Monday, September 15, 2008

Aamir Liaquat: An Offence to Reason

Is there any scandal in Pakistan greater than the existence of televangelist Aamir Liaquat Khan? Somehow, he manages to up the ante on outrageousness with each passing year.

First, we found out that he had lied about his bachelor of arts and doctorate, both of which were obtained from the non-existent Delaware-based Trinity College and University Spain, within a span of less than a week (Ahsan, why is Chicago dragging its ass; you should be a tenured professor by now).

Then he decided he was above the law and damn any policeman who thought otherwise.

The drive against tinted glasses was abandoned late Wednesday night after four days during which 207 cases were registered and 228 people arrested. Sources in the police department said that a wireless message was aired from the city police chief Niaz Ahmed Siddiki that the campaign be stopped forthwith. The decision came after the State Minister for Religious Affairs Dr Amir Liaquat’s car was intercepted by Clifton police late Tuesday night. The car had tinted glasses and a fancy number plate. The minister was let off following intervention by the Sindh Home Minister Rauf Siddiqui...The police officials were admonished for intercepting the state minister’s car. After the home minister’s intervention, Dr Liaquat was let off. The police did not register any case against him.

And just to whet your appetite for his latest outrage, Liaquat used the occasion of Salman Rushdie's knighthood to call for his murder.

But his latest stunt may just be his worst yet and in a perfect world would land his ass in jail. The Daily Times, without mentioning his name (Aamir Liaquat), his television programme (Aalim Online) or his political affiliation (MQM, before they thankfully kicked him out for this offence), reports:

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is “horrified” to learn that two Ahamadis were murdered shortly after a broadcaster on one of Pakistan’s main television channels urged viewers to kill “blasphemers” and “apostates” as a religious duty, the IFJ said in a statement on Friday.

According to available information, the anchor, in his widely viewed programme on September 7, declared that the murder of members of the Ahmadi sect was the righteous duty of people of the Islamic faith.

He followed this by urging two other participants on his programme, from different denominations of Islam, to endorse his viewpoint. The anchor, who is a former minister for religious affairs, reportedly obtained the endorsement he sought, the IFJ statement said.

On September 9, the anchor answered a query on a phone-in programme with the comment that those guilty of the alleged sin of blasphemy should be put to death, the statement said.

Within 18 hours of the first broadcast, Abdul Manan Siddiqui, a physician in Mirpurkhas, was murdered. He was the head of the Ahmadi community in Mirpurkhas, the IFJ quoted news reports...

The following day, Sheikh Muhammad Yousaf, a 75-year-old rice trader and district chief of the Ahmadi sect, was killed in the city of Nawab Shah, the IFJ said. He was reportedly shot at by motorcycle borne assailants.

32 comments:

NB said...

That post is a pretty heavy indictment, and rightly so. I had no idea he had been expelled from the party, I thought he had simply resigned from his ministerial posts.

Majaz said...

I hate him. He's like a terribly Islamic version of Dr. Phil only very very Jaa-hil (yes, I wanted the pun to be there). I can't stand his swinging from one shoulder to another naats and his noha-like sermons.

And if by following his urges on television we have once again proven that we are a nation of dodos, who else can we blame but ourselves?

Anonymous said...

Aamir Liaquat claims to be all religious on television and pretends to be one of the "enlightened", and yet on the other hand, this man is evidently off his rocker. I can't imagine a more horrible thing to do than to publicly declare Ahmadis, or any other sect for that matter, as "worth being murdered". I don't care whether anyone considers Ahmadis as Muslims or not, no one, I repeat, no one has the right to tell people to murder them, especially not some guy who is pretending to be the Islamic Caliph or something. It's Ramadan anyway, shouldn't we be talking about universal brotherhood and love and tolerance, etc?
I hope this pseudo-doctor gets the punishment he deserves for brain-washing people across the country with his own version of Islam. So much for being a "good Muslim", he can't even tell the truth about his academic qualifications.

Anonymous said...

vaisay. from an islamic point of view (which his show is based on - i think??) the opinion he expressed is not wrong. he should have included a caveat that its not the publics job to enforce the opinion or act on it. :-)

Anonymous said...

If I remember right the Sindh police stopped the arrests of people driving in tinted window cars in protest of Jaahil Online being let off. They were mega peeved that they were told off for apprehending him and if memory serves me correct (I'm old, hence hazy on details) Jaahil Online had a lady friend in the car...

If it's so easy to declare fatwas, I'd like to issue one in which he is lynched, preferably on screen.

Laila said...

@anon 1132
An opinion that encourages the murder of an entire sect is "not wrong"! and then to say that this opinion is "from an islamic point of view!" Clearly I was under the wrong impression that Islam was about peace and love, and not murder and hatred. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
This man is on national TV airing his ridiculous views, he should be aware of how easily manipulated the pakistani masses are. So there is no way in hell that such a statement should ever be made on T.V even with clarifications and extenuating circumstances. Making excuses for his behavior is like saying that Hitler was a tad bit aggressive. And then people wonder why muslims have such a bad image abroad.

Anonymous said...

Laila:

Islam is about peace and love but its also about principles, sacrifice (usually of others - joke) and self-preservation amongst other things.

At its core, what the looney doc saab said is correct: (im no alim, but...) blasphemy involving impersonating a muslim or distorting the beliefs of a muslim IS punishable by death in Islam but is dealt with on a case by case basis.

Doc saabs extrapolation and applying it to all Ahmadis and justifying hit and runs on individuals and what not, is wholely un-Islamic.

And muslims have a bad image abroad for a million other reasons, cant even start to list them here. (ps - militarily i dont think hitler was that aggressive, he was just crazy).

anonymous3 said...

laila, well I don't think anonymous's point was to condone this call for murder (at least I hope not), but he was referring to the traditional islamic view on apostasy. Although thankfully the Quran does not specifically call for the death penalty for apostasy (unlike the old testament which actually does!) traditionally, Islamic law has considered apostasy punishable by death. This is just a fact in our collective history that we need to be aware of in order to understand where people like Aamir Liaquat are coming from and in order to reform Islam.

AKS said...

@ Majaz

Completely agree with you there. I was at a music shop (Laraib) yesterday and this old lady bought a few CDs of Aamir Liaquat's naat and dars and god knows what else. And I don't think he's an idiot because unlike the JI he's figured out how to make millions out of talking crap.

@ Laila

Islam may be about peace and love but it is also about murder and hatred. I guess it's what you make of it, which is why political and legal Islam (Shariah) scares the fuck out of me.

@ anonymous3

I was under the impression that the Quran lays down the punishment for apostacy as being death; didn't know it was a tradition.

@ all anonymous

I understand you guys want to maintain your privacy but when you comment as anonymous it really is hard to follow who's who. It'd be great if you guys used a pseudonym. And if you don't, we might have to send Dr. Love Amir Liaquat over to your place.

By the way, I heard that Dr. Jackass had not one but two women in the back seat with him, while someone else was driving; and it was a policeman who told me this.

Ahsan said...

AKS:

Yes, I second the plea for non-anonymous comments.

Anon244:

One of these days we must have a discussion about your "Hitler wasn't militarily aggressive" claim. I've heard and read a lot of descriptions of Hitler. "Not militarily aggressive" is a new one, I have to say.

Laila:

Did you end up getting the Gamm book?

PostMan said...

killing people who do not believe in the finality of prophethood is man-made. Quran does not contain death penalty for apostasy - in fact says..

2:256 - Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: ...

39:41 - Surely We have revealed to you the Book with the truth for the sake of men; so whoever follows the right way, it is for his own soul and whoever errs, he errs only to its detriment; and you are not a custodian over them.

Defence Wala said...

AKS:

Islam "is also about murder and hatred"?

How so?

Citations beyond the bitter experience from the hafiz sahib who molested you would be helpful.

Anonymous said...

this is anon1132 and 0244. i'll call myself jack.

@AKS
agree with comment on islam is what you make of it. to most westerners and upper-class muslims educated in the west it is, like you say, more about murder and hatred. not exactly an unexpected opinion on this kind of blog.

@Laila
despite the above. islam is about peace and love - almost an achievement of peace through love of god and his message. but like anything you really love (generecially speaking: your mother), you are expected to kill or die for it if the circumstances dictate it.

our jaahil people have either a)twisted this into random killing which suits their circumstances (civilians left, right and centre - in pak currently) or b)pandered to western thought process so much that islam has no place left in their hearts.

@Majaz
agree with nation of dodos comment

@Postman
one-off quotes from the quran are entirely useless in this (or any) kind of debate.

any single quote can support any argument anyone makes in islam - you need a holistic approach entailing the quran, the sunnah and spirit of the shariah (rather than the letter) to actually arrive at 'what islam says' about a certain subject - and even then there can be debate over its application.

@Ahsan
not militarily aggressive is just my opinion based on my limited readings. generally speaking, i feel he took very calculated military risks when he felt there were overwhelming odds in favour and was not as militarily aggressive as true expansionist conquerors of the past (genghis, alexander, cyrus, etc...) (- some of his generals were though.)

jack

AKS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AKS said...

@ Jack

I never said that the Quran was 'more' about murder and hatred but that it is possible to interpret the text as being as supportive of hatred and murder as it is of peace and love.

Moreover, I don't think that it's only 'westerners' and 'upper-class Muslims educated in the West' who believe that the central tenets of Islam can be interpreted to be misogynist, racist and bigoted. There are plenty of western educated upper class Muslims who hold exactly the opposite view.

Also, I wouldn't call Hitler 'militarily non-aggressive'; I mean, the guy tried to invade Russia in DECEMBER! (I think the invasion plan was called Operation Barbarosa?)

@ defence wala

You're a jackass who certainly deserves to be in the back seat with Dr. Amir Liaquat.

It appears that you've completely missed my point, i.e. the Quran could be interpreted as a text that supports murder and hatred; and it doesn't take a genius to think that when you read the following quotes from the Quran:


2:191, And slay them wherever ye catch them.

8:12, I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.

9:5, But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem.


69:30-37, (The stern command will say): "Seize ye him, and bind ye him, And burn ye him in the Blazing Fire. Further, make him march in a chain, whereof the length is seventy cubits! This was he that would not believe in Allah Most High. And would not encourage the feeding of the indigent! So no friend hath he here this Day. Nor hath he any food except the corruption from the washing of wounds, Which none do eat but those in sin."

9:23, O ye who believe! take not for protectors your fathers and your brothers if they love infidelity above Faith: if any of you do so, they do wrong.

9:28, O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque.

9:39, Unless ye go forth, (for Jihad) He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least.

9:73, O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell - an evil refuge indeed.

22:19-22, These two antagonists dispute with each other about their Lord: But those who deny (their Lord),- for them will be cut out a garment of Fire: over their heads will be poured out boiling water. With it will be scalded what is within their bodies, as well as (their) skins. In addition there will be maces of iron (to punish) them. Every time they wish to get away therefrom, from anguish, they will be forced back therein, and (it will be said), "Taste ye the Penalty of Burning!"

25:52, So obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them herewith with a great endeavour.

8:60, Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.

NB said...

Saying that Islam is what you make it to be is a tautological truth with pretty much zero value.

Sure, Islam *CAN* be about Murder and Hatred. It *CAN* also be about globalization and pop-culture. Or pixies for that matter. If you stick your penis in a blender, it doesn’t mean the blender is *ABOUT* genital mutilation, or was designed for such purpose. It means it *CAN* be used for that purpose, provided you’re bent upon doing something stupid with it.

There’s a difference between what something is *premised upon* and what it *can* be associated with. To say that Islam is ACTUALY about Murder and Hatred is unintelligent, and offensive (Coz, everyone uses the blender, the majority of us very peacefully). Im not saying that that is what anyone here has actually meant, but maybe the language might be reconsidered.

Whatever anyone else think about Islam, I don’t think the Prophet had an epiphany one day saying: “Vaisay what Mecca really needs is some more Hatred and Murder. That is definitely what Islam needs to be about”. If Islam was originally *about* anything, it was about social justice.

As for the verses cited, yeah they can be spun, for sure. Which is why they should not be divorced from the specific context in which they originated, i.e. on the eve or aftermath of a battle, or in relation to specific historical events/situations that occurred at the time.

Plucking them out in support of an argument ignores their historicity. Its like trying to interpret a political painting when you don’t know anything about the painter or the era it was painted. Its pointless.

@ Postman

I would say that the same rule applies to the verse you have cited as well. Without context, I’m of the opinion that even the most well intentioned verse is without interpretative utility. Otherwise you can just cite something different, like AKS has done.

Laila said...

@ anonymous and Jack
Well I think religion is a very personal issue, and it can mean very different things to different people. Which is why I feel that this quack (aka "Dr" Liaquat) should have been more careful in the way he put his opinions forward. I mean the program is called Aalim online forgodsake, he should be a little bit more scholarly and educated in the way he defines things, whether it be from an islamic point of view or not.

Also I was not referring to Hitler's military endeavours when calling him aggressive, I was referring to his domestic policies such as oh I don't know calling for the extermination of an entire race, killing babies and elderly who were mentally handicapped, burning thousands of books by Jewish scholars and intellectuals, the murder of gypsies and homosexuals...(I don't know ahsan am I leaving anything out). Also militarily speaking he did invade Russia, France and draw up plans to pretty much conquer and divide the world with the Japanese. The thousand year reich is what he killed it I think. I don't know maybe our definitions of aggressive might just be very different.

@ AKS
Good job with all those quotations! Some of them definitely scary!

@Ahsan
Unfortunately work is killing me right now so I haven't had time to read anything except maybe Cosmo (yes I admit it I do read that). As soon as it lets up I will get my membership at the library and try getting a hold of it.

Ahsan said...

Jack:

To the contrary, Hitler was a riverboat gambler. He did not wait for the odds to stack up decisively in his favor. The invasion of the Soviet Union is an example of this. The invasions of Czechoslovakia and Poland were also very risky, because both could have entailed the entry of the Western allies (the latter eventually did, even though it was followed by the Phony War during the winter of 1939). Hitler was outrageously aggressive in both strategy (European domination and Lebensraum) and tactics (blitzkrieg). My two cents.

NB:

A number of points. First, the analogy between Islam and the blender is disingenuous at best. The point is that when you buy a blender, there are specific instructions on how to use that blender. No one ever buys anything from Braun that tells you to insert your penis into it (though you may choose to if you like). Similarly, Islam, as well as other monotheistic religions, also contain instructions. Many of these instructions - through holy books and embedded norms - *do* contain incitement, encouragement, and countenancing of violence against other groups. The quotations AKS has highlighted point to this fact. So this is point number one: the instructions for the blender, taken literally, should never lead you to make penis juice, but the instructions for religion, taken literally, can and do lead to communitarian violence.

Now you may argue that those instructions should not be taken literally. This brings me to my second point. You ask us to consider specific quotations from holy books according to the context from which they originated. A laudable goal, I am sure.

However, you have to understand that marrying text to its context is something done when reading 17th century French literature, not a holy book. I am sure true religious scholars *do* seek to conjoin words from the environment they originated. However, holy books are not *meant* to be interpreted. They're meant to be followed. This, then, is my second point: your example of a political painting rings hollow, because the painting is not admonishing or dictating actions, thoughts and beliefs (at least explicitly). Holy books are wholly different. They tell you *what to do*. This is where all the stuff about Islam not being a religion but a "way of life" comes in.

What this means in concrete terms is that *irrespective of the context in which a particular verse arose* it stipulates certain activities as normatively desirable and some not. Violence against out-groups, somehow, occupies both positions in most religious texts.

Furthermore, if my understanding of a "true Muslim" is correct, then they must follow these religious instructions. If not, they are disobeying the word of God.

So to tie my points together, it should be said that religion - or the adoption of any exclusivist identity - is "about" violence in a way that blenders are not "about" penis juice because religious norms explicitly dictate certain actions in ways that blenders and paintings don't.

Rabia said...

Ahsan,
I agree with you to a very large extent. Which is why I think it's long past time for aspiring liberal muslims to consider the Quran and the entire tradition of Islamic law very carefully because ALL OF THAT is Islam. Islam is not just 2:256, unfortunately.

Where I disagree with you is this: religious books in Islam and Judaism say that they are meant to be literally "from god" in theory, but in practice this has not really been the case. Yes, jews do consider the Torah to have been around before the universe was created, but in practice, the Talmud has moderated many of the harsher aspects of the old testament. This is where I think it's absolutely important for muslims to engage with their religious tradition if they are to have any hope of rescuing it from the heirs of Maududi, Sayyid Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood.

p.s: I was anonymous3

AKS said...

@ NB
You’re really picking at the comment but I don’t think my argument is lost in translation. Moreover, I think the comaprison that you raise is highly unfair.
There are a large number of people who commit murder in the name of Islam, and Islam makes it easier for them to claim that they are working as per divine orders. Sure, the same thing may be true for most religions but that’s not the point here.
There is plenty of room in the Quran for a Jihadi to interpret that God expects him to kill Jews. Now you may say that such an interpretation is incorrect as does disregards the context in which the words were written but at the same time you yourself are interpreting the *true meaning of the Quran*. Again, I’m not doubting that your interpretation of the text is a result of a considered study of the historical and political context in which it was written, but not everyone is going to do that.
And let’s not forget that this is scripture we’re talking about that is meant to highlight the ideal way of life for all of humanity; there’s no disclaimer that only semi-competent entities who are able to reason are allowed to believe in what’s written.

“As for the verses cited, yeah they can be spun, for sure.”

I think there are plenty of times when these verses require very little ‘spinning.

Ahsan said...

Rabia:

To reform and "take back" Islam, in my view, is impossible when the imperatives of the undercurrents of contemporary social and political Islam point to a retrenchment of ideological positions, as opposed to some degree of glasnost-ification. The world today, in all its forms, is encouraging a digging in, rather than an openness to question previously established "truths". Sociological reformers are usually successful only if they are presented with cracks and splits to exploit, and I simply don't see any of those today.

Also, on your practice-theory distinction: you've sort of made my point for me. My discussion with NB was based on what Islam or religion more generally is "about". I am concerned, for the purposes of this discussion, with the religion, not the religionists. In "practice," Muslims and Jews can do whatever they want without it detracting from my point: that monotheistic religions have as one of their *core* tenets the notion of violence against out-groups.

PostMan said...

I am being told that one-off verses that I have quoted serve no purpose. The verses that AKS quoted.. are very often quoted as arguments against Islam.

For example, AKS mainly quoted chapter 9. Let me paste some too.

9:4 - Except those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up any one against you, so fulfill their agreement to the end of their term; surely Allah loves those who are careful (of their duty).

9:12 - But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.

60:08 - Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.

60:09 - Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.

But then again.. I as a muslim would go for these verses as against an other muslim who would want to go for 'terror' verses. Your pick.

39:41 - ... so whoever follows the right way, it is for his own soul and whoever errs, he errs only to its detriment; ...

AKS said...

@ Postman

My reason for quoting the verses which I did, and now regret doing, was not to support an 'argument against Islam.'

I was only highlighting that, contained in the Quran are statements that speak of murder and hatred and since the Quran is a book that is to be 'followed' it allows a person to interpret their murderous actions as being sanctioned by God. Therefore Islam "can be about murder and hatred" because it allows itself to be interpreted in that manner a lot easier than you indicate.

Moreover, the last quote that you've posted supports the contention that Islam, like all religions, considers those who do not believe to be worse off than those who do. From this we may be able to conclude that 'believers' are superior than 'non-believers'.

You believe that Islam the "terror verses" are not to be interpreted in isolation. But what if someone else does? He will consider his beliefs to be superior than yours, so how do you convince him that he is misguided and that your interpretation is more valid?

Anonymous said...

you guys should read "No God but God" by Reza Aslan.

jack said...

@AKS
generally disagree with most things you've said.
i didnt say all westerners and upper class muslims educated in the west hold your views, but MOST come from that angle and i am yet to be disproved.
the schoolyard diss of 'wannabe' always comes to mind when i reminesce about those rich overseas paki students at university, desperate to be seen as sophisticated and as 'modern' as possible - usually by distancing themselves from other pakistanis/muslims as much as possible and ensuring they got drunk and slept around on the weekend. (not saying you're one of those, but its hard not to grasp that imagery)...

@everyone
you can NOT, get it NOT, quote verses from the quran and say they mean you should DO x, y or z. the level of understanding you need to derive ruling from the quran is well beyond the law101 courses they taught us lot in the west.

i dont get why we're obsessed with doing this. if we were sick, we'd ask a qualified doctor to interpret our symptoms and recommend a course of action. if we were sued we'd consult a lawyer/barrister. but when it comes to islam: no, don't consult a qualified individual but instead blog about how those verses are interpreted. nonsense.

you need more years of learning behind you to understand and teach the quran than you do to become a political science lecturer - thats for sure. this also explains why we get half-wits like doc aamer driving the nation crazy - he's simply not qualified to comment.

@NB
agree generally with comments, especially social justice one.

@AKS again
out of interest, do you consider yourself muslim?

@Ahsan
will post again on hitler

bubs said...

Jack:
Are you saying that getting drunk and sleeping around is something Pakistanis generally don't do. Cuz I know dozens of Pakistanis who do both and have never left the country and have no desire to be seen as sophisticated and modern - whatever that means.

And isn't the Quran meant to be understood by all humanity for all time without the need of a scholar or years of training? If you accept that the Quran is the unfiltered word of God, you don't need a degree to understand it. As I recall, consulting a scholar is pretty low on the list (after consulting the Quran, the hadith and using reason) of things to do when you need the Islamic solution to a problem.

Jebidia Springfield said...

most electronic items come with instructions that assume that the user is a complete idiot...because otherwise the company will get sued by some dodo who says "oh but it didnt say not to stick my penis in the blender". People love blaming other people for there own lack of common sense "it didnt say not to eat 10000 Big Macs otherwise id die of a heart failure/become obese"

i agree with nb that the quran can be interpreted in any way we choose which is why i wish people who call themselves muslims would bother to learn about the religion before acting out and blaming a peace loving faith for there atrocities.

if we read the sunnah of the prophet (whose example we are supposed to follow)then it is pretty clear that he didnt beleive in violence. even most ppl who had treated him pretty badly during his initial stages of preaching were spared when he conquered makkah and POW were released if they taught one muslim to read etc.

the quran out of context can mean anything just as a positive line from an obama speech can mean something negative if taken out of context. we owe it to ourselves to learn the whole story otherwise we are as bad as the guys who dont use there common sense when using a blender.

Ahsan said...

Jack:

Can I ask why you feel it necessary to impute motives for other people's social choices? Why is it that the company someone keeps is attributed to how they wish to be "seen"?

The implicit point in your statement is that any Pakistani or Muslim - irrespective of his or her social, political, cultural views - *must* associate with other Pakistanis or Muslims in a mixed environment - irrespective of those others' social, political, and cultural views - over and above non-Pakistanis and non-Muslims - irrespective of their social, political, or cultural views. Do you understand how essentialist that sounds?

You are at bottom saying the following: you must subjugate all decision-making with respect to political and social activities to your core identity of a Muslim or a Pakistani. If you do *not* do this, you are doing so out of a need to be seen as "modern" and "sophisticated". My question to you is: why must you make that judgment? Furthermore, who gave you the *right* to make that judgment?

What do you know about Person X, Y or Z OTHER than the fact that they are Muslim or Pakistani? Nothing. And yet you feel you understand the microfoundations of their decision making well enough to attribute it to a need to be cool and Westernized.

Let me put the shoe on the other foot, for a second. If person X, a Muslim or a Pakistani, hangs out exclusively in a mixed environment with Group Y, which is made up exclusively of Muslims and Pakistanis, how fair would it be for me to attribute X's decision to something inane like "Oh, (s)he just wants to be seen as pious and rooted to ones traditions"? Maybe X GENUINELY likes everyone in Group Y, and loves doing what people in Group Y do (waking up for sehri together, looking for the Halat meat store together, whatever). How can I, a distant observer, remark on the motivations of X's friends and social life? I can't. So how can you presume to know what motivates people when they *do* socially distance themselves from Pakistanis or Muslims or *gasp!* have sex on the weekends or *shudder* have a drink?

One last thing. I hope you realize how unfair a question you have posed to AKS when you say "Out of interest, do you consider yourself a Muslim?" Do you realize that one of the two answers to that question is legally punishable by death in our country? Did you honestly expect to have a real discussion based on the explicit religious beliefs of someone who holds only a Pakistani passport? You must surely be joking.

PostMan said...

@aks

Bro, no where did I say that you mentioned the verses to support 'arguments against Islam'. I said that these verses are usually quoted against Islam and these are the ONLY verses that get circulated instead of the 'good ones'. Honestly tell me.. the source/ document that you copied the verses from .. did they have the verses that I mentioned? I bet No.

'You believe that Islam the "terror verses" are not to be interpreted in isolation. But what if someone else does?'

You read the quoted verses and my replies - what do you think? Do you think Islam allows blood and gore just because others are not of your faith or no there are reasons to believe otherwise? Its your choice. Even Prophet could not convert everyone.. what are we to change the beliefs of other if one chooses to be of certain kind. You can just offer a counter opinion.

'Islam, like all religions, considers those who do not believe to be worse off than those who do. '
God says that if you commit idolworship - even if you are muslim - you are doomed. There goes the 'I am a muslim so I will enter heaven cuz am superior' mantra. God sounds serious you know.

Jack said...

@bubs
i can't really answer for the kind of company you keep in or out of pakistan. i dont care if you know dozens of pakistanis that drink their own pee every weekend thinking its a bacardi in their drunken stupor.
fact is, the vast majority of pakistan does not drink, is poor, is rurally based, god-fearing though misled religiously at times, hard-working, faithful to their spouses and highly (wrongly) politicized.
the drunken antics aforementioned by yourself ARE more and more common higher up the social ladder you go - its a fact, its a social strata that all of us can claim to be from and its not going to change. deal with it.

secondly, in line with jebidia springfields comment we (read: you) should for our own sake learn about our own religion (assuming you're muslim). your mistake is so elementary, i doubt you've ever picked up a book on islam beyond whatever they spoonfed you in islamiat:

the quran is for all humanity and all time to derive good from - which one can do without any special training. eg, i can pick it up and before long i will come across verses that, generally speaking, tell me to respect my parents and kinship. BUT to derive RULINGS from it and to interpret individual verses for specific courses of action you NEED training.

the methododology you briefly mentioned are the steps an ALIM takes to reach a decision, not a lay person: (in rough order of importance) quran, sunnah, scholar, concensus, analogy.

@Ahsan
man, you could have just said nobody is trying to be cool and Westernized - those pakistanis/muslims just enjoy acting in a manner which is completely anti-thetical to their beliefs and culture. no but seriously, point taken - i shouldn't judge why they act like that. BUT there has to be some reason why SO many paks/muslims from that social strata act like that? is it their priveleged upbringing and their desire to be 'better than the rest'? is it just that their parents were agnostic so the children never really cared for religion either? does it matter why? it happens

which leads me onto the question that REALLY bemuses me: why these individuals then, as mature adults capable of making decisions and clearly very opinionated, continue to say they are muslim. clearly they believe a totally different way of life is more suited to them. is it guilt? is it the hope that someday they'll get islam to accept their antics? is it the hope that some day they will re-align themselves with islam? or is it the free MSA iftars they always seem to turn up for during ramadhan before they're found outside dorms looking for a cab to the party during taraweeh?

asfand said...

jack:

If they are acting in a way that is anti-thetical to the their beliefs and their culture, then I do suppose they don't *really* ascribe to those beliefs OR that culture? Why are you pigeonholing (sic?) every Pakistani abroad into following the same social, cultural and religious diktat most in Pakistan are supposed to 'obey'?

There is some hypocrisy, I'll grant you that, but from my friends who are studying abroad there's little emphasis they place on calling themselves distinctly muslims. And I don't think if some drunken, coke snorting 'rich pakistani student' calls himself a Pakistani then that's an affront to the sensibilities of those stuck in Pakistan. After all, we have people like that here too, don't we - as I think bubs pointed out?

Also, I have a question. If for example, X - who calls himself a muslim - instead of fasting and praying looks around for some cheap booze and a quick lay, but realizes it goes against 'Islam' and accepts whatever punishment he's going to get (in the afterlife, ofcourse), then does that make him a hypocrite, or a non-muslim, or well...something OTHER than a crap muslim?

Rafay Alam said...

I invite you to read the provisions of section 505(1)(c) of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 with reference to the recent Geo programme in which Aamir Liaqat allowed hatred towards the Ahmadi community to be incited.

505. Statements conducing to public mischief: (1) Whoever makes, publishes, or
circulates any statement, rumour or report--
(a) with intent to cause or incite, or which is likely to cause or incite, any officer, soldier, sailor, or airman in the Army, Navy or Air Force of Pakistan to mutiny, offence or otherwise disregard or fail in his duty as such ; or
(b) with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquillity; or
(c) with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and with fine.

I would like to request you to spread this to as many people as you know. I think we can begin an online petition to collect signatures for an application to be made to the IG Sindh demanding an criminal investigation into the matter and specifically the actions of Aamir Liaqat and the producers of the show Aalim Online.