When eating in Ramazan means asking for a beating

Published: July 17, 2013

A screen shot of the man who was beaten to pulp in Karachi for eating during the Holy month of Ramazan.

With the holy month comes an all encompassing wave of piety – dairy companies’ fuss over how their milk will make Iftar a more spiritual experience and television actors don designer shalwar kameez to host Ramazan transmissions. Yes, Ramazan is very festive in our part of the world.

Amidst these merry happenings, a video went viral, recently. A man was beaten to pulp in Karachi for eating during this sacred month. The video showed him bleeding profusely as a few fretted around him and a camera man struggled to get the best shot of his blood smeared face. It was a circus. No one cared to provide him with any help and his attackers could not see that he was evidently hurt.

Yet, in that state, the poor man narrated his tragedy to anyone who was willing to hear. However, everyone heard but no one budged to help.

The thrashing was a boost of faith for some but for the millions of peace loving Pakistanis it came with a tinge of shame; we had yet again let the Frankenstein take over. Much like the umpteen instances of ‘cosmetic Islam’ that we drumbeat, this would, in all possibility only serve to disenfranchise him from the religion of peace.

But the event does a lot more than that, it presents an archetypal example of the attitude of so many in this country – if a man does not follow your religion make him do so by force, if he dissents from your opinion declare him an infidel, if he wishes to understand religion via a means you do not deem ‘correct’, shun him.

This mindset may not be that of the majority but it is of the loudest and the powerful.

In the rat race of ‘who is more pious,’ the most salient message has begun to slip. This message is one of harmony, peace, justice and tolerance preached by all the religions of the world. However, in the context of modern day Pakistan, religion is a monopoly of a clique of self righteous and all powerful extremists who play the Islam card to reap political benefits whilst the silent majority does little to reclaim this religion or this country.

Has this bigotry not steered us miles away from Jinnah’s vision? Was this not the very bigotry on which Pakistan was created? How have we become so blind, so deaf and so immune? Is it because we choose to ignore an atrocity assuming that if it doesn’t affect us, it doesn’t exist?

In the commotion of this debate we forget one basic idea of human psyche- conformity can be commanded by force but not respect. Respect is a state of mind that comes from within. No legislation, law or use of violence can accomplish this.

Maybe that man will no longer eat where people can see him; maybe he will eat hidden behind the four walls of his house, but then again, he will eat and he will eat during this month.

Do you propose we depute a few ‘pious believers’ in his bedroom to uphold the respect of this month?

Injustice gnaws at our social fabric. Bombings and sectarian violence have made a lasting place in our worldview. Minorities and the underprivileged stand at the precipice. The solution lies not in a dictatorial emphasis on the state religion but embracing Pakistanis in their differences, tolerating conflicting view points and putting humanity before all else.  We do not have another 66 years to do this.

It has to start before more Hazaras are killed, before there are more Rimsha Masihs, before we lose something more valuable than Ziarat.

Before we lose Pakistan.

Follow Zara on Twitter @ZaraShahid_

Zara Shahid

Zara Shahid

A Youth Activist and a student of Politics at LUMS. She tweets @twitter.com/ZaraShahid_

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

  • ilyas khan

    I always thought that there was no compulsion in religion,so why the forced observation of fasting in Pakistan? Those who don’t want to fast,why are they being forced and coerced to fast? You can’t spread religion through coercion.This practice of forced fasting must be stopped.Recommend

  • Arshad siddiqui

    Why must atheists be forced to starve themselves just because theists have chosen to fast? When will the discriminatory laws be repealed? Making people become good muslims via threats and intimidation is convincing no one.
    Those who want to fast should fast,those who don’t want to fast must have the freedom to eat and drink,the government has no business dictating when the people can eat or when they can’t.Recommend

  • Muhammad Haroon

    So,everyone,all the atheists,agnostics,Hindus,Christians,Sikhs must starve themselves just because some people want to force their beliefs onto the rest of society.There should be no coercion,compulsion in religious matters,so why this forced starvation of those who don’t want to fast.Recommend

  • Saima khan

    The ‘Ehtaram-e-ramzan’ ordinance is a gross violation of basic human rights.We are being deprived of our right to eat and drink only because our state is too weak and too scared to take on the religious extremists.The fanatics want to starve themselves and they want to force everyone else to starve themself also.No civilized society should allow such laws.Recommend

  • Ghafoor bawany

    Zor zabardasti se mazhabi bananay se koi mazhabi nai banta.Using thuggery,bullying,violence to make people religious will achieve nothing.You are only creating more atheists by forcing people to do what they don’t want to do.Recommend

  • HSM

    An old aunty once smacked me on the head in a bazaar while I was eating some chips. It was Ramzan. I didn’t even know her! I was ten! Recommend

  • Ajmal babar

    The forced observation of fasting is a form of harsh human rights abuse in our society.Those who want to eat,must be allowed to eat,those who want to fast,should fast and not force everyone else to fast also.The forced observation of fasting is nothing but religious bullying and it shouldn’t be tolerated any longer.Recommend

  • vaqas

    Remove the islamic from the name of our country and all problems will cease to existRecommend

  • Sana

    This is blasphemy! Sacrilege! Islam is a religion of peace but as all five fingers are not equal. there are some bad eggs as well who are trying to impose islam. Although i highly condemned eating in public during fasting hours but still beating is not a right way to stop itRecommend

  • Kamran Shafi

    What a shame! The man might be a diabetic, or one who needs meds several times a day. What a cruel joke we have made of our religion.Recommend

  • Insaan

    A man was beaten to pulp in Karachi for eating during this sacred month.

    Pious Muslims are just trying to protect Islam. If one person eats others may start eating too.
    By the way I am not a Muslim.

    Most Muslims I know will never do such a thing.

    People who beat this guy should be arrested and punished.

    If a am not wrong, even in countries like Dubai, non-Muslims don’t have a right to eat in public where a Muslim can see them. It is considered showing disrespect to a Muslim.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @ilyas khan: I always thought that there was no compulsion in religion

    What exactly this means? What is the function of religious police?Recommend

  • Erum

    What? No mard-e-momin’s declaring this video to be a fake aimed at maligning Pakistan yet!?!?!Recommend

  • LOL

    @Sana, you are no one to condemn or not condemn eating during fasting hours in Pakistan, or anywhere else in the world. No one forced you to keep a fast except yourself probably, and if seeing somebody eating strengthens your desire to eat too then the problem is with you. There is no precedent anywhere even in all the history of Islam that during fasting everybody just stopped eating in public. Mecca and Madina had other religious minorities living there as well. This kind of irrational thinking is what causes problems in a State, when you think somebody as insignificant as you has the right to impose your views on the rest of the citizens. How do you suggest people not fasting should act then? That man was on duty, where do you think he should have gone to eat? Secretly in a toilet maybe? What should women on a period do? If they are going to work, where should they go and eat? What about people with diabetes? Where should they hide themselves to eat, or take medication? What kind of nonsensical thinking is this anyway that evreybody just stops eating in public because you decide to fast? Are you 4 years old that you want a candybar too if you see someone else eating it? There is no such concept as ‘so-called’ respect for Ramzan, people like you just created it yourselves. If you are in Europe and fasting, which millions of Pakistanis and other Muslims do, you can’t really enforce not eating on noon-Muslims can you?Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Sana: Although i highly condemned eating in public during fasting hours but still beating is not a right way to stop it

    There is no right way to force people to follow religion.
    God does not need humans to help him in matters regarding his religion.
    A very important part of religion is to follow religion by practicing it to create a peaceful co-existence with fellow human beings. Recommend

  • SHAGY

    So what if someone is eating or drinking? Isn’t the whole point of fasting to restrain yourself & resist the temptation?! I am of the opinion that all the Muslim countries should keep even the restaurants open in Ramadan..why make other people (non-Muslims, people who can’t fast & people who do not fast) suffer?!?!Recommend

  • habib younus

    In Ramadan, Muslims everywhere in the world enter into a season of intensive worship, which is characterized by fasting, praying, and training for self-control and discipline, in order to become a better and spiritually purified human being. what these type of acts shows??? negative reaction of fasting.???Recommend

  • Arsalan Safdar

    bad bad bad ! No one is allowed to beat someone up just cuz hez not fasting. It’s his wish to not fast, why do u interfere, mind ur own thing and stop being lame pakiz !Recommend

  • Khalid Faruqi, Karachi

    The guilt lies solely with this man. By eating in public he was disrespecting a tenet of islam and islamic ethos and also hurting muslims’ religious sentiments. Living in a muslim country and society he should have known that its prohibited to eat in public during fasting hours.Recommend

  • shekhar jat(from india)

    these religious bigots think they defend religion by doing such stupid thing but they just not bring bad name to islam but also reinforce belief that muslims are extremist ,terrorist etc etc.
    i think it is now high time pakistani youth should stand against these mulla brigade otherwise even simple “kushnuma pal” of common man`s life will be taken over by these bigots.Recommend

  • Sarwar Javaid

    I knew a French petroleum engineer in Saudi Arabia. He would fast during Ramadan like everyone had to and he did not complain about. He said it was good for him and he was actually better than the muslims who made a big drama about it. He was a non-muslim living in Saudi Arabia and he knew he had to obey the law. In a muslim country everyone needs to obey the Ramadan. That does not mean we have to beat anyone who disobeys Ramadan but they could be fined or sent to jailRecommend

  • Zara Shahid

    Readers make note. They have got my Twitter handle wrong. It is @ZaraShahid_ Recommend

  • Usman Malik

    Another reason why I have moved to Canada with my family to stay away from these stupid and ignorant people.Recommend

  • Sajida habib

    Some of the points made above are very valid. Adults should be respected as adults, free to make their own decisions.

    There could have been any number of reasons why the man was not fasting. He is not accountable to me or anyone else. Religious fascism has to stop!

    If I had issues or objected to someone’s conduct, I would approach them in a non confrontational and discreet manner. Religion is spread through love and reasoning and not by force and thuggery but I guess some Pakistanis are not mature and educated enough to understand that.

    I love in the west and get lot more understanding, respect and tolerance from non Muslims than from Muslims. Islam is spreading in the west through examples of our good conduct and not through force and that speaks volume.Recommend

  • Pakistani on sale for US visa.

    If staying hungry from dawn to dusk, praying, talwat, taraweeh etc. can’t make people into better human beings and make them behave properly towards other people then its all a show off.

    No one knows the real story maybe that man is ill and can’t fast? And yet a bunch of crazies in order to save Islam decided to beat him up.

    Recommend

  • abdul majeed sheikh

    many on streets are distributing food many are helping poors financiaaly One bad example washed away all good done. Commenters should also appreciate good deeds it was few bad muslims who did it do not blame Islam Fault lies in Man and we blame hisreligionRecommend

  • http://dynamiconlinetechnologies.com/ Usama Aziz
  • Critical

    People are commenting on the muslims who eat on Ramadan,let me tell you about a muslim who fasts on ramadan month…

    He was in my previous project,during this month,he used to come to office at around 10am when during other months,we all used to be at 9 to 9:30am…Takes a one and half break during lunch to go to local mosque and pray and then promptly leaves the office at around 4 to 4:30pm..
    Regarding his work,you will definitely see a steep decline in the quality of work when a man has a plateful of rice early in the morning and then starve at afternoon….

    Maybe,muslims should be allowed a month leave during Ramzan so that they can concentrate better on their fasting as I see their other work is getting affected by it…Recommend

  • Silas

    And the person who beat the guard in the video is………..yes, you guessed it right……bearded.Recommend

  • Leela

    Muslims in Pakistan have made Islam anything other than the religion of peace. It is high time they reflect on the core message, rather than outward hypocritcal display of piety. Humanity before barbarity!Recommend

  • SM

    Isn’t the real question should be — wasn’t all this just inevitable? Recommend

  • Raja Islam

    @Sana:
    What gives you the right to decide whether someone should eat in public or not? If your faith is soo weak that seeing someone eating during Ramazan would make you want to break your fast then it is your problem. There should be no compulsion in religion who knows what is right and what is not right. You should do whatever pleases you so long as you are not harming anyone else. You can starve all you want, but that does not mean that you are doing the right thing.Recommend

  • The Rebel

    This is why a secular state works best. No country should be made on the basis of religious beliefs.Recommend

  • Plod

    This poor man shouldn’t have to refrain from eating or drinking during certain hours just because others have chosen to do so. You can literally see the guy’s ribs. He was probably famished.

    I’m Indian, and India ain’t perfect either when it comes to these matters, i.e., expecting others to get with your program:
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bajrang-vigilantes-cry-cowslaughter-beat-humiliate-muslim-trader/896817/

    (These events are fairly uncommon – they tend to be completely absent in certain regions of the country and a recurring headache elsewhere. However, India has a long history of meat consumption, well before Islam – the religion – was even founded, and shouldn’t see these types of incidents.)

    Let’s all – Indian, Pakistani, Everyone – vow to eliminate this sort of nonsense wherever we are. Never ever condone this type of violence towards a fellow human.

    And for Heaven’s sake, somebody invite that guy to your Iftar party and stuff him up with haleem – he could use a solid meal!Recommend

  • bold9k

    The religion of Peace at its full glory.Recommend

  • Abasho

    I appreciate those who fast but it does not give them any right to impose fasting on other. The real test of fasting should be in a real or natural environment where there are people around you who eat. In Pakistan, people who fast, force their environment to fast as well because they are fasting Recommend

  • Prince

    Pakistan is Islamic State and was created in the Name of Islam. He was beaten because of eating PUBLICLY. You are not forced to observe fasting, but eating publicly is like mocking Ramazan. It is the duty of the Govt to prevent people from mocking Roza or else people will definitely use their right of being offended.
    If you don’t like Islamic Rules, you are free to leave the Country. (I hope you will not show your ignorance by commenting that there is no such Islamic Rule)Recommend

  • HUM

    @Sana:
    Why? Why do you condemn others’ eating during your fasting hours? It is not your place to judge people so please feel free to refrain from this? Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    @Prince:

    If you actually practised some rationality instead of bias, compassion instead of cruelty and watched the video, you would have realized the beaten old man was eating in his booth, and not keeping fast due to his health. Maybe its time to show some tolerance instead of oppressive tyranny. Recommend

  • Abasho

    @ Prince!! Dont worry we wont leave this country, Inshallah we will make this a place for others to live their life with peace. Recommend

  • Abash

    @ Prince, By any chance do you know the real meaning of fasting? Isn’t it something that teaches you patience and respect for others? Lets say that poor guy was mocking Ramazan- Does that mean you should lose your patience while you are fasting? Does it serve the purpose?Recommend

  • HUM

    @Prince:
    If you do not like basic human rights, you are free to leave the human race.Recommend

  • Mj

    @Prince:
    “If you don’t like Islamic Rules, you are free to leave the Country. (I hope you will not show your ignorance by commenting that there is no such Islamic Rule)”

    What a wonderful display of acceptance and tolerance. Recommend

  • Prince

    And if you want to talk about on non-religious grounds, is it not ‘unethical’ to eat or drink in front of a person whom you know can not eat or drink (for whatever reason)? Is it not the violation of any ‘Human Rights’?Recommend

  • Enum

    Would they have dared beating him up if he was a 6 feet tall well built man eating in public? Would they feel the need to enforce their religion then?
    What about if he stepped out of a big car eating a sandwich?
    It’s all about oppressing the weak hiding behind the shield of religion. Recommend

  • Anuum

    I agree with you that it’s disrespectful to the holy month of
    ramzan and to the people who are fasting, but its no ones right to beat someone up if he decides to eat in public. Its not fair!
    @Prince: Recommend

  • ABZ

    its not the Religion which is the Problem in this country , its the Interpretation.

    Every Body interprets it in his/her own benefit.

    Such a SIC Act…Killing the whole Sanctity of Ramdhan.

    Keeping Fast or not is ones Personal Choice, Though He should be careful about others Religious Observation BUT Beating is a HELL NO….:(Recommend

  • Revoke!

    Isn’t there a petition or something like that to revoke this law? Recommend

  • Faryal

    @Prince: Islamic rules do not teach violence, hatred, extremism etc. if someone — or several people in this case — got offended, they could have approached him and asked him to stop eating or contacted the authorities or something (though i know the authorities in Pakistan are lame!) but absolutely nothing justifies the man’s trashing. Recommend

  • TTV

    @Prince:
    Anyone who displays/supports such animalistic behaviour should not be allowed to call himself a Muslim.Recommend

  • Radial

    @Prince, this poor fellow says he was eating inside, not even in public. The bearded backside-muncher behind the gate saw him and gave him a beating. What is a poor working-class guard supposed to do? He’s not a prince, so he cannot sit in his palace and eat far away from the eyes of the ignorant bearded masses. And btw its not the duty of the government to prevent people from mocking anyone or anything, and no, people do not have a ‘right of being offended’ if that translates into physical violence for a non-violence offence.

    If you want to live under Islamic Rules, why don’t you move to Saudi, Iran or Afghanistan?Recommend

  • Tamur

    It is funny to see the surprise reaction that some people did not expect such treatment in Ramadan and how Islam does not allow harsh treatment. We have adopted such harsh treatment from Saudi Arabia where the religious police beats people for even the silliest things imaginable like not wearing a headscarfs. With the arrival of Taliban and Hudood laws, we are slowly becoming the second state of Saudi Arabia.Recommend

  • Shamaila Khan

    The very point of fasting in Ramadan is that Muslims all over the world make a CHOICE to control our nafs… a choice to see food in front of us and not take a bit, a choice to refrain from drinking water even when we are thirsty… to discipline our minds, strengthen our hearts against temptation and ultimately better ourselves. Fasting out of choice, purely for the sake of pleasing Allah and earning his love, is such a beautiful thing. When you turn fasting into a legal obligation, punishable by beatings, then fasting becomes less about love for Allah, and more about fear of imprisonment or recieving a beating. The ‘Ehtaram-e-Ramzan’ ordinance should be repealed – practising Muslims don’t need it, and will continue to fast without it, insha’Allah. Recommend

  • Max

    Eating publically is NOT like mocking Ramazan, any more than praying publicly is mocking atheism. It is simply ignoring it, the way Muslims presumably ignore Lent or Pesach. But on the other hand, what if it were mockery? You will not find “but your honour, he was mocking me” much of defence when up on an assault charge in court, at least, not in a country with a decent legal system. If someone mocks me, I either ignore them or mock back. Violence in response to mockery or insult is something I find hard to tolerate in someone under the age of 11, and impossible to tolerate in anyone older. Some people need to grow up!

    Also, if you are a citizen of a country and you disapprove of its rules, why on earth should you not be free to try and change them, as long as you stick to peaceful methods? Surely that is what democracy is all about? Look at how the laws have changed in the UK (for example) over the past couple of centuries. Laws get changed all the time. Just because a country was established based on a certain set of laws and beliefs does not mean it has to stay that way does it? Maybe some people might decide that rules that suited their grandparents do not suit them. Why should countries not change and evolve according to the wishes of the people living in them, rather than having to adhere to rules set in stone by their founders? Recommend

  • @ Critical

    Anti-Islam or Anti-muslim Much???Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Prince:

    Pakistan was not created for Islam. It was created for south Asian Muslim who didn’t want to live as minority in dominant Hindu India. Prevalent notion before partition of 1947.This was the notion that gave rise to the concept of Pakistan. But after the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, that zeal among Indian Muslim subsided greatly about migrating to Islamic Pakistan, after what pakistani army did to Muslim Bengalis. Recommend

  • http://gujrat RAW is WAR

    religion of peace?Recommend

  • Abidi

    “The video showed him bleeding profusely as a few fretted around him and a camera man struggled to get the best shot of his blood smeared face. It was a circus. No one cared to provide him with any help and his attackers could not see that he was evidently hurt.”

    And then we blame the current situation of our country on our government. We both, the citizens and the government, are equally to be blamed for this situation. No Humanity is left within us .Despite of the fact that our religion teaches us humanity we have forgotten it.
    And we have clearly forgotten that ‘Humanity comes before any Religion.’Recommend

  • Josh

    Come to Malaysia. You’ll see the same form of compulsion. Why are there so many adherents of the Islamic faith who believe it is right and just to compel others? Recommend

  • http://jawadtee@gmail.com Jawad

    Article ki ending thori over dramatic hogaeRecommend

  • Insaan

    @Khalid Faruqi, Karachi:
    Eating in Public during Ramadan is showing disrespect, but it is OK to blow up people Recommend

  • Unkown

    Why roz khor want to eat in public during ramazan? Is their any special reason? why can’t they eat in private?

    Beating is wrong? No one can justify. But all the comments above say, that they should be allowed to eat publicly in ramazan.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Prince:

    There is no compulsion in religion. No country wants “Pakistanis” where do you want them to go.

    Do you lower your gaze when a Muslim sister is coming towards you? Recommend

  • Naeem

    Ilive in Canada. I fast . Everyone is eating around me. However, it makes no difference to me because I am fasting for Allah. Muslims in pakistan are weak willed. Grow up Pakistani Muslims and learn real Islam!!Recommend

  • Unkown

    @moderators
    kindly correct the sentence in my last comment “Beating is wrong?” to “Beating is wrong”Recommend

  • Biig Dood

    Fasting is not unique to Muslims. Christians fast during Lent. Hindus too fast on certain days. In India, food is openly sold on all these days and no one has any problem with it. Why is the eating and selling of food during Ramzan a problem only in Muslim countries?
    .
    This brings us to the crux of the problem. When Muslims are a minority, they want secularism. When they are a majority, they want shariah.Recommend

  • GhostRider

    What a pity..people’s effort to become model muslim being in ramzan make them do atrocious things like these….the tormentors would be thinking they have gathered thousands good deeds in their account but in actual they wasted their roza. Illiterate thugs!!Recommend

  • FAISAL SAGHIR

    t violence is not allowed at all in Islam A Religion of Peace and Glory..Recommend

  • GhostRider

    @RAW is WAR: atleast Islam can be called a religion Recommend

  • Aisha

    Eating, drinking and smoking at public places during fasting hours in the holy month of Ramadan has been prohibited to ensure sanctity of the month.

    In accordance with the provisions of Ehteram e Ramzan Ordinance 1981, all the provincial governments and concerned authorities in the province will ensure strict implementation of the ordinance, which prohibits serving of eatables at public places, prescribes closure timing of cinema houses, theaters and similar establishments and enjoins taking of steps for observing the due sanctity of the holy month.

    According to the ordinance, no person shall eat, drink or smoke at public places during fasting hours. Under the ordinance, all cinema houses, theaters and similar establishments or institutions shall remain closed during the month of Ramadan from the time of sunset to the expiration of three hours thereafter.

    If the proprietor, manager, servant or the person in charge of a cinema house, theater or similar establishment or institution contravenes the provisions, he will be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with a fine which may extend to Rs500 or both.

    Section four of the ordinance says that exemptions shall apply in respect of a canteen or kitchen maintained at a hospital for serving food to patients, a restaurant or canteen within the premises of a railway station, airport, seaport or bus stand or in a train or aircraft, a kitchen or dining car of a train, or a kitchen or canteen meant for children within the premises of a primary school.

    Meanwhile, the Islamabad Chief Commissioner Jawad Paul has directed the officials to ensure strict implementation of Ehtram e Ramazan Ordinance in the federal capital and violators be dealt with under the law.

    Cinema closure timings from Iftar till after Taraweeh prayers will be observed in letter and spirit.

    Source: Pakistan Today

    Recommend

  • ahmad butt

    I have met reverts from anglo saxon countires, young men and women who left a westernised life of enjoyment to become good practising muslims.
    Stories like these indicate us as a frustrated nation who has to vent our anger and hatred somewhere to fulfill our own misgivings. How unfair, there are medical reasons due to which people cant fast as well but we breed intolerance in our ranks. Recommend

  • http://syedaz.wordpress.com Zahra Meerza

    Before jumping to conclusions, should we not be a little more cautious? Violence like this is wrong, irrespective of the reasons. It’s worse if done for the sake of religious/moral policing.
    But I’m curious why the video doing rounds stops at 1:12/1:13. We can hardly listen to what the guys in the background are saying. We only hear one side of the story, and the camera goes off. There’s a fair chance that there was more to the story that just someone eating and being beaten up. Videos like these will almost always be biased, but that’s where the role of objective media comes into play, to dig into the case and find out more details. But sadly, “objective media” is more an oxymoron now.
    With the length of the guy’s beard in the background, however, we all are led to believe that they actually were playing the role of moral police. Recommend

  • naila

    Islam is a religion of peace,such act presents a very poor picture of Islam.Recommend

  • A Mother

    My five year old son, religiously not required to fast, had to bear thirst in high heat for over one hour today, because we were in a government office where he was not allowed to eat or drink, as there were other Pakistani Muslims sitting there. Do you think that we are following Allah’s writ or defying it, when He Himself permits not fasting under various circumstances, who are we to ban eating/drinking for those who are permitted not to fast? Isn’t this blasphemy??Recommend

  • Queen

    @Prince : You sound like one of those ill mannered bedouin whom our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was sent to reform. You should move to Saudi Arabia and feed off the welfare that your Saudi Kings hand you so that you live happily in a state of extremism. Let Pakistan be a part of the real Islamic nation, which is tolerant, peace loving, and generous. Not bigoted and narrow minded.Recommend

  • canzeon

    The writers’s cocern over the insensitivity and sadism of the moral brigade is commendable and merits praise. Recommend

  • Milind

    @Prince – “And if you want to talk about on non-religious grounds, is it not ‘unethical’ to eat or drink in front of a person whom you know can not eat or drink (for whatever reason)? Is it not the violation of any ‘Human Rights’”

    Not at all. The fasting masses can look the other way… In fact we too have fasts in our Hindu religion and we also keep our fasts. We have people running into us, munching delicacies, but nowhere did we regret fasting or get offended…Here Indian Muslims are fasting as well, while the rest of masses carry out with their lives, eating, partying… and they don’t seem to be complaining… In fact Ramazan is made livelier as some of us Hindus flock Muslim shops during evening (fast-break) to share and enjoy the food and spirit… Some Hindu folks prepare dishes for their Muslim friends during evenings, to help them break the fast…

    Net-net : The problem is because you don’t have enough diversity (especially other religions) within your country and have no clue as to how to adjust and tolerate each other. Get a life dude!!!Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/Omaidus Omaidus

    I spent 5 days in Kohistan (Hazara belt KPK) area, and because of I was in a journey i didn’t observed fast. It was a very bad experience, many times I was denied of buying cold drinks. Could not eat in public and a traveler don’t have a private place. So most of the time I have to starve till I reach my destination. Many times have tell people that it is not mandatory for a traveler to observe fast but mostly no one has ever read Quran. People were very violent in argument thus have to refrain from any argument instead have to hide from others.Recommend

  • Parvez

    When we fail to use our minds……….attrocities like this will keep happening.
    Recommend

  • The Economist

    Real face of Pakistan revealed,when pakistan was build there were 20% minority community and today its only 2%. Recommend

  • umm

    Isn’t self-control the whole point of fasting? You should be able to see someone eating right in front of you, be tempted by it and still resist. Surely that’s what the poor do.Recommend

  • HUM

    @Prince:
    And if you want to talk about on non-religious grounds, is it not ‘unethical’ to eat or drink in front of a person whom you know can not eat or drink (for whatever reason)? Is it not the violation of any ‘Human Rights’?

    No it is not the violation of the human rights. You made your choice by fasting and you are not being forcibly coerced in to changing your choice.
    On the other hand you are forcibly coercing non-observer to observe fast, as he made a choice of not observing fast , which you do not approve of. Now this is a violation of human rights. So please do try to see the gaping holes in your flawed logic. Recommend

  • Aliza Mohammed

    And this is why, non Muslims fear Muslims.
    This is why Muslims are called “terrorists” in foreign lands.
    I myself am a Muslim, but people like these make me feel ashamed of myself.
    I am sure, that the attackers must be long bearded fellows.
    They are the most hypocrites. Recommend

  • Critical

    @@ Critical:
    Nope,when I was a kid. A muslim neighbor informed us why they fast and why his 8 year son is fasting but his 3 yr old daughter is not fasting…

    Fasting is sacrifice..U can pray Allah and thank him everyday when u are having everything,but ur faith is tested when u are hungry and still pray….It will always enable u understand how poor people suffer and this will make u realise that money is nothing……

    What my former teammate did was trying to cheat the system..Whats the use of fasting if u r not giving 100% in ur job and sleep whenever u find time to alleviate the hunger pangs….

    Since u r from an Islamic country,maybe u guys were right and my former neighbor was wrong…..

    Regading Eating in public,we take our brahmin friend to non-veg hotels and have non-veg in front of him while he has veg…..Since he has faith in himself,he is ok with that…Maybe the person who beat him are so fickle that the sight of food will make them forget fastingRecommend

  • dsc9567

    I wonder; how many of you have ever written your comments on french forums/blogs to condemn french government’s move to prohibit face veils?

    Yeah i know the answer is NONE.
    Liberal extremists are in action only when its against Islam.

    Before you start jumping; lets clarify that beating of this man was completely Non-Islamic so no blames over Islam please.Recommend

  • Fasting and furious

    @Sana: You condemn public consumption of food in Ramzan? Why… is your faith so brittle it crumbles at the sight of a morsel of food? Maybe you just don’t understand the reason for fasting. It’s not some detox routine to earn you brownie points for the Hereafter. It’s to discipline your wants and desires. You are SUPPOSED to tolerate the sight of another person enjoying a meal while you’re fasting, as other poor people do on a daily basis when they have to fast simply because they have no food to eat. There is no religious injunction forbidding people from eating in sight of those who are fasting but there is advice to those who are fasting to keep their fast unto themselves only and not to make a show of it.Recommend

  • Dev Shome

    Mr. Jinnah is the real Father of India as he had freed the docile Hindus from these crazy violent and intolerant Muslims and took them with him to Pakistan and (now) Bangladesh where they have made a serious intolerable mess of lives of their own and others. Mr. Jinnah is a modern day Moses who took his people past the (proverbial) sea passage to a la-la-land that is now called Pakistan. RIP Mr. Jinnah. Wish you were alive today to see your great handiwork.Recommend

  • Mujtaba

    Beating up him was definitely not the thing to do. But please don’t give the impression that Islam is a mind-your-own-business sort of a religion. Allah says in the Qur’an, 3:110 “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah…”Recommend

  • Amir Ali

    @Erum:
    Please accept the reality of the society. I have seen several of such cases myself in real. One of my cousin who was a kidney patient was beaten because he drank water from a hotel during ramadan.Recommend

  • http://Jeddah Abdul Khadar

    I am in Saudi Arabia. Here the Muslims eat throughout the night and sleep throughout the day during this Ramadan season. I fail to see any holiness or purpose in this religious custom. Fasting is good for health but it should be for one complete day ie. twenty four hours. Then food in take should be minimal for survival. I find rush to doctors with gastric and other related problems after Ramadan. Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Mehdi: that zeal among Indian Muslim subsided greatly about migrating to Islamic Pakistan, after what pakistani army did to Muslim Bengalis.

    Just wait and see what these pious Muslims will do to Shias, Ahmadis, and Balochis.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @A Mother: My five year old son, religiously not required to fast, had to bear thirst in high heat for over one hour today, because we were in a government office.

    Next time when you go out keep some bottled water with you. Don’t make a 5 year old kid suffer.Recommend

  • In Islam, while fasting, one is supposed to carry on with their day as they would have otherwise. On a normal day, we see people eating around our selves all the time. All restaurants are open. The point of fasting is to resist the temptation of all the food around us. We cant just expect everyone else to stop eating or drinking in front of us, just because we are fasting.
    We cannot enforce our religion on other people, just like people of other religions dont enforce anything on muslims around the world.
    Anyway, muslim or not, there is only a small percentage of people in pakistan that actually fast. Majority of the people do not. And also, we are no one to judge someone if they are not fasting. Religion is supposed to be between the person and their god, not something for other people. If someone decides not to fast, god will be the judge of it, not us. Plus religion and politics should never mix. This country should not be called the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, since none of the acts of the crazy terrorists or random people who believe they are good muslims are Islamic at all. Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Critical: He was in my previous project,during this month,he used to come to office at around 10am when during other months,we all used to be at 9 to 9:30am…Takes a one and half break during lunch to go to local mosque and pray and then promptly leaves the office at around 4 to 4:30pm..

    You guys must be working on a government contract. He cheated his employer by not working hours he was supposed to work. He should have used 2 hrs of his annual leave, every day he did not work 8 hrs. If it is a government contract this guy could be fired and/or taken to court for committing fraud.

    Cheating an employer to do religious things, what a shame.Recommend

  • Saad riaz

    I dont really understand why people take one incident to stereotype the whole nation or religion. I am working with europeans in muscat and since the start of Ramadan ,every day i see them smoking and eating inside thier car. I asked them why dont they eat at the office cafeteria and i felt great respect for them when they said muslims are fasting now and it doesn’t look nice to eat and smoke infront of them. Even non muslims have the courtesy to respect some one who is fasting so why not us. I condemn the act of beating this guy but he should have showed some respect for the people who are fasting. No body expect you to fast , all they expect is to show respect.Recommend

  • Aziz Hamza

    It is very disrespectful to eat during Ramadan and it make me furious when I hear of those who eat. When people eat they do it to insult Islam. We have laws and these need to used otherwise everyone will what they want.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Saad riaz:
    No body expect you to fast , all they expect is to show respect.

    If a Hindu worker in your company fasts every week would you show respect to her and not eat in front of her every day she fasts. Actually some Muslims may even make a point by eating BEEF right in front of her.

    I don’t know why Muslims make a big deal out of this fasting thing.

    Many Hindu women fast one day a week. They do everything normal on those days, even cook for their families.

    Many Muslims gain weight during these fasting days, which shows actually THEY eat more then they normally do, it is just they don’t eat during certain period of time.

    Your European co-workers know they live in a Muslim country and they don’t want to take any risks.

    You are just fasting to get into Heaven or some thing, what your fasting has to do with other people? Eating is normal. When people eat every day, are they disrespecting you?Recommend

  • http://tribune.com p r sharma

    @Sana: ‘ Although i highly condemned eating in public during fasting hours -
    Can you give rationale for condemning a person eating in public, during fasting hours. To me Fasting is a method to help control your desires . if you see someone eating and still control your desire to eat , it helps your will power to control. however i will love to hear your rationale to condemn.Recommend

  • http://nil Some1

    What is Fasting about ? Tolerance & Forgiveness of Sins (forgiveness of sins doesn’t mean only GOD for giving his people but also People forgiving those who sin against them) lets take this act of the man as a Sin, wasn’t those people suppose to 4give him and follow the real meaning of Ramadan.? IF your faith is so little to bare a man eating in front of you how would you react if instead of the man DEVIL had to tempt you. It Mean you would have surrendered to the Devil with little Faith and Accept him as GOD.

    I still remember the story i read in one of my Urdu classes about the Holy Prophet(PB-UH) “the lady who use to throw trash on Holy Prophet(PB-UH) was not beaten up but was shown sympathy and was forgiven.”(QURAN SAY KUCH SEEK LO”)Recommend

  • uzair

    Who are they to judge anyone, Allah has said : let there be no compulsion in religion.
    Whether that man was fasting or not Allah will be the one to judge him.
    People with double standards who themselves are the greatest of sinners is what this country is filled with.
    This is the impression that we, the people of Pakistan are giving to the rest of the world about Islam and about Pakistan.Recommend