Right wing backlash against Pak Tea House

Kashifiat has posted an open letter addressed to me. I usually don’t answer such letters but this particular ‘letter’ has to be responded to because if you don’t respond to distorted and mala fide accusations, they come to be accepted as the truth. The superficial reason is that our whiz-writer YLH has used unparliamentary language while commenting but the reasons are far deeper – they have to do with the way we envision Pakistan in light of Quaid – Mr. Jinnah’s ideals and agenda for Pakistan and that we mince no words when exploitation and injustice occur anywhere.We have taken note of the commenting here and fixed the comments on a particular post and hope to have a stricter policy in future. However, we reiterate that we oppose the extremist ideologies which are eating Pakistan from within like termite.  What Kashif and his friends say is their right and we respect that.  Furthermore, I do not blame the young men and women of our age – they have been indoctrinated by the pernicious text-books, Zia’s ideology and the infiltration of Jamaat-i-Islami and jihadis into every nook and corner of Pakistan. This is why PTH, as a voice of reason, faces the dual challenge of tackling the right wing and handling the global stereotyping of Pakistan as a jihadi haven. Not an easy challenge by any account — Raza Rumi

Dear Kashif

I have been constrained to respond to your open letter that not only brings into question my responsibility as the founder-editor of Pak Tea House (PTH) but also distorts what this e-zine stands for.
There is absolutely no article on PakTeaHouse that represents an Ahmadi or any other sectarian view per se. I personally condemn sectarianism of any kind, and my writings testify to that.  Your charge of PTH as a pro-Ahmaddiyat portal is absolutely false unless you feel that speaking of Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan as an inclusive, liberal and secular state is an Ahmadi point of view, in which case  you might as well declare the Quaid-e-Azam an Ahmadi as well.  If PTH authors have spoken about the injustice against Ahmadis for their faith,  and there is considerable injustice against Ahmadis whether you admit it or not.  We have posted many many more articles about the discrimination against Christians.  Does that make us a Christian website as well?  We’ve posted innumerable articles on Pakistani Hindus and their contributions to Pakistani society ?  Do we become a Hindu website? Don’t you think there should be a limit to accusations?
I have followed the discussion that took place on the article ‘The burden of a “Liberal” extremist’.  YLH’s concern was with  Adil Najam and his website and not your article. I share many of Yasser’s concerns about the said article not to mention that it was heavily inspired by the Wikipedia entry.
You also pointed to bad language that Yasser has used.  We have IP addresses, internet records as well as a  plethora of documents that show how you have abused and attacked YLH and his family members in public.  There cannot be two standards here – I let YLH’s intemperate language go but have moderated some of the words which obviously have enraged some self appointed guardians of morality. This is to ensure that there is fairplay here.
As the founder-editor of PakTeaHouse,  I would ordinarily be very concerned by the language used by YLH against you and your friends but I am also alarmed at the way you lash out against him and his poor wife who has nothing to do with these debates. Is this fair and according to the ‘Islamic’ values you boast and preach?
I am not going to defend what Yasser believes in or does not – am not his lawyer and he is quite capable of defending himself. But let me assure you Yasser is not an Ahmadi and is certainly no follower of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, though it would not matter one bit to me if he was.  If anything, he criticises the nature of the A sect and has by and large followed the editorial line where we do not let the Ahmadi websites to post their links and undertake their subtle and not so subtle versions of prosletiyzation or tableegh.
The reason Yasser is important for Pak Tea House is that unlike many other liberal-secular variants of our public discourse, he is  a committed follower of Quaid-e-Azam and his real vision for Pakistan that we seem to have lost. Your claim that he does not call Jinnah “Quaid-e-Azam” is pointless like our hollow textbook writers. The Quaid himself wrote in one of his letters:
“I would prefer to be live and die as plain Mr. Jinnah”
It is sad that you accuse us of championing  a sectarian or communal cause because PTH speaks out for the rights of the Ahmadi minority as well as other minorities.  The reason for this is that we are loyal followers of the Quaid-e-Azam himself.
The largest number of complaints I get against YLH have nothing to with the Ahmadi or minorities issue-  it is that he has turned PakTeaHouse into a “JinnahTeaHouse” or that he is a right wing fascist or a secret follower of Jamaat-i-Islami. I am totally swamped by these cyber-shenanigans. But I sort of support YLH Jinnah-obsession for he is contributing to the movement for reinterpretation of Jinnah both in Pakistan and India. Even though I do not agree with him many times on his assessment of Gandhi and other historical matters, I am fine with him expressing his views. This is hardly an issue if we are willing to hear each other and not brand each other with tags, labels, names and accusations.
Let me make this very clear to you –  We are a liberal e-zine and yes we are a secular platform and above all we adhere to Jinnah’s ideals for Pakistan. If you have the problem with that- well too bad.  If you wish to write against us you have every right to do so.  At least you know that PTH does not adhere to any [mis]interpretation of the religion that leads to exclusion of fellow citizens, witch-hunts, suicide bombings or beheadings and lashings of young girls in public not to mention hanging dead bodies on the street.
We stand for a democratic, egalitarian, secular Pakistan that espouses the universal human rights and Islamic notions of brotherhood, equality and social justice and a state which is at peace with its neighbours and a respected member of the international community. Any exclusionary ideology, one that discriminates against humans and citizens, is not acceptable.
If you do not like that please do not visit us. There are plenty of portals where your will find a receptive audience.
Having said that we apologise for the intemperate langauge as it was not a personal affront against anyone but a result of our overactive writer being misunderstood and abused again and again. He should have shown more restraint I guess but I see that you and your followers are also quick to lose self control. Just see the kind of comments a supporter has left today calling me all sorts of names.
Let us hope we develop a culture of tolerance and healthy discourse free of invective and name-calling.
Regards
Raza Rumi

65 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Pakistan

65 responses to “Right wing backlash against Pak Tea House

  1. Kareem

    Raza, YLH you are giving him too much importance. He’s desperate. Leave him burning in the fact that support for his ilk is disappearing fast. The fallacy of the maududi ideology (if it can be called idealogy) that he follows, and which only lasted so long for it was pushed upon us through violence and lies, is now open for all to see. They are just trying to gain some dignity (which they don’t have an iota of) through dicussion by you guys. Ignore him/them.

  2. Kareem

    *Right wing backlash = Wrong wing backlash

  3. YLH

    Thank you Raza bhai for your kind words and support.

    I did over reach with the abuses but it was because unfortunately this is the only language they understand.

    The worst attitude that anyone can take is to impugn one’s motivation. Is it that inconceivable for these people that honest and fairminded people who believe in justice and fair play can speak against injustice ?

    Followers of Maududiism, of Syed Qutb and Abdullah Azzams (the “aqrari mujrams” ie self professed criminals) seem to have no conception of justice and fair play.

    Is it any wonder then that other such inspired young illiterate and unkempt youth make up the Al Qaeda. After all Aqrari Mujram Ossama Bin Laden is also inspired by Azzam, Qutb and Maududi.

  4. Rashid

    Fairness and justice should be across the board.

    It is hard for me to figure why Kashif is not willing to extend the same right to others that he would like to have for himself. I do not know Kashif, but I knew Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
    Unfortunately, he was NOT willing to extend same right to others that he wanted for himself and even pleaded for it in Supreme Court of Pakistan:

    When Z.A.Bhutto was on trial he was accused of being a “Muslim in name only”. This accusation was levelled by the Lahore High Court Judgment against him of March 1978. Bhutto was very bitter about this, as he has himself stated in his book “If I am assasssinated” which you can download easily from the website:

    http://www.bhutto.org/

    I have the following reference from the time when he appealed against his death sentence to the Supreme Court:
    “He [Bhutto] said that it was an acknowledged principle that the person who recites the Kalima is a Muslim, and no one has the right to call him a non-Muslim. Citing an instance, chairman [of the People’s Party] Bhutto said that Abu Sufyan, a great enemy of the Holy Prophet, was brought to him. He claimed to have recited the Kalima, but the Holy Prophet’s Companions argued that he had not done it with his heart, and they wanted to kill him. But the Holy Prophet said that as he had recited the Kalima, he was now a Muslim, and could not be harmed.”
    (Urdu Daily Masawat, Lahore, Wednesday 20 December 1978, front page, column 1)

    He said this in reply to the accusation that he was “a Muslim in name only”.
    So before the end of his life Bhutto discovered the true definition of a Muslim and himself presented it in court.

  5. Rashid

    Fairness and justice should be across the board.

    It is hard for me to figure why Kashif is not willing to extend the same right to others that he would like to have for himself. I do not know Kashif, but I knew Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
    Unfortunately, he was NOT willing to extend same right to others that he wanted for himself and even pleaded for it in Supreme Court of Pakistan:

    When Z.A.Bhutto was on trial he was accused of being a “Muslim in name only”. This accusation was levelled by the Lahore High Court Judgment against him of March 1978. Bhutto was very bitter about this, as he has himself stated in his book “If I am assasssinated” which you can download easily from the website:

    http://www.bhutto.org/

    I have the following reference from the time when he appealed against his death sentence to the Supreme Court:
    “He [Bhutto] said that it was an acknowledged principle that the person who recites the Kalima is a Muslim, and no one has the right to call him a non-Muslim. Citing an instance, chairman [of the People’s Party] Bhutto said that Abu Sufyan, a great enemy of the Holy Prophet, was brought to him. He claimed to have recited the Kalima, but the Holy Prophet’s Companions argued that he had not done it with his heart, and they wanted to kill him. But the Holy Prophet said that as he had recited the Kalima, he was now a Muslim, and could not be harmed.”
    (Urdu Daily Masawat, Lahore, Wednesday 20 December 1978, front page, column 1)

    He said this in reply to the accusation that he was “a Muslim in name only”.
    So before the end of his life Bhutto discovered the true definition of a Muslim and himself presented it in court.

    Can Pakistani become fair in their judgments?

  6. Rashid

    Fairness and justice should be across the board.

    It is hard for me to figure why Kashif is not willing to extend the same right to others that he would like to have for himself. I do not know Kashif, but I knew Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
    Unfortunately, he was NOT willing to extend same right to others that he wanted for himself and even pleaded for it in Supreme Court of Pakistan:

    When Z.A.Bhutto was on trial he was accused of being a “Muslim in name only”. This accusation was levelled by the Lahore High Court Judgment against him of March 1978. Bhutto was very bitter about this, as he has himself stated in his book “If I am assasssinated” which you can download easily from the website:

    http://www.bhutto.org/

    I have the following reference from the time when he appealed against his death sentence to the Supreme Court:
    “He [Bhutto] said that it was an acknowledged principle that the person who recites the Kalima is a Muslim, and no one has the right to call him a non-Muslim. Citing an instance, chairman [of the People’s Party] Bhutto said that Abu Sufyan, a great enemy of the Holy Prophet, was brought to him. He claimed to have recited the Kalima, but the Holy Prophet’s Companions argued that he had not done it with his heart, and they wanted to kill him. But the Holy Prophet said that as he had recited the Kalima, he was now a Muslim, and could not be harmed.”
    (Urdu Daily Masawat, Lahore, Wednesday 20 December 1978, front page, column 1)

    He said this in reply to the accusation that he was “a Muslim in name only”.
    So before the end of his life Bhutto discovered the true definition of a Muslim and himself presented it in the court court.

  7. NoName

    I was myself suspicious that YLH cannot be an Ahmadi as he used some very derogatory language.

    In my past encounters with Ahmadis, I have found them to be very humble and not loose their temper in the face of abuses and insults hurled at them.

    It was one such Ahmadi who finally impressed me with his personal traits and I finally gave up the Jamaat-e-Islamic POV on Ahmadis.

    Although I dont agree with their religious beliefs however, persecuting them for believing in some thing is totally wrong.

    Just like YLH, I often found myself being called an Ahmadi and being threatened with death and abuses, because the people on the forum used to think I am an Ahmadi.

    Finally I stopped defending Ahmadis because I dont want my family or myself to be the sacrificial lamb for the Ahmadi cause.

    Kind Regards

    NoName

  8. Ali Hillaj Dashti

    Raza Roomi is wrong. You cannot have a dialogue with Islamofascists. Just ignore them and do your job.

  9. farooq

    Fairness and justice should be across the board.

    It is hard for me to figure why Kashif is not willing to extend the same right to others that he would like to have for himself. I do not know Kashif, but I knew Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
    Unfortunately, he was NOT willing to extend same right to others that he wanted for himself and even pleaded for it in Supreme Court of Pakistan:

    When Z.A.Bhutto was on trial he was accused of being a “Muslim in name only”. This accusation was levelled by the Lahore High Court Judgment against him of March 1978. Bhutto was very bitter about this, as he has himself stated in his book “If I am assasssinated” which you can download easily from the website:

    http://www.bhutto.org/

    I have the following reference from the time when he appealed against his death sentence to the Supreme Court:
    “He [Bhutto] said that it was an acknowledged principle that the person who recites the Kalima is a Muslim, and no one has the right to call him a non-Muslim. Citing an instance, chairman [of the People’s Party] Bhutto said that Abu Sufyan, a great enemy of the Holy Prophet, was brought to him. He claimed to have recited the Kalima, but the Holy Prophet’s Companions argued that he had not done it with his heart, and they wanted to kill him. But the Holy Prophet said that as he had recited the Kalima, he was now a Muslim, and could not be harmed.”
    (Urdu Daily Masawat, Lahore, Wednesday 20 December 1978, front page, column 1)

    He said this in reply to the accusation that he was “a Muslim in name only”.
    So before the end of his life Bhutto discovered the true definition of a Muslim and himself presented it in the court of law.

  10. talkhaaba

    “But let me assure you Yasser is not an Ahmadi and is certainly no follower of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, though it would not matter one bit to me if he was.”

    That’s good if he is not follower of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. However, his naseeb.com portrays him otherwise. Secondly the things that hurt me persoanly is that at least i was not expecting the foul language used by Yasser. Despite difference of opinion, we educated Pakistani should respect each others and respond with logic. But irony is that as long as you agree with the one having contrary point of view he become rash and start using foul language. That we can expect from the man in street but not the person like Yasser. You and Yasser can’t deny the screen shots posted by kashif on his blog. And yes you both, although, may be good friends but are very different. Although don’t agree with you on what you have written above, still you seems to be decent and educated guy.

  11. hossp

    I don’t think it was necessary for Raza to respond to these folks. They should comment here if they want to discuss and debate the issues. Instead of responding in kind, it is best to just delete any vulgar or disgusting post.

  12. Dear friends: many thanks for the comments here. I debated the idea for a while and then decided (in consultation with PTH team) to respond.
    I suppose there is a downside of everything.

    YLH: I think you must refrain from replying in the ‘same token’. This only dilutes the strengths of your argument. And, then foul language becomes issue under discussion.

  13. Kareem

    @talkhaaba: You think Ahmadis should be killed for merely their faith and you are offended by foul language? You bigotory has no limits.

  14. Ali Hillaj Dashti

    Raza and Yasir
    Why are so apologetic and cowardly talking about teh Ahmedi Muslims? Is it wrong for an Ahmedi to contribute to Pak Tea House? It should be an honor to publish an Ahmedi becuase on other web sites they are banned.

  15. talkhaaba

    @Kareem
    Who has said the Ahmedi should be killed? I respect them like other minorities of Pakistan but not ready to accept them Muslim. I have no problem with them. Even I appreciate the work of Dr Abul Salam as a scientist his work should be appreciated but I am not ready to call him Muslim. We have our city police chief a Qadiani and I appreciate his professional abilities. But a Qadiani who misguide Muslim by declaring himself Muslim should be drag to the court of Law and shall be punished. That’s my point of View and that’s what 2nd amendment of 1973 constitution states.

  16. yasserlatifhamdani

    Talkhaba,

    If I actually agreed with the Ahmadi philosophy, there is nothing you or that Kashif fella could do to stop me from proclaiming myself as such. It is not “good” that I don’t agree with Ahmadiat… it is simply a fact… That said… they- the Ahmadis- are better human beings than people like you and Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui and the followers of Fitna-e-Maududiat any day.

    Now… you said my Naseeb.com portrays otherwise. Well you are a liar and a crook. I challenge you to show me what it is in the Naseeb.com website that proves otherwise? If you can’t you should accept that you are a crook.

  17. Kareem

    “But a Qadiani who misguide Muslim by declaring himself Muslim should be drag to the court of Law and shall be punished. ”

    An Ahmadi Muslim to be killed just for his faith and you are offended by foul language? Your faith is bigotry nothing else. Its you and your ilk who should be punished for attacking freedom of belief and human rights.

  18. yasserlatifhamdani

    talkhaba,

    The second amendment – horrendous and horrible as it is – does not state what you’ve just stated.

    But then… constitutions and other such things were never important to people like you.

  19. yasserlatifhamdani

    Well said Kareem.

  20. Kareem

    “Even I appreciate the work of Dr Abul Salam as a scientist ”

    Dr Salam does not need appreciation form a bigot like you please refrain from it. Dr Slams’ work mostly helped non-Ahmadi Pakistanis without any regards to what they believe. Your religion of hate and terror has no bearing with what Dr Salam believed.

  21. What is this obsession with Ahmadiyyat. I know they have created a problem with our mainstream belief system and that they are as bigoted as other variants of sectarian fundos.
    But I do not want more discussion on this please.
    Let’s stop it here.
    More Fitna and non-fitna comments will be moderated. One feels as if we are still living in the dark ages where witch hunts and proof of faith is required for being a human being.

  22. Majumdar

    If Yasser mian is receiving so much enemity, it can only mean one thing. His message is going thru and lots of folks are getting rattled. Good going.

    Regards

  23. YLH

    Wednesday’s Daily Ummat dedicated a whole article to the evil evil Yasser Latif Hamdani at a time when everyone was talking about Jaswant Sing’s book.

  24. @Raza
    Well…we like and support PTH for its broad canvas and readership,Any such accusations from people like
    Saad Abbasi,Adnan Siddiquee etc etc….As we have hundreds and thousands of peoples having such ideas….It needs no clearifications…..
    On Ahmadi issue everytime we the readers have supported Yasser stance especially regarding persecutions of Ahmadis…As we have seen when An Ahmadi Officer was martyred in Swat…defending our homes…
    As for as Yasir behaviour is concerned it is “Aa Bail mujhe maar”
    from the last few days U have seen so many articles on which there were no comments from Kashifiat etc..But Yasser on each and every article has commented in a way to drag Kashifiat etc intentionally….
    So plz do concentrate on what PTH was established for and avoid “Khaa Makaa K Phaddey”
    “Khud Parasti ki bhi koi hadd hoti hai yaar”

  25. YLH

    Ali arqam,

    “each and every article has commented in a way to drag Kashifiat etc intentionally”

    Can you tell me what articles I have “dragged” Kashifiat in except the Urdu Columnists one? And that was after the date of publication of the open letter as well as his article on Wednesday. Whatever pangs of hate you feel against me … doesn’t give you the right to distort the Facts.

    What you’ve written is nonsense. If you follow Daily Ummat and Kashifiat’s blog, he has been writing constantly against me and against PTH for months. <

    It wasn't unexpected that Sherryx and Aliarqam brigade would come out in support of Jamaat e Islami …this is not the first time that Pakistan-hating self styled commies (not real ones) and tribal Pushtun nationalists have made common cause with Jamaat e Islami and its religio-fascist hate mongers. History of Pakistan and Pakteahouse are both replete with such instances.

    The issue is that both sides consist of extremists…Sherryx/aliarqam's lies and claims (albeit from an extreme left wing pov which would mirror those of Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui. Their tone, their language, their abuses and their accusations are all the same except that one claims I am an Ahmadi and the other claims I am a member of Jamaat e Islami no less (except in hiding).

    The problem with both groups is a lack of honesty, integrity as well as a deep seated underlying hatred for Pakistan and its founding ideals. Therefore they feel it necessary to attack those who actually speak for this poor poor country.

    -YLH

  26. Aftab

    Dear Raza

    Do not give importance to such people and waste your time. These people have obdurate beliefs and can not be changed. These are among those who named Jinnah “ Kafar-e-Azam” when he was being called as Quaid-e-Azam and now want us to believe that Jinnah was amongst them and his Pakistan should be like Talibistan.

  27. I am not going to start a new blame game with U…
    And U have ignored the whole sense of my comments…
    “On Ahmadi issue everytime we the readers have supported Yasser stance especially regarding persecutions of Ahmadis…As we have seen when An Ahmadi Officer was martyred in Swat…defending our homes…”
    Many times you dragged me and Sherry unnecessarily….But Kia kaha jay…
    U have been licenesed to do so….

  28. Aisha Sarwari

    Raza,

    This was a good post. What matters is that PTH stands for the principle of equality for all Pakistanis, which is what religion is supposed to teach us to inculcate, that we, as social beings design and advocate only that which we would want for ourselves if we were a minority.

    Selfrighteous bullying should be the last thing that should deter PTH from calling a spade a spade.

    When right wing America tries to defame Obama by accusing him of having Muslim roots, we are first to ask why they think being Muslim is so offensive, and ask “doesn’t America claim to hold all equal in the eyes of the law,” yet when its our turn to be fair we play the holier than thou game.

    No one runs out of a burning house in moderation, these Jamatis are a threat to all that is right about Pakistan, and they make the country unsafe for our children. They don’t deserve respect because they don’t fight on fair terms.

    In the words of the pharma leader employer of Kashif Hafeez, (the leading Jamati foot solider) whose HR I spoke to years ago when he started psycho stalking Naseeb, the guy he said is “obsessive and schizophrenic.”

    Keep up the good fight for those who don’t or can’t demand their own rights.

    Aisha Sarwari

  29. YLH

    Aliarqam,

    You claimed that I had dragged kashifiat in “each and every article”.

    All I want you to do is back your statement up with facts.

  30. YLH
    Aliaqram has actually come out in support of PTH – please do not turn this into a personal battle with him.
    And, Sherry is not part of this discussion. Let us not bring him in this discussion. Both Sherry and Ali may strongly disagree with you but are supporters of what PTH stands for.

    Aliaqram – thanks for the comments and please do not respond more. YLH is in a edgy mood given the way he and his wife have been abused by the self-righteous, Ahmadi label manafacturing brigade. In the past you guys have labelled him as a right winger and now you should know where he stands – he has his personal opinions that are based on years of research and devotion to Jinnah. You may now realise that he is on the wrong side of the right wing Mullahs too…

    RR

  31. Koschan

    Hi i m from new delhi and have been areader of pth since april..
    What i think is that ylh is doing a splendid work here…..ylh s arguments in favor of jinnah are sometimes so convincing that even i am forced to change my stand visavis jinnah.I nave started appreciating what was good in jinnah …
    another thing,coming from a secular country , i find this debate bout whether pth promotes anmadiyat very very funny and non sensical.Raza ji, was there really a need to tell that ylh ws not an ahmadi……….should being an ahmadi be a disqualification?In my class of 72 mbbs students, we have 10 muslims and 3 ahmadis and they suffer not even an iota of bias…

    -

  32. Koschan

    Ps… 10 muslims include the 3 ahmadis

  33. farooq

    @ Raza Rumi

    Your: “What is this obsession with Ahmadiyyat. I know they have created a problem with our mainstream belief system and that they are as bigoted as other variants of sectarian fundos.”

    Raza, I don’t know who you are talking about. Definitely, NOT about Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement (aka Lahori-Ahmadis). I can challenge CHALLENGE you on this that you ARE ABSOLUTELY WRONG. The ONLY difference between Lahori-Ahmadis and any Hanfi… is that Lahori-Ahmadis understanding regarding Jesus is that he is physically dead. And they believe reformers (Mujadids) have come in past and will continue to come in future to revive Islam.

    Raza, regardless, what understanding of religion anyone holds; no other Muslim has right to call him non-Muslim (nauzubilah). This is the worst atrocity that can be committed against a Muslim by another Muslim. MORE than what Pakistani Talibans are doing to their fellow Muslims. I consider Z A Bhutto WORST than Bait Ullah Masud. Bait Ullah Masud physically killed Muslims. ZAB killed faith of Muslims.

    Please check following verses of Holy Quran and Hadiths to find ‘The Prohibition of Takfir’.

    http://www.ahmadiyya.org/sa-case/evidence/s01.htm#5

    Raza, I hope you post my rebuttal to your comment. Thank you.

  34. PMA

    In my opinion the problem is not with the question “who is a Muslim and who is not.” There are billions of non-Muslims in this world that go about their daily lives without being bothered by anyone about their personal faith and believes. The problem lies with the significance attached and privileges granted to being a ‘Muslim’ in a Muslim society. Create a fair and just society in which belonging to a certain religion does not automatically entitles its members to a preferential treatment and enhanced position and privilege; with reverse being just as true. Take the religion along with its perks or punishments out of the public life and put it back into the personal lives of individuals and you will see that the significance of the question “who is a Muslim and who is not” will minimize to great extent. Our nation and country faces many real and serious challenges. Don’t make religion of citizens an issue. It only saps away and wastes our energy. Please for God sakes wake up.

  35. PMA
    Many thanks for your sensible and rational comment. The debates on who is a Muslim or not remind is so futile. We have so much to do for our country.
    I do apologise for PTH has been dragged into this controversy – a favourite pastime of our analysts to find a Zionist-Ahmedi conspiracy behind everything that happens in Pakistan.

  36. Koschan
    Thanks for your comment here. But we are not debating the religion issue. We are dealing with a political issue – fundamentalism and use of religion to seek power.
    I am sure that you have seen all of this through the BJP/RSS in your country – they way they have whipped religious emotions to create hatred against minorities – not just Muslims but also Christians.

  37. Thank you Raza … and I agree that although the radicals do not allow ‘dialogue’ to take place… although they do not believe in the concept of ‘live and let live’ … yet, one should not allow one’s own values to suffer because of another’s ignorance …
    we may not be debating ‘religion’ per se … but the radicals bring in religion wherever they go …from their point of view (seems to me), if you dont agree with them you are against Islam … let me say it very clearly here… i do NOT agree with their position… and i am NOT against Islam …:)

  38. PMA

    Few words regarding “Zionist-Ahmedi conspiracy.”

    Reportedly Ahmadiyya Jamaat has a mission center in Israel where the group is received with a warm welcome. I too have sometimes wondered what are the motivations behind this arrangement between the two, particularly in a country where Muslim Arabs are routinely denied their very basic human rights. Perhaps a simplest explanation would be that the Ahmadiyya group is seeking a safe haven where they could carry on their activities under the state protection, an environment that is denied to them in Pakistan. On their part, however cynically, Israelis are perhaps trying to make a Jewish state look fair to other religions particularly Muslims. A similar arrangement also exists between Israelis and the Baha’i faith. However an extreme explanation of this Israeli-Ahmadiyya arrangement would be that the two are conspiring against Pakistan and the Muslims. What the reality is; only the two parties involved would know. Perhaps the Ahmadiyya Jamaat should come out and issue a ‘white paper’ to remove the clouds of suspicions hanging over their head. Such a move will go long way in inter-sect, or inter-faith if you wish, relations. And on their part Sunni-Muslims should stop harassing and even killing those who do not adhere to Islam or their interpretation of Islam. The majority Muslims need to realise that inter-faith hostilities make Pakistan weak. Give our own minorities an operating room inside the country so that they do not seek help of those outsiders who may not have best interest on Pakistan in their hearts.

  39. @Raza
    Its Ok with him….As for as blaming someone on religious basis is not a thing new for us….
    Even Ubaidullah Sindhi was accussed of sympathies or inclination towards Ahmadis for his appreciation of Hakim Noor Uddin for his knowledge of Quran….(Ifadaat O Malfuzaat Ubaidullah Sindhi by Proff. Sarwar)
    @YLH
    Today I for the first time went to Kashif blog..after reading here at PTH about Kashif letter to Raza Bhai…I have seen many comments from you there on his posts…Pangaa kyun lete ho bhai…
    My use of “Aa Bail mujhe Maar” was

  40. Kareem

    “Perhaps the Ahmadiyya Jamaat should come out and issue a ‘white paper’ to remove the clouds of suspicions hanging over their head.”

    PMA, first of all you need to not subscribe to conspiracy theories and instead should present facts of any wrong doing. Of all the allegations that you have levelled do you have any proof? Instead of asking Jammat Ahmadiyya to issue a white paper (presumption of guilt) you and others should try to prove that Jammat Ahmadiyya is involved in any wrong doing (innocent until proven guilty) but your religious prejudice takes the best of your sensibilities hence the conspiracy theories without any basis and then the insistence that its the Ahmadis who should prove their innocence instead of the other war round. This speculative attitude underlined by bigotry, and prejudice against Jammat Ahmdiyya is the actual problem. In Islam it’s forbidden to speculate, no? Where is Islam now? Islam should be used for something else apart from spreading lies and persecution too. The fact that you expect Ahmadis to prove their innocence unfortunately shows that your moral compass isn’t where it needs to be. This puts the whole concept of justice on its head. If Ahmadis were involved in any wrong doing something must have come out by now. Why isn’t it there? That should make it abundantly clear to you where the truth lies if you are really looking for truth.

    Problem is all the persecution of Ahmadis does put one’s ulema and indeed one’s religion in a bad light. This is indeed a heavy burden to carry hence once does try to find any excuse that one can to try to “justify” at some level the wrong doings against Ahmadis to satisfy one’s consciences to some somewhat and to attempt to see one’s religion in a slightly better light then it really is now a days.

    Ahmadiyya Mission was established in Palestine in 1920 or so, inline with other missionary activities that began towards the early years of last century. The present mosque was built in 1930 almost two decades before Israel came into being. The Ahmadis there are local Palestinians who like, non-Ahmadis, stayed at their land after Israel came into being. This information is available readily from Jammat Ahmadiyya site and/or Wikipedia. If an educated person is US like you with ready access to internet has not bothered to research then where is the problem? Is it in lack of information or lack of intention?

  41. Anwar

    Move on guys…

  42. YLH

    Aliarqam,

    First of all where are those examples of “each and every article” that you claimed earlier.

    Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui has been writing against me for five years with minimal or no response from me. Now that he has begun to distort my motivation and impugn my reputation I have atleast the right to defend myself.

    I am not sure what your problem is. No I am not a coward. About Kashifiat it is clear as day to everyone who knows this history that this guy is an obsessive freak with a history of rabble rousing against people who disagree with Jamaat-e-Islami. Could you tell me how I took the panga when he wrote articles after articles against me in Daily Ummat?

    Or is that precisely what bothers you? I wonder.

  43. Kareem

    “Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui has been writing against me for five years with minimal or no response from me.”

    Just shows how important he thinks you are…now that that’s cleared ignore him.

  44. YLH

    Dear PMA,

    I think it is unfortunate that you’ve bought into Dr. Jawwad Khan’s lies.

    The contribution of Ch. Zafrulla to the Palestinian Cause is celebrated by the Arab World. Most of them laugh when told of our Mullah’s claims.

    When Israel was being created… it was Zafrulla who gave the most forceful arguments against it. Zafrulla was a very devout Ahmadi and probably the most influential one in history. I think we can safely rule the Zionist-Ahmadi nexus conspiracy that these Jamaat-e-Islami crooks spread.

    Perhaps more pertinent a question would be about Jamaat-e-Islami’s grand daddy Zia ul Haq’s role against Palestinian freedom fighters in the Black September Massacre… as well as Jamaat-e-Islami’s own links with Israel during the Afghan war.

  45. PMA

    Kareem (August 24, 2009 at 9:51 pm):

    Kareem, you got me totally wrong. There is no allegation of any sort here nor I am assigning any guilt to anyone. All I am saying is that if one side (not me) is accusing the other of some wrong doing then for its own benefit Ahmadiyya Jamaat should try to remove the misunderstandings about its activities from a Muslim-sensitive place such as Israel. After all Israel is the occupier of Palestine and Muslim holy places, an issue very sensitive to the Muslims worldwide.

  46. Let us close this discussion and move on
    please..

  47. Kareem

    “Kareem, you got me totally wrong.”

    PMA, I am not at all wrong about you. The more you not provide any evidence about any allegations and the more you demand that an explanation should be given is a testimony of your insensibility. What is sensible about expecting Palestinian Ahmadis who have a right to live on their ancestral land to give explanation as to why they live there? This is the only “activity” there is. What is so not clear about it? The fact Israel came into being with their land part of it is not their fault. Why are you blaming them for it?

    If you have any other activity in mind justify it before expecting an explanation.

  48. YLH

    Well I have known PMA for a very long time… he is no bigot.

  49. Kareem

    PMA, you are again working on “guilty until proven innocent” rule. Muslim holy places are also sensitive to Ahmadi Muslim, so what are you blaming them for?

  50. PMA

    Kareem: The moderator has asked us to close this discussion and so I would. As parting comment please do not misunderstand me. I am a long time friend of some Ahmadiyya as well as Sunni-Palestinian-Muslim individuals. Unlike our coreligionists someplace else we all go to the same mosque and stand in prayers side by side with no religious or personal frictions. At the sometime I am privy to the discussions that go on here about the Ahmadiyya presence in Israel where Muslim-Palestinians are suffering at the hands of the Israelis. There will be no further response from me on this subject. May we all live in peace regardless of our religious affiliation. Take care my friend.

  51. Kareem

    “Ahmadiyya presence in Israel where Muslim-Palestinians are suffering at the hands of the Israelis. ”

    Ahmadi presence in Israel is same as non-Ahmadi presence. Both were occupied by Israel, both existed before Israel came into being. What is different between one and the other? What is the issue here? I have yet to undertsand your complain.

  52. rashid

    @PMA

    To set the record straight.
    PMA writes, “Reportedly Ahmadiyya Jamaat has a mission center in Israel where the group is received with a warm welcome.”

    PMA you need to specifically mention by ‘Ahmadiyya Jamaat’ you mean QADIANI-AHMADIS (or Qadiani Group), who have mission center in Israel where the group is received with a warm welcome.

    The other faction of Ahmadiyya Movement aka Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement (LAM) aka LAHORI-AHMADIS do NOT have any such mission in Israel. They always remain out of political activities. They did support creation of Pakistan as any other Muslim in Indian subcontinent. Quaid-I-Azam use to forward mail, regarding questions about religion of Islam, as many in west thought being leader of Muslims he was scholar of Islam, to Maulana Muhammad Ali president of LAM. QA frequently used quotes from LAM English language organ ‘The Light’ in his speeches. Shaair-e-Mashriq Muhammad Iqbal even after developing differences with Qadiani-Group use to attend LAM religious conferences, preside their conference sessions, and make financial contributions. Woking Muslim Mission/ Mosque run by LAM was the place where critical role was played for creation of Pakistan.
    For many of you it may be news:
    Woking Muslim Mission’s role in the creation of Pakistan
    Ch. Rehmat Ali got his spark of inspiration in the Drawing Room of the Mission House

    http://www.wokingmuslim.org/work/pakistan.htm

    For many of you it may be important that LAM is NOT Qadiani-Group:

    http://www.ahmadiyya.org/clarifi.htm

  53. rashid

    @Kareem

    Ahmadiyya Jamaat QADIANI-GROUP NEEDS TO COME CLEAN.

    It is known fact that Qadiani-Ahmadis under direction of their Khalifa 3 Mirza Nasir Ahmad, and his younger brother, who later became Khalifa 4 Mirza Tahir Ahmad threw total weight of their organization behind Z.A. Bhutto and his Pakistan Peoples Party in 1971 elections. Qadiani Jamaat was very much instrumental in PPP win Punjab and NWFP. Because of this people like Mirza Tahir Ahmad were on first name basis with ZAB. Jamat-I-Islami and other religio-political parties did not like role played by Qadianis in 1971 election. More over they needed whip boy to get even with ZAB. Rabwah Railway station incident in summer of 1974, in which Medical College students were mutilated with the consent of ZAB by Qadianis. Provided the much needed opportunity. On other hand as ZAB gives his reason for declaring Qadiani-Ahmadis (and unfortunately also Lahori-Ahmadis who had NO part in this politico-lego-religio drama) non-Muslim (kaffir) in Col Rafi ud Din, the military liaison during his incarceration, ‘Bhutto kay akhari 323 din” (the last 323 days of Bhutto). ZAB says: Qadianis were becoming King Maker like Jews in USA.

    ZAB was under impression that by appeasing Mullah-Maffia in 1974 and also by cutting to size the budding King Makers in Pakistan he will achieve more than what is apparent. Unfortunately, for ZAB appeasing of Mullah-Mafia did not stop there. Then he had to enact more laws in 1977. And this led to “Islamization” by Zia Ul Haq. Unfortunately the tree which was planted in 1974 has spread its root all across the country, and its leaves are shadowing every Pakistani.

  54. rashid

    @PMA

    To set the record straight.
    PMA writes, “Reportedly Ahmadiyya Jamaat has a mission center in Israel where the group is received with a warm welcome.”

    PMA you need to specifically mention by ‘Ahmadiyya Jamaat’ you mean QADIANI-AHMADIS (or Qadiani Group), who have mission center in Israel where the group is received with a warm welcome.

    The other faction of Ahmadiyya Movement aka Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement (LAM) aka LAHORI-AHMADIS do NOT have any such mission in Israel. They always remain out of political activities. They did support creation of Pakistan as any other Muslim in Indian subcontinent. Quaid-I-Azam use to forward mail, regarding questions about religion of Islam, as many in west thought being leader of Muslims he was scholar of Islam, to Maulana Muhammad Ali president of LAM. QA frequently used quotes from LAM English language organ ‘The Light’ in his speeches. Shaair-e-Mashriq Muhammad Iqbal even after developing differences with Qadiani-Group use to attend LAM religious conferences, preside their conference sessions, and make financial contributions. Woking Muslim Mission/ Mosque run by LAM was the place where critical role was played for creation of Pakistan.
    For many of you it may be news:
    Woking Muslim Mission’s role in the creation of Pakistan
    Ch. Rehmat Ali got his spark of inspiration in the Drawing Room of the Mission House

    http://www.wokingmuslim.org/work/pakistan.htm

    And For many of you it may be important that LAM is NOT Qadiani-Group:

    http://www.ahmadiyya.org/clarifi.htm

  55. AZW

    May I add my two cents here:

    It does not matter what Qadiani/Ahmedi/Lahori group was up to in 1974, 1971, 1954, 1947, 1933 or for that matter today.

    It is not the main point whether a group is a Kingmaker or a victim at any point in history.

    Kashif Siddiqui and Adnan Siddiqui can go on and do all the ideological debates they want with Qadianis, Shias, Ismalilis or others they believe are outside of “their” Islam or with “loose” religious values.

    The crux of the matter is that the Siddiquis, JIs, and the right wing cannot invoke state to proxy fight for their behalf. State has to protect Qadianis from Siddiquis and JIs, and (equally importantly) vice versa.

    In the eyes of the state, both of them are equal citizens with equal rights, and no side can violate the others’ rights because one thinks they follow are “correct” religion.

    Therefore justifying whether Ahmedis did something or not in the past, or whether they are good or bad as a group is simply a moot point.

    Regards,

    Adnann

  56. Ahmed

    I am a former Ahmadi. I beleive that ahmadi sect is nuts. But being one of them I know them in and out. And they have traditionally supported all Muslim political causes. Within the Jamat, I have always heard resentment for Israel and great Sympathy for Palestine. I have seen Palestinian Arab Ahmadis on MTA regularly. There is an ahamdi center in Haifa before the formation of Israel. They live there as other Arab muslims.

  57. rashid

    @PMA

    Setting the record straight.

    PMA writes, “Reportedly Ahmadiyya Jamaat has a mission center in Israel where the group is received with a warm welcome.”

    PMA you need to specifically mention by ‘Ahmadiyya Jamaat’ you mean QADIANI-AHMADIS (or Qadiani Group), who have mission center in Israel where the group is received with a warm welcome.

    The other faction of Ahmadiyya Movement aka Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement (LAM) aka LAHORI-AHMADIS do NOT have any such mission in Israel. They always remain out of political activities. They did support creation of Pakistan as any other Muslim in Indian subcontinent. Quaid-I-Azam use to forward mail, regarding questions about religion of Islam, as many in west thought being leader of Muslims he was scholar of Islam, to Maulana Muhammad Ali president of LAM. QA frequently used quotes from LAM English language organ ‘The Light’ in his speeches. Shaair-e-Mashriq Muhammad Iqbal even after developing differences with Qadiani-Group use to attend LAM religious conferences, preside their conference sessions, and make financial contributions. Woking Muslim Mission/ Mosque run by LAM was the place where critical role was played for creation of Pakistan.
    For many of you it may be news:
    Woking Muslim Mission’s role in the creation of Pakistan
    Ch. Rehmat Ali got his spark of inspiration in the Drawing Room of the Mission House
    Go to:
    wokingmuslim dot org backslash work backslash pakistan

    For many of you it may be important to know that LAM is NOT Qadiani-Group:
    Go to:
    ahmadiyya dot org backslash clarifi dot htm

  58. Dear Raza & Yaseer

    Keep strong and keep fighting,we have seen JI since the day of 1970s thug attacks on liberal students in lahore karachi universities. The thugs which were the student leaders like fareed paracha are now MNAs and morality police on TV.

    Not to worry.I was roughed up by IJT activists in 1988 because Dr Ghansham Parkash was the Sindh president of DSF,how can a Hindu be a president of students in muslim country,well it was not my fault that a)Dr Parkash was Hindu b) citizen of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and C) how dare the students of Sindh elect a Hindu as their president?

    Jamaat Islami is the evil (need I say Illegitmate )child of American conservatism and Muadudi ‘s Muslim Brotherhood ideology.No one can forget that JI enjoyed the American dollars and now enjoys Al Qaeda and Saudi dollars.May Maududi,Tufail Mohamed and Zia burn in hell of eternity

    All the support to Liberal and Progressive writers of Pakistan.

  59. PMA

    Since reference to my earlier comments keep coming up I need to add few words of clarification here. I hope the PTH administrators will allow me that. I do not belong to the school that takes upon itself to define who is Muslim and who is not. Individual’s religion matters the least to me. I view Jamaat-e-Islami and Ahmadiyya Jamaat or for that matter any other Jamaat, and there are hundreds of them worldwide, with same attitude. They are out there mostly to serve the spiritual needs of their followers. I have no problem with that. The problem starts when these Jamaats get involved in politics and start playing political games. At that stage these Jamaats are no longer just religious organizations. They are religio-political organization. Since we are discussing only two particular Jamaats here I will leave the role of other politico-religious Jamaats out for the time being.

    In Pakistani context both Ahmadiyya and Islami Jamaats are religio-political organizations with international reach. Both parties have their extra-Pakistan political contacts, supporters and protectors. They both fight for the same turf except Islami Jamaat being larger and stronger has been able to outmaneuver the Ahmadiyyas. My point is that in a free and fair society, which Pakistan must be, there must be room for every religion and its sects, every political thought, and yes for those who do not belong to any religion or political thought. That is my vision of Pakistan. But for that to happen we need a culture of tolerance and not extremism. I hope I am not the only one in this echo chamber.

  60. YLH

    PMA,

    My only concern is that you can’t compare the thugs and violent extremists of JI with the soft spoken and gentle preachers of JA which mind you has gone through the worst persecution in modern times.

    The problem with JI and JA is the same at the end of the day. Both are variants of Sunnism and therefore lack the sensitivity, modernity and liberalism that the Shia branch bestows on Islam.

    Still we can’t compare JA which was always a patriotic organization with jamaat e islami. May I also say that JA doesn’t seem to be involved in any politics.

  61. PMA

    YLH (August 25, 2009 at 7:38 pm): Yes I have seen the persecution of Ahmadiyya families in my own hometown in Pakistan. This was back in the 70s when ZAB was in power and the religious fever was at high pitch. A mob, not necessarily all belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami, attacked homes and businesses of known Ahmadiyya families in town. The families inside responded with gunfire. The mob set the buildings ablaze with kerosene, dragged the individuals out, and hexed them to death. This is the most repulsive thing I have witnessed in my life. On the other hand, being a minority in Pakistan the Ahmadiyya group does not resort to violence. Their mode of operation is non-violent and behind the scene. But trust me, Ahmadiyya group is not composed of all angels. There are bad people in that group too. I was trying to avoid the mention of other religio-political groups in Pakistan, but since you have brought it up, the Shia Mullahs of Pakistan have their godfathers in Iran, just like Sunni Mullahs have theirs in Saudi Arabia. The bottom line is that this mix of religion and politics in Pakistan, from all sides, has poisoned the society to no avail. Our society is being torn apart by the religious and sectarian hatred and conflicts mostly instigated by religious politicians from all sides.

  62. Kareem

    “In Pakistani context both Ahmadiyya and Islami Jamaats are religio-political organizations with international reach. Both parties have their extra-Pakistan political contacts, supporters and protectors.”

    PMA that’s where you are wrong. What you have said about Jammat Islami is correct in fact it is a political party with a religious garb to get support from religion loving masses. It has even registered itself as a political party.

    Jammat Ahmadiyya is purely a religious organisation. All its contacts are its own missionary activates which it does as any religious organisation and is doing for over a century all over the world where it can reach. Over time geo-political changes occur in various parts of the world to which you unfairly connect Jammat Ahmadiyya to.

    As far Jammat Ahmadiyya’s “political” involvement, it supported Pakistan as it was a Muslim cause not an Ahmadiyya cause. Same with Kashmir issue and with Palestine issue. This is not political activity but supporting a Muslim cause as a nation or Umma or whatever you want to call it. As for supporting PPP in 1971 this party was the only major one which did not want to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslim so voting for PPP was a natural choice. Ever citizen or group votes based on what they see favourable, that does not make them political per se. Jammat Ahmadiyya was and remains strictly a religious missionary movement. Very much like traditional Islam from its inception is still a religion and not a political party no matter how many Muslims get involved in politics. You need to see the differences where they exist.

    Most of all Ahmadis as a political system are strictly for a secular system which separates religion from state. This is in stark contrast with those religio-political parties that you have mentioned above.

    As for Jammat Ahmadiyya’s “supporters and protectors” can you elaborate who you are referring to? I think you are subscribing too much to conspiracy theories as usual and not focusing on the obvious explanations and facts. Ahmadis don’t indulge in extremisms so they have a good rapport all over world including in Pakistan where they are sometimes persecuted. If Ahmadis are known as law-abiding and peaceful citizens by others then that is not a support under some sort of conspiracy. What goes around normally comes around; if you are nice to others then others are usually nice to you too. Also people show sympathy when they find Ahmadis are unduly being persecuted. This is only natural and no conspiracy there.

    PMA , problem is you never provide any evidence but make baseless claim. Once challenged you back track and claim its others who make those claims. First of all as a fair person you should confront the claimants for proof rather than blame Ahmadis for what they have not done and indeed there is no evidence for it. Second you should not propagate what you don’t know for a fact or have any substantiation for it. A little lesson in etiquettes.

  63. All that needs to said here has been said. Alas, this debate is turning into a sectarian warfare.
    The comments therefore are closed now.
    Thanks for participating.
    RR

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