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The extremist mindset


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The incidents that have unfolded in the past couple of weeks have been real eye-openers. Whether it was the issue of internet censorship or the Ahmedi killings, I feel the reactions to such incidents have taught me a lot about understanding intolerance.   I had no idea what was in store for me when I wrote about the Facebook controversy. In fact, I wrote about it before the actual ban and of course, took a strong stance against internet censorship after the ban was implemented. Little did I know, that it was because of my stance on the topic I was declared a ‘blasphemer,’ ‘liberal apologist’ and my personal favourite, ‘a hijabi CIA, RAW, MOSSAD agent.’ Even worse was the fact that people, whom I would normally interact with on social media, joined the bandwagon and questioned my faith. It had come to a point where a stance against censorship was being put in the same league as being against the Prophet (pbuh).

More than once I was asked to clarify ‘whether I was with the Prophet (pbuh) or with Facebook.’ Such reactions highlight the extremist ideology that has been brewing inside many of us for years, the kind of ideology which otherwise remains dormant but resurfaces at the slightest of issues. Even more shocking were the reactions that came after the Ahmedi killings. Denying that a certain persecuted section of the minority was targeted only reflects the fact that we continue to live in denial.

For years now, there has been talk about the need for a platform where people, mainly the youth, can engage and develop a better understanding of our history, culture and religion. Over the years, we have seen many such reformist movements that ironically either end up getting hijacked for political means or die out altogether. A little apprehensive, given past  history,I decided to attend the ‘Khudi-The Awakening’ launch. Khudi is a social movement that aspires to counter extremist ideologies. As part of the movement, Khudi has also launched an academic magazine.

The man behind the movement, Maajid Nawaz was previously a member of Hizb-ut-Tahrir – the aim of that organisation being to unite Muslim countries across the world under a single caliphate. The ideology of the organisation was an extremist one, not to be confused with terrorism. What makes Khudi even more appealing is the fact that Nawaz’s efforts stem from his own past of dealing with extremism. It is his journey as a young teenager – fighting against racism and then, joining and propagating the message of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which has led to his reformation. Nawaz’s experiences make his ideas on counter-extremism even more practical and applicable. Here is a man who has survived the ordeal and is now ready to not only narrate his experiences but to help others deal with it. The most important aim about the campaign is acknowledging the need to differentiate between an extremist and a terrorist. It is true that while we tackle terrorist organisations, factors that incite terrorism and extremism keep brewing underneath, making it a never-ending war.

With the absence of a counter-terrorism strategy the only strategies we have are reactive (fighting against militant organisations) rather than pro-active (looking at the root cause). Factors that continue to incite intolerance and hate speech remain hidden, never brought to the forefront. The process of identifying such a mindset is crucial and this is where social movements such as Khudi can play a vital role.

Nawaz has initiated the Khudi movement which promises to promote democratic culture and considers that as the antidote for extremism. However, it might take more than just one such movement to address conflicting ideologies that have been ingrained into our mindset.

There is no doubt that we desperately need to promote democratic culture, the kind that allows us, as a society, to respect individual rights and diverse opinion. After all, democracy is not only limited to using our rights to vote; it is about tolerance and co-existence, it is about celebrating our heroes, it is about standing in solidarity with the victims irrespective of their belief and it is about being humanitarians.

As Nawaz pointed out: “Democracy must forever remain prisoner to human rights. Democratic culture is about respecting human rights, freedom of speech and individual choice.”


Sana Saleem is a Features Editor at BEE magazine and blogs at Global Voices, Pro-Pakistan  and her personal blog Mystified Justice. She tweets at

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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Sana Saleem is the co-founder of Bolo Bhi & Stories Beyond Borders.

She's on the board of advisory for Courage Foundation, Edward Snowden's legal defence fund.

She can be found on Twitter & Facebook.

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

Comments (209) Closed

arjoshi Jun 22, 2010 07:54am
More power to you Ms Sana Saleem and lots of kudos to M Nawaaz. This is an eye opener. Using religion to counter any discussion, criticism etc is not easy to handle, especially not whe it is ingrained by having been part of a "normal" daily social fabric, including the education system. Also, this is the first time I heard of Harkat-ut-Tahrir, but have been hearing many times for over a century (since Sir Syed's - AMU fame- biography which i read in college) of the vision they and others talk about. It unfortunately is not a unifying concept, but divides the humanity out of people. It challenges the raison d' etre of others, esp non Muslims, not just those of other "sects" of Islam. Somewhere we have to start living with the people whose house is next door, in our nation or neighbour nation, rather than those who live in a gulf peninsula, and believe only they have and know the right path for everyone based on their puritanical belief systems. I wish you and Khudi all success.
Eman Khan Jun 22, 2010 08:06am
amazing article
CDKEY Jun 22, 2010 08:29am
I would like to add a point here, we have to look at our educational curriculum in depth. Leaving aside the Cambridge I am talking about our matriculation system. Pick up the social studies book of class VII, the first 4 lessons are about Islamic history, Islamic Victories, Islamic contributions to Science and Islamic World. If possible do go through them and you will know what we are putting in the young minds. I came from the same system but when I acquired higher qualification it dawned on me that Mehmood ghaznavi was not some pious Islamic role model. Not all get to the same level to questioning it. Disillusioned when they grow up and seeing the hypocrisy in the society, the youngs resort to finding paradise in what ever way one suggests.
Fatima Ajmal Jun 22, 2010 08:37am
At first look, 'Khudi' sounded like a repeat of Zaid Hamid's 'Wake Up Pakistan' or "Rise Up Pakistan' or whatever it was called...! But I visited the website, and I must say it resonates with me. Another well written article, Sana.
zakintosh Jun 22, 2010 08:49am
Great piece, Sana. Good to see this and other movements - there will be more, soon - following the matter up.
shaukat ali chughtai Jun 22, 2010 09:01am
Thank you have at least touched the subject especially in crucial times the country is going. Movements like Khudi or any NGO with such objectives will not last long. The obscurantist forces will try to close the doors and such organizations. One of the important aspect which should be emphasized is to bring revolutionary change in educational structure for which pressure groups start working vigorously to defeat elements within bureaucracy and outside the educational system. Democratic norms must be taught at schools. The word HATE must be explained and instead tolerance and co-existence lessons taught. We must initiate discussing HATE, HEAVEN and HUMANITY. Some organizations with the exception of religious based institutions must not be allowed to enter into such organizations.
Rise above Jun 22, 2010 09:01am
Where does this woman live?? All you need to look at is the History of Western Europe and the US to find 'Democracy' forced by the barrel of a gun. Get real, the west occupy sovereign nations upon no acceptance by even their own standards of international law, support occupying countries such as Israel and other dictators such as Karimov in Uzbek, promote sectarian violence as in Iraq, communal violence in India (Gujrat massacre)... the list is endless. And after all of that they label every Muslim group into either an extremist or terrorist organisation so that they can continue what they do with no disturbance. And they don't stop there, no no no! They get a 'lackey' to tow a particular line for example Majid Nawaz to demonstrate the view of the west to be a tolerant nation. Ms Saleem, I want you to think about this next statement by the prophet, that is, this ummah will never agree upon a munkar (wrong/incorrect way). So if you are surprised at the reaction you have received then the only thing you need to think about are your statements.
Sohail Rafi Jun 22, 2010 09:20am
While the intentions may be sober and well-meant, I would like to mention the following to all the people who keep on discussing and coming up with solutions. Our religion has the very basis of uprooting this extremism: Quran clearly mentions that Allah (SWT) wants JUSTICE to be implemented. On the other hand our Prophet (PBUH) clearly says in one of the hadiths that "The best deed is the one which is done with MODERATION". BTW, do not confuse this moderation with what Pervaiz Musharraf idea was. Now since diamond cuts diamond, tell me people, won't JUSTICE along with MODERATION along with its PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION work or not??? You decide...
Fatima Jun 22, 2010 09:32am
Hi Sana, I don't know much about the khudi movement, but I totally relate to your experience of people saying you are either with us (muslims) or against us (i.e. with the infidels), another good one is liberal apologist. I don't understand why we have so many 'thekedaars' of religion and society who think Islam is their own property so at any time, they can ask someone to leave it because they don't like their opinion! Well done, and keep writing, we need people like you, we need people who speak sense and fight with logic and argument, rather than hate spewing fanatics, who can declare anyone kafir, at the drop of a hat.
Azhar Shahani Jun 22, 2010 09:46am
Maajid Nawaz doesn't seem to be any different from televangelist Zaid Hamid, and the project will be no more than a hype.
Tim Jun 22, 2010 10:04am
Sana jee,do you think making fun of Prophets is a trivial thing?you feel disappointed if public reaction to target killings is muted,so dont you think if you dont show any reaction to such competitions,people may question your faith.Extremist thinking is prevalent in every society.Do you think Obama would have won the election had he been a muslim.
Azhar Jun 22, 2010 10:41am
I don't see this project any different from Zaid Hamid's, and both Zaid and Nawaz are ex-extremists.
Shumail Jun 22, 2010 11:15am
Excellent work Sana. I hope the fire of hate from these hate mongers will be soon curbed. Carry On.
Sungrais Jan Jun 22, 2010 12:01pm
Mr. Critic, Zaid Hamid is a soldier. He fought for fellow Afghans/ISLAM for 6 years, what are your credentials, other than criticizing everything that stands for Islam?
Mawali Jun 22, 2010 11:32am
A man with the handle "Rise above" is telling us that he lives in the ancient past. I want you "rise above" to think about you statements. You are nothing but a two bit extremist who is probably unemployed or underemployed and is frustrated at life because no one pay "poor old me any attention."
Kamran Jun 22, 2010 11:59am
The more you react the more they would achieve their heinous objectives. Just remain indifferent and keep tolerating and they would be silent forever. The prophet PBUH always taught us tolerance, I wonder why we forget the humbleness and tolerance of the Prophet PBUH when a women used to throw dust on Him but the prophet kept tolerating. Not just tolerating, but went for her help when she fell ill. That's what the prophet PBUH has taught us in reality. I don't know why are we Muslims so intolerant despite the examples set by the Prophet PBUH for us. There are hundreds of examples by our Prophet PBUH for us. They why are we so reactive, so intolerant, so corrupt as a nation.....the list will never end. Sana you are doing a great job. May God keep you safe. Ameen.
Jasheen Jun 22, 2010 11:38am
Why you want Obama to win an election being a Muslim knowing fully well that USA is a not an Islamic country ? Even Obama would have won the elections as a Muslim than would you have given a clean chit to USA for being fair-minded ? No, never than you would have called it a "window dressing" or "show -off" and at the same time accused Obama just as a puppet in the hands of Christians. Sometimes I wonder the standards you apply to others do you ever apply it to yourselves ? As far as extremism is concerned yes you are right it is prevalent in each society. But its influence and ramifications depend on the extent to what percentage of population it affects and degree of resistance it gets from moderate sections of society. That is what matters as nothing will exist in absolute terms in any society.
Sungrais Jan Jun 22, 2010 12:15pm
Mr. Mawali, Exactly how much do you know about
Imran Faris Jun 22, 2010 11:50am
Islam is pioneer of Human rights and its conveys us true spirit of the Practice of Human right and Ms Sana Saleem, what you are writing is true sense of human rights in Islam. The people who are showing intolerance they are rather prejudiced because they are on the agenda of anti humanity and Anti peace and this way they are showing a false image of Islam. So don't be scared because the great work by the great people always face obstacles and grudge but they great people always shows tolerant attitude against the every kind of prejudice and ignorance.
I E Jun 22, 2010 11:54am
Question is not whether "making fun of Prophets is a trivial thing or not". It might be the worst of the things to do, but question is "how do you react when such a thing is done". Think of how the Prophet (PBUH) himself would have reacted?
Sungrais Jan Jun 22, 2010 12:23pm
Please enlighten us about the
stumped Jun 22, 2010 12:37pm
I recently saw a youtube video of Zaid hamid where in he was experiencing his usual verbal diarrhea and saying something like this " A lot of people in India are saying that why can't we resolve all our differences and conflicts and live like brotherly nations. To them I want to say that we are willing to do that and live as single big country provided the country be named Pakistan and the flag of Pakistan be accepted as the national flag of that country and there should be radio Pakistan from Delhi" How can such lunatics be allowed to appear on National television ???
arjoshi Jun 22, 2010 12:47pm
IF the call to not to do anything because the "blighted west" too does it is the theme by Rise Above and Jan, then there is little hope for implementing Khudi or other ideals . These people have become so disillusioned with the west, that they are OK with the mayhem in their country (which one of them left years ago it seems), because, hey, the west does it. Since they have no sense of the glorious past of the East, their own Islamic civilisation (there were bad moments in the East/Islam too, no doubt, but there were glorious times a plenty and a lot of the learnings from the Sub continent, from the orientals like China, Japan etc are what will lead the world to tolerance tomorrow), these are the naysayers who don't care that their house burns, because the neighbours anyway is crumbling. I wish some one examines the fact that the idea is NOT to eulogise the west, but to look inward and change.
arjoshi Jun 22, 2010 12:52pm
well said Mr Imran Faris. Ameen.
Schazad Jun 22, 2010 01:25pm
I hope voices like Sana prevail and thrive. But the problem is extremists are too powerful and too many in our country even though they are not in majority. I hope Khudi works but I am afraid, looking at Javed Ahmad Ghamdi Sahab, who fled the country when he sympathised with Ahmedi community.
chak Jun 22, 2010 01:01pm
Tell me, if a thief were to enter your house and rob you of your belongings, you would remain indifferent and tolerate the thief's behaviour? These people on facebook etc are robbing us of our heritage and our pride and sense of self respect and belief. Why should we remain quiet? If it were not for the upholders of religion and society, our culture and belief would have been finished long ago during the crusades. The degeneration of Europe and North America is largely due to the fact that people stopped helping each other in living a better and more fulfilling life. Let that not happen in our society.
chak Jun 22, 2010 01:08pm
We want Obama or anyone else who is a Muslim to lead America so that that country goes in the right direction and stops meddling in the affairs of Muslim countries. We want a Muslim to lead that country because that country does more harm than good and we believe a Muslim with a sound religious education would have the capability and the mindset to do good to humanity and ensure a peaceful world exists. We want a Muslim to lead that country so that little kids in Iraq and Afghanistan and our Palestinian brothers are given their rights and are kept safe. We believe all this would not happen until a Muslim leader leads that country and that army. When the US government does something as a representative of the people, you may assume most (if not all) support those decisions and hence the %age in the population aspect you may work out. This is a plain vanilla standard that was applied. A peaceful world for our peaceful religion and people. How difficult can it be for you to comprehend?
chak Jun 22, 2010 01:15pm
Very well said. These apologists have no idea about ground realities and keep making statement. Freedom of speech does not give anyone the right to hurt my beliefs. Human rights themselves were wrestled by humanity, not given on a platter. Ms. Sana, if someone were to hurt my beliefs I would criticize them, and that too on their face.Please have your freedom of speech and expression but don't hurt my feeling and then blow it on my face.
Parachafan Jun 22, 2010 01:27pm
Thats the point and I completely agree! How do we educate and what is taught to us has an immense impact on society...indoctrination of such wide scale will never allow the country to prosper...its not just madrassasbut also the schooling in which young kids are taught a biased form of history...Religion is a small part of our history and life...we shouldnt focus too much on it, specially not in kinder garden! We just don't want to come out of the victim mentality (both india and pakistan) and we have only ourselves to blame!
Goga Nalaik Jun 22, 2010 01:33pm
Your arrogant attitude shows that you want "impose" your point of view which is not democratic at all. Allow me to say that you don't seem to have learnt anything from the west. What have you been doing there for 38 years! God doesn't like arrogance, which is your case! God likes modesty, which isn't your case! How good muslim you are to burst on us the "infidels" ... Meditation please ...! Goga Nalaik
faisal Jun 22, 2010 01:35pm
Can we tolerate Pakistan be ruled by an Ahmedi, a Christina or a Hindu? Do we really have the spine to tell anyone who should rule which country?
Goga Nalaik Jun 22, 2010 01:35pm
Dear Sana, Bravo for this excellent article. Keep hammering ... we are with you Goga Nalaik
Ameer Jun 22, 2010 01:36pm
If someone abuses you on an online forum, I dont really see that as him robbing your self respect. If a dog barks, is he robbing your honour? At the end of the day, if you try to shut everyone up, you my friend are going to be the one sitting at home all by yourself, cut off from the rest of the world. Secondly, If you so freely abuse them as morally corrupt infidels, then they have the right to abuse your beliefs as well. Well said Kamran. Keep up the good work Sana. Your piece is always a treat. :)
faisal Jun 22, 2010 01:39pm
Man you are wasting your breath, this lot doesn't listen and learn from anything that doesn't fit in to their very narrowed view of the world.
Faiza Ghulam Rasool Bhatt Jun 22, 2010 01:40pm
dear brother Sungrais and Rise Above: 1 do agree with you to certain extent. however, if the West is treating us as slave nation and maligning us at the same time, it does not mean that we start acting like lunatics killing our own people and destroying our own resources. Sungrais: the talk show video, although produced amateurishly by people from Canada (my guess), shows that Muslims in the West are heading towards isolation and polarization. i personally liked the talk. regards,
faisal Jun 22, 2010 01:41pm
He invaded, killed and plundered another country, how about that?
Adnan Jun 22, 2010 01:44pm
Sana, It's a wonderful piece of writing and self-analysis for our nation. I appreciate your courage and committment to get our country out of terrorism and extremism. I agree with your views about democracy and will quote a sentence from your writing : " After all, democracy is not only limited to using our rights to vote; it is about tolerance and co-existence, it is about celebrating our heroes." If our youth stands up against the forces of terrorism and extremism, our nation will become a respected member of the comity of nations.
Ameer Jun 22, 2010 01:48pm
Sungrais, you have been challenging everyone time and again. First off, asking for everyone's credentials reeks of a 'holier than thou' attitude. Typical mullah behaviour I might add. Secondly, if the west is so bad, why don't you come back? How is it that you can live in London or New York but no gora could live in our land with any sense of security? Why is it that anyone who dissents is either ignorant, a traitor or my personal favourite, a kafir? And as for your 'soldier of Islam Zaid Zaman Hamid', go ask him who Yussuf Ali (Kazzab) is. Let me guess, its all a conspiracy. And if in reply, you're just going to highlight my lack of credentials and your overwhelming superiority of wisdom about Islam and Geopolitics, then please save it.
Alward Jun 22, 2010 01:51pm
Mehmood Ghaznavi was a decoit, interested only in looting and pillage, had nothing to do with Islam. Only a decoit would attack, run and attack again, 17 times
Faiza Ghulam Rasool Bhatt Jun 22, 2010 01:51pm
This is a nice article and I agree with the views expressed in this article. Its about time we focused on educating our next generation, strengthening our democracy, and respecting difference of opinion, culture and religion. We should continue teaching Muslim history in our classrooms, but this should be about Golden Era of scientific development, about Muslim scientists, and rulers who believed in a tolerant societies that were well developed in terms of education and rational thinking. There are many examples of that. furthermore, why is there a disconnect between us as Muslims and our pre-Islamic heritage of Indus Valley Civilization? We can and should take pride in both.
I E Jun 22, 2010 01:54pm
Nice question, Chak
I E Jun 22, 2010 02:03pm
Perhaps you don
I E Jun 22, 2010 02:10pm
ever heard of wikipedia? But i know the moment you see anything unpleseant, you 'll brand it as western (US) or Eastern (India) propaganda??.. then there is sea in the south and afganistan in north.. what's left then??
Alex Jun 22, 2010 02:12pm
I can see the lunacy and intolerance now a part and parcel of Pakistani thinking.Instead of criticizing the systematic pogrom of ahmadiyyas here many people are more interested in 'Islamic heritage'
Shoaib Malik Jun 22, 2010 02:24pm
Yes, we have all seen how great Muslim leaders have been for our own country. I hope the sarcasm is not lost. It is often lost in these forums.
Syed Salman Jun 22, 2010 02:26pm
Keeping the marketing aside, it was very well written ....
youth Jun 22, 2010 02:29pm
He is a big dreamer man...I heard one Saudi University started PhD in Dreaming ...Zaid Hamid have a golden chance to become the dean of the department
Shoaib Malik Jun 22, 2010 02:35pm
Mehmood Ghaznavi was a decoit who destroyed and looted the temples of Hindus and this is the very mindset that our educational system is creating by making him a hero for pillaging places other people hold sacred. Yet on the other side we raise a hue and cry when someone sets a page on facebook. So essentially even if a child manages to escape the the hate spitting mullah, he will be caught by the education system.
youth Jun 22, 2010 02:37pm
Brother ...Pakistan,Afghanistan,Palestine,Iraq,Iran,Somalia,Sudan,Yemen,Kirghistan,Lebanon.... all of these countries are leading by Muslims and very peace full countries ...????
Moin Khan Jun 22, 2010 02:38pm
@ Chak So you are suggesting Pakistani society is better than Europe and US, there are no degeneration and social evils in Pakistani society, because it has Extremist upholders such as Jamait? Do you think Pakistan is Pak? And if so, then why does Pakistanis line up for VISAS' outside US and other European embassies all-set to leave the Pak-Saaf-mulk at one instance and live with Degenerate Whites'? Does elite (political elite and others) have any shame when they ask for dollars and AID from degenerates' of the west, if so, then how are Pakistani better if not worse? Living in Denial (Holier than thou) and Delusion, is the name of the game in todays Pakistani youth and major cause of the mess!
Mohamad Himan Jun 22, 2010 02:43pm
God created humans and human created religions. It is as simple as this. Nobody in the history of human civilizations in past 10,000 years satisfactorily convince that God created religions and then divided his own creations between pro- and anti- group and made them fight. Only few people in the past took swords and forced their own ideologies onto people. I can raise 1000s of questions on anybody's God on his work. Sana, keep writing. God has given you total freedom to live your own life till you follow 'live and let live' principle. All others are terrorists in today's world. Live and Let Live, only religion.
Keti Zilgish Jun 22, 2010 02:47pm
".....Democratic culture is about respecting human rights, freedom of speech and individual choice.
Moin Khan Jun 22, 2010 02:49pm
@ jan You can start with an internet tool/search engine commonly used by people all over the world called "Google"! You will definitely find out about heaps/mountains of decapitated heads when you read about Biographies and self-glorious writings these pious Muslim victories of the past. Independent research always helps in debunking myths propagated by institutions with ulterior motives!
Furrukh (Quetta) Jun 22, 2010 02:55pm
zahid Jun 22, 2010 02:56pm
Khudi can't be achieved by simply proclaiming it but to implement it on one's self. It is not phenomenon but is every day practice. In todays world it can only be found in those who fight for it. Not the one who surrender and submits to those except Allah. Islam's fundamental starts from Khudi. First thing after faith is khudi. Today every body writs about Muslims tolerance and bla bla. There is huge difference between Tolerance and disgrace. I observed majority of us accepted disgrace disguise in tolerance. Firm stand is demand of a day, no apologetic postures and no sham excuse, this will be the first step towards khudi.
jkpakistani Jun 22, 2010 02:58pm
I guess the so called "Tolerant" social media icons are lame and cowards. I do not understand why they do not realize that Pakistan is at War and extreme circumstances needs extreme measures. We have to respond and yes I 100% agree we must be tolerant but not at the cost of our Independence. We need start to see things in religious perspectives, as we Muslims and Pakistani. You can not let all kind of Atheists and Coward critics just write on specific agenda and line of action in the name of Freedom of Speech. We must correct our line of thoughts which as a nation we have failed to. Along the same note about Zaid Hamid, to me he is a natural reaction of Imperial hypo-critic Democracies of West and corrupt funerals of Pakistan. Pakistan is at War and this is not a time to just talk, but actions are desperately needed. I do not 100% with all his thoughts, but I would vote for him rather that corrupt Feudal's of Pakistan.
farida Jun 22, 2010 03:03pm
Please someone give chak a history lesson. When Muslims ruled, all other sects were just as oppressed, so a Muslim with sound education is not the answer. Leaders only lead people that want to be led in a certain direction. Why America? Why Obama? why don't you guys tackle greed and power which are the root causes and they will remain whether you are a Muslim or not.
kammi kameen Jun 22, 2010 03:14pm
Sana what is the meaning of this. You are either with us or against us. Wait, where have I heard that one before. Let's look at the mirror.
Cynic Jun 22, 2010 03:26pm
Incorrect logic. No one has entered your house nor robbed your belonging. Facebook is akin to a library. No one forces you to enter the library and if you do enter no one forces you to read a book you not like. Your religious view does not give you a right to tell others what to write or read on the internet.
Dr.Inam Jun 22, 2010 03:52pm
Another article well written to confuse the people of Pakistan. Another Tehrik that will never flourish if people associated with it were Pro Taliban. Another agenda of people created Khilafat that can never take a step further as Khilafat is in the hands of God. Tolerance of all the communities should be a basic norm of a civilized society. Why we call west civilized, because on the internal level they respect their next door neighbors. This was the teaching given to us by Prophet Mohammad (saw) that 40 houses around you are included in your neighbours and you are responsible if anyone of them sleeps with empty stomach. Can we ask ourselves if we are doing that? We kill our neighbors if they pray like us, we kill our neighbors because they are pakhtoon, we kill our neighbors because they are Sunni or shia. We are lost because we have stopped following the true essence of Islam that Prophet Mohammad (saw) taught us. There is no need of a tehreek or Khudi or something else but to follow the Islam given in practice by Mohammad (saw).
Abdul Jun 22, 2010 04:11pm
Why do we have only one thing to be proud of??? why can't Pakistan can many more ideas/things on which we as a nation can be proud???
Mehmood Jun 22, 2010 04:25pm
Well said man
SH Jun 22, 2010 04:32pm
There are three incidents that I recall reading in various books on the life of the Prophet (PBUH): 1) A woman in Mecca use to throw her garbage everyday on him, he never complained and instead went to check up on her when one day she did not throw the garbage on him. 2) Once a person came to Abu Bakr and started swearing and abusing at him, Abu Bakr remained quiet and the Prophet (PBUH) was watching Abu Bakr and smiling. After a while, Abu Bakr started refuting this person and the Prophet (PBUH) stood up and left. When Abu Bakr asked why he was sitting there smiling while this person was abusing him and left after Abu Bakr started refuting, the Prophet (PBUH) told him that while Abu Bakr was quiet, an angel was refuting the person on his behalf and once Abu Bakr started replying himself, the angel was replaced by the devil and therefore he couldn't stay there. 3) When the Prophet (PBUH) went to Taif, he was ridiculed, stoned and beaten by the citizens of Taif, so much so that his shoes were filled with blood. At that time, he prayed to Allah to have mercy on the people of Taif instead of cursing them. Here are the things that I have learn't from my studies on the above three incidents plus countless others from the life events of the Prophet (PBUH): Tolerance, patience, acceptance of other people's views, mercy, wisdom, listening to and considering the other's point of view before jumping to conclusions and passing judgement. I do not know much about these recent movements but I know that extremism, terrorism and radical thinking, that is part and parcel of our society today, is completely opposite of the life (of the Prophet PBUH) that we try to emulate and use as a guide. What we need is grass root level education so that people can grow up to be able to differentiate between right and wrong rather than just following the popular or seemingly religious ideas (because there are many people in 3rd world countries who motivate the masses in the name of religion when their ideas are actually completely against religion).
Umair Jun 22, 2010 04:39pm
I think we should react more with brain than with emotions. An emotional person can be used by anyone for his wicked purposes by just emotional blackmailing. Our biggest dilemma is that we always bring emotions in everything that requires a brain. Thats why we have been used by our politicians for their own interests since day one. Hope you understand my point!
Mehmood Jun 22, 2010 04:47pm
You are right
Ram Iqubal Singh Rajwar Jun 22, 2010 04:55pm
I Wish you well.Look around you and see the direction where Muslim leaders are leading their countries.I dare you to ask them same peaceful country from those leaders. Iqubal
Treatment Jun 22, 2010 04:55pm
When Zaid Hamid failed -- someone else gets propelled up ,, hmmmmmm no prizes for guessing.
Mehmood Jun 22, 2010 05:04pm
Oh, so you still believe that Afghan war was Jihad? LOL It was a CIA and ISI strategy to fight with Russia... Which Islamic Jihad are you talking about? the Jihad which was sponsored by Americans. Keep in mind this war damage all the Islamic world especially the Islam and still Muslim are not understand who is working for Islam and against Islam. This Jihad has been used by American and Europe to get all treasures (Oil, gas, Lithium, gold, etc) from Islamic countries. Here people call Islam as a most Intolerance religion and unfortunately you people are providing ground to these elements. Please visit outside Pakistan and see what is the Image of Islam and Pakistan here (you know we are nothing here nothing). It is very easy to sit in Pakistan but difficult to answer and face the foreign media on this issue.
Mehmood Jun 22, 2010 05:16pm
Mahmood Ghazanavi was not a moral man, he just attack and collect the gold and leave, and when Hindu again collect their goods and gold then he again attack and collect it and take it with him to Ghazni ... this all he did into his almost whole life.. No Islamic rule or system was implemented by him... These are really an eye opener for us
Mehmood Jun 22, 2010 05:17pm
Please Sana keeps it up, as there are only few voices in Pakistan which talk from their inner beauty. You are only answerable to God not to these mullah (mazhab ka thekedaars)..
Aamir Ali Jun 22, 2010 05:24pm
Few of the Muslims who currently lead armies or countries around the world qualify up to your high standards, and you expect America, a country with less than 1% population is Muslim, to somehow be led by a Muslim, who supposedly be a great leader just because he is a Muslim ? You are talking about pie in the sky nonsense that mullahs specialize in.
Aamir Ali Jun 22, 2010 05:25pm
Zaid Hamid has never fought in any war in Afghanistan or Kashmir or anywhere else. He is media personality who impresses weak Pakistanis with his fiery rhethoric. These weak Pakistanis then call Tv stations and post on blogs pretending to be great "Islamic warriors".
Aamir Ali Jun 22, 2010 05:27pm
Correction, you have been taking advantage of the West for 38 years of your life, while learning nothing and contributing nothing.
AHmed Jun 22, 2010 05:27pm
May I add? thank you! Mehmood GHaznavi was a looter who stormed & raided other peoples place of worship to get his hands on their fortune, the best known example, (& which is celebrated in our class 10th text book as pointed out by CDKEY,) is that of The Holy Temple of Somnath, which was revered by millions of Hindus & attack on which was tata mount to an attack on any holy place of a Muslim, that chapter of the text book use to bow my head in shame in class when we use to read it as some kind of victory.
Aamir Ali Jun 22, 2010 05:30pm
He attacked India repeatedly primarily for the sake of robbing the Hindu kingdoms of wealth. He was little more than a raider king. His practice was later continued by other Afghans even when Muslim rule was established in the subcontinent. So that is the dark side of Ghaznavi, an Afghan who for some reason is glorified by Pakistanis. Ghaznavi did nothing to spread Islam or establish Muslim rule in the subcontinent.
Azhar Shahani Jun 22, 2010 05:31pm
So you call afghan war jihad for Islam?. It was war fought for USA against USSR. do some homework.
Azhar Shahani Jun 22, 2010 05:33pm
Hahahah....well said.
Pakistani Jun 22, 2010 05:41pm
You are a hypocrite. Why do you keep living in the west and benefiting from it if you hate it so much!? Why don't you come work in a Muslim country? Stop your hypocrisy!
rabia zia Jun 22, 2010 05:44pm
Tolerance is no doubt a vital article of our beautiful religion, but unfortunately our liberal moderate brothers and sisters (who'd take nothing as for granted as religion) take tolerance synonymous to being dead. Do tolerate!!...but have a threshold value system; some lines drawn. so that others know to not to cross those lines and to behave themselves. To me, when a Muslim says "it deeply hurt me seeing what happened on facebook, BUT......"....there's a seriously questionable faith!
Sungrais Jan Jun 22, 2010 05:45pm
Just the way you are allowed to write on this site.
shah Jun 22, 2010 05:58pm
Stumped..... what say, another you tube video, for Chak??????
G.A. Jun 22, 2010 06:10pm
To Sungrais Jan - You hate the West yet you have been living there in peace and security for 38 years???does the word Hypocrite mean anything to you?
Bindu Rama Rao Jun 22, 2010 06:19pm
You have no clue on American politics, and the freedom people enjoy. Especially freedom of dissent. So you can stew in your ignorance and believe everything will be fine just b having a Muslim president. How much good had a Muslim president done to Pakistan? Or how much good has a Muslim king done to Saudi Arabia? Or a Muslims in Somalia?
Bindu Rama Rao Jun 22, 2010 06:22pm
All that seems to matter to you is "fighting for Islam". How about "loving" for humanity"? How about caring for human life? Working for education and child welfare? Isn't it time to stop fighting for anything and working for something? Or loving something for a change?
Muhammad.Quddus Jun 22, 2010 06:46pm
The writer Sana Saleem is cheerful that "Nawaz has initiated the Khudi movement which promises to promote democratic culture....." But how? In a truncated Pakistan, with Ahemdis, Shias and others living in constant physical danger, with the economist projecting a dismal growth while absorbing billions of dollars in aid, and then reduced to a Taliban state of mind, isn't it too late to call out for democratic culture? After the independence in 1776, the representatives of the 13 colonies in the United States debated from sunset to sunrise and from sunrise to sunset in Congress and Conventions about how to stay united with each citizen having equal rights. The representatives use John Lock's idea of the "natural rights" of man against the very country Lock was born into. In the formation of Pakistan, where is John Lock and where are the enlightened representatives? It is not important to distinguish between an "extremist" and the "terrorist." It is important to distinguish between what is civilization and what is not a civilization.
hasan Jun 22, 2010 07:06pm
Actually the problem with us that we do not know that who we are and what we want. any one can convince us and we start moving on his path. people who have the chance to go abroad on repatriation say that west is the true custodian of human rights. but what we forget is that if we look around us every human right violations has been done by the non Muslims and not the Muslims. Let us count 1. Kashmir 2. Palestine stone vs tanks (great what a match) 3. Iraq 4. Massacre of Muslims by the Serbs. 5. Muslims massacre in Kosovo and Somalia 6. What do you think about the Babri mosque 7. Do you really believe that a man living in caves with some illiterate companions can target world trade centre. and if you look around you will see a lot more examples and still if you think that Muslims should Sacrifice than I salute you.
Mustafa Jun 22, 2010 07:12pm
@ Sana Saleem Another excellent article. We indeed need women like you to become writers, scholars as well as leaders. In most of the over 50 Islamic countries of the world Muslim women do not have the same opportunity for higher education as Muslim men. Sana, carry on good work. @ Imran Faris and Shumail I support what you said to Sana. @ Tim You said to Sana:
Taha Jun 22, 2010 07:34pm
Mr. Imran Faris, Don't be prejudiced in that regard cause the basic philosophy of all faiths and religions regarding the human rights is sublime.... they have all been corrupted and Islam is no difference.... Muslims today do not follow Islam in the theoretical true essence and neither does any other religious people though they think they do.... So the need is to think like a human and then like a Muslim!! not otherwise!
Taha Jun 22, 2010 07:44pm
Excuse me!! what degeneration?? Europe and America degenerated?? What are we then?? blasted apart?? Europe and America have achieved excellence in their social setups...economics... Industry... law and order... security... What degeneration? If you talk of their values than I should remind you that not sharing your values does not mean that they are morally bankrupt... If in anyway we can be compared to those nations it may be their era before renaissance when they were subject to religious extremism and illogical and irrational thinking, that we are subject to now!
Taha Jun 22, 2010 07:55pm
Ms. Saleem, Appreciating your concern for tolerance in the society, I differ on what you said towards the end... Celebrating the heroes is not the thing to do... celebrating the heroics is... what we have been doing is that we make prophets of our heroes and then all they did or thought becomes devine for us... we cherish not ideas but people... and that is what is idolizing... we worship idols!! Moreover Tolerance is a very small feeling to ask for... what we need is love for diversity... Do not try to make people think your way... love the way they are... diversity and harmony are the law of nature and nature loves it as that... and if anyone believes that God created nature they must love diversity as HIS most fundamental laws of creation....
Syied Nasir Mehdi Jun 22, 2010 07:56pm
A mercenary he may be. Why poke your nose in other people's affairs. Have you forgotten Khilafat Movement. If Russian had sent forces on an invitation from the ruler of the time why pain in our stomachs. Those who took part in Afghanistan war were stooges of another big power. The same stooges are showing their heinous face in Pakistan. May God give us sanity.
Parker Jun 22, 2010 08:26pm
Mr Jan, why live in the west for 38 years, you obviously don't agree with the "Mindset of western non-Muslims", why torture yourself for 38 years and remain a misfit? From what you write describes you as a Fasial Shahzad who obviously came to the west looking for a better brighter future and found it, but eventually disagreed with the the mindset of the western non-Muslims... You may hate the west, but for a fact you have a better life in the west than you would have had in your own country. Nothing wrong with having your own opinion, but you should think twice before shooting your mouth :-)
Danish Jun 22, 2010 08:49pm
Chak, When you say degeneration of Europe and North America, what exactly do you mean? Does Pakistan look progressive or developed compared to them? I may be totally off but do enlighten me please! You say that such people on facebook are stealing our "heritage" or "pride", what Pride are you talking about? The pride that Prophet Muhammad taught us but we don't follow or the tolerance that he practiced in his life which we don't want anything to do with? Or a gazillion other instructions that he taught and we ignore everyday of our lives? Prophet was humiliated by kuffars in his life and he tolerated them then who are we to do anything different? Yes we can protest but not to the extent that it becomes a joke around the world. What we do is just a knee jerk reaction we fail as a nation to think rationally about any challenge we're faced with.
Amit Jun 22, 2010 08:56pm
This logic is irrelevant and does not fit as counter argument. Read Kamrans reply with open heart. I can just hope you will understand the importance of tolerance.
Gopi Thomas Jun 22, 2010 09:02pm
It is amazing how 90% of the response seem to say"nothing is wrong with Pakistais, nothing is wrong with Islam, everything is wrong with West. Do these people know Pakistan is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world, it is in the bottom 10 unstable countries etc etc.. Do they know that fellow brothers are killing fellow brothers in Pakistan. This lady wrote a good article as to how some of these terrorism and extremism can be redirected to positive items; but the consensus that emerges is nothing is wrong with Pakistan.
G.A. Jun 22, 2010 09:07pm
Sugrais Jan- you say Zaid Hamid fought alongside Afghans/Islam. Are you refering to the same Afghans who turned on eachother and Pakistan once the Soviets left or NATO stepped in?
Amit Jun 22, 2010 09:13pm
Weren't the Taliban so called religious Muslims, who ruled Afghanistan. Why did not the Afghan people prosper then? And tell me will Pakistan ever allow a non-Muslim to hold a crucial government post? Among other things, problem is that there is denial for existence of other religions and their beliefs. Why is it so important for you for a person to be a believer only in the Prophet? Why do you say a person is a "non-believer" instead of just saying he believes in "something else"? Tell me.
Shahzad Malik Jun 22, 2010 09:42pm
Dear Sana, Keep up your good work. We as a nation need more and more people like you. Shahzad
Babur Jun 22, 2010 09:46pm
Sana, Ridiculing the concept of khudi & relating it to extremism is ignorant on your part to say the least & is an indication of your lack of knowledge on the subject. I suggest you read Allama Iqbal & try to understand his message & then may be you can comment on it. You dont have to agree with it, & you dont have to follow it but do read it. Hope thats democratic enough for you! I am sure you will be surprised on finding how relevant it is to our times & as a young educated Muslim woman, you would connect with it spontaneously.
Bilal Jun 22, 2010 09:47pm
Are you serious we have had Muslim leaders for 60 years ... whose rights are safe here ? or look at any other Islamic country (not Muslim but Islamic) ... and its not about implementation, the laws are discriminatory... do you know that if you are not from the state version of the religion you are not eligible to run for certain important posts in our country ?
Bilal Jun 22, 2010 09:50pm
He stands for himself and wants to use you to become a leader.
Bilal Jun 22, 2010 09:54pm
spot on CDKEY ... we have named missiles after people who looted this very land not once but over and over again
Ziyad Jun 22, 2010 10:20pm
So you think only Muslims are capable of doing good? With due respect, I think these are the type of extremist views that we need to discourage. You want a Muslim to lead a non-Muslim country to right all the wrongs but what about all the Muslim leaders in the Muslim countries who have abused human rights, committed atrocities and condemned their people to a life of absolute impoverishment? Frankly not a single Muslim ruler in recent history can claim to be a good leader. As for a peaceful world for Muslims, the only way we can achieve that is by dealing with our own demons. Yes external powers have exacerbated the situation and taken advantage of our weaknesses but then again that is the nature of global politics. If we desire a sustainable solution to our problems we need to look within and not point fingers at others. As a popular saying goes "the first step towards resolving a problem is to identify the problem" and in our case the problem lies with us!
Ziyad Jun 22, 2010 10:36pm
So basically what you are claiming is that your faith is so weak that if someone ridicules it or critisizes it you are likely to lose it all together?? Perhaps high time that you worked on your faith rather than sealing other peoples lips! And while you are at it, please do read a bit more about history before making references which are of no relevance to the topic!
Does it make sense? Jun 22, 2010 10:38pm
Considering the language of the two, I don't find any difference between Zaid Hamid and Stumped, at least, as far as tolerance is concerned. Tolerance is when we start looking inwards. Zaid Hamid and his followers has their one view. If we call them names, we only create more. We can only convince people by better logic, I guess.
Ziyad Jun 22, 2010 10:39pm
Zaid Hamid a soldier??? that claim seriously puts in to question your credentials.
Mohammad A Dar Jun 22, 2010 11:32pm
What is wrong to be Muslim, every Muslim should be proud of being Muslim, not ashamed, as some hypocrites may wish to be. Khudi, independence is nature of humanity as the word human, originally Human means, His desire, desire of Allah the merciful. What could be worst than, Muslims have been made slaves to the non Muslims on the name of Modularization or modern. Khudi is the commandment of our creator and to live by it is the way of Muslim, not the way of modern, pretending to be Muslim.
Dabir Ahmed Pir Jun 22, 2010 11:43pm
Sana in your job fear from those who are likely to react violently to your writings is inbuilt . I wanted to point out that on two occasions when blasphemous cartoons appeared and a strong reaction was shown by the so called MUSALMANS, what actually happened was that in Lahore a procession was taken out by the FAITHFULS on the Mall Road....the sentiments were shown by looting and destroying private and public property, looting ATMS, burning and destroying cars and motorcycles of the innocent AND MUCH MORE. How can NAMUS-E-RISALAT be supposedly brought back by punishing those who have nothing to do with the BLASPHEMOUS CARTOON at all. THINGS HERE ARE ALL SCREWED UP. If you are able to change the hearts and minds by joining some one then please do so. HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND........
Saad Jun 22, 2010 11:54pm
Mate, comparing Facebook episode with a thief makes no sense at all. If you don't like something condemn it, but condemn it in a sane way. Unfortunately we fail at giving such sane responses. Kindly recall what happened in Pakistan when Danish cartoonists made caricatures of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. That was by no means a sane response which Islam justifies. Your statement on the degeneration of Europe and North America is clearly a personal opinion, that is formed by watching Hollywood movies! I am studying in North America and trust me as a society they are far tolerant that our countrymen. Unfortunately our society has been held hostage to extreme ideas, where we are portrayed as saviors of Islam. What we fail to understand are the simple things which Islam so beautifully teaches us: TOLERANCE, LIBERTY, LOVE AND COMPASSION!
malik Jun 23, 2010 12:08am
I think the thirty years of brainswashing has done its job. Talking to these people is like hitting your head against a wall. Thank you Gen. Zia.
logician Jun 23, 2010 12:11am
If Pakistan was such a "pioneer" of human rights, then the country and its people should have all spoken up to remove the blasphemy laws. Since everyone so happily signs to their passports with indications of this blasphemy law written all over the place, this means that everyone who does so turns a blind eye to whats going on. The whole country has become a sham. Its time to change things.
logician Jun 23, 2010 12:17am
You've got it wrong chak. You obviously don't understand the lofty example Kamran has pointed out. "love for all hatred for none" that is what Islam is all about. The Holy Prophet (saw) was thought dead in one battle, but he told his companions to not raise a cry, it was only when the idolaters said that God was dead that he told them to say 'Allahuakbar'. Yet, no Muslim country gets inflamed when Atheists say that. That is blatant hypocrisy. As a Muslim, I am ashamed of the rest of the Muslim world not speaking up against the West saying that 'God is dead'. Nauzibillah. Arguing against this is prime, not character portraits of our Prophet (saw). What a far second that is compared to what is said about God!
malik Jun 23, 2010 12:17am
Tell this soldier to go back to Afghanistan and leave us alone.
logician Jun 23, 2010 12:20am
The ummah does not mean the majority of the Muslims. In fact, the majority of the Muslims may not necessarily be right, they could be the most wrong of all. Don't confuse consensus of the people (democracy) with Islamic values. Democracy is a national thing. Religion and state are separate. Islam works within its own sphere. It is spiritual, not political. Why won't the rest of the Muslim world see this fallacy?
Mohammed Abbasi Jun 23, 2010 01:19am
Trust in Allah Sana and keep moving forward and writing - the voiceless majority who are being manipulated and hurt by extremists depend on you. And just been on the Khudi website - EXCELLENT - its about time Pakistanis awoke!
Saleem Jutta Jun 23, 2010 01:46am
Save Pakistan from these talibans who are bent on destroying the Pakistan of Quid-e-Azam. These politicians need to be reigned in before they turn Quid-e-Azam's Pakistan into ashes. I wish Khudi the great success.
Raki Jun 23, 2010 02:12am
There is more to Democracy than voting to elect the people who would govern the people. Democracy is to submit to the Rule of Law. It is when the schools, parents and society teaches the kids not to take law in their own hands, whether for honor, revenge or religion. Democracy is to submit to compromises in politics and governance to make the system work. Democracy is to submit to the Law of Contracts in the letter and spirit, in business, domestic or international relations.
iqbal Jun 23, 2010 02:14am
Mr Chak Dont worry about America and west,they are doing fine.Pls put all your efforts to save your country from enemy within.
T. Arshed Jun 23, 2010 02:21am
Show us a muslim country ruled by a muslim leader which is peaceful and without corruption. Its citizens have no problems and are happy with their lives and are making progress and love their leaders. Are not the muslim countries today well known for their corrupt leaders? So why would a muslim leading USA make it such a heavenly country when the current muslim countries can not show an example?
Sameer Jun 23, 2010 03:28am
@Kamran, Ok what about being indifferent, being silent and tolerant to hatred show for minorities?
Analytical Engine a.k.a. Unnees Bees Jun 23, 2010 03:42am
I am a foreign Muslim and of course, Pakistanis have a much greater right to appreciate/criticize the writer than trivial people like me. I would not like to mix issues, but,when will Nadeem Paracha Bhai learn something from Miss.Sana Saleem. Both are social critics, but sister Sana along with her criticism of the 'half-Muslims' also practices Islam whereas Nadeem Bhai is only interested in satire and in him , deen ka naam-o-nishaan nahi.
ayesha khan Jun 23, 2010 04:05am
Completely agree
ayesha khan Jun 23, 2010 04:09am
If you check the web it will become pretty obvious. HE destroyed hundreds of temples and raped thousands of Hindu women. You may not support Hinduism but the prophet never meant to spread Islam by sword. The fact is that I was born a Muslim and proud to be one. Still the fact is that your and my forebears were Hindu and due to looting, jazia and such activities by Arab invaders they became Muslim. This is a pity because just like Buddhism, Islam could have been spread peacefully because inherently it is such a wonderful religion.
ayesha khan Jun 23, 2010 04:12am
You continue to live in the West because they don't make life miserable for non-Christians. Pakistan had 25% minorities at the time of independence. It has now got less than 5%. This is because of how the minorities are treated in Pakistan. Every country has its nutcases.
ayesha khan Jun 23, 2010 04:13am
Zaid is not an ex-extremist. HE is just no longer in the limelight because of the khatme-nabuwat issue.
Yawar Khan Jun 23, 2010 05:30am
I don't understand why our pseudo intellectuals proclaim the WESTERN VERSION of history as FACTS with such dogmatic attitude, while labeling anyone talking on behalf of Islam as EXTREMISTS/TERRORISTS/DELUSIONAL. If they are so wary of our Islamic ideals and culture why don't they just get their apologetic souls settled at there master's behest.
Aamir Jun 23, 2010 05:39am
That we wont do, instead we'd go out and put our neighbor's car on fire to show our love for our Prophet. I dont think our Prophet would want to see our face if we react like that.
Aamir Jun 23, 2010 05:40am
IF Obama was a muslim, we would be discussing if he is a true muslim or not
CDKEY Jun 23, 2010 06:20am
I totally agree Mr. Chughtai, to bring about a lasting change that is where our focus should be. Debating on and on has never solved or provided a solution.
Rajivan Jun 23, 2010 05:45am
Wow! such insecurity! You're equating 'maligning Prophet's name' with 'robbing of your belongings' (it's got nothing to do with culture/heritage). Your belongings are valued at a price, your belongings are material that can be re-purchased, your belongings are trinkets at best. So, can you equate Prophet to these things? Aren't you committing blasphemy by equating these things to prophet - the perfect man, ever lived?!!
Aamir Jun 23, 2010 05:46am
Excellent article Sana. In this confused and chaotic country, its so refreshing to see someone with a clear head. Your are a good writer, keep writing.
Bu Umar Jun 23, 2010 05:49am
Ms Saleem seems to be confused. She begins with incidents, puts in a sort of apology for supporting her stances, and then ends up with promoting another campaign against "extremism". Gather up courage girl and speak the truth!!!
R Jun 23, 2010 06:10am
Surprise surprise...another Muslim passing on judgements based on his perspective of what a Muslim is or should do. I am quite sure you have never met Nadeem. Based on his articles you have concluded that he is "not a good muslim." Where as Sana is; simply because she has posted a picture with the Hijab on? Nadeem is a better Muslim than most. His is the true war, one fought with the pen not with the sword!! Islam places the highest importance on intellect and intellectual discourse. One who understands this notion serves Islam more than the one who simply prays five times for the fear of ending up in hell!!
CDKEY Jun 23, 2010 06:33am
His 17 attacks are part of history and if your 38 enlightened years in the west allow you to go through the economic times of the average citizens of this land (Muslims and all others), they were still miserable and no solid change the attacks brought to the Muslims in particular. He plundered and looted and went back to his land. I'll suggest Prof. Mubarak Ali's books (a renowned Pakistani historian) to widen your horizon about all these raiders who plundered are land on the name of our religion. As far as Yawar khan, there are always 3 sides to history, one court or ruler written, one oppositions written and than the traveler's or an independent writer's written. When you go through all of them, that brings you to your own conclusion. In order to understand others perspective I read Old and New Testament, Bhagwat Geeta and other religious scriptures, which made me understand my holy scripture more. Branding western version of history or eastern version is cruel as history is written only once and everyone is allowed to seek the truth, depends how much vigor you are ready to deploy for the truth.
Azhar Shahani Jun 23, 2010 06:36am
Sungrais do you think afghan war was jihad? ....Do some homework and see who fought for whom.
Hamid Nilnagi Jun 23, 2010 07:12am
Ms. Sana, there is one positive aspect of the story that is people despite all of the isms, negative media campaign (including Internet), western military aggression creating fear psychosis among us, we still love Prophet (pbuh) and react whatever means we have on any satanic aggression on this account. Ms. Sana if extremism is to love Prophet (pbuh) then how come it is bad, as Prophet (Pbuh) himself has said that our faith is complete only when we love him more than anything (including mother, father, children so and so forth). There has to be a level where we should stop our tongues to wave. Can we be liberal to listening some one abusing your mother, sister, father, son, daughter or brother. Any sensible human being will not keep mum but will definitely react and this is a positive act. How come anyone can presume that we the Muslims who love their Prophet than their lives as an article of faith will stop to react. The stopping of FACE BOOK or not is a different issue. Ms. Sana, I appreciate our sister has a capacity to write but that must not make her feel that she is above someone who should not be reacted to. I would like to request you to try to identify the real factors which are inhibiting Muslims to progress and work on that rather than go against an abstract term extremism which at times is a very good to follow. To me Muslims should be educated thoroughly Book of Allah (Quran) and Sahih Hadith (Says of Prophet) along with modern technical sciences. The first one shall definitely make your countrymen honest, loyal and brotherly and second one will help you to solve your both inside and outside problems. I suggest we should work on these two aspects of Muslim life more.
Akshay, India Jun 23, 2010 07:39am
Dear Jan, Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked Indian subcontinent. He killed many people, looted rich temples and forcefully converted Hindus to Islam. And if that's heroism.....God bless you!!!
Akshay, India Jun 23, 2010 07:47am
Hasan, the Muslims are living in worse conditions in so called Muslim countries than anywhere else. Why do you forget - 1) Saddam Husseins atrocities 2) Shia persecution in Saudi Arabia 3) Sunni persecution in Iran 4) Atrocities and third class citizen treatment of women under Taliban. 5) Darfur genocide - By Arab Muslims on Black Muslims 6) Idi Amin dictatorship - He was a muslim and he killed thousands of Muslims and he was given sanctuary by Muslim country Saudi Arabia I think you should come out of Muslim-Non Muslim cacoon and think in terms of humanity
Mansoor Khalid Jun 23, 2010 08:19am
A very well articulated observation. The extremist mind-set has been injected in our systems almost two decades back by a dictator who once held a conference to resolve energy crisis with the help of jinns. The fight today put up against such indoctrination by the civil societies is the first drop of rain in desert.
Mohd Yakub Jun 23, 2010 09:01am
Love for the prophet (pbuh) is one thing. The "love" which is being demonstrated by some people is like idolatry - which is haram. Know the difference. There is a reason why idolatry has been banned in Islam. Nowhere does it say that a non-Muslim drawing a caricature of the prophet (pbuh) is blasphemy... nowhere.
burhan Jun 23, 2010 09:04am
Unless and until the mullahs are reformed and educated, we all one day would be brandished as Kafirs.
Hira Mir Jun 23, 2010 09:05am
The author seems confused. Telling us incidents and campaigning against extremism. What would be useful is the solution to change this mindset. We all realize we cannot win this war until we promote a secular state with religious tolerance.
Zainab Ali Jun 23, 2010 09:10am
Love of mankind should be real aim of our lives; we have learned from the history that politics and religion, when combined always create confusions and extremist mindsets. There should be a clear distinction between religion and politics and that
Pravin Jun 23, 2010 10:11am
Taha, Unfortunately, everyone is telling other how they are not practicing religion in true essence. It means that everyone thinks that he knows what religion in true sense means and other person does not. The wise idea would be to let everyone follow what they feel correct and keep it personal and evolve from there. And when it comes to thinking, can't we simply think without bringing religion into picture? - Pravin
oracle Jun 23, 2010 10:12am
Well said, the most important tragedy of our times include, leave what ever is old or traditional and you'll be modern and speak against your own beliefs and bring out the controversial issues and you'll be famous.. but these short cuts don't last for long!
arjoshi Jun 23, 2010 10:26am
I counted the bloggers - here's the report - I can officially tell you that as of now at 3:30 pm, 23 June, there were a MAJORITY of supporters for the writer as against a MINORITY of those who want her to take a walk/correct herself. Looks like, for a change, while Pakistan is still at war...with itself, we have a blog where the introspection and our expressions, are more aligned to the quieter, peaceful bunch who wish to ensure the peaceful religion of Islam is not hijacked by some of the more on the side of TTP or at least, Right of Center bunch. However, without these Right of Center guys, there isn't any debate, so more power to them too. But am I glad that for once the naysayers were lesser in number....a swallow doesn't a summer make, so dare I dream that more rational peace loving Pakistanis, who see both sides of their war, shall speak up against the minority which is more aggressive and labels anyone "different" from their worldview of Islam, social mores, history (their version) as kafir/infidel/non Muslim etc? Still, it is a good dream and after the churning shall come a better tomorrow in Pakistan too. More power to Iqbal's philosophy of Khudi and this movement.
Pravin Jun 23, 2010 10:29am
Just to add to Amit, Why should anyone worry if someone is 'believer' or 'non-believer' or something else, as long as he is a nice human being, respects other people and follows laws of land. - Pravin
Sana Saleem Jun 23, 2010 12:03pm
Umm I dont see myself apologizing? Please point out where exactly? There is nothing to apologize about. Thanks for the ups on 'courage' bit though!
Sana Saleem Jun 23, 2010 12:06pm
Babur, I suggest you read and reread and reread again and tell me where I 'ridiculed' khudi and it's concept, if anything I said this is what we need. I appreciate the stance and call out for more such social movements.
Sana Saleem Jun 23, 2010 12:09pm
Thanks Goga for your constant support :) Cheers!
Aniket Sharma Jun 23, 2010 12:11pm
"The degeneration of Europe and North America..." Amazing. Look who's talking about degeneration of other countries.
oracle Jun 23, 2010 12:28pm
I quote Mohd Yakub saying Nowhere does it say that a non-Muslim drawing a caricature of the prophet (pbuh) is blasphemy
haider Jun 23, 2010 01:17pm
You have anything to say about naming a cricket stadium honoring a certain dictator? Does Gaddafi Stadium make you feel proud?
Shoaib Malik Jun 23, 2010 02:07pm
That is the reason for our current state of affairs. Even God does not help a nation that does not help itself.
Shoaib Malik Jun 23, 2010 02:18pm
Because of the extreme mess we are in only a secular revolution can save us. You can only fight extreme with extreme.
Shoaib Malik Jun 23, 2010 02:25pm
We don't even need to go that far back or look at John Lock. Our own founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah was such a modern man. He always talked about equality of rights and separation of state and religion, and now we have just played into the hands of the Mullahs who opposed the very creation of Pakistan at that time. What I find hard to believe is that even in this age of technology, even educated people look to these illiterate mullahs for religious guidance, and we can all see the results.
Shoaib Malik Jun 23, 2010 02:39pm
So what?.. Oh yeah.. lets ban facebook..... lets ban youtube too, there must be blasphemous content there somewhere, lets ban wikipedia too, lets ban Google, Yahoo and Bing, I am sure these search engines can give you blasphemous search results. While we are at it, lets just ban the entire internet. Lets ban the foreign tv channels too as some might be insulting our religion as we insult other religions on our own channels. Lets not take trade with any of the western countries. Lets not even take aid (that might be a tough one). I tell you what, lets just go and live in a cave, where no one can hurt our feelings.
Bilal Jun 23, 2010 03:26pm
why do u assume all pakistanis to be muslims ? and secondly it takes lot of courage to say what Sana is saying
Goga Nalaik Jun 23, 2010 03:55pm
Please be explicit and say clearly that you are for a secular Pakistan. and if you say so, you'll not be alone ...! Goga Nalaik
Usman Chaudhry Jun 23, 2010 07:33pm
Hi Gopi, Good to have you here on Dawn blog. Regards, Usman Chaudhry
Usman Chaudhry Jun 23, 2010 07:40pm
Dear Sana, Read you blog was happy the way you proved yourself to be sane. Bravo! I feel sorry for you if you were made to believe as blashphemous and made to question your loyalty to faith. Let us rise above to make every minority part of us and our beloved country. Let the charity begin at home. Can't throw stone and blame others for our misery. Lets put some action in our words and make it sound louder than words. Usman Chaudhry Lahore, Pakistan
Sana Saleem Jun 23, 2010 08:12pm
Frankly, I do not understand the comparison between the two. if you've heard Majid speaking you would surely realize there is a clear difference. Atleast with Khudi there is no hate mongering involved as yet!
ali Jun 23, 2010 11:35pm
Joshi... pay attention to your country...
Raki Jun 24, 2010 02:02am
Democracy is when no one in the military dare do or say anything not sanctioned by the people and representatives elected by the people.
Iftikhar Husain Jun 24, 2010 11:50am
I have gone through the replies to this article somebody has suggested educate the mullah that is the only thing sensible. The khilafat movement in twenties and thirties failed because Muslims cannot unite themselves. Split with in Islam is the biggest trouble. It is a nice article.
Ali Khan, S Jun 24, 2010 02:09am
Please do not say Nadeem is serving Islam because even a person very modestly educated in Islam can judge that Nadeem has no intentions to server Islam. From what Nadeem Paracha has shown of himself through his writings is that he loves ridiculing Islam. He is a muslim or not, I do not know. But he is ignorant and utterly unqualified to criticize/analyse Islam. With this background, his mindset, as depicted through his writings, is malicious towards Islam. All he is doing is make fun of Islamic ways without giving any reasoned analysis. Worse is that he gets appreciated too for what he does....what a chaotic nation we are who do not care to even study their religion to find right from wrong. We pretend to be intellectuals but are in fact complete ignorant.
Ali Khan, S Jun 24, 2010 02:23am
"As Nawaz pointed out:
Imran Baig Jun 24, 2010 03:37am
Telling the truth is the most important thing in a leader. By telling the truth we can correct whats wrong because the truth hurts. But if you dont tell the truth you can correct whats wrong and that is exactly whats going on in Pakistan. The leadership needs to change. There are two kinds of leaders in the world - self serving leaders and selfless leaders. We must take the steps to recognize those leaders and proceed towrds making a progress.
Hammad Jun 24, 2010 03:57am
Mr R, we truly should take into account "What a Muslim is and how he is supposed to be" .. Everything rests on this. If you yourself not clear on the "Muslim" topic please do not critic others. No one know who is better than whom. The criteria lies with only HIM. Ms Sana writings are appreciable due to the mere fact that MR NFP's satires are based on assumptions. Albeit I have some reservations with Ms Sana's story of "Blocking Facebook" being part of extremism. I think one way or the other people try to show their love and affection with our Holy Prophet (PBUH). How we express it, thats a different story. Its human nature, when you do something wrong, you always try to find a way to put it right, by looking for an opportunity. Same case happened here, people got incited and tried to show how much they care or whatever. I don't call this as extremism.
Analytical Engine a.k.a. Unnees Bees Jun 24, 2010 04:05am
Of all choices,this person Pravin will choose those which are most natureIt is documented and it can't be changed.I really really don't expect him to have a good opinion about any religious Muslim in his life.
raju Jun 24, 2010 04:38am
interesting!!!. but democracy is not that good guys, if it is used like in India, it will be a renamed autocracy+bureaucracy. where only people with money or power in hand can really enjoy the fruits of democracy.
Hamid Nilnagi Jun 24, 2010 05:04am
Mr. Yaqub, you should try to understand what is in the text before answering, it is not good to write on the subject you donot understand. Further, kindly inform us how many photographs, caricatures, sculptures have been made by Prophet's companions (pbuh) or Prophet (pbuh) himself. There is a famous tradition about Prophet (pbuh) wherein he cut a cloth into pieces in the house of Hazrat Ayesha (RA) (the mother of faithful) on which pictures of some living creatures were designed on.
Ammembal Jun 24, 2010 07:24am
Dear Raju, The point we are missing here is that development of a nation is an 'organic' process and unfortunately, slow. In fact, it is unlikely that we will see the fruits of our efforts in our life-times. That should not stop us from trying our level best. I live in the UK now. Even here, you find vestiges of corruption and bureucracy, after centuries of uninterrupted parliamentary democracy. Pakistan desperately needs good guidance. Indians are of the same genetic make-up as Pakistanis. The problem is that Pakistanis have been strenuously trying to deny this. Actually, answer to their problems lies in the East. We are their natural allies. Genes dont lie! India may not be perfect but she is on the right track. Other South Asian countries can learn out of her experiences, both good and bad. Democracy and secularism are certainly amongst the good ones, warts and all. Warm regards Ammembal
imran ahmad Jun 24, 2010 05:54am
I invariably agree with Hamid. The issue is that we are affected by the western liberalism which has no limits and failed to see there extremist mindset. Nothing is far above than the honor of our Holy Prophet S.A.W. It puts our faith in question and the reaction is very legitimate but one thing is lacking that is the strategy to deal with these types of actions. I agree with the writer that to kill minorities is a moronic act. But we need to completely probe the events triggering such an act. Further I would like to bring into light that unfortunately some of our minorities are working against the ideology of Pakistan which should be checked by all of us.
Ammembal Jun 24, 2010 06:42am
Dear Sana and friends Thank you for the wonderful blog. Well done! Ammembal
Pravin Jun 24, 2010 08:41am
Dear Analytical Engine a.k.a. Unnees Bees, I don't understand how you concluded this. Where did you find that I am against 'religious Muslim' (or any other religious people)? The only point I made is that it would be wise to keep it personal. For the sake of clarification, I have many Muslim friends from my childhood and shared very close relationships with them and their families. When it comes to my Islamic understanding, I have read few books on Sufism and I plan to read Quran for my own spiritual understanding. If anything is documented in my nature, then it is keeping religion personal and be human in public life. If anything is wrong in that, then please correct. - Pravin
Raki Jun 24, 2010 11:21am
You are right. But, alas, your conclusion applies only to people who can read and write English, and have access to a computer. The fact is that the vast majority of Pakistanis get their news and make their views based on what they hear via loud speakers.
samyak Jun 24, 2010 12:01pm
Sensible? Are you joking? How can you educate Mullahs? Be practical and please explain a way to do it.
Raki Jun 24, 2010 11:13am
@Jan. If your heart and mind still doesn't accept what so many readers have said please do hold on to your beliefs because that would show that you are honest and I would respect your right to have your own beliefs. But, please please please do speak and stand against those who are bombing your own country and killing your own countrymen.
Tim Jun 24, 2010 10:36am
NFP does make fun religion but having said that i find him more tolerant than other bloggers on dawn who preach tolerance and condemn extremism.
Azhar Jun 24, 2010 03:36pm
Article is well written and is quite an eye opener
Taha Jun 24, 2010 07:39pm
Pravin That's what I just said Isn't it? 'Thinking as a human first....'. Cheers! [:)]
Taha Jun 24, 2010 07:55pm
Err Miss Saleem... What, other than celebrating democracy as a value, is on the manifesto of Khudi? I am afraid I could not find that in your article.... like how does it plan to inculcate the value in our otherwise sick-of-democracy bourgeoisie?
Raki Jun 24, 2010 10:00pm
Mr. Ali, how/why do you assume that Joshi is not a Pakistani? Can someone with a Hindu name not be a Pakistani?
Goga Nalaik Jun 24, 2010 11:57pm
You need another 20 years to understand NFP. NFP is no doubt a precursor... It is unfortunate to note that you've already closed all windows and doors and you refuse any further intellectual growth. May I remind you that your religion doesn't allow you to judge the way you did. Everyone is responsible for his deeds. If you are persuaded that you are a good Muslim, I'm happy for you but please don't ever think you are a better Muslim than your neighbour and try to be modest. God Almighty likes modest people. May I suggest you to never make hasty conclusions! Goga Nalaik
raju Jun 25, 2010 03:54am
hi Ammembal, pls come to india and live here for one quarter year, and rewrite the comment, india is not what you see in media and listen through phone from your friends. I never suspect the spirit of common indian or its heritage, but present india is not a common indian, it's effective population is just around 2 or 3 million bada babus or netas or corporate gaints. as you said, yes india is on right and luxorious track, unfortunately somany are left with denial onto that track. regards, ----------- Raju
anis Jun 25, 2010 02:45pm
200% agree with the writer
kanwal Jun 25, 2010 07:38pm
gr8 article
Prakash Jun 26, 2010 07:05am
Dear Raju , Yes it is true that majorirty of people in India are not getting their basic rights , this happened in past and will continue in future also , basicly it is humans basic instinct of struggle for supirority . But in this moderen era , we so called sane people should come forward to ensure the basic rights of weaker section . This is applcable to all countries .
youth Jun 26, 2010 09:00am
you have better choice to go China ..try for a citizen ship.then only you can understand what is basic rights..
arjoshi Jun 28, 2010 05:42pm
;-). Ali, I am! Paying attention to my country ;-)
Dr.Inam Jun 28, 2010 07:09pm
Truly said Keti Zilgish
Dr.Inam Jun 28, 2010 07:15pm
Pakistan and pioneer of Human Rights are two opposite things. The general masses have agreed where the country is headed to. Some of them kill and some of them get killed. No big difference. They all put the blame to ISLAM.
Ali Khan, S Jun 29, 2010 05:32am
With your permission, I will put the question a bit differently by saying " secular democracy or the democracy defined by Islam?". This question should be treated respectfully, tolerantly and academically, not emotionally and belligerently. Furthermore, I am not really qualified to debate on this but from what knowledge I have of my religion, Islam, I certainly believe that the TRUE Shariah is modern and comprehensive. As I said it should be appropriately debated and strongly feel (on the basis of my continual study of Islam) that Islam does offer a solution where the human rights are respected and dignified, productive co-existence with the rest of the world is possible. The debate on this line should continue. I believe the Shariah is not lacking nor it is incomplete. If we look at the constitution of Pakistan, we will see it is a good and balanced system of democracy in Islam (regrettably, it is only good in papers but is not implemented due to a lack of will, as is typical with the other systems in Pakistan).
Donald Jun 29, 2010 12:30am
Ali Khan, I agree, the democratic dream or Islam, need to choose between them! The new fitna of Secular democratic Islam is wishfull thinking, is the Shariah lacking and incomplete?
ayesha khan Jun 29, 2010 01:14am
BTW, India's current Prime Minister is not a Hindu - he is SIkh. India has had 3 Muslim Presidents and India's current Chief Justice is Parsi.
Ali Khan, S Jun 29, 2010 03:06am
you are as ironic, contradictory as your beloved NFP. Now you have judged me as one who did not understand NFP. By the way what do you know about Islam anyway? or what does NFP know about Islam anyway? (see the similarity between you and NFP?) I never said I am a better muslim. All I said that NFP is not qualified to analyse Islam. ( 'cuz what he criticizes is NOT Islam!) It is like I being an engineer star evaluating economic policies. Do you understand what I mean? That is what NFP does. I know Islam enough to see that what NFP associates to Islam and criticize it is in fact not Islam, in the first place. It is like saying that you are dangerous because you are a snake, whereas you are not a snake! So my suggestion to you is to do as you preach and not make hasty conclusions. Be well-read on what you are criticizing or supporting. This is also a message for your beloved headless, illogical and malicious NFP.
Ibn-e-Maryam Jun 29, 2010 05:00am
Very good article. You have just tasted an appetiser of accusations and finger pointing. Now imagine, what Ahmadis and other 'discriminated' people have to face on a daily basis in this 'land of pure'. Our daily lives have been made 'illegal' by the discriminatory laws of this country. Yesterday, BBC ran a short documentary, and a Sunni 'Aalim' claimed that Ahmadis should be killed 'through court of law and not by individuals'. This is the state of the knowledge and belief of these 'ulama'. The Holy Quran is full of teachings of patience and tolerance, and these 'ulama' neither act on these teachings nor talk about them. Anyways, good article and I hope you will continue to write on these very sensitive topics, even after facing an onslaught of allegations. Thanks very much
Ali Khan, S Jun 29, 2010 05:45am
"....Also, for your information, Christians are not infidels (Kafirs). Allah calls them
Prasad Jun 29, 2010 02:22pm
I agree with Raju and Prakash. India as seen in TVs and other media belongs to those with money and power. Commonman has rights in the Indian Constitution, not in the Indian society. As of 'youth's reply. it is just childish.
Ali Khan, S Jun 29, 2010 07:36pm
Good points made!
sandip Jun 29, 2010 09:08pm
"There is a reason why idolatry has been banned in Islam" May I ask you a question? If God (Allah) is everywhere, then why do you need to go to mosque to worship? You can worship from home! You can believe in sacred places but you do not believe in sacred images? That is a BIG contradiction
Osama Jun 30, 2010 04:12am
I think it is high time to question Democracy as an idea instead of grilling Islam. What Mr. Nawaz is upto is very evident and I don't think it needs any explanation. Report published by RAND Corporation in 2005, "Civil Democratic Islam", is a detail explanation of what people like Mr. Majid Nawaz and company are doing in Pakistan.
Osama Jun 30, 2010 04:26am
Islam has its own complete system of ruling. There is no need to take Western Democracy.
human Jun 30, 2010 02:58pm
Every time the matter boils down to blaming the mullahs. Why not go a step further and ask: why are Mullahs the way they are? After all, they are the ones who have learnt and imbibed the teachings of Islam to the best possible extent. But no one has the guts to openly discuss the answer to this crucial question, because the answer is as much obvious as it is dangerous to spell out.
Kabeer Jul 10, 2010 03:14pm
My dear lkpakistani As soon as you say that "we need start to see things in religious perspective, as we Muslims and Pakistani" you from the start alienated all the non-muslims Pakistanis, which is totally unfair. Second when you start seeing every thing in religious perspective the next thing which happen is you start looking every thing through the perspective of your own sect and there every thing start going wrong and a deep polarisation of society is the next thing which is not all suitable for Pakistan
Eshwaran Jul 10, 2010 03:14pm
Dear Sana, Your Contention that "Extremism should not be confused with Terrorism" is itself confusing. Etremism is the forerunner of terrorism. All Terrorist were once Extremists. All extremists are potential Terrorists.
Kabeer Jul 10, 2010 03:28pm
The answer is simple when our religious schools stopped teaching other subjects besides Islam (the way every sect think is) the dawn fall of intellect started in our religious students, which has created havoc in our Islamic societies because without intellect you can only produce Taliban, fanatic terrorists.
Kabeer Jul 10, 2010 03:33pm
By killing each other in the name of Islam, which culture and belief you are talking about please enlight me