‘How could you serve breakfast to a Hindu?’

Published: June 24, 2011

Every citizen of Pakistan needs to step in and stop the alienation of the religious minorities taking place.

Early one morning, a few days ago, I left my hometown Umerkot for Mirpurkhas with some friends. On the way we stopped for breakfast at a roadside cafe. What followed was an incident that left me shaken, although it involved no violence.

While we were eating, a man with a long beard approached the café owner. We could clearly hear the conversation. He was telling the owner off for having served breakfast to us:

Tum Hinduon ko bhi nashta karwate ho?

(So, you serve breakfast to Hindus too?)

The owner responded:

“Kisi ke maathay pe likha hua nahi hota ki koi Hindu hai ya Muslim”

(A man’s religion is not written on his forehead)

The bearded man retorted that if the café owner paid more attention to religion than making money, he would be able to identify who was a Muslim and who was not. He then went on to castigate the man further, accusing him of defiling himself and Islam for the sake of a few paltry rupees.

The café owner was right.

Our religion was not written on our foreheads. Perhaps the bearded man guessed our faith because we were talking loudly, using each other’s names. I have lived all my life in Pakistan, and have never encountered such bigotry before. This was the first time my friends and I had such an experience.

Some of my colleagues suggest that this attitude is an indirect reaction to the discrimination faced by Muslims in India, which I find to be a rather unconvincing argument. One cannot compare Pakistan’s religious minorities with those in India. We, the minorities in Pakistan, hardly constitute five per cent of the total population, that is, less than 10 million people. Indian Muslims alone account for around 15 per cent of the population, which means that they number around 200 million – more than the entire population of Pakistan.

Discrimination by law

Referring to hate speech, the National Commission for Justice and Peace Pakistan, in a report on “The situation of religious minorities in Pakistan,” commented on the deteriorating educational policy. It noted that the syllabus is not based on democratic values, and the behaviour of teachers is often discriminatory towards non-Muslim students.

It adds that popular television shows like Mohammed Bin Qasim, Shaheen, and Tipu Sultan misrepresent historical events to the disadvantage of non-Muslim minorities.

Criminal elements take advantage of the breakdown of law and order and the mindset of religious intolerance by forcibly converting Hindu and Christian girls, and kidnapping Hindu businessmen in the interior Sindh. Because no one is ever punished for these crimes, such illegal activities, as well as the mindset behind them, continues unchecked. The targeting of vulnerable communities by extremist elements is not new in Pakistan. The situation becomes worse with the deterioration of law and order and the rise of religious extremism.

The legacy of the military dictator General Ziaul Haq lives on in the laws he imposed. The one with the gravest social and psychological implications for minorities is the blasphemy law.

Offences include:

- injuring or defiling places of worship;

- deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

These laws are being misused quite blatantly, and many innocent people, Muslims and non-Muslims have been murdered after false allegations.

Remember our roots

Pakistan’s founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah stated clearly in his speech of August 11, 1947:

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed, that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

Today, after 64 years of independence, it is distressing to see that his vision of Pakistan, where all ethnic and religious groups would coexist peacefully, and strive to develop Pakistan, lies shattered.

Every citizen of Pakistan needs to step in and stop the alienation of the religious minorities taking place. The government needs to address the situation at a policy level and take steps to ensure the rights of minorities, and stop hate speech and exploitation under the garb of religion.

There must be a combined effort to bring the minorities back into mainstream Pakistani society, address our apprehensions and treat us as equal citizens. This will form an exemplary social structure, for the whole world, and fulfil the Quaid’s dream of a prosperous and peaceful Pakistan.

Chander Parkash Khatri

Chander Parkash Khatri

A writer and a social worker currently working for an NGO on issues related to human rights, education and gender.

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

  • P N Eswaran

    The author’s comparison of Hindus in Pakistan with the Muslims in India is in apt. The Muslims in India have a constitutional equality and political pampering. The extent can be imagined from the fact that they dared to burn 62 Hindu in Godhra and protest against retaliation. In the Muslim localities Pakistan’s victory in cricket is celebrated.
    Inspite of the above fact, I do not grudge the constitutionally equality because it is required of any civilized nation.Recommend

  • optimist

    @ Dhinakar

    I watched a documentary about a Temple in Sindh where Muslims are taking care of that. I don’t remember the exact term but they have devoted their life to that place. Recommend

  • Billu

    I am really sorry for you; and you should have given that bearded man a piece of your mind.Recommend

  • ENGR LALCHAND DABRANI

    Very nice and reality showing article.Recommend

  • Asghar Khan

    @adeel khan:
    Dear sir, why a hindu needs to study Islam. IMHO its muslims who needs to study and practice there religion. Did muslims study hindu/jew/christian religion before commenting on them. Its quite natural to observe the behavior of followers of any religion and assume that this what that religion taught.Recommend

  • Asghar Khan

    @Moez Mujtaba:

    I am living in Canada for last 20 years. Never face any discrimination. On the other hand I am always being accommodated to have my halal food, to have prayers timings, etc. The so called discrimination against muslims, even in Europe is a recent phenomenon which is most probably triggered since 9/11. Recommend

  • Ebad Pasha

    It is appalling that such a thing happened in SIndh, and that too near Mirpurkhas. It is one area where there are a lot of Hindus. Many businessmen in Umerkot are Hindus as well. Most people there take them together (like the writer mentions he had never experienced such a thing before), but sadly, even in this part of Sindh, with the advent of Mullahism and parties like Jamaat-e-Islami and JUI entering the area, things are becoming worse. Religious minorities asking for rights will not really help. It is actually the Muslims of Pakistan that now need to get up.

    But again, when one does, he gets the fate of Salmaan Taseer. Sooner or later, this has to end. I hope the people don’t get faked by the propaganda of these fake Islamists. Recommend

  • RCasey

    @Hasan:
    30% understand English? The literacy rate for Pakistan is around 49%. It is hard for one to believe that most of the literate are capable of reading English news articles.Recommend

  • salma

    i dont see the world falling over itself trying to give Muslims their rights. Hindus dont let Muslims into their homes and kitchens because they fear a meat eating Muslim will sully and soil their home. some hindus have changed…majority havent. Amitabh Bachan plays the most righteous of men in Bollywood movies…but in real life no Muslim was invited to his sons wedding.
    Dear readers this problem dates back centuries and will never go. as far as feeding hindus or non muslims…well it is allowed because the Prophet pbuh said to feed our neighbors no matter what faith they belong to. But as for eating from a Hindu is concerned…well that is forbidden …WHY you may ask?…because the name of any other deity besides Allah being pronounced over food is haram for a muslim.
    the world is fast progressing…but abandoning values and religion and calling it ‘progress’ is not only stupid it is down right wrong.
    i for one do not endorse sodomy or sodomites “marrying”. for heavens sake it is an abomination in the sight of Allah. call me a bigot. see if i care!Recommend

  • alpha male

    Typical “targeted” article. Starts off with a concocted example and then goes on to attack actual target. For every “bearded” person identified above, there would be thousands who have no problem with minorities. Eat as much as you like in the country but get this “minority mentality” out. You can’t continue identifying yourself as a minority and then want special treatment as well.Recommend

  • salma

    My husband and I went out for dinner with a Hindu colleague and his wife in Hong Kong a few years ago. We were particular that no pork should be ordered. The lady deliberately ordered pork with egg plant. we realized too late that there was something wrong and asked the waiter. he confirmed the presence of pork. Our Hindu hostess laughed in our faces and asked us to “get over it. you can never enjoy life if you are so narrow minded.”
    Now its true that not every Hindu would do so…but we did have a bad experience and that too with a Hindu. She didnt respect our faith.Nor is the Islamic faith respected any where else in the world. The Jews respect our Kosher food because they have Kosher too. otherwise it is laughed at. Namaz/salat is mocked at. The hijab is downright abused. the nikaab is looked upon as an abomination.
    all the pakistanis who have made holier than thou comments…just remember that Pakistan is the most besieged of nations. by none other than your hindu and christian friends. and it is because of Islam. no other reason. and yes there are people who misinterpret it and abuse it including so called muslims.
    I am proud of my faith. i have never discriminated between hindus and christians when it comes to food. the Prophet pbuh asked all muslims to feed anyone who needed to be fed regardless of their faith. but i never have and never will eat from a hindus kitchen because they pronounce the names of other deities other than Allah upon it. Allah forbids it in the Quran. please look it up on any website with translation and all. dont be ashamed of your faith. there is a greater reason behind all of Allahs commands. and all you o so hurt hindus. you are no better when the domain is yours.Recommend

  • salma

    @Asghar Khan:
    i’m sure there are a lot of Hindus who have not been discriminated against. but will they speak up on a forum where muslims and pakistanis are being maligned? i think not. they hate the muslims…and lets not pretend that we dont know. aman ki asha my *&%! foot!!!Recommend

  • Dhinakar

    @optimist:

    Good to know that!Recommend

  • salma

    @Syed Rizvi:
    sitting in the USA you have no other choice but to say the things you have just said. i bet you joined the gay parade in NY to show what a modern and tolerant “muslim” you are. har de har har!!Recommend

  • from India

    there are some restaurants in bangladesh where beef gravy and mutton gravy are the same …thats why many hindus don’t order mutton from these restaurants ! i once heard (although i m not sure) that it is a swab if you can make a kafir have beef …somebody plz clarify it its true ..thanks !Recommend

  • P N Eswaran

    @Chander Parkash Khatri:
    I appreciate your resilience in giving back. That “this is not Islam”, “Islam does not allow it” and similar apologies are offered by Muslims when confronted with Muslim intolerance. Then the question must be answered why are Muslim countries as a state policy do not offer same freedom which Muslims enjoy in Europe, America and India? The conclusion one draws is that there is something in Islam which shapes Muslim behavior towards non-Muslims.Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @salma:
    So sorry Big B did not send you an invite on his son’s wedding. He did not send me either.(I am sure that makes you happy) And I do not see the connection between that and the article. You made it a point to spew venom on Hindus and you did that. That must have satisfied your ego and your Allah. I find no difference between you and the guy Mr. Khatri encountered, may be you are more educated than him, but learned and wise, I am afraid you rank much lower than him. With people like you in majority in Pakistan, even Allah cannot stop its downward spiral.Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed

    The bearded man should know that he is being more of a “Hindu” than Muslim if he is castigating and ostracising Hindus. It is in hinduism where the concept of untouchable and lower/upper caste prevails… not Islam… Islam teaches everyone to be equal be it Muslim or Non…
    This bearded man is a bigot, a moron, a fool, a disgrace to mankind, an even bigger disgrace to Muslims.Recommend

  • Abhi

    @salma
    How can you eat in a restaurant? do you make sure that chef is a muslim?Recommend

  • Murk

    Excellent article.. hats off to author.. Recommend

  • Erum

    We should find some solutions to get rid of such incidents. Hindus are equal Pakistanis, instead of comparing them with Indian Muslims, we should find some solutions.. Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    As an Indian I want to clear any misconceptions held by readers. Many Hindus are vegetarian not all, at most 25% will be vegetarian. In Hindus majority of Brahmins will be vegetarian, primarily being priestly class. Jains are strictest in their food habits, leave aside any type of meat they will not eat anything grown underground. Many strict vegetarians are my friends and there is no problem in ordering non veg in hotels. With my Jain friends I would never order non veg because I know they will suffer from nausea and am scared they will throw up – nothing Religious for heavens sake. Yes, there are still some strict vegetarians and often that small minority will not eat in houses where non veg is served irrespective of the Religious affiliation of the host. To give a Religious twist to eating habits shows that a twisted mind can spin any story to suit the facts. Recommend

  • Sanjeev Jha

    Thanks everyone for posting the comment, but at a subconcious level we human have a tendency to look down on minorities, and just because they are different. The difference is taken as a generalisation and pasted on the minorties and used for hatred.Recommend

  • Amer

    @Rabiya:
    Thank to Allah I was not born in Pakistan else I too would have been like you… closing your eyes & wondering if the world is indeed dark !!!!Recommend

  • Amer

    @P N Eswaran:

    You are seems to be from Hindu Fascist Organization like RSS, BJP, DURJA VAHINI etc… to accuse the Muslims of Godhra Train Carnage. As a matter of fact this was pre-planned by the Fascist Hindu Government of Gujarat to target kill Muslims.Recommend

  • salma

    @Tony Singh:
    every country has its ups and downs. so will we and so will you. i have no problem with not being invited to big b wedding…hes no role model of mine. but the muslims in india who idolize him may have had a shock. also, i have not spewed hatred against the hindus to please my Allah…who by the way is your Allah too… you just dont admit it and prefer deities with numerous arms and elephant trunks. however, i digress. the reason we separated from you 63 years back was our religions. the hindus think they are superior and the “maas machi khanay walay muslay” were treated like your dalits. we may have our own independant nations now but the resentment will never go. the germans will live with the ghost of hitler. the british have issues with the french and the germans hundreds of years after. and so you…my Guru Nanak worshipping friend will never find love with the believers in ONE Allah who has no equals in human form or otherwise. THAT is a difference that will never never go. that is why i said aman ki asha my foot!! and i do feel a teensy bit of joy at having riled you…hahaha!! My Allah, however, would have prefered me to use a different approach. Next time..i will be nice. After all, if i have to convert you, i will have to use a nicer and wiser approach and appeal to your intelligence. :D(big grin)Recommend

  • salma

    @Abhi: actually it was a mistake to have gone to a restaurant where there was a chance of something like that happening. it is wiser to chose restaurants where the food is kosher. or yes, like you said…the chef is a muslim.
    i must explain…when a muslim cooks food he says Bismillahirahman hirraheem. this means ” by/with the name of Allah the beneficient the merciful.” this is to thank Allah alone for without His bounty not a morsel can enter our mouths.
    secondly when an animal (cow,goat,lamb,chicken) is slaughtered…Allahu Akbar is pronounced. this is again to invoke Allah as the life flows out of the animal.It is Allah who gave life to the animal and we are given permission to slaughter. then the animal is hung up to totally bleed it dry. then it is cut and cooked. this makes our food halal. this is extremely important for all muslims. it may seem ridiculous to those who do not understand. nowadays this method of slaughter is approved by science.(look it up). but we muslims did not need scientific approval for obeying Allah. we obey Him without question and asking for reason because He is our creator and He knows what we dont. as time progresses science has begun to explain things in the Holy Quran. it is an eye opener for those who reflect. Allah says in the Quran “My signs are enough for those who have intellect”. Allah also commands us when we hear of any command to say ” i hear and i obey”. that is how we all try to lead our lives. Recommend

  • salma

    @from India:
    that is another falacy. i must ask you to tell all your Hindu friends that whenever a Muslim says something like that please ask for proof. most muslims lead their lives according to the Holy Quran. some live it on heresay. ask for proof from the Holy quran. those who have studied it will tell you what the Quran says about halal and haram.
    definitely Allah does say in the Quran ” do not make unlawful upon yourselves what I have made lawful for you.”Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    @salma:
    Salma, I hope and pray that you are not a Mother because I am really scared to see the level of brain washing and indoctrination you have been subjected to. I feel pity more than sadness. You failed to look for the Truth and God that resides in all of us. The views expressed by you are defamatory of a great Religion like Islam and causing it greater damage than anything else you can imagine. Anger and frustration if wrongly directed can be dangerous. May Allah help you ! Recommend

  • Govinda

    I sympathize with you.
    I am sure Pakistan wont change in my life time. But I can for you and like yours from God.
    God who is father of all of us irrespective of religion.

    I truly want to write a lot more, but my writing wont help anything.

    Some time I wonder if truly there is a God how can he let his children suffer in hiw own name.

    More wars have happened in name of religion than for economic or personal reasons

    Is a irony that we think that by deriding or hating another child of God we will please him.
    At the end we are all Child of the same God and same nature nourish us.

    But Alas we find sanctions and reason in God own book and words for injustice that we commit in his name.Recommend

  • Neelu

    @salma
    I left Islam as I realized that muslims are always crazy missionaries who impose their allah and his book on every non muslim and tries to convert them. thats the only mission they got. Recommend

  • salma

    @Feroz:
    i dont think i have defamed my religion in any way. and yes i am a mother. and i am not brain washed either. i have stated pure fact and if that is painful then so be it. we are different Feroz, the hindus, the sikhs, the parsis and the muslims. thats why we separated. it is not possible for a people to live together and be friends when the fundamental differences are centuries deep. i will not abandon my faith to become your friend and i dont think you will abandon yours. that is not brainwashing…that is the truth. now if i were to say i am all for gay marriage because i am a neo muslim…i would be told what a great person i am and what great service i have done my faith. sorry that aint gonna happen. not to please you. call me a bigot…see if i care.Recommend

  • salma

    @Shazia Nawaz:
    apologist!! you disgust me!!Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @salma:
    With people like you, Pakistan will soon be in acendency because you and your ilk has already hurtling it towards the bottom. The sooner it reaches bottom, the earlier it will be on the way up. What is it with “mass machey khane waley” thing? I eat, most Indians eat. No one considers it inferior or superior. Its a personal choice.
    Anyway you have not answeres the queation : Do the likes of Mr, Khatri, who are born in Pakistan, are Pakistanis, have the right to be served for the services they pay for? OR
    theyshould thay be treated under some seperately?. Clearly Mr. Khatri is not objecting to who is serving him the food,(whether it is “mass machey khaney wale” or anyone else, but its another customer (persumably with same mental makeup as yourself) who is asking the owner not to serve him.
    At least read the article before commenting. To me the likes of you are evil personified.Recommend

  • salma

    @Neelu:
    it certainly is . and i’m glad you left islam. theres no room for people who deny Allah in my life or my faith. i wonder which “god” you turn to now? does he have many arms, or an elephant trunk, or a monkeys tail…is he made out of silver, pewter or plaster of paris…is he blue…. there are so many im sure you had trouble choosing. whatever.Recommend

  • P N Eswaran

    @salma:
    Your Hindu friends have every right to have pork. You cannot forbid them from having it or offering it to you as long as they don’t force feed you. Any way, you have missed a chance to be broaden you mind. Maybe, next time you don’t.Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    @salma:
    Religions are all modern artificial constructs of recent origin, the oldest organised Religion being a mere 3000 years old. Humans are around for millions of years. The introduction of organised Religion into society has not made humans more loving or compassionate, rather the human race was subjected to more violence in the form of Holy wars. The narrow minded always believed that their religion was superior to others, leading to conflict. Also symbolism and rituals took precedence over the Divine message. We must never confuse Religion with issues of Politics neither must we allow it to be exploited by the clergy as a means to control the process of rational thought. It is not a source of hate, nor can it condone violence on any pretext. I consider myself Religious not based on how often or how hard I pray, not on how often I visit a place of worship but if before taking every decision I listen to the call of my conscience. I need not search for God or his different forms if I have already identified him to be a part of me and every human.
    I remember once during a trek in the Himalayas I came across an ascetic doing penance. Being the young callow youth I was then I asked with hollow intentions “Swamiji, have you seen God?” His answer was simplicity personified “Off course, he is standing in front of me.” The answers to the toughest of Life’s problems we overlook, even though they are the simplest and most obvious. Let us not use Religion as a crutch even when we see Humans heap misery on each other. Recommend

  • P N Eswaran

    @Sanjeev Jha:
    I wonder how you have come to this conclusion. I am a Tamil Brahmin Having lived all through out in the north. In fact, I never felt discriminated and people used to be curious about my ethnic peculiarities.

    Majortisym is a peculiarity of the Abrahamic faiths which seeks unity in social structure and uniformity in conduct. Recommend

  • Moez Mujtaba
  • salma

    @Tony Singh: hi this is evil personified again. :) in answer to your question about whether Mr Khatri has a right to be served …i answered you but you preferred not to understand. Well in clearer words…yes he does. Allah enjoins us to share of His bounty with everyone…no matter what their faith is. Clear? Hindus and Christian, Sikh, Jain, Parsi are humans…not ‘achoot’. We do not have a caste system in Pakistan or Islam. Here we are all Muslims.No categories like in India…Brahmin..the best, Kshastriya…second best and dalit…shudar…harijan…who are the untouchables. We can eat with a Harijan too, in fact share a plate and glass. It wont make us unclean or brisht.
    But we are not to eat food PREPARED by any non muslim because they do not invoke the name of Allah upon it. I have explained to someone above who asked in detail.
    However there are some people who will not serve food to non muslims and believe me they are very few.
    what is annoying is that you come from a country where there is a caste system and “muslay” are brisht and people will not share the same plates(and break them even) and yet act all holier than thou if something like that happens anywhere else. muslims and pakistan have been bashed on this forum by the likes of you. that is why i say again and again ….we can never be friends.Aman ki asha is an eye wash. signing out now…ms. evil personified. ;)Recommend

  • salma

    Mr. Chander Prakash Khatri ….you have caused a storm!! But it was fun.Recommend

  • salma

    @Feroz:
    I really enjoyed your letter. thankyou. you are very right when you say that symbolism and rituals have taken over and the divine message has been left behind. religion is a must for us. without it, we become civilized animals. let me explain. the reason why religion causes hatred is because it stops us from certain things. Adultery , homosexuality, alcohol, gambling,interest and lots of other things..the foremost beind idol worship and associating partners with Allah. Any one who takes a stand against these things will have to fight those (morally and phycologically) who want these things in their lives in the name of freedom and progress.
    that is how the problems begin. but one cannot sit back and adopt a stance of live and let live. that is unhealthy for future generations. we cannot have our children grow up in a world where there are no morals and everything is okay. see how much the world has changed in the past 20 years. unheard of things are now the norm. that is why religion is important.
    and the voice inside you..that is your conscience…it is called Allah conscience…Taqwa.
    When you are aware of being watched and are aware that all your actions will one day be questioned. we all have taqwa…but most of us stomp down on it in the name of progress and modernisation.Recommend

  • http://www.bvmcpals.blogspot.com Rahul Vasudevan

    @Salma,
    I find it very weird that you agreed to go a restaurant, with your unscrupulous Hindu friends, where they serve pork. Now, when it seems obvious that you had no qualms going to a restaurant where non halal food is being served, and even eating meat, I wonder why you are raising the religious angle over and over again? It is apparent that you have no issues eating non halal food. Recommend

  • Moez Mujtaba

    How do I unsubscribe????Recommend

  • salma

    @Rahul Vasudevan:
    i have explained in detail to someone else who asked me something similar. i was younger and really had no idea this could happen. i’ve learnt my lesson and make sure i only go to restaurants where halal food is served.i’ve been to england too and eaten halal food at kosher restaurants. we all learn. and the greatest lesson learnt here was that Allah is right when He tells us not to partake food with an idol worshipper. again, that does not mean not to share or sell food to a non muslim. it only means not to eat what they have cooked or what they serve because it is not done according to Islamic rites. the jews have the same method of slaughtering animals and so their food is kosher. dont tie yourself up in knots, Rahul. Recommend

  • http://myspace.com/taravadu kulamarva balakrishna

    Vienna,28-06-2011
    I have been reading exchanges between Ms.Salma and adversaries.
    Sad to see an absence of discriminatory intelligence.Faith & beliefs
    are not substitute to knowledge.It is high time the users of knowledge
    technologies,get proficient in the use of their own gray matter.
    Kulamarva Balakrishna Recommend

  • Masrur Ghani

    @Hazrat Nakhuda:
    Let me tell you a little story, involving my father and I. The year was 1970, i wasn’t even seven years old. We were getting ready to go see our family dentist, who is a great gentleman, by the way, and is a Hindu. A neighbour kid walked in to our house, and wanted to know where we were going. I decided to be a smart alec, and said: “paagal soo’ar ke paas!” (P.S. were the doctor’s initials). You used to see “Crush India, and Conquer India, stickers and posters all over, those days. As soon as those words came out of my mouth, my father smacked me across the face, and asked why did I say that? Is that what I’ve been taught? Holding back my tears, I said, defiantly, “magar wo hindu hae!” My father said, “so what if he is a Hindu; he is a doctor, an educated man, and your elder. You have to respect him!”
    The moral of my schpeel, please don’t help malign Islam, and Muslims. We already get a bad rap around the globe. True, there are many ignorant ones out there. Maybe, even one too many. Yet, Islam cannot be blamed for this. Recommend

  • salma

    @kulamarva balakrishna:
    Ms.Salma and adversaries!! I like the sound of that! well honestly I have tried to intelligently handle the whole thing by giving explainations. But you see this “war” goes back centuries and throws reason out the window. :)Recommend

  • salma

    @Masrur Ghani:
    believe me, no hindu is going to appreciate your story. or your fathers honorable stance. Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @salma:
    1.If you agree that Mr. Khatri has right to be served, what the fuss is all about?
    1. What Allah has got to do with act of preparing for food. Its ,a normal human activity. God has nothing to do with it.
    2. Try to fool people who are not from sub continent about caste divide. You are yourselves dividing them on basis of religion and refusing to eat food not prepared in name of “Allah” but of some otherr god. If that is not caste divide, than what is? You are really a hypocrite.Recommend

  • salma

    @Tony Singh:
    Tony,Tony,Tony! I have been on this forum for two exhausting days..toiling away…to explain everything clearly..and yet you ask me again.Please if you can cope with my evil ways please do read the sagas I have written above. there is one to Abhi that explains a lot.
    As you said Tony,that preparing food is a normal human activity…BUT…it has everything to do with Allah.Every morsel that enters our mouths is His blessing and His bounty.We have to remember Him at all times. You know that we pray 5 times aday. At the crack of dawn..we remember Him…at lunch we remember Him…when the days work is over..we remember Him…when the sun goes down we remember Him and before we go to sleep we remember Him. Before every meal and after every meal. Before cooking and before slaughtering. With every action we say “in the name of Allah, the beneficient, the merciful”. Our lives are based on the basis of the Holy Quran to the best of our abilities. this is not a caste divide. I will tell you how. In the first verse of the Holy Quran, it says this is a book and a guidance for those who fear Allah.” It also says that it is a book for all people and all times. So Allah is not only telling me not to eat food that is prepared without His name…He is telling you too. I will not do what He tells me not to do. If you do then that is your problem.You are being disobedient. You are denying Him and His bounty by saying that what has food got to do with Him.
    You see when you buy a washing machine it comes with instructions and a manual. Dont wash with hot water…dont stick your fingers in…etc. Yet some people still put in hot water and then complain that the machine is giving problems. This is an example given by Dr Zakir Naik of India. So in the same way…the Quran is a guidance manual for us all on how to lead our lives. It is for me and for you.It was the last book sent to the last Prophet and Allahs final word to us. Some have held fast to it. Some toss it aside.
    And your first question was..what is the fuss all about? The fuss wouldnt have begun if only Pakistanis had commented.We can say what we want to ourselves.The fuss started when the first Indian posted “that is what Islam and Pakistanis are all about”. So ..we digressed and started a war. Not a pointless one.No discussion is pointless. I will remember your words and you will remember mine and we both may just ammend a bit of ourselves to become better people. Maybe I wont remain evil anymore- :) and maybe you will open a Quran to see what Allah says to all His creation. Insha Allah and Ameen.Recommend

  • RASHID

    This experience will not new and surprising after some years, because most of our religious leader focuses on rituals than spirit of Islam. The write mention the Jinnah’s speech but unfortunately this country was hijacked some extremist after Jinnah’s death, the deeds of those results in the form of objective resolution which was the reversal of jinnah Ideology…Recommend

  • http://www.bvmcpals.blogspot.com Rahul Vasudevan

    @salma,
    oh and another thing, Just to appease your mind, Sikhs do not pray to Guru Nanak, they pray to waheguru, guru Nanak is a prophet.
    So much for religious knowledge.Recommend

  • Yasir Hasan

    Cafe Owner was not right… even if the religion was written on everyone’s forehead, still serving breakfast to non-muslim is ok…Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @salma:
    I still don’t get it. What’s God got to do with eating? You pray five times a day and I maybe once in five years,(maybe even less than that) but that does not make me any different. There lies the difference between machines and humans. You may need God for your guidance, while I am guided by my spirituality(which incidently has nothing to do with God. I don’t want to burden him/her with my mundane problems, he/she has already a lot in his/her hands). The point is, food is food, you feel hungry, you eat it. Simple. A guy who runs a restaurant or his customers have no business to impose religious aparthied on others who worship different god. As far as Dr. Naik is concerned, I have a lot to say about him but this is not an appropriate forum for it.Recommend

  • Yasir Hasan

    @Salma…
    Ms. Salma, I don’t get it… we can eat food prepared by non-muslims, provided the food itself is Halal…so basically food is halal or haram, chef has nothing to do with it… if a muslim chef prepares pork, would it be permissible? No. On the other hand, if halal meat is prepared by a non-muslim chef, there is no harm in eating it…
    So faith of chef does not matter, it is the food item itself that is halal or haram…Recommend

  • Yasir Hasan

    I think this link will further strengthen my point of view…
    http://ashraf786.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=halal&action=display&thread=6920
    ( I hope tribune does not have any problem in publishing URLs)Recommend

  • http://junaidakram.wordpress.com/ Junaid

    Good thing he didn’t figure out your faith before serving or else he would’ve deliberately served you beef. This has happened to one of my hindu friend by her friend’s mother. I’m just awfully disgusted at what happened to you and being from a majority faith, its our responsibility to secure minorities, according to our faith and according to our constitution. So can I just say that I’m really sorry that you had to go through all this. Recommend

  • Talat Haque

    Everyone who cares should voice their care and make everyone around them realize their wrong beliefs and attitudes ………. speak up for every injustice ……… make a difference around you ………… don’t wait for someone else ………. I must declare that I am on the side of God’s humanity………….. Allah’s creation ……….. whatever name you give ……….. humanity is still humanity.Recommend

  • Faraz

    Salma, Please stop, your making a fool of yourself and disrespecting the foundations on which this country was built on. By the way Chander is right these incidents do happen. I was with two Hindu class mates 7 years ago (& fellow Sindhi’s) when one of the guys we were having lunch with refused to eat out of the same plate (to his credit he was polite and cited religious reasons while sheepishly smiling but that really didn’t make it sting any less) since he said to share food with them was not right. Well I asked that friend to find another place to sit and and a new set of friends as well because we were done with him. I don’t know much about religion but I do believe hurting other peoples feelings and making them feel like outcast is not what god would have intended.Recommend

  • salma

    @Rahul Vasudevan:
    thank you. i just looked up Waheguru. I have learnt something new today. I hope you look up some of the things I have mentioned and increase your religious knowledge too. Recommend

  • salma

    @Tony Singh:
    wa ma alaina illa al balagh. that is Arabic for ” and not upon us anything except the conveying (of Allahs message).”
    most people who enter discussions on blogs are avid readers and enjoy collecting information. when you have the time read up on a very interesting book…The Quran. it is Gods word..not mans..and I really think it will appeal to you. Allah talks to all mankind. And that is you and me.
    There are no other gods. There is only ONE. And He wants His creation to recognise that.Recommend

  • salma

    @Yasir Hasan:
    I’m not sure about the point you have raised. I will look it up. but come on pork is pork and a muslim cooking pork? well the way the world is moving maybe that will happen too. it is considered to be cool to introduce such things in our faith. we wouldnt be called bigots thenRecommend

  • Nanavaty

    I agree with Hasan…Literacy my dear friends wakes up people .
    “This post here only serves 30% of Pakistanis (who can read English) The rest don’t know and hence, don’t care”
    Think about it …a few years ago these kindof exchanges (blogging)were rare ..now the young of the subcontinent (literate ones ) are blogging and questioning old attitudes.

    Pakistan unfortunately has masses of uneducated poor who are indoctinated by the Wahhabis version of Islam and now these people are practicing what they learned in these Madarassas …I need not elaboate as Pakistan is paying a high price and will continue to if they do not tackle this menace for the long term.
    good luckRecommend

  • Haider

    What happened was wrong.
    The article and the writer are real or not (why should i debate) but the incident (crafted or real) makes sense and IF i am not taking it as real, even then the story has a lesson!
    I have many Indian (Hindu) friends and especially ones from Mumbai talk, think and act about Muslims living in Mumbai the same way the beard man did with our cute author (which is obviously cruel)… just to add a little more, Why all gangsters in Bollywood are Muslims :P:P is this equal treatments with minorities? Why always the girl is a Muslim and the hero is a Hindu ??? its long debate mates but pls try to smell the dirt in the minds…

    P/S: I also know many people and few companies who draft and craft blogs etc to bring up a debate and give pre defined directions to the debate…
    BUT obviously, I stand with the author for the lesson raised in his article !!!Recommend

  • salma

    @Haider:
    thank you!! finally someone who has hindu friends but is not afreaid to say the truth. there has been a lot of paki and islam bashing on this forum . for which i am sorry to say our own pakistani apologists were responsible. “oh sorry for who we are” “oh sorry for my faith” “oh sorry my faith upsets you” “oh i am so angry with who i am”…..kind of nonsense gets on my nervesRecommend

  • Tony Singh

    @salma:
    How many “interesting” books have you read other than Quran? Read “Bhagwat Gita”, read Bible, read Ramayana. read Gurbani? How many?If not, then why base your life on tenents of one particular book? If yes, then you will agree that they all send the same message.( It is another matter that I would rather enjoy playing football or listen to music to revoke my spirituality). All the above books are written by Humans. Remember there is nothing called GOD (though there is something called GOLD). Its our fear of the unknown that makes believe in it. And also there is only one life, there was nothing before that and there will be nothing after you are dead. Just enjoy it and let others also enjoy.Recommend

  • Haider

    Fellows please understand!
    Minorities have the same problems even in INDIA thrashing the claims of democracy and secularism. It is far much less in Pakistan becasue of the Islamic foundations and Sufi thoughts. Labelng it only to Pakistan is not fair as you all should not ignore such incidents and even much worse in India with the minorities not Muslims but Sikhs too and others!
    Please also read my above comment about media that how it plays unfair with the minorities in India :PRecommend

  • Faraz

    @salma:

    We are not sorry for our faith, just sorry for you.Recommend

  • salma

    @Tony Singh:
    goodbye Tony…till we meet on another forum!! it was an interesting experience.Recommend

  • salma

    @Faraz:
    why on earth? get off the forum silly boy and find someone else to apologise to.Recommend

  • Taimur

    Look who’s talking!

    You need to learn more about the state of Muslims in India before partition. How they were treated, the inhibitions held by Hindus against Muslims. For example, in middle class Lahore, Muslims were not even allowed to drink water from the same tap as Hindu. Muslims were not given the better jobs nor were accepted to higher education as Hindu’s were. The same trend continues today in India, as the Muslim population there suffers from one of the lowest rates of life style amongst any minority of people living in India. “The Muslim literacy rate in India ranks well below the national average in and Muslim poverty rates are only slightly higher than low-caste Hindus, according to a November 2006 government report. Muslims (mostly Sunnis) make up 13.4 percent of India’s population, yet hold fewer than 5 percent of government posts and make up only 4 percent of the undergraduate student body in India’s elite universities. The report also found that Muslims fall behind other groups in terms of access to credit, despite the fact that Muslims are self-employed at a far higher rate than other groups.” So if you tell me that our ancestors struggle for freedom was a way to escape what would have been an oppressive Hindu rule in India is a common misconception – I’ll say you don’t know what you’re talking about. The realities that created a strong Muslim uprising for freedom were churned on by Iqbal’s poetry, his message to the youth was to wake up and rid themselves from mental slavery, and they did. Enemies are created by oppression and that’s also a reality, but that been said, we have moved on from that phase of history. We have our own country and we have scores of problems, but for the largely Muslim population, prejudice is not on the list. I have no problems with Hindu’s, Sikh’s or any other religions as long as they find a way to co-exist peacefully and give equal human rights to all. And that’s what we should be teaching all the children in Pakistan, however, history should not be forgotten. Pakistan is going through its time of adversity right now, but I know we are strong enough to make it through as we always have.Recommend

  • mk lodhi

    according to my opinions the circumstances are completely different in pakistan. if you consider christians, hindu. sikh and parsi community in pakistan they have free environment to take part in their religious activities. even though if you consider the society prospect of the issue, our society is conservative in dealing with other religions, people don.t talk with them, they don;t eat with non muslim people, if they don’t want to sit with them, that is quite embarrassing and annoyable for non muslim community. we should think as a nation, being a pakistani, keep our self in one recognition of being a pakistani. by providing equal opportunities to peolpe of all community, organising events to allow different community people in gatherings, let the students to talk to each other. in Sindh province Hindu community is very well established in business, but they are receiving threats from, kidnappers and dacait gangs. nevertheless their youth is doing very well in education sector. Mr Justice Rana Bhagwan Das is a noble example of the role of Hindu community in PAKISTAN’S current struggle against the dictatorship. there are many Hindu young Doctors who are serving in Hospitals and are performing very well. In a nutshell every person must carry his own cross, the role of civil society, religious scholars, governments and administration is vital in this prospect, to create an atmosphere of friendship and harmony among the communities that reflects different religions and school of thoughts. In the result of that we can strengthen pakistan as a country, and would be able to provide a shining and prosperous future to our upcoming youth and kids.Recommend

  • salma

    @Taimur:
    I was getting really worried that Pakistanis seem to have forgotten their history. But I was delighted to read your blog today. Thankyou. I wish our youth would stop being apologists and be proud of the sacrifices it took to achieve Pakistan. I got a lot of flak for my posts and it really hurt to see pakistanis commenting and apologising.Recommend

  • mk lodhi

    @Tony Singh:
    hi, i am not blamming to any religion, but the reality is that Quran is the holy book, which provide us the message of God through his messanger Prophet Hazrat Muhammad(PBUH), it is not written by human beings. as far as to live with other communities(religion) Pakistan is much better country as compare to other souhtasian countries. You can’t deny history, that Indra Gandhi’s govt did with, Sikh’s community temple in Amratsar, by deploying forces into the holy place & lot of Sikh people who were participating in their religious practices. To give peace and best economics, with full of jobs, best health facilities, skilled youth and bettere human rights, we can deliver a true gift to this world, particularly South asia.Recommend

  • Abdur Rehman

    1.parliament should immediately pass a new legislation barring any form of religous discrimination
    2.A new constitution with separation of state and religion. In short only “republic of pakistan”
    3.. Reform our educational system. Remove Islamiyat and replace it with Religous Studies( a subject which studies all religions)Recommend

  • nilu_India

    Well written article. …On a secondary note, i read comments on discrimination of minorities in India. Well the truth is, who doesn’t get discriminated in India? Its a nation of 1.2 billion people. Muslims allege that they get discriminated. Lower castes state that they get discriminated from upper castes. Female population say get discriminated in matters of wages, promotion etc. Dark skinned people feel they get discriminated by fairer toned people. North Indians feel they get discriminated in Mumbai. The list can go on and on. Basically everyone feels discriminated at some point of their lives but have learnt not to let it come in their path of success. The Khans rule Bollywood, India’s most loved president is Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and young Indian muslims are gradually getting better educated, getting good jobs and enjoying better standards of living which modern India offers.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/#!/zahidpervez dowite

    that individual incident doesnt represent majority view..anyways its deplorable and should be discouraged wherever whoever doing it..Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/#!/zahidpervez dowite

    its an idividual act and doesnot represent majority view though deplorable and should be discouraged..Recommend

  • http://derkoder@gmail.com Bangalorean

    Pakistan is a complete paradox to me. How can it be a place for both Muslims with Islam as the basis, and Secularism? Jinnah was, as history shows, just an opportunist politician. If at all Pakistan adopts secular, it negates its reason for existence – it becomes India. People there will slowly but surely finally realize that bloodshed of partition, the bad blood it left, the wars fought, the proxy wars were all useless. And the price the current generation pays in terms of development is huge. But these can not be undone. On the bright side though, Pakistan’s economy will be stable no matter how bad the global economy gets.Recommend

  • Bangalorean

    Pakistan is a complete paradox to me. How can it be a place for both Muslims with Islam as the basis, and Secularism? Jinnah was, after all, as history shows, just an opportunist politician. Religion or Secularism made little difference to him. If at all Pakistan adopts secular, it negates its reason for existence – it becomes India. People there will slowly but surely finally realize that bloodshed of partition, the bad blood it left, the wars fought, the proxy wars were all useless. And the price the current generation pays in terms of development is huge. But these can not be undone. On the bright side though, Pakistan’s economy will be stable no matter how bad the global economy gets. :)Recommend

  • Ansari

    On behalf of every sane Pakistani muslim, I apologize to you and am ashamed that this happened in the country I call home. As a fellow Pakistani, you are my brother and even my religion compels me to fight for your rights and ensure that you are treated justly in this country. Therefore those discriminating against you are outside the fold of islam, as are those who fail to stand up for your rights. I would be proud, nah HONORED to break bread with you my compatriot. Recommend