Children of Zia

Published Apr 29, 2011 07:40am

Photo by Fayyaz Ahmed

In elite academic institutions, we often make a knee-jerk and erroneous assumption that we are not responsible for the intolerance that now permeates our land. It is easy to blame the non-English speaking public sector and madrassas. We like to believe that we are not responsible for the fact that today, according to Ayesha Siddiqa, 56 per cent of elite youth do not want a secular state. We like to believe that we are not active agents, but are we?

Very few across Pakistan, elite or not, teach critical thinking which is absolutely essential and should be compulsory from an early age. Without the ability to think, education starts to resemble indoctrination. And in a country like ours, where schools have no option but to teach state-sanctioned propaganda under the guise of Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat, which aims to indoctrinate with a linear vision, this becomes even more necessary. One is not allowed to challenge the syllabus and is expected to regurgitate a single perspective – the chosen perspective. If you don’t, you fail and that is not an option most are willing to take. This sends a clear message: difference and diversity will not be tolerated.

We need to stop, pause and think about our current situation. Isn’t this just a logical outcome of these students having been taught NOT to challenge alternative perspectives, and blindly believe what their teachers and texts tell them? Indeed there are many who fail critical thinking courses because they stubbornly decided that what we, the liberal teachers, are doing is part of the grand Hindu-Zionist-CIA conspiracy just because we are presenting them with alternative perspectives and asking them to be sensitive to other views.  They are, after all, a product of the society they live in and most do not have a living memory of the world before September 11.

What personally depresses me the most is that once the class is over, many choose to go back to their linear vision even though they know they are speaking in fallacies. Some even say, outright, “I choose not to think about any other perspectives because they challenge my worldview.” There are many reasons for this since they return to a culture which has a tunnel vision.

Most of my on-going research is based on extensive interviews with students in elite institutions who are outside the (state-sanctioned) political and religious norm today. Intolerance in academic institutions is growing at a visibly rapid pace. Because teachers are self-censoring out of fear, students are not being properly educated and many of them know it. They fear being fired and being viciously (mostly verbally) attacked by their students like some have been many times in the past. Teachers are afraid to use the word ‘Darwin’ or even dare admit that they believe in evolution instead of creationism in medical schools! Many refuse to bring up religion or politics in critical thinking classes, which defies the senses for critical thinking relies on challenging people’s deeply rooted, deeply ingrained perspectives. We live in a country where religion and politics is in the air we breathe. It must be acknowledged and it must be challenged.

When it comes to students, many say that they are also self censoring their comments now more than ever. They also feel that the students belonging to the religious right are a much bigger problem for them than the teachers. Many of them have been attacked, mostly by fellow students, for voicing their secular opinions or for presenting any other perspectives. For example, a student, let’s call him X, who openly said that Mumtaz Qadri is a murderer was verbally attacked and called a “liberal extremist.” This is despite the fact that he actually tried to reason with his opponent, explaining that Taseer was not an “infidel” but someone who just wanted justice. X used to openly voice his perspective until recently. Now he’s a bit wary and he’s not the only one.

Similarly, those who say that Ahmadis are Muslims and should NOT be killed also get attacked. I have witnessed students say that they would like to personally behead Ahmadis. I’ve heard them say this out loud in a class with Ahmadi students who are, more often than not, hiding their religious affiliation from the others. I’ve also heard rants against Hindus while a Hindu student has been sitting in the room. That is how shameless we have become.

Students also talk about “the look” they get from other students who blindly believe in the religious right rhetoric. “The look” is a stare so deep, so uncomfortable, that it silences and scares them. They know that these students will later cause problems for them. These very same students bang on people’s door for fajr namaz, demanding they say all their prayers at the mosque, which they then regulate.

In hostels there are students who don’t let other students play “haraam” music or constantly preach to them, dousing them with unwanted and unwarranted advice on how they should live their lives. Once a student was accosted in the middle of his campus by a religious student who told him that he should stop hanging around with girls. He had never met this student, who was junior to him, before. He is now scared, since there seems to be a sort of watchdog spy network amongst these students who are not at all afraid to intimidate and attack.

None of this is new of course, but the level of intolerance is higher and leading to more and more violence than it ever did before.

Education should aid evolution, but our students are going downhill. This is our reality but I will maintain that we are also to blame. By putting up with this and allowing students to intimidate as well as regulate others, we are guilty of perpetuating an intolerant culture. We should not be tolerant of the intolerant. By putting profit above quality and by not teaching critical thinking from an early age, we are a part of the problem. What we are breeding is an even more dangerous form of terrorist than the ignorant, brainwashed madrassa students who do not know any better. They were never taught to think unlike those who choose not to and continue to believe in conspiracies, which are trendy and perpetuated by celebrities like Ali Azmat. It is shocking when it comes from a well-dressed, articulate student in a suit attending the top business school in the country; one whose aim in life is to then move abroad, work for a multi-national that he is currently dismissing as an evil Zionist company. I wonder how many future Faisal Shahzads and Dr Aafias are out there. They were the result of an earlier, more tolerant generation. Now, we are witnessing the children of Zia in their full glory and splendour. Something has to be done and something has to be done now.

Nabiha Meher is a writer, a feminist and an unapologetic, outspoken eccentric who blogs at "I am woman, hear me roar".

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Nabiha Meher Shaikh is a writer, a feminist and an unapologetic eccentric who blogs at: I am woman, hear me roar.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments (57) (Closed)

Apr 29, 2011 12:55pm
oh goodie another prob caused by zia, yawwwwwwwwwwwwwns carry on.
Pervez Sadiq
Apr 29, 2011 01:34pm
i absolutely agree that critical thinking needs to be made complusory. As a member of HEC curriculum comittee on Ind Eng we reccommended it . We also advised that Islamiat and Pak studies be made relevant to the main subjects--ie: famous muslim engineers/Pak place within the region wrt standard parameters like Education/health/life expectancy etc.
Khushwant Singh Sood
Apr 29, 2011 02:02pm
I understand your indifference and being in the majority sect you have nothing to fear about. But remember that when all the minorities are finished, you will find minorities amongst yourselves to prey upon.
Apr 29, 2011 02:06pm
Even Dawn has to print disclaimer after the article................ Strange!!!!! Saw it for the first time for any article......
Ahmed Saeed
Apr 29, 2011 02:14pm
An excellent piece of work. Infact Ms Meher has rightly concluded. These children of Zia will for long haunt us. But in societies like Pakistan we shall not be fearful of their conduct. These few miscreants in miscellaneous garbs cant do much. We need to be more resilient and spread the message of peace through different ways and means. If they possess the audacity of terrifying us, we shall also start the good work and counter their negative tendencies. I think Shahzad Roy and many other philanthropists are doing excellent. Lets join hands and make a more tolerable society. I will take too long but Insha Allah we will succeed. Well done Ms Meher.
Apr 29, 2011 02:30pm
I wholeheartedly agree with you, the situation is dire. As our educational institutions degenerate into centers of transmission of intolerance and brainwashing and proselytizing focal points so our nation degenerates as well. The inability, or unwillingness of near anybody to stand up in Pakistan today for what they believe in is a egregious crime. It is time for the wealthy in Defence, KDA or any of the other posh neighborhoods to stand up and use their education, power and wealth to make a change, Pakistan is in need of a leader with integrity, Pakistan needs to rise.
Apr 29, 2011 02:56pm
mr neighbour, irrational people like nirendera modi exist on both sides of the border.
Apr 29, 2011 03:18pm
We are ourselves to be blamed for this mess. Education is not in our priority list which is sad. Can it change - i hope it does but then who will change. Media concerns are extortionsts, politicians are corrupt, civil servants are opportunists, Mullahs are hipocrites, schools and colleges are profiteers, civil society is deaf and dumb and Judiciary is out of reach...
Apr 29, 2011 03:33pm
i totally agree.....students need to think in diff dimensions...s the basic aim of edu is to make an individual capable enuf to know untill one is not satisfied + islamic studies shud also deal with history of islamic world s well...tht once muslims were also at the peak of acquiring knowledge of diff subjects n put the foundations of many branches of science...this shud b done at the ECD level so s to inspire the stdts 4rm some reputed muslim personality.
Apr 29, 2011 03:57pm
I commend you miss for writing this! I am a student and face this kind of attitude by my peers everyday! While I am given hope by the small body of students who do not have such extremist views, the growing number of such students in this country alarms me! What's more alarming is that with this kind of attitude, students of liberal views are regarding Islam and religion with hatred and even talk about becoming atheists, because the attitude of these so called muslim momin's is quiet destructive! So we are not only looking towards a generation filled with potential-Zia like people, but also youth who are hell bent on converting to some other religion or atheists! We are not living in an atmosphere that is conductive to constructive learning. I fail to understand why these students harbour so much hatred, and where they get so much views! I can only find myself to blame it on the media and the so called religious scholars of this country! General Zia accused Ahmadi's of being a cancerous plant that will spread this country, and millions believed him blindly. Today it is General Zia's teaching and ideals that have become that very malignant cancer that is destroying this country and no one, not the older or younger generation realizes it.
Apr 29, 2011 04:02pm
We need to change the curriculum immediately
Salman Khan
Apr 29, 2011 04:05pm
Nabiha, I agree with what you are saying but what you mentioned at the end that the generation earlier than us was the more tolerant one! Well may be more tolerant but they are the ones who supported the Zia regime! They are the ones who have failed us. What is left is exactly Zia's children but what about Zia's million cousins who supported him then and still think of him as a martyr, and these cousins are exactly our earlier generation. The problem is only self-righteousness, exactly critical thinking, challenging all the myths and taboos, but that will come at a huge cost. And also not very soon. Specially now that an extremely right wing politician IK is the youth's ambassador. Socialism and secularism is needed.
Apr 29, 2011 04:32pm
People are too concerned about building schools. We should fix the ones that already exists. And, seriously, we have to change the curriculum.
Nabiha Meher Shaikh
Apr 29, 2011 05:06pm
I understand what you're saying and I'm using Zia symbolically. Generation after generation has failed this country which is why the youth are turning to IK. They feel they have no other option.
Apr 30, 2011 06:44am
Hi Nabiha Very well written article. Yes, im an Indian & would like to begin with my comment by saying India is far from perfect. But i find hate for hindus in Pakistanis is beyond imagination. Saddest part of it was when i was confronted with Pakistanis who are living in the west, they not only are full of hate but they pass the same mindset to their kids (Of course, many are liberal as well). They look like Indians(of course, we all are south asians) but Indian word is like a biggest slur to them. Most proudly would like to trace back their ancestry to Turkey, Arabia, Irani or Afgani...what are confused state of mind to be in.......They are soooo scared that questioning anything about religion is a biggest NO. Thank God they dont teach hate in India in school books.(please dont reply with sati system, gujrat, babri masjid & ultimately kashmir), the day Pakistan will have 17% hindu population,billion of christians, billions of sikhs, jews, buddhists, jains, atheists, animalists etc etc & have a track record like India, we will be proud to have a neighbor like that....who doesnt wish a peaceful & rich neighbor? But i think its too late for Pakistan now, until the govt makes announcement that they have taught hate for decades in school books. I wish you good luck in your writing for the cause of your country & a peaceful world at large. Thanks.
Apr 30, 2011 09:11am
Who wouldn't want educational institutions in Pakistan to have enlightened instructors? Instructors fearless enough to teach Darwin's idea of evolution or rise of liberal democracy associated with market economy a.k.a. the secularism. But why go so far? How about just teaching history of the Indian sub-continent without ideological bent? Could this be accomplished? How about pursuing something easy to accomplish? I have friends and their adult children fortunate enough to had been to reputable colleges. The kind of colleges Plato could have approved of. They give the impression of being thoughtful and so forth. Virtually all of them are unable to read, write and compose a single thought either in Urdu or in English Language. If these fellows don't know how to read and write, then what hope should one have from the rest who are not fortunate enough to have been to those so called elite schools.
Manu Sharma
Apr 30, 2011 10:24am
Well argued, well presented. Many thanks...
Muhammad Ishaq Narej
Apr 30, 2011 11:14am
Meher. Nice. This is everywhere. No one can dare to talk openly anywhere in Pakistan. It is not only schools. We are now a fascist society as per NFP. And I agree u and NFP. Need revolution but liberal society don't have that much capacity and will that was once communists and socialists and now is with Muslim religious extremists.
Apr 30, 2011 12:06pm
Nabiha should be commended for this excellent and timely article. Just to add some comments. I strongly believe it is the duty of every Muslim parent to teach their children (sons and daughters) "Deen of Allah" as well as "Science of Allah". Unfortunately there are more Mullahs to teach "Deen of Allah" but few Muslim scientists to teach Science (the mechanisms and processes) created by Allah. Even Allah speaks of Big Bang or The Expansion Of Universe in the Holy Quran. The Universe has been expanding since its creation. Hubbell, an astronomer made this great discovery, less than 200 years ago. It was also predicted by Einstein's theory of "General Relativity." The expansion of the universe is clearly mentioned in the following Quranic verses: Chapter: 51, Verse: 47 The heavens, We have built with power and, We are expanding it. Muslim countries especially Pakistan must compete with rest of the world in learning science (the mechanisms and processes created by Allah) to serve mankind.
Abdul-Mughis Rana, L
Apr 30, 2011 12:34pm
Ms. Meher I donot agree with your approach of Zia's Children they can always refer to you as Pervezi Childrens! But this approach won't help the masses of this World what will help is the approach of Rehmatulil Aalameen Prophet Mohammad SAW. Muslims knows it and they have this responsibility to spread as Prophet pbuh did through his companions i.e. Sahaba e Kiram R.A.A. I won't elaborate ask Scholars if you feel the need!
Apr 30, 2011 12:41pm
Well said Sardarji. This the fate of hatred driven ideologies. Hatred has no place in modern thought.
Apr 30, 2011 12:42pm
very poetically well said this line your original or you picked it up somewhere...very true either way I think Afzaal is expressing distaste at the "hate/blame politics"...why can't we stop developing our articles on the shrines of dead.... Nabiha has very correctly identified the problem...let us develop consensus on it and move towards rectification of the same... Just one thing more...the doctored Pak studies I believe was initiated by Bhutto Sb not Zia...but things got worse as hypocrisy became stronger
Apr 30, 2011 01:02pm
Well said Sardarji. This the fate of hatred driven ideologies. Hatred has no place in modern thought.
Apr 30, 2011 02:21pm
Thank you for a great article. I am from the Zia generation and many of my friends, family, and their children have also fallen to the same easy way out. It was refreshing to see someone write cogently about what we've felt since growing up in the '80s. Another thing that you may want to do as perhaps a followup article is touch upon the insecurities that breed this cocoon behavior.
Apr 30, 2011 02:31pm
Nabiha,education begins at home. A school or college cannot teach anyone to be secular or liberal. To say that the poor and illiterate have no choices except embrace terrorism is a travesty of truth. Many of the terrorists are very educated. Unfortunately Religion has been used as a tool for control,oppression and manipulation. Today the worst criminals are taking shelter under the cover of Religion and tarnishing the holy Religion of Islam. The best education can only be given by parents who have been both negligent and irresponsible in their behaviour.
Apr 30, 2011 02:43pm
Really good article and I must say that I agree. However, I tend to think that the lack of critical thinking won't be solved simply by changing the school curriculum. We need to take a good hard look at the parts of Pakistani culture which glorify blind obedience as the greatest virtue. This happens as much outside the school as within it. We all know how we are raised to obey and not argue against our elders. Somehow, disagreeing with elders is equated with disrespecting elders. This relationship with ones elders during childhood sows the seeds of critical thinking and we need to start applauding the child who questions the rules set down by his elders, we need to enjoy the rebellions that teenagers go through and we need to appreciate the day that our children come and tell us that he/she has thought about it and is sure that we are wrong. Be it about religion, morals, politics...etc etc. Unfortunately our society now glorifies the kid who did everything his parents asked, married the person the parents wanted, got the education the parents wanted him/her to get, kept his parents religion and then finally passed this on to his kids without ever thinking about it.
Nabiha Meher Shaikh
Apr 30, 2011 03:47pm
I agree that religion is being exploited. I'm definitely not saying the poor & illiterate are terrorists. In fact, I know that many terrorists are educated, which is why I've argued that we are part of the problem by not teaching them how to think.
Nabiha Meher Shaikh
Apr 30, 2011 03:50pm
Agreed. Societal attitudes need an overhaul. It's sad how much we suppress critical thinking & it definitely starts from home. Children are naturally curious about the world around them & want to think critically but we prevent them from doing so for the reasons you put forth here.
Nabiha Meher Shaikh
Apr 30, 2011 03:54pm
Good to know you put forward that suggestion. However, will it even be taken into consideration. The deep state has too much of a vested interest here to allow it.
Apr 30, 2011 04:21pm
But can one teach them how to think rationally? That's the million dollar question!
Apr 30, 2011 04:26pm
just look at the syllabus of matric system and cambridge system .they are miles apart. majority people stick to matric system as it is affordable. this system supports rote learning and suppresses open thinking. the problem that you are discussing seems more tilted towqards economics than politics. the onus is upon the state to devise a singular ,affordable educational dystem for all.
C S Malhotra
Apr 30, 2011 05:39pm
Nabiha Meher’s article represents a recipe for the positive development of Pakistan and its people. This requires a healthy national debate and a compulsive attitude to tolerate divergent views in this matter to achieve a consensus. How many people / political parties in Pakistan will accept the critical analysis of her article? Even if they accept Nabiha’s recipe, it will take several decades to achieve the objectives’ mentioned in the article. Otherwise, the downward slide will continue till its ultimate disaster.
Nabiha Meher Shaikh
Apr 30, 2011 05:46pm
Considering most teachers can't, it'll be quite hard. The system will need an overhaul & teachers will need to be taught first.
Apr 30, 2011 05:51pm
No difference at all. You think there is a difference. But I tell you Cambridge is producing duds now as is the metric system. I am a teacher and have taught in the Cambridge system. It only gives you the privilege of learning English. That's it. Nothing much else. All exams can be aced by doing past 3 years of papers, and you don't have to understand anything.
Flt Lt Usman Mushtaq
Apr 30, 2011 06:19pm
Well written- i will like to share my experience - i did my A- levels back in 2003-4, i had Biology as a subject- when the lecture on evolution came our teacher taught us about Darwin theory and all others (as they were in syllabus). i took it as a challenge and began research on the theory of Darwin and evolution- i did paper work of approx 25 pages, and prepared a presentation on proving the theory wrong and presenting reality. this all effort was self generated and self motivated. But, ironically my TEACHER was not ready to listen to me, and i never got a chance to speak in his class- although i gathered class afterward and presented my work. I just wanted to second your article- this is what is going on- we are not prepared to do research and we are not prepared to think what are we doing and which direction are we heading, we must learn to challenge the philosophy and at the same time learn the philosophy.
Irfan Husain
Apr 30, 2011 07:27pm
A chilling reminder of where we are heading
Apr 30, 2011 09:55pm
Nabiha, well written. This is an old strategy to make the minds slaves of a tunnel vision. Critical and analytical thinking for new generations is a must if the country need to be among the developed ones. There is a need of chnge in attitudes and they are contagious. The present setup is not producing the positive role models in the society where the most of the environment is not conducive as well. Regards
Zulfiqar Ali
Apr 30, 2011 10:51pm
exactly! i remember listening about people being termed american agents just because they think critically, we have become an intolerant n complex society living into oblivion and thriving on insanity! nice article btw!
Apr 30, 2011 11:10pm
Dear Moderator, Why are you removing my comments? Could you explain it please. The author is trying to demoralise the pakistani youth.Every one knows that Bhutto was the one who declared Ahmedis non muslim.Bhutto also developed our 1973 constitution and started the subject of Pakistan studies in schools. Is it not disgraceful that you want to be called Pakistani but are opposing Pakistan studies. Think on your own rather than trusting the anti-pakistan media.
May 01, 2011 12:07am
Look into the admissions forms of the schools. I refused to send my son to Beacon House School Systems when I found that the admission form for KG has a column for religion and preferred the other school. It starts when the children get admission in school and then continues.
May 01, 2011 12:29am
Separate religion from state . Period
May 01, 2011 01:59am
I really doubt the picture is really as horrific as you try to paint. I agree critical thinking should be made part of lower class curriculum, as it would definitely root out a lot of problems (related to blind following) that we are facing today. Especially when it comes to religion they need to critically analyse to know what is religion from what is usually simple plain bigotry. By divine law, for e.g., one is not even allowed to harm an animal without right, let alone a human being. So whoever you encountered, who openly speaks about harming minorites, ask them to give you a valid justifiable cause, if they can't provide one, then they should be sent back to the Madarsa/seminary they came out of, to relearn the hadith and Quran on the sancitity of human life.
Dev Saha
May 01, 2011 02:24am
The problem is not only Zias but the parents and peers, who have failed Pakistanis. When people are deterred to ask critical questions for the fear of punishment, you create average citizens, who will only learn to follow the orders. Pakistanis should ask whether they need more followers than critical thinkers, who will take them to the next level. Kudos to Miss Meher for firing the first shot!
May 01, 2011 02:25am
Excellent Article Ma'am! Core of problem is Identified. Lets, hope people start addressing the causes not its affect :(
May 01, 2011 03:48am
Good article Nabeeha. Look after yourself, if you live in Pakistan - it seems that there are too many intolerant bigots in our country.
Zia Mian
May 01, 2011 07:54am
Critical thinking will not only make our people develope understanding and tolarance which lead us to peace and security but it will also lead to choose better leaders and make better economic decisions so prosperity for the nation will also follow through..
May 01, 2011 09:56am
You can not teach critical thinking to a culture where you can get killed for criticizing, or where the Mullahs call you an apostate for questioning any of their proclamations, or where you killed. You cannot talk freely when you are constantly threatened with death every time you speak up.
May 01, 2011 01:30pm
atleast we dont have these kind of things in india-thats the reason we r one of the fastest growing economy of the world-india should try to get more closer with china atleast both the societies have secular and modern thinking-
May 02, 2011 06:18am
Brother Usman, I am curious. Which theory did you prove wrong? The one taught by your teacher or the generally accepted works of Darwin and others? What did your audience say?
May 02, 2011 07:25am
Be glad that they taught you evolution theory! Here in US they are teaching world was created in 7 days..In longer run, standard of Mullah Pakistani kids will be same as evangelical USA kids!
May 02, 2011 07:28am
Very well written! The day we tell kids to stop asking 'why' and go and sit in a corner and read 10 pages..we stiffle their creative and analytical ability. This also shows that it is so important to have an educated mother at home who will nuture the quest for knowledge of the kids. After all she is the one at home with kids!
May 02, 2011 12:10pm
A passionate and well-written article. I am an educator but I am not from Pakistan although I have been following Pakistani affairs since the late 1990's. The issues raised by Nabiha Meher were articulated even then, and perhaps before. Two generations of Pakistanis have been subjected to a rigid and inelastic educational system that emphasize two things most: Pakistani identity and Islam. There is nothing wrong with it. All of us need a sense of identity and belonging. As Meher has pointed out, the problem is undue emphasis, and distortion, if not falsification of facts. These are the twin problems of education in Pakistan. Curriculum design is fairly standard in most parts of the world. It relies on distilling established facts, and presenting them with the unresolved questions. From this comes rational inquiry. I teach Biology and Physiology, and when I touch upon evolution I stick to the known facts. My textbooks stick to the known facts. I cannot deny the validity of Darwin's theory because it is the theory that best fits the known facts. As a scientist I am not wedded to the theory but it is the best available. This attitude distinguishes rational thinking from irrational belief. However, my open mind does not go so far as to admit intelligent design because that is an unsupported belief, supported only by blind faith. If there are students in my class who believe that the universe is 6000 years old, then they know that it is best to keep their opinions to themselves. I do not care to hear about it, and I do not allow them to articulate their unfounded speculations. That is my right as a Professor and my university supports me. I determine what is taught. Empowering educators in Pakistan with the right to teach facts and not fiction is one problem. Finding those who can teach facts and not fiction is the bigger problem. These are the immediate, and twin challenges, that Pakistan faces. Two generations of indoctrination will require at least 50 more years to wash blind belief and irrational thinking out of the system. Because those who are young today will remain in positions of authority for at least so much more time before they retire. These are the students of yesterday who will govern Pakistan tomorrow, and run its industries, and universities. This is the price that Pakistan will unfortunately pay. So, the time to start is now. Or Pakistan will lose yet another generation.
May 02, 2011 01:11pm
Many years ago , in the throes of creating an islamic republic , general Zia decided to hold an Islamic Science conference. Such theories as Djinns and their energy levels were discussed , or the other one was - the temperature of hell. Islamic science - what is it ?
May 02, 2011 08:54pm
@Abdul-Mughis Rana, Religion is a minor part of the identity of an individual, not the vice versa. Why do you think only Muslims have monopoly over God and rest of us pray Satan or what ? We are seeing the spread of religiosity in Pakistan and its gradual decay. And when I come in verbal duel then you know what I get in reply :: "If only ...... imposes true Islamic system, we’ll be able to get rid of the hypocrisies committed in its name."
humayun ilahi
May 06, 2011 05:05am
PRESENT is now part of the PAST . FUTURE is CURRENCY. SO look ahead CONCENTRATE only on YOUTH . IMPROVE their health and sel image and then teach them SCIENCE and MATHS. DO you all hear me?
fatima javed
May 07, 2011 03:06pm
A big applause for you miss nabiha meher , you are the voice of many voiceless , infact mine too , this is the article always kept in my mind from my school age , I never found words to explain all this but you did ! Thanks a lot for being my voice ! I study at BZU multan in evening program , it’s a government university , and whenever we discuss any issue political or non-political our ma’am sets this as condition to debate in issue that “religion and politics” would not be kept in mind while debating , moreover in our morning sessions , any lecturer is not allowed to pass any comment against or about government , my question is even if we change our curriculums can we avoid religion and politics in our critical thinking ?? I DON’T THINK SO . this is not only about changing curriculum in schools , its about changing the whole system of “so-called universities” . Secondly , everyone who’s student and commenting on this article can never even think about leaving his/her studies for the sake of Pakistan , because no one is so hopefull enough to get fail for right thing , as you said “ if you don’t follow the chosen perspective –you’ll fail and that’s not an option most ppl willing to take , so what we have to do right here miss nabiha ?? you cant convince a student to leave behind his/her 16 years of endless hardwork because what you all did till now , so sorry to say was “wrong” . so first we need for our students is “HOPE” , don’t know from where will it come in these circumstances but still we need it like anything , your article was one if these hopes ! I will like to add 1 thing to the head of this article that we are not only ZIA’s children , we are also children of our blind and selfish parents too , who supported us fully for our disasterous future just for an easy way out of it , and when we question them we get labeled by tagline of “disrespecting children” therefore becoming hindrance to our after death heaven .
Mohammed Iqbal
May 08, 2011 10:45am
@Nabeeha, The gleam in the eye or "the look" as you put it is the hallmark of all fanatics, be they religious or political. When they sport this look, we feel they are not human beings but some aliens.