Lahore attacks – straight from the heart

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.

Despite being the recipients of state sanctioned terrorism for nearly three decades, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community comes out as one of the most productive and peaceful communities in Pakistan and the world. This community has a track record of consistently establishing peace, regardless of second class treatment. In 1974, when the Pakistani Government violated their basic human rights and declared them non-Muslims, they did not violate the laws of the country.  Rather, they accepted the decision to avoid bloodshed. In 1984, when they were denied the right to practice their religion, yet again they responded with steadfastness for the establishment of peace in Pakistan. In 1989, when the community arrived upon its golden jubilee, the Government of Pakistan denied them even this day, forbidding any form of celebration. In 2003, when the community was stricken with grief on the death of the head of their community, the clerics demanded to abjure his burial in Pakistan. Pakistani Ahmadis deprived of seeing their beloved for 19 long years were deprived once again of their chance to bid him farewell. Still, they did not protest, nor did they commit violence of any sort. They sufficed on seeing his funeral ceremony on television as he was buried in England with dignity.

While the enemies of this community carry out these atrocities under governmental acquiescence, Ahmadis always respond with dignity and honour. They struggle towards a better future for themselves and for Pakistan. The community boasts a 99% literacy rate both in men and women as compared to a 54% literacy rate in Pakistan. Of the 4 million Pakistani Ahmadis, not a single one is a burden on the Pakistani economy. Begging is unheard of in the community. Those living in Pakistan are contributing in the society through their services and those living abroad contribute in the foreign reserves of Pakistan. The community is serving as the ambassador of Pakistan all over the world. It also is the procurer of the only Nobel Laureate and the only judge of International court of Justice of Pakistani citizenship. The Ahmadiyya Community has given Pakistan a number of world renowned doctors, scientists, bankers, computer professionals, agriculturists, lawyers, military men and economists. Above all the community has a promising younger generation to serve the country. However all this has only earned them social boycott, the destruction of their mosques, imprisonment and death.

Had the Pakistani Government not resigned to the will of the religious clergy, things would have been different. The 1974 decision to mingle state with religion developed the country into an intolerant society which paved way for the 1984 legislation. Next in line was an army of religious hit men who considered it their God given duty to kill. The only way out of this purgatory is to reestablish Pakistan as a secular state per Jinnah’s vision. Or else the country will turn into a slaughtering house for there is no dearth of either religious  hit men or “infidels” in Pakistan.

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57 responses to “Lahore attacks – straight from the heart

  1. Sahal

    But whatever happens we will always serve this country in the best way possible, after all we worked hard to create it and it makes us immensely proud to be a part of it.

    “Be just, and fear not.
    Let all the ends thou aim’st at be thy country’s,
    Thy God’s and truth’s.”
    William Shakespeare

  2. yasserlatifhamdani

    “The only way out of this purgatory is to reestablish Pakistan as a secular state per Jinnah’s vision.

    Well said!

  3. Maryanne Khan

    Be just and fear not.

    Let them bring against you dichotomies
    and fear not
    let them bring against you fear and divisiveness
    and fear not
    let them bring against poverty, disenfranchisement,
    and fear not
    and let them bring against you what they will
    and fear not

    for theirs is the fear that you will
    fear not.

  4. Ashraf Lodhi

    Very well thought article. Well done Ayesha Noor. I also want to commend Raza Rumi and his team for their dedication to freedom of speech. Through this Pak Tea House, we are able to read what Pakistani Papers hardly pubilsh.

  5. Salma B Ahmad

    Very well written!

  6. Sahal

    Sardar Khan,

    A typical idiotic statement that you would often hear from people that do not know how to converse properly.

    The article holds a lot of merit, you should be aware that there would not even be a Pakistan if it wasn’t for the Ahmadies. Jinnah came back to India to create Pakistan on the insistence of Mr Dard (Ahmadi London Mosque Imam), Mr Dard was asked to do this by the second Caliph of Ahmadiyyat.

    Similarly when India rolled its tank towards Lahore in 1965, it was an Ahmadi Maj Gen (Abdul Ali) who defeated them to save Pakistan. The same persons brother (Lieutenant General Akhtar Hussain Malik) could have brought victory to Pakistan in 1965 when he was replaced at the last moment with drunken master Yahya by Ayub.

    Jinnah the creator of Pakistan never wanted an Islamic state, neither did anyone who helped create Pakistan. I suggest you move back to India and take Maududi and his extremists with you.

    If the people who created Pakistan were alive today, you would be asking them to move if you haven’t already killed them.

  7. maulabus

    Raza Rumi
    Thankyou very much for publishing such eye opening article.

  8. P. Vengaayam

    “Jinnah the creator of Pakistan never wanted an Islamic state, neither did anyone who helped create Pakistan. I suggest you move back to India and take Maududi and his extremists with you.”

    This is quite amusing. If “liberal pakistanis” think that lying to themselves and others about reality will help them fix Pakistan’s problems, they are very much mistaken. However, if there is one truth that always prevails, it is “you cannot cheat reality” — the lesson that Pakistanis refuse to learn is that Religion cannot form the basis of a democratic nation — that will always be a failed exercise, and Pakistan is the perfect example of that.

    Maududi and his poison are from the same “islam first” mentality that Jinnah himself expressed at different times (and did not express at other times, leaving all the confusion we see out here on pakteahouse). If Islam was all that egalitarian by design, we would not be seeing Ahmadis being reviled by the very Pakistanis who claim to be the gatekeepers of Islam, and indeed, do seem to follow the Islamic Holy Book verbatim. If the islamic experiment called Pakistan failed once, and Islam itself is blameless as all Pakistanis claim, then what is the source of all the current bigotry and hatred between pakistani groups that all supposedly follow different strains of the same religion?

  9. Jamal

    “We want an Islamic State ”

    Who “we”? Those who opposed this state in the first place?

  10. Tilsim

    @ P. Vengaayam
    “what is the source of all the current bigotry and hatred between pakistani groups that all supposedly follow different strains of the same religion?”

    It’s the system. The source of bigotry is our culture that has totally lost touch with ethical values. Our education system produces closed minds, slaves to rote learning and received wisdom. There are problems with the curriculum which we all know about. The manner in which Islam is taught (by the Mullah, school) has very little connection with developing a person with high level of integrity, humility, honesty, love for humanity. Our societal values are based on satisfaction of the ego and survival of the fittest – in my view a negation of the core message of Islam. Pakistanis have moulded religion to reflect our out of control egos. Now the middle classes are questioning Sufi influences (negation of the ego) are by conflating certain practices with Hinduism or just pure innovation (bida). Of course, there is no attempt to understand the ethos or spirituality of Hinduism.

  11. Bilquees Siddiqui

    “But majority does not want a secular state” – Sardar Khan.
    It is blank statements like this is why Pakistan is in such a mess. So far the way that Sardar Khan and his buddies want has shown their cowardly way of getting rid of “non-muslims” has led to more violence and that their version of an Islamic state is to filled with hate and non-tolerance and misery and sadness the norm of the day.
    We should reject this infantile idea of having religion & state as one. Only will we see peace & prosperity when the TWO are separated.
    Shame on you Mr. Khan for your threat “leave Pakistan amass and live in India” is this your new battle cry for the terrorist that what to annihilate the ethnic minorities that have contributed to the thread of Pakistan>

  12. yasserlatifhamdani

    “Live as non-muslim ethinic group or leave Pakistan amass and live in india as your sacared place is Qadian [place in Bunderstan/india].”

    Pray tell then why did the Government of Pakistan officially lay claim to Qadian as a Muslim Holy Place in 1947 ?

  13. Sahal

    P. Vengaayam,

    I know it still pains you that Pakistan was created by one man who was standing against opposition that included multiple members, it is amusing to see that even after all that you country (India) has tried. Pakistan is still standing and is able to counter your countries hegemonic designs. Jinnah was clear in his message and those messages have been oft repeated here. If Pakistan was not worth it, no one would have fought for it. We fought for it and will die for it, it was worth it then and it is now.

    Pakistan was not formed on the basis of religion, this is what you and your fellow countrymen are brought up to believe, the only failed exercise is your delusional fantasy. Funny how I read an article in Hindustan Times where it stated that Pakistan keeps India away from achieving its regional and global power role. Gandhi said that Pakistan will collapse and Nehru will accept us back, stupid predictions are a norm for you people.
    I am an Ahmadi and I know not all Pakistanis are against us, in fact its Indian Mullah and their follies. Stop using this BS to show Pakistan in a bad light, we know what to do with our country and what it was created for.

    Also do not ever insult Islam indirectly again, maybe the Indian Muslims can live with such veiled insults, we would tolerate this nonsense. Hatred and bigotry exists everywhere, even in your ‘perfect’ country, its human nature.
    Your Maududi and his scum moved to Pakistan to create havoc, I believe they were sent for this reason alone. I think this Sardar Khan and Venagyaaman are here to spew out their verbal diarrhoea.

  14. mehar ali

    To Vaangayam,
    Pakistan was created for muslims as Jinnah realized that hindus will never let muslims flourish.Look at the state of muslims and other minorities of india now.Pakistans flag has the color white in it which represents minorities and that was Jinnah’s vision where no segregation on basis of color, creed or religon will be tolerated. In Jinnah’s cabinet there was a hindu and the first national anthem of pakistan was written by a hindu ,which was changed later.

  15. Israr

    I feel sorry for the people like Sardar Khan. Pakistan is turning into slaughter house, no one will be safe. Lashkar e Jhangvi will turn Pakistan into Swat. Stay Tuned.

  16. Sahal

    Slight correction, I meant to write

    “we would not tolerate this nonsense”

    PS, throughout the history of Pakistan, we clearly have two constant enemies, Extremist Mullahs and the Indians.

  17. P. Vengaayam

    Sahal:”I know it still pains you that Pakistan was created by one man … blah”

    Actually, it does not pain me to any extent at all. Please just assume that I am completely reconciled with the creation of Pakistan, and am completely disinterested as to the motivations of the Indian/Pakistani leader, when Pakistan was created. Even if Jinnah was considered the world’s most “secular” human being (ignoring that secularism is a trait of a society not an individual), the seeds of today’s Pakistan were sown back then by some group of people — everyone here seems to agree to that, though the blame is being fixed on different parties.

    The problem (for Pakistan, not for me or India) is that folks like you seem to be pretending that just existing is good enough for Pakistan, even if the existence is one of sheer misery, violence and poverty.

    The average pakistani on the street will tell you that existing without food, water, electricity, and time to enjoy the family, just “Existing” in Pakistan is nothing to be proud of. But given that the same Pakistani has also been reared on religious propaganda, the blame is going to be shifted to some group within Pakistan. These are the real issues Pakistanis need to care about instead of pretending that everyone is out to spoil the fair name of Pakistan.

    “Also do not ever insult Islam indirectly again, maybe the Indian Muslims can live with such veiled insults, we would tolerate this nonsense.”

    Umm, I just stated “no religion is special” and you think that insults Islam? Interesting.

  18. P. Vengaayam

    “Pakistans flag has the color white in it which represents minorities and that was Jinnah’s vision where no segregation on basis of color, creed or religon will be tolerated.”

    India’s flag has white and green too with similar symbolism, so what’s your point? But good intentions of “no segregation and total peace and love” matter little if the first response to any criticism is “we will not tolerate your insults and kill you” like you did in your previous post. Your attitude is not that very different from the violent mullahs that you seem to hate.

  19. Ozee

    Nice article Ayesha. Message of islam is crystal clear; the one who killed an innocent human killed the whole humanity. The hate mongering mullahs are murderers of our society and humanity. They have scarred the beautiful face of Islam and unfortunately the masses continue on the path of destruction without deliberating on the religion which means peace. How can you kill in the name of religion peace ??
    Holy Prophet SAW was ‘blessing for all worlds’ (Rehmat-alil-aalmin) ie blessing for every creature, but these cursed mullahs and their dumb followers spread death and destruction in his name. What a shame !

    The founder of Pakistan made it very clear what he viewed as an ideal state where every citizen will be equal and free to practice whatever religion he or she choses to. Pakistan is at a juncture where it has to go back to the grand vision of Jinnah if it wants to survive or face further decay and destruction

  20. Tilsim

    @ Sahal

    Indians come in very many shades; as do Pakistanis. For example Vajra and Skyview are at opposite ends of the spectrum. They are our neighbours, we share a common present and a common history. I agree with you that a lot of comment is hostile and it bothers me too. Let’s get behind the hostility and try to inform and understand each other. The blogosphere gives us an opportunity to interact without physically coming to blows. Let’s not waste the tremendous opportunity to reduce hatred and prejudice.

  21. P. Vengaayam

    “Message of islam is crystal clear; the one who killed an innocent human killed the whole humanity.”

    The problem with the above is that “innocence” and “guilt” is contrived by man and defined by god — an innocent man speaking his mind is no longer innocent from the fundamentalist view, which is of course the crux of the problem. Legally, typically, an innocent person is someone who has not broken a law, and since Islam is also a legal system, “innocence” in this context is someone who does not violate the Shariat, and by that standard, Ahmadis are clearly not innocent.

    The persecution of Pakistani Ahmadis is precisely because they are no longer considered “innocent” and are considered guilty of worshipping false prophets, which makes them fair game to anyone who wants to commit violence on them in the name of islam.

  22. P. Vengaayam

    ” How can you kill in the name of religion peace ??”

    Apparently, going by the news around the world, all you have to do is say that “Islam is just another religion and nothing special” or say something derisive about Islam to make followers of the religion of peace violent and call for a beheading or worse.

    However, I would not blame the religious texts or religion itself, as these texts are just books from the past, with the assumption that the responsibility for extracting all the good and leaving out all the bad in these texts will be done by living beings who read and interpret these texts to the benefit of all followers of the religion.

    The fault lies in the followers of religion (of any stripe) that value dogma more than their fellow man and are willing to kill to preserve the dogma (which in this case is a literal reading of the Quran) — a disease that has bitten even the “liberal pakistanis” going by Sahal’s attitude.

  23. Tilsim

    @ P. Vengaayam

    “an innocent man speaking his mind is no longer innocent from the fundamentalist view, which is of course the crux of the problem. ”

    Ozee is talking about the killing of innocents. Yes, I think that your view holds true for the Taliban strand of fundamentalist opinion amongst Mullahs who go forward and kill (mind you they will kill Shias and Christians too so its more about a mindset). However, clearly the Mullah brigade have not as a whole ordered the murder of Ahmedis even though they don’t consider them to be innocent so fundamentalists do have differences of opinion. However you have heard from many many ordinary Pakistanis who absolutely abhor the institutionalised violence and discrimination against Ahmedis. Many Muslims take the desired Islamic ethical stance in this situation to be different to that interpreted by the self styled clerics of Islam. As for the law, clearly there are different interpretations and very little trust of a Mullah’s interpretation of it.

  24. Quantum_Singularity

    Sahal

    “I know it still pains you that Pakistan was created by one man who was standing against opposition that included multiple members”

    Why would it pain anyone? Partition was inevitable. Jinnah and the Muslim League were only willing to forego partition if India was a highly decentralized state, something completely unacceptable to Congress. By the way Pakistan was not made by one man, the movement had been going on for decades before even Jinnah joined. Ultimately it was the British who had the final say. They are the ones who had to agree to Partition as well as draw up the boundries between the two new states.

    “it is amusing to see that even after all that you country (India) has tried. Pakistan is still standing and is able to counter your countries hegemonic designs.”

    I can see you part of the CIA/RAW/Mossad crowd.

    “Jinnah was clear in his message and those messages have been oft repeated here. If Pakistan was not worth it, no one would have fought for it. We fought for it and will die for it, it was worth it then and it is now.”

    And this is somehow related to whether Islam forms the basis for Pakistan’s founding?

    “Pakistan was not formed on the basis of religion, this is what you and your fellow countrymen are brought up to believe, the only failed exercise is your delusional fantasy.”

    This is pretty laughable, especially considering most of your countrymen believe it as well. All everyone hears is how Pakistan is the fortress of Islam, blah, blah, blah. Liberal Pakistanis may differ, but they represent what, maybe 5-10% of the populace?

    “Funny how I read an article in Hindustan Times where it stated that Pakistan keeps India away from achieving its regional and global power role.”

    I have never heard this, however, I do see India’s global influence growing.

    “Gandhi said that Pakistan will collapse”

    Did it not collapse in 1971? With West Pakistan being renamed Pakistan, proving yet again that religion cannot be a basis to hold a country together.

    “I am an Ahmadi and I know not all Pakistanis are against us in fact its Indian Mullah and their follies”

    No just the 80-90% that demand that you not call yourselves muslims or call your places of worship mosques are against you. Not to mention all those people that kill Ahmadis or deny employment to you. They must all be Indians, right????

    “Stop using this BS to show Pakistan in a bad light, we know what to do with our country and what it was created for.”

    But my dear friend, saying that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam is actually putting it in a good light for roughly 80-90% of your populace.

    “Also do not ever insult Islam indirectly again, maybe the Indian Muslims can live with such veiled insults, we would tolerate this nonsense.”

    Actually you tolerate it everyday. The Americans, Europeans, heck the rest of the world insults Islam morning, noon, and night.

    “Hatred and bigotry exists everywhere, even in your ‘perfect’ country, its human nature.”

    Yes but very few countries codify such hate into their constitution and laws.

  25. An ordinary man

    @YLH:

    “Pray tell then why did the Government of Pakistan officially lay claim to Qadian as a Muslim Holy Place in 1947?”

    Is this a mere statement or do you have some proof to substantiate this assertion? May we share, please!

  26. Pingback: Global Voices in English » Pakistan: Perils Of Mixing State With Religion

  27. P. Vengaayam

    Tilsim:”As for the law, clearly there are different interpretations and very little trust of a Mullah’s interpretation of it.”

    No question about the different interpretations, but I do not see the alternative to trusting the mullah’s interpretation in an Islamic Shariat system. Since the law itself is religious law, the Shariat, I do not see why anyone other than the religious leadership, i.e., the Mullahs, would be trusted with the interpretation.

    After all, the bar for for acquiring the legitimacy to interpret the Quran is set very high by the Mullahs themselves. This is because one has to memorize the whole text as a first step in the process of becoming competent to interpret the text, and anyone who does do becomes what we loosely call “Mullah” here.

    So if the pakistanis do not trust the offical interpretation by Mullahs, whose interpretation are they going to trust? Who else has the religious sanction to do such interpretation without being considered in violation of the tenets of Islam?

  28. Tilsim

    @ P. Vengaayam

    The nature of religious authority is not a settled thing in Islam. Here is a quote from an article published in the Boston Globe by a Reza Aslan
    who is a scholar of religions and the author of “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam” (Random House).

    “To be sure, unlike Christianity, Islam has never had anything like a “Muslim pope” or a “Muslim Vatican. Religious authority in Islam is not centralized within a single individual or institution; rather, it is scattered among a host of exceedingly powerful clerical institutions and schools of law.

    This authority, it must be understood, is self-conferred, not divinely ordained. Like a Jewish rabbi, a Muslim cleric is a scholar, not a priest. His judgment on a particular issue is respected and followed not because it carries the authority of God, but because the cleric’s scholarship is supposed to grant him deeper insight into what God desires of humanity. Consequently, for 1,400 years Islam’s clerical institutions have managed to maintain their monopoly over religious interpretation by maintaining a monopoly over religious learning.

    That is no longer the case. The last century has witnessed dramatic increases in literacy and education throughout the Arab and Muslim world, giving both Muslim men and women unprecedented access to new ideas and sources of knowledge. The result has been a steady erosion in the religious authority of Islam’s traditional clerical institutions. After all, most Muslims no longer need go to a mosque to hear the words of God; they can experience the Koran for themselves, in their own homes, among their own friends, and increasingly, in their own languages.

    Over the last century, the Koran has been translated into more languages than in the 14 centuries previous. Until recently, some 90 percent of the world’s Muslims, for whom Arabic is not a primary language, had to depend on their clerical leaders to define the meaning and message of the Koran. Now, as more and more Muslim laity, and especially Muslim women, are studying the Koran for themselves, they are increasingly brushing aside centuries of traditionalist, male-dominated, and often misogynistic, clerical interpretation in favor of a highly individualized and more gender-neutral reading of Islam. By seizing the power of interpretation from the iron grip of the clerical institutions, these individuals are not only actively reinterpreting Islam according to their own evolving needs, they are shaping the future of this rapidly expanding and deeply fractured faith.

    To see how this radical “individualization” of the Muslim world is affecting traditional notions of religious authority, one only need visit the magnificent city of Cairo, the cultural capital of the Muslim world. For more than a millennium, Cairo’s famed Al-Azhar University has served as the center of Islamic scholarship. Within its hallowed walls, generations of male scriptural scholars (the ulama) have labored to construct a comprehensive code of conduct, called the shariah, meant to regulate every aspect of the believer’s life. There was a time when Muslims from all over the world consulted Al-Azhar’s revered scholars about everything from how to pray properly to how to properly dispose of fingernail clippings. No longer.

    Today, if a Muslim wants legal or spiritual advice on how to live a righteous life, he or she is just as likely to pass over the antiquated scholarship of Al-Azhar for the televised broadcasts of the wildly popular Egyptian televangelist Amr Khaled, who is not a cleric and who has never studied Islam or Islamic law in any official capacity. Nevertheless, through his weekly television program, in which he dispenses his sage advice on religious and legal matters to tens of millions of Muslims throughout the world-from Detroit to Jakarta-Amr Khaled has utterly usurped the role traditionally reserved for Islam’s clerical class.

    And he is not alone. The Internet-whose role in the Islamic Reformation clearly parallels that of the printing press in the Christian Reformation-has now made it possible for many Muslims to draw upon the opinions of not only their own clerical leaders, but also of a host of Muslim activists and academics who are propounding fresh and innovative interpretations of Islam.

    Fifty years ago, if a Muslim in, say, Malaysia, wanted a legal ruling on a disputed topic, he had access only to the religious opinion of his neighborhood cleric, whose word, at least to his followers, was essentially law. Now, that Muslim can troll the vast databases of fatwa-online.com or Islamonline.net, both of which provide ready-made fatwas on every question imaginable. He can send an e-mail to Amr Khaled (amrkhaled.net), or to Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (sistani.org), or to any number of Muslim scholars-clerics and nonclerics alike-who are more than happy to spread their influence beyond their local communities. And because no centralized religious authority exists in Islam to determine whose opinion is sound and whose is not, Muslims can simply follow whichever fatwa they like best.

    Welcome to the Islamic Reformation.

    Of course, much as the Christian Reformation ushered in multiple, often conflicting, and sometimes baffling interpretations of Christianity, so has the Islamic Reformation created a number of wildly divergent and competing interpretations of Islam. Perhaps it is inevitable that, as religious authority passes from institutions to individuals, there will be men and women whose radical reinterpretations of religion will be fueled by their extreme social and political agendas.

    It is in this sense that Osama bin Laden can be viewed as one of the Islamic Reformation’s most influential figures. In fact, generations from now, when historians look back on this tumultuous time, they may compare bin Laden not to Lenin or Hitler, but rather to the so-called reformation radicals of Christianity-men like Thomas Muntzer, Jacob Hutter, Hans Hut, or even Martin Luther-who pushed the principle of religious individualism and militant anticlericalism to its terrifying limits.

    Like his 16th-century Christian counterparts, bin Laden is concerned above all else with the purification of his own religion. Al-Qaeda is, after all, a puritanical movement whose members consider themselves the only true believers, and believe all other Muslims are hypocrites, impostors, and apostates who must be convinced of their folly or abandoned to their horrible fate.

    Bin Laden has shown he is willing to use any means necessary to purify Islam of what he considers to be its adulteration at the hands of the clerical establishment. While his tactics are immoral and horrifying, his justification for the use of violence is not so different than that used by reformation radicals like Martin Luther, who defended the massacre of his Protestant opponents by claiming that “in such a war, it is Christian and an act of love to strangle the enemies confidently, to rob, to burn, and do all that is harmful until they are overcome.”

    But what most connects bin Laden and the Reformation radicals of the 16th century is his deliberate attempt to seize for himself the powers traditionally reserved for the institutional authorities of his religion. Luther challenged the papacy’s right to be the sole interpreter of the Scripture; bin Laden challenges the right of the clerical establishment to be the sole interpreters of Islamic law. That is why he repeatedly issues his own fatwas, despite the fact that, as the Amman declaration sought to remind Muslims, only a cleric affiliated with one of Islam’s recognized schools of law has the authority to do so.

    Even more striking is bin Laden’s fundamental reinterpretation of the Koranic concept of jihad. What was once considered a collective duty waged solely under the command of a qualified clerical authority, has, in bin Laden’s hands, become a radically individualistic and violent obligation totally divorced from any institutional power. In short, bin Laden’s vision of Islam is one that is devoid of institutional control, where anyone can issue a fatwa and anyone can declare jihad.

    It is this conscious recasting of religious authority that has made bin Laden so appealing to those Muslims, especially in Europe, whose sense of social, economic, or religious alienation from their own communities make them yearn for alternative sources of leadership. In his speeches and writings, bin Laden warns these disaffected Muslims not to listen to their own clerics, whom he considers incapable of addressing their needs. In fact, he claims that following the leadership of these “takfiri,” or “apostate” clerical authorities (by which he means those who disagree with his interpretation of Islam), is “tantamount to worshipping [them] rather than God.” He then defiantly takes upon himself the duty traditionally reserved for Islam’s clerical class of “enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.”

    It is a clever manipulative trick: convince Muslims to stop obeying their clerical authorities, while taking upon yourself their traditional clerical duties.

    The struggle to define religious faith, as we know from Christian history, can be a chaotic and bloody affair. And the Islamic Reformation has some way to go before it is resolved. It may be too early to speculate how much bin Laden’s radical individualism will influence Islam in the coming years. But it is important to note that bin Laden’s voice is but one among the chorus of voices clamoring to define the Islamic Reformation.

    There are millions of individuals who, by seizing powers of interpretation for themselves, are developing new and innovative interpretations of Islam: some promoting peace and tolerance, others promoting bigotry and puritanism. Who will win this war for the future of the Islamic faith remains to be seen. But once begun, the struggle cannot be stopped.”

  29. Naveed Ul Islam

    Excellent article. With what happened, there is no one who can turn a blind eye towards the fact that the only religious community that has revived the true spirit of Islam is Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. People who have an iota of wisdom has no reason to doubt the pure character of this community since its foundation.

    We have always tried to correct the mistakes in understanding of Islam after being guided by God Himself as it was promised. The misconceptions about Jihad that has made ordinary Muslims pro-terrorists have been condemn by our founder since 1889. Not only that, we have hold the flag of Islam as the most peaceful religion in the world even though we have had to pay ultimate sacrifices of its sake. Kudos to Ahmadi’s and their spiritual leadership. Oh mankind, come and join us.

  30. P. Vengaayam

    Tilsim:”Ozee is talking about the killing of innocents.”

    I am talking about the killing of innocents too, to clarify. In any case, “innocence” is just a word whose meaning rests on what it means to be “innocent” in a given context. Ozee was using the more general context but the quote he provided was from the Quran, so it was not my intention to claim Ozee was incorrect, and I was not doing that.

    I am pointing out the inherent contradiction between using a quote from the Quran to denigrate the behaviour of extremely religious muslims who are only following a literal interpretation the very same text.

    Ethically, a person who just speaks their mind is innocent, as long as they do not directly or indirectly cause violence against anyone by speaking their mind.

    Clearly, the Shariat does not have the same ethical definition of “innocent”, which then makes the following quote ambigious. If the Shariat is used as the context, then the following quote from Sahal:

    “Message of islam is crystal clear; the one who killed an innocent human killed the whole humanity.”

    does not apply to killing Ahmadi muslims, since they are not considered innocent. This is because, as per the shariat and a literal interpretation of the text, the Ahmadi Muslims have violated various tenets of Islam and killing one of them is not equivalent to killing the whole humanity.

    As far as I can tell, this seems to be the exact logic used by the religious pakistanis who are heaping violence (or do not see the problem with heaping violence) on Ahmadi muslims in Pakistan.

  31. P. Vengaayam

    “Kudos to Ahmadi’s and their spiritual leadership. Oh mankind, come and join us.”

    All groups need to join mankind, rather than pushing for mankind joining specific groups of people like muslims — that is not going to happen given the inherent diversity of Mankind.

    Even wishing for such a thing leads to nothing but eternal strife between groups of mankind, and history bears testimony on that front via an endless litany of wars in the name of faith and dogma.

  32. Ummi

    ““The only way out of this purgatory is to reestablish Pakistan as a secular state per Jinnah’s vision.”

    you know quite well it would never happen InshaAllah. Your past and future generations would be resting in graves with this wish.

  33. Amaar

    @Vengaayam, @Ummi

    Although you may belong to different religions, your views are the same on Islam and you agree that it is a violent and inhumane religion.

    I contend otherwise. Not even a literal interpretation of Quran can allow such nonsense and mayhem. And I don’t see why a secular Pakistan should not exist where Muslims and Non-Muslims can freely observe and propagate their faith.

  34. Sahal

    Quantum_Singularity,

    1. There are many in your country who call for reunification of India and Pakistan, though the Pakistan movement had been ongoing for some time. It was only Jinnah who could make it a reality. There seems to be a consensus that Pakistan ought to be a part of India again. It is evident from the number of people who has proclaimed so. That or complete destruction of Pakistan.

    2. This whole ‘CIA/RAW/Mossad’ thing that is being thrown around by Indians seems very inane. The hegemonic design of India are well known. Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) of USA asserts that “the US will act to restrain what it calls India’s “hegemonic aspirations” in South Asia”.

    3. You are quick to throw around percentages, may I ask have you visited Pakistan to conduct quantitative research with your pen, paper and calculator. Pakistan is a Muslim nation, that is correct but it is supposed to be a secular nation ala Turkey. As Jinnah said, “Liberal Democratic Muslim Nation”.

    4. I was referring to the recent report where this was mentioned “Pakistan keep it preoccupied, failing to attain its potential as a major regional and global player,” says Harsh Pant, a strategic expert at King’s College, London.

    5. So Pakistan and Bangladesh which was all the way over there breaking away is collapse in your books. Any country which is separated with an enemy in between is prone to separation. The ethnic divide and difference was too great to be overlooked.

    6. You statements are just becoming odd, Ahmadies hold prestigious positions in civil and military institutions of Pakistan, we are represented highly in all sectors and that too in high positions. You do not achieve 99% literacy, higher per capita income than avg, high representation in civil and military structures if nationwide discrimination was in place. So what if a few mullahs and their brainwashed followers say otherwise. Who cares about them, minority suffer from some kind of discrimination in every country, in due time all the wrongs will be righted.

    7. Where are your percentages coming out of. Did you conduct a nationwide survey, please write facts which reflect reality.

    8. The constitution was amended, it happened, we are living with it and we will do what it takes to repeal it. Many people are of the same view, it will take time but it will happen.

    “On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear”

  35. P. Vengaayam

    Amaar:”your views are the same on Islam and you agree that it is a violent and inhumane religion.”

    I do not know what Ummi’s point is, since he has not written much, but you are mis-representing my views, perhaps because you have not bothered to read all my comments above.

    In one of those comments, I have already stated that religious texts say all sorts of violent things, and Islam is not the only religion to do so. I have also stated that the living beings following a religion need to make a conscious choice as to which parts of the text to follow and which ones to relegate to the dustbin. Of course, the fundamentalist will argue that anything other than a literal interpretation is incorrect and any attempt to reform islam places Islam in danger — this is a time-tested technique used by religious extremists of all kinds.

    The onus is on the dominant interpretation of the day to be fair and just, and a literal interpretation of the Quran is not fair and just. This only means that the popular interpretation of the Quran needs to change, with the followers accepting some parts of it and rejecting others that does not help the religion to move forward.

  36. An Ahmadi Muslim

    @Ummi
    The Pharoahs and the likes of Abu Lahab, Abu Jahal shared your view of a society which operates only on fear and control. This society requires human sacrifice on a regular basis to appease the gods that run the society. This society does not reflect even an iota of Islam.

    You can’t scare us with your cowardly evil deeds. Allah is our protector and is enough for us. By the Grace of Allah, the demigods and their supporters have always bitten dust. It won’t be any different this time. The sunnah of Allah has been and will always be consistent. InshaAllah!

    “Or, do those who commit evil deeds imagine they will escape Us? How ill they judge!” Al-Ankabut 29:5

  37. Gorki

    Sahal:

    1. “Ahmadies hold prestigious positions in civil and military institutions of Pakistan, we are represented highly in all sectors and that too in high positions. You do not achieve 99% literacy, higher per capita income than avg, high representation in civil and military structures if nationwide discrimination was in place. So what if a few mullahs and their brainwashed followers say otherwise. Who cares about them, minority suffer from some kind of discrimination in every country, in due time all the wrongs will be righted…”

    You do have a point there.
    Perhaps it is that bad news is more sensational and thus carries a bigger impact.
    Anyway best of luck to you, your community and your country.

    2. “There are many in your country who call for reunification of India and Pakistan, though the Pakistan movement had been ongoing for some time”

    I think you may have been misinformed here. There is hardly any constitutency in India for such a union.
    Pakistan makes the news in India after senational attacks like 26/11 or sometimews when some people on the hard right parties make jingoistic noises to garner some votes from time to time; otherwise Indians are too preoccupied with their own struggles of daily living to pay it much attention.
    No one; I repeat no one; ever talks about a re-union.

    3. “I was referring to the recent report where this was mentioned “Pakistan keep it preoccupied, failing to attain its potential as a major regional and global player,” says Harsh Pant, a strategic expert at King’s College, London”

    Again sadly Pakistan’s role is overrated.
    India’s rise as a regional or global player (or lack of it) has very little to do with a preoccupation with Pakistan and a lot to do with its own people.
    So far their own incompetence has held them back.

    Regards.

  38. An Ahmadi Muslim

    @ Vengaayum

    “The onus is on the dominant interpretation of the day tobe fair and just, and a literal interpretation of the Quran is not fair and just. This only means that the popular interpretation of the Quran needs to change, with the followers accepting some parts of it and rejecting others that does not help the religion to move forward.”

    Many of my non-Ahmadi Muslim, highly educated friends make similar remarks as yours quoted above. It is if they also are searching for some thing and can’t seem to find it.

    I find that strange. The Qu’ran and the interpretation I read is a message of love and peace for all humanity. I find no contradictions. I find no instructions for killing this and killing that. It is a universal message for all humanity laying down rules for different people to not only co-exist but to co-operate for the betterment of all of Allah’s creation. It appeals to logic and rationale. I invite you to visit the alislam.org. I am specifically referring to the Quran with English translation (w/ short commentary).

    I love it and I find immense peace in it. I am eternally grateful to Allah SWT for this beautiful guidance that He conveyed though His beloved Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). It is Allah’s gift for all humanity! It lightens the path for the seekers of divine guidance. It tells me about the immense character of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). It proves that, indeed, the Holy Prohpet is Rahmat-ulli-aalameen and Khatum-un-Nabeeyeen.

    It for sure is the divine guidance that can only lead to peace with oneself and with all of Allah’s beautiful creation. It makes you want to love Allah SWT and follow the sunnah of His beloved Prophet Mohammad Mustafa (PBUH).

    I am just sharing my experience from the bottom of my heart and soul!

    Salaam!

  39. An Ahmadi Muslim

    To all the posters talking about reunification of Pakistan and India ..

    Yes, Pakistan is passing through a dark stormy night. All storms end eventually. This storm will soon loose the evil energy that is feeding it, by Allah’s Grace.

    I see Pakistan becoming a shining beacon Insh’Allah. It will live up to its name. People of all creeds living under its banner will be compassionate human beings and tolerant neighbors.

    It is not my dream. It is my faith in Allah SWT. I believe in His immense mercy and forgiveness. He is Rahman and Raheem.

    With love for all humanity and Allah’s creation!

  40. Quantum_Singularity

    @Sahal,

    “1. There are many in your country who call for reunification of India and Pakistan, though the Pakistan movement had been ongoing for some time.”

    The only people saying that are doe-eyed peaceniks, senior citizens from the days of partition, or a few people with similar ethnic roots with those in Pakistan. Aside from those narrow groups, no one suggests such a ridiculous thing.

    “It was only Jinnah who could make it a reality.”

    Not really. Jinnah’s main accomplishment was getting the Muslim League to reject the idea of a united centralized India. Realistically anyone could have done that.

    “2. This whole ‘CIA/RAW/Mossad’ thing that is being thrown around by Indians seems very inane.”

    Huh? This being thrown around by Pakistanis not Indians. It is pretty much status quo to blame one or all these groups for everything that goes on in Pakistan. You need only check out the major Pakistani media outlets on regular basis to find this.

    “The hegemonic design of India are well known. Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) of USA asserts that “the US will act to restrain what it calls India’s “hegemonic aspirations” in South Asia”.”

    This was done in the context of the Cold War, obviously the US was antagonistic to Indian aspirations at that time as they were allied with the Soviets. To them hegemony meant an expansion of Soviet influence. This guidance was eliminated in 1992 once the Soviets fell .

    http://www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/Wolfowitz92memo.htm.

    “3. You are quick to throw around percentages, may I ask have you visited Pakistan to conduct quantitative research with your pen, paper and calculator.”

    How would visiting Pakistan and gathering anecdotal evidence prove anything? The numbers are not without basis, even the reputable Pew Forum agrees:

    “One of the ironies in the survey is the extent to which Pakistanis embrace some of the severe laws associated with the Taliban and al Qaeda, even as they reject Islamic extremism and these extremist groups. The new poll finds broad support for harsh punishments: 78% favor death for those who leave Islam; 80% favor whippings and cutting off hands for crimes like theft and robbery; and 83% favor stoning adulterers.” Additionally 71% of Pakistanis support giving judicial power to the mullahs (I am sure Ahmadis would love that).

    http://pewglobal.org/2009/08/13/pakistani-public-opinion/

    “Pakistan is a Muslim nation, that is correct but it is supposed to be a secular nation ala Turkey. As Jinnah said, “Liberal Democratic Muslim Nation”.”

    Obviously most of your countrymen disagree with you. Even your beloved Iqbal said: “After a long and careful study of Islamic Law I have come to the conclusion that if this system of Law is properly understood and applied, at last the right to subsistence is secured to every body. But the enforcement and development of the Shariat of Islam is impossible in this country without a free Muslim state or states.” Jinnah also made contradictory remarks on whether he supported secularism.

    “4. I was referring to the recent report where this was mentioned “Pakistan keep it preoccupied, failing to attain its potential as a major regional and global player,” says Harsh Pant, a strategic expert at King’s College, London.”

    The quote was in reference to China’s aims to counterbalance India. Furthermore it states China’s desire to do so not that it is achieving it. Furthermore the article admits India is rising. Please do not quote articles out of context to imply some kind of false meaning (article is reproduced below).

    [But the larger target is the rise of India. ‘China wants a counterweight to the 123 agreement and to a rising India by keeping the latter confined to South Asia,’ says Kondapalli.
    ‘In their own ways each is using the other to balance India as India’s disputes with Pakistan keep it preoccupied, failing to attain its potential as a major regional and global player,’ says Harsh Pant, a strategic expert at King’s College, London.]

    “5. So Pakistan and Bangladesh which was all the way over there breaking away is collapse in your books. Any country which is separated with an enemy in between is prone to separation. The ethnic divide and difference was too great to be overlooked. “

    How does territory being far away not make it a collapse? A country losing half of its population, territory, etc. is pretty much a collapse in my book (or in anyone’s book for that matter). You say ethnic divide was too great as some kind of excuse that it was not a collapse. So if Pakistan were to split on ethnic lines (e.g. Punjabi, Balochi, Sindhi), that would not be a collapse?

    “6. You statements are just becoming odd, Ahmadies hold prestigious positions in civil and military institutions of Pakistan, we are represented highly in all sectors and that too in high positions.”

    Really??? I thought in order to hold power in prestigious positions you had to affirm the finality of the prophet.

    “You do not achieve 99% literacy, higher per capita income than avg, high representation in civil and military structures if nationwide discrimination was in place. So what if a few mullahs and their brainwashed followers say otherwise.”

    Please provide some statistics from a credible source to support your bold assertions.

    “Who cares about them, minority suffer from some kind of discrimination in every country, in due time all the wrongs will be righted.”

    Yes but very few countries today have laws that specifically discriminate against certain groups.

    “7. Where are your percentages coming out of. Did you conduct a nationwide survey, please write facts which reflect reality.”

    This has been answered above.

    “8. The constitution was amended, it happened, we are living with it and we will do what it takes to repeal it. Many people are of the same view, it will take time but it will happen.”

    It has been around for nearly 40 years (more than half of Pakistan’s existence), what makes you think it will be repealed or even in the future?

  41. Tilsim

    @ P. Vengaayam

    “The onus is on the dominant interpretation of the day to be fair and just, and a literal interpretation of the Quran is not fair and just. ”

    A literal interpretaton without the exercise of human reason and the highest morality to everyday challenges is a recipe for injustice. Focus on revelation without exercising intellect is the source of the problem. This debate took place in the earliest days of Islam.

    This is what even Al Ashari living in early 900s AD (who’s philosophy and his school still holds dominant sway over Sunni Islam), wrote in his book: Istihsan al‑Khaud:

    “A section of the people (i.e., the Thahirites and other orthodox people) made capital out of their own ignorance; discussions and rational thinking about matters of faith became a heavy burden for them, and, therefore, they became inclined to blind faith and blind following (taqlid). They condemned those who tried to rationalize the principles of religion as `innovators.’ They considered discussion about motion, rest, body, accident, colour, space, atom, the leaping of atoms, and attributes of God, to be an innovation and a sin. They said that had such discussions been the right thing, the Prophet and his Companions would have definitely done so; they further pointed out that the Prophet, before his death, discussed and fully explained all those matters which were necessary from the religious point of view, leaving none of them to be discussed by his followers; and since he did not discuss the problems mentioned above, it was evident that to discuss them must be regarded as an innovation.”

    The Mutazalites, the rationalists of the earliest days of Islam (considered an alternative school who fell gradually out of favour) provide the following explanation; Mutazili scholar Ibrahim an-Nazzam (845 A.D.)

    That is, there are three classes of acts. The first is what the intellect is competent on its own to discover its morality. For instance, the intellect, according to Mutazilis, can know, independently of revelation, that justice and telling the truth (sidq) are morally good. God is under an ethical obligation to order humanity to abide by these. The second class of deeds is what the intellect can discover their inherent evil and ugliness (qubh), such as injustice, mendacity, or, according to al-Nazzam as reported in the above quote, being in a state of ignorance of the Creator. God cannot but prohibit these. The third class comprises the acts that the human intellect is incapable of assigning moral values to them. These are only known through revelation and they become known to be morally good if God orders them, or morally wrong if God forbids them. In short, the human intellect is capable of knowing what is right and what is wrong in a very general sense. Revelation comes from God to detail what the intellect summarizes, and to elaborate on the broad essentials. Revelation and reason complement each other and cannot dispense with one another.

    Now, we have the emergence of the Salafi (Wahabi) philosophy – revived by Mohammed ibn Wahab living in 17oos Arabia. They want to take back Islam 1400 years. Salafis view the first three generations of Muslims, who are Muhammad’s companions, and the two succeeding generations after them, as examples of how Islam should be practiced. Their thinking is narrow in extremis and in direct conflict with the progress of humanity. This way of thinking has gained huge following in modern day Pakistan courtesy of Maududi and the Jamaat Islami and the Saudi funding of mosques and Imams. In my view a lot of the intense religious convulsions that Pakistan is going through is a direct confrontation between modernity (not necessarily Westernisation) and Salafism. This interpretation of Islam or versions of it (which are very antithetical to Sufi understanding of religion) are not native to these shores but because of the ignorance of our public and our establishment they are being adopted without question. Fairness and Justice are as a consequence in retreat.

  42. Tilsim

    correction;

    …who are Prophet Muhammad’s companions (pbuh)…

  43. Sahal

    I believe we have to remain on difficult terms with India because it brings about our competitive edge where we have to keep up with them to the best of our ability.

    If they do something, we must too.

  44. Tilsim

    @Sahal

    Why should we not just seek to excel for our own sake rather than as a consequence or negation of another?

  45. Sahal

    If we wanted to excel for our own sake, we would have done so by now. What does work is when there is clear and present danger that lurks because of some one else’s success.

  46. @Sahal
    June 30, 2010 at 2:33 am

    I believe we have to remain on difficult terms with India because it brings about our competitive edge where we have to keep up with them to the best of our ability.

    If they do something, we must too.

    To phir ek jhappi le le.

    Ab tu kya karega, Kaaliya?

  47. An Ahmadi Muslim

    @Vajra
    “To phir ek jhappi le le.

    Ab tu kya karega, Kaaliya?”

    Well said ): lol..

  48. Sajjad Malik

    Dear all,

    Religion is a very personal aspect of a person and even a wife or husband would not be able to help his/her batter half on dooms day (according to Islam). We being Muslims preach Islam all over the world but do not allow Ahmadis or non-Muslims to live happily in Pakistan, this is disgusting. We should have belief that we are on the right path and no one can mislead us if we are right, that’s all.
    There should not be bloodshed in the name of Islam because it is not allowed. One other thing which is very important is that we clam Ahmadis non-Muslim but most of us including me do not know much about this community but we follow Molvi sb blindly. Is there anybody who can let me know what the basic difference is between the Ahmadi and others? It would be a great help if an Ahmadi reply me at Sajjadhydermalik@yahoo.com

  49. Sahal

    Vajra,

    Like I said we must do it too. I am going to send Maulana Fazal-ur-Rahman to give you ten jhappi’s.

    If you want a women, I will send Nawazish Ali.

  50. Quantum_Singularty

    @Sahal,

    “1. There are many in your country who call for reunification of India and Pakistan, though the Pakistan movement had been ongoing for some time.”

    The only people saying that are doe-eyed peaceniks, senior citizens from the days of partition, or a few people with similar ethnic roots with those in Pakistan. Aside from those narrow groups, no one suggests such a ridiculous thing.

    “It was only Jinnah who could make it a reality.”

    Not really. Jinnah’s main accomplishment was getting the Muslim League to reject the idea of a united centralized India. Realistically anyone could have done that.

    “2. This whole ‘CIA/RAW/Mossad’ thing that is being thrown around by Indians seems very inane.”

    Huh? This being thrown around by Pakistanis not Indians. It is pretty much status quo to blame one or all these groups for everything that goes on in Pakistan. You need only check out the major Pakistani media outlets on regular basis to find this.

    “The hegemonic design of India are well known. Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) of USA asserts that “the US will act to restrain what it calls India’s “hegemonic aspirations” in South Asia”.”

    This was done in the context of the Cold War, obviously the US was antagonistic to Indian aspirations at that time as they were allied with the Soviets. To them hegemony meant an expansion of Soviet influence. This guidance was eliminated in 1992 once the Soviets fell .

    http://www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/Wolfowitz92memo.htm.

    “3. You are quick to throw around percentages, may I ask have you visited Pakistan to conduct quantitative research with your pen, paper and calculator.”

    How would visiting Pakistan and gathering anecdotal evidence prove anything? The numbers are not without basis, even the reputable Pew Forum agrees:

    “One of the ironies in the survey is the extent to which Pakistanis embrace some of the severe laws associated with the Taliban and al Qaeda, even as they reject Islamic extremism and these extremist groups. The new poll finds broad support for harsh punishments: 78% favor death for those who leave Islam; 80% favor whippings and cutting off hands for crimes like theft and robbery; and 83% favor stoning adulterers.” Additionally 71% of Pakistanis support giving judicial power to the mullahs (I am sure Ahmadis would love that).

    http://pewglobal.org/2009/08/13/pakistani-public-opinion/

    “Pakistan is a Muslim nation, that is correct but it is supposed to be a secular nation ala Turkey. As Jinnah said, “Liberal Democratic Muslim Nation”.”

    Obviously most of your countrymen disagree with you. Even your beloved Iqbal said: “After a long and careful study of Islamic Law I have come to the conclusion that if this system of Law is properly understood and applied, at last the right to subsistence is secured to every body. But the enforcement and development of the Shariat of Islam is impossible in this country without a free Muslim state or states.” Jinnah also made contradictory remarks on whether he supported secularism.

    “4. I was referring to the recent report where this was mentioned “Pakistan keep it preoccupied, failing to attain its potential as a major regional and global player,” says Harsh Pant, a strategic expert at King’s College, London.”

    The quote was in reference to China’s aims to counterbalance India. Furthermore it states China’s desire to do so not that it is achieving it. Furthermore the article admits India is rising. Please do not quote articles out of context to imply some kind of false meaning (article is reproduced below).

    [But the larger target is the rise of India. ‘China wants a counterweight to the 123 agreement and to a rising India by keeping the latter confined to South Asia,’ says Kondapalli.
    ‘In their own ways each is using the other to balance India as India’s disputes with Pakistan keep it preoccupied, failing to attain its potential as a major regional and global player,’ says Harsh Pant, a strategic expert at King’s College, London.]

    “5. So Pakistan and Bangladesh which was all the way over there breaking away is collapse in your books. Any country which is separated with an enemy in between is prone to separation. The ethnic divide and difference was too great to be overlooked. “

    How does territory being far away not make it a collapse? A country losing half of its population, territory, etc. is pretty much a collapse in my book (or in anyone’s book for that matter). You say ethnic divide was too great as some kind of excuse that it was not a collapse. So if Pakistan were to split on ethnic lines (e.g. Punjabi, Balochi, Sindhi), that would not be a collapse?

    “6. You statements are just becoming odd, Ahmadies hold prestigious positions in civil and military institutions of Pakistan, we are represented highly in all sectors and that too in high positions.”

    Really??? I thought in order to hold power in prestigious positions you had to affirm the finality of the prophet.

    “You do not achieve 99% literacy, higher per capita income than avg, high representation in civil and military structures if nationwide discrimination was in place. So what if a few mullahs and their brainwashed followers say otherwise.”

    Please provide some statistics from a credible source to support your bold assertions.

    “Who cares about them, minority suffer from some kind of discrimination in every country, in due time all the wrongs will be righted.”

    Yes but very few countries today have laws that specifically discriminate against certain groups.

    “7. Where are your percentages coming out of. Did you conduct a nationwide survey, please write facts which reflect reality.”

    This has been answered above.

    “8. The constitution was amended, it happened, we are living with it and we will do what it takes to repeal it. Many people are of the same view, it will take time but it will happen.”

    It has been around for nearly 40 years (more than half of Pakistan’s existence), what makes you think it will be repealed or even in the future?

  51. Quantum_Singularty

    Sahal,

    “1. There are many in your country who call for reunification of India and Pakistan, though the Pakistan movement had been ongoing for some time.”

    The only people saying that are doe-eyed peaceniks, senior citizens from the days of partition, or a few people with similar ethnic roots with those in Pakistan. Aside from those narrow groups, no one suggests such a ridiculous thing.

    “It was only Jinnah who could make it a reality.”

    Not really. Jinnah’s main accomplishment was getting the Muslim League to reject the idea of a united centralized India. Realistically anyone could have done that.

    “2. This whole ‘CIA/RAW/Mossad’ thing that is being thrown around by Indians seems very inane.”

    Huh? This being thrown around by Pakistanis not Indians. It is pretty much status quo to blame one or all these groups for everything that goes on in Pakistan. You need only check out the major Pakistani media outlets on regular basis to find this.

    “The hegemonic design of India are well known. Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) of USA asserts that “the US will act to restrain what it calls India’s “hegemonic aspirations” in South Asia”.”

    This was done in the context of the Cold War, obviously the US was antagonistic to Indian aspirations at that time as they were allied with the Soviets. To them hegemony meant an expansion of Soviet influence. This guidance was eliminated in 1992 once the Soviets fell .

    http://www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/Wolfowitz92memo.htm.

    “3. You are quick to throw around percentages, may I ask have you visited Pakistan to conduct quantitative research with your pen, paper and calculator.”

    How would visiting Pakistan and gathering anecdotal evidence prove anything? The numbers are not without basis, even the reputable Pew Forum agrees:

    “One of the ironies in the survey is the extent to which Pakistanis embrace some of the severe laws associated with the Taliban and al Qaeda, even as they reject Islamic extremism and these extremist groups. The new poll finds broad support for harsh punishments: 78% favor death for those who leave Islam; 80% favor whippings and cutting off hands for crimes like theft and robbery; and 83% favor stoning adulterers.” Additionally 71% of Pakistanis support giving judicial power to the mullahs (I am sure Ahmadis would love that).

    http://pewglobal.org/2009/08/13/pakistani-public-opinion/

    “Pakistan is a Muslim nation, that is correct but it is supposed to be a secular nation ala Turkey. As Jinnah said, “Liberal Democratic Muslim Nation”.”

    Obviously most of your countrymen disagree with you. Even your beloved Iqbal said: “After a long and careful study of Islamic Law I have come to the conclusion that if this system of Law is properly understood and applied, at last the right to subsistence is secured to every body. But the enforcement and development of the Shariat of Islam is impossible in this country without a free Muslim state or states.” Jinnah also made contradictory remarks on whether he supported secularism.

    “4. I was referring to the recent report where this was mentioned “Pakistan keep it preoccupied, failing to attain its potential as a major regional and global player,” says Harsh Pant, a strategic expert at King’s College, London.”

    The quote was in reference to China’s aims to counterbalance India. Furthermore it states China’s desire to do so not that it is achieving it. Furthermore the article admits India is rising. Please do not quote articles out of context to imply some kind of false meaning (article is reproduced below).

    [But the larger target is the rise of India. ‘China wants a counterweight to the 123 agreement and to a rising India by keeping the latter confined to South Asia,’ says Kondapalli.
    ‘In their own ways each is using the other to balance India as India’s disputes with Pakistan keep it preoccupied, failing to attain its potential as a major regional and global player,’ says Harsh Pant, a strategic expert at King’s College, London.]

    “5. So Pakistan and Bangladesh which was all the way over there breaking away is collapse in your books. Any country which is separated with an enemy in between is prone to separation. The ethnic divide and difference was too great to be overlooked. “

    How does territory being far away not make it a collapse? A country losing half of its population, territory, etc. is pretty much a collapse in my book (or in anyone’s book for that matter). You say ethnic divide was too great as some kind of excuse that it was not a collapse. So if Pakistan were to split on ethnic lines (e.g. Punjabi, Balochi, Sindhi), that would not be a collapse?

    “6. You statements are just becoming odd, Ahmadies hold prestigious positions in civil and military institutions of Pakistan, we are represented highly in all sectors and that too in high positions.”

    Really??? I thought in order to hold power in prestigious positions you had to affirm the finality of the prophet.

    “You do not achieve 99% literacy, higher per capita income than avg, high representation in civil and military structures if nationwide discrimination was in place. So what if a few mullahs and their brainwashed followers say otherwise.”

    Please provide some statistics from a credible source to support your bold assertions.

    “Who cares about them, minority suffer from some kind of discrimination in every country, in due time all the wrongs will be righted.”

    Yes but very few countries today have laws that specifically discriminate against certain groups.

    “7. Where are your percentages coming out of. Did you conduct a nationwide survey, please write facts which reflect reality.”

    This has been answered above.

    “8. The constitution was amended, it happened, we are living with it and we will do what it takes to repeal it. Many people are of the same view, it will take time but it will happen.”

    It has been around for nearly 40 years (more than half of Pakistan’s existence), what makes you think it will be repealed or even in the future?

  52. Tilsim

    @ Sahal

    “If we wanted to excel for our own sake, we would have done so by now.”

    What is stopping us?

  53. Maroof

    ” Having said that PTH does not necessarily subscribe to the views expressed below”

    I am just amused by the disclaimer by the author.

    The piece has nothing even remotely controversial by this sites standards.

  54. @Sahal

    Like I said we must do it too. I am going to send Maulana Fazal-ur-Rahman to give you ten jhappi’s.

    If you want a women, I will send Nawazish Ali.

    Typical treacherous trick against a poor, unsuspecting enemy! How could you do this? Can’t you fight fair?

    OK, I surrender. Now can we discuss what you feed POWs?

  55. Bin Ismail

    @Sahal (June 30, 2010 at 2:33 am)

    “…..I believe we have to remain on difficult terms with India because it brings about our competitive edge…..”

    Jinnah never envisioned Pakistan and India as rival neighbors, one representing Belief and the other Disbelief – certainly not. In November 1946, he said:

    “The two states [Pakistan and India] will be friends and will go to each other’s rescue in case of danger and will be able to say ‘hands off’ to other nations. We shall then have a Munroe Doctrine more solid than in America.”

    Your words against Jinnah’s.

  56. Ummi

    @Ammar: BEcause your knowledge about Islam is as low as any non-Muslims. Learn about Islam then advocate alternatives.

  57. nasir jan

    Excellent article