By Raza Habib Raja
Democracy is much more than majority
Right now, after 28th May, an issue being increasingly discussed is the status given to Ahmedis through the controversial Second Amendment.
Frankly I would like to say at the onset that I think the Second Amendment is one of the blackest and most shameful acts of legislations ever passed in the National Assembly. Its reprehensible content is reinforced by the fact that it was not an ordinance imposed by a dictator but actually passed by majority through legislative process.
The Second Amendment was passed unanimously and compared to other controversial legal ordinance such as Hadood, appears to have a “democratic’ semblance. In fact at times more than the religious arguments the supporters of the Second Amendment come up with the “democratic” defense.
Supporters say that after all democracy is a game of numbers and if the law was passed unanimously then it reflected the entire collective will of the people. They also say that democracy has to be consistently interpreted and applied. They say that you cannot be “selective” about democratic norms and apply it to your own wishes. The votes cast by the representatives are the most appropriate approximation of the public will and if a bill is passed unanimously then public will has to prevail. The art of legislation is the way of ensuring prevalence of public will.
Though apparently supported by “democratic” credentials, a critical look would reveal that actually this argument is flawed on at least two major accounts. Continue reading
A spectator – ten thousand miles away
Why did this massacre of Ahmedis take place on May 28, 2010? The media and Pakistani officials allege it was a random Al-Qaeda or Pakistani Taliban attack, having no connection to the Ahmadiyya faith.
In fact, after all the attack at one mosque was completed, the perpetrators raised the slogan ‘Khatme Nubuwat Zindabad’. Had it been a Sunni mosque or Shiite Imam Barra, this gesture would not naturally ensue from their mouths. Raising a specific controversial slogan as the sign of jubilation on the job well done reflect on the motives of the attackers. Continue reading
Ayesha N. Rashid has sent this exclusive piece for PTH. We are posting this in the interest of free speech and also to counter the negative, almost diabolical representation of Ahmadis in Pakistan’s mainstream media. Having said that PTH does not necessarily subscribe to the views expressed below. Raza Rumi
Armed with grenades, machine guns and suicide vests, Pakistani terrorists killed 86 Ahmadi worshipers in a well organized affray in Lahore on May 28th. Although terrorism has become a routine activity in Pakistan, the Lahore attacks are anomalous in nature. While other attacks are state censured, the attacks on Ahmadi Muslims are state sanctioned. Decades ago, the Government of Pakistan passed laws against Ahmadis, clerics gave verdicts on their religious status and the public completely ostracized them as Pakistanis and as human beings. The police played their part by charging Ahmadis with false cases, subjecting them to torture and demolishing their mosques. The media then contributed through inciting hate speech against them. Thus, it was about time to “eradicate all infidels from Pakistan” as an assailant involved in Lahore attacks declared.
So on May 28th, the terrorists only had to tame a few unarmed young men providing security at the mosques. An unwilling police force arrived after an hour, and with limited ammunition. The terrorists, who were confirmed a direct flight to heaven and 72 virgins, religiously fulfilled their duty. They did not betray their masters nor their government, for they are only the religious hit men furthering state sanctioned terrorism.
I was informed that this article has resulted – to put it euphemistically- in giving wedgies to quite a few chaddiz over at Bharatrakshak.com (as I had predicted in the article). So I dropped by and just as I predicted… their rear is entirely up in smoke. And the responses are hilarious. One genius is suggesting that Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind are “secular” and the Majlis-e-Ahrar were good guys (that they laid the foundation of Anti-Ahmadiyya bigotry and led the movement for Islamization in Pakistan is just an inconvenient side-point for these geniuses). Mohandas Gandhi- whether someone admits it or not- is the father of politicization of religion. He brought Mullahs into politics deliberately to sideline the liberals. Jinnah and his ilk were only using the tools that were left to them. No wonder Hindu fascist chumps from Bharat Rhakshak think Jamiat-e-ulema-hind were harmless. The only harm JUH and Deobandi Islam ever did was to Muslims by stifling their progress. After all the latest edict from the “Secular” Deoband is that banking is haram for Muslims. Brilliant… what more could Hindu communalists ask for.
Update: Responses to Nusrat Pasha’s article confirm the Gandhian mindset amongst Indians and I use the word Gandhian in the most uncharitable sense of the word. Gandhi – whatever his intentions- made a crucial mistake of driving down Muslim liberals and allying himself with Islamo-fascists- same Islamo-fascists who are responsible for much of the problems in the Muslim world. In the Urdu language, the word “taya” is used for an uncle who is older than one’s father. If Gandhiji is estopped from claiming fatherhood of political Islam, he must surely rank as the taya of political Islam in South Asia. Same thing is happening today. Many Indians – who have a vested interest in bolstering liberals – are so seized with nationalist bigotry and hatred that is ingrained in them against Pakistan and Jinnah that they are gleefuly celebrating Pakistan’s descent into chaos. Well my little short-sighted friends, if we in Pakistan fall – yes we the liberals you hate so much- you will be faced with a darkness that you can seldom conceive and which you barely realize at this moment. Then your little “secular deoband” fantasy will quickly turn into something you have no understanding of.
From Daily Times today
VIEW: The J-man and his Pakistan —Yasser Latif Hamdani
Jinnah was, and remained so, till the end of his life a classical liberal schooled in the Victorian era. His economics and politics was based on liberal and limited government protecting and forwarding the cause of freedom of speech, religion, press and also markets
It has been pointed out, quite justifiably, that most of my articles, if not all, refer to Jinnah and his conception of Pakistan in some form or the other. I can assure you that this reference is quite deliberate on my part for primarily two reasons. The first reason is that Jinnah was, as the Americans would say, the man, indeed our ‘main man’, or as I like to call him affectionately the J-man. Those who have had the opportunity of studying abroad and have read about Jinnah in our college libraries there can seldom recognise the sky blue sherwani topi-clad fellow with a similar name who is found on the walls of our government offices. Continue reading
By Mohsin Hamid Dawn, 27 Jun, 2010
Why are Ahmadis persecuted so ferociously in Pakistan?
A victim of attack on Jinnah Hospital, Lahore
The reason can’t be that their large numbers pose some sort of ‘threat from within’. After all, Ahmadis are a relatively small minority in Pakistan. They make up somewhere between 0.25 per cent (according to the last census) and 2.5 per cent (according to the Economist) of our population.
Nor can the reason be that Ahmadis are non-Muslims. Pakistani Christians and Pakistani Hindus are non-Muslims, and similar in numbers to Pakistani Ahmadis. Yet Christians and Hindus, while undeniably discriminated against, face nothing like the vitriol directed towards Ahmadis in our country.
To understand what the persecution of Ahmadis achieves, we have to see how it works. Its first step is to say that Ahmadis are non-Muslims. And its second is to say that Ahmadis are not just non-Muslims, but apostates: non-Muslims who claim to be Muslims. These two steps are easy to take: any individual Pakistani citizen has the right to believe whatever they want about Ahmadis and their faith. Continue reading
Filed under Citizens, Constitution, human rights, Islamism, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Rights, secularism, state, Terrorism, violence