‘I don’t care, alcohol is fun’

Published: April 8, 2011

How far can people exploit individualism?

“But,  I think the ban on alcohol is absurd. My decision to consume alcohol is based on a personal choice. I don’t see how society or the state might be affected.”

As a fellow student, Kashif* argued in favour of imbibing, several of my classmates nodded in agreement.

He continued:

“ My personal choices should not be regulated by the state.”

This is hardly the first time that the concept of personal freedom has clashed with widely accepted norms. I have lost count of the number of times I have been solicited into verbal battles on this subject.

Advocates of this school of thought often believe that no one else should have the right or power to regulate their actions.

Alcohol consumption, drug abuse and even reckless behaviour are explained away by suggesting that these actions do not corrupt the society. I often hear friends says:

“Taking drugs is my problem. I don’t thrust them down anyone’s throats. Why should the law prevent me from doing what I want if I’m not harming anybody?”

This selfish approach to life can lead to trouble.

I went to the airport with a few classmates, one of whom was wearing a sleeveless top as she typically wears to college. The visit was a fiasco. The regular desi crowd behaved as expected.

I murmured to her, politely hinting that she should have changed into something that showed less skin. Her retort was, of course, abrasive :

“Why? Have the Taliban taken over? I‘m going to wear whatever I like.”

All my efforts to impress upon her that different places necessitate different codes of conduct were discounted.

She began to take offence, and pronounced me a fundamentalist on the spot.

Why let yourself off the hook?

This happens quite often – the ban on alcohol challenged in class; the need to abide by traditional norms challenged at the airport.

It seems that for many the formula for satisfaction is simple; use the license of ‘individual liberty’ to bypass every dictate of the state and religion.

Use it to sanction drugs, disgraceful dressing, disregard for polite language, social courtesy and even table manners!

The question is: where do we draw the line? How far can people exploit individualism?

The fact is that corrupt individuals corrupt the society.

I now have to think twice before expressing my distaste for drugs. Because you can’t ‘judge’ people anymore and you can’t ‘meddle in their personal affairs.

You are expected to just sit and mind your own business. And if you don’t, you’ll be accused of conspiring with the Taliban and consequently get exported to Guantanamo.

*Name has been changed.

faiza.rehman

Faiza Rahman

A sub-editor on the National Desk at The Express Tribune who has a bachelor's degree in political science from LUMS.

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

  • hello

    You really should learn to mind your own business. The world isn’t a mess because of alcohol and bare arms. It’s a mess for plenty of other reasons.Recommend

  • Similar feelings

    Though I have the same feelings ie I’m hurt by the rape of our cultural and religious norms by today’s society, I’m not sure if this is the right place to express your feelings.Recommend

  • http://aamjanata.com Vidyut

    Why did you have a problem with being called fundamental? You obviously are arguing against individual rights. I pity those who called you for advice, because you obviously helped repress a few people, if indeed people were stupid enough to voluntarily ask for advice like this.Recommend

  • asad

    Timely reminder from a liberal to a liberal that nothing is kosher if it carries the excess baggage of recklessness. No offence but informal economy thriving on offspring of Corrupt Govt officials, LEA’s and their parasites have the inherent problem of displaying pomp creating alienation among massesRecommend

  • Irfan

    The writer is wrong! The problem was with the public not the girl. Recommend

  • Riaz

    “ My personal choices should not be regulated by the state.”
    Interesting, if I want to fulfill my sexual desire than state should intervene.Recommend

  • http://faisalyaqoobspoliticalblog.blogspot.com/ Faisal Yaqoob

    this article is very one sided and self-opinionated. only looking at one side of the story. booze should be legalised and regulated, something that is a much safer alternative to letting black markets develop and forcing people to produce home brewed dangerous alcohol. and who are you to tell anyone what to wear? it really is none of your business.this is a terrible article that could easily have been written by the likes of Meher Bokhari or Kamran Shahid (if either of them knew how to write or read – something i am begining to doubt very much).Recommend

  • http://politishq.wordpress.com politishq

    use the license of ‘individual liberty’ to bypass every dictate of the state and religion.

    I don’t believe in any religion. What should I do? Would you recommend which religion I should take up?
    .
    .
    And the fault is with the “regular desi crowd which behaved as expected”.

    Condemn them. They’re taking individualism too far.
    .
    There is no end to this show-less-skin nonsense. It can only lead to “disgraceful dressing”, best exemplified by the Niqab. If the regular desi crowd might not like that as well.
    .
    .
    What do you do then?
    Prevent women from going outside?Recommend

  • Toobaa

    The writer has shared her blog on The Express Tribune – a liberal newpaper with a young, elite readership – was she trying to instigate debate, shame readers, self righteously convince us that she is the best Pakistani Muslim online?

    It is easy to forget that people like this exist.

    People who genuinely feel duty bound to tell others what to wear, drink and say.

    I feel a little sad because I know I had forgotten that Faiza is a majority and I am a minority.
    Thanks for reminding me, Faiza of how alone I am.Recommend

  • Syed Asim Ali

    There will come a time when stupidness will become a norm, and this is what I see in almost all the comments that have been made on a very good article. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read an excellent article, although I am amazed that papers like Tribune would publish such sane stuff. Lets pray together that sanity prevails.Recommend

  • Samar

    Very well said! This “individualism” is a ticket to all sorts of bad behavior and crazy things ‘that don’t harm others!’ The cannibals weren’t harming anyone.. it was the dead they were feasting on.. who would’ve been consumed by insects anyways. Why have they been arrested? Poor men were only feeding themselves. We should just mind our business and let them do their thing.
    @Hello:
    Religion’s really annoying too. It TELLS us what to do when we don’t want it to! and not to forget Parents, most annoying people who keep telling us to upside our heads for at least Two Whole Decades.
    And when parents don’t do this, such “Individuals” are created!Recommend

  • Talha

    Where is your Burka?

    A muslim state requires a women to be dressed like Ninja or Batman at all times.

    It ought to be the norm and you should follow it women.

    Astagfirullah.Recommend

  • khurram kaleem

    Every religion should be respected.

    Islam restrict alcohol use and a consensus on alcohol ban by public shuold be adhered.Recommend

  • hello

    what Tooba said. Recommend

  • As perplexed as they come!

    Many of us realize too late that we justify and rationalize all that is being done by our peers because we dont want to be ‘judgmental’ or ‘self-righteous’ or ‘fundamentalist’ and then, one fine day, we realize we have no sense of right or wrong, good or bad! There is no measuring scale!

    I admit i’m very confused! You, Miss Writer, are lucky to have your mind made up on the matter! For, as long as their intentions are not foul and they are not harming anyone, what’s so wrong about it?! But then, maybe, all individuals need to sacrifice a little personal freedom for the GREATER good!

    Pata nahin! Recommend

  • danish

    I now have to think twice before expressing my distaste for drugs. Because you can’t ‘judge’ people anymore and you can’t ‘meddle in their personal affairs.

    No ma’am you should not think twice, you should not think about judging people or meddling in their business at all.Recommend

  • Talha

    Oh yaar, where is my comment?

    I wrote such a insightful and witty comment that it would have challenged the writers position.

    This country has truly become Islamic.Recommend

  • http://raheelaijaz.blogspot.com Let us not digress

    The writer could’ve done a better job at this piece. But, as with other ET pieces, it was only published on basis of resourceful contacts on the inside of ET. Nowadays, most of the stuff put up here is based on jaan pehchaan, instead of quality content.Recommend

  • Uni

    I’m amazed this got published here :D

    Didn’t expect it of ET … made me re-think my opinion on this website.

    I think you did a fine job, Faiza, to gently remind her to take care of social norms, for her own good at least. The individual choice remains individual (in the sense, that whatever she wears at home, is none of your business yeah), but when the individualism starts affecting society AROUND a person, then that person NEEDS to be reminded.

    Following that logic, even though you got reprimanded for it, you did a great job.

    And do keep it up :)

    For all those who say there should be NO judgment on any act in society – then you must be proponents of ‘doing anything and everything’ outside. Way to go!Recommend

  • Sannan ZM

    After I finished reading the article, I was looking forward to some supportive comments. Though I don’t think we should indulge in other’s personal lives and their fashion of skin-revealing tops and alcoholism, there must be some respect for one’s own opinion. Writer is expressing her views because she seems concerned about the ‘Islamic’ republic of Pakistan and the basis it was created upon. Very surprised to see that ‘Wannabee’-American-attitude is being promoted.Recommend

  • parvez

    In the context of our society I would agree with your view point. It is better to be cautiously pragmatic than to be an idealist and most likely suffer the consequence. Keeping in mind that we are a warped, hypocritical lot.Recommend

  • Babar

    Well written! the author has tried touched the public etiquettes. BTW I’m appalled to see the anger in the comments against the author, simple as that, when in Pakistan “do what the Pakistanis do”. As far as Naqab is concerned (someone pointed out) its respectful not only in Pakistan but the whole Muslim world whether you like it or not. People commenting in favour of booze should remember that constitution of the Republic prohibit as well as The religious code. One cannot be allowed to do whatever anywhere in the world. However, I must say, you can do whatever you want if you don’t make noise about it. Recommend

  • http://na deep

    There is an aunty in your backyard who is probably judging you by the company you keep – oh my god this girl has friends who wears sleeveless dresses. And that properly scarved aunty has a bearded uncle who is saying – tut, tut – this old woman is wasting her time looking at all these youngsters when she should be praying five times…and the bearded uncle has a local mullah going – hmm… his beard is not long enough…and the list goes on. Recommend

  • http://grsalam.wordpress.com Ghausia

    *I went to the airport with a few classmates, one of whom was wearing a sleeveless top she as she typically wears to college. *

    This was the point where I stopped trying to find something to agree with you on. Honey, keep your opinionated ranting to yourself, I’m sure the alcohol-consuming classmate and the shameshame kapray pehenay wali classmate would agree with me.Recommend

  • A J.

    Oh bhain jee … relax kero … ghar mein jo karna he kero… koi naye rokhay ga … baki jo rules hein usay respect kero… like you respect the rules when you go anywhere abroad … Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    Well, I say one should roam naked if one likes and the public should mind their own business. However if the law says it is indecent exposure then I would cover up.

    Alcohol must be oodles of joy but too much of it renders you useless and you are wasted. Same goes for the drugs.

    Personal choices only work when you are inside your home. If you are outside like a drunkard, then you shall be punished harshly.Recommend

  • JT

    Its really sad to see so many mis-guided individuals criticizing this article and obviously strongly condoning the ‘I’ll do as I please – consequences be damned’ syndrome. I suspect a lot of them are influenced by outside influences and the old disease afflicting so many in Pakistan of blindly following the vices of other countries but not following most of the good deeds (honesty, discipline, sanding in lines, social courtesies, working hard for everything instead of finding short cuts and corrupt practices to get rich etc etc).

    Before blindly advocating such behaviors, please take a look at the social and societal impacts of such behaviors that afflict the countries that offer such freedoms. Everyday people there lose their loved ones or suffer permanent physical or mental injuries to alcohol consumers who ofcourse always say that they drink only moderately. Check out the strict rules against drinking – they are there for a reason and yet everyday people die here cuz someone thought it was their individual right to do whatever they want. Check out what the grief stricken mothers have to say. Look at how families and individual lives have been deeply scarred by the ravages of drug use.

    These people also started out like that – oh everything goes, I dont have to follow any rules, its my life, I am not harming anyone etc – the latter one proved to be the most delusional belief as examples abound on a daily basis that such actions DO impact others sooner or later – yourself, your family, your neighborhood and the society.

    We must distinguish the right type of freedoms to cherish. Learn from others’ mistakes or be condemned to suffer similar consequences. Sadly though, many learn only the hard wayRecommend

  • Fahad Raza

    Here wee Go. Again.
    Some lumbagos want special treatment without notice, others want write “Do what you want” on their bare skin and run with it expecting that they are wearing some kind of invisibility robes and are kings of the new trend.

    They are actually attention seeking souls they will die if nobody notice them. Luckily i found way to exterminate them. Smear them in negative publicity, wolf whistle these idiots and mock them every step of they way, saying be careful what you wish for else you want you got it the hard way.

    Will work 7 out 10 and for those 3 in the 10 Go over the step, cut them from the social circle they will back to normal in a jiffy.Recommend

  • Salman

    Very nice article! Express Tribune should encourage more writers to focus on these aspects of society. Like every state in the world, one needs to obey the law! And there are many girls who dress very nicely and still cover up!

    And if one sees something wrong then he/she should advise the person doing wrong. Recommend

  • zaid azam

    i agree with your point. but i fail to understand what you are trying to say , are u trying to make a point??Recommend

  • King Kong

    Pretty lame blog. Alcohol is haraam and there is no debate out it, it’s a fact of life for Muslims worldwide. Next thing you know ET will publish a blog about pork and bacon. Why not – that’s just as haraam as alcohol? I don’t understand these wannabe pseudo-intellectuals aka. pseudo-liberals who think everything Western is legit and cool. The funny part is that these pseudos often try to outdo the real intellectuals and liberals. In Urdu there is a great saying “kawa chala hans ki chaal apni bhee bhool gaya.” So my advice to the writer is don’t dilly dally this i-am-a-confused desi issue. You are trying to act all ‘ghairatmand’ by inferring that wearing sleeveless is somehow ‘immoral’ yet on the other hand you don’t say much about alcohol consumption, you seem to let that one slide. The alcohol issue is the one you should have argued about it and told your friend that it’s haraam. How convenient!Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/zubairee Zubairree

    well done Fiaza
    I am medical student and few days ago our forensic teacher told us that if we make sexual relationship with our patient (with her CONSENT) then it will be considered as Medical malpractice. And we can be held in court. Keep in mind that this law is NOT made in Pakistan, all of our laws are imported.
    Plus if a man comes to me and says Dr. Sahib please cut my nose and right ear and I do this. Should I be punished by law? even I didn’t do any harm to anyone else and everything was done with consent.
    So the idea here is that sometime we have to avoid our LUST for some greater gain of society. If a person who can become a great scientist, becomes an alcoholic and drug addict should it be allowed by govt?
    So you can well imagine the idea of individual freedom in their society. Recommend

  • Waseem

    To all those who are against the writer and blaming her for no reason and also accusing her to be taliban. Mind your own business. Its her choice she did what she had to she says what she wants to. Why is it ok for a girl to go in public and show skin but its wrong for someone to write about it. Thats her freedom of choice is it not? just like its freedom of choice for her to be semi nude?
    Now coming to the point. If i am drunk and i go sexually harras your wife would you let me because its my choice? Well thats what it leads to if alchoal drugs and al these things are legal. So if you are happy to share your mother,sister,wife let the “its freedom of right” culture begin. Otherwise give respect to the moral values. Recommend

  • Omer

    i could not agree more !!!! @Syed Asim Ali:Recommend

  • Atif Khan

    Great piece. Obviously you touched a nerve of the pseudo liberals here who infact are the new extremists well doneRecommend

  • Sane

    The writer correctly says; we must act above animals. Whatever I do, wherever I do and whenever I do should be accepted and praised to be adopted by others could be a jungle norm. We humans should act like humans.

    Why if norms are flouted should not be restricted or at least pointed out.

    An excellent article and everyone can see the face in the mirror.

    Dear writer keep it up.Recommend

  • http://uzi888@yahoo.com Ahmed Aziz

    @Let us not digress: Why scream and shout. I write for ET and I do not know a single person in ET . Please do not make baseless allegations

    As far as the article is concerned I do not agree with the writer but I will say that there is a thin line between what to limit and what not. There should be religious freedoms as long as they are not hurting anyone physically so if a lady wants to wear a burqa or sleeveless or a short skirt it’s her choice. Intolerance creates hate and violence so if someone wants to wear a burqa or worship many gods it’s their choice.
    for all the people not happy with the alcohol law go on the street and protest but I think you would be wasting your time, we have more pressing problems to protest about like the vicious blasphemy law that is more of a personal freedom problem then the alcohol banRecommend

  • Qaisar

    lovely,what ever you said absolutely right,you write with courage and braveness on this blog on a issue that really exist in our class.individual freedom is a right of every citizen of this country but there are some rules that you have to follow,if someone like to wear a topless shirt then he or she must need to wear in his home, like faiza said typical desi people react typically after seeing her friend on airportit will happens if you wear some thing like this on a public place,similarly if you wear “burqa” in Europe people will see you like our Desi people watch a girl wearing topless or anything that is not common in our society.keep it up Faiza i am with you… Recommend

  • Faris

    Good work Faiza. We need to draw a line somewhere. Going by the notion of individualism and not being judgmental, you cannot stop anyone even from corruption bcoz he will say that it’s his personal choice. Recommend

  • Faris

    and for all those who say that faiza shouldn’t have issues with her colleague’s dressing, I guess faiza was only highlighting the fact that one needs to dress according to the situation. Even in the west there is an acceptable dress code for work, just have a look at the office advice columns on international websites. So that doesn’t make anyone a fundamental. Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed

    Can not agree more.
    Drugs, Alcohol, Sex outside marriage/illicit relationships, etc… these are vices… always have been… always will be.
    Our religion, or any other religion for that matter, prohibits it for a reason…
    Even a non-religious person can easily comprehend the dangers of drinking, taking drugs, and the lot.
    The excuse “I will do whatever I want to since I am not hurting anyone” is completely flawed.
    Can the drinkers swear an oath on their favourite bottle of vodka that when they drink/or are drunk… they never drive? Can they swear an oath that when they are drunk they act absolutely decently and in dignified manner with people, and especially girls, around them? When they indulge in an illicit relationship (sexual)… can they guarantee they will not give birth to a bastard child… or worse get him/her aborted…thereby committing murder as well… can they?

    Simple logic suggests that drinking, drugs, sex outside marriage, etc… are prohibited in religion for very valid and practical reasons… and what are we without religion but animals.Recommend

  • Qadeer Ahmed

    I don’t know why the name of this country has been kept Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the secularism is thriving in Pakistan and the so called elite class, who become elite after grabbing Pakistan’s money by the unfair mean, have completely put this country near to devastation.Recommend

  • Analyzer

    Excellent article on the dumbing down of society, but i’m afraid with the offspring of the corrupt and the self-imposed elite now coming of age without having undergone any responsible parenting, the ills are fast becoming the norm. Don’t be afraid to express your distaste faiza, for the wrongs have to be recognized as wrongs, otherwise the next generation is going to have a serious identity crises.Recommend

  • Ed

    @writer
    I think that alcohol should be banned as it already is, and the ban should be enforced more strictly. However, non-muslims should be allowed a quota. This is already in place in theory. As long as we are a Muslim country that is the way to go. Other than that, the society as a whole is to be blamed. Drooling over Kathrina Kaif’s mango drink commercial while enforcing “sleeves” at home :) Some guys are so involved in the ad that they don’t even know what the product is!!!
    The problem is more deeply rooted that mere generalisations. Having said that, I guess as an individual, one should keep Clear and Tolerant while instigating the right kind of change within one’s own area of influence.Recommend

  • http://www.ovaistariq.net/ Ovais Tariq

    Very well written and very true indeed,.Recommend

  • MastMaula

    i think writer indeed should learn to behave herself. she should not interfere in somebody’s personal choices.
    This shows how women in Muslim countries have become so used to all this suppression and gender discrimination that they themselves become indulged in moral policing of other women.Recommend

  • Billo Balram

    Errr.. The concept of right and wrong, moral and immoral is very much constructed by society. The trouble with Pakistan is the rift that has come between the “liberal” and the conservative. While both of them have arguments both have refused to give each other the bargaining space to prosper.. If it were for liberal people they would want to hack all the conservatives to solve the “malaise” of the country.. Similarly, the religious right want to club the infidels to submission..

    Exceptions exist..but the bikini is as absurd as the burkha.. as both of them are at times done with personal choice and sometimes without thinking twice.. Its time to end the eyes wide shut thighs wide open phenomenon! We are becoming a society with too many contradictions!Recommend

  • Martin Whitaker

    in general, messy badly written and thought out articleRecommend

  • Ignorance is Bliss on Speed

    Our youth don’t know what freedom entails, they think it means doing whatever you want and thinking the repercussions are their own… wrong again! Alcohol is a personal choice, but medicine proved long ago how it damages your body/nerves and even your mental state of mind, reproduction etc, along with the ill affects of many drugs – which people know little about or even CARE to know about (oh-my-god thats so uncool!) :P Guys pot causes INFERTILITY! Wake UP! The West is getting ahead of us and leaving us to indulge in these damaging habits.. make the masses as dependent on ‘media’ and this false sense of freedom..Ok lets forget the personal harm done… what about when a person get diagnosed with liver cancer, after their years of drinking —- which He/She thinks could never happen, cos right now “I feel fit like a fiddle” ..later on..you find out the damage cannot be reversed and you have to eat from a plastic tube…the medical bills gotta be paid by someone.. either outta your own pocket, by burdening their families, their children… and even “The State” who provides all these medical facilities… same goes for smoking, 2nd hand smoke is even more damaging.. there is a BANNED to smoke anywhere in public in a place like NEW YORK!? Some kids reading this will think..OMG.. thats so backward.. like OMG..which century are they living in?.. we are so much cooler, we can smoke any friggin place and no ones gives a DAMN! What kinda freedom is that? Anyway this is just a rant.. cos I am a Pakistani who returned to my country thinking things here would be saner, but it turns out quite the opposite, people are ignorant, care only about themselves, their status in society, they eel a thrill is disobeying the system and mocking it – though it was put there to protect them!
    and hey, if angelina jolie can visit pakistan, wear the local dress, cover up and do as the romans do in order to fulfill her mission… then whats wrong with the local fashion-conscious damsels…. some of them suffer under-confidence, suffer from complexes and feelings of inferiority especially to Western girls! Poor girls… they don’t know that their brains are more valuable than showing their skin! These Mothers of tomorrow – will bring doom to our country by being their ignorant, inflexible and superficial approach.. Recommend

  • Martin Whitaker

    WOW, sounds like Faiza and many of you are Humanists. Their basic premis is that you may do what ever you like, as long as it does NOT affect other people :-) so, yes, get drunk, this in itself is not wrong and a personal choice, but as soon as your drunkeness affects another person in any way, it becomes very worng.Recommend

  • http://pinkcyanide.wordpress.com maham khan

    Its an opinion and everyone has a right to one but this sounds more like a frustrated tirade on the inappropriate habits of the your personal social circle. Clearly you should make few friends who share your perspectives and in the presence of whom you don’t feel liable to pass harsh judgements.

    This article would have probably been better if it was limited to being a social commentary of sorts rather than having such strong personal overtones.Recommend

  • Ahsan

    “The fact is that corrupt individuals corrupt the society”
    I think u have put that very well…

    As an old saying goes that ur freedom ends where my nose begins and in the field of alcohol consumption n drug abuse, pretty soon the nose boundary is crossed n we all familiar with DUI incidents..it doesn’t stop with just one individual…

    n regarding the dressing of her classmate, I think the writer was just expressing her pov that it was a ‘suggestion’ that she could have dressed more according to the occasion, she didnt force her to do anything so whats wrong in that?? dress codes exist exist everywhere in the world be it office,wedding,etc so what’s the problem in following one, while stepping out in public whther a male or female…i mean even if go the airport in just my underwears i wud be raising many eyebrows too…there’s a reason why mainstream religion’s prescribe modest dressing for men and women..it not only makes u feel comfortable but also keeps minds away from mental corruption..the other day i was watching an episode of Late night show with Letterman n even that old guy was having trouble not getting distracted of eva’s wardrobe malfunctions…somethings will never change n hence some lines should always be drawn…this wanna-be venting-out frustration attitude of self-label modernists is just patheticRecommend

  • Hala

    why is it so hard for people to listen to each other?
    what i find interesting is that half these comments say that the blog should never have been written or published and the other half say those comments are wrong and they shouldnt have been written
    i find it hard to wrap my head around that concept
    its her opinion, why shouldn’t it exist
    but also why shouldn’t we discuss and argue about it
    i don’t entirely agree with the writer, but she’s coming from an emotionally honest place
    she doesnt want to repress or stifle anyone, she truely wants people to be good
    there’s nothing wrong with that
    i think where she falters is assuming that she is the only one who wants this
    “good” to her means responsible and righteous
    which is fine
    but to me “good” means tolerant and accepting
    my priorities are different but my goal is the same
    if i use drugs, wear revealing clothes, use rude language and have no table manners does it necessarily mean that i am apathetic and hedonistic?
    i think that is unfair
    its one thing to judge someones actions, you can see them
    but know one has a right to judge motivations, you dont know what they are
    the writer says people use “individual freedom” to justify breaking social norms
    but what about the people who use religion to justify murder?
    personally i think rules are good
    we need rules
    but we also need to challenge these rules
    social dictates have been made by people, they need to be questioned so they can be improved
    taking faiza’s example of banning alcohol
    “alcohol is agianst religion, and all who drink it are evill” and “i don’t care, alcohol is fun”
    are both exactly the same opinion, deciding something without thinking about it
    instead why not give the matter serious consideration, alcohol is available anyway would legalizing it in fact help society by regulating it and taxing it? I’m not saying it should be legal, I don’t have enough facts to make such a decision, just that someone should look into it.
    sorry for rambling
    i started writing a comment, and it turned into an essayRecommend

  • http://www.fattaurus.com Ahmed Ilyas

    Dear writer, I think you hang out with some of the most stupid people… Recommend

  • http://eatmysandwich.blogspot.com/ Self-righteous pig

    The problem with our society is that it doesn’t take self-righteousness well. This is because of our inherent hypocrisy. This is why liberals will shoot you down and conservatives will applaud you.

    My ‘conservative’ ‘maulvi’ friend abhors usage of alcohol, but he doesn’t mind a little cannabis every now and then – after all, it’s not haram. Another ‘liberal’ friend of mine stops drinking every Ramadan, only to continue with the best drinking party in town on chaand raat. My point is. You just can’t be self-righteous in Pakistan any more. You just take care of yourself and make sure you make a good distinction between right and wrong, not gloat about it, and that’s about it. Recommend

  • maestro

    I well comment that banning liqour in Pakistan was a stupid idea (mind you alcohol was legal until the late 70s when Bhutto, not Zia, implemented the hudood ordinance to satisfy his mullah friends for political seats). We all know very well that a large portion if not even a majority of the population in Pak drink including in villages! I know this first hand having been shown rural “alcohol factories” in some villages which is dangerous to say the least. And the politicians who bark something else on tv are very happily getting drunk in the evenings which i also know first hand including some of our so called maulanas. Point being this is a hypocritical law in a country where we all know booze is easier to get in some places than it is in the US. Legalize it, regulate it and most importantly TAX it – we will make billions of dollars per year in additional tax revenue trust me. Plus it will give a much needed boost to tourism here. If places like Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, UAE can have legalized alcohol available why cant we?? Cause we are better muslims?? lol – please. We all know the answer to that too. It is a personal choice – I don’t condone drugs or strip bars etc., but liqour is a personal social activity and should be allowed especially when its happening anyway and rest assured our police only raid liqour houses when they need it themselves or are not paid their commission! The person who wants to have a drink should be able to – the person who wants to pray 5 times a day and grow a beard, should be allowed to. At the end of the day, we answer only to God. Recommend

  • Mehboob

    There are some good comments out there. I have rated this article 5/5, so I mostly agree with the noble writer. I see good comments promoting individualism, and I say good because these people “think” unlike most out there who don’t. It is not possible for me to write long comment after such good ones out there.
    I only want to say it would be good to understand the true nature of human being, for me it is humble, loving, generous, patient etc (off course to others human beings), and human beings are actually connected with each other. I like the show of connectedness in the movie ‘Avtar’.Recommend

  • Happy Man

    Very Very Very Very Very Very well Written. TWO THUMBS UP!!!!

    Loved theses lines, “It seems that for many the formula for satisfaction is simple; use the license of ‘individual liberty’ to bypass every dictate of the state and religion.

    I now have to think twice before expressing my distaste for drugs. Because you can’t ‘judge’ people anymore and you can’t ‘meddle in their personal affairs.

    You are expected to just sit and mind your own business. And if you don’t, you’ll be accused of conspiring with the Taliban and consequently get exported to Guantanamo.”
    No matter what these so called liberals say, they know deep inside that they are wrong. You tried to educate them, your job is done, they didn’t hear that is there problem.Recommend

  • Farheena A.

    I do not understand why this piece got mostly cliched retorts from its readers. As far as I see it, the author is asking the readers to step back and think where this society is headed. What is wrong with that? How many people attempted to answer her question?

    The question is: where do we draw the line? How far can people exploit individualism?

    And if the commenters think there is no need to draw a line than it means they are completely blind to its consequences!!!Recommend

  • Angelos

    People who bring ‘individual liberty’ to justify their actions which are against the norms of society/culture/religion show us another face of extremism.

    @Ignorance is Bliss
    you are spot on mate!Recommend

  • se

    badly written, badly argued, badly edited. a good argument should be backed up by logic, not an emotional rant about your personal preferences.
    1) logically speaking: whose religion? yours? the government’s? pakistan’s founders? pakistan’s current population? the blanket term of “islam” doesn’t mean anything at all in our country, where people are dying every day defending their version of islam.
    2) legalising alcohol will not make it more prevalent, it will only prevent people from buying and selling dangerous products on the black market. those who want to drink will drink regardless and those who don’t certainly won’t be forced to. also, alcohol was not only legal, but also accepted in our society until the 1980s. your distaste of it doesn’t mean that mainstream society has shared this distaste since time immemorial.
    3) even if it was inappropriate for your friend to dress a certain way at the airport, it was far more inappropriate of you to imply that she was responsible for the hordes of ogling men. basic decency and manners dictate that bare arms should not cause such a public furor. if your friend was rude to call you a fundo, you were rude to comment on what she wears.
    4) you ARE judgey. it is one thing to have an opinion and another to furiously condemn others as “selfish” for having a different one. you are no different from the people who judged you for your beliefs. in fact, you’re worse for writing a whole blog about it.Recommend

  • Haarib

    The article is self righteous kind of, couldnt relate to it in the era when everyone is talking about individual identity and being comfortable within it.
    You could have left the circle if you were that much ENJOYING!!
    Lol.Recommend

  • Mohsin Hijazee

    I simply endorse the author’s viewpoint. Its not alcohal then. Same can be said about taxation as well that who the hell is state to take my money from me.Recommend

  • Syed

    Theres one Keyword in the whole article that summarizes the whole thing and people should understand it!!! its

    Social Courtesy !!!

    think about it ! Recommend

  • Qamar Khan

    Well written opinion…

    Alcohol is definitely a disgrace to our society.. there is a reason why its is among the unlike acts in our religion ..

    Im not here advocating individualism or religion. All im saying lets be human once again and think . Maintaining ourselves in our senses is nothing wrong .

    Legalising Alcohol : those who support this idea shud den legalise a lot of things with it , if want i can jot it down here in detail .. Let sanity prosper please…

    How about act as an observer one day and take out some time just to observe people around u who are drunk, reckless, and imagine yourself in the same . when u can’t differentiate between a lamp post and a person …

    Oh please don’t give me this excuse drinking socially and drinking excessively till u loose ur senses is two different things . i know they are , can you control yourselve ? have you ever heard about Alcoholism…Recommend

  • Qamar Khan

    @ Farheen A : true .. ( In total agreement with you )

    ….. we all have a habbit to judge other. i dont know why we all jump to such conclusions . atleast the writer has give us a moment to reflect on our way of thinking and reflect on our prorities and directionRecommend

  • CB Guy

    read some of the dumb comments from readers. You guys want to legalize alcohol, do look at drunk driving related accident figures in Europe and US and the crimes that take place under its influence. You want to wear exposing clothing, go ahead but you do not have the right to ask people to stop scanning your body and passing sometimes lewd comments, its their personal choice and no one can regulate them. You want drugs legalized, make sure that the looser who uses them rather dies then take away charity money for rehab that would have been used for someone’s food.

    What i find the most annoying is that liberals are as big a chauvinist bunch as conservatives, they just try to look cool, hip and stand for everyone despite them being as despicable as anyone else when there is a difference in opinion. Recommend

  • Darvish

    i am undone!! in the name of ‘globalization & individualism’ what’s going on all over the world…all over the subcontinent!? may Allah save us. Amen.Recommend

  • http://dinopak.wordpress.com Hasan

    I have to say, the writer have clearly pointed out what is wrong with society today. It was a very good article drawing our attention towards the menace within.

    I am shocked by the response of many people or those who propagate ‘personal freedom’, I ask them will they let their own brothers and sisters involve in this kind of stuff? How would they feel if their own mothers and fathers were ‘for’ alcohol.

    It is easy to be ‘considered’ cool these days with alcohol, cigarettes, drugs etc. but at the cost of moral values. Is it really a fair trade? America is considered to be the most ‘open’ society where personal freedom is guaranteed. But they still aren’t able to control rape crimes or murders.

    These people will only learn from personal experiences, people like us will definitely end up being called as Talibans or extremists. Recommend

  • Taimur Mustafa

    Lady, you have got to get rid of all that angst.
    If someone does not believe in something, it is truly not your place to impose it on them. Wearing sleeveless is not a crime. Taking drugs is, along with being harmful. Consuming alcohol is also a crime if the person is Muslim, if they are not, its perfectly legal for them to drink in in non-public places.

    My point is that there IS a line but you are making the critical mistake of equating rude table manners and wearing sleeveless to taking drugs in one clumsy wave of your hand. It reflects poorly on your emotional intelligence.

    Conversely, I might ask you where will YOU draw the line? Today you will give your friend sleeves, tomorrow you will ask her to cover herself, day after you will make sure that interaction between opposite sexes is minimal. Aren’t you becoming a Taliban then? The State of Pakistan does not prohibit wearing sleeveless. By insisting that women should not, you are making a moral judgement.

    Might I ask you which guidelines are you following? Please dont say Islam, because you dont follow all its instructions either. So if you are deciding which parts of Islam you want to follow and which not, then I might ask, what right do YOU have to impose your opinion on others? You think wearing jeans in front of your male friends is acceptable, she thinks sleeveless is, what is the main difference here then? Your opinion compared to hers, right?

    This could go on forever. So I hope you get my point. Please leave drugs and alcohol out of the debate, these are crimes for which the State prosecutes and you have the right to condemn them. However, individual liberty should not be questioned if it is not breaking any State rules. And please try not to take an aspect of someone’s personality that you disapprove of and infer that they are corrupting society. It is not only a hasty generalization but displays a lack of intellectual maturity.Recommend

  • danish

    good writerRecommend

  • Yasir

    The writer has written a very simple article pointing out obvious common sense to some delusional “burgers” who are in a very small minority. Individual freedom is never in question as long as it is not in conflict with the ‘greater accepted’ social norms. You can either be part of the society, follow the modus operandi or try to change it from the root by teaching at a public school whilst instilling liberal values and concept of personal freedom to the next generation. But instead of trying to understand what the point here is most of the basher’s are simply confirming their bias by putting forward tired and old arguments. Most well educated liberal grown-ups in DHA locality drink drive after their parties, have their headlights on high beams even with clear visibility, violate traffic signals and oh yes all without a driving license. Yes most of them even comment on this website.Recommend

  • danish

    @khurram kaleem:
    islam doesnt restrict alcoholism .quote any ayat from quran. which say alcohol is haraam or prohibated .Recommend

  • danish

    @Martin Whitaker:
    trueRecommend

  • Zaki Shaheen

    “Use it to sanction drugs, disgraceful dressing, disregard for polite language, social courtesy and even table manners!”

    Disgraceful dressing? Who are you to judge that in the first place?

    Disregard for polite language? well, right… so you can politely impose whatever you want on me and I should oblige, just because you were polite?

    Social courtesy?…. Oh, okay. So in the land of perverts, the social courtesy means making sure there is no skin showing? How is that solving anything? As far as i see, its only increasing the sex-obsessedness of the “desi” crowd. Its easier to point towards one girl who is wearing what she wears in front of another 1000 or so people but feels comfortable, but its so hard for the religiosity appologists to point a finger to the porn-obssessed crowd that sees every woman as a potential mate.

    Jist of the article – i’ve invested so much learning to be a Pure pakistani and i’ve invested so much learning all the traits of religiosity, why dont just people accept what i’m saying always and do what I and my molvi saab tell them to do.

    As far as alchol is concerned, you’re very right. It should be kept banned. because if sane people of this country can feast like a pig on a girl just wearing a sleeveless showing more skin than their threshold, i wonder what would they do if they were having a 5%alchol content beer – let’s not even consider harder drinks. And let’s not consider the lawlessness of this alcholless society.Recommend

  • Awais

    wow if a poor guy takes Alcohol police punishes him and here are a bunch of rich people flouting the law with impunity and being bullish about it.Recommend

  • sane

    @ danish. Do not be a scholar of Holy Quran. First understand what ALLAH says. Holy Quran prohibits Liquor very clearly. Norms of west is for there. Liberty as they interpret is for them. In this part of the world we are humans. Anything including anger, venom, spite, rage not only liquor make humans animals.Recommend

  • Yousaf

    Well i think that drinking is one’s business and may be allowed.Otherwise we will not get FDI. Also at individual level it does not harm the society. Also our ban on alcohol does not prevent people from drinking. Still those do who want to do. Then why not to liberalize or legalize. If our government can export molases let people be allowed to spend the life they want to spend.Recommend

  • Black Rose

    @Sannan ZM:
    well said.Recommend

  • Elder Pakistani

    I am thankful to God its not with me! But God expects me to care for my human brothers and sisters for the sake of God and neither to please any human nor in fear of one. God love those who love and care for his fellow beings. May be its in fashion people don’t give a d…n about others but this life is very short and soon it will be over. Author must think twice before its too late!! Recommend

  • sardar taimoor

    Though I absolutely disagree with what the author is saying, please cut her some slack. It is her opinion, she is only ‘expressing’ it rather than ‘imposing’ it and so there is no harm there.

    As far as law is concerned, why are our laws not followed? I am sure all of you must have heard on and off and that we have every law/regulation present in Pakistan but there is no implementation. Sadly, this is how it is; but the question to ask is why is that the case in our country? It is like this because we have made laws which cannot be enforced. There are so many restrictions on our every movement that it is inevitable to break the law everyday and so we have come to a point where we think it is fine to break laws; its an everyday thing.

    The basics principle followed by every nation where the law is generally respected is that they never make a law which cannot be enforced; it discredits their entire system. Pakistan, on the contrary has incorporated every law which is impossible to enforce. That is why when every now and then there comes a law which we ought to follow, we simply do not follow it-because we are not used to this following business as we see it as a threat or attack on our freedom and for that most of the credit goes to Zia-ul-haq (Allah usko dozakh mei jagan dey).

    Finally, I think hash should be legalized in parts of the country. Even if we accept your ‘in rome do as the romans do; in pak do as the pakis do’ philosophy, what nation in the world consumes more hash than we do? and so even by that philosophy, hash should be legalized; and btw our religion is pretty silent on it as well. It is not an addiction, it does not intoxicate – it is a mere nerve relaxant. hahaRecommend

  • menteliscio
  • Ghulam Abbas

    Sometimes we think it does not harm anyone else but it actually does.

    Matter is to think positively.

    When we do not get Roti, Kapra, Makan, we blame Government. What if they say Go and get all these necessities at your own?
    What if the same happens to education, health and above all Defense?
    Think……………..

    Alas! we are at the moment thinking as individuals.
    Glory will definitely kiss our feet when we will think as nation……..Recommend

  • http://www.6la8.com Confused

    I like the fact that the comments have more material than the blog itself.Recommend

  • Syeda Subika Rizvi

    Why can’t we choose to “exploit” individualism to improve the society?
    If we see someone snatching someone’s phone, someone just dying on the road after an accident,…why do we choose to remain silent? why do we choose to ignore everything that happens to the so called unknown people? Why do we choose to be indifferent? and then why do we choose to blame the society?
    Can’t we choose to take a stand individually which can motivate others also to take a step forward? Why can’t individual actions be such that can lead to collective good of the community? We need to share responsibility in order to form the society that comprises of sensible, concerned, mature and helpful people and not of indifferent, selfish and ignorant monsters.Recommend

  • Javed

    Wonderfull article! The writter has fulfilled his duty as a “True Pakistani”.Recommend

  • kashif

    Great,Very well written and very true indeed, good work faiza, now charsi and sharabi want freedom….ALLAH hi hafiz hai!!Recommend

  • Sardar Khan

    If you try make everyone follow the ‘widely accepted norms’ all the time at the cost of ‘personal freedom’, this nation would soon be counted among the dinosaurs! Grow up lady. It is childish to poke your nose in everyone’s affairs in the name of religion! Our mullahs are enough for this great job!Recommend

  • Sabeen

    @hello:
    Yes….ur right… the world isn’t a mess because of alcohol and bare arms. It’s a mess for plenty of other reasons n the root cause of all those reasons is alcohol and bare arms!Recommend

  • Saba

    This article has been shared on Facebook. That’s where I read some comments (Facebook comments). I frowned. Then I read the article again. Hmm. Then I went back. Read the comments again. Gosh, I actually thought the comments were on some OTHER post, because why would someone be criticizing this article?

    How many of you swim in a burqa? Or your jeans? When in a swimming pool, do what is supposed to be done in a swimming pool! Can you go to an elite restaurant in slippers? Where the individualism there? You’ll be kicked right out! How about going to Church in a bikini? Where is the freedom there if it is frowned upon? Or how about going to a desi shadi in pajamas? If the writer advised her friend to wear something more suitable to where she was present, I think she was being helpful!

    And since when can drugged and drunk people control themselves and not hurt others??? I have no idea what these comments are about, my head is still spinning. If the drunks can tie themselves up before getting high up on booze, then fine, no problem! But they drive, operate machinery, operate on patients, and play with others lives. Drugs are not illegal only in Pakistan, are they? Gosh! Individualism gaya tail lenay, when something is WRONG it is WRONG. And when you’re wrong: peeing on the wall somewhere, drinking (which is HARAM), sticking drug needles into yourself, YOU WILL BE JUDGED AS WRONG.

    Following the logic of the comments, it should be okay to roam around naked – the people in the streets should just avert their eyes.

    Before you label ME a fundamentalist: I am also against complete face-covered burga in offices – the UK issue, when they banned women from wearing that in official spaces. That’s just right. Recommend

  • Saba

    @CB Hasan, Yasir, Hasan
    AGREED.Recommend

  • Pradeep

    By extension of what the lady said about the sleeveless shirt, a rape happens due to the girl ‘asking for it’? Can the writer swear in good faith that she was never picked upon by lecherous men on the streets for wearing what in the opinion of the writer are ‘graceful’ cloths.. Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    Its so funny how the comments approving of the article seem to parodying it. Has anyone else noticed that? “You have fulfilled your function as a Pakistani” yes, because Pakistanis are immensely famous for being unable to keep their foot out of their mouth and their nose out of other people’ business. And the author exemplifies this.

    Chill out, woman, if you continue this you are well on the way to becoming an Aunty-in-Chief of the Ghairat Brigade.Recommend

  • Hussain Syed

    whoa? A corrupt society? We are talking about a sleeveless girl right, get your head in order Miss! The world is screwed up for many reasons, but they don’t have to do with drug conceptions and sleeveless shirts… Recommend

  • M M

    You guys are brutal. She was proposing a very valid argument which is of the moderate (religious, yet not fascist) majority of Pakistan.

    Well written darling, I don’t think alcohol should be banned because, of course, black markets can develop.

    And one thing more: Faiza is NOT an ignorant conservative Muslim. Some of the people above me are ignorant because they can’t seem to understand where Faiza is coming from.

    Faiza has nothing against girls who choose to wear sleeveless tops, she was just making a simple, advising statement, prompting us to remember the community we live in.

    Furthermore, those girls who walk around in sleeveless tops (which I do to!!!) are not necessarily ‘liberal’ in the truest ways. To be liberal, as Imran Khan puts it, is to be unimposing and non-judgemental. I know a lot of girls who are liberal in the ”clothing” sense yet they judge anyone who wears a headscarf, labelling her to be an extremist.

    A lot of liberal elites discuss religion in a liberal manner- which is fine. But what bugs me is these ”coffee-morning-elite-Aunties” who have no interest in religion, apart from condemning ”the Hijab”. They say ”the Qur’an does not call for headscarf”. Please, half of the bearded men don’t know anything about Islam, so how is are secular women interested in the fashion industry of Pakistan going to tell me about Islam?

    Can we me a little more sensitive to conservatives? I am a moderate who respects both conservative and liberal opinions but has no respect for extremists of either end.Recommend

  • Sane

    @ Awais. Poor guys take alcohol at the cost of bread and education of their kids. Plundering of wealth by ‘strongs’ is also a crime. Condemn all ills of us to make our world a glorious one. If the whole world is shrouded by ‘evils’, even ‘evils’ would be evils.

    I congratulate writer to give a wakeup call.Recommend

  • Anoop

    In Civilized countries Alcohol is allowed for non-minors and drugs are banned for all.

    What is the difference, you might ask. Alcohol is not instinctively addictive, similar to Cigarettes and causes no immediate harm, just like Cigarettes. But, drugs on the other hand, not only are they addictive and if proper precaution is not taken then it can kill you if you overdose, not to mention serious harm it does to your body(One of my Friend’s brother died because his heart was too weak as he was addicted and used daily). That is why you will find Doctors drinking Alcohol but not doing drugs, even though they have easy access to them.

    But, Pakistan is far from being Civilized, isn’t it. How can a country ranked 10th on the Failed Index scale be considered Civilized?

    Dress is a personal choice. And, I am sure if it weren’t mandated by the Majority Religion of the Country to “dress ‘modestly’”, Pakistanis wouldn’t be so conservative about the Clothes one wears. Same goes with Alcohol.

    So, the question now is, should Pakistan follow a philosophy theorized thousands of years ago? Or, should they keep Religion aside and start thinking independently, without the aid of the Religious Text?Recommend

  • 007

    HELLO!!! Pakistan’s full name is the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN!!!! u have to abide by the norms of an Islamic Society!!!
    When In Rome, do as Romans Do!
    When In Pakistan, do as Pakistanis Do! and Pakistanis (in general, not all) do not drink or have illicit sexual relationships Recommend

  • Ali

    @Anoop:
    Your logic is flawed, just because a doctor is doing something does not make it safe for your health. I am a doctor. I work in the UK. I know medics who smoke, drink both in moderation and otherwise and indeed do hard drugs. Despite the mounting evidence against these practices.

    Even the West is now waking up to the dangers of Alcohol:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11660210
    This man published his paper in the Lancet, which anyone in the medical profession will tell you does not publish anything without any convincing evidence.Of course he was made to resign from his official government position.

    And more recently alcohol consumption has been linked to the risk of cancer http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12999000Recommend

  • Saba

    @MM – Agreed. However, I don’t quite agree with “I don’t think alcohol should be banned because, of course, black markets can develop.”

    Any reason why there are black markets for medicines/life saving drugs? Those are not banned, are they? We Pakistanis will always have a black market for everything, legal or not.Recommend