Do I have to become Muslim to survive in Pakistan?

Published: March 27, 2014
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As I sat in that old house with a small open area holding around 30 people, Hindu worshippers sat on old rugs praying for peace and prosperity in their country – Pakistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

As I sat in that old house with a small open area holding around 30 people, Hindu worshippers sat on old rugs praying for peace and prosperity in their country – Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP As I sat in that old house with a small open area holding around 30 people, Hindu worshippers sat on old rugs praying for peace and prosperity in their country – Pakistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

While leaving for the Krishna Temple in Lalkurti, there was only one thing on my mind. I remembered an incident during my university days back in 2005 when one of my teachers, while analysing the news of preaching Islam to our non-Muslim sportsmen, said that these fanatics should leave Islam out of the game.

He went on to say that if they had players from religious minorities on the team, it would only help create a softer image of Pakistan in front of the world. With this thought in mind, I entered the temple. I looked around for a tomb but all I saw was a room housing all the sacred statues and holy pictures. I asked Mr Narain who was guiding me, where the tomb of the temple was and he told me that it had been burnt down during the Babri mosque incident in India.

Looking around, I didn’t see too many people but when I asked him about this he said that the ceremony had just started and that the worshippers would come in a while. He then left me with the few ladies who were present. It was here that I met Ashi Chand, a very friendly woman. She was married and a mother of three sons. Her husband was from Punjab and she herself belonged to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), which to me seemed like a great combination.

Ashi told me that that I wouldn’t see a lot of people for the Holi celebrations; not like previous years due to the Larkana incident earlier this month in which Hindu temples and markets were burnt. As a result, many people of her community were scared. In fact, her own sister-in -law had called and said that she and her family wouldn’t attend the festival since they were afraid for their lives.

Just listening to her gave me the shudders and I couldn’t help but think that if we Muslims were in minority and something like this happened to our community, we would have a similar reaction. This urged me to sit with Ashi and talk about her life as a person from a religious minority in Pakistan. She told me that she was from Risalpur where her father had been a government employee.

She had completed her masters in Islamic Studies and then worked as a teacher. She told me that the first thing she noticed as a minority was that there was no separate subject for her religion in school. She mentioned that some schools had classes on Christianity at the same time when Muslim students attended their Islamic Studies but there was no such concept for Hindus.

So this discrimination and forced study of Islamiyat began in school. Unfortunately, things remain the same even today when her children are in school and have to study Islamiyat by compulsion.

This reminded me of another incident that took place with a dear friend of mine, Omprakash. He heard his four-year-old daughter doing her homework and revising her lesson titled Hum Kon Hain? (Who are we?) He was surprised to hear her say out loud,

“Hum Musalman hain.”

(We are Muslims.)

He asked her why she was saying that since she knew very well that they followed Hinduism. She replied that her teacher had said that this was the only correct answer and she had to memorise it. Agitated, Omprakash went to her school and questioned the authorities about the matter but they expressed their helplessness and told him that his daughter would have to follow the rules in class otherwise they would not be able to pass her to the next level.

Ashi waved her hand in front of me and snapped me out of my reverie. She went on to tell me that whenever someone came to know that she was a Hindu, they would ask her to embrace Islam.  Saddened and a bit hopeless she asked me,

“Is it necessary to become Muslim if we want to survive in Pakistan? Why don’t they let us live like normal Pakistanis and allow us the liberty given to us in the Constitution of Pakistan to practice our faith?”

She said that it was demeaning that Christians were allowed to celebrate Christmas in peace; Muslims even greeted them on their festivals and special programs were telecast on the state and private channels on Christmas. But there was nothing for the festivals of Hindus.

While we were talking, the Pundit Chunni Lal announced Holi prayers and Ashi got up for worship. According to Hinduism, prayers performed at Holi are believed to bring health and wealth.

As I sat in that old house with a small open area holding around 30 people, Hindu worshippers sat on old rugs praying for peace and prosperity in their country – Pakistan. This image left me with many questions, the answers to which I will never find answers in this country.

This Pakistan is not what our founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah dreamt of…

Sadia Widad

Sadia Widad

A radio journalist who has worked in development media sector as a media trainer and mentor. She tweets as @swidad (twitter.com/swidad)

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

  • russian

    ” Do I have to become Muslim to survive in Pakistan? ”

    Let me keep this simple. The answer is ” Yes “. Not just a Muslim, Sunni Muslim to be exact. hmm still not precise I guess. A gay hating, woman beating, non muslim hating peaceful Muslim.Recommend

  • mimi

    “This Pakistan is not what our founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah dreamt of”– This is the exact Pakistan what your founder wished for . It was very clear the day when Jinnah had asked for only muslim representatives in muslim dominated areas. Well , History will teach our future generation about emergence and destruction of a country because of religion of Islam.Recommend

  • Necromancer

    Nice blog an eye opener for all the religious bigots of PakistanRecommend

  • water bottle

    What is the matter with you Muslims?

    Please stop lying for your own sakes.

    You say :
    “Just listening to her gave me the shudders and I couldn’t help but think that if we Muslims were in minority and something like this happened to our community, we would have a similar reaction.”

    In India Muslims are in minority. What do they do? They burn down a trainful of Hindus, create riots in Muzaffarabad, threaten Noerth East Indians when something happened in Burma, started riots in Mumbai, start IM and blow up things, chop off a Christian teacher’s hand in Kerala, convert vulnerable women in the name of Love Jihad.

    Lady, Muslims (whether in minority or majority) are known from their violence and militant behavior. Stop lying that Muslims would have had similar reaction.

    There is not a single country in this world where there are Muslims and there is peace. Please take a map and start marking all those countries where there are Muslims and tell me if there’s a single country where there’s no Islamic terrorism or religious violence.

    When will you start taking responsibility and start seeing who you are?Recommend

  • https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8559594100366660134#allposts Supriya Arcot

    The solution to all problems is population. reduce the number of people and in the long run , make available education , jobs , food etc. The cause of many problems is the lack of aplenty . Less food , less jobs , less education, less land to live , so naturally the public ( majority ) will start more and more narrowising ( I made this word myself ) the limited resources. My religion , my region , my community , my sub caste , my cousins , my family and so on … Once resources are aplenty , people wont ‘mind’ sharing them with all and sundry.Recommend

  • https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8559594100366660134#allposts Supriya Arcot

    Dear , to the best of my knowledge , muslims are as peaceful or voilent as the next community . its the status which matters i suppose — I mean my friends are all like me – middle class, working in banks , having small compact families , busy in their own world , quitely minding their own business ( because we could afford education and jobs ) .Give education I say , give education .Recommend

  • deep

    This is a lovely article of reaching out to the minorities. So instead of muslim-bashing – you could possibly go to the muslim woman who lost her son in the Mumbai riots and empathize with her loss. The subcontinent needs to be doing more for their minorities – period.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Liked the way you wrote this and the message.
    The image of Islam being connected with violence all over the globe, is a very real one.
    Those involved in propagating this are wittingly or unwittingly playing into the hands of those who really don’t do much but sit back and watch this religion implode on itself.
    What could be more tragic for Islam…….and yet common sense does not prevail.Recommend

  • Amjad

    This topic is really very interesting and i agreed what you wrote in this blog. I always criticize our curriculum made by baboos. With this note I want to add that we all Pakistanies are not like that. We are here to support, respect and help our minorities/ Pakistanies (I hate this word “Minority” ).Recommend

  • Cosmo

    While India is not the paradigm of secularism, i must say that the institutions in India are not brainwashed to discrimante based on religion. Infact when i was growing up religion was the last thing in my mind. We used celebrate diwali, eid, christmas with equal passion. In school we have visited temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras and everytime i thought them only as “gods” why paint them with the color of religion. Gods are anyways very mystic, so why noy leave them like that , instead of intrepreting them diffrentways and the fight among us. I must says, that no country should follow Pakistan as a role model. Thai model should be abolished.Recommend

  • Qadir

    Do I have to become Muslim to survive in Pakistan?

    Duh!! Of course yes.Recommend

  • vinsin

    In india itself muslims asked me to convert to islam many times. And while doing so they will lie about Neil Armstrong. Nowadays they say we should follow sharia as they are better laws. Riot if someone says child marriage is bad. The situation is same in india in all the places where muslims are in majority.Recommend

  • Paying Guest

    Dear Ms. Widad, I am intrigued by your sentence “With this thought in mind, I entered the temple. I looked around for a tomb but all I saw was a room housing all the sacred statues and holy pictures.” Why would a temple house a tomb? Didn’t you know that Hindus cremate their dead, and do not have tombs as places of worship? This bit alone speaks volumes!Recommend

  • Feroz

    Did it take you so many decades to discover the truth ? What was the intention in raising this topic, can you do anything about it. In any nation with a conscience there is hope for change, Pakistan has gone way beyond the point where any meaningful change is desired. If Pakistani citizens do not act like humans and continue to oppress downtrodden minorities the price will be paid through Divine intervention. The Almighty can take care of all HIS creations and people should stop fooling themselves that they are acting in his name or can escape HIS Justice.Recommend

  • sadia widad

    I also hate this word Minority and I want my country to be free from all these ugly thingsRecommend

  • sadia widad

    thanks NecromancerRecommend

  • sadia widad

    Cosmo I always pray that Pakistan live long till the end of the world coz we are what we are because of Pakistan.
    What is need of time is just to follow simple rule let live and lets others to liveRecommend

  • Pappu

    Special hatred and hostility towards idol worshippers is inshrined in Islamic history and teachings. Please read beginnings of Islam in Mecca and victory of kaaba before writing the blog. You cannot be a muslim if you do not hate and stop idol worshipping. Please read quran to know that biggest enemies of Allah are idol worshippers.Recommend

  • Jahil hamid

    Well you guys are in a minority.Recommend

  • Sajjad Ahmed Siddiqui

    We….Pakistanis and our Govt should not only let, rather
    facilitate all Religious minorities to practice their religion and culture. It
    reminds me of one of my Hindu class fellow Jugindar in cadet college razmak
    during class 7th to 10th. He was given free hand to study Islamiat or not.
    Later on when caught using unfair means in in matric detention exams, he was
    simply expelled out (Like all others) from the College as per the policy and
    enjoyed no special favor. Our whole entry went for strike, but now I think the decision of the college was correct, after all he was a pakistani too.Recommend

  • Rakib

    It’s not unusual for a Muslim not familiar with Hindu practices to believe a temple may house the grave/memorial of a holy personage like a Pir/Guru/Jogi/Siddh-purush apart from idols. Jogis & Sadhu/Sant/Bhagats are never cremated but their bodies are lowered in ground sitting in lotus posture (padmasana) as you may know.. That is how Mahrishi Aurobindo is buried in Pondicherry & Swami Chinmayananda in Siddhabari. Author was not wrong.Recommend

  • Faulitics

    The non muslims who stayed back in Pakistan after the creation of Pakistan based on a single religious identity were very short sighted. That decision is affecting their children and grand children lives in horrible ways. Maybe some of them were too poor to get out but they couldn’t have been the case for everyone. Recommend

  • Arooj Ahmed

    Of course, Not!
    People do greet Hindus on Holi and Deewali, I even read two special stories on Hindu festival in Kid’s magazine on the eve of Deewali. And not everyone hold grudges for their non-Muslim country fellows.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Please publish this:
    Jinnah knew this from the very beginning and that was reason he supported complete migration. What jinnah meant with relationship like Canada and america is that boder will never close. A non Muslim should be free to move to india any time and a Muslim from india to pakistan. Historians always misunderstood jinnah. But shortsightedness of Nehru and liaquant that they closed the border in 1950. I still feel opening borders will ease the tension between two countries and community in the long run. Congress closed the border to just use Muslims as vote bank.Recommend

  • water bottle

    If you don’t have it in you to face the truth, that’s your problem. Not mine.

    However, my objection was to the way she equated Muslim minorities in other countries to non-muslim minorities in Pakistan.
    Bashing? Read properly.I have only stated the facts.Recommend

  • water bottle

    I have been hinted, though not asked directly to convert to Islam.Recommend

  • water bottle

    I am sorry.

    It is unusual for an educated Muslim to assume a tomb inside a temple.

    People (educated people) of other faiths know what to expect inside a church, mosque, pagoda or even a synagogue.

    Though this is not a big issue, it is unusual.Recommend

  • water bottle

    Dear, the best of your knowledge suffers severely from inefficiency and insufficiency.

    I am not an apologist and hence I say without any doubt and with full integrity that Muslims (of present day) are more violent than the others.

    I can’t lie to please the pseudo secularists of India. Either one can’t see the truth or is afraid of truth is not my concern.Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ali

    There are two ways to survive in this world

    either become more stronger and powerful

    or create submissive qualities in yourself

    You have the right to choose

    Good LuckRecommend

  • Lalit

    the dis-proportionately high number of terrorists coming out from the Muslim community tells a different tale.you say give education to them and everything will become hunky dory.those who collided Airliners into WTC building were not uneducated,nor was Osama.what would you call Faisal Shehjad,or for that matter the recent spate of arrests of IM modules in India.all the accused are well educated.the fact is that modern education falls short in illuminating the dark alleys of their minds,which have an affinity for the rabid sermons of an illiterate mullah.this affinity for irrational arises out of a sense of victimhood which is instilled in them by the religious sermons of the clergy.infact educated people use their education in being more provocative and more lethal in their supposed mission of righteousness.suicide bombing is common in Muslim countries like Pakistan.even mosques if other sects are not spared.lesser educated are only the pawns while highly educated hold the sway.even the liberal most of people have started acknowledging this unfortunate trend.Recommend

  • Rakib

    While offering conversion to Islam in India is a gesture of love & compassion and that Sharia in principle is certainly a fine set of laws, lying or promoting child marriage is highly improper. I guess you didn’t listen to the proselytizers. Good. Some may recall that it was Jinnah who had staunchly advocated reform & Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929 (aka Sarda Act) which, with amendments about age, is still valid in India. (It has been improved upon with The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006)Recommend

  • kick boxer

    Fear in Hindu and Christian children Pakistan is instilled very early on. Look at this astonishing report by Shezad Roy. Kids are scared to tell their Hindu or Christian:

    http://www.awaztoday.com/News-Talk-Shows/34104/Chal-Parha-2nd-March-2013.aspxRecommend

  • Alif Laam Meem

    Ms Widad,

    Excellent article. I am a Muslim and a proud Pakistani and I wish the same. I hate the word minority past its statistical relevance. I wish my Muslim brothers can the see World past the restrictive ‘mullah vision’. Its once you leave Pakistan that you realize how many millions of different people live, work, play, pray together without converting or killing each other.

    We were sent to earth to live together as friends, family and neighbours… not to convert all of them. And convert to what? – Hanafi, Hambali, Shia , Ahmadi, Maliki, Zahiri, Ismaili ?

    No you do not and must not have to be a Muslim to survive in Pakistan. Inshallah, we too will grow to be more accepting of everyone, be it Hanafi, Hanbali, Shia , Ahmadi, Hindu, Bahai etc.

    Long live Pakistan.Recommend

  • charanjeet maan

    you don’t know even the basics of Hinduism.And it is hardly your fault.You learn and believe what you are taught in your schools and mosques.If hatred and hostility is what Islam teaches you,then it is no religion.Off course,you forget Sufism,and the fact that Islam means peace.Recommend

  • Raj – USA

    Sadia Widad is sincere and this is an excellent blog. I also liked the other blog by Roshan Zameer titled “I am a sunni and I married a shia”.

    The world community is taking notice of all atrocities Pakistani Sunni Muslims are committing on all others.
    Here is the July 17, 2013 report by Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada that lists a number of reports on minority issues in Pakistan.
    http://www.justice.gov/eoir/vll/country/canada_coi/pakistan/PAK104258.E.pdf

    There are many other reports by Human Rights commission also. Here is one of July 2013.
    http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-136-2013

    Here is the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR report of January 2013
    http://www.refworld.org/docid/510f8b832.html

    Here is another recent report from an international organization.
    http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/01/pakistan-not-safe-for-hindu-girls-of-marriageable-age/

    Here is also another news published in Pakistan’s leading daily “Dawn” in Feb. 2014.
    http://www.dawn.com/news/1087469/hindu-community-irked-by-forced-conversions

    ET has also published many reports.

    The point is, World community is taking serious notice increasingly on the atrocities committed by Pakistani Sunni Muslims on Hindus, Christians and Shias and they shall act if Pakistani muslims keep doing nothing but denying and deflecting the issues. Chandio’s Commission, Ifthekar’s justice, Imran Khan’s cursory condemnations or Nawaz Sharif’s silence will not be sufficient any longer.Recommend

  • dashkara

    The undefined rule, embedded in successive governments is to passively let legislation and social practices against minorities go by silently. Trying to adress this problem might, and has often, led to agitation from conservative and uneducated masses. Perhaps we need a statesmen, or a government which feels strong enough to fix the slow-paced wrongs done by week Hindu fearing state when it was in its infancy.Recommend

  • Asad Al Masqati

    A comendable job done for maligning your own country and inviting Indian trolls like water bottle to bad mouth a religion and country, trolls that infest Tribune blogs like parasites. Miss Sadia for your information there is no compulsion for nonmuslims to study islamiat. They have the option of Civics if its a matriculation board exam. I know that for a fact because some of my class mates split to another class for Islamiat period to study civics. If any school (and I would appreciate if you name it) is forcing non muslims to study Islamiat it is NOT the issue of Pakistani society being insensitive to non muslim Pakistani. It is an issue of incompetence. You cited an incident of omprakash as if thats the rule when infact this is an exception and the parents should go to court if it actually comes to that because law provides for protection in such issue and this is if talking to this silly teacher and his/her management does not solve the issue.
    Indians burned samjhoota express massacred hundreds in gujrat kill thousands in kashmir and still play champions of democracy. Morover our pseudo intellectual left wingers deliver slow full toss on legs every now and then.Recommend

  • Lalit

    well this is a simplistic view that all problems start with a uncontrolled population.Countries like China and India have faced the population pressure more than what Pakistan has ever done.but these Countries never faced the problem of religious violence and indigenous terrorism to the extent of self existential crisis.stop being politically correct if you want to really solve the problem.dare to call a spade, a spade.btw never try to educate those who don’t want an education or you would end up with a school blown up.family planning…well advertise it at the cost of your own dear life.and also stop vaccinating little kids unless you want a bullet through your skull.in short publically show any inclination for modernism in Pakistan and your one way ticket for paradise is booked.talk some obsolete gibberish supposedly praising Islam and lo and behold you are a certified scholar,which even most of the educated are following.Recommend

  • observer

    Do I have to become a Muslim? next question, which sect.? next question which sub-sect? Why are Muslims murdering Muslims by the thousands and thousands, why have thousands and thousands of poor East Pakistani’s been raped and murdered even though they were Muslims, why do thousands and thousands Sunni’s and Shia’s keep murdering each other, for hundreds of years, and probably keep going on and on for many more years. Can anyone answer why there is this fanatical hatred. Then why do I have to become a Muslim?.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    “This Pakistan is not what our founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah dreamt of…”

    Every article about minorities, about Radicalism has to have this line.

    Jinnah headed a party called “Muslim” League. He has said he wanted Sharia as the base of the Constitution. Called Direct Action day..(Against whom? The occupying British? Or, the poor and powerful Hindus?)

    http://www.leics.gov.uk/directactioncalcutta46.pdf

    Here is the link..Please read the Direct Manifesto distributed by the Muslim League, when Jinnah was its President.

    I quote Jinnah in Karachi : “I could not understand a section of people who deliberately wanted to
    create mischief and made a propaganda that the constitution of Pakistan
    would not be made on the basis of Shariat.”

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/484417/as-nation-remembers-jinnah-speakers-fear-his-legacy-has-been-forgotten/

    Hindus and Christians of Pakistan are living in a Jinnah’s Pakistan. Don’t you agree?Recommend

  • Umar Farooq

    I have one hindu class fellow. All the minority students were allowed to study ethics instead of islamyat.Recommend

  • Umar Farooq

    Now a days muslims are also not safe in pakistan. What we can say about hindus? INSHALLAH there will be peace in pakistan soon and all minorities will be celebarating their religious events without any fear.Recommend

  • Avinash Advani

    Well thanks to author who had highlighted this scenario, and being a Pakistani its our primary responsibility to protect our country, i have more knowledge regarding each province dilemma of Pakistan, Jinnah Said “You are free to go everywhere, You Are free to go temple” but can you envisage that is this envisage Qauid’s Pakistan whereas Minorities has been Foreced Conversion , Even they are not allow to enter the temple as well as targeting Minorities Business Tycoon in interior Sindh under pressure of “Wadera” System i am eye witness of this incident when someone has got the threat letter. instead of this i am saying proud to be Pakistani and even i am Sure that things will be ok by the efforts of youth empowerment and education systemRecommend

  • water bottle

    Asad, where have I (who you specifically accuse of) badmouthed religion?

    Show me. Quote from my comment.

    =========

    Your other deliberate omissions:

    1) Samjhauta express was bombed. Not burned. The cuplrits are in jail, facing trial.

    2) Hundreds were massacred in gujrat because the mob of Muslims (as proven by the court) burned down a trainful of Hindus.

    3) Thousands killed in Kashmir are mostly terrorists. Some are civilians and it is an unfortunate collateral damage. Not deliberate.Recommend

  • water bottle

    Try to be more offensive when you are lying next time. Then you won’t come across as a hypocrite also.

    Dawah is a direct way to heaven for Muslims. Conversion takes Muslims directly to heaven and Muslims consider that as one of their prime religious duty. It’s neither love, nor compassion.

    Compassion? Give me a break. Why should a poor, miserable, illiterate (or semi literate), ignorant Muslim feel compassion for someone more fortunate? Because I belong to a different religion?Recommend

  • Vish

    In Glasgow, in 2007, 2 educated Muslim brothers, a doctor & Engineer, attacked the international airport and were ready to die in the attack. So much for education.Recommend

  • Vish

    In fact a lot of lesser educated and uneducated Muslims, were concerned & protective of my father during Mumbai riots in 1993. Basic humanity and good sense requires no education.Recommend

  • Vish

    You need to read more about Sufism, to know that it was no peaceful cult. Sufism being peaceful is the biggest myth going around. By the way Islam does not mean peace.Recommend

  • Sane

    Muslims are target of atrocities in whole world; India, Kashmir, Burma, Bosnia, Sudan…… and world is silent This will make Muslims strong again.Recommend

  • Ravi

    Islam doesn’t mean peace..
    It means submission.
    Submission of your intellect..

    Warm RegardsRecommend

  • Anwaar

    no we dont agree…. have a good day and read about Shariat then comment on what Jinnah said ….Recommend

  • Rakib

    Not surprisingly you seem to assume “Pappu” is a Muslim. He/she may not be so. That’s how Reverse Propaganda works here. Such a Reverse Propagandist pretends to be what you would oppose ( a rude, radical Muslim) in the hope that Muslims can be discredited further. If a non-Muslim allows you to get an impression that he is a Muslim (without saying so) & then projects negative Muslim-stereotypes in such a way that it causes revulsion in your mind, his propaganda target would have been met. He retains deniability too!On anonymous Internet anybody may write impersonating a vicious,foaming-at-mouth radical Muslim & you would never know!Recommend

  • Rakib

    Individual Sufis can be vicious, if an entire School of Thought is declared as such it needs to be substantiated by one that has the credentials to do so. It’s like somebody ignorant of social history & with superficial knowledge of oppressive social stratification declaring Hinduism (instead of Hindus) cruel. There is no special book of Sufism to determine whether it’s a cult & if so, warlike. People that don’t know the difference between Sufis & Sufism, individuals & ideologies, people & precepts, inner mysticism & outer ritualism etc should start, if Indians, from reading Kabir’s words in Beejak & in Guru Granthsahib & understanding the difference between Dvaita & Advaita before venturing in to unknown areas.Recommend

  • bystander

    So what do you suggest that the minorities in Pakistan should choose?Recommend

  • Rakib

    That particular post was not in response to you. I try, as far as possible, to minimise interacting on such matters with confirmed Muslim-bashers. I forgive myself for this brief & only missive to you on this thread, written as an exception..Recommend

  • Khurram Shahzad

    Very well written by Sadia Widad, minorities in Pakistan need special care and steps to make them feel they are equal Pakistanis like the MuslimsRecommend

  • observer

    Muslims have been their own worst enemies for many years. Muslims are far safer living in neighbouring India than Pakistan. Muslims in India realize that after 66 years of independence, their forefathers made the right decision of staying back in India.Recommend

  • Humanity

    A Muslim is of will for God and not to survive in Pakistan.
    Recommend

  • Humanity

    A Muslim is only of free will. Not for mother, or father, or country, or any other being. Period. All else is shirk. And the Islamic Republic of Pakistan fearlessly colludes with this mother of transgressions by making it legal for ordinary people to become demagogues. The divine retribution is there for all to see. And it will only get worse.Recommend

  • bigsaf

    This isn’t truth or facts, rather a rant. You’ve highlighted some questionable and proven incidents, and omitted abuses by other regional or global religious communities, which includes your own, and applied blanket prejudice against all different types of global Muslim communities.
    Such acrimony and hate following an article that genuinely and sincerely is trying to appeal against discrimination really is unfortunate. Sometimes pointing out an author’s background and hypocrisy, or being bitter about a non-admission is one thing…but this really is disingenuous and spiteful.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Well he told me he will force or kill me if I don’t become a Muslim once sharia is enforced in india. How is that compassion? Child marriage act is not applicable to Muslim why? Also isn’t conversion concept against the idea of secularism.Recommend

  • vinsin

    They can move to pakistan.Recommend

  • water bottle

    My comments never bash Muslims. My comments highlight the utter nature of Muslims.

    If you cannot see the facts and comment on them and instead try to escape calling me a Muslim Basher, that shows your utter failing at defending your blatant lies.Recommend

  • Hunza wala

    You forgot to add,..can marry underage girls. No permission
    from 1st.wife needed to marry 2nd. wife or 3rd. wife or 4th. wife.
    Must believe in Sharia law for the whole country. Explicitly.
    And if money is owed to,…say a Hindu or a Christian, just accuse
    them of blasphemy. Do not have pay loan back….see?..so simpleRecommend

  • Lahore wala

    Hey water bottle spread your hate somewhere else. You are fortunate ET prints your comments. Same poisonous comments from a Muslim in ET would be censured.Recommend

  • Landhi wala

    Another Muslim bashing Indian troll.Recommend

  • Motiwala

    Accusing another comment writer of lying. How can this be acceptable to E T? This is a civil discussion forum.
    This is beyond Blog etiquette. Why are such comments and
    accusations allowed by E T? This is beyond the pale.Recommend

  • Motiwala

    Why are such hateful comments by ‘water bottle’ allowed?
    This man is expounding his hate for Muslims. Why is a newspaper like E T allowing such comments? This is unacceptable.Recommend

  • Motiwala

    Why is E T allowing these hateful comments by Water Bottle?
    They are all over this blog. They are specifically directed
    at Muslims. And they are blatantly anti Muslim. What is the
    Editorial policy of E T ? Regarding such comments.
    I object, and I am complaining.Recommend

  • Manish

    Just outside a book exhibition here in my city (Nagpur, India) i was handed a flier by a white bearded man, to summarise the flier stated as to why I should convert to Islam and on not doing so and by not following the principals of islam i will suffer after death in a boiling pot full of oil. I was not offended as i understand it as a right of every person to practice and promote their religion in India.I found it only disturbing because the method used to do so was not by highlighting the positive aspects of Islam but by use of fear psychosis and the fact that it failed to recongnise other religions as legitimate inspite of them being successful over centuries.Recommend

  • MK

    Muslims are also the target in Syria,Libya,Egypt,Saudi,bahrain, Iran, Pakistan and basically all countries muslim, targeted and killed by fellow muslims and in more atrocious ways and in more numbers than in India,Burma, Bosnia, Sudan…Recommend

  • bigsaf

    ET, I do not understand why you would cut out the words ‘steeped in religious bigotry’ at the end of the first sentence, after ‘rant’, in my reply above. It is an accurate observation on the post, not a direct attack against the commentator, and the offensive and false comment above was later deleted clearly on this basis.Recommend

  • You left that whole lying about Neil Armstrong thing hanging. What’s that about?Recommend

  • Asad Al Masqati

    Special hatred (using your own words) is for the act of idol worship, not the idol worshippers
    It is concept of making the act and the actor seperate. There has to be No Doubt in any body’s mind that Islam CONDEMNS idol worship. Even the hindu scriptures condemn idol worship. The topic is not what Islam or quran prescribes. Because by the same token vedas and puranas can be refered to for condemnation of most current hindu practices. I suggest keeping the discourse
    Social which is where the problem should be if what the blog writer has ponted out is true, which I vehemently disagree with based on my own experience. These maligning blogs for cheap publicity is a great way for getting the hits. Recommend

  • Asad Al Masqati

    Your observation is quite “Superficial” informed by what Men does and not what the Letter says. There is a fundamental logical error with this narrative. Islam is what is prescribed in the Quran and Sunnah. When it was followed by the quarreling Arab tribes it made them into one nation. The problems you have cited are the problems arising not because of Islam but lack of it. This is what the Men have done to themselves and religion. Thus instead of Superficially placing the blame on the religion for what people do we you need to keep things in perspective. If Hindu society is divided into cast system who do you blame for that?Recommend

  • Rps Hundal

    I am Sikh and live here in Canada. I have been asked to embrace Islam. I ask them to pay me $10,000,000.00 and I will embrace Islam. Recommend

  • Xee Shan

    As you know, about 97% of the population of Pakistan are Muslim. The other 3% are made up of Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Parsi, Buddhists etc.
    In theory everyone is equal, but a non-Muslim can not become Prime Minister or President.

    Secondly, about respect….that’s an eternal question here. Usually people are respected here for their ranks. Their social status. Money speaks here for everyone. It can save anyone. Powerful eats the poor. The poor can be anyone. The rich can be anyone too.

    And Pakistan implements the sharia law, in the past few years many cases of blasphemy against Islam have been registered against the minorities by Muslims. This is to gain some advantage or covet their possessions. for example if a Muslim had a land dispute against a Hindu he would accuse him of blasphemy against Islam (like cursing the prophet) , the poor Hindu would then have to sell his land cheaply to fight the case.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    As long as the facts I’ve presented are undisputed, your comment is the one which can be considered trolling.

    Putting up fact-based comments is not the definition of trolling.

    I dare you to prove me wrong..Recommend

  • observer

    People, whoever, wherever, should not be know to each other by the religion they are labelled into, or born into. Very few people in this world actually study religion. What they know about religion is thru others, i.e. priests, maulana, rabbi’s, etc, or thru their fathers, mothers. Very few amongst us actually do research, they fall into a trap, of thinking their religion is superior to others, that religion can actually be graded, into A , B, C etc. We expose our ignorance, we expose our mindset, our myopic thinking. Religion is not the problem at all it is the human mindset that is the problem.Recommend

  • Abdul Shakoor Khan

    Bravo!very well written blog yet on a sensitive issue!Recommend

  • Motiwala

    Why are E T moderators allowing these hateful
    comments by this ‘water bottle’. Why ‘water bottle’ comments
    are allowed uncensured? While other’s comments are censured? This water bottle is every where on ET. In ‘Opinion’
    section in ‘Blogs’ section. With his hateful anti Muslim diatribes.
    Why are ‘water bottle’ comments not monitored? By ET?
    You go to read E T and you end up being inundated by by
    this anti Muslim spiel? This is unacceptableRecommend

  • Motiwala

    Your facts are twisted. And without merit. Something
    you do to fit your narrative. Blatantly. In each and every
    comment you are anti Muslim. That has to be a sad sorry
    state to be in. Hatred for a religion.Recommend

  • logicwins

    My advise to all Hindus in Pakistan is that they should all move to India if they want to live in dignity and with security. There is no hope for religious minorities in Pakistan.

    The author should be congratulated for pointing out this huge problem of serious oppression and discrimination of minorities. I can sense her feeling of humanity and compassion.Recommend

  • logicwins

    “When it was followed by the quarreling Arab tribes it made them into one nation.” Yes, it did- by elimination and forcefully converting unbelievers.Recommend

  • logicwins

    You seem to be ignorant of the fact that Sufi concepts of mysticism and spirituality are borrowed from Hinduism. That is the reason all major mathabs reject sufism as part of Islam. Anyways, Sufis have done a good share of forced conversions through sweet talks and deception.Recommend

  • MORNING

    Not easy sir in our country people think first thy are Sunni ,Sheiya etc thy don’t care about for Muslim then how thy will give place to Hindu or Christians or some other religion thy don’t have unity with each other how thy will do good with others, even thy r not equal how thy will feel others r equal .Recommend

  • Rama

    Iran and and the Zorastrians are an examplle fo the sufis!Recommend

  • hozur

    Sound and practical advise,thsi will leave the sunnis,shias,ahamadis etc to settle their disputes without involving people of other faiths in their disputes and the need to obtain ‘heaven’Recommend

  • hozur

    You msut ponder why it so.Poeple of other faiths have no such complaints and they are more in number.Recommend

  • Snehil Sharma

    Sahi baat Anoop !!Recommend

  • Sumith mali

    sun and moon revolve around earth and sun sets in hot spring great…….s v wil b next to mommed great great…..Recommend