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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pakistan : A Failed Islamic Experiment

The idea of India is based on the diversity and inclusiveness. It requires that the Muslims stop alienating to themselves and seek more avenues of engagement with all. All the remnants of exclusivity and isolationism of any Hindu, Muslim or Sikh society should be taken out from the minds first and then from the national life.

So what is the contribution of Government ? By just allowing the minorities to pray, doesn’t mean that the government is secular. Secularism means equal opportunities at every level. It also requires not shunning away from criticism of liberal commentators. India is not doing much good in this category, but seeing the engagement of Islamic culture, it seems praise worthy.

Whenever idea of India is defined, the secession of Pakistan come in the frame. The partition based on exclusivity of perfect Islamic society is the thesis of the idea of Pakistan. I agree with the warning of cultural commentator Nadeem F Paracha. "Pakistan is one of the first examples of a fascist, faith-based dystopia."

Today, Pakistan is a country who is exceptionally sensitive towards religion and in the dream of setting up utopia of Islamic society based on Koranic values. And the result, a sharp decline of rational debates, economic collapse and intolerance of sectarian groups towards each other. Pakistan’s silent majority is tolerant but NOT fundamentally secular in the nature. 'Liberal' People are afraid for taking clear statements against extremists and the gradual cowardly behavior by law makers are signals of influence of religious extremism over public sphere. The signs of conservativeness has increased in the society despite of no visible increase in the vote shares of fundamentalist parties. Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy further analyzes this situationin detail in the interview : Pakistan awaiting the clerical tsunami.

The most educated citizens of Pakistan have lost the capacity to question the false Islamic history served to them in academics and TV evangelists. Mullahs and Army has besized the oppurtunity of spreading their laws on the masses. In the brilliant article "Curse of the ‘almost elite’", Rafia Zakaria points towards mind set of elite (rich, powerful and upper middles class) of Pakistan :
What a society emulates and anoints as the basis for power and importance is what in that context becomes sacred. It is not that Pakistanis are unique or isolated in their devoted paeans to the wealthy, an exercise found throughout the ages in all parts of the world. The inability to create a definition of success that originates solely from within or is the product of hardship is tied not only to an obsession with inherited wealth but also to mythologised ideas of historical origins.

The same effort put into the pretence of revelling in inherited wealth is also invested in the claiming of Arab, Persian or similarly exotic ancestry. Not being actually South Asian, then, is crucial to being good or privileged or socially viable, announcing to all that your presence in the current milieu is a fact not of your peasant origins but the conquering vigour of your ancestors.
Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti are dead now. Who is next, Sherry Rehman? Death threats are shouted and liberals are branded as "infidels" and heretics deserving of death. Government come on rollback the freedoms of the people to accommodate this Islam of Mullah's dreams. We know from history that appeasement of violent extremist doesn't pay, it only emboldens them. These religious extremist have no plan, policies or idea about governance. They run there campaign on the basis of religious slogan and propaganda. And it's easy to guess when structure fails, the response by religious extremist is : ‘If only ...... imposes true Islamic system, we’ll be able to get rid of the hypocrisies committed in its name.

The official lawlessness combined with cruelty has become the daily norm. Suicide Bombing, Taliban insurgents, economic collapse, the rise of extremism is not only due to sheer inability of leaders. It arrived from the movement of a nation towards old age customs of Islamic society.  This is the degrading power of Islam that it devolve society into ancient custom resembling them more with Taliban. And with all respect to all, We all know the advantage for Muslims to live "pious state of Afghanistan" over "progressive state of Turkey".

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