Are you a Pakistani extremist?

Published: March 20, 2013

I think now would be the right time to find out how infected we each are with the ‘extremism’ virus on a personal level. DESIGN: IMAAN SHEIKH

Hi everyone, it’s been ages!

I was recently looking through my old blog posts and reminiscing about all the fun that was had with my quizzes for Pakistanis:

What kind of Pakistani life do you lead?


The desi-elite political identity quiz

Given how 2013 has kicked off with more terrorism and extremism-related incidents than any year I can remember in my short lifespan, I think now would be the right time to find out how infected we each are with the ‘extremism’ virus on a personal level.

Take the quiz below!

Q1: The Christian neighbourhood next to you has been burnt down to the ground due to alleged blasphemy by one of its residents. You think…

A: This is horrific. Anyone committing blasphemy should be punished severely, but not the whole neighbourhood!

B: This is horrific. This is an outrage. This is a terrible consequence of the man-made blasphemy laws that are a terrifying by-product of our colonial history. Shame on us as a nation!

C: Look, someone committed blasphemy, so naturally people’s emotions were inflamed resulting in the damage. This should be investigated and the blasphemer punished severely.

[Give yourself 10 points for A, 0 points for B, 20 points for C]


Q2: Child activist Malala Yousufzai has announced she is returning to Pakistan to begin a peaceful campaign focused on education as a means to empower women and end extremism. You think…

A: Great. I thought we were done with this drama. I bet this foreign agent is returning to begin her work to spoil Pakistan’s image, now with tonnes of security that I will be paying for – or maybe the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This sucks.

B: Great. Doesn’t Malala realise she is just causing trouble by coming back? She should stay away for Pakistan’s good. Why does she need to come back if she’s such a big star abroad anyway?

C: Great. She is our true hero. I worry for her safety though. I fear the extremist elements in Pakistan will try to kill her again. She is my symbol for hope.

[Give yourself 20 points for A, 10 points for B, 0 points for C]


Q3: You are in the streets when a stranger presses a gun into your back and demands you hand over your wallet/mobile phone/purse. You do so but the robber (a 17-year-old) is an amateur and he creates a ruckus. He is caught by the enraged public, who are hitting him with nearby iron rods. Someone hands you a rod too and pushes you in. You…

A: Skip the rod but stand around to watch the public thrashing. Delight in justice served.

B: Beat the man to a pulp with the rod along with the crowd. Hopefully this thrashing will be a lesson to all. It’s not like the police would ever mete out justice.

C: Skip the rod and try to break up the crowd. Try to call the police to stop this thrashing from turning into a lynching.

 [Give yourself 10 points for A, 20 points for B, 0 points for C]


Q4: There has been a new report of a gang rape in India, bringing international condemnation on your neighbour. You go on social media and news sites and…

A: Comment on how India is so much worse than Pakistan, say how people in India are despicable and try to hide the glee as you take down your enemy!

B: Comment on how Pakistan is better at protecting its women than India.

C: Comment on how despicable rape is. Condemn this tragedy.

[Give yourself 20 points for A, 10 points for B, 0 points for C]


Q5: You are at a family dinner party when your aunt says she wishes all Pakistani politicians were blown up or shot – that would solve 90% of Pakistan’s problems. Most people murmur in agreement but one of your cousins says her friend’s father is a politician and she would not like to see him shot. You say…

A: We’re not talking specifically about your friend’s father, but more generally about politicians. Some of them do deserve to be blown up or shot.

B: No one deserves to be blown up or shot. What a terrible thing to wish on someone whom you do not know and whose crimes you probably have no proof of beyond hearsay.

C: Do you know how corrupt your friend’s father is? He’s probably 100% scum under his smile – go find out! He deserves to be blown up or shot for sure.

[Give yourself 10 points for A, 0 points for B, 20 points for C]


Q6: A famous singer is in a new TV campaign saying Pakistan’s text books are teaching a skewed history to children, spreading hatred towards minorities. You think…

A: Another pseudo-intellectual celeb trying to act smart by dissing out Pakistan with our shameless, sold out media – how lame! Bet this whole campaign was funded by the US to muddy our name and start distorting our history. Pakistan zindabad!

B: None of my history books in school had any distortion of history or taught hate. I don’t buy this.

C: Good job, singer X! Finally someone is exposing the dangerous propaganda that is being taught to many students in schools and *shudder* madrassahs in Pakistan.

[Give yourself 20 points for A, 10 points for B, 0 points for C]


Q7:  You see a Pakistani girl at the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, wearing a short skirt! Men are leering/frowning at her. Women are looking at her with shock and disapproval. The girl however seems to have not noticed, or is ignoring, the impact her attire is having. You think…

A: This girl is shameless. She is inviting all these stares. Someone should tell her off for this disgusting display, or give her a tight slap. She is asking for it — sl**.

B:  This girl is oblivious! Someone needs to go tell her this kind of attire is not suitable in public.

C: Is anything the matter here? I don’t see it. Yes the girl’s skirt is short, but so what, we’re at an airport, not the Sunday bazaar. Wait, I’ve seen skirts worn at the Sunday bazaar too…

[Give yourself 20 points for A, 10 points for B, 0 points for C]

Q8: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) says they want to have peace talks with the Pakistan government. They say dialogue is possible, but they will not lay down their arms first. You think…

A: Are you kidding me? This insane group of terrorists are brutally killing Pakistanis daily and we should talk to them? That would be cowardly, pathetic and a disgrace to memory of thousands who have died at their hands. Besides, we tried peace talks and the Taliban are proven liars.

B: Peace talks are a good idea, but I’m not sure the TTP can be trusted. It would be a good idea to pursue this further though, because they have a point of view that needs to be heard.

C: Talks are the only way forward! This is a positive sign from the TTP and the Pakistan government should pursue this at all costs. It’s okay if they don’t lay down arms right now, they may later – and it’s not like our corrupt government has ever stayed true to any promises, so let’s just get everyone on a table.

[Give yourself 0 points for A, 10 points for B, 20 points for C]



Score of 140-160: You are a Pakistani extremist!

Congratulations! You are much of what is wrong with this country today!

Your thoughts and actions are fuelled by a black and white, rather insane perception of reality. You love conspiracy theories and buy into propaganda with ease. You can easily be sadistic in the name of ideology or personal gain. Your viewpoint is really not that different from the average Taliban.

You tend to hate on lots of things, and an enemy is a much-needed part of your messed up world view. You are also most likely a man! Print out/share this quiz and your results and ask your family and peers how your high score makes you an extremist, because buddy, you are too warped to understand why by yourself.

Score of 100-140: You are an apologist for extremists!

Congratulations! You are a rookie extremist who helps build the ground for real extremists to act in!

You are almost as messed up as your Pakistani extremist counterpart, if not worse, because you’re more of a hypocrite than he/she is. Your messed up world view may sometimes be perceived as ‘okay’ by some, but your answers belie a very dark, ugly viewpoint.

Just like the extremist, your ideological space is mostly black and white, hypocritical (think: enlightened moderation), but remains hidden under a thin veneer of political correctness or possibly some common sense you heard once.

You may not be Taliban material, but your local extremist-outfit-with-a-softer-outlook would be willing to embrace you. Yes, that also includes that crazy dars thrown by that society aunty!

Score of 40-90: You’re on the extremist/non-extremist fence!

Congratulations! You’ve got a touch of extremism in you, but you’re sitting pretty for now.

Not too bad, my friend! Given the environment we live in, this is actually a decent score on the extremism scale. Sure you may occasionally be overcome by the ol’ “us versus them” or the odd ultra-nationalist tendencies, but it’s rare enough for you to be forgiven, given the circumstances. Scroll back up and see which questions you scored high on and consider whether that’s how you would think/behave in a different country.

Score of 0-30: You are not an extremist!

Congratulations! You are probably the only hope this country has!

The (few and far between) extremist tendencies you have are locked away, in control and will hopefully stay that way! You are the Taliban’s and the Pakistani extremist’s worst enemy. You are rational, sensitive to issues and are blessed with the ability to think critically –your parents probably raised you right (or you were born into privilege)!

Now let’s just hope you do something with the clear mind and values system you have been blessed with – especially when dealing with your buddies above!

Don’t forget to take:

What kind of Pakistani life do you lead?


The desi-elite political identity quiz

Read more by Nadya here.


Nadya V

Social critic and part-time gossip monger

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

  • Faria Syed

    I’m not an extremist. yayyyyyyy `-`Recommend

  • The Only Normal Person Here.

    Welcome back Nadya, you were MISSED. Now let’s take the test… and dont be gaib again.Recommend

  • Zero

    0 here..Recommend

  • Khawaja

    Salam all.
    Lol. Quite a biased questionaire and result card. The writer gives
    – 10 extermist points for telling a girl that she shouldn’t dress inappropriately. I guess all most parents around the world are extreme as even in the west parents usually tell their children not to dress inappropriately compared to the society around them.
    – 20 for talks with the TTP. This would make Nelson Mandela an extremist too as he also talked with the people who tortured a nation for more than a decade.


  • Bangash

    LOL! I did not score my answers but I have to say this is a very creative article. Thanks.Recommend

  • Najeeb

    There should be a limit to how boring certain reads could be.Recommend

  • Faraz

    Excellent, I got 0. No doubt, I will be on a few hit lists in Pakistan! Wait? Does this give me 20 points?!Recommend

  • Go Zardari Go!!

    Thank you I qualified as an extremist, now give me the definition of an extremist. I could say you’re an extremist since you went to great lengths to type up a quiz that suits your own definition. If you think Extremists are a problem and need to be dealt with force then pick up a weapon and man a post otherwise stop telling the kids of the poor to go die for you. This is our problem and we need to solve it divisiveness is what lead to everyday violence in the first place. Recommend

  • gp65

    Ah. Now you will be labelled a liberal extremist – a term that I personally do not understand but is widely used at least on this website by many posters.Recommend

  • GhostRider

    who are you to give a verdict???Recommend

  • Rehan

    Question # 8 is silly. You can’t label someone an extremist just because they favor peace talks. For the record, the Obama administration has engaged in negotiation with the Taliban. Does that make Barack Obama an extremist??Recommend

  • http://gilgit SJ

    yoohooo i am not an extremist! Recommend

  • ali

    very boring! i cant even drag myself to finish reading it!Recommend

  • Haseeb Talal Khan

    my points are 0, i might be rated as non extremist,,,,but who might see it while robbing you or thrashing you…I might be the next victim….Recommend

  • Watan-e-Hindustan(Indian)

    Hats off Super article! I hope Pakistan let goes of its verbal and physical terrorism. Recommend

  • Zeenia

    Scored a zero. LOLRecommend

  • Zalim Singh

    @Khwaja The people Nelson Mandela held talks with, normally wouldn’t kill a hundred people every other day. We are talking about 40 THOUSAND DEAD here!Recommend

  • mind control

    I think the Matrix is all wrong. The correct Matrix should be-

    A. Score of 140-160: Congratulations.You are a true Pakistani.

    B. Score of 140-160: Welcome brother.You are a Pakistani !

    C. Score of 40-90: Watch out. You’re on the brink of becoming a Blasphemer!

    D. Score of 0-30: You are a Liberal/Secular/ Blaspheming extremist. Learn from the fate of Salman Taseer.Recommend

  • Nadya V.

    Heyy Everyone,

    I am really very glad you all are enjoying the quiz.:)
    Thank-a-lot for the participation though!

    Any guesses as to what I scored??

    For those who are curious know….yoohooo..I am a Pakistani extremist!! :)Recommend

  • indian

    @Nadya V.: expected!! ur country is full of extremists… doubt!! and y should someone be bothered about what dress a girl is wearing………short skirts are so common….cant people mind their own business?Recommend

  • opler

    my scores are 10 coz i think i’ll Skip the rod but stand around to watch the public thrashing. Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    Nadya V! Good to see you back after a LONG time!Recommend

  • Ahmed

    @Nadya V.:


    On a serious note, admirable article and welcome back.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Nadya V……….you could have come up with a better system of scoring.
    After reading the first question and looking at the scoring system one realised it was 0 – for good boy and 20 – for bad boy, so the exercise in that respect was ‘ a fail ‘.

    On the other hand the fun part (and Nadya V is always fun to read ) were the questions and suggested answers and your explanations of the grading.

    Q : 5 being specific to Pakistani politicians the scoring realistically should have been 0 points for A & C ( exterminating the germ is a good thing ) ………….and all right, 0 points for B as well to keep you happy.Recommend

  • Zainab!

    i am seriously worried about you @mindcontrolRecommend

  • zaib

    agree with u :) Recommend

  • Bilal

    I only scored a 10 on the “a girl in the airport” situation …..what you do in your home or friends or closed group but please don’t make vulgarity public……short skirts are considered vulgar in the west too.i wont make a law to ban it but whats vulgar is vulgar…i will not like it and as a good human i will expect you that you say it too “wrong is wrong”.That’s how society evolves…..
    Very creative way of putting things …..kudos writer Recommend

  • Hala

    Love it. Recommend

  • Erum

    I’m on the fence!Recommend

  • Ahsan Baloch


  • Islamabad Mir

    Good efforts I must say.
    Nadya dear, its high time you get out of the teenage-drama-queen-world and transition more into a mature-professional-world. The usage of words, language, thoughts really tell a lot about the personality of a person. Though its all well if its once in a blue moon but making it to be a part of everyday conversation, issues isn’t much of a thing to be proud of.
    I am very sure and positive that you can and will come up with a really very well piece in future.Recommend

  • Nida

    Love the quiz! Bravo Nadya for writing something like this. 10 points here only for saying some politicians need to be blown up. Recommend

  • Dee

    I am probably the only hope this country has!Recommend

  • Abrar

    so says the s express tribune… spanish they say jajajjajajajajaajRecommend

  • Amused

    Sadly, the real Pakistani does not waste his/her time on social networks imposing his.her piece of mind but, instead work their fingers to the bone to be able to earn a livelihood and during all that, return home safe instead of in an ambulance.
    How can the people who are from the “educated” lot be expected to know of the voes of living a non-sheltered life?
    This quiz is just for those who Believe that they rule and run the country from their keyboards.Recommend

  • T

    The comments on this article pretty much clarifies where Pakistan is going towards. Its not the Taliban which are a problem, its the pakistanis unfortunately :(Recommend

  • Mazar-e-Quaid

    You’re so very right. At least Talibans do practice what they preach. While we Pakis just go about with the bantering and hoping for a change-revolution.Recommend

  • p r sharma

    @Khawaja: “Lol. Quite a biased questionaire and result card. The writer gives
    – 10 extermist points for telling a girl that she shouldn’t dress inappropriately. I guess all most parents around the world are extreme as even in the west parents usually tell their children not to dress inappropriately compared to the society around them.”

    Khawaja sahib with respect– you or society has made/developed a parameter be it on dress code or life style etc. Wearing a mini skirt / bikini in public place is treated as a sin.. You think that wearing mini skirt is in appropriate and there is nothing wrong to ask/ request / demand/ scold for her attire and advise to change the dress ( if not possible immediately then in future). You may feel that what is wrong if I ask her as above because you think that your view are righteous.
    Now just think what Taliban are doing ? They perceive something as most Islamic and righteous and are trying to impose their version of Islam. If you are advising the girl to change the attire Is it not an imposition of your version ( will)of righteous dress code on others( not related to your family). The elderly advice/ , scolding/ rebuke are only the variance of degree of imposing your will ( perceived as righteous) Just think are you not endorsing in principle what Taliban are doing. ( to me Intolerance in itself is nothing but extremist behavior).Recommend

  • Pollack

    So you bring up a bunch of questions and determine that we have an extremist mindset or not and then you tell us to think about our behavior in other countries; you should test yourself first…Recommend

  • Hashim

    The fence.Recommend

  • Hashim

    I’m on the fence.

    Hopefully the majority will be moderate like me.

    Not crazy fundamentalists nor secularized liberal nut cases.

    One group thinks bombings will spread shariah.
    The other does not pray regularly.

    Both groups are equally misguided.

    Islam is the middle path. The straight and narrow that leads to salvation.


    Dear author thumbs up for the great article. Please post the percentage of moderates and the percentage of extremists of both camps after the comments are closed. That will tell you the future of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Assad

    Ok. No one can score a zero on this. If you answered all the Qs honestly then you have to have scored at least 10 … or 20. To those logically analyzing this post and expressing their sheer disgust at the oh-so-unfair points scoring system…you didn’t need to take this ‘test’….you’re in the 90+ percentile to begin with. I scored 20 and so i’ll be applying for my Canadian immigration soon ha haRecommend

  • therapist

    i got a 10… but i should’ve got a zero @nadya ur numbering of score for the last question is wrong. peace talks should always b encouraged. dialogue is good no matter with whom. if u don’t choose to talk, then what is ur option? kill em all? that makes u an extremist, no? dialogue is better than no dialogue.Recommend

  • Architect

    If this is ur scale for judgment then I am a proud extremist… Recommend

  • Loneliberalpk


    If you’re on the fence on this one, you’re moderately extremist, not a moderate.

    You realize what the quiz was about, right?Recommend

  • Pir Bulleh Shah

    Hashim, people who throw bombs or don’t pray are equally abhorrent, but at least those who bombs are caught and punished. Those who don’t pray manage to destroy societies while remaining hidden and free to spread their beliefs.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    A fairly transparent quiz. Even without tallying the score, you can tell where precisely you rest on the extremism spectrum. An entertaining read nonetheless.

    I scored zero, as most liberals would. Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    I got 10 points. Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    Actually I thought it was pretty interesting…Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    No offence, but your country is also filled up with extremists.Recommend

  • choclat85

    Got 10 points in question 3 because I like to speak truth. No one is that great to forgive a person who almost killed you. And 10 points for the question 5 because some politicians really deserve that.Recommend

  • Yousaf Saleem

    I scored 20 in the quiz. Thank God I’m not an extremist!Recommend

  • kHaN

    Where’s the quiz? Recommend

  • Follower of Allama Iqbal

    ‘Please post the percentage of….after the comments are closed’…”That will tell you the future of Pakistan”

    Future of Pakistan?? Mr. Hashim, with all due respect & following ‘Amused’s comments,
    Apart from the ‘access’ to this social media, where we all happen to stir ourselves in leisure time, many of the people in the country doesn’t even know about this platform & nor are equipped with the education and the technology, so much entangled in making ends meet that they themselves can’t distinguish as to who’s, how’s and what’s of extremism. And its those people who need our help so as to complete one nation become a live-wire to revolution.Recommend

  • umar

    Wonderful article…it’s a sort of reality check for the majority in the country. Literacy and extremism has no co-relation. My highly educated Pakistani colleagues support the Taliban and their tactics. They look down upon people of other religions and even minority sects in our religion. They are self-righteous and judgmental. It’s very hard to have an argument with them and if you disagree you are labelled as a non-believer. This is the true definition of extremists and there is no shortage of such people. . Recommend

  • Visibly

    Why doesn’t the muslim world care about the destruction of islamic builings and libraries in Mali (or the serious destruction of historic heritage buildings in Mekka), but make violent protests all over the world in relation to “a 10 min rubbish film” that few have seen, none has appreciated. The “film” is unimportant, the buildings and libraries are historic, to be appreciated by muslims and non-muslims alike,Recommend

  • meriam

    Some of the comments are a great example of what is wrong w/Pakistanis. These kinds of scenarios should be given to children in schools at a young age and they should be taught tolerance and proper ethics on how to act and not act as good people, good citizens, and good servants of a Merciful God. Great job Nadya! And loved the tone in this quiz! :-) Recommend

  • gp65

    @Pir Bulleh Shah: “Hashim, people who throw bombs or don’t pray are equally abhorrent”

    Really? DO the people who do not pray kill others? make kids orphans and women widows?DO they make people homeless?

    Amazing!!! Recommend

  • Milind

    @Moiz Omar – “No offence, but your country is also filled up with extremists”

    Our country may have a few ones, but its definitely not brimming with extemists as yours. The last big action happened in 2004 (Godhra) after which we’ve seen a relative calm.. Also arms are not as freely available as in Peshawar for example.Recommend

  • Hala

    @Pir Bulleh Shah:
    “people who throw bombs or don’t pray are equally abhorrent”
    you lost me right there
    killing innocent people is in no way equal to not praying
    the person who does not pray is hurting no one else. you might think they are hurting themselves but that is only because they do not share the same beliefs as you.
    making radical false equivalancies is a trademark of extremismRecommend

  • Hala

    why do you think no one can score zero. according to the comments a lot of people have
    i also scored zero
    obviously the author did
    that sounds a little intolerant in itself. that just because you think a certain way everyone else must also.
    i find it hard to believe that anyone could score 160 but i’m sure many did
    people are differentRecommend

  • Hala

    @choclat85: actually it happens all the time
    don’t say no one when you mean you
    it is perfectly understandable that you cannot forgive someone who almost killed you
    but do not generallize
    to say people are lying just, because you feel a certain way is unfairRecommend

  • Hashim

    @Follower of Allama Iqbal:

    The elite will be last to follow Islam. If thirty percent of the English speaking educated people with net access are semi extremists then the revolution is close comrade. Yayy! I can extrapolate from the aggregated data. It’s a math thing. Let it slide.Recommend

  • Hashim


    Don’t know if your a Muslim or not but bulleh shahs comment wasn’t even worth replying to.

    You don’t have to be a phd to realise that that comment was based on sheer ignorance.Recommend

  • mind control

    @Pir Bulleh Shah:

    Those who don’t pray manage to destroy societies while remaining hidden and free to spread their beliefs.

    Congratulations Bro.

    You just maxed the score at 200. Masha’ Allah.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Pir Bulleh Shah: Your comments and your name just don’t match……….something fishy going on here.Recommend

  • Concerned

    150… Oh man what’s wrong with me??Recommend

  • Zain Dar


    Yeah, short skirts might be common where you live…not here in Pakistan.. Do you even think, b4 you write.. What a childish statement to make. I happily took the 10 extremists points for that question.. You wanna wear a mini skirt, where it in your house or go to a western country.. If you have a liberal attitude to clothing, don’t expect the millions around you to also suddenly develop that attitude the moment you pass by them. Recommend

  • Reader

    Great I am liberal extremistRecommend

  • Shavaiz

    Thnx God m nt liberal like u n last answer makes u an extremist… If someone kills ur kid (via drone) n thn call ur revenge an extremist act thn hw would u feel? Plz grow upRecommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar

    In response to question 2, I would say that I have no proof of Malala being a foreign agent,but at the same time,she hasn’t done anything special.I dont care if she comes back to pakistan or not.And she doesn’t deserve any security or noble prize or whatsoeverRecommend

  • Kamran

    i scored 0…believe me!!Recommend

  • Hamza

    I scored a 30. But the fact of the matter is most of the questions up there are in fact the opposite direction of extremism. They reject the perceived definition of extremism in favor of the other end of the extremism spectrum. So if you scored a zero, chances are you also are an extremist.Recommend