THIS is apropos of the article ‘An unfinished agenda’ (Dec 12), eulogising the services of the late Iqbal Haider, especially his forum for secular Pakistan to achieve the goal of a secular polity in Pakistan.

With due respect to the indefatigable efforts of the late federal minister and human rights activist, I disagree with secular writers and activists that it is only religion which engenders schism in society and disrupts its cohesion and that secular ideology is the only panacea to end all such ills.

For example, the writer saying that “when the emphasis is heavily on religion, it can spawn a wave of sectarian killings as we see happening today.”

She has ignored the underlying socio - politico - economic causes behind the current spate of killings happening in our country, and ascribes them to religion. This is what I disagree with.

Killing in the name of religion, although reprehensible it is, is because of the malevolent and malignant mindset of the killer and his cohorts, in whatever form they may be, who use religion as a fig leaf to justify their crime.

In other words, it is the spiteful mindset of the peddlers of odious ideologies which accounts for misinterpretation of religion and everything done in its name.

In fact, the ‘unfinished agenda’ in this country is to reconstruct the true spirit of Islam under state patronage and implement it in socio - economic - politico system of Pakistan to marginalise all obscurantist elements, and all vestiges of exploitation in whatever form they may be.

This arduous task demands collaboration among parliamentarians, ulema, academics, legal experts, and scholars of impeccable repute. The sooner we do this, the better as we will put our country on the right track.

ATHER NAVEED Peshawar


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Comments (13) Closed




Gerry D'Cunha
Jan 08, 2013 10:26am
religion merged with politics have always caused disaster to the country and its people - example can be seen in our own country
Nony
Jan 08, 2013 08:20am
"In fact, the ?unfinished agenda? in this country is to reconstruct the true spirit of Islam under state patronage" this has been done in past specialy by zia ul haq but it seems as if everyone has his own interpretation of what an islamic society or country should be like. I think this lost cause of collaboration between the sects should have no place in our minds and arguments. These people can not and do not want to coexist and above all none of ullema is in favor of democracy, they want their so called "khilafat" system in pakistan and that also has a different definition for each of them.
S.A. Hyder, Ph.D.
Jan 08, 2013 06:07pm
Problems in Pakistan can never be solved as long as people like will never admit the route cause. As long as religion (whatever religion it may be) is confined to one's home all is well. Religion creates problems when it starts spreading to the streets. If every one minds his/her own business and tolerates others it would be peace. Whatever religion preaches takes the back burner when the religionists start their own interpretation when they do not even have a mind to grasp simplest aspects of life. People who have such screwed-up minds, who are unable to think straight and are so far deviated from humanity, believe they are God-sent to straighten a nation are in reality the problem themselves. This built-in concept of religion is its flaw! Remove this and and people would become human again.
Siddique Malik
Jan 08, 2013 03:51am
How much "true spirit of Islam under state patronage" do you want? There is a already religion in the country's official name, which was not the case at the time the country came into existence. The constitution treats non-Muslims as inferior citizens and they have no right to do certain things and must vote and run for membership in the legislature on the basis of separate electorate. Blasphemy laws induce extremists and fanatics to terrorize anybody they don't like. If socio-economic factors alone were the reason for fanatics' behavior, India would have been replete with the problems that Pakistan has. Far from it, in India -- a Hindu majority country -- the prime minister is a Sikh and the leader of the ruling party is a foreign-born white Christian woman, and there also have been three Muslim presidents and a Sikh one. India's current foreign minister is a Muslim. Will Pakistan, under your ideas, have a non-Muslim president and/or prime minister? Frankly, you have just issued a judgment against secularism but have not substantiated it with facts. Just saying, I don't think" is not an argument. The reality is that by its very nature, secularism stimulates societal cohesion because it encourages people to keep religion in their personal lives, while religion-in-state is recipe for social tensions because it leads to one-sided laws that only reflect the wishes of one group of people. Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
Saqb
Jan 08, 2013 06:16am
You say democracy can be merged with religion. Name me one country where this model has been applied successfully. More specific Muslim country. Kuwait, Iran and Tunisia are all examples which point to the contrary.
Rao
Jan 08, 2013 02:10pm
Don't put down religion unnecessarily. It is very important as long as its followers use it as an aid to live an ethical and moral life. It should be confined to one's home and heart and reason. Excessive dogmatic religion is like Botox . It can beautify one's face or paralyses, depending on the quantity one injects.
george
Jan 09, 2013 11:25am
Man created religion. Religion did not create man. All religious books were written by man, and hence there are certain paras you will find in every religious book, which are incompatible with modern days.
Jalaluddin S. Hussain
Jan 09, 2013 12:32am
Religion, or for that matter any "straight-jacket" ideology, tends to numb the rational qualities of mind.
khanm
Jan 09, 2013 12:02pm
There is no perfect system in the world. By and large the comparative studies of different religions would reveal that Islamic system is better, if it is enforce in its true sense and spirit. There is one thing for sure drags people to seek refuge in religion and that is socio economical problem. The study suggests and reveals that people have become religious because of economical depression now than there were before in the USA.
babu
Jan 09, 2013 04:20pm
Islamic system better-----Where ?? -------When ?? -----
Siddique Malik
Jan 09, 2013 05:06pm
Let me guess who did the "comparative study:" It was you. Also: if something emerges from socio-economic problems, it has to be inherently flawed. Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
stuti
Jan 10, 2013 12:31am
I have read and heard it very often but never understood it. What is the meaning of 'True Spirit of Islam'? What does it encompass? Can someone explain.
Siddique Malik
Jan 10, 2013 04:51am
Can you please identify the comparative studies to which you are referring? Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.