By Adnan Syed
This series revisits one of the pivotal events of the early Pakistani history; the riots by the religious right wing parties to get Ahmadis declared as non-Muslims, and the subsequent Munir-Kiyani inquiry commission report into the causes behind the riots. The report went on to interview the religious leaders of the newly formed state of Pakistan regarding their motives and their ideas of Pakistan as a pure Islamic state. As the interviews revealed the incongruous replies of various leaders, they also showed vague but chilling ideas that the right wing parties harboured to turn the newly formed Muslim nation into a politically Islam dominated theocratic nation. The interviews reveal the role of democracy, non Muslims, Jihad and punishments like apostasy that would be practiced in an ideal Islamic state.
Originally planned as a two part series, I decided to split it to three parts due to the sheer volume of information in interviews in the Munir-Kiyani Report.
SOVEREIGNTY AND DEMOCRACY IN ISLAMIC STATE
Munir-Kiyani report was one of the first studies into the contradictory stance taken by framers of the Objectives Resolution. The report pointed out that the Resolution misused the words “sovereign” and “democracy” when the Resolution stated that the constitution to be framed was “for a sovereign state in which principles of democracy as enunciated by Islam would be fully observed”.
By Adnan Syed
This two part series revisits one of the pivotal events of the early Pakistani history; the riots by the religious right wing parties to get Ahmadis declared as non-Muslims, and the subsequent Munir-Kiyani inquiry commission report into the causes behind the riots. The report went on to interview the religious leaders of the newly formed state of Pakistan regarding their motives and their ideas of Pakistan as a pure Islamic state. As the interviews revealed the incongruous replies of various leaders, they also showed vague but chilling ideas that the right wing parties harboured to turn the newly formed Muslim nation into a political- Islam-dominated theocratic nation. The interviews reveal the role of democracy, non Muslims, Jihad and punishments like apostasy that would be practiced in an ideal Islamic state.
The interviews are as relevant today as they were 56 years ago. If anything, they foreshadowed the violence that would engulf Pakistan as the state gradually ceded to the demands of the Islamic right wing parties. Religious parties kept incessant pressure on the newly formed state to take a turn towards Islamism. At the same time the pressure was on to the governments to kick the Ahmadis out of the fold of Islam by a state decree. It was not until 1974, that another bout of religious agitation got Prime Minister Bhutto to accede to their demands and get Ahmadis declared non-Muslims. If anything, Pakistan has paid dearly for ignoring its founding father who spoke unequivocally that the newly formed state would not be theocratic, and that everyone is free to practice their religion as an equal Pakistani first and foremost.
By Basim Usmani
Cross Post from The Guardian
The violence seen in Lahore last week was aided by a bigoted constitution. How has stock in our nationhood plummeted so?
The recent attacks on a prominent shrine in Lahore demonstrate how the unrest in Pakistan is caused by a minority of few who cannot tolerate the plurality of beliefs in Pakistan. The Tehrik-e-Taliban are lying through their teeth when they claim that they do not attack public places. It’s becoming more and more apparent that these militants aren’t resisting American hegemony; this a war to determine Pakistan’s future and, by proxy, the future of Islam.
Whether the Tehrik-e-Taliban actually arranged the bombers’ suicide belts is irrelevant; they have created a domino effect that’s likely to spread from commercial capitals such as Lahore to cities with historic shrines and Pakistani historical sites, such as Multan, or Taxila.
Unlike Baghdad, where violence between Islamic sects is a product of the war America is waging, the onus of last Thursday’s blasts falls squarely on us, the citizens of Pakistan. We have been complacent about sectarianism for too long.
A good friend who works for a transportation company told me in 2007 that in villages along the highways to Waziristan where the Taliban had seized control were the bodies of butchered Shia Muslims. That year, Lahore’s public was too busy mobilising about the judiciary and President Musharraf to pay the violence any mind.
By Mohsin Hamid Dawn, 27 Jun, 2010
Why are Ahmadis persecuted so ferociously in Pakistan?
A victim of attack on Jinnah Hospital, Lahore
The reason can’t be that their large numbers pose some sort of ‘threat from within’. After all, Ahmadis are a relatively small minority in Pakistan. They make up somewhere between 0.25 per cent (according to the last census) and 2.5 per cent (according to the Economist) of our population.
Nor can the reason be that Ahmadis are non-Muslims. Pakistani Christians and Pakistani Hindus are non-Muslims, and similar in numbers to Pakistani Ahmadis. Yet Christians and Hindus, while undeniably discriminated against, face nothing like the vitriol directed towards Ahmadis in our country.
To understand what the persecution of Ahmadis achieves, we have to see how it works. Its first step is to say that Ahmadis are non-Muslims. And its second is to say that Ahmadis are not just non-Muslims, but apostates: non-Muslims who claim to be Muslims. These two steps are easy to take: any individual Pakistani citizen has the right to believe whatever they want about Ahmadis and their faith. Continue reading
Filed under Citizens, Constitution, human rights, Islamism, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Rights, secularism, state, Terrorism, violence
Cross Post from The New York Times
By ALI SETHI
Published: June 11, 2010
FOR many Pakistanis, the deaths of more than 80 members of the Ahmadi religious sect in mosque attacks two weeks ago raised questions of the nation’s future. For me, it recalled a command from my schoolboy past: “Write a Note on the Two-Nation Theory.”
It was a way of scoring easy points on the history exam, and of using new emotions and impressive-sounding words. I began my answer like this:
The Two-Nation Theory is the Theory that holds that the Hindus and Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent are Two Distinct and Separate Nations. It is a Theory that is supported by Numerous Facts and Figures. During the War of Independence of 1857 the Muslim rulers of India were defeated by the British. Suddenly the Hindus, who had always held a grudge against the Muslims for conquering them, began to collaborate with the new British rulers. They joined British schools, worked in British offices and began to make large amounts of money, while the Muslims, who were Discriminated Against, became poorer and poorer. It was now Undisputable that the Hindus and the Muslims were Two Distinct and Separate Nations, and it was becoming necessary for the Muslims to demand a Distinct and Separate Homeland for themselves in the Indian Subcontinent.
To that point, my “note” had only built up the atmosphere of mistrust and hostility between Hindus and Muslims. It had yet to give examples of the Distinctness and Separateness of the two communities (such as that Hindus worshipped the cow but Muslims ate it), of Hindu betrayals and conspiracies (they wanted Hindi, not Urdu, to be the national language). And it had still to name and praise the saddened Muslim clerics, reformers and poets who had first noted these “undisputable” differences.
I got points for every mini-note that I stretched into a full page, which was valid if it gave one important date and one important name, each highlighted for the benefit of the teacher. This was because the teacher couldn’t really read English, and could award points only to answers that carefully showcased their Facts and Figures.
After the exam I would go home. Here the Two-Nation Theory fell apart. I was part-Shiite (my mother’s family), part-Sunni (my father’s family) and part-nothing (neither of my parents was sectarian). There were other things: the dark-skinned man who swabbed the floors of the house was a Christian; the jovial, foul-mouthed, red-haired old woman who visited my grandmother every few months was rumored to be an Ahmadi. (It was a small group, I had been told, that considered itself Muslim but had been outlawed by the government.)
Filed under Army, Democracy, FATA, Identity, India, Islam, Islamabad, Jinnah, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, The New York Times, Writers
by Amaar Ahmad
In the aftermath of the carnage in Lahore against Ahmadis, life returned to normal. Our prime minister gazed at the wonders on display at another art gallery, our law minister spoke to TV channels highlighting the great efforts of Punjab police in striking down the terror cells, our mullahs ranted fatwas against infidels and the hosts of our television shows switched to their favorite topic of the failings of the PPP government.
The scale of the tragedy in Lahore on May 28 must have been enormous. After all, how can you explain why our television anchors felt obliged to parade Allama after Allama for delivering words of condemnation that night. No sooner did the Ulema utter words of commiseration than sermons on the context and pretext of why and how a terrorist does what he does were offered. Never mind that some of the erudite scholars also consider the Ahmadis (Qadiyanis) to be ‘wajib-ul-qatal’ who deserve to be either put down or put out. The soothing words of our Ulema are indeed a nice combination of what should really be done to these infidels as well as a condolence for the infidels when it is actually done.
The TV hosts also wanted to quickly move on to discussing the hopeless inefficiency of the Punjab police in protecting the life of citizens. The anchors decided to analyze this issue ad nauseam – a valuable use of public airtime. The citizens need to be constantly reminded of the fact that they should not be expecting any protection and ought to make alternative arrangements.
Our anchors also bring people on their shows who analyze social evils through slogans. One such slogan is ‘terrorists have no religion’. That members of religious groups are committing these acts of violence should not be a concern. That with indoctrination so many of our madressas are mass producing murderers is not worrisome. That pamphlets are being distributed which declare open season on the life and property of Kafirs (read Ahmadis, Shias and Christians) should not disturb our sleep. That banners are openly displayed even now advertising the famous convert-or-be-killed option for Ahmadis should not make us anxious either. After all, terrorists have no religion.//
Our anchors love humanity. Oppression of fellow Muslims disturbs them even if the event happens on Pluto. When Israelis hunt down humanitarian workers on the flotilla, our hosts lose their peace of mind and grant their entire airtime to the atrocity. These troubling events also agitate our religious parties so much that they start running amok on the streets and screaming cries of anguish. Surely, our national generosity demands that Pakistan’s problems should wait.
This brings us back to the carnage in Lahore. When our TV hosts devote their valuable time to discuss the troubles of our country, they must never commit one folly. They must never allow the Ahmadis on their show. Otherwise the world would know a dirty little secret kept hidden from public since 1974. Pakistani public must never discover about the deliberate police inaction at the killings of Ahmadis in broad daylight, the government prohibition on their public gatherings, the regular imprisonment for their crimes such as declaring the Muslim Kalima, for saying the Azaan and for the cardinal sin of considering themselves Muslims.
Anchors of Pakistan! You must never let the Ahmadi explain his position on your show even if a hundred members of his community are murdered during the act of worship before Allah. Put Ulema of all breeds on your shows instead.
By Declan Walsh
Reproduced from www.guardian.co.uk
I often find myself defending Pakistan against the unbidden prejudices of the outside world. No, Islam is not the cause of terrorism. Yes, the Taliban is a complex phenomenon. No, Imran Khan is not a major political figure.
This past week, though, I am silent. The massacre of 94 members of the minority Ahmadi community on May 28 has exposed something ugly at the heart of Pakistan – its laws, its rulers, its society.
It’s not the violence that disturbs most, gut-churning as it was. During Friday prayers two teams of attackers stormed Ahmadi mosques in the eastern city of Lahore. They fired Kalashnikovs from minarets, chucked grenades into the crowds, exploded their suicide vests.
As the massacre unfolded, a friend called – his father-in-law, a devout Ahmadi, was inside one of the besieged mosques. The family, glued to live television coverage, were sick with worry.
Two hours later, my friend’s relative emerged alive. But many of his friends – old men, including a retired general and former judge – were dead.
Filed under Citizens, human rights, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, Jinnah's Pakistan, minorities, Punjab, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism, violence