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Saving Pakistan From Secularism

Posted by yourpakistan on March 15, 2012

PKKH Exclusive | Kulsoom Khan

 There is a relatively new force that’s gaining quite a momentum recently, the force, however, is every bit as intolerant and extreme as the very ‘bogeyman’ it hopes to defeat and replace. The rise of secularism and it’s shameless promotion by the Pakistani media has not gone unnoticed in a society where religious sentiments run deep. In a country where the majority makes up 97% of the Muslim population, implementation of a secularist ideology does not sit well, not only does it contradict the basic tenets of the Islamic faith and tawheed, where the only recognized source of law and governence is Allah, but it also goes against the ideology that laid the groundwork for an Islamic state. Although Pakistan does not qualify as a Shariah-abiding state, it’s constitution does partially stem from Islamic laws. Which ironically also allows the freedom of religion, surprised? A hot topic among liberals and moderates. Arguably, since both ideologies allow the freedom of religion, this in itself should defeat the secular propaganda being meted out these days, however the rise of Islamic thought in the last decade has given a new spark to the age old ’secularism verses religion’ controversy. Today liberals are openly advocating a nationalist and secular disposition towards Pakistan on the media forefront, simultaneously giving a false illusion of what the religious sector wants, thus once again bringing the ‘mullah’s and the likes’ under the ugly lime light of intolerance and backwardness. The liberals argue, Pakistan should be at the top of our priorities, the Muslims however, have reserved that spot for something they argue is synonymous with Pakistan, the religion of Islam. It’s no secret our forefathers entered this land chanting the ever beloved slogan of, “Pakistan ka matlab, laa illaah illallaah”.

What is it that these secularists desire? Whose agenda does the media promote? Today, the country stands divided in two camps. The liberals, the politicians, the materialists, those who are still in awe of their western counterparts, and wish to entertain every demand of the Western leaders, from expanding drone coverage all over Pakistan, legalizing unrestricted debauchery in the name of freedom, granting full fledged freedom to our ‘allies’ to freely roam Pakistan, more freedom to infest the land with even more CIA spies, and even more freedom to root out ‘Islamists’ like Aafia Siddiqui (and in due time, Muslims deemed ‘too Muslim-ish’), ban madrassahs, religious parties and organizations, restrict Islamic school of thought, implement an American defined concept of democracy, where all rules and laws are regulated by the more progressive and enlightened West. Basically building a society where Islam is practised as an altered and watered down version, a part of life, but not life itself.

And then we have the religious right wingers, people who reject any and all interference by the American government and its allies, want a conservative society free from the ills affecting the decaying societies of the west, and want to form alliances based on Islamic brotherhood. These people come from all walks of life, different ethnicities, languages, rich and poor, domestic house workers, business men, teachers, sales men, doctors, writers, engineers etc. Yet the stubborness of the media personnel is astounding, the repetitive rhetoric of ‘jaahil mullahs’ has unfortunately crept into the public domain, where stones are cast and questions never asked. It’s a sorry state of affairs when people blindly start believing what the unfaithful media spews forth, in Pakistan’s case, the case of blaming all ills and violence on the mullahs, and more recently, blaming the religion of Islam, outright. The last time the media under the directive of Adolf Hitler pinned a country’s problem on an undeserving group of people, the world witnessed the genocide of hundreds of thousands of innocents.

Looking at the past few years, most of the people dead, in the city of Karachi alone were victims of self-serving political parties. In July of last year, over a hundred people were killed, scores injured, under four days, solely for speaking a different language, for belonging to a different ethnicity, not religion. In the three month period, following March, 216 cases of politicial violence were recorded, with 600 dead and 1090 injured, within three months! Not to mention the growing violence inside universities. Isn’t it high time politicians and the media highlight the true terrorism plaguing Pakistan instead of repeating diatribes against the religious leaders and groups? Are these statistics normal for any state? Does it not qualify as terrorism? Would secularism eradicate this menace? How will secularism enable the Pakistanis to co-exist peacefully? Pakistan, a hotbed of multiple ethnicities, languages, cultures etc.?

A crucial fact secularists and liberals of the Pakistani society and media conveniently forget to address; In the 64 years since independence, how many “Islamist” governments have ruled Pakistan? Has an Islamic party ever ruled the Islamic Republic of Pakistan? We’ve had military rule, dictatorships, PPP-rule, PML(N)-rule etc., but exactly how many of these forces had an Islamic agenda? These parties and regimes were undoubtedly closer to a secular agenda than they were towards Islam. Religion has always been used as an accessory to appease the crowds and gather votes. This in itself should speak volumes, the people, the ordinary citizens, the tax-payers, the majority idolize Islam as the solution, and as the state religion, just like their predecessors, who chose to leave secular India for an Islamic Pakistan. If Pakistan was created on a secular basis, there is no reason why 7,226,000 Muslims would make hijrah to another secular land. Yet we still have controversies surrounding Pakistan’s creation.

“I advise you to guard against atheism and materialism. The biggest blunder made by Europe was the separation of Church and State. This deprived their culture of moral soul and diverted it to the atheistic materialism.” -Sir Allama Iqbal, a very beloved personality to Pakistanis, an intellectual who participated in the creation of an Islamic state for the Indian Muslims. The fact that he too, vouched for an Islamic state should solidify the reason for the country’s existence as an Islamic state. Pakistan’s founding father Mohammad Ali Jinnah, called Pakistan, a state for all people to freely practise their religion, does not discredit or undermine the Islamic priniciples, and definitely does not call for a ’secular’ state. A favorite statement liberals love to quote is from Jinnah’s address at the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in 1947; “You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan.” But since when has Islam denied that right? It hasn’t. Nor has this right ever been violated by any Islamic organization. In any progressive, modern society, when a law is abused, you punish the aggressor, not the religion he belongs to. Today, India is the biggest democracy, and a favorite example quickly cited by the modernists, but how many of these people actually keep up with their neighbour’s flagrant abuse of human rights? The Christian burnings? Babri Masjid? A Hindu mob setting fire to Muslims? Hardcore Hindus skinning the ‘untouchables’ of their societies? Hindu fundamentalists roasting dozens of Muslim babies? Burning 5000 sikhs? Hindu terrorism can not be denied, and is as obvious as daylight. India is and has been witness to thousands of such incidents pre and post-partition. However, a thought to mull over for the secularists and the media personnel; When was the last time the ‘jaahil mullahs’ ever burned a minority alive? or set their churches on fire? or burned their babies? or skinned anyone alive?

Fact is, Pakistan has more violence stemming from political dissension and intolerance than they have from maulvis and the likes. Intolerance does not readily spell ‘religion’ as the media has made people subliminally believe, but today, the biggest sponsors of intolerance and bigotry are the liberal extremists themselves, who freely attack issues and personalities that Muslims hold dear, under the farce of democracy and freedom of speech. In a country of nearly 160 million Muslims, it is unfeasible, not to mention impractical, to promote a secular society. Such actions can only result in further polarizing the Pakistanis and give rise to further cause of dissension. The wisest course of action naturally dictates that politicians, NGOs, HRW groups, liberals, journalists instead focus their intellect and energies into making a stronger and more adhesive state. Instead of inciting hatred and intolerance towards the religious sector, these factions should work on building bridges, and solving the racial and political issues stigmatizing Pakistan as a violence-infested state. Pakistan is more threatened by ethnic violence, nationalists, politicians, greed, corruption, fedualism, tribalism etc. than it is by any other issue.


One Response to “Saving Pakistan From Secularism”

  1. secular paindu said

    you are brainwashed and inculcated and you are doing the same i-e brainwashing masses. secularism is only solution.. Otherwise pakistan will always be a shia-sunni, muslim christian tussling country. . Think with open mind!

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