quantum

    @Sulaiman:

    Why do you find this article silly ?

    You stated: “Major sign of intellectual poverty; the nation can only speak of inequality and oppression in terms of religion”

    Please take a stand do you agree that Pakistan has a huge problem with minorities (Shia,Ahmed,Hindu and Christian) or you think otherwise, if the answer is otherwise, please clarify your stance.

    You cannot only speak about inequality and oppression in terms of religion only. If I want to agree with you, then which religion should be appropriate to follow. I would advise you, think before you write, you seem to have a good grasp of English language.
    Recommend

  • Insaan

    A religion is judged by how it influences lives of its followers.

    Recommend

  • blacksheep

    Great article Dr. Sahib, May Allah bless your efforts!! Recommend

  • Peace

    I think the occurrence of such acts shows the silent approval of it by masses.Recommend

  • Shiv

    @bla:
    It was the same way Hindus treated Muslims. It’s the mentality of a junior who is ragged in his first term. he waits to get his revenge on the next years batch.Recommend

  • Pakistan

    @Pessimist: Why not you become the first one. If you have any better idea come with. Evertone will come with you.Recommend

  • abhi

    @raji
    Are you sure that your ancestor were Brahmins? Recommend

  • Pessimist

    ET has totally botched all my comments. More than 50% of the comments have been edited and some key parts have been removed. I wasn’t offensive so I don’t know what I did wrong. I’m sorry but it’s impossible to have a proper debate here.

    Sorry!Recommend

  • Genesis

    @Billa:
    Take me with you to land of infidels where I more safe than in the land of faithful!!!!!!Recommend

  • Genesis

    @raji:
    We thought you were all equal in your new found faith and you were beyond the pagan life styles!!!eRecommend

  • Humanity

    @Moderator

    Please publish my :
    1) response to @Parvez
    2) comment on the post by @Hashim

    Nothing in my comments qualifies for censorship. Please play fair.

    Thanks.Recommend

  • Humanity

    @Pessimist:

    What you want is any thing but pessimist. Please do not call yourself pessimist. speak up and be heard as a voice of hope and solidarity with humanity.Recommend

  • Humanity

    @Moderators, please stop censoring comments selectively. By doing so, you reflect what is wrong with Pakistan. Engineered information to control the narrative a certain way. Please do not botch the debate.Recommend

  • Humanity

    @Moderators :
    But where are my comments I posted yesterday in response to @Parvez and @hashim?Recommend

  • Humanity

    @Moderator — PLEASE PUBLISH THIS RESPONSE.
    @Parvez wrote “@Humanity: The beauty of the use of religion is that one can can find an excuse in it for every occasion………..putting his departure on religion is simply lame.”

    I draw your attention to the divine commandment to emigrate when one is prevented and oppressed from practicing one’s faith. Religion command to depart when the inhabitants punish worshipers of Allah for being Muslims.

    [3:196] Those, therefore, who have emigrated, and have been driven forth from their homes, and have been persecuted in My cause, and have fought and been slain, I will surely remove from them their ills and will admit them to Gardens through which streams flow — a reward from Allah, and with Allah is the best reward.

    [4:101] And whoso emigrates from his country in the cause of Allah will find in the earth an abundant place of refuge and plentifulness. And whoso goes forth from his home, emigrating in the cause of Allah and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward lies on Allah, and Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.

    [9:20] Those who believe and emigrate from their homes for the sake of God and strive in the cause of Allah with their property and their persons have the highest rank in the sight of Allah. And it is they who shall triumph.Recommend

  • Humanity

    @moderator
    Again the comment is awaiting moderation .. What gives?Recommend

  • allison

    Mr. Younus is suggesting that all Muslims should stand together to get rid of the blasphemy law. I agree. If this law acts like a bully to target individuals, then standing together is the only way.

    Right now, the only one with a stick is the Pakistani government and all Muslims should unite to take it away from them.Recommend

  • Sidrah

    @Quantum
    I think you misunderstood Suleiman’s comments. What I think he meant to say was that to make people in Pakistan respect others you have to present Quranic references and hadiths and persuade them to respect followers of other religions; people themselves don’t believe that burning innocents home is wrong or inhumane but need a vilification from religion to know if it is wrong or right.

    This is an increasing trend in Pakistan that for anything and everything you need to give religious justifications. e.g. why is cleanliness important? Because Islam demands it. Or why should a person be nice to their wife? Because Islam says so. You have to give a religious justification and reasoning to everything so people would listen to you. Otherwise just simple reasoning is not enough.

    Hope ET publishes my comment.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Humanity: Do you really believe the good doctor emigrated 15 YEARS AGO because of religious persecution ? Sir, he emigrated because America gave him better opportunities and a better life style. ( and there is no shame is that ). To claim otherwise is a shame.
    The good doctor could have gone to Saudi Arabia ?…………….but he didn’t.
    Recommend

  • Historian 1

    Historically, Arabs / pagans were very peaceful at the advent of Islam. I am confused as to why ” a religion of peace ” was needed. Can someone put some light??Recommend

  • Nobody

    @kaalchakra:
    Hi. Got any room under that rock for me mate? Recommend

  • Nobody

    @Parvez:
    Yes because Saudi’s have a wonderful record regarding their treatment of non-Arabs or non-whites whom they so shamelessly boot lick. From religious persecution to racial persecution because of your brown skin. Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Author,

    We do not call Express Tribune a Hindu Tribune simply because most hindies blog its space. nor do we blame christianity for the torture which Obama administration is inflicting on muslims around the world without any condemnation from the church, and finaly we do not hold Islam responsible for the secterian policy of current Iraqi Govt. preventing Sunni population access to mosques. Why should the author therefore renegates on Islam because Pakistan Govt. actions do not reflect the true values of the religion with its shabby law of excommunication (Christian practice) and blesphamic law((the colonial legacy). The military assault on the house of God in Islamabad has no parallel in Islamic history either( recall Ibrahim, peace be upon him, who was allowed to built the first house of God). Pakistan has a long way towards becoming an Islamc State, and its people have a longer way to becoming muslims as a model for others in the world.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Parvez

    @Nobody: You my friend have missed the point being made………………the good doctor should stand up and be honest and I will respect him all the more. Recommend

  • Humanity

    @moderator : I’M POSTING THIS COMMENT ONE MORE TIME. PLEASE DO NOT CENSOR.

    @Parvez wrote “@Humanity: Do you really believe the good doctor emigrated 15 YEARS AGO because of religious persecution ? Sir, he emigrated because America gave him better opportunities and a better life style. ( and there is no shame is that ). To claim otherwise is a shame.
    The good doctor could have gone to Saudi Arabia ?…………….but he didn’t.”

    I wonder how can you be so sure of the motives behind the good doctor emigration from Pakistan. Besides judging the faith of others, perhaps a state certified Muslim also becomes empowered to know the intentions of others.

    Parvez mian, would you continue to live in a land which renders you an untouchable? Would you continue to live where you would be put to death for proclaiming the Kalima? Shame lies in being untrue to yourself, pretending to live while you die a thousand deaths every day!

    An undeniable fact is that a majority of Ahmadi Muslims sacrificed their homes, livelihood, and extended families to flee from the targeted persecution that was specifically devised to oppress them. They sought asylum to the lands where they would be allowed to breathe and live freely without the mullah shoving his warped Islam down their throats. Emigrating to KSA would amount to being out of the frying pan and into the fire.

    Staying put leaves two choices for Ahmadi Muslims. a) to become ‘state certified Muslims’ and commit spiritual suicide by making the holy state their god, or b) become sacrificial lambs on the alter of the self righteous, hell bent on sharing the God”s sovereignty in judging the faith of other while dying every day trying to appease the state certified Muslims.

    No Sir, Ahmadi Muslims choose to live like Muslims are supposed to live. They would give up their home and livelihood anywhere, anytime. Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Humanity: No where in the blog has the doctor claimed to be an Ahmedi Muslim.
    I again repeat there is no shame in seeking better prospects and opportunities, people do it all the time from all over the world, but be honest about it at least to yourself.
    Thank you for your views and interaction. Recommend

  • Dr,A.K.Tewari

    Repeal this bloody blasphemy law to save Pakstan .Recommend

  • Burjor

    A society as brainwashed, indoctrinated, indisciplined, illitrate, unemployed, impoverished, hypocritcal, as the one that we live can do what has been articulated above. We produce people like Mumtaz Qadri, we also produce, people who love to make him a hero, we also produce religious, political leaders who organize big rallies attended by many many thousands, on the main thorough fares of Karachi, to pay tribute to the murderer of Salman Taseer. We also produce bodygaurds who do not know what their duties are, whether to protect, or to murder whom they have been assigned. Why are we so surprised, at the thousands, who have lost their precious lives, why are we surprised if the whole world thinks of us as pariahs? Why are we surprised that other countries have gone ahead, and we have gone back, why are we surprised that no cricket team wishes to come here. Does anything really surprise us?Recommend

  • Raghavendra

    I reside in bangalore(India) working as a software engineer. In our team of 8 we have 2 muslims, we never think about religion and share food and go well together. Can it be same in pakistan? Do hindu get same treatment there? Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Rex Minor: Pakistan has a long way towards becoming an Islamc State, and its people have a longer way to becoming muslims as a model for others in the world.

    Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state. Saudi Arabia’s constitution is based on Quran and Sunnah. Pakistanis can start following Saudis
    How do you define an Islamic State and what a model Muslim is like?

    What percentage of Muslims living in Muslim countries are “model” Muslims?

    How close are you to being a “model” Muslim?Recommend

  • Humanity

    @Parvez:

    Those who are able to and choose to migrate to flee from persucution are true and honest to themselves. More true and more honest than the enablers of persucution who justify their bioted ideology and chide the persecuting fro getting away.

    You can not have it both ways: embrace an ideology of hatred to marginalize the persecuted and then wiggle your way out by being Mr. Nice who simply approves the emigration of a fellow citizen on the grounds of seeking greener pastures.

    Stop judging others as you do not know their intentions. Be honest to yourself. EIther you are an enabler of bigotry or you stand against it. Liberate yourself by knowing who you are.

    Best regards and good luck to you.Recommend

  • Riyaz Muhammad

    @Raji

    I am appalled you blame it on Hindu ancestry. Most of India is still Hindu and true they don’e behave this way. True they used to have cast system but they have come out of that in most places. If being Muslims, Pakistan still treats someone “untouchable” the question author posted is coming back – whose Islam is it? The Islam I know of does not have a cast system. And the Raji version of Brahmin is yet to learn that?? I am thankful to God for having me live the life as a Muslim in India. You call it Hindu India or secular India – I dont care since for me there is freedom for me to believe what I believe in. Recommend

  • Expat

    As an expat and novice inquirer of religion, I try not to state what people should and should not do in a religion. But I think there are two kinds of “Islams” Muslims follow: a capital “I” Islam and a lowercased “i” islam. The former is the one I think many Muslims today inadvertently act upon: a proper noun that calls for a solid state-of-mind, a construct of mere belief to give followers that extra pizzazz of identifying themselves from the point of view of outsiders. The latter, conversely, is the one people should ideally aim for. It is a verbal noun, the more humanistic approach of the religion that consist of a set of actions people should utilize as a supplement to every sect of their life. To believe in one God and to love others as ourselves are the core principles and intentions Muslims should always keep in mind when doing any kind of action—religious or non-religious—to ensure the best spiritual experience as possible for not only themselves, but for others as well. We gain understanding through our actions and through understanding, we could finally achieve the entity of “us, one that is defined not by otherness, but by inclusiveness of believers, one that steers away from establishing differences between “us” and “them” as a cause of hostility, one that fosters communities of faith as opposed to sectarian hierarchies situated in a vacuum, tightly sealed from any kind of interfaith dialogue or interaction.
    Looking at these attacks against Christians, we can see that this is an obnoxiously capitalized ISLAM, powered by that illusion, that construct of belief.
    I can only say so much about these riots and religious hate-based attacks on Pakistan, for the arguments against such a crime is as implicit as the dangers of fire. But what I can say is that Muslims are not the only ones marginalized in this world. Muslims victimize themselves too much and accredit themselves too much pity. Culture and colonialism has infiltrated the religion, morphing it into a fuzzy adjective. No wonder non-Muslims also extend Islam to include terrorism. These terms hurt, but we Muslims are partly responsible for their creation.
    This country was founded as an “Islamic Republic”, a place where Muslims could become the majority by basking in a land of the religious free and by creating ideas and fostering innovations they never had the chance to do in British India. But just by looking at this title—a title that hangs above Pakistani heads like a shrill fluorescent light bulb—Islam is indeed capitalized, not only orthographically but politically as well. Pakistanis must de-capitalize literally and figuratively, their views of religion and most importantly, their pride.Recommend

  • An Ahmadi abused by fellow Ahmadis

    A blog highlighting the plight of people like me (dubbed a motariz)would be welcome.
    Contemplating leaving jamaat.

    An Ahmadi
    Halka Model Colony,
    KarachiRecommend

  • http://tribune.com p r sharma

    @raji: ” this behaviour is because of our past and ancestry with hindus… this is completely brahminic behaviour”

    How come that the original Hindu Brahmans do not behave the way the Muslims( of Pakistan) with ancestry of Hindus are behaving.? when you are in a denial mode to accept the reasons of intolerance or unwilling to introspect, such excuses blaming the ancestry will come out. Wake up from the hibernation . or you are at liberty to continue to behave as per your liking. Recommend

  • Abdul

    @Mohammed Abbasi: All around the world people look at pakis as an example, of what not be.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Riyaz Muhammad: The Islam I know of does not have a cast system. And the Raji version of Brahmin is yet to learn that?? I am thankful to God for having me live the life as a Muslim in India

    Arabs call Pakistanis as “servant class”. Arabs don’t let their women marry Pakistani men? How many Pakistani women will marry African Muslim men? This is just like a caste system.Recommend