It is not just the West, Islamophobia is on the rise in Pakistan too

Published: February 27, 2015
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Pakistan may have been through a series of dictatorships, but this one is deadliest of them all - religious dictatorship. PHOTO: AFP

Only when we thought Osama bin Laden was rotting in his grave and the West had started accepting us for our faith, Islamophobia struck again. 

After the Charlie Hebdo attack of January 7th, the Denmark shootings of February 14th and the public flogging of Raef Badawi, a liberal blogger of Saudi Arabia, the West found grounds to fear Islam again. We see articles in the news about how the West is becoming cynical and alienating Muslims, and how a parking space issue can turn into a homicide because almost everybody in the West is either afraid of Muslims or angry at them.

Like Mr Kashif Chaudhry, you too might believe that some Twitter giants are conspiring against Islam. But I, for one, do not think the likes of Sam HarrisPamela Geller and Richard Dawkins are propagating Islamophobia in the West.

Muslims have taken care of it themselves.

Muslims of Pakistan, Muslims of Afghanistan, Muslims of Saudi Arabia and everywhere else have done enough to deserve hatred. Muslims around the world have killed enough innocent children, attacked enough schools, burnt enough Christian villages, torn down enough Hindu temples, mutilated enough journalists, shunned enough scientific laws and flogged enough bloggers for free-thinking to deserve this acrimony all around the world. Heck, I don’t even think that Islamophobia is a problem in the West alone. It is our problem too.

Some of us are bent on a version of Islam that is peaceful, a version that promotes brotherhood and peace. Unfortunately, that version of Islam is only found in books now.

All Muslims haven’t encouraged Islamophobia. In all the labelling and stereotyping, and generalising all Muslims as fundamentalists, the West refuses to see us as victims. Whenever there is an article on Islamophobia, we are the culprits when in fact we are the ones who really suffer.

The fact of the matter is that Islamophobia in Muslim countries is rarely ever spoken about. Pakistanis live under the fear of religion too; our mosqueschurches, temples are not safe. Converting to another religion is out of the question. In fact, even questioning religion is inconceivable. At this very moment, Pakistan is not fit for Muslims or non-Muslims alike.

More than two months ago, on December 16th, 2014, 134 innocent children were butchered in a school in Peshawar. And now, there are snipers hidden in the buildings of almost all the big schools in the country. The mothers of Pakistan deserve awards for gallantry because they gather strength every single day and send their children back to these same schools.

We have suffered first hand. We have seen the wrath of those bent upon imposing their version of Islam on everyone else. And we have been forced to fear the religion we are supposed to love. The West is not increasing Islamophobia, we are. People from amongst us are spreading it.

Since the Peshawar attack, leaders of the nation have united for their fight against terrorism. The country is supposed to be combating terrorism but on February 17th a suicide attack killed eight, in the middle of the day, right outside the Gujjar Singh Police Lines. This was a reminder that even the guards of the city are not safe anymore.

In recent news, a total of 43 people were killed in the Shikarpur suicide blast at an imambargah on January 30thIn Peshawar, another 20 people were killed in an imambargah attack. Another one on February 18th killed around five people in Islamabad.

Religious extremists have established that no other form of religion is welcome in Pakistan. Christians and Hindus are out of the question; these extremists are far from accepting even another sect of their own religion here.

All of this has made us, regular Muslims caught in the midst of all this violence, Islamophobic. When the ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban propagate their version of Islam, we feel Islamophobic too. Because this version of Islam they are propagating is not what we know it to be.

As if news headlines do not contribute enough to our Islamophobia, our universities are not free from religious influence either. Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), the student wing of the political, religious party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), still dominates the University of the Punjab. Their horrors engulf university students, administration and even university professors. They have shot students and assaulted professors several times on university grounds. In fact, they will often be seen openly carrying batons and canes, trampling the grounds in groups.

The civil society protests are in despair and Abdul Aziz still roams free. No political leader can guarantee his arrest. This country is not in the hands of the political leaders, the police or the army. They can offer us no protection, no safeguard of rights and no freedom of speech. This country has fallen into the hands of the extremists and they decide our fate.

They kill whoever and whenever.

Pakistan may have been through a series of dictatorships, but this one is deadliest of them all – religious dictatorship. At this very moment, Islamophobia is not only ‘on the rise’ in the West, it is on the rise in our very own backyards. If you want to curb Islamophobia, start with home first. We need it more than anybody else.

We are in a state of war and if there is any fear, any phobia, in the world right now, it is in our own hearts.

Hadeel Naeem

Hadeel Naeem

The author is reading for a PhD in Philosophy at The University of Edinburgh. She blogs at www.hadeelnaeem.com tweets as @hadeelnaeem (twitter.com/hadeelnaeem).

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

  • Donald Triocki

    The problem is that the original Islamic texts and the way of Prophet promotes Islamic domination . You cannot escape that. You have to split hairs as Sam Harris put it and do some gymnastics with interpretation before you arrive at the pacifist, non-violent religion we all want it to be.Recommend

  • Hoshang Ansari

    The author of the blog has laid bare some very fundamental truths. Who can
    deny them or dispute them. Plus a plethora of abysmal sickening junk readily dispense by Muslim clerics. These are exacerbated by the likes of Dawkins,
    Harris, Geller, Fox News, They simply stoke the fires, the fuel is readily, freely,
    supplied in abundance by Muslims themselves.
    Case in point :- The Saudi cleric who pronounced that the world is “stationary, does
    not revolve around the Sun”.Recommend

  • wb

    Good blog.

    Only not complete.

    Islamofascism is not a new phenomenon. Islamophobia is a myth. It should be termed as prevention of Islamofascism.

    From the occupation of Mecca to the killings of Shia in Imambargah, the history of Muslims (or is it the history of Islam, no one can separate the two) has been rife with islamofascism from day one.

    It’s the islamofascists who deny the 1400 years of bloodshed by Muslims. This is the truth that is even mentioned in Islamic history. Hadees itself is full of examples of beheading and killings and raids and wars.

    But the problem with Muslims (which are 1.6 billion minus few intellectual) is that they have been lied to and they have been conditioned to carry forward this lie.

    Just the other day someone argued that the prophet of Islam was the greatest man alive because everyone who came in contact with him said so

    I’m not sorry that I’ve hurt the sentiments of hundreds of liars.Recommend

  • Milind A

    Your blog is spot on. This kind of introspection, ability to look at yourself objectively is badly needed for the Muslim world to progress.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Great blog. Stay safe and I hope we see a lot more of your writingRecommend

  • ab1990

    American blogger who spoke out against religious extremism is hacked to death by Muslim militant group on Bangladeshi street as he walked with his wife

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2971508/American-blogger-spoke-against-religious-extremism-hacked-death-Muslim-militant-group-Bangladeshi-street-walked-wife.html#ixzz3SxNTT9PkRecommend

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

    Thank you! I’ve been saying this for many days now. Muslims fear Islam more than the West.

    I was shot down, obviously, because I am an Indian and a liberal at that.

    This is what I had said:

    1) NY monitors its Mosques. Its called Islamophobia. Pakistan does the same, even attacks one – Lal Masjid. Its called an anti-Terror operation.

    2) Pat down in Airports, increase in rejection of visa to Muslim in Western countries – Islamophobia. Kuwait not issuing viasas to Pakistanis – “No comment”.

    3) USA attacking Af searching for Al Qaeda and its leader – “War against Islam”. Pakistan bombing FATA, in search of Taliban and it leader – “Anti Terror operation”.

    4) Strict laws to check Terror in Kashmir – “Human Rights violation!”. Strict laws + Military courts – “needed to fight Terror”.

    So, Islamophobia is dependent on who is the perpetrator. Like a mother who can never accept the guilt of her son, Muslims will never accept this. But, people are dying and action should be taken. Hence, Pashtuns in FATA are bombarded, even though Militant safe havens can be found in South Punjab too.

    Pakistanis are actually more afraid of Islam than the West/India. Just change the name and the actions are identical.Recommend

  • Danish

    None of the 180 million Muslims in India is involved with any terrorist group. But if you fear an Indian Muslim because of what some Muslims have been doing in Pakistan or Afghanistan, that would be absurd. In the same way, since 9/11, only 2% of all the terrorism related acts have been committed by Muslims in USA and Europe. Other ‘98%’ had motivations other than the religion of Islam. So if you are going to fear all the Muslims living in those countries, then it would be wrong. And recently numerous attacks and even murder of Muslims in the US indicate towards the deadly manifestation of this irrational fear of Islam. Kashif Chaudhry’s article was about rising Islamophobia in the West. I agree with your concerns about Pakistan, but criticizing an article that has nothing to do with Pakistan is not right IMO.Recommend

  • Visibly

    “More than two months ago, on December 16th, 2014,
    134 innocent children were butchered in a school in Peshawar. And now,
    there are snipers hidden in the buildings of almost all the big schools in the country. ”

    And all the other killings performed in the name of Islam.

    Is it not time to describe these people performing such acts as un-Islamic? As infiddels, kuffars?Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Well, that is certainly a courageous blog. I guess the obvious question is why there are these widely divergent interpretations of Islam and its holy book, and why those who support the ‘peaceful’ version are unable to openly discuss the specific aspects of their religion that are being misinterpreted by their brethren, and how this should be avoided. Or is it that they do not know, since there is little likelihood of misinterpretation? Seems a rather simple issue to me if everyone is aligned, but clearly that is not the case.Recommend

  • Baddi Magane

    Author: “The West is not increasing Islamophobia, we are. People from amongst us are spreading it.”

    Wise words. Somehow it seems that all the wise questions are asked in English newspapers. The real question is, Is there any one in the Urdu press asking these questions?

    That’s the real problem.Recommend

  • Rahul

    Very brave article that calls a spade a spade.Recommend

  • Sami

    The headline do not match with the content of the article.Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    A bold and honest appraisal! Will there be any other comments or did you hit the bull’s eye too close to home?Recommend

  • Lex

    great article, i agree 100%Recommend

  • Sara

    Humans are not same. White people are gifted with beauty, intelligence and common sense which is not granted to colored and black humans. Whites moulded/ reformed religious beliefs for their betterment with time, which, unfortunately colored and blacks are unable to do.Recommend

  • varuag

    beauty == racism || intelligence == imperialism

    You are like the people in matrix , wholly dependent on the system and unable to question indoctrinated “common sense” || Wasn’t Voltaire right ?

    Whites “gifted” blacks in africa with slavery earlier and now take away everything from cocoa, oil, timber, diamonds et al || for the supreme “exceptional” americans I suggest Edward Baptist excellent “half has never been told”Recommend

  • Milind A

    “None of the 180 million Muslims in India is involved with any terrorist group”
    This myth is repeated endlessly as a feel good factor. We’ve already have a few ISIS joinees. Indian Mujahideen is the Indian arm of these terrorists, who believe in pan-Islamic causes. There are many sympathizers (albeit less than Pakistan) within Indian Muslims who would readily join the Islamic terrorist groups. Just because the Govt watches these groups closely and doesn’t tolerate any Muslim joining these groups, doesn’t mean Muslims here have seen the light.Recommend

  • Doug Kursk

    Arab and other African Muslims were the ones who kidnapped and sold less fortunate souls to the Europeans. White Christians ended slavery, the same cannot be said for Muslims who continue the practise to this day.Recommend

  • RFD

    Same can be said for any religion. Including Bhagwat Gita’s
    interpretation. The poisonous ideology of the Hindutva Doctrine.
    Some hindus, the peaceful ones, are unable to convince their brethren
    to cease and desist. They simply keep quite,…and look the other way.
    Hope you do understand the virulent versus the vague.Recommend

  • Hadeel

    Let’s not forget the Dark Ages, they weren’t dark because of the dark people, remember? Color is a stupid debate. Humans are humans.Recommend

  • RFD

    The counterpart to the 200 million peaceful Muslims in Bharat
    are the virulent toxic dangerous ideologues of the Hindutva
    Philosophy. Who believe in Hindustan for Hindus only. Modi
    has a hard time running the Hindu Supremacy gauntlet. Every
    day. Extremism is rampant in Hindustan. With every minority
    being targeted. With Muslims bearing the brunt. No such thing
    as peace and serenity and secularism……in Shining Bharat.Recommend

  • wb

    Is it worse than the case of you murdering your neighbor who was a Shia Muslim? Do you even remember putting a dagger in his throat?Recommend

  • BlackJack

    No it cannot, because Hinduism does not demand literal interpretation or even specify a timeless code to follow, and has flourished by acknowledging criticism by reformers and by constantly modifying itself to suit the times. You clearly don’t even know what Hindutva is, pls spend some time in research.Recommend

  • RFD

    The ability to introspect is transcendental. The New Hindustan is emerging
    as an extremist state. The world famous secularism is gone and dead.
    With new Mission Statements like Hindustan is for Hindus only. All Muslims
    should be sent to Pakistan. Churches being vandalized, desecrated, mosques
    torn down. Communal rioting. Ghar Wapsi campaigns, Mass conversions,
    are all pointing towards an extreme extreme State. With a population of 1.7 billion, Bharat is in a class by itself ! People who live in glass houses should…
    not be heaping stones at others or preaching about religion/secularismRecommend

  • Effendi Pasha

    During the Dark Ages it was the “colored and black humans”
    who kept the lights of Knowledge burning. Translated great
    Greek and Roman texts and other literary works. Made great
    journeys of discovery. Made advances in mathematics, algebra,
    geometry, medicine, astronomy and diagnostics. To name just
    a few. These “colored people’ stretched from Morocco, all the
    to China.Recommend

  • varuag

    Even today dictators are in power since west facilitates “good dictators” (not mugabe but obiang). Yes white Christians ended slavery and hence it is “inferior people” who agitate in Fergusen or die in Chapel Hill. Forms of exploitation have changed, but exploitation continues unabated, usually in connivance with people who can’t see truth. What is your opinion on Edward Baptist’s book ?Recommend

  • Javaid

    “White people are gifted with beauty, intelligence and common sense which is not granted to colored and black humans”
    “blacks are unable to do”
    Racist muchRecommend

  • Javaid

    Hindutva is no different from Islamist extremism. You may have a flowery opinion of it but it is not the same for the RSS.

    They don’t allow reform and criticism either.Recommend

  • RFD

    No need to. Very simple. According to your interpretation the
    poor everyday on the street hindu has no idea how to treat, respond or deal with Hinduism. Because as per you it is ever changing.and adapting to the times. Which is an impossible doctrine. Because what you believe today would change by Tuesday? The religion is so complex. The average hindu
    is lost. Has no idea. Does not know how to interpret, except
    what the sadhus/swami dole out….reminds you of mullahs…
    There have to be concrete pillars on which the beliefs are set.
    Not a volatile shifting ideology. No wonder the common every
    day joe has no idea what is going on..Recommend

  • Milind A

    Its because of the Hindus that Muslims in India are learning the ropes of moderation, toleration, coexistence and secularism… Had the entire country been left at the hands of Muslims (as with Pakistan or any other Muslim country), they would have wiped out the minorities, blown of heritage/trasures and would have kept on squabbling amongst each other on who’s the right Muslim proceeding with killing each other (as in Pakistan, Iraq or any other Muslim country).Recommend

  • RFD

    The point is moot,..
    when there are extremist bloodthirsty hindus around killing
    ANY minority in Bharat. It is chilling indeed, to read these hate
    comments.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Liked your thought process and the way you laid it out. What came to mind as far as the bulk of the Muslims are concerned is that ‘ for evil to flourish all that it takes is that the good do nothing ‘……..The perplexing question being asked today is ‘ why are good doing nothing ? ‘…….and the answers coming up are disturbing.Recommend

  • Rifat ullah

    Nope. Dead wrong. You are spreading false information.
    He was a Bengali Muslim. Living in Bangladesh. A naturalized
    US citizen. Who returned to Bangladesh.Recommend

  • Imran

    Exaggerated…Recommend

  • Sara

    Unlike you I live in “present” and this is what matters to me.Recommend

  • Roon

    “Militant safe havens can be found in South Punjab too.”
    Pakistan has launced an operation already:
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/835370/abettors-of-terror-crackdown-begins-in-south-punjab-interior-sindh/

    “liberal at that.”
    A liberal supporting BJP and Hinduvata? Don’t give real liberals a bad name.

    You were shot down because of your hypocrisy of having different standards of Muslim and Hindu extremists.Recommend

  • Farhan

    It is Islamofascicm that is the myth. What does 20 th century ideology have to do with Islam? Please keep it to yourself, y
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Islamofascism

    Raids and wars are something that happened all over the world in all cultures (from Rome to China), why single out Muslims?Recommend

  • wb

    But only in two religions have these raids and wars been on the name of religion: Islam and Christianity (Jihad and Crusade).

    While we were lucky to escape Crusade, Jihad has been on us for many centuries.

    So, tell me how is Islamofascism a myth. Even Tipu Sultan, the great hero in Pakistan was a Islamofascist. HE was not a patriot. It is on record that he wanted to defeat the Crusaders for establishing Muslim kingdom. During his rule not even Christians or Hindus were safe. Hindus of Mysore Kingdom were. But the Hindus of Southern Mysore region, also called Badagas) were not safe from Tipu.

    . So, how is it a myth?Recommend

  • wb

    You cannot blame Muslims for slavery. Recommend

  • RFD

    Well well,
    It all came so easy to you. 1.7 billion minus
    200 million Muslims, that will leave 1.5 billion hindus very agitated by this
    comment. Please get in touch with Maharaj in Reshekesh. He can come up with a better sermon for you.Recommend

  • RFD

    What a profound statement. Keep it up.
    With a fake name and a racist diatribe, Got your white robes
    handy? Along with the pointed hat and hood? They will be
    having a bash a hindu rally in your town.Recommend

  • RFD

    Let’s put it in shining perspective. Shall we? After 1400 years
    of being subjugated and ruled by Muslims,…hindus have no
    idea how to govern. What to do,.. how to do. Recommend

  • Farhan

    Hindu Rajputs also raided genius. Hinduism had its warrior class whose sole purpose was to fight and raid.

    “The Soomros controlled Sindh directly as vassals the Abbasids from 1026 to 1351. [PARAGRAPH:1]The Soomros were one of the first Sindhi tribes to convert to Islam and they were known to the Arabs as the Al-Sumrah. They were taught Cavalry skills by the Arabs, and were renowned masters at riding the Arabian Horse and Camel, they created a network in Sindh which eventually facilitated their rule centered at Mansura. They often fought Hindu rebellions and raiders”

    What about Dogra Hindu persecution of Muslims in Kashmir
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogra_dynasty#Persecution_of_Muslims_by_Dogras

    “He made Katuha his headquarters and hunted for Muslim Pashtun tribes. He had some of the women spared, but others were kept for Raja Gulab Singh’s harem and the rest were sold as slaves in Lahore and Jammu. It was reported that this expedition resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of Pashtun rebels and thousands of women were sold into slavery.[6]
    In 1863 the Dogra ruler Maharaja Ranbir Singh ordered a major invasion of the frontier areas of Yasin and Hunza to punish Muslim rebels. 3,000 troops were commanded by General Hooshiara Singh who invaded the
    frontier. The Dogras took all men as prisoners and many Dogra soldiers entered the back portion of the Mandoori Hill which was full of Yasini and Hunza women and their children. Those women who were injured but notdead were burnt alive and approximately 2000 Yasin villagers were killed overall. About 5,000 Yasinis were taken back to Srinagar for forced labor and many of their surviving women were included either in
    the harems or in the zenanas of Dogra Soldiers.”

    Persecution and raiding of Muslims by Hindus.
    Was this Hindufascism?

    As for Tipu Sultan, he sided with the (Catholic) French against the British, what “Crusaders” are you talking about? Even gave his life fighting against them.Recommend

  • Gul Zaman Ghorgasht

    Good, good. You must be taking lessons from Amit Shah himself. You are
    getting better in your diatribes. Must be attending lectures by Advani Himself.
    ” i am an hindu and a liberal”… Had no idea !! Is that a new religion you
    are delving into now? You were an avowed atheist in the last blog. Now you are vehemently proclaiming you are a liberal. Is that something new in your
    repertoire? Do tell. We are all anxiously NOT waiting.Recommend

  • wb

    You need to refresh your 2nd grade math and 10th grade geography.

    Are you that guy who keeps forwarding my comment to Pemra, CII and Sindh Secretariat?Recommend

  • Farhan

    “The Soomros controlled Sindh directly as vassals the Abbasids from 1026 to 1351. [PARAGRAPH:1]The Soomros were one of the first Sindhi tribes to convert to Islam and they were known to the Arabs as the Al-Sumrah. They were taught Cavalry skills by the Arabs, and were renowned masters at riding the Arabian Horse and Camel, they created a network in Sindh which eventually facilitated their rule centered at Mansura. They often fought Hindu rebellions and raiders”

    What about Dogra Hindu persecution of Muslims in Kashmir
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogra_dynasty#Persecution_of_Muslims_by_Dogras

    He made Katuha his headquarters and hunted for Muslim Pashtun tribes. He had some of the women spared, but others were kept for Raja Gulab Singh’s harem and the rest were sold as slaves in Lahore and Jammu. It was reported that this expedition resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of Pashtun rebels and thousands of women were sold into slavery.[6]
    In 1863 the Dogra ruler Maharaja Ranbir Singh ordered a major invasion of the frontier areas of Yasin and Hunza to punish Muslim rebels. 3,000 troops were commanded by General Hooshiara Singh who invaded the
    frontier. The Dogras took all men as prisoners and many Dogra soldiers entered the back portion of the Mandoori Hill which was full of Yasini and Hunza women and their children. Those women who were injured but notdead were burnt alive and approximately 2000 Yasin villagers were killed overall. About 5,000 Yasinis were taken back to Srinagar for forced labor and many of their surviving women were included either in
    the harems or in the zenanas of Dogra Soldiers.

    Persecution and raiding of Muslims by Hindus.
    Was this Hindufascism?Recommend

  • RFD

    Will be delighted to oblige you. Would you like to include
    Inter Services Intelligence ? MI ? And other numerous
    entities will be included. Can forward a copy to Lord Modi
    and Raw too. If you so desire. Your popularity will be on
    the uptake. Guaranteed. [Just rest assured]. Do be careful,
    very careful, what you wish for.Recommend

  • ab1990

    liar liar pants on fire. Keep living in denial

    American atheist blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/27/american-atheist-blogger-hacked-to-death-in-bangladeshRecommend

  • ab1990

    oh really? the failed state index is topped by muslim countriesRecommend

  • Rifat ullah

    The Swami mullah has made his appearance. Will you
    be preaching at Guru Mundar soon? Somnath…?Recommend

  • RFD

    Would you like to visit Pakistan? There are some people
    who are dying to meet you.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    No, that is your interpretation. However, even simple ideas may be difficult for some to wrap their minds around, so I don’t hold it against you.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    I am sorry, you too know nothing about Hindutva. It simply means the essence of being Indian, and was coined by an atheist Indian nationalist, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.Recommend

  • Visibly

    I assume this was sarcasm. From a white person who would never describe the “white race” using such terms.
    On the other hand, I would like to say that many western nations have evolved and a most important part of that evolvement has been separation of church/religion from state/legal system.Recommend

  • Meshugana

    Barely off the boat, the blogger is already whining about injustices and flaws (such as freedom of speech enshrined in the First Amendment of the US Constitution) in the land and its people that gave him sanctuary from his violent homeland. Such unseemly and unexamined sanctimony! Solve your homeland’s flaws and injustices before addressing those in the land you fled to. Why did you not flee to Saudi Arabia, where all kinds of phobias exist and from which Wahabism (a reason for Islamophobia-causing acts and views) is being exported everywhere?Recommend

  • laura r

    excellent artical. yes twitter is a good source for the controversy. dr. kashif chaundhry shifts most of the blame to the socalled “phobics”, (like robert spencer, or ordinary citizens like me), when is the answers are in his own backyard.Recommend

  • Shelly

    A naturalized US citizen is also called an American. Not just white people who were born in USA. Even Bengali Muslims, living in Bangladesh are called Americans if they have American citizenship. Duh!Recommend

  • peace

    This is precisely the problem. You don’t need to research hindutva but you know what is that. Brilliant!!! Yes the religion, concept of God and for that matter everything evolves with time. And yet you point out correctly that hindutva is an impossible doctrine, because hindutva is not a doctrine. You view religion as a set of doctrines emerging from set of beliefs foretold to great messenger from God and expect all religions to be same. But has anyone really been able to test and verify those doctrines. For hindu, religion and practices are only a way to reach God. After reaching God the religion falls apart. After all there is no religion of soul. If hindu and muslum both believe in one omnipresent God, commonsense is that we are just calling it by different name. Hindutva challenges every belief and doctrine through personal experiences through yoga, karma yoga, bhakti, meditation etc. Only when can one verify those practices or can put forward new ways to reach God, those become new beliefs or tenets of religion. As there are many ways to reach God, as people discover new ways, that becomes new ideology or pillars. For average hindu, religion is not for obeying a set of beliefs but in verification through personal experience to reach God. Of course average hindu understands religion, neither does average muslim or Christian for that matter. Ideology not verified is as vague as fad. Recommend

  • peace

    so you intend to solve the problems of Pakistan by showing problems of India. Ingenious!!Recommend

  • Khurram Akhtar

    Very Nicely Said. All started with Gen Zia. And now it is a mess.Recommend

  • peace

    Point out the “Poisonous ideology of hindutva” anywhere cited in scriptures.Its incredulous to see people talking about something which they have never read but believe because someone has told them . Cite one, and I challenge you, one violent interpretation of any verse of bhagwad gita. What you have been told must have been the verse where Krishna asks Arjun to follow moral path and fight against his own family members. But was that not against “hindus” only. If you could read Gita with an open mind, it may come across as a great read. And for your information, whole of bhagwad gita does not mention word “hindu” or “hindutva” even once.Recommend

  • observer

    ” When the ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban propagate their version of Islam,
    we feel Islamophobic too. Because this version of Islam they are
    propagating is not what we know it to be”

    Welcome to true Islam. The Islam that has been practiced in South Asia is steeped in Hindu philosophy borrowed by Sufism.; thus it is not true Islam.Recommend

  • Milind A

    The 1400 years you got to rule us were wasted away.. All of your guys were wiping minorities, fighting amongst themselves or Hindus…
    In fact Hindus have bounced back despite you trying to subjugate them. None of the 57 countries you have are paragon of governance, despite the immense oilwealth at your disposal..

    Here’s the secret – Opium of the people is a bad habit… The sooner you kick it, you will see the light.Recommend

  • Qaiser

    “Muslims around the world have killed enough innocent children, attacked enough schools, burnt enough Christian villages, torn down enough Hindu temples, mutilated enough journalists, shunned enough scientific laws and flogged enough bloggers for free-thinking to deserve this acrimony all around the world.”

    Seriously? despite being a student of philosophy, you appeared to have chosen to look at the affairs through the Islamophobic spectacles which is very superficial and well and truly out of philosophical realms.Recommend

  • bangarada manushya

    Urdu papers do question these aspects. I feel it is not a question of phobia, but misconceptions and wrong interpretations.Recommend

  • bangarada manushya

    Look, religion, be it Islam or Hinduism, has a lot of misconceptions, both in India and Pakistan. I being a Hindu, respect Islam and I don’t have any bad intentions towards Pakistan either. People just want to be happy and want their kids live in a pleasant society. It would be wrong to drag whole religion as sinister. I, being a Hindu, will respect Islam and I don’t think I would be the right person to question Islam. Having said don’t you think others, even if they don’t respect Hinduism, shouldn’t they withhold themselves from maligning Hinduism or other religions? Please, live and let live. Islam is great to Muslims, Hinduism is great to Hindus and so on and so forth. But do we have right to question or degrade other religions. I am of the opinion that Muslims all over the world know what is better and what is not. Others should refrain from commenting what should be done or what shouldn’t be.Recommend

  • Michael Smith

    How was he wrong ? He was a naturalized US citizen. Therefore an American. The only thing wrong is that he was hacked to death by a militant group in front of his wife.Recommend

  • Geleya

    Correct kanoRecommend

  • Michael Smith

    Oh Sara…to see with eyes that are not blinded by color. Plenty of “white people” are not gifted. I speak as a white person who may, or may not, be “gifted”.Recommend

  • Michael Smith

    We are all “COLORED”. I’m colored pasty white. My brother in law is dark brown. I think the “dark people” Hadeel was talking about was about their minds and not their skinRecommend

  • Michael Smith

    To put it in an American sense…ain’t that the truth. But what is the alternative ? We have leftover Dictators and “Kingdoms” created for what ? God/Allah ??? Gee I couldn’t imagine why.Recommend

  • Effendi Pasha.

    Read the comment again. Slowly. It embellished Hadeel’s
    response to Sara. Expanded it. Put a better perspective on it.
    Rather, put a shine on it. In no way did it demean it.Recommend

  • RFD

    Can forward your comment anywhere you like. To Modi,
    BJP, RSS, Bajrang dal, Shiv Sena, Banarsi Maharaj.
    Advani, Bombay, Poona, Calcutta, Banaras…..Recommend

  • RFD

    Does not matter who coined it. it represents Hindu Supremacy.
    Preaches a festering ideology of Bharat is for Hindus only.Recommend

  • RFD

    Well,…not much can be done when you are dealing
    with devotee like you.Recommend

  • Gulwant Singh Bedi

    Rest assured if it was a white American born citizen, who was hacked to death then an aircraft carrier would be parked in the Bay of Bengal an the US president would be talking about it.Recommend

  • Jahil hamid

    Yeah that is why Pakistan is shining. LOLRecommend

  • Chitralwala

    Not to worry. This man just like to supply ET with
    jokes. but nobody understands them.Recommend

  • slayer

    I the good so anything, they will be labeled islamophobic bigots. That is why it is necessary for muslims to raise their voice against these things and explain how this is not really islam.
    But even there we run into the problem that what ever isis or KSA does is perfectly valid and totally sanctioned and dictated by the islamic holy texts.

    No easy way out.Recommend

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

    In my earlier comment I had said Nations don’t bomb territories they consider their own. Knowing Pakistan carpet bombed FATA, I had predicted it will never carpet bomb Punjab.

    Tell me how many IDPs are there from South Punjab operation? How many villages have been flattened? How many houses were destroyed?

    Poor people of FATA. They consider themselves patriotic Pakistani, but the largely Punjabi Army bombs them, but not their homeland Punjab.

    In Politics everyone should be represented and BJP occupies that the position of the Right-Centrist Party, like the Republican Party of India. I support India and its Constitution. I don’t follow any party Religiously.

    If you can support Muslim League after Direct Action day, Objective Resolution, calls for Sharia in the Constituion, imposition of Urdu, etc., and consider yourself liberal, why do you have issues with mine?

    BJP will never bring ghastly laws which are already present in Pakistan. They are much better than you, a man who has discriminated against Ahmadis(and justifies it as if its no big deal), but judges other’s level of liberalism.Recommend

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

    I am not an Atheist. I don’t subscribe to the pop culture of Religion the way others do. At most I can be considered an Agnostic.

    I am a liberal because I do not discriminate. I call all Religions fiction. But, I don’t deny the right for anyone to call themselves whatever they like. I stand up for minorities and call out injustice or dogma and pure madness.

    Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Hindutva is a lot different from Islamist extremism …Do they bomb Muslims or kill muslims regularly?? They are the Jinnahs on this side of the border who fight for the Rights of their community , even if it requires to trample over the others & Jinnah they also know how to make some secular speeches for cherrypicking from their oeuvre of communal ideas.
    Hindutva is a counterpart to your PTI-PMLN & Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt ….And if you say PTI does not preach hate against Hindus , mind you RSS does not also preach hate against Muslims where they are a minuscule population , but rather provides them services.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    So what , is not Pakistan only for Muslims …except for one special speech of 11 Aug 1947 , do you have anything to prove the other way round??
    I mean even your “wannabe-secular” media reports more on Indian Muslims than on Pakistani Hindus.Recommend

  • Roon

    The Pak army has many Pashtuns deployed in its ranks. I am one too, Khyber Pakhtunkwa hasn’t been bombed and the army uses precision strikes in Fata. The IDP’s are being repatriated as we speak with help from the Pak army local and federal government.
    http://www.dawn.com/news/1159746

    If you can support BJP after Gujrat riots, links with the extremist RSS, calls for Hinduvta, imposition of Hindi,
    etc., and consider yourself liberal, why do you have issues with mine?

    a man who has discriminated against Muslims and Kashmiris(and justifies it as if its no big deal), but judges other’s
    level of liberalism.

    Heh, everything you say can easily be turned against you. You speak on behalf of Ahmedis and Pashtuns when they tell you to your face they do not agree with you. Recommend

  • Javaid

    Fully agree, I do apologize if I lash out at Hinduism in response to criticism of Islam.Recommend

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

    BJP did not cause Gujarat riots. The cause was Godhra train burning. I wouldn’t support BJP if they were directly responsible. What did you expect – Hindu mobs not to retaliate?
    You, on the other hand, have discriminated actively againt millions of Ahmadis. I have never done such horrible acts.
    Fighting insurgency is tough. Human Right abuses in a pressure scenario is inevitable.
    Comparing bombing of FATA – even India provides Kashmiris a lot of subsidy which Pakistan can never match with Pakhtuns – and 1971 attrocities, India has done very well. Recommend

  • Sean

    Brilliant article, and one you should be very proud to have wrote. When I do battle with the evils of Islam I am consistently described as a bigot, racist e.t.cRecommend

  • Roon

    “BJP did not cause Gujarat riots”
    No, they did encourage the violence . I have linked it from many sources many times and when I do you call them “liars” and say that media is unfair to Modi and BJP.

    “Comparing bombing of FATA”
    I have mentioned this elsewhere but you compare counter-terrorism to rioting in the streets? I think your sense of comparison is broken.

    Why don’t you quote the list of the dead in the operation? You can’t because the IDP’s though displaced are completely safe due to Pakistan’s care…Recommend

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

    You claimed based on those links, which are mere allegations, that Modi gave hate speech. Till date all you can present is further links, not a simple Modi quote.

    Provide a quote of Modi or take back your word.

    I have quoted IDPs and people of FATA who have been at the receiving end. But, you have developed a blind spot for that.

    http://gandhara.rferl.mobi/a/residents-deplore-airstrikes/25401971.html

    From the link: Listeners participating in RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal’s weekly live call-in show, “Along the Borderland,” said that Pakistani military incursions into the northwestern Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have mostly harmed civilians, while the Taliban and allied extremist militant organizations operating in the region have thrived.

    Commenting on recent Pakistani airstrikes in and around the town of Mir Ali, Janat Rehman, a resident of FATA’s North Waziristan district, said, “The [military] claimed to have killed Al-Qaeda militants, but in reality mostly young children and women were killed.” He added, “After all we are Muslims and should not be treated as infidels in this country.”

    Munir said that Islamabad should have helped local civilians move out of North Waziristan before beginning the ongoing offensive. Military operations in neighboring South Waziristan and Swat Valley in 2009 gained public backing after Islamabad helped civilians leave the region before the military moved in. “Unfortunately, civilians will keep on dying in airstrikes in North Waziristan.”

    Nizam Daur, a social worker in North Waziristan, said that FATA’s residents feel caught between warring sides. “There are two belligerent forces operating here. One [the Taliban] is killing us in the name of Islam, while the other is doing the same in the name of the law and the constitution,” he said. “We really don’t feel they are very different.”Recommend

  • Roon

    Meanwhile you ignore IDP’s and Pakhtuns who support the operation. Pakhtuns are actually most in favour of the operation as KPK has been the province most affected by terror while you deceptively try to make it a Punjab vs Pakhtun issue.

    North Waziristan tribal elders assured their support for Operation
    Zarb-e-Azb, according to a statement released by ISPR director-general
    Major General Asim Bajwa. “Many tribal elders from around Miranshah, Mir
    Ali, Datta Khel assure support to army operation,” Bajwa tweeted. “The
    tribesmen have assured the army that they would not let the militant to
    return to the area.” [159]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Zarb-e-Azb#Local_tribesmenRecommend

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

    Your point was a) Civilian casualties is minimal. b) It has “dismantled” Terror networks. c) People of FATA support this operation.

    You had dared me to provide links and proof, which I have done. I see no acknowledgement of this fact from you which is expected.

    You are quoting me ISPR. They even claim Taliban are supported by India. These people lie and bend the truth to their convenience.

    Point ‘a’ is simply not true. 1 million homeless is staggering. Point ‘b’ is also not true considering guerillas have simply relocated with the ability to strike at will. They are following the tactics of Taliban in Afghanistan, where their leaders claimed US was lured into the conflict and were proud of so many American deaths. Insurgents fight by hiding among the local population. By alienating the population and rendering them homeless, you have just sowed the seeds of Radicalism and discontent.

    When there was a need for a proper counter insurgency operation a bulk of your forces are waiting for an imaginary enemy India at the LoC, giving cover fire to Terrorists to disrupt elections in Kashmir.

    I was reading an article by an ex-Indian Soldier how there needs to be heavy troop deployment to counter insurgents, since conventional Army cannot easily adopt to the guerilla tactics. He gave the ratio of 10:1. That is 10 soldiers for every insurgent.

    Applying that logic, most of your forces are tied up fighting India, than fighting the Taliban.Recommend

  • Roon

    > a) Civilian casualties is minimal
    Yes they are. The IDP’s are displaced but not inharmed. You often bring up 1971 or attacks by the Taliban themselves but have never shown a link which reports innocent IDP’s being killed by Pak forces. Is this not sidestepping the question?

    b) It has “dismantled” Terror networks
    This does not mean they can not fight back. The Haqqani network which I said was dismantled did not actually stage attacks on Pakistan, only across the border. Did this mean that they were not powerful according to your logic?

    In truth, Pakistan could actually sign a peace deal with militants if it wanted and have these attacks end for a time, but the militants will use this time to grow more powerful which must be avoided. My point is that the number of attacks does not prove their strength as you imply.

    “I was reading an article by an ex-Indian Soldier”
    I do not really trust these specialized “couter terror expets”, they were not really successful in Indian Assam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Veitnam. Why take their word as Gospel? Can you provide the link?

    “Applying that logic, most of your forces are tied up fighting India”
    Pakistan has quite a large standing army, I’m sure it has enough forces in FATA to ensure law and order. Simply saturating the region with troops seems absurd, only leading to increased discontent which you say must be avoided?Recommend

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

    You are naive or pretending to be. Like they say you can’t wake up a person who is pretending to sleep.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/822707/2000-militants-killed-in-north-waziristan-so-far-dg-ispr/

    2000 “militants” killed, says ET. Not “alleged militants”. This is just one report.

    Not saying none of these 2000 is a Terrorist, but even civilians are marked as Terrorists and condemned to undignified deaths. I’ve quoted about people on the ground above how mostly civilians die after you asked me to provide proofs.

    Dude do you even know a single Assamese? I know them and they are far safer than any city in Pakistan. Indian counterterror strategies have worked.

    Since you asked for link here you go.

    http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB1066.pdf

    “For example, it is commonly believed that for the government side to win a counterterrorist campaign its security forces must outnumber its adversary by at least 10:1”

    The very nature of an insurgent is to be mobile and hide amongst the population and retain the ability to strike. You have not done any harm to them. They are still mobile, have their safe havens, hide among the population and strike with ease. It appears your NAP has been modified to not include Madressah reform and not ban all Terrorists. Great going!

    India has an even larger Army and took decades to control the insurgency with heavy deployment of troops in Kashmir. Your guys are not trained to fight insurgents and most of them are tied up waiting for India to attack anyway. No way you can deploy so many soldiers in FATA to actually defeat the insurgency. Vietnam and Afghanistan are classic examples of failure of using conventional means.

    Pakistan’s strategy will fail based on simple common sense, unless they forget Kashmir and commit most of their troops to FATA.

    You guys will be stuck in FATA for ages. America had the option to move away from Af-Pak. You can’t.Recommend

  • Roon

    “Dude do you even know a single Assamese? I know them and they are far safer than any city in Pakistan.”

    That doesn’t stop you on speaking on Pashtuns and Ahmedi’s behalf. You can not dispute that hundreds have been murdered by Bodoland militants.

    “Vietnam and Afghanistan are classic examples of failure of using conventional means.”
    Oh wow! So you are saying Indians are better at counter insurgency than Americans despite having Bodoland and Maoist militants and only keeping Kashmir under control by keeping thousands of troops in Kashmir which has only alienated the people more. There are thousands of mass graves and reports of rapes in Kashmir, this really goes beyond “collateral damage” you know.

    Your army is still stuck in Kashmir too with no end in sight. When will you be repealing the act which gives powers to the Indian army and keeps Kashmir as a police state? You will protest against FATA but not in Kashmir? What hypocrisy is this?Recommend

  • Roon

    Also I asked for a link showing civilians have been killed, instead you show me a link claiming militants have been killed but complain that since the word alleged isn’t used they were civilians (without any proof). Nice sidestepping of the issue.

    If civilians were killed surely the West would document it like in Syria and Iraq?Recommend

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

    “Also I asked for a link showing civilians have been killed, ”

    If I show you a link where civilians were killed would you then agree that innocents are dying in FATA?

    I’ll quote people living on the ground. If ‘Yes’ only I’ll show you the link. What do you say?Recommend

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

    Do you even know whats happening in Assam? Bodos are fighting Muslims now. They have seen Muslims taking over their land, their culture is changing, demographics are changing, Muslims practice no family control, they are moving in from Bangladesh in droves.

    Our forces are trying to contan and protect the Muslims!

    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/30-killed-in-36-hours-by-bodo-militants-in-assam-curfew-imposed/

    Considering this is not a weekly thing, I guess our forces are much better at counter insurgency. What do you think? Same in Kashmir. Free and fair elections with 70% participation, Tourism booming(more Tourists than entire country of Pakistan), Pilgrims are planning for Amarnath Yatra. After more than a decade, can you imagine Tourism into Afghanistan or into Balochistan?

    Now, I ask you: Have we bombed Bodos? Or Naxals? Or Kashmiris? You guys have bombed insurgents in Balochistan and now FATA, so have Americans have too. How is that working out for both of you?

    You challenged me to show you a link where the ratio needs to be 10:1, I did and I see no acknowledgement. I was right once again. Nowhere in that counter insurgency article has there been mention of bombing to fight Terror.Recommend

  • Roon

    “Kashmiris”
    What use is bombing when there are documented mass rapes and graves?

    “You challenged me to show you a link where the ratio needs to be 10:1”

    This is what I have said:
    I do not really trust these specialized “couter terror experts”, they were not really successful in Indian Assam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Veitnam.

    Also you ignored my question:

    “Your army is still stuck in Kashmir too with no end in sight. When will
    you be repealing the act which gives powers to the Indian army and
    keeps Kashmir as a police state?

    You can not deny that anti-Indian sentiments run deep in India and this is due to your army’s presence. The tribal IDP’s rehabilitation has already started, meanwhile the Pundits of Kashmir have been displaced for over a decade! Who is more successful here?Recommend

  • Roon

    If your link was trustworthy and reliable you would have shown it
    in the first place instead of:

    tribune.com.pk/story/822707/2000-militants-killed-in-north-waziristan-so-far-dg-ispr/

    I’m sure there is something you are hiding, is it the same link which says the IDP’s fled from their homes? We already know this, I’m talking about reported civilian casualties by a reputable sourceRecommend