A Nation Overloaded with Religion

Frequent assassinations of Pakistan People’s Party leaders have not only shaken the ideology of this country but left a clear cut message for Government to avoid any confrontation against strengthening religious lobby in Pakistan.

The Tehreek e Taliban and Al Qaeda backed groups in Pakistan especially in Punjab are after the ruling party and eradicating its moderate forces one by one.  As a result the PPP systematically takes back seat, and gets blackmailed by the religious forces.
Government’s evident policy shift from the party manifesto of ensuring religious harmony among all faiths in the wake of doctrine of necessity further pushes nation in the hands of extremists.

From the assassination of Benazir Bhutto to Shehbaz Bhatti, the message is clear. Let Taleban pursuit their agenda of violent Islam and whoever comes in between will become history.

In such horrific circumstances when even the ruling party leaders are not safe how unarmed liberal forces would dare voice their opinion seems to be a big ask.  As a result the clouds of insanity steadily prevailing  and a common man is reluctant to counter them not because of being blithe but for his own safety resulting mass surrender of journalists, civil society, liberal political forces and minority rights groups against religious forces.

A common Pakistani despite wanting to express deep displeasure is suppressed by the bearded gun totted black sheep who are gelled up in the society to take necessary ‘religious measures’ against those who prefer humanity over religion.

Salman Taseer’s assassination by his own security guard Mumtaz Qadri and the subsequent showering of rose petals by lawyers’ community is one of the shocking examples of deep rooted religious fanaticism within our society.  Be it media, armed forces, politics (not to mention the historical speech of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Shareef during which he proudly endorsed the agenda of Taleban), judiciary, education or even sports.

In my view the traces of religious terrorism can be found back during partition campaign when the voices of independent ‘Muslim Land’  were on rise.

At that time some of the Muslims might had opted the idea of migrating to separate land due to vested interests  but by and large it was the dominating  religious sentiment that caused  division with the objective of turning Pakistan into the “Fort of Islam” comprised by majority of Muslims.

Two- Nation Theory which clearly rejects any of idea co existence of Muslims with Hindus is a true depiction of Pakistan’s current situation where Muslims are unable to coexist with other sects let alone religions and ethnicities.

Today, I being a moderate Muslim who is deeply concerned about his country’s image foresee not only the bleak future of Pakistan but raises the doubts whether creation of Pakistan was really an apt approach.

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41 comments

    1. Contrary to this many Indians now believe that partition was a blessing in disguise for them 🙂

      Partition was good , partition was cool for both the communities- non-muslims and muslims, it was just not handled appropriately which led to lot blood shed. Right now you are facing taliban, if partition hadn’t happened both would be facing a bigger sudan.

      Regards

  1. umm rrrr u implying BB was killed by a bunch of turban wearing, niswar chewing, bare ankled morons alias talibans??? o.O u shock me by ur oooooover estimation…

      1. oh plllllease get real all these politicians proclaim jihad against only one faction ‘the common man along with the limited resources he has’ that is..

      1. yeah and why not.. these politicians never let the socio-economic and educational status of a person get evolved or changed for better.. why so that they wd keep electing these Bast—s.
        end of discussion.

  2. Tanzeel,
    How much you got paid by the RAW for writing this? If not, you risked too much for nothing. You are done for! Be careful buddy. I would advice Abida too, to buy a burqa for herself immediately : )
    Seriously, partition was, is and would remain a sensitive subject for long time to come. However, one thing is sure; there is no place for ifs and buts in the history. What has happened cannot be changed.
    I can understand your anger at the turn of events in Pakistan. Do you know what horrifies me most? The articles written by the Pakistani authors/experts in the English newspapers are indicative of the prevailing dangerous situation in Pakistan. Pakistani articles contain a very-very simple ground reality which in any other country would have been dubbed as boring, repetitive and without any new vistas for future. But, in Pakistan, even these simple facts written by the local writers, are not only questioned with vicious intent, but, the author’s personal credentials are also mocked and derided by the ordinary readers.
    I am not saying that Pakistani writers doesn’t possess the requisite intelligence or expertise to see the distant future and enlighten their readers about impending doom or awaiting optimistic future, but their entire energies are spent on just making their reader see the ground reality itself, not the analytical assessment. That is a frightening stage in any country’s life. This shows how that country’s social fabric has been distorted to a point of no return. The readers comment section is most important part of a newspaper because it is reflective of the society and Pak newspaper section is increasingly going insane.

  3. Neeraj,

    You are right in a sense that we have risked our lives too much, people in my country even candidly avoid discussing touchy subjects like blasphemy law or creation of Pakistan because of the possible backfire from our own mates. In such circumstances people like me who have no one to convey our point of view find such blogs and discussion forums ideal place to speak their mind. Series of dreadful events in this country has opened new avenues of thinking for the youth of Pakistan who have apparently no entertainment but to discuss political and religious issues. This is the reason why media is booming in this country and cricket stadiums and cinemas deserting due to the possible terrorism threats.

    1. Tell me honestly, what do you think would happen in near future in Pakistan. Is there any hope left? If yes, what makes you hopeful, if not, what makes yo so skeptical.

      1. No hopes left, this country would turn into Banana republic with massive brain drain and religious extremism. Only elites and lower middle class would stay in this Pakistan and that too due to their vested interests and no-options respectively. Imagine how a country without middle class would be. Everywhere we would see Anarchy, politicians and their generation would be busy in looting and plundering this nation. This country would only run due to private sector and international loans. On daily basis we would be witnessing suicide bombings and target killings.

        Our incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship after regular intervals. Our nation will keep hurting neighboring countries in the name of strategic depth.

        Internal unrest and regional conflicts will further grow. The dissatisfaction and alienation of the Pakistani youth from the true version of Islam will collapse the theory of Pakistan. The conspiracies of the international powers will control Pakistan.

        While typing all this my heart cries blood but we can’t change the reality. Only some Messiah can save this nation but I am sure the Jaahil Loyalists of this country would never let new faces come in the political arena of Pakistan.

  4. This is a terribly bitter reply. My question was perhaps hypothetical; I shouldn’t have asked it in the first place. I am sorry for it. But, one has to stand up to the reality.
    In my opinion Pakistan’s main and sole problem is Islam. (Please feel free to delete my post if you find it offensive to you or others, I won’t mind) When I say Islam, I mean today’s Islam. Almost all the religions of the world were propounded by great men and women to bring order to the society and promote peace, harmony, brotherhood, love amongst all the human beings.
    But, somehow or other all religions got corrupted eventually and deviated from their original goal of inception. However, with the advent of modern era reformers of the respective religions succeeded in eradicating the evils and malice that distorted the original face of the religions and the reformers were also successful in making the respective religions compatible to the modern age and its demands. Somehow, this did not take place in Islam and I think the problems and the evils that afflict today’s Pakistan or for that matter the entire Muslim world, are the result of this phenomenon.
    I like to know your opinion, only if you think my explanation reasonable and non-offensive.

    1. Somehow I also feel so but what I have realized is the problem lies in religion’s interpretation, can you believe that almost 98% of Pakistanis do not understand what they read in Quran or Namaz because of their unfamiliarity with Arabic language, we know how to read Arabic as Urdu and Arabic have same scripts but we don’t simply understand Arabic. Secondly those who have transliterated the Quran for us are from different school of thoughts and most of them have no worldly knowledge. So unfortunately whatever they have presented to us was accepted by society at large just like that without getting into the detail whether the translation or summary being provided to us is authentic.

      We have handed over our religion to Mullahs of different opinions and we blindly believe whatever tell us. As far as Quran is concern its kind of vague book, if it were not, we never had so many sects in Islam and different meanings and interpretations of the 1 verse that allows something to one school of thought and forbids for other sect. Unless we have centralized system in Islam like Pope in Christianity , we Muslims will remain scattered and at war with everyone.

  5. @ Neeraj there u go… i was waiting for u to have said that.. y dont u wage war on the bloody muslims hanh… islam seems to be the biggest problem to alllllllllllllll the world specially to the indians.. the self righteous, sanctimonious, prigish indians.

    1. //i was waiting for u to have said that.//
      What?

      //y dont u wage war on the bloody muslims hanh…//
      Should we? why?

      //islam seems to be the biggest problem to alllllllllllllll the world specially to the indians..//
      O really? Many think the opposite is true.

      //the self righteous, sanctimonious, prigish indians.//
      I can only help you here with spelling (it is priggish not prigish) and say nothing else because, I refuse to stoop to such a low level as you. I have many Pakistani and Muslim friends and your abuse is making them feel ashamed.

  6. i m not responsible or moved in the slightest degree whateva any one thinks. n remember i didnt hold ur religion responsible for anything in ur country so talk abt stooping. n when i dont feel ashamed of what others feel abt their religion or country why shd i feel ashamed of my own opinion.. simple 🙂 dont be so perturbed MR. we all are entitled to our opinions. to each his own.
    n well u may correct a lot of spellings in this one as well 😉

  7. and Neeraj since u know now, that i may stooooooop to any level, n u may never wana revisit my blog ever again, i wana let u know i aint at war with either u or any other.. [akhir peace process derail nahe hona chahye, a regular political statement].
    so peace out buddy 🙂

  8. I wonder what kind of a person you are. You call us Indians pigs and still have the gall to talk peace? How do you talk to your Indian readers with so much of venom for India and Indians? Do you know why I visited your blog? That is because of the two people, Tanzeel and Abida, the former I found to be a through gentleman and the latter a decent girl with a golden heart. In their respective blogs I met few wonderful people such as Kabir Das, Rick and some others, talking to them was a privilege. Since you happen to be the friend of the both, I extended my hand of friendship to you by writing to you, hoping you to be of the same stature. I had no idea that the very moment I was writing to you, you were heaping abuse on me and my fellow Indians on Tanzeel’s blog. I made a mistake by visiting your blog. I forgot a vital truth about Pakistan that, people like Tanzeel and Abida are exceptions in Pakistan rather than a rule.
    Even after reading your first post that was directed at me I tried to reason with you by asking you to point out, what really you found offensive in my reply to Tanzeel. By pointing out at the spelling I tried to tell you that you were calling all Indians pigs. But, you turned out to be worse than what I thought. Instead of expressing regrets you continued with your foolish babbling. Your following replies only confirmed your bigotry. Perhaps you were under the impression that you were talking to a helpless Pakistani Hindu or Christian who you can abuse to the hilt, by using blasphemy laws. But, lady, I am a true Indian who is more than capable of showing mirror to the bigots like you.
    In my post to Tanzeel, all I said was that, every other religion/culture in the world went through reforms or renaissance of some kind, except Islam and pointed out that the current unrest and failure of the Muslim world to assimilate with the modern times could be because of the lack of reforms. I may be right or I may be wrong, you have every right to disagree with me, I will, happily, argue with you or agree with you. But, jumping straight to abuse without any logic or explanation is unacceptable.
    Wash your hate filled brain before it is too late.

    1. //You call us Indians pigs // cd u tell me please where did i use this word or even one word of abuse.. if u know the meaning of abuse that is..
      //But, lady, I am a true Indian who is more than capable of showing mirror to the bigots like you.// so u can be a true indian and can tell whats wrong with our pakistani nation and our religion but i cant be either a true indian or a muslim right???
      n i dont have any problems with what u think abt me as i know u cd only make friends with ones who wd share ur point of view and i have a dissenting one which js like urself i m entitled to have.. so a correction i never used a single abusive word for one n as for what opinion u have of me what makes u think i wd even care.

      1. and yes i dont anyone in this whole wide world not even you neeraj even if u have called me a bigot and leave my indian readers to me as they visit my blog with an open heart without mentioning the problems with either pakistan, pakistanis, Muslims or Islam. they dont mind reading any of my stuff written on any thing n neither do i mind reading theirs. they are wonderful ppl who dont make mention of ‘u in pakistan” or we in India” they come as fellow human-beings and i respect them for that. neither do i ever comment on their posts which discuss their internal system of politics cz i dont derive pleasure out of knowing who is suffering from what in their own respective lands.

    2. Christ, dude, our previous interactions aside, I’m deeply sorry for the abuse you got, and considering you said the same thing that a lot of Muslims feel these days, I don’t see how you said anything wrong. Sorry for butting in, but I felt bad after seeing this interaction. I’m done now.

      Tanzeel, I liked this, a lot, but I can’t agree. I think the only think Partition got screwed over is because poor Jinnah didn’t last long enough to fix things to some extent. His death was the death of any hopes of liberalism or secularism in the country. Thus, our current situation. Who knows though, maybe there’s hope left. There has to be. 😦

      1. Ghausia but in my opinion a leader should be pro active enough to foresee other-side of the wall as well, why he couldn’t analyze the future threats this new born country could face or had he planned to live for more 10-15 years ?

  9. The Islamization trend in Pakistan is the result of something more sinister and basic. Our nation’s getting fed up of the incompetence of its government and the government is useless against the constant disasters, both deliberate and accidental, that the country keeps getting stuck with.

    In times of desperation, masses turn to the only being they trust: God. We’ve effectively run out of ideas, except for one: fall down on our knees, clasp our hands and pray that there’s a force out there that can make everything right. And for that purpose, we’re digging our nails into every draconian law which we believe can help us get closer to Him.

    And by doing so, we’ve buried our heads in the ground…refusing to deal with reality the way it needs to be dealt with.

  10. Many nations have undergone a period of religious extremism in their history. At first, the moderate and progressive voices will seem to be losing, soon these voices will look unrepresented at the national level. As long as the moderates keep igniting other minds with their ideas there is always hope. And hope is a wonderful thing, it can move mountains. Never lose hope, and keep up the effort of sharing your ideas. (I know it’s easy to preach, but that’s the best I can do)

  11. Mahlaqa,
    I don’t know what to make of you. On the one hand you are appreciative of my post at Abida’s place and at the same time raising objections to my post at Tanzeel’s place, which I consider a hundred times milder than the post at Abida’s. Yes, I heeded your advice and re-read my post at Tanzeel’s at least a dozen times and found nothing offensive about it. You just read Tanzeel’s reply, he more or less agreed with me with some additional thoughts. What do you think of Tanzeel? Is he not as much a Muslim as you? What stopped him to write back to me in the language you wrote? I mean nothing to him. I am merely a cyber name to him and nothing more.
    As for your repeated denials that, your post was not offensive and you did not use abusive words for us Indians, all that I can do is to reproduce your first post and my instant reply for you to see:-
    //@ Neeraj there u go… i was waiting for u to have said that.. y dont u wage war on the bloody muslims hanh… islam seems to be the biggest problem to alllllllllllllll the world specially to the indians.. the self righteous, sanctimonious, prigish indians.
    Reply ↓
    • Neeraj, India on March 6, 2011 at 7:01 am said:
    //i was waiting for u to have said that.//
    What?
    //y dont u wage war on the bloody muslims hanh…//
    Should we? why?
    //islam seems to be the biggest problem to alllllllllllllll the world specially to the indians..//
    O really? Many think the opposite is true.
    //the self righteous, sanctimonious, prigish indians.//
    I can only help you here with spelling (it is priggish not prigish) and say nothing else because, I refuse to stoop to such a low level as you. I have many Pakistani and Muslim friends and your abuse is making them feel ashamed.//

    Do you know what you did? You were waiting for me say something (?), as if you already know me as a narrow minded, muslim hating bigot. You brought war on Islam into this, as if all us Indians do exist to wage war against Islam. You called all Indians self righteous, sanctimonious and priggish by nature which in short means that all Indians are CPs (Chauvinistic Pig). In informal language a self righteous, racist, haughty and unreasonable person is simply called as a pig.
    Even after reading you blatantly hateful comment I tried to make you see the reason. Read my above reply again, I was asking you to be rational tried to instigate you write back with some logic. And I also tried to make you understand my displeasure at your language. I sincerely hoped that your next reply would consisting of decent arguments and you would express regret for offending me.
    Instead, what I got was your jeering replies, without an iota of regret or shame. That really inflamed me. No one gets away with calling me and my fellow Indians PCs. I suddenly remembered your posts which were indicating of your being a Sindhi, then I recalled the plight of Sindhi Hindus in your country who are being mercilessly exploited by Pak fundos. Your lack of any remorse at your words confirmed that you are not much of different person from those despicable Mullhas who go to the extend of abducting hindu girls and forcibly marry them to the Muslims. Perhaps, I thought, you got used to hindu bashing and that made you take my objection to your words for granted.
    That’s why I decided to teach you something good to remember. But, I did not call you a bigot deliberately, it was my genuine reaction. You are saying that I hate dissenting people. Just ask Abida, she never agreed on some issues and went as far as not to reply to me, but the moment she realized her mistake I instantly forgave and that too without asking her to change her views. Only cowards need constant reassuring and I am anything but a coward. Had you expressed any dissenting views on my writing I would have gracefully accepted your views and would have even apologized to you if you had expressed offense at my any word/s.
    Even now, I have neither the time or patience to hate you. As for your Indian friends, good luck to them, but, remember between their ‘wah, wahs, if they differ with you on any issue, just don’t jump to the war, Islam and start seeing every Indian as a pig.

  12. Tanzeel:
    Pakistan is not overloaded with Religion. To me it is no more an Islamic State. The thoughts expressed by hegemonial morons, Mullahs and Moulvies can be anything else, but not the beautiful religion which is known as Islam. All true religions world over teach us universal brotherhood, tolerance, have our own rapport with divinity and pray for peace in society. The Islam is not what is perceived by the present guiding forces in Pakistan. So, it may be anything but not Islam. I remember Allama who said “Majhab Nahin Sikhata Aapas Main Bair Rakhna”.
    Yes, in Islam tolerance does not go up to getting yourself ‘crucified’ or to preach “Agar Koi Aapke Aik Gaal Par Thappad Mare To Uske Saamne Doosra Gal Kar Do”. This may be because of the situation in Arab World when Islam was borne. Our shared culture of Islam is the Sufi chants emanating from Dargahs and melodious ‘Azan’ from ‘Mosques’. It is probably ‘Hunnish’ loot which is presently taking place in Pakistan. Teachings of Prophet Mohammad now a day are subservient to the preaching of Mullahs and Imams.
    The God has given us a beautiful brain, not to have depressive thoughts, but to have hope, love and caring for humanity and respect of others feelings. I am using Islam because all our problems started when this pious religion in dragged in by few vested interests in furtherance of their own political gain, forgetting its beautiful teachings of love and peaceful co-existence. Probably, this is also the cause of our partition 63 years back.
    In democracy (which is yet to mature in Pakistan), the momentum to sane voice automatically comes when masses listen or read. Diversified views are part of democracy. What you say or I say is not correct, it is the collective wisdom of all speaks which makes you realize what is correct. Our writings should appreciate divergent viewpoint and take them together for moving in right direction. You will succeed one day. God bless you.

  13. Maybe he didn’t realize his end was so near? Maybe he thought he could do enough in the little time he had left, but couldn’t because of his failing health. Or perhaps he thought the people he was leaving behind could manage things for him? Or there’s the obvious, he was dumb enough to think that the masses would go down the right path. Either way, in undivided India, there would be more ethnic strifes than there are now, plus the number of Muslims, while less than Hindus, was far too large, they’d have never agreed to be a minority. You know I was at Mohatta Palace today and there was a book there about Jinnah, and about how he wanted an undivided India with freedom for all. Who knows what was going on back then, history is so massively distorted.

    @TONMH lol dude are you drunk or high or both?

    1. Agreed, everybody has his own version of history but I analyze situation by witnessing whats happening around and how Pakistani Muslims behave in general.

      1. Things have gotten quite extreme, yes. But I don’t think it was always so. I was actually at Frere Hall yesterday, and there was a poster there describing the Pakistan of the 50s, this crazy, hip, partying nation, hell, the Beatles even came to Karachi, can you imagine any band coming here at all? I think it wasn’t till Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization bs that things took a turn for the worse. I mean I just know Pakistani history, not a study of Pakistani society through the ages, but the few old people I’ve prodded for details, they always describe a less mullah-esque environment. Maybe if he’d never assumed power, we wouldn’t be wondering if we were better off undivided.

    2. I agree with you Ghausia, even in Musharraf regime things were getting fine at least in Karachi, I still remember the enchanting crowd when I visited Bryan Adams concert held here with load of participation of Karachites with full swing but alas extremism prevailed and Musharraf was called Qadiani, drunkard and what not. Now we have people’s party’s so called moderate govt who can’t even voice its opinion on Taseer’s murder and has given Sherry Rehman a shut up call, in such circumstances we can’t expect a “normal” Pakistan let alone liberal when we had casino in hotel metropole, Beatles coming to Karachi, cinemas filled with audience etc…You lately visited the awesome place — frere hall, the same hall which was closed due to US consulate’s security. How could a government who is so much engaged in protecting diplomats and high profile leaders could let its citizen’s spend their lives the way they want. We are being blackmailed by the hijackers for whom this country was actually made, jageerdars, the taleban and waderas and mullahs.

      This is not a country for educated middle class who wants to study, work, earn decently and demand a little entertainment in the end.

      1. Agreed with everything you said, BUT the probem I have with Musharraf, other than the dictatorship factor, is that there were too many lies spun then. The growth in GDP that he lied about for example, then there’s the fact that he involved us into a war that was never our own to begin with. But yes, generally, society, people, were much better off then. We did not live in constant fear back then at least. Someone from ANP got shot outside my friend’s uni a few days back, this is the country we’re left with now. Poor Jinnah had no idea, did he?

      2. I don’t think he ever lied upon GDP, we all know how well Pakistan’s economy was doing and how we got rid of IMF or shall I present here references from international websites ? You have concerns on Musharrafs alliance with the USA on War against Terrorism but do you have any alternate plan to cope with America’s wrath if in case we withdraw our participation from WaT ?

        Musharraf’s only blunder was to topple down judiciary, he mishandled the issue and ended up on being absconder but still I believe he was the best thing happened to Pakistan. The country has witnessed peace prosperity and economic boom in his regime. You can do a quick comparison of Karachi under his rule of law and current regime.

        Infact I wish he comes back and lead the country again, at least he wasnt corrupt like the current “democratic regime” who is screwin up the country in the name of democracy and reconciliation,.

  14. Realizing a wrong done in the past is a good sign. And you are not alone.

    Does that give you hope?

    Jinnah lovers need to realize that the ideology of partition was itself about the fear of working in a democracy. How can the new country’s system be democratic, when the primary creators of the country feared living in a larger democracy?

    1. couldn’t agree with you more…dictators have an excuse to take over Pakistan from the very history of this country they ask why jinnah dissolved the democratically elected government of NWFP and paved way for undemocratic traditions in pakistan?

      Why jinnah wanted to over impose urdu language on bengalis that further torn pakistan asunder…

  15. The fact is that Salman Taseer died. The fact is that he was unable to protect itself. The fact is that nature, through one of its very creation aka Mumtaz Qadri, annihilated Salman Taseer. What is so wrong with that?

    I dont associate emotions to facts. Fact is that nature made us, and will kill us, one way or another. So do not waste energy in lamenting the death/murder.

    I am pretty glad there is one less human in the world, but meh, Pakistanis keep on reproducing like rabbits, destroying Earth’s resources etc.

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