Denialistan: DAWN’s romance with jihadis exposed

Nasima Zehra Awan laments the media romances with sectarian Islamists while the country drowns

The August 21st editorial by DAWN is a good example of what is wrong with the media in Pakistan. “Hardliners and Flood Relief” is precisely the kind of vacillating apologia for extremists that is the bane of the local media.A media that has anointed itself as “Independent” for hounding out elected politicians at the behest of a powerful establishment, has failed in informing the public about the various Islamist militant groups and their agendas. In this regard, it is baffling that DAWN’s editorial prefers to maintain an Ostrich-like approach to the exponentially growing existential threat from these sectarian bigots.

President Zardari is absolutely correct in pointing out this threat. The exclusive bashing of elected PPP leaders is the national sport in our elite drawing rooms and reflects our impotent rage that can never be directed at the actual source of our problems but at those who cannot strike back. It is therefore sad that DAWN follows suit and completely disregards the warning of Pakistan’s elected president and chooses to maintain the establishment-led status quo in protecting its Jihadi assets.

In covering the hundreds of targeted killings of minority sects and religious groups like the Ahmadis, Shias and Christians, DAWN studiously maintains a policy of obfuscating the issue via the use of euphemisms. In doing so, it dishonestly creates a false symmetry between the victims (Ahmadis, Shias and Christians) and their killers, the vast nexus of sectarian Salafist Jihadi groups like Sipah Sahaba, its militant wing, Lashkar Jhangvi, Lashkar Tayabba, Jaish Mohammad and Harkat ul Mujahideen amongst a host of other related subsidiaries. For a newspaper that allies itself with Jinnah, the irony that the country’s Shiite Muslim founder would have been a fair game for these sectarian groups is completely lost on DAWN!

Since the beginning of the flood crisis, Pakistan’s media has preferred to lynch the elected government as opposed to galvanizing the public and the International community towards relief efforts. In trying to divert attention away from banned groups who are using the tragedy of these floods to increase their hold on Pakistan, DAWN has allied itself with the same reactionary and bigoted class that prefers an authoritarian future for Pakistan under an increasingly monolithic and supremacist identity that abhors a pluralist ethos. In both the 2005 Earthquake tragedy and in the current devastation caused by the floods, these sectarian-Jihadi groups have been facilitated and financed at the expense of the State to carry out relief efforts. While the Government has been consistently blocked, distanced, misrepresented and denied, the armed forces, which are constitutionally under the direction of the Government and who are funded by the public are lauded for doing what is their duty and what is customary in any part of the world. Similarly, the sight of banned sectarian groups who are being funded by the Punjab Government, openly discriminating in their relief efforts on the basis of sect (refer to the case of hundreds of Ahmadis being denied relief by Jamaat Dawa/LeT) is being glossed over and mostly ignored by DAWN and other similar corporate media outlets.

The reason that the International community is skeptical about giving aid to Pakistan is not because of Transparency International’s statistics that have remained largely the same since the last 4 years. Its because of the clear divide between a helpless and hounded elected Government that prefers to engage with the world and a  jingoist establishment that wants to berate the Government for accepting foreign aid on a warped basis of honour(ghairat). The International community is skeptical because this aid is then siphoned off for buying more weaponary and toys for the Jihadi monsters who attack NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan when they are not too busy killing thousands of Pakistanis back home. The International community is skeptical about aid and relief efforts to Pakistan because it does not want its money to go to Jihadis and its own volunteers to be the targets of these Jihadis while they are in Pakistan.

The public credibility with the Government can be addressed in the next elections. However, how does one deal with the obvious lack of credibility of the media? In a drowning country, how does one deal with a media whose bias for Islamist militias has graduated from a blossoming romance to a full scale marriage. How does one make sense of how DAWN concludes its editorial:

“Also, the concept of charity is a major motivational factor with all religious organisations, not just Islamic ones. So the hardliners’ response to the floods is more likely to be guided by a sense of religious obligation than an opportunity to win more recruits.”

Really, charity!! Where is this charitable spirit and this religious obligation when the same sectarian militias are killing thousands of Pakistanis all over the land. How can one call this charity when the resources used by these Jihadi groups are the very same resources that have been diverted to them from the State and their local and foreign patrons. Where is this charitable spirit when relief is provided and denied on the basis of sect! In Sindh, Hindu families have publicly taken the responsibility to feed their Muslim countrymen. Non-Muslim countries are finally donating hundreds of millions to the PPP lead Government due to the efforts of the much maligned President and Prime Minister, even as two bit TV anchors like Talat Hussain can get away with their brazen lies to the BBC that the couple of hundred thousand dollars collected by him and Kashif Abbasi exceeds the entire collection of the Government! Yet, editorials like this one in DAWN and those shouting matches on GEO have only one agenda; malign the Government and glorify the Jihadis. If the latter is not possible, at least diminish their malevolence even if its means that facts on the ground have to be distorted. If these are the standards of the country’s premier English daily, one shudders to think what scurrilous rags that are openly beholden to the Jamaat Islami are publishing.

History will not forgive the negative role played by the Pakistani media at this crucial juncture. While the country is being ravaged by floods, the media spent more time cheering the shoe thrown at the President by a Hizb ul Tahrir activist; a shoe thrown in protest against the nascent democratic set up in Pakistan and in the hope of establishing a totalitarian caliphate. While floods ravage a third of the total area of Pakistan and have rendered 20 million people homeless, our media, including DAWN, has thrown its lot in with the establishment and its political game of lynching the elected political class, especially those from the PPP and ANP. Nero fiddled while Rome burnt and our media romances sectarian Islamist brutes while the country drowns.

Wait for the next editorials – “Al-Qaeda is a global charity movement” and “Taliban are a group of rescuers”!!

(the views expressed here are those of the author and should not construed as PTH’s position on this issue)

56 Comments

Filed under Al Qaeda, Democracy, Islamism, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, minorities, Taliban, Terrorism, violence

56 responses to “Denialistan: DAWN’s romance with jihadis exposed

  1. Mnoor

    The particular editorial was quite a balanced one.
    Its a fact that many religious organizations have done large scale charity work in Pakistan over the years. Just because we don’t like them does not eliminate this truth.

    I think Ms Awan is more upset about the criticism on President Zardari by the media. I suggest she writes a full length article on him giving vent to her full admiration.

  2. Junaid

    Besides, NFP would not be writing for DAWN if this allegation was true.

    NFP = Nadeem F Paracha

  3. AA khalid

    I think this article is an example of misplaced anger. It is true that there are sections of the media who do ”romance with sectarian Islamists”, its just that Dawn isn’t one of them.

    The editorial was balanced, and made a very good point, which is the point about causality:

    ” To suggest that the hardliners’ efforts will result in a recruiting bonanza for the militant groups is far-fetched. While the religious groups’ relief work might earn them better PR and even give them the edge in the battle for hearts and minds, there is little evidence that it will swell their ranks with fresh jihadi recruits or give them greater political mileage. If anything, this is yet another reminder that the state needs to improve its response when dealing with disasters in particular and looking after the people’s welfare in general.”

    The article does not in any way endorse the militancy and radical violence of these sectarian outfits, rather points out that the failure of the Pakistani State (regardless of who assumes office) has created a vacuum.

    And the author clearly hasn’t been keeping up with the international coverage of the floods, and has not realised that the Pakistani government really does have a credibility problem (home and abroad), and Zardari’s persona and recent exploits have further reinforced these perceptions.

    The PPP is nothing but a modern manifestation of the dynastic political culture of the sub-continent. Its a relic of an ancient political culture where families and clans ruled, and there was cultish and slavish devotion to these ruling families. This tragedy of political dynasties not only plagues the PPP, but most political parties. These political parties are medieval in their power structures with a hopeless hierachry which makes it difficult for any form of emancipatory and progressive democracy to emerge. Add to this rising influence of religious conservativism and radical extremism, and the Pakistani political culture really is dire.

    The Pakistani polity is broken, this is what the floods have shown (read my PTH contribution Beyond The Floods – A Broken Polity).

    There was a great article in the Guardian about the poor and impoverished state of democracy in Pakistan which sums up the political culture in Pakistan:

    ”Cursed by the Bhuttos” – Peter Preston

    Preston wrote quiet eloquently:

    ” Reverence for democracy is rooted in cults of personality, not ideas”.

    This cult of personality plagues Pakistani democracy ever so, that it would take a sea change in mentality for a real mature republican spirit to emerge.

  4. Tilsim

    I believe the editorial was balanced. I wish the rest of the press could have the same approach to news reporting that Dawn has.

    I would also say that whilst no one should be above criticism, the English language press is hardly the place to look for significant problems in our media.

    The role of charities such as JuD is problematic but we have to recognise that at this time, the focus should be on ensuring that the people get help. If they win some recruits in the process so be it. Because of organisations such as JuD, there is greater onus on the provision of effective relief by non-sectarian NGOs and the government.

    The maligning by media of the government and democratic forces is a separate matter. It needs analysis (because the government’s public posture provided rich material for such maligning). I accept that the reporting of the national and provincial governments role is wholly negative and unbalanced and that needs to be highlighted.

  5. S Imam

    Couldn’t agree more with this criticism of the role the so-called “independent” media in Pakistan. I wonder, how come an unelected institution (media) that essentially is established as a commercial venture, has marginalised the elected institutions (parliament, assemblies and the head of the government and the state!!)
    The answer is in another question: Why all unelected people (establishment, judiciary, media, middle-class intelligentsia and Jihadis/Taliban/Al-Qaeda) are united against the elected institutions of Pakistan!

  6. Raju Bhai

    And then AA Khalid wonders why others think that he is an Islamist!

  7. Ahsan

    Dawn is only reading a situation I think. It was very hard for me to decide whether the daily is apologetic towards extremist elements from this only editorial. I need more.

  8. AA Khalid

    ”And then AA Khalid wonders why others think that he is an Islamist”

    You want to provide some quotes, evidence, extended citations, or are you going to fulfil the long and treasured sub continental tradition of character assassination?

    You have no idea what you are talking about, best not to trouble yourself to acutally think….

  9. NZA

    EDITORIAL
    Maududi ban
    Dawn Editorial
    Sunday, 18 Jul, 2010
    The Bangladesh government has ordered mosques and libraries to be purged of all books written by Abul Ala Maududi. The chief of the state-funded Islamic Foundation has said the late Jamaat-i-Islami founder’s books encourage “militancy and terrorism”. He added that the decision was taken as Maulana Maududi’s works are “against the peaceful ideology of Islam”.
    It appears there is a political angle to the Awami League government’s decision. Observers have said the government wants to keep a check on the activities of the Bangladesh Jamaat-i-Islami allied with the Awami League’s arch-rival, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Maulana
    Maududi’s works have influenced the ideology of the various chapters of the Jamaat in the subcontinent. Bangladesh’s state minister for religious affairs told parliament the other day that the government would withdraw books written by persons ‘identified’ as having been
    involved in ‘war crimes’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ during the 1971 war.
    Banning books is a perilous proposition. Democracy and tolerance demand that opposing viewpoints and ideologies be heard, as long as
    they don’t promote hatred and violence. Though many people may not agree with Maulana Maududi’s politics or his worldview, banning his
    works does not seem prudent. All shades of opinion must be represented in public discourse and debates about the subjects the Jamaat founder
    has written on — politics, religion and their intertwining — must continue. While it may be true that Abul Ala Maududi’s writings have
    contributed to increasing conservatism in society, to say they encourage terrorism is debatable. The Jamaat believes and participates in parliamentary democracy both in Pakistan and Bangladesh, while
    religious extremists have no qualms about violently overthrowing such a system. It can be safely assumed that Al Qaeda, the Taliban and
    similar extremist movements power their ideological engines by exploiting geopolitical issues and narrowly interpreting religious texts, not studying Maulana Maududi’s works.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-new

  10. Raju Bhai

    AA Khalid wrote:

    The article does not in any way endorse the militancy and radical violence of these sectarian outfits

    That is living in denial and being Islamism apologist.

  11. tilsim1

    Raju bhai

    More studying required before you reach the mastery of Chanakya.

  12. AA Khalid

    ”That is living in denial and being Islamism apologist.”

    That is neither a coherent argument nor is it actually proof of any sort, since you actually need to provide now the evidence from the article, where it says explicitly that Dawn supports the actions of sectarian outfits. You also have to show that Dawn accepts and condones acts of violence by citing extensively from its regular columnists.

    Can you do that, can you cite from the article where it says they accept the violence, radicalism and support such acts?

    If not then quietly retract your statement you, Daniel Pipes Indian wannabe…..

  13. Raju Bhai

    AA Khalid wrote:

    Can you do that, can you cite from the article where it says they accept the violence, radicalism and support such acts?

    Of course no article, especially in a national daily, would endorse such a stand. One can only discern support for militant organizations by observing whether they highlight or praise other aspects and activities of these organizations, thereby giving these organizations both publicity, as well as furthering their acceptability in society.

    By your remarks it is clear, that you support this media policy. That makes you an Islamist.

  14. Ali Abbas

    I am so glad that someone pointed out the discrimination against the Ahmadi victims of the floods. This is what happens when extremist groups are given space and when national dailies cannot bring themselves to be honest. Shame.

  15. AA Khalid

    ”Of course no article, especially in a national daily, would endorse such a stand”

    Then you have no case…

    ”One can only discern support for militant organizations by observing whether they highlight or praise other aspects and activities of these organizations, thereby giving these organizations both publicity, as well as furthering their acceptability in society”’

    Dawn did not do this, they described rather than praised, as a journalist you sometimes have to describe events and activities that you may not personally agree with. Journalism 101….

    And its ludricous of you to say that I support this type ”media policy”, I am merely describing Dawn’s articles and editorials on the issue.

    You do know RB not every thing you say has to be a value judgement?

    So you have no proof, and you can retract your statement. That was simple…..

  16. Raju Bhai

    @AA Khalid

    that was just one example of your Islamist tendencies. Your writings are buzzing with Islamism, some apparent, some implicit.

  17. AA Khalid

    ”that was just one example of your Islamist tendencies. Your writings are buzzing with Islamism, some apparent, some implicit.
    ”’

    Yak yak yak yak, is that all you ever do you?

    Until you can provide some proof, I am afraid you are talking without basis. As it stand you have no proof, and frankly no one is taking you seriously, since you seem utterly determined not to be taken seriously by avoiding producing any proofs, and shirking away from critical questioning.

  18. Please stop this tirade against AAK. He has his point of view – By no means he supports what you are accusing him of.

  19. AA Khalid

    RR,

    Thanks. I welcome wholeheartedly any critique, criticism, debate or questioning of my views provided of course one can provide some evidence in terms of my writings. This is necessary for a free exchange of ideas.

    However, to people like RB I will let them yak as much as they like because the long and short of it is that they have no proof!

    Just look at RB, he shirked away from providing any sort of reference by running back to his hollow and empty rhetoric.

    Though I am concerned this is becoming typical of some Indian posters on PTH, particularly when we question some aspects of Indian society, they become very uncivilised (more than usual).

  20. PMA

    Ms. Nasima Zehra Awan is a powerful writer and we certainly hope that she continues to write for PTH. Here is the article that has made her so angry.

    Hardliners and flood relief

    Dawn Editorial

    Saturday, 21 Aug, 2010 | 10:56 AM PST |

    As the country struggles to cope with the floods, the debate on the role of hard-line religious organisations in the relief effort continues. Just as in the case of the 2005 earthquake, various religious organisations — some with ostensible links to banned militant outfits — have been very active in the relief effort and in some instances have reached places the government hasn’t.

    President Zardari recently remarked that the world needed to step up its relief efforts in order to prevent extremists from exploiting the situation — a lacklustre response from the state and the international community can well give extremists a chance to fill the vacuum. On the other hand the Foreign Office has offered guarded praise for the religious charities’ efforts. However, it appears that many in the foreign press have particularly played up the hardliners’ contribution to relief work and blown the perceived consequences out of proportion.

    Many private organisations are taking part in the relief effort, and religious groups are just one component of it. To suggest that the hardliners’ efforts will result in a recruiting bonanza for the militant groups is far-fetched. While the religious groups’ relief work might earn them better PR and even give them the edge in the battle for hearts and minds, there is little evidence that it will swell their ranks with fresh jihadi recruits or give them greater political mileage. If anything, this is yet another reminder that the state needs to improve its response when dealing with disasters in particular and looking after the people’s welfare in general. Also, the concept of charity is a major motivational factor with all religious organisations, not just Islamic ones. So the hardliners’ response to the floods is more likely to be guided by a sense of religious obligation than an opportunity to win more recruits.

  21. AZW

    Ms. Awan:

    I read Dawn’s editorial and I did not find it sympathetic to Jihadist cause. The editorial is merely pointing out the deficiencies of the state apparatus, and mentioning that hard-line parties will most probably not be able to use the opportunity as a marketing bonanza for their cause. There is nothing controversial in this opinion by Dawn.

    What however also needs to be realized is that there is tremendous misery out there. And someone has to go out and feed the hungry, give medicine to the sick and provide shelters to the dispossessed. We can sit comfortably on the sofas and do our donations, but can we condemn the religious organizations for providing relief for the poor? I have no sympathy for LeT and JMs of this world. Their view of the world will preclude them from helping the minorities in this hour of need. They will remain retrogressive and parochial in their view of the world, and I will have all the contempt for them for what they stand for.

    But I would observe their actions as something that is at the end of the day, helping the ones passing through cataclysms in their life. At some point, the action of helping the poor needs to be put in the context that it is a necessary one in the imperfect world where the government has been slow is providing full relief. Maybe it is out of government power to do that, but the relief efforts then get supplanted by the religious organizations of all colours.

    I cannot sit back and in my conviction of my secular ideals say that the religious right wing has no right to help the poor. If they are helping the needy ones, that’s a commendable job. If they are trying to recruit people to their Jihadist cause, this is an unfortunate part of the whole scheme. A hungry stomach with no certainty of food is likely not going to listen to the secularism speeches for too long. But if this flood enforces one point, it is that the best the mainstream parties can do from now on is to invest in the institutions that develop a prosperous and stable society. With the population set to explode three fold in the next forty years, what are we going to do with another natural disaster that will affect three times the population?

    On a similar note, regarding banning the Moudoudi’s books, I am not convinced that banning them is a good idea. We cannot fight intolerance with intolerance. An open discussion of his books and dissection of his barbaric and medieval ideas is only possible when his books are available to be read. I think Pakistani society is moving in the direction o fmore open critique of the previously sacred cows e.g. Sayeed Qutub and Moudoudi’s destructive ideologies. We ought to let this process continue and not give these folks any more support by forcing their writings underground.

  22. no-communal

    “On a similar note, regarding banning the Moudoudi’s books, I am not convinced that banning them is a good idea. We cannot fight intolerance with intolerance. An open discussion of his books and dissection of his barbaric and medieval ideas is only possible when his books are available to be read.”

    In the subcontinent, with the literacy rate as it is, I am afraid it does not work that way. Besides, most nations in the world have banned some reading material or another to which its population is particularly vulnerable.

    I belive what Bangladesh has done should be applauded, rather than finding a political motive in it. If Dawn thinks another way, it is being too idealistic, and not rational and practical.

  23. Iqbal

    Is it possible for the Pak secularists to start a TV channel or atleast a news magazine to counter the influence of GEO TV and the Urdu press, rather than having a few blogs which have limited reach?

  24. I think we are getting into non issues these days and wasting our time and intellect. Most of us have biased opinions and it is seldom that we come across a rationale thing.
    I expect Pak Tea House eto rise above everything and should not publish biased opinions. While writing on anything, I usually come across mention of the show throwing episode – which at least in this post completely out of place. Siding with one “side” shows we are seeing through our own eye and not how a majority sees the issues.
    I have been reading Dawn and News for quite some time, and I always found Dawn to be giving rather a neutral opinion as against the News.
    and even if something has been said, it does not mean the newspaper is propagating terrorism or something. and if I go by this analogy, then most of the mdeia seems to be heavily biased.

  25. Rafique

    Err … if what you say is true, then what on earth are writers like Irfan Hussain, Kamran Shafi and ABOVE ALL, NFP, doing being Dawn’s star columnists??

    NFP at the moment is Dawn’s top writer, and he is also said to have penned a lot of editorials of Dawn, so what on earth are you talking about?

  26. Bilal Ahmad

    I agree with author that DAWN has done something which is surprising for me. I was amazed when this editorial was published in which DAWN rejected reservations raised by many media outlets that extremists are utilizing flood tragedy and are running covert campaign to recruit future terrorists.
    I was also wondering why it didn’t come up with something when it was reported that in Muzaffargarh and D.G. Khan around 500 Ahmadi families have been denied relief by State, and have been asked to leave government relief camps as others have objected to their presence there.
    I agree with author whatever she has assessed about DAWN.

  27. tilsim1

    @ NZA
    Thank you for posting the extract on Maududi, Bangladesh and Dawn’s editorial. It gave me pause for thought and I reflected once more on your arguments. However I came out with the view that this is within the parameters of a legitimate liberal discussion.

    In any case, the editorial and the newspaper are two different things. The editorial may follow a different line to the rest of the paper. In Dawn you have so many opinion pieces from liberals that it’s hard to argue that the paper harbours some agenda to malign the government as a matter of policy.

    You are also concerned that the paper is not shouting from the rooftops about the intensity of the threat against Jihadis. I would rather that vehemence came from opinion writers. I think they have been more forthright in expressing their opinions than anytime in Pakistan’s history. This is done on the back of the threat of violence. Certainly more needs to be done but our objective should be seek factual and balanced reporting rather than propaganda from a newspaper.

    In my view the government has a much greater obligation to talk about the Jihadis and why they are wrong. What is the government doing in terms of it’s media and educational policy to wean the public away from the Jihadi mindset? How are they interacting with the TV channel talk show hosts? Is it effective?

    As for Dawn’s editorial line, after your article, I shall be even more keenly looking to see what line they take on various issues. I think the task remains to highlight the way that TV channels report news which is where I believe opinions are formed in Pakistan amongst certain sections of the population. Other than that we should research and understand how opinions are formed in Pakistan outside the media in order to ensure that we save the public from being mislead about Islam, jihad and the intentions behind and the role of charity.

  28. Raza Raja

    I agree with AA Khaild and AZW above. I think that although article has made some good points about media in general but its criticism on Dawn is misplaced and too some extent even unfair.

    One has to understand that there are many sides to a picture and presenting a side with a warning does not make you “reactionary”

    I think it was more of a passionate rant rather than a serious and balanced article. A balanced opinion takes account of the entire situation and then gives a measured point of view rather than adopting an emotional accusatory tone. Unfortunately the author has adopted that tone here.

    I agree with Mnoor above that it is more about strong admiration for Mr Zardari rather than anything else which has prompted this passionate response.

    Moreover I think AA khalid is one of the best and most balanced writers and by no stretch of imagination is he what he is being accused of here.

  29. Raju Bhai

    If one wants to bring down a writer who criticizes the media or the ‘militants’, the usual vector of attack is to tear up the credibility of the writer as imbalanced, having some personal agenda, associated with doubtful characters.

    Ms Nazima Zehra Awan is doing a great service to the people of Pakistan and raising her voice against both the militants and a media which has succumbed to them, and then there Islamists here like AA Khalid, and others who start to demolish the lady! Shameful indeed!

  30. Zia Ahmad

    Is it me or is there a rise in the number of zardari apologists on PTH. The above article is an exercise in reactionary rhetoric and prompts the likes of Hamid Mir to kashifiat to start shooting off with the liberal facist label.

  31. Raju Bhai

    @Raza Rumi

    With all due respect, I’ve had a couple of discussions with him, and that is the impression I’ve got.

    Not just that, he also has a very pronounced habit of characterizing all Hindus, who are not atheists, as right-wing fanatics.

  32. Girish

    Can we not make every discussion here centered on the India, Hindus etc.? What does Khalid’s characterization of Hindus or anybody else have anything to do with the topic of this post?

  33. maryam khan

    As a legal academic, I have come across and groaned over many examples of bad journalism. Much as I often rely on Dawn for balanced, serious reporting, I have to say that I am absolutely appalled at this particular editorial. Not only is it completely self-contradictory and out of its depth, it is highly irresponsible – coming as it does at a time of pivotal importance and crisis in the country. The editorial doesn’t have a single leg to stand on – whether it is argumentative nuancing, factual understanding, or critical evaluation. I’m truly surprised by comments here that have elevated the article to the level of some elegantly balanced piece of writing. It resembles more a “nugget” out of some obscure Urdu newspaper than a seriously researched and partial example of journalism. (If I may add a footnote here, please let us not confuse “seriously researched” with impassive – Ms. Awan is well within her rights as a journalism to express her perturbation and impassioned voice against the disastrous editorial).

    “To suggest that the hardliners’ efforts will result in a recruiting bonanza for the militant groups is far-fetched.” The evidence that we do have available suggests exactly that. If Dawn wishes to refute this claim, it will have to bring on the table something more credible than simply its reputation, which should certainly receive a slap after this editorial.

    “While the religious groups’ relief work might earn them better PR and even give them the edge in the battle for hearts and minds, there is little evidence that it will swell their ranks with fresh jihadi recruits or give them greater political mileage.” Fantastic example of self-contradiction! The author accepts that the religious groups are earning better “PR” (is this also part of their religious obligation??), and yet asserts in the same breath that the PR’s got nothing to do with political mileage. Brilliant research I must say – and highly convincing.

    “If anything, this is yet another reminder that the state needs to improve its response when dealing with disasters in particular and looking after the people’s welfare in general.” Wake up Dawn! There is a huge distinction between the “state” and the “government” in this country. The state comprises of the army, along with all its right-wingers and intelligence mongers. The state constantly tries to undermine the government of the day – except when it is an unelected, de facto, military government.

    “Also, the concept of charity is a major motivational factor with all religious organisations, not just Islamic ones. So the hardliners’ response to the floods is more likely to be guided by a sense of religious obligation than an opportunity to win more recruits.” I’m wondering why all those who seem to be fumbling over each other to support the editorial haven’t bothered to take issue with this most controversial and unbelievable concluding and highly “balanced” comment in the editorial.

    Shame on you Dawn for thinking that this was publishable material.

  34. maryam khan

    Apologies for some grammatical mistakes in my comment above. I meant “impartial” example of journalism in the first para.

  35. Raju Bhai

    @Girish,

    that was a direct comment for Raza Rumi Sahib.

    You can ignore it.

  36. Raju Bhai

    @maryam khan

    A well argued critique of the article. Something this thread was needing badly. Bravo!

  37. AA khalid

    @MK

    If militant outfits are providing charity and welfare, and because they are helping people from these floods then how can you expect the people receiving this aid from these outfits not to have some gratitude for these outfits? PR is different from political recruitment, the act of changing one’s political beliefs revolves around much more than simply welfare. That is a crucial distinction. PR alone cannot convert a person from one set of personal convictions to another set of personal convictions.

    The fact of the matter is that the broken polity of this nation is what has allowed these outfits to flourish. As Edwards writes in his critically acclaimed work, ”Islamic Fundamentalism Since 1945”:

    ”The inadequacies of the modern state structure in many Muslim countries have been exposed by contemporary Islamism in relation to the citizenry and their national-based demands and concerns” (pg 137)

    That is the phenomenon that the Dawn Editorial was explaining above, it was merely describing this process which has been documented in studies concerning such movements.

    Furthermore, in studies concerning Islamist movements, it has been noted that charity is indeed seen as a religious obligation. That is just a fact, not a value judgement, its not saying you endorse these outfits and their activities but that this what their beliefs are.

    Recruitment is a battle of ideas, when you convert a person from one set of ideas into another, that requires genuine conviction ,that requires genuine belief, it cannot simply be done with money and funds. To suggest that providing charity will suddenly mean that there will be hordes of people willing to join militant outfits is ridiculous.

    In times of personal tragedy, which one of the victims of the floods will be thinking about politics? People don’t care where the aid is coming from or what the agenda is behind it, they are oblivious to this because of their own overbearing sense of loss and intense tragedy. Hence how can recruitment take place?

    Indeed Edwards writes:

    ”Indeed, where states have failed or have been failing, where poverty grips society and brutal
    dictatorship has established a sense of fear, Islamists have offered aid, hope, charity and assistance.” (pg 118)

    The attraction of such outfits is not ideological but merely pragmatic to those who are afflicted and are face to face with unseen tragedy that we can only type about. When one is faced with personal tragedy, one will accept help wherever it comes from without thinking about politics. So I think the fact that one can recruit people in the midst of such utter personal desolation (not to do with political beliefs or political injustice, but desolation in terms of personal loss and tragedy such as losing loved ones) is ridiculous.

    The floods for those who are affected does not resonate with a sense of political injustice, but the immediate feeling is one of personal loss, personal tragedy. With such personal feelings of anguish and distress removed from politics how can recruitment take place? Recruitment takes place where there is a political grievance, not natural disaster, with the associative sense of immense personal loss.

    It is because the polity in Pakistan is utterly broken and medieval that militant and violent outfits are filling the vacuum, that was the core thesis of the Dawn Editorial and that I think has till now on this thread remained unchallenged.

  38. Maryam: thanks for enriching the debate here. I fully agree about your point about evidence, responsibility and probity – essential canons of journalistic integrity.
    Whilst NZA has been a little too emotional in her post, she has highlighted how the most ‘balanced’ of newspapers is susceptible to whitewashing the issue of militants, their space and place in our ‘broken’ polity.
    AAK: what you are saying is another dimension of this malaise but we cannot pretend to close our eyes just because there is ‘charity’ and relief involved. Humanism is universal, indivisible and cannot be context specific. When the same groups kill people in the name of faith, sect or some other ‘political’ agenda, there is a similar ‘religious’ zeal – hence the danger of accepting this religious discourse as narrated by the DAWN editorial.

  39. AA khalid

    The principal misundertanding in those who oppose the Dawn editorial is quiet grave.

    It is a misunderstanding of the nature of the disaster, and the nature of brainwashing. The disaster in Pakistan is a natural one, removed from political machinations, it was a force of nature not a political one. Then how can the grievances be political for victims who have lost so much? The grievance in natural disasters is personal not political.

    Furthermore, recruitment happens only when there is a political grievance, and the only reasons why militant outfits can operate (not recruit but merely operate) is because of the failure of the national polity and State. Political grievance has been noted as one of the big factors for recruitment to militant outfits in many studies.

    Hence the assertion that there is a massive recruitment drive in Pakistan due to the floods is ridiculous.

    Yes what is happening is the spread of the network of such militant groups in terms of their opportunities. The floods have offered such groups a platform, but that doesn’t mean people will flock to their ideas simply because they now have space to operate in. That causal link cannot be made.

    If the point about militant groups recruiting stands, it will only stand in the context of post-disaster reconstruction. When the floods recede, the ruins left behind and people wonder why they had to suffer because of inept political adminstration then the danger of recruitment will arise, because then the grievance will move from a sense of personal loss to a political grievance.

    After the floods in the post-disaster reconstruction phase there will be an immense dissatisfaction with the State. This dissatisfaction coming from victims and people who have actually faced the floods, not media persons etc.

    That is indeed where the danger lies, and that danger will be realised not due to ideological reasons but due to the failure of the State and polity.

  40. AA khalid

    RR,

    ”what you are saying is another dimension of this malaise but we cannot pretend to close our eyes just because there is ‘charity’ and relief involved”

    of course, but the Dawn Editorial was describing not endorsing any militant outfit and that is the crucial distinction. It was a descriptive piece.

  41. Raza Raja

    well I think miss zehra got carried away too much!!!
    Any ways the article does point out some good points about media in general though editorials criticism is some what unfair

  42. maryam khan

    @ A A Khalid:

    “When one is faced with personal tragedy, one will accept help wherever it comes from without thinking about politics.”

    I think this is precisely why the “recruitment” will be all the more likely! Within the context of a mass disaster, what makes people most vulnerable is their sense of immediate loss or personal tragedy as you say. A more discerning person with political convictions in the foreground of her quotidian life will need more than a loaf of bread and a pail of rice to convert her ideologically. A person who is so harrowed by loss, by reason of her deprivation and desperation, can’t be presumed to exercise such discretion. In her mind, she isn’t being fed so she can be recruited; but my issue here is with the minds of those doing the recruiting. And please let’s face it: right-wing groups – or those you call “Islamist” – in this country have exposed their intentions on countless occasions. Kudos to those of them who have charity dragging like a tail behind their recruitment agendas that they can wag at their devastated and captive flood-hit audience. One would hope the more discerning public is better able to put the tail in its right place.

    Many scholars have written about Islamist movements. The one big problem I have with the theses of the likes that Edwards seems to be proposing is how unabashedly undifferentiated and simplistically universal they are. The pakistani taliban, Hezbollah or Hamas, for instance, are hugely different political phenomena with their own histories and political economies. Empirical evidence in the form of electoral support has only shown that Pakistanis, when given a real chance, will vote on the more left-secular side of the political spectrum. The problem in Pakistan today is not that state collapse has created the space for violent jihadi elements to operate as they please – rather, the problem is that the militarized state itself has created, perpetuated, and cultivated these elements. This is not a vacuum-type situation. It is in fact a state-coercion and brutality-type situation. People may or may not volunteer to join the ideological bandwagon; but coercion and duress, couched in terms of relief from desperation, will not leave people much of a choice.

    Please read the works of contemporary historians and their mapping of historiography. They will tell you time and again that seldom is ideology the paramount reason behind action – the semiotics versus materialism debate. All these supposedly ideological phenomena need to be looked at through considerations of power and political economy.

    Contemporary Islamism only has one lesson, if at all, to teach us: equity and justice. And frankly, no where in the world is the lesson being taught in the way it should. Contemporary Islam is deeply flawed and a complete failure as far as populist governance is concerned, at least in Pakistan.

    So coming to the core of your argument: that the Dawn editorial is merely a descriptive piece about the link between political vacuum and militancy, with little political agenda behind it. To be sure there is nothing analytical about the editorial. It is an opinion based on thin descriptive air. But it’s problematic at several fronts: (i) it is deeply confused – on one level it extols religious groups for their diligence in charity work, at another it lauds their marketing abilities, at quite another it suggests that they are pious ideologues who believe in religious “obligations” (presumably killing innocent people to make their point at selective moments is part of this), and finally at some other level it also abruptly asserts that all this good is being done because the state is dumb and dishonest. Bad journalism. I have a feeling you’re just reading what you believe into the editorial. (ii) if the editorial were merely descriptive, it wouldn’t attempt to malign Zardari’s statements, which are really hard to dismiss regardless of which mouth they’re coming from. Once again, bad journalism. You can’t have the cake and eat it too.

  43. Raju Bhai

    Ms Maryam Khan,

    kudos to you for a good dissection of both the article and the current problems.

    Do you write articles in any newspapers? Do you have a blog?

  44. Pingback: Denialistan: DAWN’s romance with jihadis exposed - BlogOn.pk

  45. tilsim1

    @ Maryam Khan

    I enjoyed reading your critique of the editorial. It prompted me to revisit this particular editorial once more. Having reread it several times, I can see that it is ambiguously written in important parts.

    Is the editorial attacking Zardari? It says:

    “President Zardari recently remarked that the world needed to step up its relief efforts in order to prevent extremists from exploiting the situation — a lacklustre response from the state and the international community can well give extremists a chance to fill the vacuum”

    It is agreeing with Zardari in part but adding that the state should also not be lacklustre in it’s response. One can read that to be an implied criticism of the state. I read it as urging a more robust response from the state as it goes on to repeat later.

    Does it imply by ‘state’ that it’s only talking about the PPP lead coalition?

    I read it to mean the entire state apparatus including the army and the provincial governments.

    It goes on to say: “On the other hand the Foreign Office has offered guarded praise for the religious charities’ efforts. ”

    I read this to mean that Zardari and the Foreign office (the army?) are putting a different spin on the role of the religious organisations. Is that a statement against Zardari, I did n’t read it that way.

    I also don’t know if by this guarded praise the Foreign Office was referring to the role of religious charities in general or the hard-line ones (which seem to be the focus of this Dawn editorial). No context is provided. When I read the editorial, I assumed that the Foreign Office was not referring to the hard line charities.

    It goes on to say: “However, it appears that many in the foreign press have particularly played up the hardliners’ contribution to relief work and blown the perceived consequences out of proportion.”

    This “blowing out of proportion” by the foreign press is the editorial’s main concern. It specifically develops this by saying that “To suggest that the hardliners’ efforts will result in a recruiting bonanza for the militant groups is far-fetched. ” I read the word bonanza to mean that a large number of people will join the hardliners. The editorial is not denying that some recruitment may occur as a result of their efforts. This is just a statement of opinion and whether one accepts it or not is a personal choice.

    It next says: “Many private organisations are taking part in the relief effort, and religious groups are just one component of it.” This is a statement of fact for me.

    Next: “While the religious groups’ relief work might earn them better PR and even give them the edge in the battle for hearts and minds, there is little evidence that it will swell their ranks with fresh jihadi recruits or give them greater political mileage.” This is a weak part of the editorial. It draws a distinction (you say contradiction) between the battle for hearts and minds and achieving greater political mileage. I read it to mean that winning greater awareness and sympathy for religious organisations may not necessarily translate into votes for parties such as JUI-F etc. I assume it’s pointing to the past lack of success of religious parties at the ballot box. Is that what it means by ‘little evidence’ or does it mean something else – a potential source for confusion.

    Next it says: “If anything, this is yet another reminder that the state needs to improve its response when dealing with disasters in particular and looking after the people’s welfare in general.”

    I read this to mean that if anything, the state needs to improve it’s performance to win the PR battle. I happen to agree with this.

    Next: “Also, the concept of charity is a major motivational factor with all religious organisations, not just Islamic ones.”

    Statement of a fact for me.

    Next: “So the hardliners’ response to the floods is more likely to be guided by a sense of religious obligation than an opportunity to win more recruits.”

    It may appear so on the surface but I don’t agree with the editorial here because I believe hardliners’s intentions are very worldly and they pursue state power by all means (although they understand this to be also fulfilling God’s wish). So winning recruits is likely to be an important motivation although they will certainly say to themselves and others that the intention is only an act of charity for the sake of God.

    In summary, NZA’s article used the editorial to cite a much broader argument. I did n’t take away that this Dawn editorial was a good example of the media ‘romancing with Jihadis’ or that it was an excessive criticism of Zardari or letting the state actors responsible for nurturing militancy off the hook (it did n’t address this last aspect at all). I think there are many better and obvious examples to be found in the media to those specific charges. I agree with NZA that those charges should be made, it’s just that Dawn seems to be a curious choice. As I said I will watch Dawn more closely but as I said earlier, I think these problems and of much greater import, lie elsewhere in the media.

  46. NZA

    @AZW

    I simply cannot bring myself to agree with the intellectual dishonesty that is being dished out by the media and in that regard, I have many problems with DAWN’s editorial.

    DAWN, like most of the local media, has done a horribly poor job of analyzing the workings of Jihadi groups. How can they be so obtuse to the fact that any organization that is using the flood for its PR efforts will not meet with success in drawing more recruits. Your own response proves that these relief efforts will get these Jihadi groups positive PR. You mention that the Jihadi groups get to these places before the government and other relief agencies do. Ever wondered why?

    This is because of a deliberate strategy by the security establishment to have Jihadi presence in every nook and corner of the country In the urban areas, this is achieved by building or taking over mosques in an organized manner where no area or sector is spared. It is really quite cellular and organized. The real training centers are kept in rural areas that are cut off. In the 2005 Earthquake tragedy, these Jihadi groups were the first to reach not because they were more efficient but because they were already present there.

    During this time, I was informed that Ahmadi and Shia volunteers and doctors were told to stay away from many areas in Balakot; the militants doing “charity” there would not take too kindly to their presence in those areas. If they needed to work there, their sectarian identities were not be revealed at any costs.

    Furthermore, these Jihadi groups have access to the kinds of resources that even the government can dream off. They control nearly 95% of all the mosques and madrasses in Pakistan, have access to billions of dollars that comes not just via the Gulf and via the sales of heroin and timber (another significant reason for these floods) but also via the State Zakat collections and even in the form of subsidies by the Punjab government. If they are ever caught after a killing spree of professionals belonging to minority sects, the ISI is there to bail them out. If their case ever gets to trial, our “Independent Judiciary” ensures that any and all evidence against them is deemed insufficient. Shouldn’t the media be covering all this with far more vigour than currently shown. Also, if these groups are banned, how is it that they and the army are the only ones who are allowed into most areas while government agencies and many NGOs are kept at a distance? How is it that the army and these Banned Jihadi groups are working side by side and taking credit for providing relief and why is our jingoist media buying this line!
    The media, and in this case DAWN, is actually forgoing its responsibility to question how Jihadi groups are being given more and more space by the establishment. This is done not only to give them positive PR on the watery graves of the flood victims but also to choke the government. It is to convince the public that the political class is the only class that is to maligned while the establishment and all auxiliaries cannot be touched.
    It is truly a sad day when we abdicate our responsibility and do not protest when the flood is being used as a photo opportunity by the Jihadis and their mentors to forward their agendas. The Cuban doctors of 2005 did not try and convert the Earthquake survivors to Communism. The Jihadis are not only doing some token relief work, for which they have been amply funded at our combined expense, they are also denying Ahmadis and other minorities this relief based on their warped beliefs. The battle lines in Pakistan are clearly drawn and some of us will oppose these murderers at every opportunity. Silence is not an option.

  47. Mansoor Khalid

    There are some people in media who have in a way supported Taliban and their ideology from time to time making them “Taliban apologists”. They need to learn that flirting with such an idea is a suicidal attempt for a society like ours.

  48. AA khalid

    ”I think this is precisely why the “recruitment” will be all the more likely! Within the context of a mass disaster, what makes people most vulnerable is their sense of immediate loss or personal tragedy as you say. ”

    No that’s incoherent. Such militant groups do not operate on a utilitarian basis of a mercenary style of fighting. The act of suicide bombing requires more than simply poverty. Its naive of you to suggest that simply hunger causes somone to go on a mission of death and destruction. There is an ideological and political dimension of the act which you have ignored. Only a person who has these convictions will commit such acts.

    ”A person who is so harrowed by loss, by reason of her deprivation and desperation, can’t be presumed to exercise such discretion.”

    Which is why they will not even consider their political beliefs, or be concerned about political debate at that point. They will rather withdraw from the world, rather than happily engage in ideological activities. So again your point falls down.

    ”In her mind, she isn’t being fed so she can be recruited”.

    If hunger is the only thing which is needed for recruitment, then why do some Muslim communities in Britain and the US engage in these ideological groups? Recruitment results from a sense of alienation, poltical grievance and searing sense of injustice. All with an overtly political dimension.

    ”Many scholars have written about Islamist movements. The one big problem I have with the theses of the likes that Edwards seems to be proposing is how unabashedly undifferentiated and simplistically universal they are. ”

    I quoted one paragraph from a large volume of Edwards’ study, you cannot hope to pass judgement on Edwards’ work without reading the book! The book by the way does realise the diversity and heterogenity of such religio-social movements.

    ”Empirical evidence in the form of electoral support has only shown that Pakistanis, when given a real chance, will vote on the more left-secular side of the political spectrum.”

    Please the electorate in Pakistan votes on the basis of cult and personality. There is a slavish and uncritical devotion to cults and personalities in Pakistani politics. The political parties in our country are modern reincarnations of dynastic rule, hierahcrical structures of command and control. Most parties don’t even hold intra party elections! Politics in Pakistan is not debated on the basis of manifestos, political frameworks but on personality and passion. Rarely does the debate move beyond personal conduct of a particular leader. As far as I am concerned there is no real political party in Pakistan with a coherent political message, manifesto or platform. All parties contest on the basis of a one form or another of identity politics.

    ”The problem in Pakistan today is not that state collapse has created the space for violent jihadi elements to operate as they please – rather, the problem is that the militarized state itself has created, perpetuated, and cultivated these elements.”

    I agree that is a part of the problem. But you have to admit for the last 60 odd years, the Pakistani State in terms of its civilian, political and bureaucratic institutions have failed to deliver basic welfare to its people. This failure has allowed a counter culture of conservative and radical religiosity to flourish.

    ”Please read the works of contemporary historians and their mapping of historiography. They will tell you time and again that seldom is ideology the paramount reason behind action – the semiotics versus materialism debate.”

    I disagree, what do you mean by ”the historians”? Do you mean Esposito’s work, Muhammad Qasim Zaman’s work? What do you mean by ”contemporary historians”? Are you suggesting there is a consensus on this issue? The social sciences rarely converge together on a singular model of paradigmatic analysis. That is indeed wishful thinking.

    ”All these supposedly ideological phenomena need to be looked at through considerations of power and political economy.”

    That is naive, and dangerous. It underestimates the ideological convictions and battle of ideas.

    ”Contemporary Islam is deeply flawed and a complete failure as far as populist governance is concerned, at least in Pakistan.”

    But that is contradictory, earlier on you said that Pakistanis vote for ”secular left” of the political spectrum, so how can be blame the failure of populist governance on these religo-social movements. Surely they are insignificant from a political sense. I agree though anyway with your statement, but add to that contemporary political parties have reintroduced a medieval polity, and this dissonance between the challenges of being a modern nation state but practicising an incredibly hierachrical and medieval form of identity politics is tearing this country apart.

    MK, the editorial does not call these militants ”pious ideologues”. You made that up. It does not even attack Zardari if I read it. Again you inserted that in there. It does not extol the virtues of these groups. Again you made that up. It was a descriptive piece of journalism. Arguably its description of the phenomenon of militancy can be debated, but to assert that DAWN has gone over to the dark side is sensationalist.

    Its description of militancy I can see can be contested, but to assert that this editorial represents some form of support is ridiculous and symptomatic of the paranoid and conspiratorial nature of Pakistani politics.

    The fact is MK, the Pakistani state in terms of its civilian and political institutions are so under developed and so inept that whichever political party assumes office will fail to deliver basic welfare to the people. We need radical social reform, and a change in mindset from a contest of cults and personalities, to actual policy debate and coherent political debate.

  49. AA khalid

    The crux of the opposition to the Dawn Editorial I think is a sense of how ”Dare the editorial point out the failures of the State, and how dare they say that militant groups are filling the vacuum”.

    Furthermore, the passage about charity being a religious obligation, isn’t praise but a statement of fact. Its not some form of humanist praise, but a cold hard fact.

    The fact is that natural disasters have hit Pakistan in the past, and there was no real electoral resurgence for religious parties or groups. So how on earth can we assume on the basis of no available evidence that this will happen?

    The article is a good description of other sectors and sections of Pakistani media, its just that it lacks coherence when applied to the Dawn article.

  50. AA khalid

    The Dawn Editorial is a descriptive piece. If it has an opinion it is this:

    ”If anything, this is yet another reminder that the state needs to improve its response when dealing with disasters in particular and looking after the people’s welfare in general”

    And this cannot be disputed in any way. The weaknesses, contradictions, and absurdities of the polity of Pakistan, not only the State have been exposed by the floods. The woefully under developed nature of the Pakistani State has had its back broken.

    The lesson is that any society which is hierachrical, feudal in nature and operates on the basis of ethnic, provincial and class difference will not be able to meet the challenges of being a modern nation state. Forget the medieval mindset of cult and personality, and allow a critical and autonomous public reason to grow, so we can actually discuss ideas and policy.

  51. AA khalid

    Furthermore, DAWN does offer a platform to counter extremism:

    Read:

    ”Folds of radicalisation ”
    ”A soft corner for militancy ”
    ”Dangerous ideologues ”

    Just a couple. I think this tirade against DAWN is utterly misplaced, and a waste of analytical prowess which could be directed against other media outlets.

  52. K-

    I believe our media in general and GEO in particular is playing a very bad role during this flood relief efforts. One cannot deny the contributions of men in khakis, but praising them ONLY, in every news bulletin is enough to raise many eye brows.

    However, I do not think these religious outfits are getting any support from Army during flood relief activities. But yes, these Jihadis need to be checked and monitored vigilantly.

    As for DAWN’s editorial is concerned, at first there doesn’t seem to something seriously wrong but one cannot deny that the author seems to have a soft corner for these religious outfits and wants to somehow contribute into purpose-less media bashing of the government.

    PS.
    @NZA: Talat Hussain a two bit TV anchor ??? He is far better than the rest of the lot!!

  53. AA khalid

    Furthermore, this paranoid assertion by some that the Dawn Editorial is attacking the government is utter rubbish.

    Quiet clearly the Dawn Editorial is criticising the nature of the ”State”. By the State we mean the bureaucratic, civilian and adminstrative institutions and bodies which stay constant for whichever political party that happens to assume office.

    Its a judgement on the woefully under developed democratic and adminstrative institutions of the country which is very valid and quiet astute. Its not a criticism of any single political party.

  54. Sher Zaman

    Media must always stay neutral and should portray what the reality is. The terrorists are always finding new ways to disturb the peace of the country; it is our duty as responsible citizens to guide media in representing the true picture.

  55. Victor H.

    Give some motivated people their due, never mind temporarily that they are intolerant or sectarian (or worse). It is not their “ideology” that is motivating them.

    When an earthquake struck Gujarat in 2001, it was the RSS cadres that were at the forefront of digging out the dead and cremating them. So it is now with their (approximate) counterparts in Pakistan.

    The recipients of succor would be grateful for what little they got. The caregivers’ concern and efforts are worthy of being appreciated.

  56. Sol

    According to PTH members, Dawn is a very liberal newspaper, but still in this report an Ahmadi mosque is referred to as “place of worship”. I wanted to ask whether is it illegal to write “Ahmadi mosque” in media or not ? What are the legal consequences if a newspaper/ channel flouts this ?
    www. dawn. com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/03-two-injured-in-explosion-in-mardan-ss-08

    * remove spaces