Where has our religious freedom gone, Pakistan?

Published: February 27, 2015
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A list was presented to a national assembly committee by a government official pertaining to items deemed Haram. STOCK IMAGE

The intrusion of reactionary Islam into the Pakistani way of life is not a recent trend, at least for large sections of the country’s current youth. While not officially a theocracy like Iran, Pakistan is still an Islamic Republic and despite having a Federal Sharia Court, legal rulings are the responsibility of scholars who do not necessarily need to be clerics.

In an environment such as that of modern day Pakistan, suffocating religious sentiments are quite common. When these religious sentiments are given the support of a legal framework, things take an even more suffocating turn. This is what has happened with a list presented to a national assembly committee by a government official pertaining to items deemed haram.

While getting into details of the 19 products on that list and whether they are haram or not is a matter best left to others, the more pressing issue is the extent to which religious imposition has slithered, intentionally or unintentionally, into the private and public lives of every Pakistani. And the fact that this is aided by the government only adds fuel to an already angry fire.

With this in mind, it won’t be entirely incorrect to say that Pakistan is under a religious dictatorship. The irony of this is the fact that for a significant chunk of our history, we have been under the hawkish eye of military dictators. While these military dictators have come and gone, religious dictatorship shows no sign of subsiding. It only shows signs of getting stronger, and that too in the most scary of manners. Every time military dictators stepped into office, there were huge sections of the society that resisted. There were large sections of society that protested in one way or another. Newspapers and TV channels were censored. Individual freedom was curbed. The air was polluted with a sense of being caged. In an almost identical fashion, religious dictatorship has managed to do the same – over a longer, more consistent, period of time. The only difference is that we have somehow managed to ignore, and in some cases, even accepted it.

It seems futile repeating this over and over again, but Jinnah’s push for a separate homeland was not based on the idea of a country where Muslims get preferential treatment. It was based on the idea of everyone, regardless of class, religion or creed, having the same right to life as everyone else. It was based on the idea of everyone, regardless of class, religion or creed, having the same civil and economic freedoms as everyone else. It was meant to be an outlet for all those minorities that suffered through Hindu majority India. The Pakistan of today is a far cry from the Pakistan Jinnah imagined. It is a land caught in the gruesome mix of religious imposition and economic exploitation. The current state of affairs offers ample proof behind why this country has gone to the dogs and not just your average every day dogs, but wild ones hungry for flesh, those foaming at the mouth.

While religion has been distorted and used as a tool to slaughter minorities for a while, it has now reached levels where even trivial matters like food and drink are governed by religion. For a country that hosts people from all religious backgrounds, a country whose founder specifically stressed upon religious freedom, is this step justified? Why are we trying so desperately to follow in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia when other, more progressive, nations like Malaysia still exist on the map? Would it not be smarter to inform people about those products that does not contain ‘halal’ products and let them make their decision themselves? For how long can a state use religion to have a stranglehold on their citizens?

Let the people breathe. Let the people live. Religion is a personal matter that has nothing to do with the state or the powers that be. My religion is mine and yours is yours. It has nothing to do with the politics of a country. Pakistan was supposed to be a safe haven for all religions – where has our religious freedom gone?

salman Zafar

Salman Zafar

The writer works in the Education Sector and tweets as @salmanzafar1985 (twitter.com/salmanzafar1985)

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

  • Queen

    Comparing the issue of Halal foods with the censoring of television?? “Religion is a personal matter” agreed but remember our Constitution is governed by Islamic laws and Pakistan is considered an Islamic society where Islamic laws are implemented. There are alcohol and non-Halal items available in Pakistan [though not openly in markets] which are used by people of other religions. The issue is not about trying to “follow the footsteps of Saudi Arabia” but to maintain certain checks and balances which the government is responsible to do so for its citizens comprising of 96.4 percent Muslims. Malaysia is more developed than Pakistan but recently there were people in Malaysia who demanded ban on a chocolate for Halal issues. If you think allowing people to eat what they want is religious freedom, then we should not declare anyone “Kaafir” when he eats non-Halal food.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    our religious freedom went out the window as soon as the mullahs took hold of the nations political system and many ordinary people helped them do it.Recommend

  • BlackHat

    Good to see more and more people asking pertinent questions that need to be asked. Up until now, no one questioned either the military or the mullah. It is their nexus, born out of insatiable hunger for power and privilege, that is stifling the air. I don’t know about freedom of religion, but thank God, I am free of religion.Recommend

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

    “Jinnah’s push for a separate homeland was not based on the idea of a country where Muslims get preferential treatment.”

    This is a lie. Jinnah wanted Sharia, not just as a law, but Pakistan’s Constitution to be based on it.

    He said: “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.”

    Why Hindus, Sikhs and Christians, who formed around 30% of the population then, had to be subjected to Shara?

    Doesn’t this mean Muslims were supposed to get preferrential treatment?
    Face it, Jinnah and his League started the fire that has engulfed Pakistan today. Compare this to what Nehru did to his India. India, till date, has Muslim Personal Law, Dalits still have reservations.Recommend

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

    Yes, ZAB who deemed Ahmadis non-Muslims is a Mullah and people like you who sign that pledge to get your passports are Mullahs.Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    How can any food (or anything or anyone for that matter) made by “Allah” be haram? Just asking.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Gives credence to the demand by certain people in the west to ban Qu’raan for its “hateful” passages.Recommend

  • Milind A

    ” It was meant to be an outlet for all those minorities that suffered through Hindu majority India”
    When will you guys realize that this was a bogeyman propped up by Jinnah & co when they felt they would lose to Gandhi & Co.
    Muslims ruled this Hindu country for 800 years. However Hindus being forward looking decided to start a new chapter, by embracing modernity rather than harping on the injustices of the Muslim rulers. However the Muslim leaders resorted to fear-mongering. This continues to this day with ‘Islam khatre mein’ cries, weird conspiracy theories and a siege mentality within the Muslim world.Recommend

  • Farhan

    ZAB was appeasing the Mullahs for popular support. Do learn some history instead of lashing out.Recommend

  • Roon

    I have debated you in length on this and proven that Mr Jinnah’s speech to the constituent assembly (as well as many other speeches) show his intentions. You cherry pick his speeches and ignore those which fly in your face. Please look at this objectively and not a Indian Nationalist perspective.

    “He urged forgiveness of bygone quarrels among Pakistanis, so all can be
    “. . . first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights .
    . .”. Pointing out that England in past centuries had settled its
    fierce sectarian persecutions, he proposed that “in course of time
    Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims,
    not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each
    individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.””

    You may dislike him for his creation of Pakistan but do not make up lies do defame him.Recommend

  • Hadeel

    What Mullah’s sell is just another version of religion, a scarier version. They sell fear and they control us. This is why we haven’t been able to promote tolerance. Ordinary people give in to the fear, they don’t reason with Mullahs and their claims and they end up being intolerant as well.Recommend

  • singh

    jinnah’s pak has obsession Recommend

  • Queen

    Following one’s religion is ‘hateful’? no surprises as it is coming from from someone with zero knowledge about the Holy Quran.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Well,first learn English and know what the Apostrophes around hateful mean.
    Also it depends on the version of religion that one follows.Recommend

  • Milind A

    This is the problem… Why does anybody have to knowledge of Quran if he/she can apply pure common sense? Isn’t it plain common sense that one doesn’t have to kill a person, if he/she holds diverse views, or insults your faith or practices innovation within faith. Isn’t it inhuman to kill an animal (writhing in pain) in plain view, thereby desensitizing the viewers, as part of sacrifice? However such common sense is jettisoned and religious sanction is claimed.Recommend

  • Queen

    If you criticize something without having knowledge about it, then that criticism will not be justifiable in any situation.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    People like me? What the EF? I am an ahmadi. Can’t you read my comment history? Recommend

  • Roon

    I know. This man claims to speak on IDP’s and Ahmedis behalf even when they are telling him that they do not side with him to his face. I could say a lot more about how he claims to be a “liberal” and so on but lets leave it at that…Recommend

  • BlackHat

    There used to be a time, not too long ago, when the mullah was just a notch above the village idiot. Now, given the gun, he is in the bedroom.Recommend

  • Queen

    Will definitely attend English language lessons to find out the meaning of ‘apostrophes’.Recommend

  • Kajamohideen

    Except for one or two Meccan verses where can you find freedom of religion in the Quran?Recommend

  • Kajamohideen

    Can a good Muslim answer this please?Recommend

  • abhi

    I wonder when was the time people had religious freedom in Pakistan?Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Did you say one or two meccan verses? well whoever told you so lied to
    “There is no compulsion in religion — the right way is indeed clearly distinct from error.”— 2:256
    “The Truth is from your Lord; so let him who please believe and let him who please disbelieve.” — 18:29
    “Clear proofs have indeed come to you from your Lord: so whoever sees, it is for his own good; and whoever is blind, it is to his own harm. And I am not a keeper over you.” — 6:104
    “If you do good, you do good for your own souls. And if you do evil, it is for them.” — 17:7
    “If they accept Islam, then indeed they follow the right way; and if they turn back, your duty (O Prophet) is only to deliver the message.” — 3:20
    “And obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away, the duty of Our Messenger is only to deliver the message clearly.” — 64:12; see also 5:92
    “Say (to people): Obey Allah and obey the Messenger. But if you turn away, he is responsible for the duty imposed on him, and you are responsible for the duty imposed on you. And if you obey him, you go aright. And the Messenger’s duty is only to deliver (the message) plainly.” — 24:54
    “O people, the truth has indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever goes aright, goes aright only for the good of his own soul; and whoever errs, errs only to its detriment. And I am not a custodian over you.” — 10:108
    “Surely We have revealed to you (O Prophet) the Book with truth for people. So whoever follows the right way, it is for his own soul, and whoever errs, he errs only to its detriment. And you are not a custodian over them.” — 39:41
    “We have not appointed you (O Prophet) a keeper over them, and you are not placed in charge of them.” — 6:107
    “Your duty (O Prophet) is only the delivery of the message, and Ours (God’s) is to call (people) to account.” — 13:40
    “And if your Lord had pleased, all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them. Will you then force people till they are believers?” — 10:99

    There are many other verses, these are the only ones I can recall at the present as I have not memorized the entire Holy Quran by heart. I may edit this comment later to include more.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    because Allah said so. not everything in nature is for eating. some things are good for the body others are not. Therefore some food is forbidden in Islam.
    To be honest your comment is highly laughable. God created the most poisonous of living beings but we do not partake of them. God created humans and they are not eaten except in barbaric societies.
    SO either you are wrong or you think that humans are fit for consumption. please pick one and comment as to which is your preference.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    He is living in his own fantasy land where everything is Jinnahs fault. He also thinks that killing a cow is bad but no matter how much you torture it to get its milk it will thank you. I feel pity for him and engage him in debates sometimes.Recommend

  • p r sharma

    Per your version some food is forbidden in Islam( by ALLAH)because the same are harmful for body. We develop some strong belief and then explore create its justification ( acceptable by others in modern day). Your logic is the example of such behaviour worldwide. If body harm is the only reason to forbid some food why can’t it be left on the individual concerned to decide as many more foods will appear in the changing world. Every religion makes you believe that God is one and everything including humans,animals are HIS creations. If it is so why there is favour or concern for humans only( what is harmful or not harmful). seems there is something wrong in our assumption and / or belief. Appears that man has created GOD ( a super power , an answer for all which is not explainable) and not the vice versa. Moderator please allow the comment to be published.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    what actually are you trying to say. please explain yourself.
    According to Islam there is no “food” forbidden, just “food groups” therefore if a new food appears we just see in which group it falls and go from there. and it IS left to the individual concerned.
    Favour for humans? yes I am pretty sure there is favour for humans in every religion an in every society. Which society does not favour humans over everything else please feel free to enlighten me.Recommend

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

    How is that better? You are an Ahmadi and if you have a passport, it means you have discriminated against your own kind – your friends, your relatives and yourself.Recommend

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

    Roon,

    Considering you have discriminated and added to the injustice against Ahmadis and the guy who you are talking to – @disqus_z8pJsLOVXi:disqus – don’t you have any remorse?
    What moral right do you have to judge others?

    I have never discriminated against a single soul in my life. My conscience is clean. To hear you justify your discrimination of Ahmadis is shameful. How can you sign that shameful document and reserve the right to judge others?

    Considering you refuse to decry wonton killings and destruction of property in FATA and your condoning of Muslim League attrocities in Bengal, there is definitely a trend.

    Don’t you have a heart?Recommend

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

    He corrected his Constituent Assembly speech in the Karachi Bar Association speech in 1948. Why isn’t that important?
    Who is cherry picking here?
    He said all those wonderful things and goes on to say Sharia should be imposed on the same HIndus he says can visit their Temples.
    Ask any Mullah he will agree Hindus can visit their Temples in Pakistan and Sharia should be the basis of Pakistan’s Constitution. How is what Jinnah said so radically different?Recommend

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

    Prescisely my point. Blaming Mullahs alone is pointless. It is ordinary people of Pakistan which are the problem. They elected ZAB. Pakistan is supposedly a Democracy, why are anti-Ahmadi laws present? Or, Blasphemy?
    In a Demoracy you have no excues.
    I was baiting with my first comment. Thanks for that.Recommend

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

    In a blog which talks about lack of Religious Freedom I quote the founder of Pakistan saying he wants Sharia in the Consitution.
    And, you think I am wrong!Recommend

  • p r sharma

    Sir, Food groups are only wider area of the food and does not change the intrinsic meaning. Any food or food groups if forbidden just because that it is harmful for body appears a doctrine or logic made by the followers. ( religion is used to control the lives of its adherents).
    We do not choose religion. it comes in our life because of our birth in a community/family. religion of our parents are involuntarily adopted by us and we develop the belief/ faith because of influence of our parents/family/peers/ society on our life. Any criticism on our such belief hurts and we tend to counter it for our own comfort rather than to reply and we look for /explore justifications like food forbidden because harmful for body.
    If Humans are created by GOD the same logic applies for animals and other creatures too. If it is so why a creator would discriminate( favour humans over other creatures). That is why a feeling comes that it is Man who created/ imagined a super power (God)firstly when Man could not find answers of many questions in this universe. Religion or ideology is developed over a period by men itself to regulate/ discipline the society for betterment including support of weaker human too. depending upon the then situations/scenario.. To make the ideology acceptable by all it is claimed that it is the will / message of ALLAH/ GOD or any name developed for the super power. So I feel that all religions with its all the ideology are man made and were useful in the then circumstances and that was the need of the society and good for the society. CHANGE is universal and therefore amendment in the doctrine/ideology( suitable earlier) is required with changing time.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    You speak and speak and speak without even an iota of knowledge? This is shameless ignorance. In Pakistan you can get a passport without discriminating against anyone the downside is that YOU ARE DISCRMINATED AGAINST. My passport says that I am ahmadi. It allows the officials to stop me at airports and make life generally miserable for me. But I still have a passport and I did not harm anyone while getting it. Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Not making any sense here . I commented on the fact that not every thing is edible just because it is divine creation. What does this tirade has to do with that? Show me that every thing is edible or admit that it is not. So making long gibberish laden postsRecommend

  • Roon

    How stupid! Even Ahmedis are discriminating against Ahmedis in yout mind!

    You did not know Maximus is an Ahmedi despite getting into arguments with him multiple times and now offer meager excuses in defence.Recommend

  • Roon

    “I was baiting with my first comment.”
    HAHAHA, I was only pretending to be stupid with my first comment and didn’t mean it! Admit it you made a fool out of yourself accusing Maximus of bigotry against himself.

    “In a Demoracy you have no excues.”
    Not really true. America has been a democracy throughout its existence but laws discriminating against blacks and women were only repealed last century (same for many other democracies).Recommend

  • Roon

    “Don’t you have a heart?”
    You are trying to guilt trip people now and acting emotional to get support. This is what is shameful. A person who does not condemn the Gujrat riots saying he has never discriminated!
    “What moral right do you have to judge others?”Recommend

  • Roon

    The author disagrees with you too:
    “It was based on the idea of everyone, regardless of class, religion or
    creed, having the same right to life as everyone else. It was based on
    the idea of everyone, regardless of class, religion or creed, having the
    same civil and economic freedoms as everyone else. It was meant to be
    an outlet for all those minorities that suffered through Hindu majority
    India.”Recommend

  • Roon

    “He corrected his Constituent Assembly speech in the Karachi Bar Association speech in 1948.”
    This speech was made even later. If being late sets the precedent then this overrides yours. Also you are the one cherrypicking saying “the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.” is a call for Shariah…

    “”We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no
    distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.”Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    These people peddle that lie & then play the victim card .When this guy –the author talks about “where has our religious freedom gone” he is refering to the religious freedom of Msulims . Non-Muslims esp. hindus/jews/christians do not count in the heads of these wannabe Secular Muslims since they are all Muslim nationalists — a reason there was no Faiiz etc. denouncing Objective Resolution ; though they like hanging around Secular Hindus/Chrsitians/Atheists & vociferously condemn Hindu Nationalism for India or Christian patriotism for Pakistan , they themselves are Muslim Nationalists & they see nothing hypocritical in that .
    So I think we should not write comments after comments on Pakistani newspapers —-write a thought-provoking comment in the hope that at least some Pakistanis are not communal , & rather condemn Muslim Communalism as much as non-Muslim Communalism.
    But then unlike India , Bangladesh ,Sri Lanka ,& Nepal that have Secular Nationalisms too apart from Majoritarian Communal Nationalists, Paksitan has none but only Muslim Nationalism. Even the commies here are Communal creatures , not like the ones we have.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    He is not living in his own fantasy land. Again while Jinnah was not a Fundamentalist , he was a parochial Muslim leader , of some what the same nature as India has Modi today . In Indian history , he can be called as the Muslim counterpart to V D Savarkar – the Atheist Hindu founder of Hindutva ideology.
    Savarkar was a staunch atheist , who would often attack people’s religiosity but he played the same two cards of Victimhood & Supremacism which Jinnah’s & also your arguments reflect.
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/22-Dec-2013/jinnah-bhutto-and-the-legacy-of-intolerance

    What you Pakistanis do not realize is that Paksitan never had a history of Secular Movement . Even when many Paksitanis talk about Secularism , they refer to two things : 1) not to be like the Muslim Orthodoxy but still be proud Muslim antionalist 2) Letting non-muslims co-exist but in a way that they accept that they are existing here not because they are a native ethnic group but because of Islam’s kindness to them.
    These things rather makes an ordinary Pakistani wannabe secularist , more of a counterpart to softer Hindutvavadis.
    The only two people in Pakistan who were Secular were : Bacha Khan & G M Syed who fought for non-muslim Pakistanis against Muslim majoritarian mindset —on the same lines as Indian Secularists agitate against Hindutvavadis.
    If you are really Secular , have you wondered why persecution of non-muslims & the sudden plummet in West Pakistan’s non-muslim population has gone undocumented — leading to many Conspiracy Theories on both sides of the border ?? If we & you talk about persecution of Muslims at the hands of Hindus , it is mostly bcz in India a Secular Movement exists , mostly of Hindus & Atheists, that documents it.
    Recommend

  • L.

    Do you have an argument to contest or is this a “bait” too? Don’t tell me an intern is managing this account of yours…Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Too long did not read. Also known as ” thine tirade giveth me the mother of all head aches” Recommend

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

    Coming from you, who has discriminated against him and millions of his kind, this is very fresh!Recommend

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

    Can you quote me where I say Gujarat riots are justified?
    I have only tried to bring the riots in perspective, the causes, the people who have been wrongly blamed.
    You can condone Direct Action day riots under a Muslim League Govt, but you have a problem if others do the same?Recommend

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

    @disqus_z8pJsLOVXi:disqus I have never and will never discriminate against you. Its sad that your passport marks that you are an Ahmadi.
    If you have don’t discriminated against others I take my word back.
    Its sad what your Religion and people have done to you.Recommend

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

    t. Ask him to disprove what I quote is untrue.
    The quote of Jinnah that I have used is 100% factual. Jinnah was pro-Sharia. The quote is self-explanatory and more importantly he said it AFTER Aug 11 speech and in response to a secular interpretation of the Aug 11 speech.
    Modi said he will take Muslims along with him in development and recently all Religions should get equal treatment,etc, a very secular thing to say, doesn’t mean you suddenly believe he is secular is he! Why not apply the same logic with Jinnah?Recommend

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

    But, with Sharia in the Constitution? How does this quote disprove what I claim?

    “the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”

    Jinnah was pro-Sharia and secularism demands seperation of church and state. How is embedding Sharia in Constitution Secular?Recommend

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

    You hit the nail on the head.
    They see no problem in the founder of Pakistan calling for Sharia.
    I am glad all Political forces are represented in India. If I remember correctly former CM of Tamil Nadu was an Atheist(or at least he claimed he is one). Such acts are sure to invite death in our neighbouring countries and in US its a recipe for losing.Recommend

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

    Queen you were supposed to provide me a quote where eating Beef is mandatory for a Muslim. You ran away from that conversation.Recommend

  • Zee

    All those Indians pretending to be secular, pl comment why beef is not allowed in India? Today, it is also banned in Maharashtra by BJP government! Even not allowed for Muslims but again India is secular, religious freedom etc! Sick of these statements from Indians always poking in our internal issues.

    And yes, in Pakistan, non Muslims can have alcohol or even pork in certain resturants! Recommend

  • Roon

    Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and many of the leaders of the Aligarh movement (which led to Muslim nationalism and later Pakistan) were quite reformist in their views about Islam and were considered apostates by the orthodox clergy.

    On the other hand the Hindu Mahasabha (of which Godse was a member and which V D Savarkar was president) was an extremist religious party best compared to the Jamaat-e-Islami rather than the Muslim League which was an established political party. I think thus the comparison is thus not really fair.Recommend

  • Roon

    Communalism is mostly an Indian concept so looking at things from that perspective in other countries is not a good idea.

    I agree that the state should be secular for the most part but why should Pakistanis condemn Muslim nationalism or any sort of nationalism for that matter like Sindhi, Pashtun, Kashmiri, etc as long as it is not taken to extremes?

    After all why shouldn’t an individual be communal in favour of his own community or ethnicity (whatever he values more) rather than be blindly loyal to the state?

    As far as such behaviour in politics is concerned Muslim (communal?/supremest?) parties like the Jamaat-e-Islami have
    never performed well in elections in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Roon

    Communalism is mostly an Indian concept so looking at things from that perspective in other countries is not a good idea.

    I agree that the state should be secular for the most part but why
    should Pakistanis condemn Muslim nationalism or any sort of
    nationalism for that matter like Sindhi, Pashtun, Kashmiri, etc
    as long as it is not taken to extremes?

    After all why shouldn’t an individual be communal in favour of his own community or ethnicity (whatever he values more) rather than be blindly loyal to the state?Recommend

  • Queen

    I replied you two times but it was edited by ET for some reason. You can google the information if you are so curious to know.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    “Communalism is mostly an Indian concept so looking at things from that perspective in other countries is not a good idea.”
    Oh … really it is only an Indian concept , not a South Asian one. It is just a dangerous way to continue your seige mindset & coumaflage the blatant communalism that exists in the word “Secularism” that you use.
    Your Secularism is this , from what I have inferred : Religion & Politics should be separated , but the State should continue to be a Muslim state ,where non-Muslims accept that their very existence in lands of their civillization is due to grace of Islam.
    Well this is exactly what “soft-Hindutvavadis” have been demanding —they too agree that religion & state should be kept apart but believe that Culturally India should only be HIndu-Sikh-Jain-Buddhist , & the Muslim-Christian aspects of Indian heritage be discarded on lines of Jinnah’s Pakistan , where non-muslim history has been shelved way back in 1950s.
    Have you wondered who gave you your national flag —Jinnah . If that flag is acceptable to you than why object if such a flag with saffron instead of green & OM instead of Crescent-star becomes Indian National flag??
    You care more about attacks on secularism in India than the absence of Secularism in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Go through V D Savarkar & early Hindu Nationalists like Arya Samajists etc. . They too were Social reformers .
    Thats a different thing that these Rightist Social Reformers were later on replaced by Atheist -Left leaning Reformers like Ambedkar which resulted in rejection of Hindu Nationalism.
    In your case , you have not yet evolved to rise beyond Muslim Nationalism.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    That was no tirade against you but only to show that what you are calling as Secularism is only a parochial idea that wants eradication of Mullah & muslim orthodoxy but has no idea or no respect for the Rights & cultures of non-muslim Pakistanis…
    I mean you are Secular acc to you , but do you know anything about the suffering of non-Muslim Pakistanis etc.Recommend

  • Roon

    When you bring repeatedly bring up the train burning you are justifying the violence and providing excuses for the Gujrat violence.

    Furthermore you have said the Babri Masjid demolition was also justified saying “I thought it was to correct a historical wrong of Islamic invaders destroying a Ram Temple”. So according to you the demolition of the Babri Masjid was to correct an ancient wrong?

    Also you ignore the massacare of Muslims in UP and Bihar by Hindus during under Congress government (1946). Is Gandhi responsibe for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in this region since he was the leader of Congress and Congress was in the government? I have repeatedly brought this up but you have never answered.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    If Pakistanis uphold Muslim Nationalism , what makes them so negatively obsessed with Hindu Nationalism .
    So are you asking Muslim NAtionalism is all good thing since Muslims are a majority & it had its roots in Sir Syed ; & Secular Nationalism is actually the responsibility of non-Muslim majorities of societies where muslims are a minority.Recommend

  • Roon

    I think you are the one cherry-picking now. How is
    “”the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.” not secular?

    I believe you know of Ayesha Jalal before. She shares the same view about Jinnah in her studies, its not just me.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Hindu Mahasabha was not an extremist religious party . Savarkar was an atheist & remains a great Rationalist , & Arun Shourie , Jaitely etc are agnostics .. BJP has all kinds of Rightist men —-religious extremist & Rationalists but all at least as blatantly communal as a Pakistani.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Suffering of non Muslim Pakistanis? Of course I know about it. Read my comment history. I have always been vocal in my support for non Muslims and in real world I try my best to support themRecommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Thanks that you support them but do you know the best support for them is that :–You stop depending on Jinnah’s “hollow secularism” that is only based upon a fateful speech on a fateful day but rather resurrect the spirits of GM Syed & Bacha Khan from their graves…..then you will know that what you or many Jinnahites call as secularism for Pakistan is Muslim Cultural hegemony , if not Muslim Religious hegemony —it is like Hindu Cultural Nationalism of V D Savarkar.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    “Is Gandhi responsibe for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in this region since he was the leader of Congress and Congress was in the government? I have repeatedly brought this up but you have never answered.”

    But the people who did it were Hindutva & communalised Hindus , right.

    Moreover , did not you say that “After all why shouldn’t an individual be communal in favour of his own community or ethnicity (whatever he values more) rather than be blindly loyal to the state?”

    So if Muslims can be communal to fight for themselves ..good but why cannot European Christians be communal to rid their nation of Foreign Muslims or Communal Hindus tell Indian Muslims to leave for Pakitsn -the country created for them in their name.Recommend

  • Roon

    Rana… they assassinated Gandhi and some of them even celebrated it. some even go as far to describe the group as “an Indian version of fascism”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashtriya_Swayamsevak_Sangh#Criticisms_and_accusations

    The Muslim League existed to safeguard the rights of Muslims and when they felt that it was impossible only then did they move towards Pakistan. Earlier it actually worked with the Congress and the reason why Jinnah joined it was to further Hindu-Muslim cooperation.

    You may not like Muslim nationalism just as some states do not like other types of Nationalism (India is wary of Kashmiri nationalism and Pakistan of Baluchi for example). But why should we rise above our identity? Should I ask you to rise above Indian nationalism?Recommend

  • Roon

    “We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no
    distinction between one community and another, no

    discrimination between one caste or creed and another.

    We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.”

    This speech was made even more AFTER Aug 11. As said below its not just me and the author. It’s the position of many Pakistani historians.Recommend

  • Roon

    “so negatively obsessed with Hindu Nationalism”
    It’s more due to poor relations between India and Pak rather than ideological obsession with Hindu nationalism. You wont find Pakistanis complaining of Hindu groups in Nepal for example.

    I don’t really think that Muslim nationalism goes against secularism if it is not made political. (Note that I am talking about an ideal situation, not as Pakistan is right now).

    After all India is a secular country ruled by a Hindu-Nationalist BJP. Does this mean India is not secular?Recommend

  • Roon

    “communalism”
    This word is very rarely used in Pakistan or Bangladesh. It was originally a term invented by the British to describe riots and other non-political tensions. I was simply pointing out that you have an obsession with this ill-defined, outdated term. You use it in nearly every comment!

    “Religion & Politics should be separated”
    “non-Muslims accept that their very existence in lands of their civillization is due to grace of Islam”
    Do you know that the UK has a state-religion (Anglicanism) and their clergy have special privileges? That does not really mean that non-Anglicans are mistreated though or that they are “communalistic”. It is possible to be both a religious and tolerant secular country (see America).

    “national flag”
    The flag of India actually has Asoka’s Chakra (HIndu-Sikh-Jain-Buddhist symbol)(wheel). I do think this is insensitive to Muslims as they were not present in Asoka’s time and thus seems exclusionary. Isn’t this “communalistic” too?

    Also many secular European countries (including the UK) have crosses on their flags. That does not mean they are not secular. It seems you are splitting hairs over this simple matter…

    “becomes Indian National flag??”
    “You care more about attacks on secularism in India”
    Well, I think you are mistaking me with some other Pakistanis. I have only ever brought up India pre-1947 or as a response to Anoop. Otherwise I don’t really care about the presence or absence of secularism in India…Recommend

  • Roon

    “But the people who did it were Hindutva & communalised Hindus , right.”
    Perhaps, but many among them were Congress supporters.

    “communal in favour of his own community”
    “So if Muslims can be communal to fight for themselves”
    I meant in a peaceful non-political way my friend. Rioting is neither Hindu nor Muslim nationalism… It is pure barbarism.

    If one says he is a proud Sikh(or any) nationalist, he is welcome…
    If one resorts to violence against another community then that is something I strongly condemn. Where have I said Muslims can persecute others in the name of nationalism? It seems you mistook (or are twisting) what I said.

    Clearly minorities do belong in Pakistan, India and Europe. I haven’t denied that.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    “This word is very rarely used in Pakistan or Bangladesh.”

    I agree about Pakistan since communalism is part of your national identity ,it does not need to be mentioned separately . Even your communists— ANP uses Muslim symbols.

    Bangladesh —are you sure about it?? Since Khalida Zia’s BNP agrees to Secularism only to the extent as BJP & just like BJP it goes to be seen as a Muslim Rightist party .

    “The flag of India actually has Asoka’s Chakra (HIndu-Sikh-Jain-Buddhist symbol)(wheel).”

    Indian muslims be it ethnic Punjabis , Bengalis ,maybe even Pashtoons etc. were present in India even in Ashoka’s time , though yes , Mughals ,Syeds , Turks were not .Moreover it was the symbol of Mauryan Empire , not any religion per-se.

    ” Otherwise I don’t really care about the presence or absence of secularism in India”

    But your “Wannabe-secular media” does —look around even here & you will find more articles on Indian muslims than on the condition of Pakistani Hindus living in Pakistan or those taken refuge in India. That is not the case with India’s English newpapers like THE HINDU or Indian Express , where they talk only about Indian minorities.Recommend

  • Roon

    “depending on Jinnah’s”
    “GM Syed & Bacha Khan”

    I respect these people but ultimately all of them are dead and gone (no disrespect). One should look to the future rather than the past “from their grave”. The debate on their secularism is actually a historic rather then modern one. But if you ask us to forget our Quaid you obviously know our response.

    Also let me ask you something, you ask us to respect Pakistani secular humanists but do you have the same view of Indian liberal humanists like Arundhati Roy?

    This is a key test to prove you are not a hypocrite.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    “Rana… they assassinated Gandhi”

    Godse – a former member of RSS assassinated him not Savarkar & not RSS.

    “The Muslim League existed to safeguard the rights of Muslims”

    So who is to blame for the plight of Pakistani non-muslims —I hope not they themselves or I hope not India …& I hope certainly not Zia-ul-Haq or Mullahs.
    You are so fond of Muslim Nationalism , were it not Muslim Nationalists like your first PM Liaqat— who gave Objective Resolution & how much opposition did that face from other “good” Muslim Nationalist.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Do not you know anyone except Arundhati ?? It is the same as asking do you respect Sam Harris & Salman Rushdie.
    Yes , I deeply respect Romila Thapar , Medha Patkar etc. as they are opposed to both Hindu & Muslim antionalism , while Arundhati may fight Hindu Nationalism but yes like you yourself is an apologist of Muslim Nationalism , who called slaughter of people at Mumbai 26/11 as “just a reaction to Kashmir” .
    No wonder why she is a fad among Muslim Nationalists like yourself.
    The answer is “No”.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Do not you know anyone except Arundhati ?? It is the same as asking you do you respect Sam Harris & Salman Rushdie or their oeuvre??
    Yes , I deeply respect Romila Thapar , Medha Patkar etc. as they are opposed to both Hindu & Muslim antionalism , while Arundhati may fight Hindu Nationalism but yes like you yourself is an apologist of Muslim Nationalism , who called slaughter of people at Mumbai 26/11 as “just a reaction to Kashmir” .
    No wonder why she is the only Indian Liberal who is a fad among Muslim Nationalists like yourself , why you could not name other Indian Liberals who attack even your Muslim communalism.
    The answer is “No”Recommend

  • Hamidah Fawad

    @Maximus Decimus Meridius You are so kind. LOLRecommend

  • Roon

    “”The Muslim League existed to safeguard the rights of Muslims”
    “So who is to blame for the plight of Pakistani”

    This was in British India before Pakistan was created! Now that it has minorities are clearly part of the nation too. I won’t deny that mistakes have been made but to slander the Muslim League and to compare it to Hindu extremist organizations like the Mahasaba or RSS is quite flawed. The ML was a counterpart to the Congress.Recommend

  • Hamidah Fawad

    @Anooop:disqus Thanks to Modi the Muslim butchers/dealers in beef of Maharashtra state are going to be jobless soon.
    That is how he (Modi) is taking the Muslim’s along with himRecommend

  • Roon

    As mentioned before many European parties have crosses and even Christian in its name. Still you can not call them “Communalistic”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_groups_of_the_European_Parliament#Conservatives.2FChristian_Democrats

    “ANP uses Muslim symbols”
    The ANP is a secular party as is the PPP. You will judge them by their names and symbols only? How absurd!

    “communalism”
    I still don’t know what you mean when you use this word. If it means that we hate Hindus then that is incorrect.

    “Moreover it was the symbol of Mauryan Empire , not any religion per-se.”
    And the star and crescent has been used by many Islamic empires too. Its roots are actually pre-Islamic. (This is the reason there is no star and crescent in fundamentalist flags like ISIS and Saudi, they consider it haram)

    “Wannabe-secular media”
    I think Tribune is a decent counterpart to the Hindu (Ha, whats in a name? A liberal paper named “The Hindu”, is it “communalistic”,”Wannabe-secular” too in your opinion?)

    The Tribune does report on the plight of minorities in Pakistan though and when they report news about Muslims in India they always link it from Indian sources.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Is not Modi opposed by Indian Secularists & civil society??
    Your media cares more about the jobs of Marathi Muslims than Sindhi Hindus languishing in Rajasthan & yet your civil society calls itself yourself “Secular” .Recommend

  • Roon

    “Salman Rushdie”
    The death threats against him are totally unjustified and I do feel troubled that his life is at risk for simply writing a book.

    “Sam Harris”
    I do not agree with his views on Islam. Honestly, they are a bit like Anoop. Sam is ethnically Jewish and Anoop is culturally Hindu so they do have hostility towards Islam it seems.

    “Do not you know anyone except Arundhati ?”
    It was merely an example. My point is that you want Pakistan
    to respect people like GM Syed who wanted a Sindhi state
    and Bacha Khan who wanted a Pashtun state(changed his views and pledged loyalty to Pak later) but do not have
    any tolerance for Mrs Roy who wants the secession of Kashmir from India?I think you are being hypocritical here.

    From this I understand you may not like Jinnah as he too was a secessionist in a way but how come you try to speak on his behalf and say that his Aug 11th speech and others were not serious? Do you know more about him than scholars like Ayesha Jalal? I think you are doing this from a dislike of him rather than a neutral perspective.Recommend

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

    If ML is not responsible for riots in the state of Bengal, it was heading with “full autonomy”(your words not mine), how is BJP responsible? By me pointing out how and where the cycle of violence started, is a factual rendering of events. How can facts be called justification? Its called proof.

    If you are gullible enough to think such ghastly acts will not be responded with further violence, you are naive. BJP’s role is much less in Gujarat riots than Muslim Leagues in Direct Action. You have failed to provide the Modi quote whch he apparently delivered during riots after you claimed it exists. That makes you a liar.

    Violence was regretted and a stain, but we need to keep things in perspective. Just like you justify violence against Muslims in FATA.

    Was Gandhi the CM or the PM of UP at the time? Even if he was, did he declare “Direct Action”, after which UP/Bihar riots erupted as a response? Like the blame lies with people who burnt down the train in Godhra, the blame lies with people who initiated the violence, after which it was a frenzy. Mob mentality took over. How can poor Gandhi control what Muslim League does or does not do?

    Considering Gandhi publicly opposed violence and sat on fast onto death as protest, it can be said he almost sacrificed his life to stop the violence someone else started. He is a great man. Being a Pakistani, its so sad that you have to defend people who started the violence, but blame the guy who had a hand in ending it.Recommend

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

    Where does it say Sharia will not be in the Constitution of Pakistan?

    Jinnah never corrected himself. He was pro-Sharia. By definition of Secularism, he is not secular.

    He has contradicted himself many times. I hope you have read he called Pakistan “his biggest blunder”. Does that mean you will support to undo his blunder?Recommend

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

    Where does he backtrack from his statement that Sharia should NOT part of Constitution?
    He has contradicted himself many times. He has also said Pakistan is his biggest “blunder”. That basically invalidates his action of the last 10 years of his life.
    Will you undo Pakistan then?Recommend

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

    Share the link please. I am poor at Googling.Recommend

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

    This is not a anti-Muslim law. Its pro-Hindu law.
    You didnt mind when pro-Muslim laws like Muslim Personal Law or Shah Bano verdict was struck down. Now, that a law has been passed to respect Hindu sentiments, you have a problem.
    You, by eating Beef, can insult Hindu Religion, but you don’t like Charlie Hebdo to insult yours!
    I support equality – If this law is to be removed, so should the Muslim Personal Law go. Don’t you support equality?Recommend

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

    Haven’t you discriminated against Ahmadis yourself? How can you blame Mullahs? You, an ordinary man, is equally responsible for the state Muslims and in particular Pakistan is in.
    Democracies have no excuses. America still trying to correct Racist attitudes. India is trying to still reform. There is an effort towards the good. But, you guys are making no efforts.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    The ML had no non-Muslim members , how could it be a counterpart to Congress , which had many .Do you think Jinnah stands anywhere closer to Nehru & Bose..–who took along many Indians irrespective of religion both in Congress & Azad Hind Fauj against British Imperialism.
    Jinnah was somehere in between Sardar Patel & V D Savarkar & was a leader of only MuslimsRecommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Dont you realize that his words are as hollow as Modi’s ??
    It is called as sugar-coating your otherwise communal oeuvre with some secular statements , so that you cannot be criticised.
    Also , what did Jinnah do to make Pakistan secular , except that fateful speech on a fateful day. It rather shows that even you Secular Pakistani still sees Muslim Communalism in glowing terms.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    How can minorities belong to Pakistan when it has no alternative to Muslim Nationalism….should they be at mercy of Islam ??? You never said explicitly that Muslims can persecute non-Muslims but yes through Muslim Nationalism , do you expect any other result , rather Muslim Nationalism makes you push their problems under carpet …… how many stories do ET or DAWN do on non-Pakistani muslims & how many on Pakistani non-msulims??Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Is not Modi opposed by Indian Secularists & civil society??
    Your media cares more about the jobs of Marathi Muslims than Sindhi Hindus languishing in Rajasthan & yet your civil society calls itself yourself “Secular”Recommend

  • Queen

    The following verses of the Holy Quran indicate the animals which can be eaten by Muslims:
    Surat al-Anam Verse 6:145
    Surat Al-Anam Verse 6:121
    Surat Al-Maidah Verse 5:3
    Surat Ghafir Verse 40:79
    You can check the following link for further information: http://quransmessage.com/articles/does%20the%20quran%20allow%20the%20eating%20of%20all%20animals%20FM3.htm

    In case you still have some confusion (which I am sure you will definitely have), read the ‘tafseer’ of the verses of the Holy Quran mentioned above or ask any Islamic scholar in India to provide an explanation of these verses to you.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Jinnah’s secularism started & ended with lip-servicing .So yes they were not serious.
    I better you read Marxists like late Prof. Bipan Chandra , who was in fact a freedom fighter himself.
    Also , you talk about Arundhati Roy wanting secession of Kashmir ; you can check my comment history , I have always vouched for separation of Kashmir from India & absorption of Jammu & Ladakh into India.
    You did not read she called massacres as “just reaction to Kashmir”…much the same as saying “massacres of muslims were just retaliation to Islamist attacks” . Do you get it??
    You can reject GM Syed & Bacha Khan’s separatism , which no doubt you should , but can you reject that in Jinnah’s Pakistan they were the only ones who sought to create Secular Nationalism.
    Also , how does Anoop’s being Hindu & Sam’s being Jew explain their hostilities towards Islam . Thats like saying , that is like saying that if a person is a muslim then he has to be hostile towards non-Muslims, right??Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    The Hindu is a Leftist newspaper & the Tribune is a Muslim newspaper , how can they be same .Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    PPP is a secular party really ,, despite it being related to Muslim nationalism & Islamic Bomb…good joke.Recommend

  • Roon

    “You have failed to provide the Modi quote whch he apparently delivered during riots after you claimed it exists. ”
    Neutral sources quote:
    “Independent reports indicate that the state BJP president Rana Rajendrasinh had endorsed the strike, and that Modi and Rana used inflammatory language which could have only worsened the situation.[48]”

    Moreover, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), as well as many politicians, including Modi, made inflammatory remarks and endorsed strikes, further stoking tensions.

    I cant argue with the blind…You are accusing them of being liars too?

    “Considering Gandhi publicly opposed violence and sat on fast onto death as protest”
    He did this in Nokhali where Hindus were kiilled not in UP or Bihar. He did condemn the violence but that did not stop the rioters from continuing their actions. Just like the Muslim League condemned the violence but was unable to stop it.

    ML CM of Bengal Surawardhy joined Gandhi and publicly told Muslims to avoid violence by confronting them in the streets. By your logic Surawardhy and Jinnah is a great man too as indeed he is as is Gandhi (I haven’t denied that)

    “the blame lies with people who initiated the violence”
    In UPO and Bihar Hindus initiated the violence by encouraging tensions against Muslims in newspapers. Again I mention that this was under a Congress government. It is estimated that the violence in UP and Bihar was 10 times more serious than in Bengal.

    It is quite hypocritical that you excuse Hindus and Congress for violence but blame the ML.Recommend

  • Roon

    “This is not a anti-Muslim law. Its pro-Hindu law.
    But it is inconveniencing Muslims! Muslim Personal law does not affect Hindus. However not slaughtering cows affects butchers who are most likely non-Hindus.

    “If this law is to be removed, so should the Muslim Personal Law”
    Well you should oppose this new anti-Muslim law instead of justifying it then. Two wrongs do not make a right.

    Recommend

  • Roon

    “Dont you realize that his words are as hollow as Modi’s ?”
    He gave the speech to the constituent assembly which was to frame the constitution not to some crowd.

    “what did Jinnah do to make Pakistan secular”
    He appointed non-Muslims to senior posts. He was unable to do much as he died just a year after Pakistan was formed.

    “Muslim Communalism in glowing terms.”
    If justifying the creation of Pakistan is “communalism” to you then we feel it was justified. Instead of throwing around this word why don’t you question why Congress did not submit to Muslim demands which would have prevented “communalism”?Recommend