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Islamic fundamentalism and youth in Pakistan

Published May 31, 2012 10:44am


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Islamic fundamentalism in the modern political context can be described as an attempt to attain an ‘Islamic State’ through political mobilisation, revolutionary action or government legislation.

Even though, ever since the 1980s, Islamic fundamentalism in this context has rapidly evolved into meaning and incorporating a number of varied interpretations of political Islam, the basic concept has remained the same: To ‘Islamise’ the society from below so an Islamic State can effectively be constructed from above.

Islamic fundamentalism has had an active presence in the milieu of youth and student movements and politics in Pakistan. One of its leading components in this respect has been the student-wing of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the Islami Jamiat-i-Tuleba (IJT).

Others, like the Anjuman-i-Tuleba Islam (ATI), Jamiat-i-i Tuleba Islam (JTI) - the student wing of Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI) - and the Imamia Students Organization (ISO) have also been driven by the political ideals of Islamic fundamentalism.

Soon after the creation of a separate Muslim country in the shape of Pakistan (in 1947), colleges and universities in most Muslim-majority regions of India were dominated by the student wing of the Muslim League (ML) - the Muslim Students Federation (MSF).

MSF, like its mother party, was largely anti-fundamentalist in orientation (if not secular) and its ideology was heavily rooted in the modernist Muslim political philosophies championed by Indian Muslim thinkers like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Iqbal and Pakistan’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Even when, after 1950, the Muslim League and (consequently) MSF began to disintegrate into various opposing factions, politics in Pakistani campuses did not fall in the hands of the more right-wing forces. Instead, the vacuum was at once filled by left-wing and progressive student outfits.

The Democratic Students Federation (DSF), which was close to the Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) and the National Students Federation (NSF), which was ideologically linked to the left-wing National Awami Party (NAP)-dominated student and youth politics in the 1950s and 1960s respectively.

A 1966 poster of the left-wing National Students Federation (NSF). – Photo courtesy Apna Kal Blog
A 1966 poster of the left-wing National Students Federation (NSF). – Photo courtesy Apna Kal Blog

However, the IJT began taking a more direct part in campus politics after the emergence of Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s military coup in 1958.

In what was then a predominantly secular and pro-West social and political setting, IJT initiated a two-pronged mission on campuses, in which it not only opposed the Ayub dictatorship’s secularising policies and legislation, but also looked to check the continuing growth of leftist and progressive political groups in colleges and universities.

Basing its ideology on the political writings of the highly influential Islamic scholar, political Islamist and the chief of the Jamaat-i-Islami, Abul Ala Maududi, the IJT did manage to carve out important areas of ideological influence and electoral strength in various universities and colleges of Karachi and Lahore.

But across the 1960s, bulk of the students’ electoral and ideological support remained largely with the progressive student groups, especially the NSF.

NSF ideologue Rasheed Hassan surrounded by NSF workers and supporters at Dow Medical College, Karachi (1969). – Photo courtesy Apna Kal Blog
NSF ideologue Rasheed Hassan surrounded by NSF workers and supporters at Dow Medical College, Karachi (1969). – Photo courtesy Apna Kal Blog

One of the first prominent exhibitions of Islamic fundamentalism articulated as a political expression in student politics of Pakistan emerged when (between 1968 and 1970) IJT and its mother party began a concentrated movement against the Pakistan Peoples Party (formed in 1967) in former West Pakistan and the Bengali nationalist party, the Awami League (AL), in former East Pakistan.

IJT distributed a number of anti-socialist (and ‘pro-Islam’) pamphlets and got embroiled in clashes with activists of the PPP, AL and NSF.

Its opponents accused IJT of being ‘funded by the military regime of General Yahya Khan’ and by the American CIA, whom the leftists accused of using JI and IJT in its Cold War against the political influence of the Soviet Union.

By the mid-1970s, in the event of the splits and factional disintegration witnessed by leftist and progressive student groups, the IJT managed to turn itself into a well-oiled electoral machine. Its politics remained largely democratic and not radical.

What’s more, the same period also saw the emergence of other democratic (and non-radical) fundamentalist student groups, such as the ATI.

Unlike the IJT that was dominated by the urbane but puritanical pro-Saudi Sunni Muslims, ATI represented students belonging to the Barelvi Sunni Muslim sub-sect that was not only more moderate in its fundamentalist outlook but was also in the majority.

Flag of the the Islami Jamiat-i-Tuleba (IJT).
Flag of the the Islami Jamiat-i-Tuleba (IJT).

The early 1970s also produced the Shia-dominated ISO.

In spite of the growth of fundamentalist student outfits (especially in the Punjab and Karachi), no serious fundamentalist movement involving the students took shape during much of the 1970s.

The tussle between Islamic fundamentalism and liberal and leftist student tendencies on campuses was contested through student-union elections and occasional clashes.

But if a point is to be picked to explain the growth in the radicalisation of Islamic fundamentalists among student groups, then that point may as well be the day the right-wing coalition, the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA), kick-started its movement against the elected Zulfikar Ali Bhutto/PPP regime in 1977.

Led by the organisational prowess of the JI, the PNA was a nine-party electoral alliance against the ruling PPP. After accusing the PPP regime of rigging the 1977 general elections, PNA initiated a widespread movement calling for the dismissal of what it described to be as Bhutto’s ‘un-Islamic government’ and ‘democratic dictatorship.’ The alliance also called for the imposition of ‘Nizam-e-Mustafa’ (Prophet’s system of government).

The student-wings of Jamaat-i-Islami (IJT), Jamiat Ulema Islam (JTI) and Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (ATI) played a significant role in organising protests on the streets and campuses.

Religious-political student groups had only played a token role in the students’ movement against the Ayub Khan dictatorship (in 1968-69), which was mainly led by leftist student outfits like NSF, Baloch Students Organization, National Students Organization (NSO), and assorted progressive Sindhi, Pushtun and Bengali youth organisations.

However, religious student groups like IJT bloomed into becoming effective agitation units during the 1977 anti-Bhutto movement.

By 1977, some policies of the Bhutto regime, such as his purge against the radical/Marxist group within the PPP and his decision to send in the army against Baloch insurgents had alienated the party from a majority of left-wing youth outfits that had initially supported the PPP’s rise to power.

Baloch leader, Nawab Bugti and Z. A. Bhutto share a smoke (1974). Both were later killed by the military Bhutto in 1979 and Bugti in 2005.
Baloch leader, Nawab Bugti and Z. A. Bhutto share a smoke (1974). Both were later killed by the military. Bhutto in 1979 and Bugti in 2006.

The emergence of the reactionary military dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq (July, 1977) boosted the presence and influence of fundamentalist student groups on the country’s campuses.

Ziaul Haq announcing the dissolution of elected assemblies and the imposition of Martial Law (July 1977).
Ziaul Haq announcing the dissolution of elected assemblies and the imposition of Martial Law (July 1977).

IJT, in particular, was openly backed and aided by the dictatorship as it went about attempting to wipe-out anti-Zia and progressive student organisations. It also came into contact with certain Afghan jihadists who had begun to arrive in Pakistan after the 1979 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Interestingly, during the last countrywide student union elections that took place in early 1983, it seemed the leverage that fundamentalist student outfits had gained after the 1977 anti-Bhutto movement was fading when progressive student alliances delivered serious electoral blows to the IJT in colleges and universities across Pakistan.

Alarmed by the results of these elections, the Zia regime banned student unions in 1984.

Though the ban helped IJT to bounce back from the heavy defeats it had faced in the student union elections of 1983, its influence on campuses continued to be challenged by progressive student groups like Peoples Students Federation (PSF), BSO, Pakhtun Students Federation (PkSF), and (in Karachi) the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organization (APMSO).

Also, with Zia’s ban on student unions and the consequential lack of the annual tradition of holding student-union elections curbed, student politics in Pakistan rapidly disintegrated and violence between opposing student outfits became a disconcerting norm.

Zia’s draconian ‘Islamisation’ project and his dictatorship’s direct involvement in the US and Saudi backed anti-Soviet ‘Afghan jihad’ in Afghanistan triggered the birth of a number of radical sectarian and jihadist organisations, mostly made up of militant Deobandi, Salafi and Wahabi sections of the population.

Though such state-backed organisations were not present in colleges and universities, the more evangelical expressions of these new and more puritanical forms of Islamic fundamentalism began making their way into the privately-owned higher educational institutions that had begun to spring up in the mid-1980s.

The supposedly apolitical but puritanical Tableeghi Jamat (TJ) began gathering young adherents in the privately-owned educational institutions. Their entry was largely encouraged by these institutions’ administration.

However, believing that their universities and colleges had kept the ‘violent’ political student organisations away, the administrations’ policy of allowing Islamic evangelical groups to openly recruit students subsequently created an opening for radical Islamist organisations like the Hizbul Tahrir (HuT) to slip in.

After the tragic 9/11 episode in the United States in 2001, and the way the military dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf decided to become an active part of the United States’ ‘War on Terror,’ a fresh wave if radicalisation swept across various sections of Pakistan.

As secular and progressive student groups continued to struggle to revive their influence that had begun to erode after the 1984 ban on student unions, activities of TJ and HuT on privately owned colleges along with the unrestrained appearance of right-wing conspiracy theorists on private TV channels and campuses (as invited speakers), gave birth to perhaps the most intransigent and conservative generation of young Pakistanis.

This tendency was on display during the ‘Lawyers’ Movement’ against the Musharraf dictatorship (2006-7).

For example, though the movement was originally led by progressive lawyers and its central aim was the replacement of the Musharraf dictatorship with a democratic government, more and more right-wing elements became a part of the movement as it gained momentum.

This was also perhaps the first major political movement in Pakistan in which progressive mainstream student groups did not play a significant role, even though some minor factions of the NSF were present.

The progressive (rather non-Islamist) aspect of the movement in the context of student participation mainly came from brand new student outfits that were formed in private universities and the Punjab University (PU).

United Students Federation (USF) and University Students Federation (USF) were formed as platforms for a mixture of independent, progressive and ‘moderate Islamist’ students opposed to the Musharraf dictatorship, whereas another newly formed student organisation, the Insaf Students Federation (ISF), the student-wing of the right-wing Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), played noteworthy roles in the movement.

By the time the movement had reached a peak (in late 2007), IJT and Pakistan Muslim League-N’s student-wing, MSF, also joined in. However, the most interesting thing was when IJT and later HuT turned some rallies of the movement into pro-jihad affairs, in which portraits of renegade terrorist Osama Bin Laden, were openly displayed.

The fundamentalist tendency on campuses that touched a peak in the mid-2000s now seems be receding. But with the mainstream processes of student unionism still in the dock, one is not sure whether this tendency would give way to the return of mainstream democratic politics on campuses or will it only mutate into becoming something a lot more militant.

Nevertheless, with the democratic system that returned to Pakistan in 2008, the subsequent strengthening of the judiciary and the elected parliament; and also with the military-establishment and radical Islamist groups now coming under greater scrutiny may as well mean that the fundamentalist aspects of student politics in Pakistan may now evolve into becoming something a lot more temperate.

APTI/ ISF rally. Satirist political pop acts like Ali Aftab Saeed believe that PTI is ‘just a good looking version of Jamaat-i-Islami.’
A PTI/ ISF rally. Satirist and political pop acts like Ali Aftab Saeed believe that PTI is ‘just a good looking version of Jamaat-i-Islami.’

However, there is also the view that the hold on campuses and influence of old fundamentalist outfits may be loosening. Unchecked HuT activities on various private educational institutions have added a radical and reactionary tendency to new urban youth groups, especially in many sections of ISF.

Bibliography: Nasr, Vali Reza: The Vanguard of Islamic Revolution (I B. Tauris, 1994); Haqqani, Husain: Pakistan: Between Mosque & Military (Carnegie Endowment, 2005); Malik, Anas: Political Survival in Pakistan-Beyond Ideology (Taylor & Francis, 2010); Nelson, MJ: Religion, Politics & the Modern University in Pakistan & Bangladesh (National Bureau of Asian Research, 2009).

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and

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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Author Image

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and He is also the author of two books on the social history of Pakistan, End of the Past and The Pakistan Anti-Hero.

He tweets @NadeemfParacha

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (185) Closed

Peace Maker Jun 03, 2012 03:45pm
Well Said!!
Aks Jun 03, 2012 01:53pm
Well said, Karachiwala!
TXDTTT Jun 03, 2012 11:57am
Hahah no, I just chose random alphabets when I started out and just kept my name the way it is.
Srini Jun 07, 2012 06:26pm
NFP, I am waitinf for you to write about the corruption of minds by misusing the education system in Pakistan. Unless the education system changes and Madarasas are eliminated, there is no hope for Pakistan in my opinion.
Nasir Jun 22, 2012 06:34pm
I completely agree with you, perhaps we need to change it back to its original name Peoples Republic of Pakistan.
Abdul Jun 06, 2012 08:43am
I agree
Javed Shahid May 31, 2012 11:00am
Excellent work as usual. I agree. It is deffinately a cause for concern that many young PTI supporters behave very much like IJT members used to.
Shekhar Jun 06, 2012 07:46am
That was just the advertisement to get more adherents - This is the REAL Islam - Violence and non-tolerance - not just for non-muslims but for even other muslims and those who are not muslims enough - from Aurangzeb to Jinnah to Zakir Naik !
Manish Jun 06, 2012 07:38am
That is because Gandhi too felt the need to be politically correct since he was the leader of both Hindus and Muslims. On the other hand muslim leaders like Jinnah would make no favourable statement on other religions because they engaged in politics of Hate.
Shekhar Jun 06, 2012 07:28am
They are - 1/3rd of Quran is addressed to Arabs alone - they are the chosen ones according to Islam - whether you like it or not !
saleem Jun 09, 2012 11:12am
that is condembale and i am sure you will also condemn (still on-going) killing of muslims in pak by other muslims (for facts see bangladesh, bauchistan and other parts of pakistan etc.)
Shekhar Jun 06, 2012 07:27am
How could Jinnah and his Muslim League be called "Secular"? They openly preached violence which was aptly demonstrated on "Direct Action Day". Even after partition - Hindus and Sikhs were persecuted and hounded out resulting in their population decimating from 27% to 1%. Even the fist Law minister of Pakistan J.N.Mandal had to flee to India.
Mohammad Ali Khan May 31, 2012 12:00pm
For a healthy debate on religion: 1.Immature minds should not indoctrinated about complex subjects. 2.Incomprehesible chanting should be discouraged. 3.Gradual introduction about the writings of Abu Ali Sina,Ibn Rushd should be included in curriculum.
babu May 31, 2012 10:49am
i loved to comment , but you keep deleting my post ,without even reading it
Shekhar Jun 07, 2012 08:32am
It is a fact Muslims killed by muslims (is much greater than) non-muslims killed by muslims (is much greater than) muslims killed by non-muslims.
Pramod Jun 07, 2012 06:45am
You are wrong. Most of the comments written for other religion and countries stays. but any thing related Islam or Pakistan is mostly deleted or modified.
Idrees Jun 07, 2012 05:25pm
very good
Idrees Jun 07, 2012 05:27pm
i like ur comment
Mohammad Ali Khan Jun 01, 2012 11:56am
BRR, You have raised an excellent question.There are multiple reasons for the resurgence of fanaticism.If we see in the 19th. century,we had people like Sir Syed,Mohammad Ali Jinah,Soekarnoe,Ata Turk, and many wise men were accepted as leaders.In 1885 Zionists Congress was formed,it took the Jewish reforms backward,and subsequently we Muslims and Hindus(RSS) to start going back on their reforms. The continued unfair treatment Palestinians has affected muslims to become more self conscious about their religion.The oil in middle east has exposed muslims to Arab culture and has influenced in this transformation,too. But one of the latest factor was the CIA and Saudi sponsored madrasas to produce religion oriented fighters,who after the departure of the Russians took a liking to fight fellow citizens.Thus the fanaticism continues to grow and the civil war continues. The corrupt politicians,bureaucracy,police,tribals are inept to counter this decline. We need a movement to transform our culture which values character. Tehzeeb ul Ikhlaq.
El Cid Jun 08, 2012 09:11am
You comment speaks for mine. Thank you.
El Cid Jun 14, 2012 08:53pm
Personally am not in favor of restrictive laws...this one is an anathema to the very spirit of Islam. However it was constructed as a defensive "fence" againsts foreign elements that were exploiting poor un-informed local Christians as foil against Islam nd Muslims...a ploy that has been exploited rather successfully in many other Muslim countries. Countries such as Indonesia, Sudan, Phillipines immediately come to mind, others...
Navin May 31, 2012 11:46am
Mr.NFP jumped the history by atleast 15 yrs.From 1984 to directly 2001.He avoided mentioning effectsof Pakistan's Kashmir's policy on radicalisation.
ahmet abdulaziz May 31, 2012 11:53am
A good write up indeed. I had been a student during the 1970s. That was perhaps quite better period, as the politics of violence had not been the order of the day. There had been only NSF and Jam?at in those days. During my days in the Premier College (1969-1973), late Wahab Siddiqui was there and much active in politics. Those were good old days.
Jatin May 31, 2012 11:55am
Take Zia out and hang him again:)
Saqib Syed May 31, 2012 12:05pm
You have really summed up the dynamics of student Politics in Pakistani History.
peera May 31, 2012 12:13pm
loved it. nice as usual.
Khan May 31, 2012 12:19pm
Take Indira out and shoot her again :)
Ali S May 31, 2012 12:38pm
Question: NFP, what was the last time you visited a government university's campus?
Ahmed May 31, 2012 12:53pm
Who is abu ali sina? Its a fake identity !
NASAH (USA) May 31, 2012 01:13pm
"Tomhaaray moolk meiN huNsnay ko ub ronaa samajhtay haiN Jissay paththar samanhna thaa ussay sonaa sumajhtay haiN"
F Abbas May 31, 2012 01:13pm
Agreed. I was at LUMS four years ago a constantly saw Tableeghi Jamat members roaming on the campus, whereas no other student political organizations were allowed there. We asked a lecturer about this and he said Tableeghi guys were not political. But he should listen to the political view of some of guys at LUMS who did join the Tableeghis.
planettrekker May 31, 2012 01:23pm
Islam which means 'peace' actually is in dire need of peace - as it is equated with fear. This can only be attained when its adherents talk and debate openly, candidly, and without fear about its thousands of self-contradicting, often-irrational, and irrelevant tenets and hadiths. This process was started by Turkey, courtesy of its government, by Islamic scholars a few years back. Unless Islam reforms, and is open to a healthy debate, it will be abused by madmen mullahs using mass-produced illiterates, and the educated blind - "who create hell of earth while trying to achieve heaven". It is a well known fact that millions of Muslims, especially women, would leave their faith gladly (if they haven't done so mentally already) if they weren't threatened by violence against 'apostates'. The solution is simple...ideological. The world awaits an Islamic Mandela, Gandhi, Dalai Lama or Luther to enter the scene, but all its gets are hell-raising ayatollahs and Wahabi-Salafist thugs, bred to destroy, not to build.
Lakhkar Khan May 31, 2012 01:30pm
Zia was not hung. You are taking him for someone else.
BRR May 31, 2012 01:49pm
NFP writes about campus politics as an observer, which may be accurate, but that does not explain why the society at large has turned radical, if not ultra conservative. Why has Pakistan turned into one large regiment of militant ant-west, rabidly intolerant bigots?
Yawar May 31, 2012 02:45pm
Excellent article. We all know our society and politics are highly polarized based on ethnicity and religious schools of thought. How can one expect the kind of learning needed to bring us in par with progressing muslim countries like Turkey and Malaysia to take place if we allow emotions bubbling within the various groups to be displayed and consume campus life. If we are to progress as a united nation, all our energies wasted in political activities on campuses must be converted towards learning especially in the fields of science and technology.
Worldcitizen May 31, 2012 02:59pm
Great observation.
bhat badri nath May 31, 2012 03:02pm
this radiicalization is very harmful and it will obstruct the progres of the ountry by thousands of years
Karachi Wala May 31, 2012 03:06pm
He came into power through the immense support of above mentioned groups. He was popular among, sunnis, shias and the minorities youth alike. And what he did? He started pleasing and caving in to Mullahs demands. Starting by 73 constitution and declaring Ahmadi's Non Muslims, Friday holiday, banning alcohol and bars ( even though he himself openly drank and others getting alcohol on minority permits) ect ect... and we all know what happened to him through the hands of his own hand picked Army chief. Now fast forward to PTI and ISF and Imran Khan. Like Bhutto, Imran in his early days (meaning cricket playing days) appeared to be very secular, westernized and cultured.
Karachi Wala May 31, 2012 03:07pm
Imran was popular and loved all over Pakistan. Even popular among young girls and housewives who did not even understand cricket I remember a mullah demanding banning cricket because according to him, "when he (Imran) gives shine to the ball by rubbing vigorously against his trouser, it lit fire in young girls head......) and we thought Imran and Sarfraz did this for reverse swing:) For quite sometime now when I talk to the people who are fed up by PPP and Nawaz league both, whether they have beard on their face or hidden in their belly (unfortunately after Zia era an open liberal and a leftist is hard to find among Pakistani's) have very high hopes of Imran and his Tsunami. After watching PTI's Tsunami Jalsa's in Lahore and Karachi and seeing Imran sandwiching Namaz on stage between Musical Hallah Gullah, soft spot he has for Jamaat e Islami and Taliban, it just gives me SHIVERS. Had he excused himself for few minutes, went back stage, performed Namaz and came back I would have been somewhat optimistic about Imran his PTI and ISF.
Kafir May 31, 2012 03:25pm
Can a nation(Pakistan) created solely based on religion ever avoid religious fundamentalism ? Can the founding leaders (Jinnah, Iqbal) of such a nation be ever called anti-fundamentalist ? They used the best of what the West had to offer (Western Education in Europe) and then later used one of the worst of human inventions (religion). NFP is a talented thinker and writer but loses perspective when he starts searching for anti-fundamentalist / secular leaders in present / past Pakistan and finds none.
Karachi Wala May 31, 2012 03:31pm
This all happened due to rapid decline in education and instead educating themselve people started following different brands of Mullah's blindly. Ignorance mixed with arrogance pavaed the way for redical thinking and intolerance toward everybody. Period
gulshan May 31, 2012 04:08pm
Excellent observation and very noble comment. And you have put them so nicely. I pray for the health and long life of people like you. Stay involved, please !!
sagheer May 31, 2012 04:24pm
Righto...religion along with every thing else should be open to debate and analysis. Blind and ignorant faith, institutionalized by mullahs and generals, has led us to this abysmal existance
Ghani Khan May 31, 2012 04:35pm
Roti , Kapra aur Makan , a catchy slogan by a socialist' ZAB was no more than a slogan.Jumped in fundamentalist army dictator Zia, who propagated that fundamental Islam was our salvation,came along Nawaz Sharif, he wanted to be 'The Commander of the Faithfuls'. Current occupant of President House, AAZ is too busy holding on to fragile coalition, trying to thrive on the memory of his assassinated wife,BB. Presently, students have no faith in any leadership, that is why you don't see students come out of the campus & demonstrate. Exception is IJT which is destructively active on the campus opposing any thing & everything that has any link to western culture.
Ram krishan May 31, 2012 04:59pm
Indira was cremated .There is nothing left to shoot.
kdspirietd May 31, 2012 05:02pm
At the end of the the day I know the ban on student unions did a lot of damage to progressive unions however I blame the more tolerant voices for not re-uniting. Zia has been dead and gone for almost 2 decades and should no longer be used as an excuse to tolerate religious activities/politics on campus. NFP I am very disappointed in how you continue to propogade anti PTI bias. You quoted an un varifiable source as saying PTI is just a good looking version of JI. You didnt put any facts in the article to back this notion up. This is totally unfounded and bad journalism. Not to mention it damages your credibility
Srini May 31, 2012 05:17pm
- "who create hell of earth while trying to achieve heaven". Nicely put.
Ram krishan May 31, 2012 05:19pm
All Muslims are Fundamentalist which means they obey the fundamental rules of Islam. Nothing wrong with that. Islam means Peace and started as a peaceful religion but for a very short time . It is in dire need of Reformation . There is a need to look at all the Jihad verses in the holy Quran as well as in Prophet's (PBUH) Sira or biography. Otherwise , there will never be any peace in this world.
khan May 31, 2012 05:50pm
the hell with you and your so-called progressive ideas.
Najeeb May 31, 2012 05:50pm
Mr. Khan Can't shoot her.She was cremated, ashes thrown in River Ganges.
Karachi Wala May 31, 2012 05:52pm
So is Zia, as he was burned in the sky. However, I feel Zia should have been buried next to his creater, ZAB.
G.Nabi May 31, 2012 06:04pm
NFP , wake up to reality,Pakistan was created in the name of Islam,does not have to be a fundamental Islam, neverthless it is a muslim nation.So you can't alienate religion from the politics.To label PTI as good looking version of JI, shows NFP is obsessively critical of Imran K.
Suhail Ahmad May 31, 2012 06:05pm
To me PTI / ISF seem to be nationalists opting for change in Pakistan. This is why it has prominent christians working for it as well. It is as simple as that.
porkchop May 31, 2012 06:08pm
To planettrekker, Not sure if you are muslim/pakistani or not? but youre damn right man! As a Hindu I like your line "create hell in earth while trying to achieve heavan"! it is soo true! Well if you are a muslim paki then we need millions like you to create a normal Pakistan
Karachi Wala May 31, 2012 06:17pm
I do not how could you say that after reading following from his blog: "in the mid-1980s. The supposedly apolitical but puritanical Tableeghi Jamat (TJ) began gathering young adherents in the privately-owned educational institutions. Their entry was largely encouraged by these institutions’ administration." By the way this is the same era when cleaned shaved and low key Saeed Anwar followed by Inzmam, Mushtaq Ahmed, Saqlain Mushtaq and Shahid Afridi started growing beared without mustache and Yousaf Youhana turned into Mohammad Yousaf. Pictures of these players performing collective Namaz on cricket grouds started to appear on the media.
n.qureshi May 31, 2012 06:51pm
i agree with planettrekker.islam awaits a luther.
shaukat ali chughtai May 31, 2012 07:08pm
NFP: Excellent piece. While u successfuly explained student dynamics in private and public universities, you really missed one point, emergence of TJ and their target group Lower Middle Line , rapid and mushrom growth of madrassahs supported by imigrants and lower middle class groups working gulf provided funds to madrassahs both in rural and urban areas, and this class was an easy prey to such organizations. Mindset which has been built and students brain washed over the decades will bring new dangerous results in the years to come. There is no strong liberal and progressive force in Pakistan so no hope. PTI seemed to be slightly revised version JI and no hope. Suggest solutions
Anwar Hakam May 31, 2012 07:32pm
Great analysis of the genesis of right wing religious movements on student politics in Pakistan by N.F.P. I want to add that we must keep in mind the gradual transformation of J.I. and how it has now fallen into the full grip of I.J.T. This, in my opinion, is a good news. While most of the I.J.T. leaders who are now heading J.I., including the likes of Munawwar Hassan, Liaqat Baloch, Farid Parach etc, have come to mainstream politics with a lot of vigor, they have not been able to shed their student attire, neither in their speech, nor in their behavior. Fortunately, for the sensible but silent majority of the electorate, they very conspicuously lack the religious sophistication, personal soberness, institutional notoriety and political acumen of their predecessors. With all the hoopla they are able to create at every juncture in the political journey of Pakistani democracy, they have not, and mostly likely can not, at least in the foreseeable future, become a formidable electoral challenge.
rahmat May 31, 2012 07:34pm
all i'm saying is we need Atatork .otherwise we are going down my friends ....
Rameez (India) May 31, 2012 07:47pm
Political vacuum in Pakistan has lead to this radicalization. There is an urgent need for political reform with politics based on nationalism rather than on religion. Pak should take all regions within it like Sind,Baloch,NWFP into confidence and not run a Punjabi show.
Aamir Younis Jun 01, 2012 10:51am
I agree to some part but your observation that a large women are scared of violence and that is why they are not leaving Islam is absolutely mistaken. Muslims women living in western world would have largely become non-Muslims by now!
KtKt May 31, 2012 07:54pm
If u look at the history of Muslim invasion in India, u will notice that there was never peace. It's basics are violence.
Nasir May 31, 2012 08:06pm
Why can't Pakistanis follow whatever they believe in and leave others alone. Remember "There is no complision in religion"
Faizullah Khalil May 31, 2012 08:12pm
Pakistan was born in the name of Islam. Very different ethnic groups from Karachi to Khyber and from Bolan to Kashmir got united to form a seperate Islamic state for themselves where they could freely practice their religon. if Pakistan was to be created with a slogan of social liberalism and not Islamic entity, I wonder how many Baluch would want to live with Punjabis and how many Muhajirs would want to live with Pakhtuns. Their love is evident for each other today. The reason our society is falling apart is because "Islamic bondage" has been weaken and our priorities are changed.
Karachi Wala May 31, 2012 09:11pm
(1) What I was trying to say in my previous two posts, Bhutto had tremendous support among the youths of his era beside whole hearted support from the middle and lower middle classes. Sunnis, Shias, Minorities, all supported him. With this support he could have done a lot for the common men and women. Instead, he started pleasing and caving in to Mullahs demands. In trying so, he declared Ahmadis non Muslims. Declared Friday holiday, ect. Ect…Little did he know that very soon his own hand picked Mullah Zia with the help of JI and mullah judiciary will hang him high and dry. Similarly, Imran who had a very liberal and westernized upbringing, was oxford educated, when turned politician, somehow feels pleasing right wingers is the way he can get into power.
Karachi Wala May 31, 2012 09:11pm
(2) Imran has been popular and loved all over Pakistan. During his playing days he was even popular among young girls and housewives who did not understand cricket. I remember a mullah demanding banning cricket because according to him, "when he (Imran) gives shine to the ball by rubbing vigorously against his trouser, it lit fire in young girls head......) and we thought Imran and Sarfraz did this for reverse swing:) For quite sometime now when I talk to the people who are fed up by PPP and Nawaz league both, whether they have beard on their face or hidden in their belly (unfortunately after Zia era an open liberal and a leftist or an old fashioned Muslim is hard to find among Pakistani's) have very high hopes of Imran and his Tsunami. After watching PTI's Tsunami Jalsa's in Lahore and Karachi and seeing Imran sandwiching Namaz on stage between Musical Hallah Gullah, soft spot he has for Jamaat e Islami and Taliban, it just gives me SHIVERS. Had he excused himself for few minutes, went back stage, performed Namaz and came back I would have been somewhat optimistic about Imran his PTI and ISF.
Capricorn May 31, 2012 09:11pm
Pakistani first.....everything else including religion should come later.
Mohammad Ali Khan May 31, 2012 09:18pm
Dear planettrekker, Mandela spent a great deal of his life in jail.Luther was convicted by the Church,the German king Fredrick saved him.Many of Luther's like minded people were burnt alive in his time.Dalai Lama is in exile. Big question is, are Pakistanis ready to recognize the right leader?, and are willing to support him with all they have.Any one who is a threat to the corrupt ruling class(Feudals,bureaucrats,exploiting mullas,police, politicians) can become a victim of their nefarious designs eg Gov.Taseer.
Krishna May 31, 2012 09:36pm
Islam means submission not peace
Punjabi May 31, 2012 10:02pm
Trust me , she is not safe even after her death......she is still paying for her deeds somewhere......
AHA May 31, 2012 10:29pm
“Can the founding leaders (Jinnah, Iqbal) of such a nation be ever called anti-fundamentalist?” I do not think any serious observes could ever conclude that Jinnah or Iqbal were fundamentalists in any way. They wanted a state for the Muslim, but never wanted an Islamic state. If at all, one can accuse Jinnah for a lack of foresight. I would not do even that. I think the rise of fundamentalism in Pakistan was a consequence of the frustration among the masses with the state of affairs of Pakistan. They were getting a miserable ‘here’, so they put their bets on a better ‘hereafter’. The sorry state of Pakistan right after Jinnah was not Jinnah’s doing, and certainly not Iqbal’s.
TXDTTT May 31, 2012 10:33pm
Well written NFP. Pakistan's main problem is intolerance and specifically religious intolerance. This is where education comes in. These embarassing Mullahs who have nothing better to do, start building up a world of fantasies with the conflicting ideologies. I myself am a Pakistani Muslim but I find Islam so contradicting. I don't even know whether its compulsory for a woman to do cover her hair or not because I've been so confused between the Mullah and Moderate Islamist view. Islam preaches equality for both genders but its basis is so incorrect. In a society like Pakistan, where a woman is supposed to cover her hair, how will her husband ever let her leave the house? How can she work and how can she become Independent? The reason why I respect leaders like Musharraf, is that he was taking Pakistan on the path to secularism. In Pakistan, we often confuse secularism with atheism when the truth is that secularism is a more Islamic path to take because it offers tolerance of other ethnicities and reflects truly on the fact that Islam really is peaceful which obviously isn't visible.
Shahzad Naseem May 31, 2012 10:43pm
You endlesly repeated the phrase " mindless chanting" for many years on the BBC Islam Messageboards. I see that the phrase is deeply ingrained in your psyche and you are still mindlessly repeating it.
Faraz Jun 01, 2012 10:32am
extremely well written, like always. Jamat-e- Islami is better looking version of Taliban and PTI is good looking version of Jamat-e-Islami, this the heirarchy. All three groups are very similar! and unfortunately all three parties are hypocrates to different extents.
Khan May 31, 2012 11:33pm
Thanks for understanding, there's nothing wrong with Islam - it's complete code of life- ABSOLUTELY NO CHANGE NEEDED. The fundamentalist are human - whether muslims, hindus , christian or any one else ... I hope you got the point.
Khan May 31, 2012 11:43pm
this is the first time I heard or read about this well known fact of millions of Muslims leaving Islam gladly :) Islam doesn't need any Gandhi or others of that kind to say ... we are much better off with Muhammad (PBUH) life and seerah .. it's just matter of understanding and following it properly .
jd shami Jun 01, 2012 12:00am
He was and is Bhotto's boy and his brain does not go further than Bhutto, cigars, whisky, bars, boys
Aamir Younis Jun 01, 2012 10:55am
Not just Islam, not just religion, anything can be used to get mass sympathy and hence becomes more objectionable than adorable. In west, freedom is given the status of religion and when governments want public sympathies, they try to prove that in fact their freedom in under threat. Nazi Germany used race for the same purpose.
saleem Jun 01, 2012 01:05am
TJ poster correctly show person on road to now where
Ronnie Dsouza Jun 01, 2012 01:56am
You are absolutely right, Karachi Wala. Imran's PTI is using the same pattern, using religion for his political benefit, just like how the others did.
annas Jun 01, 2012 02:15am
I think the whole blame rests on ZA Bhutto. He is the real person behind empowerment of student wings and federation. That was the time once students realized their actual power supported by their "Guru". Why NFP? Why did you miss quote the chronicle of History? Journalists are not meant to be biased.
Ahmed Jun 01, 2012 02:25am
"It is a well known fact that millions of Muslims, especially women, would leave their faith gladly (if they haven't done so mentally already" And what is the proof of your ridiculous assumption There are thousands of Muslims in the West who can safely leave Islam yet less than quarter of them do so, and most reverts to Islam are women.
Aamir Younis Jun 01, 2012 10:57am
This is the IJT instilled intolerance. Follow Prophet not IJT. Bear criticism. If you have a belief that your religion is the right path, why are you scared and from what?
malik Jun 01, 2012 02:57am
If only we keep our religion in our hearts and homes and stop trying to save the world.
ssf Jun 01, 2012 03:11am
Yes that's what you call free press in Pakistan, Freedom of speech.
sharma Jun 01, 2012 03:13am
Anyways Indians wont mind if you hang Indira. we are glad to get rid of her.
Fika Jun 01, 2012 04:23am
I've got the same issue.
Alan Jun 01, 2012 04:24am
Islam means submission - not peace. Check out articles under About Islam at thereligionofpeace website.
Faizullah Khalil Jun 01, 2012 04:28am
ignorance never let somone see the light of the day. Try to be logical ,informative and fair in your approach
Kafir Jun 01, 2012 04:28am
If there are certain criteria to call a person fundamentalist or anti-fundamentalist, then Yes, Jinnah and Iqbal cannot be termed as fundamentalist. At the same time, they cannot be termed as anti-fundamentalist as well. They will be somewhere in the grey area between fundamentalist and anti-fundamentalist. The same is with Z.A.Bhutto. NFP tends to portray them as anti-fundamentalist or secular in this blog and some of his previous ones as well. I beg to differ on that opinion. Jinnah and Iqbal wanted a country where Muslims were a majority and that way the country can be assured of a continuous muslim leadership. Even if we were to assume that they wanted a secular state, it is hypocrisy at best. Look at this reason: Jinnah and Iqbal wanted Muslims to be a majority in the new country and expected minorities to live along with the majority; But they (Jinnah , Iqbal and Pro-separation Muslims) were not ready to live as Minority (a large minority if Indian sub-continent remained undivided) in the undivided country. Hmm, That tells a lot about them.
jalal Jun 01, 2012 05:17am
krishna you r right. islam basically means submission to allah however, it does also used in arabic for peace.
jalal Jun 01, 2012 05:35am
there are great names in islam e.g Qutab Shah Sherazi, Hassan Al Banna etc but we are not told in our education system.
jalal Jun 01, 2012 05:36am
we just get rid of Ataturk in the shape of musharraf. pls don't pray for another. kindly pray for a wise and true muslim leader
Dixit Jun 01, 2012 05:44am
What a comment planettrekker......Kudos!!!!!!!
Javed Shahid Jun 01, 2012 05:50am
Al Banna? Are you that naive, Jalal? Banna was the source of the hate and violence that was introduced among many Muslims from the 1940s onward.
Dixit Jun 01, 2012 06:04am
Not Luther but only Gandhi because Gandhi is the highest personality when it comes to equality and non-violence. I have seen in most of the comments that muslims are avoiding Gandhi. May be bacause he was hindu. How irrational you people are. Is it the way you people want to save Pakistan.
sartaj hussain Jun 01, 2012 06:42am
Bhutto initiated politics of wisdom and progressive approach with the scientific dealings in the country and formed a real political party by the will of the people and to work for the restoration of the constitution and democracy in the country instead of dictatorship military rule his wise message people are the fountain of power but unfortunately general Zia toppled the democratic government ant strengthen the religious fundamentalist groups as required by the military to stop political activities and he did so the time and necessity of such regimes were fixed for the interests of the forces behind the play and they finish the role if one does not surrender his elimination takes place whether country lose whatever is no concerned with them our rulers are very much experienced but again and again they do the same and they wait for the term religion has been used as a slogan as a weapon but ...............Sartaj Hussain
Ch. SIKANDAR Jun 01, 2012 07:22am
Great article by Piracha, I ( a leftest for last 58 years) and an ex - jamatia my rival from university time now we both support Tehrik e insaf. Idealogical devide has come to an end. Now we both want peace and prosrerity for our children.
Abdur Razzaque Jun 01, 2012 08:15am
Brother Jalal you are absolutely right for the meaning of Islam. Islam is really innocent and full of love and tolerance in every sphere of our life. Look at the history of the Prophet (sm) and afterwards. All the great jobs and great conquests are done only through the essence of Islam. If some body abuse Islam for their own narrow interest that does not mean we gonna our religion and its administrative system. Mahatma Gandhi tried to bring justice and equality for everybody in India what happened finally the conspirators took his life forever!
gulshan Jun 01, 2012 08:28am
About time !
Vish Jun 01, 2012 08:41am
Not sure what the difference is between an 'Islamic state' and a state for Muslims that Jinnah and his followers proposed. The moment one speaks only for one particular community as Jinnah did, he could be described as a fundamentalist (maybe of the religio-political kind). Jinnah's worldview consisted of only one particular community. So expecting minorities to be treated well or for the state to not turn completely fundamentalist (in this case Islamic) is unrealistic. The seeds were sown long ago with 'Muslim' this and 'Muslim' that. Time to now accept and live with it.
Abdur Razzaque Jun 01, 2012 08:51am
You are not right. The whole Muslim invasion and then the establishment of Muslim rule in India was really a unique one! Islam first of all abolished the so-called supremacy of the Brahmans and their inhuman treatment towards the lower castes. It is Islamic principles and qualities attracted all the oppressed Indians to embrace the new religion and shared equality with other Muslims in their daily life. As far as the peace concern in the medieval Muslim India was largely responsible by the reactionary activities of the different religious leaders. All the Muslim leaders did their best to get support from other religions for the development and stability of their rule in India. But they did not make it happen. Still, as a whole the Muslim rules in the then Hindu India was full of success, a proud example of tolerance and development until the British arrival. Everybody knows the truth of the establishment of the British rule in India was happened only with their jealousy against the Muslims whom they even today consider as an unwanted invader!
Abdur Razzaque Jun 01, 2012 09:01am
Dear Annas: it is ZA Bhutto who was the real Guru of all the masterstroke that divided Pakistan and aftermath of all the major crisis that Pakistan has been sufferings!
yusuf khan Jun 01, 2012 09:09am
The ideas and cocepts depicted by many Pakistanis here show that they will never try to get rid of the shaitan of 'fundamentalism'. The day a common Pakistani starts thinking that he is a human being first and make Islam a personal factor, the whole Pakistani society will become a moderate, rational and progressive society.
Asad Shah Jun 01, 2012 10:10am
Having studied at LUMS, the key difference in LUMS and rest of Pakistan is the ability of tolerance amongst the students. Majority of the students fill up the mosques at prayer time; whereas the western style students also enjoy the complete freedom to express themselves without being bothered or labled anything. Thats the beauty of LUMS. We all co-existed. There might be students who belongs to Tableeghi Jamat, but then there are girls who roam around LUMS in skirts. Both are fine and no one really cares :)
Labad Jun 01, 2012 11:11am
Here's the vicious cycle of Pakistan.. Zia's focus on religion --> less secular education --> less ability to think intelligently --> less ability to work and feed family --> lower self-esteem --> more fundamentalist religion --> less secular education --> as above.
Bilal Jun 01, 2012 11:20am
I salute your thinking sir! I wish to see the day when religion (ANY religion) becomes a personal matter and being a human being takes precedence over being anything else.
Bilal Jun 01, 2012 11:32am
Vish, Jinnah was a democrat. He correctly envisioned that given the social divide between Muslims and Hindus at that time in sub-continent, Muslims could never have achieved their proper representation and rights. You said "So expecting minorities to be treated well or for the state to not turn completely fundamentalist (in this case Islamic) is unrealistic." Well Jinnah also said "You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State. " But unfortunately, Mullahs have hijacked some parts of our society and military, so we never went according to Jinnah's wishes. Heres the complete text to this speech, its a good read But this always wasnt the case! Pakistan was seen as a model of success and development in 60's. So you can't say that the whole thing was rotten right from the start. And I hope this doesn't offend you, except for this last decade or so, Pakistan was always a better place to live than India in almost every aspect. Our per capita income was always greater than India (India overtook Pakistan around 2005 I think). Anyways lets hope that things start moving in the right direction soon.
Karachi Wala Jun 01, 2012 12:45pm
Dear Kafir, Please revisit true history. Mr. Jinnah started his political journey in congress. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Indian Muslims were legging far behind than majority Hindus. This was due to the then Mullah's. As they were telling them basically anything that is being provided or being spread by the ruling British was kufr. According to their fatwa factories, learning English was kufr, modern education was kufr, using modern technology was kufr. Due to all this, majority of Indian Muslims were uneducated, thus they could not advance themselves. In business, Hindus were already far ahead. He realized once British would leave, Hindu majority would practically control everything (and there were those Hindus who had great resentment toward Muslim because of Mughal and other invaders) and Muslims of India would have a further backward slide. Still, Mr. Jinnah had agreed on confederation formula where Muslim interest would be looked after. Unfortunately, some of top Hindu leaders did not let it materialized and Pakistan came into being. Thus, all his efforts were for Muslim rights protection and not to create a strictly Muslim state.
El Cid Jun 01, 2012 02:47pm
The Dawn moderator represses speech of its readers to protect unsubstantiated diatribes of NFP. Also allows Hindu comments but not Muslim or Pakistani responses to them. This allows falsehood, untruth, lack of scholarship, and disinformation to stand unchallenged--increasingly a common features on its forums. This will gradually reduce this paper to 2nd class, and left unread/shunned by thoughtful knowledgeable readers. As it is there are plenty of such Hindu dominated trash sites on the web. And Dawn may well be irretrievably on its way.
El Cid Jun 01, 2012 02:58pm
Zia passed on over twenty years long do you people plan to impose your limitations, lazyness, and weaknesses on to his doing? When will his responsibility end?
El Cid Jun 01, 2012 03:17pm
Muslims are not avoiding Ghandi. Pakistanis are discussing their past. As for Ghandi he great admiration for The Prophet. Whose life he considered "Great...": Here is Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in “Young India”, 1924: “I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.”
Suraj Jun 01, 2012 03:33pm
Bro, it is West not Asia or Middle East.... there are no mullahs to restrict them like wearing nail polish etc.. they are free to live n practice whatever they wish..
Suraj Jun 01, 2012 03:34pm
Good analysis, man.. Keep it up
El Cid Jun 01, 2012 03:59pm
In the first ten sections of the treatise, Luther expounds, at considerable length, upon his views concerning Jews and Judaism and how these compare against Christians and Christianity. Following this exposition, Section XI of the treatise advises Christians to carry out seven remedial actions. These are 1.for Jewish synagogues and schools to be burned to the ground, and the remnants buried out of sight; 2.for houses owned by Jews to be likewise razed, and the owners made to live in agricultural outbuildings; 3.for their religious writings to be taken away; 4.for rabbis to be forbidden to preach, and to be executed if they do; 5.for safe conduct on the roads to be abolished for Jews; 6.for usury to be prohibited, and for all silver and gold to be removed and "put aside for safekeeping"; and 7.for the Jewish population to be put to work as agricultural slave labor.[4]
dhananjay Jun 01, 2012 03:59pm
It is difficult to accept that so many people from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia accepted Islam only by force. I think when Islam was born several centuries ago, it must be a liberal ideology of those times so naturally so many people got attracted towards it. However over the past several centuries, it has lost that vitality and during this period, other religions have become far more liberal than Islam. Hence the present period is very critical for Muslims. If they don't reform, it is quite possible that there will be mass exodus out of Islam.
Cyrus Howell Jun 01, 2012 04:04pm
Students want to be part of anything new, and will embrace any movement which makes them believe they are part of a new change for their country. Young people are always ready to be swept up in one movement or another. They want to tell their friends and family they are a part of something. At 20 we are still defining the image of ourselves. In fact, the Muslim League began at Cambridge University. That must have been an exciting time.
Cyrus Howell Jun 01, 2012 04:13pm
It may be that only another military dictator can rescue Pakistan. Drones are still attacking. Criminality, corruption and extremism are out of control, and the present government seems to be getting nothing accomplished.
Cyrus Howell Jun 01, 2012 04:15pm
The world was different then.
Cyrus Howell Jun 01, 2012 04:25pm
People always hope. Imran Khan is still very popular. The question is will he have the courage to do what needs to be done?
babu Jun 01, 2012 04:27pm
when mr.khan ,another 1000 years ?
Cyrus Howell Jun 01, 2012 04:30pm
"Our culture has been and continues to be absorbed with questions of the forbidden and the permitted, of belief and disbelief because it is a religious civilization… We strongly differentiate between Islam in itself and what people do in it's name." (Ibrahim al-Buleihi)
babu Jun 01, 2012 04:37pm
really faizullah,!!!check with bangladesh, ISLAM alone is not the unify factor ,ask the gulf arabs which nationality they prefer working in their countries
Cyrus Howell Jun 01, 2012 04:45pm
'Okaz: "There is a crucial question in our debate: do you understand by civilization only its material aspect?" Buleihi: "The most important achievement of Western civilization is the humanization of political authority, dividing it into separate powers, and establishing and keeping a balance between the separate powers. Western civilization has given priority to the individual and subordinated its institutions, laws, and procedures to this principle, whereas in the old civilizations the individual was a cog in a machine."
babu Jun 01, 2012 04:47pm
well said TXDTTT, Are you a tax officer ? your name sound so
Cyrus Howell Jun 01, 2012 04:54pm
"We have inherited certain clichés about our history and the history of other nations without reading our history critically and without reading the history of others fairly and objectively. The luminous Greek civilization emerged in the sixth century BC and reached the peak of its flourishing in the fifth century BC. In other words, Greek civilization emerged many generations before the Islamic one, and Greek philosophy was the source from which Muslim philosophers derived their philosophy. Those individuals in whom we sometimes take pride, such as Ibn Rushd, Ibn Al-Haytham, Al-Razi, Al-Qindi, Al-Khawarizmi, and Al-Farabi were all pupils of Greek thought. As for our civilization, it is a religious one, concerned with religious law, totally absorbed in the details of what Muslims should do and shouldn't do in his relations with Allah and in his relations with others. This is a huge task worthy of admiration, because religion is the pivot of life. We must however recognize that our achievements are all confined to this great area. Let us not claim then that the West has borrowed from us its secular lights. (Ibrahim al-Buleihi)
Cyrus Howell Jun 01, 2012 05:02pm
"They are the intransigents ,the undeviating purists who have to be right whatever the cost, who would sacrifice the world rather than compromise their own righteousness. " + (The Puritan Dilemma by Edmund S. Morgan)
Gurdeep Jun 01, 2012 05:07pm
That happens to me every single time :):)
Another Capricorn Jun 01, 2012 05:11pm
Just need a moment to think - if you believe in Hereafter, what will you be asked for there? If you don't believe, then anything (and everything) is fine.
FasFazi Jun 01, 2012 05:51pm
the story of Pakistan tell us onething ..'''It is Easy to Create a Nation on d Basis of Religious Identity, ,, but it is Problematic to Run a State in a Democratic Way just on d basis of Religion'.....'
Manzoor Elahi Jun 01, 2012 06:12pm
Yes, it's true that Gandhi was killed by conspirators - but you're overlooking the massive impact that Gandhi had not just on pre-partition India but the entire world. Gandhi's name itself evokes a common response the world over. He is respected in every country of the world with the exception of Pakistan. For the Pakistani's it's almost as if he didn't exist! So you can't pick one point about Gandhi (i.e. his assassination) and ignore the huge impact he had on the earth. And BTW, his assassin was sentenced to death in India and few even think about him.
Aslam Jun 01, 2012 06:32pm
I f you really read the real history you will realize no religion including Islam is innocent, it's very violent from the early times. I am not stating my opinion but the facts.
the Pond Jun 01, 2012 08:20pm
Perhaps today's muslim would be less radical if non muslims would stop killing them. Just a thought.
subi Jun 01, 2012 08:29pm
o so we have an atheiest or other words Mushrik/Murtid...atleast jinnah and iqbal never lost touch with the fundamentals unlike MR. KAFIR here, who's has info. overload.
the Pond Jun 01, 2012 08:31pm
Your out of touch with the facts. Women are more active in mosques today than ever before. Roughly 3 out of every 5 converts in the west is a muslim. The only people who speak about irrelevant tenets and hadiths are those who are ignorant about them.
TXDTTT Jun 01, 2012 10:08pm
Its easy said than done unfortunately. The main governments in power are being run by Punjabis. Punjab is more than 50% of the Pakistani population and that is why they're given more importance. However, I say this as a Pathan, religious radicalization is more prevalent in NWFP where once again people are very uneducated. You'll never see people more uneducated than the Pathans and Balochs. Having said that, it is the government that is partly responsible for de-radicalizing this area. The other part to the problem, as my mother says is, the nature of Pathans. Trust me, so many Pathan parents don't pay attention to their children.
Malone Jun 01, 2012 10:23pm
Mr Paracha is very well informed - about WEST Pakistan. The 1950s were NOT a progessive era. Already in 1952 the East Pakistanis were fighting for the recognition of Bangla! Right wing politicians were able to convince the military and the PEOPLE of the West Pakistan that Bangla was a Hindu language, that Bangali Muslims were not to be trusted. The fact is that identifying with the Arab culture became the litmus test against which belief in Islam was judged!
Malone Jun 01, 2012 10:34pm
Had the spread of islam been by force, 3/4 of the Bengalis would not have been Muslims. They are located furthest from Iran and Turkey. A much greater percentage of Uttar Pradeshis and Biharis than Bengalis should have been Muslims if the spread of Islam would have been by force. Bengalis became Muslims in large numbers because the mass belonged to the low castes, predominantly fishermen. Recall that before the advent of Islam Bengal was considered a land of the ``anarya'', "non aryan". However - see my comment below - independent Pakistan made the same mistake with Bangalis that upper crust Hindus did. Now, identification with Arab culture was taken to be the litmus test for a Muslim. And the Bangalis protested again - htis time by leaving Pakistsan.
zafarov Jun 02, 2012 02:08am
@khan You've only exposed the inability to provide a cogent and appropriate response. All you are capable of is to lash out verbally or physically. So typical , so pathetic.
i_slam_u Jun 02, 2012 02:08am
Perhaps muslims terrorists should also think the reverse way.
yarana Jun 02, 2012 02:08am
don't wory you already live in hell called Islamic republic of pakistan
punjabi jatt Jun 02, 2012 11:21am
Faizullah Khalil, interesting observation.
True Pakistani Jun 02, 2012 03:10am
Well said Karachi Wala. I guess it was Stalin who used the term "useful idiots": people who get used and then gets eliminated (I think). Imran Khan (and his young followers) are useful idiots being used by radical fundamentalists like Hamid Gul and IJT. Don't forget what happened to the liberals in Iran who were on the forefront of revolution against the Shah and were later on eliminated (after being used successfully) by the mullahs of Qum.
sudy Jun 02, 2012 03:12am
Who are the prominent Christians working for PTI, Suhail?
True Pakistani Jun 02, 2012 03:23am
You need to wake up, dear Khalil!
Shri Jun 02, 2012 03:38am
really ? In the so called 'best rule' in India by muslims why there would be jealousy against the rulers ? It is manufactured lie by Muslims who think 'they can never be at fault nor they can loose to anyone'.Most of muslims were despots who killed thier own family members to become rulers and not even one of them trusted even their own father or son. The fact is this that Hindus were non-violent and Muslim invaders took advantage of that. Hindus are also not rebellious by nature thats why Muslims were able to rule, not because Muslims were good rulers. India is a 5000 year old civilization while Islam came into being only little more than 1200 years ago.Also the caste system exists in Islam as well.
Pramod Jun 02, 2012 03:44am
All the great jobs and great conquests are done only through the essence of Islam. Can you tell few. How many muslims has been part of great inventions which has helped humanity.That kind of thinking is biggest reason of set back for Muslims and now for entire world. Please dont tel the name of some gulf country which has bacome rich by sheer luck just because other people invented thing for which petrol is required.
Dixit Jun 02, 2012 04:41am
Did you need Gandhi only for the formation of Pakistan? Now you are saying you don't need him. This selfish nature will destroy you guys.
Dixit Jun 02, 2012 04:53am
I would suggest you to read Hadiths & Sira with a neutral mind and not as a muslim only. Slaughter of innocent people of Bani Quriaza is well documented. Don't run away from the truth.
gulshan Jun 02, 2012 06:23am
Happened to me almost all times. Only this time my two comments have not been suppressd. Even comments like "Pakistan Zindabad" was sppressd. In Pakistan, they don't want to hear the Truth. It is embarrassing.
Mehwish Jun 02, 2012 07:17am
The 'conservative' PTI aims to form a progressive state where everyone has equal rights irrespective of religion or ethnicity. PTI talks about protecting the rights of minorities, empowering women, providing free justice to the poor, eliminating poverty, eliminating corruption, increasing tax collection, strengthening institutions, strengthening judiciary. Compare that to the so-called 'liberal' ruling party of today, PPP, which has given people nothing but poverty, hunger, thirst, load shedding, and suicides. All records of corruption are broken, and the country is on the verge of destruction. In light of the above points, which party should people vote for, the 'conservative' PTI, or the 'liberal' PPP. The choice is yours
mannn Jun 02, 2012 08:21am
i am indian hindu foundy our comments apart of is mypleaser if iget your ideas too with other. please share your ideas with us.
Abdur Razzaque Jun 02, 2012 09:04am
Dear Faizullah Khalil: Thank you for your opinion. In order to live in a greater society or to form a nation, we must give up our regional sentiment. Nation and nationality is the final and finest work for a country. Look at all the countries in the world, even look at the USA you will see all the states and even with different cultures tied up them together for a broader mentality. That mentality inspires them to form a federal govt. and a glorious country. In order to make Pakistan a strong and stronger country, let us give up and change our narrow mentality. Unity is strength. Remember this proverb and a good instruction also from Allah (SWT). Narrowness and jealousy will ultimately lead you to the destruction and Allah forbid, if anything happens with your greater unity (PAKISTAN) the next generation will blame and curse you for your big mistakes. Tolerance,love and respects and trust each others will enable you to make a strong nation in the world.
rana Jun 02, 2012 08:28am
Beautiful articel, but question is that , always the so called pakistani political leaders, who shows public a gesture of islam, they simply cheat both of islam and public. All pakistani leaders are hypocrat. They can exploit people because the general people of Pakistan are very good. But they usally run by passion not by brain. So they always exploited by the political leaders and the army dictators. Now pakistan needs a Iran like cultural revolutoin, the revolution thats lead the nation to a intelectual islamic state, like Iran. Pakistan is not running well the, the cause is not islam, because the proper and actual meaning of islam did not realized and practise in pakistan. So follow the iran , if you dont can that , then follow the American system , that is also well in practical perspective.
Harsh Sharma Jun 02, 2012 08:36am
The writer has not traced the history from the strating point.Muslim league leaders had a very short vision and were fundamentalists and caused division of India which would have been a great superpower today.Muslims are the greatest sufferers.Now if they give up fundamentalism the logical question that arises is why Pakistan was created,what will then differentiate it from India.Jinnah realised his folly when in the constituent assembly he declared that it would be a secular country.This declaration was against the very idea of Pakistan.Now it is too late and more and more divisions are appearing in Pakistan on sectarian basis.Alas!they had realised the value of secularism in 1940-1947 and not dismembered the great motherland whose equal children they would have always been. Dr.Harsh Sharma
Abdur Razzaque Jun 02, 2012 09:22am
like others I am curious to know why you do not allow all the comments or delete the comment once we send to you. I think you do not believe in truth. Sorry, to tell you that the truth is always bitter in test.
Kafir Jun 02, 2012 09:32am
Opportunity, Responsibility and Reward are unique social items that always existed but their importance and relationship has been growing for the last few centuries. As world has become relatively freer (in terms of opportunity since 18th/19th century) in the fields of politics and economy, a person or entity can claim systematic discrimination when opportunity is denied on an equal basis in a systematic way. Examples of such systematic discrimination are Caste system in pre-independent India, Aparthied in South Africa and Discrimination of Blacks in USA prior to Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the case of pre-independent Indian sub-continent, there was no systematic discrimination agaist muslims. There were elements of inter-religious suspicion, inter-religious jealousy but no systematic discrimination against muslims. In a free state politics and economy, Reward is a direct and proportional outcome of using opportunity and displaying responsibility. In the pre-independent Indian sub-continent, muslims and hindus might have had different rewards but as long as the opportunities were same, then in my opinion there was no systematic discrimination. Indian sub-continent partition was the result of an extremely wrong combination: Using maximum opportunity and taking least responsibility. Muslims as a group used the opportunity to request for a separate nation. Like i said in my previous comment, they were not ready to live as minority (a very large minority) in the un-partiotioned country but they were expecting other minorities to be ready to live in their new country. That was NOT a display of taking up responsibility. Pakistan history books in schools and under-grad colleges (I'm guessing) might teach that Mr. Jinnah was ready for a compromise confederation formula. If it was really true (not just in someone's lip movement), why should the Hindu centre right wing kill Mr. Gandhi ? Irony, isn't it ? Using an opportunity is not a wrong idea as long as responsibility could be displayed over and above the level of opportunity used. Pakistani people and leadership have used a lot of opportunities since partition. If someone were to test them for responsibility (intra and inter national), will the results be sweet ?
Abdur Razzaque Jun 02, 2012 09:43am
Mr. Shri, Please read the Hindu dynastic rules in the then India carefully, you will find hundreds of the despotic and debauch rulers names in the history. They on one hand killed their own families and even on the other hand killed the innocent civilians and massacred the locality after localities. History is a mirror of the past and even look at one of your neighour country where greediness compelled a prince to kill everybody in his family. Islam is the only religion that does not believe in any kinds of caste or creed. Everybody is equal before Allah and His Book strongly condemns all these vices in our society!
Abdur Razzaque Jun 02, 2012 10:00am
It is the love,respect and dignity for each others made it possible to spread Islam in the world. It is again Islam got a strong foothold in Indonesia and other south Asian countries over the false pride of the Brahmins superiority complex and that vague ideas forced the lower castes to cross the Bay of Bengal and started a new civilization with Islam!
AHA Jun 02, 2012 12:57pm
Wow! So many thumbs down to my post. I attribute this reaction to the short-sightedness of the human mind. You look at all that is wrong with Pakistan today, and you conclude that we were always a bunch of throat slashing fundamentalists. You (again) need to look at some previous blogs from Nadeem Paracha to recognize that Pakistan was a pretty normal country till mid-70s in terms of the influence of Islam in our day to day issues. While life was pretty normal in that sense, a deep routed frustration was growing because of social and economic injustices. The Islamists got their day under Zia, and destroyed all the good that existed in Pakistan. My take will always be that Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan has nothing to do with the creation of Pakistan. It came only after Zia.
AHA Jun 02, 2012 01:15pm
Babu - I actually read your comment before it was taken off. I think we are not ready for that kind of debate yet. We all need our baby steps first.
Anant Jain Jun 02, 2012 01:29pm
I do not know if you really cared to not just do a text book study of history. Regarding caste system, the only reasons Muslims could rule India for so long was because they did not touch the caste system on the other hand they patronized it. The Mughal rulers always had Rajput Sardars as ministers and inter marriage between the Rajputs and Mughals were common affair. The only reason Mughal rule was relatively peaceful was because they allowed the continuation of exploitation of dalits. Frankly there have always been two classes the rulers and the ruled, and the rulers do not mind sharing the exploits within themselves. Coming to those who got ruled there was always a set of people who thought that the rulers belonged to them. And, if you still don't get point look around you in Pakistan, I have had a look around me in India and it is still the same.
El Cid Jun 02, 2012 01:34pm
Gulf-Arabs are NOT the arbiters of Islam or Muslims...their behaviour certainly fails to meet Islamic criteria as given in the Noble Koran. What is your point?
AHA Jun 02, 2012 01:42pm
Khan – So is this the peace and tolerance that your ‘complete way of life’ preaches you.
Asim Jun 02, 2012 02:09pm
Sticking the word religious to the activities of these political factions would be massive blunder these groups were supporting there hidden causes and agendas. have anybody ever seen any action taking place once the demands of these groups are met? the movement arising out were just to extenuate the the wrong steps taken by the groups themselves. can anybody point out any action or development that has taken place in response to the movements of these groups in terms of attaining an Islamic state. Islam don't give lesson of scuffle and bloodshed but it conveys a message of peace. first step in bringing an Islamic state would be to order the lives as per teachings of Quran and Sunnah.
Abid Rahman Jun 02, 2012 03:23pm
Totally disagree with Mr. Paracha on Tableeghi Jamaat stance. Tableeghi Jamat is the only non-political organization which never supports hatred or any other stance supported by Tahreek-e-Khabessan Pakistan (also called Taliban).
Rahul Jun 02, 2012 10:59pm
I have been browsing through many Pakistani news sites and what is palpable is the deep sense of despair and disappointment at the current state of affairs. It is really disheartening to see you guys give up so easily. Or maybe that's what is apparent.
Virendra Kaul Jun 03, 2012 05:22am
Malik Saheb: you are on the dot. This should eliminate 90% problems.
Mujeeb Nizamani Jun 03, 2012 11:15am
Nice piece of work NFP. I wonder why nobody touches the core issue (to me) of Islamic Republic of Pakistan i.e. Identity Crisis. Thats why we have a society full of paradoxes. For instance, the rural section of society in Pakistan, esp from minority provinces is less radicalized then urban section unlike the general case. And thats only one of the many paradoxes emanating from the crisis of Identity Framework.
Mohammad Ali Khan Jun 04, 2012 02:25am
El Cid, Good quotation. This is a window in history,doesn't necessarily needs judgment.
Muhammad Jun 08, 2012 11:21am
we cannot do this because he was incinerated in the plane crash
the Pond Jun 08, 2012 04:32am
Well conservative figures from the red cross indicate that over a million muslims have been killed by non muslims in Iraq in the past twenty two years. Your facts are not facts.
El Cid Jun 08, 2012 09:24am
Wrong! Only one verse, perhaps two. The Noble clearly states that it is addressing all of humanity. No one is chosen...what have you been reading?
ganz Jun 10, 2012 12:09am
As an outsider, I see the blasphemy law as the greatest hurdle to achieve any meaningful reforms . It is foolish to expect a change to come over without free will and freedom of speech. whatever change that happens only happens within the fence created by mullahs and that is not a true change.
Khair-Khwah Jun 16, 2012 03:52am
Fundamentalism and extremism in any shape, way or form is harmful and obstructive for an individual or a society. It is definitely obstructing us as a nation to progress. When our whole country is plagued with corruption, crime, disorganization and chaos, we have to turn to the true teachings of Islam to gain a sense of direction and motivation. Today the question we should be asking ourselves is that do we like to continue on the same destructive path we have been walking for the last 64 years or do we as a nation stop for a moment and re-evaluate our actions so we can once more get back onto the Sirat-e-Mustaqeem, a path which leads us to success in this World and the Life Hereafter. Instead of creating chaos, as a nation we should be reformualting our course of actions to better our education system, economy, health system and to emerge as an economic and moral power house on the World Stage. The answer to our problems is moderation, innovation, vision and planning. Rest assured these objectives are achievable, all that is needed is courage to make a change for betterment. A little mix of UNITY, FAITH & DISCIPLINE is a sure recipie for success!! Be the CHANGE you want to see in the World!! Let us make it happen together!!
MHK Jul 02, 2012 10:11am
Good work. It would have been better to talk about youth other than universities and colleges, the Public.
El Cid Jun 18, 2012 06:34am
Sir, your statement is an abomination...a lie about two great personalities of the Sub-Continent and much respected and loved by its inhabitants and admired by scholars of history and politics. It describes your propensities rather than theirs.
El Cid Jun 18, 2012 06:28am
Bani Quriaza's facts and fallacies are well documented as you state. The Mahatma was indeed aware of this significant episode of Jurisprudence in nascent Islam: Judge, jury, Justice. Gandhi had studied the Hadiths & Sira. Indeed he knew significant passages of the Noble Qur’an from memory. These facts and his assessment of The Prophet's life and fairness in justice and his decision making ability are categorically recognized, implied, and reflected in Mr. Gandhi’s statement quoted above. A neutral mind is an absolute if one intends to study and learn from what one reads. Please shift to neutral and re-read the Mahatma's statement and verify before denying it.
ahsan Jun 28, 2012 03:27pm
Khan, This is the mind set of typical uneducated Pakistani. We are the best all others are not and it is our islamic duty to kiil ppl who are not like us. first time you heard of " well known fact of millions of Muslims leaving Islam" because u live in a cave. Any you read only one book that was given to you by your boyfriend mullah, 15 years ago. Remember you are not allowed to read anything else, or u will go to hell. I agree with you. I just don't trust anyone any more in Pakistan politics. Also I have lost my hope for this nice country. It been hijacked by mullahs by the help of SA and West.
anonymous Jul 18, 2012 12:15am
a good assessment by you....
gary Jul 26, 2012 07:54pm
Muslims are more worried about their after life than their present lives. Muslims have herd mentality. they donot question whether there is a heaven or hell or it is just a fiction.
gary Jul 26, 2012 08:02pm
This is all kaffir talk, inspired by foreign agencies
gary Jul 26, 2012 08:03pm
Gandhi's name itself evokes a common response the world over. He is respected in every country of the world with the exception of Pakistan. For the Pakistani's it's almost as if he didn't exist! ...... Manjoor Elahi, this tells us all about the Pakistani mindset.
gary Jul 26, 2012 07:37pm
Right you are.
Neerj Jul 21, 2012 04:15pm
So rightly said bro