Calling Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy ‘jahil’ can only happen in Pakistan

Published: October 30, 2013
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After reading the correct phrases from the book myself, it was easy to see that the thesis prepared by Orya and Abbasi against Malala, for allegedly ‘supporting’ Rushdie and Ahmadis, was all based on fabrications.

A few days ago, a fierce verbal battle took place between the guests on a talk show called “On The Front” hosted by Kamran Shahid. The bone of contention was the book called ‘I am Malala’ authored by the 16-year-old herself. The guest speakers included, Orya MaqboolAnsar Abbasi, Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy and Zafar Hilaly.

With regards to the topic at hand, the conversation began with Orya Maqbool and Ansar Abbasi giving their view on the book. Highly sensationalised words were used by the two, and common ground was reached with Malala being framed as offensive towards Islam.

Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy interjected stating that he had also read the book but did not find anything against Islam in her book as claimed by the other guests. He suspected either they had not read the book attentively or were deliberately trying to malign her.

The past animosity between Dr Hoodbhoy and Ansar Abbasi fueled a debate that turned into an ugly verbal brawl on national television, with insensitive comments being exchanged by both parties. Meanwhile, Orya yelled out, rather loudly I might add, appealing to the audience to open the book in question and confirm from page 30 that Malala had written these words,

“He (Salman Rushdie) has [sic] all the right under freedom of expression, but my father said that we should write a book against him.”

Visibly astonished, Dr Hoodbhoy asked, in a calm tone, if Orya Maqbool had the book in front of him from where he had read that particular excerpt. He further asserted that there was no statement in her that was in support of Rushdie.

At that, Orya insisted that these were, in fact, the exact words taken from her book and continued to incite religious sentiments through his sermon against Malala.

During the program, Malala was also accused of favouring Ahmadis in her book. Dr Hoodbhoy, once again, denied the allegation leveled against Malala stating that this was a lie and not written anywhere in the book.

After watching the show, I opened Malala’s book myself and found no statements which Orya alleged were in there. Contrary to the text quoted by Orya, Malala has written,

“My father also saw the book as offensive to Islam but believes strongly in freedom of speech. ‘First, let’s read the book and then why not respond with our own book,’ he suggested.”

Similarly, Malala has mentioned Ahmadis in these words,

“Now we are a country of 180 million and more than 96 per cent are Muslim. We also have around two million Christians and more than two million Ahmadis, who say they are Muslims though our government says they are not. Sadly those minority communities are often attacked. [2]”

After reading the correct phrases from the book myself, it was easy to see that the thesis prepared by Orya and Abbasi against Malala, for allegedly ‘supporting’ Rushdie and Ahmadis, was all based on fabrication.

The text quoted by Orya Maqbool happened to be a blatant lie and the exposition of this dishonesty, in effect, justifies Dr Hoodbhoy’s position along with proving his stance as correct.

Ansar Abbasi repeatedly referred to Dr Hoodbhoy as a ‘jahil’ for advocating Malala while Zafar Hilaly, the diplomat, gracefully avoided saying a word in the already hostile environment.

Ansar Abbasi posed to highly sensitive questions towards Dr Hoodbhoy and then went on to tarnish his reputation as a professor by stating,

“Aik aisay jaahil ko, jis ko parhaanay kay ooper lagaya huva hai hamaray aik prime institution main. Mujhay nahi samajh aati ye jaahil waha’n kiya parhaata hoga.”

(“An ignoramus who has been chosen to teach at one of our prime institutions, I don’t understand what this ignoramus teaches there.”)

Not only was this brouhaha terribly ugly for the audience, it was incredibly unprofessional for the news channel to let it stay on-air when the arguments had become personal and out-of-control. Kamran Shahid should have exhibited better control over his own show and should have prevented it from happening.

I was in possession of the book and was able to verify the facts for myself, however, those among the audience who have not read the book will be inclined to believe the misleading statements made on this show. This debacle served as a bitter reminder of how Salman Taseer was deliberately framed by an irresponsible talk show such as this, as a blasphemer.

What was even more unsettling was the way the host, Kamran Shahid, seem to have taken a backseat during the entire conversation and started giggling when the guest speakers started exchanging insults. He allowed the open use of abuse and hate speech on his show and merely laughed when Dr Hoodbhoy walked off the show.

On Monday, the students of the department of Physics at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad called in a meeting to discuss what had transpired on the show. They maintained a position of neutrality, as most of them had not read the book yet themselves, however, everyone unanimously condemned the personal attacks on Dr Hoodbhoy. They further condemned the way Ansar Abbasi ridiculed Dr Hoodbhoys’ teaching credentials.

Dr Hoodbhoy has served as a professor at the Quaid-i-Azam University for more than 35 years and has widely been respected in the academic circle. Ansar Abbasi’s remarks not only revealed how unscrupulous our media can be but also how such individuals show no respect towards a noble profession like teaching.

To show solidarity with Dr Hoodbhoy, students stood in front of the department with placards condemning the disrespect suffered by the professor.

Let sanity prevail.

Nayyar Afaq

Nayyar Afaq

He is pursuing a doctorate in Physics from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and his objective in life is to become a better human being. Nayyar tweets @Nay_Af (twitter.com/Nay_Af)

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

  • gp65

    What a lame example. If some nut were to make comments on my blood line, I would just ignore it rather than dignifying it with a response.

    In any case questioning and criticism of religious beliefs is not as rare or uncommon as you seem to think it is. Your religious book itself criticizes the beliefs of others as shirk. So? Should others get bent out of shape?

    Freedom of speech kicks in precisely when you have a disagreement. It does not require any freedom of speech to say ‘I love my mother and gaajar ka halwa’.Recommend

  • gp65

    It is unclear who justified anything UnIslamic? Malala’s dad said the book offended him and encouraged her to read the book and write a book in rebuttal. That is justification? Hoodbhoy called out OMJ and AA on their lies about Mlala. Calling out a liar is anti-Islamic?Recommend

  • gp65

    that was funny and I was in 2 minds if I should recommend your post given your most recent blog to us. But Wth, you make a good point, so I will acknowledge it.Recommend

  • gp65

    Every person who practices Any religion thinks their religion is the best. If they did not they would switch to the religion they consider better. So your feeling that about Islam is certainly understandable. But that does not make it a fact any more than if I feel the same sentiments about Hinduism.

    Learn to distinguish between belief and fact.Recommend

  • Pradhan

    Sane, wake up!!Recommend

  • Pradhan

    still asleep !! WAAAAAAAKE UP…Recommend

  • Unknown

    I think rather twisting the meaning of what malala has written, it will be better to accept that mistake some time happens, she is too young to understand the difference between freedom of expression and abusing (as done by rushdee). By the way, I am disappointed by the people on TV who are trying to defend Malala, they themselves are trying to behave like rightist by trying to divert the discussion from the topic. They should accept what is wrong and point out better things (that are there in the book) to defend rather than attacking others ideology etc etc. or calling them liar.Recommend

  • Unknown

    Fawad Chaudhry behaved like rightist. Instead of answering the allegations of Orya that belongs to book, he kept on abusing Orya and never gave answers. He made his case weaker by doing so. I would have loved if he had answered the allegations and had supported or accept the mistakes in the book.Recommend

  • asharjkhokhar

    I saw Dr Hoodhbhoy, today, and he is a better person than Maluvi Abbasi, for he had never called anyone, ‘jahil’ It shows how well education has contributed in adding to your wisdom, Malvi Abbasi has information, which was never translated into knowledge and then into wisdom. He just cannot do it, because it requires skills such as evaluation and synthesis. The same is true for the so called, popular analyst Orya,who is quite popular with hosts such as Kamran,Hamid and their likes, who have not developed their evaluation and synthesis skills and thus cannot translate information into knowledge and wisdom. It is good that these people should be shown their real faces, poorly literate men, with no good education and grooming at all in their formation years, home, school, college and university. MAY GOD/ALLAH SAVE PAKISTAN FORM SUCH IGNORANT, POORLY LITERATE PEOPLE.Recommend

  • Billal

    pg21-22: As a nation we have always been good at hockey, but Zia made our female hockey players wear baggy trousers instead of shorts, and stopped women playing some sports altogether……Our history textbooks were rewritten to describe Pakistan as a ‘fortress of Islam’, which made it seem as if we had existed far longer than since 1947, and denounced Hindus and Jews. Anyone reading them might think we won the three wars we have fought and lost against our great enemy India.

    Pg 28: My father’s college held a heated debate in a packed room. Many students argued that the book should be banned and burned and the fatwa upheld. My father also saw the book as offensive to Islam but believes strongly in freedom of speech. ‘First, let’s read the book and then why not respond with our own book,’ he suggested. He ended by asking in a thundering voice my grandfather would have been proud of, ‘Is Islam such a weak religion that it cannot tolerate a book written against it? Not my Islam!’

    I studied this book a little…. So it makes the writer controversial as my knowledge …
    As per Hoodbhoy is concerned,,, Blame game is his own habbit in every debate. And always tries to impose own-thinked ideasRecommend

  • Adil

    For your reference, the first foreign minister of Pakistan
    was Ahmadi and he represented for 7 years. At the request of Muhammad
    Ali Jinnah, he represented the Muslim League in July 1947 before the Radcliffe
    Boundary Commission and presented the case of the Muslims in a highly commendable
    manner. So the question of being an Ahamadi or Non-Ahmadi does not matter because Muhammad Ali Jinnah did not consider it important and he was not pro-takfir movement and thus the first person to represent Pakistan or if you like Islamic Republic of Pakistan was Ahmadi. For your reference the link mentioned below:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Zafarullah_KhanRecommend

  • Muhammad Saim

    A very well written piece, facts not fiction.
    But remember, in a similar debate interestingly involving Dr. hood Bhai, JI leader Khursheed Ahmed twisted Quaranic verses to create a meaning of his interest. These people don’t have any fear including of Allah let alone they would fear court action by Malala or Dr. Hoodbhoy.Recommend

  • pk409

    why denial of holocaust is not considered as freedom of expression?Recommend

  • Unknown

    But everything what Orya and AA said about book, are in the book. so how they are liars. They gave references from the book, i have checked them and they are there.Recommend

  • 123xyz

    i dont wish bad for pakistan, i am just saddened by the treatment given to pervez hoodhboy.

    when i said pakistan is going downhill,even people from your society especially liberals will agree with that.Recommend

  • Guest

    unfortunately, whenever people start discuss malala, Fundamentalist (of both sides) start hitting each other under the belt.

    I had written this blogpost (http://alikasca.blogspot.com/2013/10/blog-post_29.html) two days ago, and see whats happening in the comments section.

    Result: People from both sides are sending me “beautiful” messages, suspecting that i’m from the other party.

    There is no such thing as middle. Don’t speak Truth. Tell people what they want to hear.Recommend

  • bmj_freeman

    Nayyar I believe you are in frenzy of being called somethings over and over again being a student and by far one among the supporter/affectee of teachings of likes of Prof Nayyar Prof Hoodbuoy and group who have the so called enlightened view of everything. Can any one tell me about his inventions/ground breaking research publications which you know of?He recently got married to another enlightened Dr sadia Assosicate prof at COMSATS and known for anti islamic/secular behaviour. Being a student in a non muslim country myself I am not finding it comfortable to see this provocative practices of acting out of visions by seculars visionaries when even the non muslim non religious and utterly secular human beings are so kind to respect every human being and their religious practices. My friends in other countries often quote the incidents that these seculars in west abstain from eating in front of muslims, Would try and not eat cow meat in front of hindus and try and abstain from any intentional act to hurt any one.
    After 4 to 5 decades the crop of the targeted hardwork by the Enlightened has started to come in fore, and there are now voices like Mr paracha of Dawn alongside marvi and madam asma going out unabated.
    As far as freedom of speech is concerned, no one dares utter a single word for the rights of the oppressed all over the world.
    In World wars Russia was part of their alliance, now a stern defeated and churned down enemy. Iraq was an allie in 60s now crushed with iron fist. Now recently Saudi arabia’s stance in UN was firm indication of rift due to change in priority of US. Some can call it conspiracy theorist but look at the whole not the part of whole. For 150 years
    the resources of people were looted countries broken down into smaller chunks. (recent press conference about asfand yar wali for pakhtunistan, fueling Blauchistan movement in iran and Pakistan Promoting kurds in mid east, and many others.yet covering up the freedom movements within US) Breaking down the already broken is easier. I hope there can be a solution to the whole issue soon. The tolerance must be shown but no one must be allowed to directly or indirectly influence/malign anyone’s belief, identity or EXISTENCE.Recommend

  • Afraz

    This is a very wrong comment. Any anti-islamic comment should be forbidden and those should be sent to prison to be reeducated to learn what Islam is.Recommend

  • Zafar

    I will respect our “teachers, intellectuals, artists and scientists” when they respect Islam. Unfortunately our scientists have no respect for Islam so I do not respect them. Pervez Hoodbhoy by his comments shows he knows nothing about IslamRecommend

  • bmj_freeman

    Freedom of speech activists should dare ask why no one can talk about jews ethnic cleansing. Why in more than 70% europe it is a call for your lawyer if you talk about HOLOCASTRecommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    AA and OMJ already have vehement support from the majority. Any step they are taking in defaming the Malala episode is considered to be true. Since Malala is already infamous in Pakistan, declaring her book blasphemous is cherry on top for the opponents. Cognitive dissonance, you know.
    As for Hoodbhoy sahab, I expected more from a scholar of his caliber. I was expecting a rational, convincing response from him (which would definitely be rebuked by the majority as his pro-Malala stance doesn’t fit in with the beliefs of people) but at least he could have conveyed an educated, informed response to the argument in question, instead of succumbing to his anger.
    Also, one should never forget “the Keechar pe pathhar maarna” exampleRecommend

  • bmj_freeman

    In last 15 years I have encountered many Doctors but there are some like him. in Urdu., Doctorate nay is ka kuchh nahin bigaraRecommend

  • Nadeem Noor

    Because Lies (blatant ones especially) do not qualify as freedom of expression.Recommend

  • bmj_freeman

    I know mr Hood’s tactics. He has first mode of creating a scenario to purge sense out of conversation and latter end the conv with a upper hand. He tried and failed in his tactics. He was not expecting such retaliation from them at all. Just google or go to youtube and watch his interviews being a guest and how he has dealt with the fellow guests in programs with derogatory remarks. As a human being in his domestic life, he practices just the same paroah like behaviour. In fact academicians in QAU in last 20 years have done more harm than good to our country.Recommend

  • imran

    So what do you know about Malala’s book, Ahmadies and even Islam? What is fabricated in TV shows in Madrassas or by3 a group of ignorants? I know you are a great Muslim, I have a question for you. If a non Muslim says you Asslam o Allaikum, what would be your reply?Recommend

  • bmj_freeman

    Dear take care of yourself first, the insanity you are showing all across your borders is enough. the dramas of Mumbai attacks have already been exposed by handful truth seekersRecommend

  • bmj_freeman

    I agree with sane and Talha, Why does an indian feel proud of others cart rolling down hill?Recommend

  • bmj_freeman

    Dr salman’s path? Are you serious?SppockRecommend

  • Masood

    People like Orya and Ansari represent a growing mindset that shuns everything “western”..they would however send their own children to the best of schools but do everything to deprive the less privileged of quality education. Let me also count the uncrowned baadshah of conspiracy, Sai’d Zaid Zaman Hamid.Recommend

  • bmj_freeman

    Jack You are absolutely right about your point, I am delighted to see some one take time and update the list about Hoodbuoy. I ask you a simple question. Why would so many people say the same/similar thing about a person ?
    Why?Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    Indians like you shouldn’t be advising others.Recommend

  • imran

    And yeah our Army and Secrete Agensies made it hell for us by creating Mullahs and extremists and now we see 90% people have the same ideology Taliban have, and they follow Mullahs and these so called Muslim Schollars on TV shows blindly.Recommend

  • Parvez

    You my friend have got it wrong. Fawad for once behaved maturely when he responded to Orya and it was Orya who did not refer to the substance in the book but picked up trivial words and phrases and used them completely out of context to project a far right agenda that he disgustingly does given the slightest chance.Recommend

  • Ejaz Ali

    Did you support General Zia’s coup when you were in the army. Do you think General Zia is the best thing that happened to Pakistan ?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Nothing wrong with Islam. What’s wrong is that there is no agreement on how it is to be implemented….. suggest read the famous Justice Munir Report (1953)Recommend

  • imran

    So Mr. Bilal what is wrong in these paragraphs? She is telling the truth, what exactly happened. What is your point here.??Recommend

  • vasan

    Definitely we do not feel proud nor happy. We are trying to show the mirror so that you can wake up and pull up. IF u still insist on going down, pl dont pull others into your vortex.Recommend

  • Salman

    That’s right. Early Muslims – in fact the earliest Muslims (much before Ibn Ishaq) did used to commonly add the following after verbally naming the Prophet (saw) “sallal la hu alehe wassalam” and used similar terms after naming the Prophet (saw). But while this was the common practice in oral speech, when it came to writing the name of the Prophet (saw), often times “sallal la hu alehe wassalam” and similar terms of respect were not added, simply to save time. This is the case even today. Mustafa al-Azami, one of the leading scholars of hadith, states in the introduction of one of his book (in English) that when he will name the Prophet (saw), he will not be transcribing the full terms of respect. So many Muslim writers and scholars have produced books in English in which the full term is not present in every instance the Prophet (saw) is named. This commonly occurs, So I was a bit surprised when I heard Oriya’s objection. In fact, very commonly in the Islamic world, though a good practice, they often do not add “radhi Allah tala anhu” after naming a sahabi.Recommend

  • Salman

    Bingo…and besides these loons in Iran and Pakistan, most Muslim scholars have spoken against the fatwaRecommend

  • Sana Maqbool

    Let us apply the principle that the burden of proof is on the accuser. The one who accuses should provide the evidence. In this case the accusers were Orya and Ansar. What proof did they produce of their accusations? It is understandable that Hoodbhoy would not have the book with him, but it was strange that neither of the accusers nor the host had the book with them. Consequently, when Orya claimed to be reading the passages – i,e, his evidence – one can note the following problems:
    1. He was reading from lose papers and not from the book;
    2. His reference to page numbers was completely muddled; jumping from reference to page 38 to 30 to some other number;
    3. He did not read anything substantial. read a phrase and then immediately gave his commentary. This was like someone quoting first part of the Kalima and then saying look Muslims do not believe in any God;
    Despite requests by Hoodbhoy, at no time the host was able to show the audience the book and relevant pages (that Orya was claiming to be quoting from) through camera.
    Overall, the programme was a reflection media discourse at its worst where truth, analysis and ideas are also sacrificed for rating and commerce.
    In my opinion the best response is to now boycott this programme – until the host learns how to do a good show. That is the response I will give.Recommend

  • baigsaab

    1- Demanding academic schedule? OK
    2- Fine
    3- If topic wasn’t known… to gaye kyun thay bhai? kya bolnay gaye thay?
    4 & 5- He’s done enough programs on TV to know that. That’s not an excuse for a seasoned person who’s been doing TV shows since the time of PTV.

    Facts: He’s an esteemed professor of physics. He’s not a social scientist. He didn’t read the book he said, yet he seemed at ease to call people ‘Jhoota’ as if he’d read it, you don’t call ppl jhoota like that. You don’t retort like that in an intellectual argument, especially when the person next to you is acting like a ridiculous jerk (as has been depicted for the two right wingers).

    Fiction:
    1- It’s only a matter of trivial things.
    Salman Rushdie is not a trivial matter for Muslims, bang your head on the wall as much as you do, but that’s not trivial.

    2- Writing PBUH or S.a.w. is a matter of choice. Yes, it’s a matter of choice if you choose this world over the hereafter!

    3- OMJ and AA’s followers won’t open the book… I’d like to see how many of the liberal side have read it…Recommend

  • Naseem

    I feel saddened to see the depths of intolerance some of the bloggers and viewers have descended into. It is a true reflection of Pakistan dissolving into chaos.PH is an intellectual with strong feelings against injustice, which is why he often vents rage. After all no intellectual is perfect! He expresses what many believe in but are afraid to vocalize. To my mind PH is a national treasure. There are so few like him. He deserves respect, not condemnation. NaseemRecommend

  • gp65

    Germany has holocaust denial laws for people that live in Germany. When Iranians denied holocaust in their country, it did not issue fatwas against those Iranians. There are many holocaust denial videos on youtube which DO come under freedom of expression and in US where I live – certainly there are no holocaust denial laws.

    So if we were to compare like for like, it would be that there would anti-blasphemy laws IN Pakistan for people living in Pakistan. There is no parallel to issuing a fatwa on Rushdie for what he said in a different country. In fact that is what Hoodbhoy was saying – that the particular book should not be published in Pakistan where it is against the laws.

    In any case the German laws protect minority from harm. The anti-blasphemy law is abused to oppress minorities.Recommend

  • gp65

    Why is it a mistake to rebut a book that offends you by writing a book instead of threatening the author with death? If there was a mistake, please explain exactly what the mistake was.Recommend

  • gp65

    The reference they gave was much later. What they said earlier – when he caalled them a liar was that Malala supported Salman Rushdie and blasphemy and argued for his freedom of expression which is simply not true. She said that her father was OFFENDED by the book and encouraged her to write a book that rebutted it. To me, this does not sound like support as was being claimed by OMJ and AA.

    In a country where being accused of supporting a blasphemer can result in a death sentence, the misleading statement that implied that she suported the blasphemy when she specifically said she was ooffended by it is like death sentence.Recommend

  • Are you saying there are no disputes in Islam? That millions of people have not lost their lives because people couldn’t agree on theology or sometimes even on history? Educate yourself!Recommend

  • Pakistan is a big country. Two people mouthing off on TV don’t constitute convincing evidence of where Pakistan is headed.Recommend

  • Pervez

    As an ordinary educated citizen one is expected to know enough to enter into a discussion on a book, written by a well known person, Malala, about Pakistanis, Ahmedis, about freedom of expression, and various conventions in existence for writing name of Rasool-Karim. What expertise?Recommend

  • Sajjad Saleem

    Pervez Hoodby first started personal attack by declaring others as liers. I personally respect Dr Hoodby for his physics qualifications but I saw his two programs and he never came with the arguments, rather he always attacked others personally.Recommend

  • Rayan Syed

    @Zubiar:

    The text was NOT quoted by Orya in “summary”. He rather openly claimed and challenged to 18 crore Pakistanis to open the page number 30 and see this text written there. He practiced intellectual dishonesty to misguide his audience and tried to frame a false charge on Malala.Recommend

  • KJ

    One can rationalize anything! Hoodbhoy’s shouldn’t have stooped to their level. Let’s be unbiased here.Recommend

  • baigsaab

    wallaikum.Recommend

  • Peter Pan

    What these people said against Dr. Hoodbhoy is deplorable.

    However, Tribune itself has been selectively censoring articles and comments from readers which put forward alternative view points not familiar to Pakistan’s public. Even though, these articles and comments conform to the basic rules of decency and journalism and do not use foul. So all of us have to learn to be more tolerant!Recommend

  • Hasan

    Seriously ? There are no right-wingers and left-wingers ? You know nothing of the world then. There has been a constant struggle for power between right and left wingist. Right-wing (Islamists-orthodox-conservative). Left-wing(Liberals, secularists).
    And as for Dr.Hoodhbouy. I have studied from him. He is a beacon for hope in the position we have managed to get ourselves into.
    He is not an expert on Islam or anything, but at least he has read the book. He wasn’t shouting on the show. It is just sad, the person who is so well respected in the international scientific community is being called a Jahil by his own people. Its another Dr.Abdus Salam.Recommend

  • Muhammed Usman

    I read the book. The audience of the book are the west not the Muslims. It is made for the west. The book is making fun of Islamic traditions such as Bruka (she compared Burka with oven). She is praising western civilization such as Valentines days, chrism’s etc. Such book cannot be accepted in the Muslim world sister.Recommend

  • Parvez

    The problem does not lie with Islam. It lies with the different interpretations and the people who arrogate unto themselves the right to do so……and in the process calling others non-Muslims.
    When religion is USED to tarnish accepted human values, it becoms a matter of concern.Recommend

  • Omar

    although Ansar Abbasi’s style was not suitable and should have avoided personal attacks on Dr Hoodhboy but still I agree with ansar’s point on malala’s book. Also the way Dr Hoodbhoy was interrupting Ansar Abbasi in between ignited the attacks.Recommend

  • Parvez

    You my friend are dead wrong. Fawad pointed out the pettiness of Orya’s accusations. Orya came across as a biased person with a far right agenda that can bring nothing but grief as is being clearly witnessed in the country today.Recommend

  • Imran Hussain

    When a dog gets crazy, he bites his own owner, and when a nation gets down the hill, it first kill his very own mind (read intellectuals). After many years, and much more bloodshed, the Muslims of India may realize the mistakes they have made in the past four hundred years, and by that time it would be too late.Recommend

  • Maestro

    With that essence anything “anti-any religion” should be forbidden and sent to prison to be reeducated what that particular non-Islam religion is.Recommend

  • Ejaz Ahmad Perdesi

    Your brawl with OMJ & AA can only be termed as most disgraceful especially when those involved claim to be highly educated. Your emotional outburst at the outset was uncalled for and premeditated for reasons best known to you. Your branding the two as ‘liars’ and ignorant lacking in their understanding of English language is what triggered the rumpus. There is perhaps nothing in the book that should send the reader to the dictionary. In fact they continued to listen to their vilification by you with exemplary patience. It was after your mini sermon that they burst out. This situation could have been easily avoided had you the decency to apologies for your personal attacks on them. On the contrary you chose to continue with the slander. Therefore, you were responsible for starting the fiasco. BTW your stance on Islam and Muslims are well known and your conduct on this talk show tells a lot about you. Ejaz Ahmad PerdesiRecommend

  • Pankaj

    best statement………Recommend

  • Pankaj

    Going through all these comments, one conclusion can easily be drawn that hardliners are also learning English. Recommend

  • Cayid Ahmed Cheema

    Well done Ansar Abbasi and Orya Maqbool Jan …Recommend

  • Nero

    Glad not to be born your country!Recommend

  • Talib

    The prophet of Islam (saw) didn’t even punish Abdullah bin Ubayy – the leader of the hypocrites – and went on to read his funeral prayer when he died, despite the man referring to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) as the “lowest man in Medina” (God forbid).

    This was the Holy Prophet’s(saw) attitude towards so called “blasphemy”. Then who are you to take a path other than his, in the name of his religion.

    If the only way you can disagree with an opinion is to censor it, is to only show how weak your own arguments are.Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)

    Yesteryears he stood on the threshold of the abyss of ignorance,

    today his hollow-head followers are even…………………… one step ahead!Recommend

  • Faraz Khursheed

    How do you defend her choosing Cristina Lamb, one of the few very fortunate westerners who went so far in anti-Pakistan activities that she had to be deported twice, to author her book? I am sure she could have found a handful of eloquent writers from Pakistan or perhaps an uncontroversial one from Britain. It’s kind of hard to imagine a person, a Brit, who was dragged out of arrival lounge at the Islamabad international airport the second time she tried to enter the country, would not take it out being handed this wonderful opportunity.
    Malala has been used by the west. There should be no opinions about it. She is a brave girl and her courage is exemplary but we shouldnt root for western endorsements when major western powers have been involved in killing of millions of people by waging illegal wars, launching drone warfare and killing on the basis of suspicion. That’s just is not acceptable by western moral standards.Recommend

  • Moiz

    Does the above comment remind anybody else of 1984 by Orwell?Recommend

  • knightridrr

    Agree or not Abbasi was able to bring Hoodboy to his own level.Recommend

  • Moiz

    They misrepresented what was being said, drawing conclusions that the author(s) had never intended. Ergo, they lied.Recommend

  • Moiz

    I’d be interested to know how many doctorate degrees you hold in fields of science.Recommend

  • Moiz

    “own-thinked”. Good Lord.Recommend

  • fze

    Thankyou for putting us in the right perspective. As for Ansar and Orya, I call them “derailed personalities”, more on the track of talibans. Such people make mountain out of moles and create problem for others.Recommend

  • AadiAryaPurushaz(Himavat)

    you have been seeking druuth for long time, allah is drooth, beliebe it, or else kya hoga aap batayeein.Recommend

  • chanakya_the_cynic

    Weeeelllll. To someone who thinks matters such as blasphemy are important, it’s quite clear how supporting the freedom of expression of a person who blasphemes is the same thing as supporting blasphemy. The person who supports Rushdies freedom of expression while being offended is still supporting the ACT of blasphemy, if not the content. It’s a position that is based on ridiculous premises, but consistent if you hold those premises.Recommend

  • chanakya_the_cynic

    Raja Islam is exactly right. People ought to be able to express their opinion on matters of opinion. Religion happens to be a matter of opinion.Recommend

  • Amir Gul

    I am happy that Ansar Abbasi and Orya Maqbool Call Jahil to Dr Pervaiz Hoodbhay…what one can expect from such who are promoting hate among countrymen, praising suicide bombards who are killing innocent people….If they asked Scholar to Dr Pervaiz Hoodbhay I may be confused…However, Now I am sure Hoodbhay is great, courageous, strong voice of our society and hope for people like me…we all love our Great Scholar with our heart and soul…so let them burnt in heat of hate lit by themselves…I am here dedicating a verse of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittae…

    Oh lord let them live who have filth in their minds,
    Let them see my unity with my beloved,
    after that let them die by pain created among them by seeing/witnessing achieving my goals. (sorry for poor translation).Recommend

  • Ahmed Malik

    People in Pakistan have a tendency towards agreeing to bearded men.Recommend

  • Ek Pakistani

    I think there is no need to wirte the column on such a pathetic discussion .. Every one should have rights to express his feelings.. If Ansar claims that the book is against the Islam so did Dr Hoodhboy express his views that book is not against Islam .. Why are you taking this issue so seriously ..
    and as far as MALALA is concerned the book was against the Pakistan. they used her to portrait the negative image of Pakistan across the global.Recommend

  • Mujtaba

    Religion is not a matter of opinion. You please keep that to yourselfRecommend

  • Softncool

    So are Computers, Automobiles, Mobiles, paint shirt, Antibiotic, books of science every Muslim should avoid it…………………………Recommend

  • WhoWasThatMaskedMan

    For a nation who doesn’t read books or uses their mind, this can definitely be used to make an issue.Recommend

  • Sadaf Khan

    Is this how an anchor conducts a debate and laughs when his guests are called jahil?Jahaliat beyond words!Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    Islam, at the end of the day, a religion and therefore an article of faith. It is subjective, and unlike science or math (where 2+2=4 no matter how vehemently you deny it or the gravity will act whether you like it or not) is open to interpretation.
    First we should learn to differentiate between religion and science. Scientific theories are modified as new evidence emerges, but sadly religious philosophies remain the same and hence become stale over time.Recommend

  • chanakya_the_cynic

    It may not be a matter of opinion in Pakistan. But it is a matter of opinion in the most successful countries in the world. Ever stop to think that the two might be related?Recommend

  • Muhammed Usman

    Using mobiles, computer, antibiotics, books of science are not the matters of religion. If someone is criticizing beard or veils it is linked with Muslim culture and ideology. It is more awful when it comes from a Muslim.Recommend

  • Abdul Waheed

    I am unable to understand why Kamran Shaid is allowed to host any show.Recommend

  • Mahmood

    At lot of science is attacks Islam. The Theory of Evolution and Geology and EInstein theory. And Einstein was a jew. You should read the book of Harun YahyaRecommend

  • Tariq Butt

    Islam is the absolute and only truth in whole universe. How foolish to say it is a matter opinion. Learn the basics of Islam my friend before you open and speak things you know nothing about. You embarrass yourself in the whole world and expose your ignorance. Think before you speak.Recommend

  • Muhammed Usman

    You are write brother it is a theory and Alhumdulillah scholars has confronted it. I am talking about if someone mocks the Sunnah or affairs related to our religion.Recommend

  • gp65

    Her father supported freedom of speech/expression. Not all speech/expression leads to blasphemy. Thus supporting freedom of expression does not amount to supporting the act of blasphemy. It is only the content of a speech which can determine if it was blasphemous and he did not support the content. Ergo he did not support blasphemy.Recommend

  • Annie

    I think the article is a little biased in favor of Dr. Hoodbhoy. While Ansar Abbasi might have gone overboard, Dr. Hoodbhoy is not completely without blame here either. Instead of posting the short clip, where only Mr. Abbasi is shown ranting and abusing Dr. Hoodbhoy, the author should have posted the whole program. If one watches the program from the start, as the anchor is taking the initial viewpoints of the participants, it is Dr. Hoodbhoy who accuses Orya Maqbool Jan of lying first and calls him a “Media Taliban”, without presenting any evidence from the book or quoting anything in order to prove his lie. Moreover, he says indirectly that his opponents’ understanding of English is poor and that is why their arguments do not hold any weight. While it’s true that Orya Maqbool Jan didn’t have the book, but so doesn’t Dr. Hoodbhoy. Dr. Hoodbhoy is an academic and should definitely know better than to throw an ad hominem as a valid argument. Also, his area of expertise is Physics, he should refrain from exposing himself to political platforms such as these, if he wants to avoid conflict. And if he does participates in such a program, then he and his fans need to brace themselves against the onslaught. Take the example of Dr. Chomsky. He is an acclaimed linguist and a Nobel Prize winner, much more respected and commended than Dr. Hoodbhoy in his own field. But, even he is not taken seriously in terms of his political views by many circles internationally, mainly because of his radical views about American Imperialism. I have yet to see Dr. Chomsky loose his cool in any way. Calling people names, even if they are true, is not how an argument is won. If a conservative person will try to win an argument by calling his opponent a liberal fascist, will not be able to make his point either. If you claim yourself to have better understanding than your opponent, show it by the strength of your argument and in your ability to hold your own in a hostile environment.Recommend

  • gp65

    In Pakistan of course anyone who is not even a practitioner of Islam says anything anti-Islamic, they are sent to jail. In fact even a false accusation that they may have said something anti-Islamic results in them going to jail.

    But are you saying that this is what should happen in the whole world?Would you then also support any person who makes an anti-Christian, anti-Hindu or anti-Buddhist, anti-scientology comment anywhere in the world should also be sent to prison? No? Why not? You want respect for your beliefs but are unwilling to extend it to the beliefs of others?Recommend

  • Miguel Wolfred

    God says:
    “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things.” (Quran 2:256)

    God says:
    “If it had been your Lord’s will, all of the people on Earth
    would have believed. Would you then compel the people so to have them believe?” (Quran 10:99)

    God says:
    “So if they dispute with you, say ‘I have submitted my whole
    self to God, and so have those who follow me.’ And say to the People of the Scripture and to the unlearned: ‘Do you also submit yourselves?’ If they do, then they are on right guidance. But if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message. And in God’s sight are all of His servants.” (Quran 3:20)

    God says:
    “The Messenger’s duty is but to proclaim the Message.” (Quran 5:99)

    So my dear, in the end it IS a matter of opinion as suggested by God Himself. And that’s pretty basic.Recommend

  • afia

    Burka has nothing to do with Islamic tradition.. purdah has… take a look from Morocco to Indonesia… unless u think only Pakistanis are Muslim! as for oven.. tru wearing it in 54 degrees of temperature dy in and day out… maybe you will strt agreeing with the statement
    Recommend

  • Parvez

    That was really lame, the logic was flawed.
    How have the west used her ?…….by helping her tell her story. The truth of which exposes those who commit crimes in the name of religion and in the process heap shame on us and we live in denial.
    It is us that need to look at ourselves in the mirror and admit our faults instead of blaming the world.Recommend

  • The Cold Truth

    Alright then. So what if it is their ‘opinion’ that he is a ‘jahil’? does it become kosher now? There is a distinct line between opinion and defaming. and Mr hoodbhoy himself is guilty of using direct attacks against these individuals on facebook. I didn’t see the express tribune come to their rescue then!Recommend

  • Adnan

    Don’t mix technology with the the religion.Recommend

  • urfi bhai

    Reading this article and comments, I feel sorry that our educated class has lost the patience to listen respect and differ from other’s point of view in a decent manner. Regarding the program on TV, I differ from Nayyar Afaq’s presentation of events. If we see it, it was Mr. Hoodbhoy who provoked the other two by calling them either ignorant of english language or telling deliberate lies. Before these unnecessary indecent remarks, the other two participants had not uttered a bad word about Mr. Hoodbhoy or even Malala. In fact OMJ clearly said in his opening remarks that he was not there to discuss Malala but her book and the focal point of their point was Malala had been hijacked by the west and people like Kristina Lamb had used Malala to incorporate their own agenda through this book. If Mr. Hoodbhoy had stated his point objectively and had not hit the other two below the belt, this ugly turn of events might have been avoided.
    Nayyar Afaq, in my opinion tried to “neutralize” the actual words of Mr. Hoodbhoy by giving an account of what he meant instead of narrating what he said which provoked the others…..Recommend