Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dark Ages of Islam

There is nothing of interest on political scene to discuss today. So let’s discuss some matters of far more importance than these trivial routine matters. Instead of discussing what, let me focus today on why.  Why are we averse to listening, let alone tolerating, any voice of reason today? Why are such brutalities being committed and endorsed in the name of a religion which once proclaimed to be the religion of peace and harmony? Anybody with a different view is either eliminated like Taseer or is forced to run away like Ghamdi. People are beheaded and the acts are videotaped and widely circulated. Religious scholars endorse suicide attacks through their abject silence and common people glorify terrorists like Usma and Fazal Ullah.
When you look closely, you will find uncanny similarities in what is being done today in the name of Islam and what was once done during Inquisition in the name of Christianity. The term Inquisition refers to a number of historical expurgation movements against heresy (orchestrated by some groups/individuals within the Catholic Church or within a Catholic state). This period also coincides somewhat with the dark ages. Heresy was suppressed by Catholic Church even before 12th century but the use of torture and executions was not common. But around 12 century the trend changed and due to some decrees of Church. It started and era or utter brutalities, which continued for many centuries and cost numerous innocent peoples their lives. This went on for three centuries till 15th century. By the end of period, only thing which had been achieved by the church was to considerably weaken the grip of religion on the lives of people. People had got so fed up with religion that Christianity could never gain the same hold on the lives of people again and religion become almost a non operative part of the lives of the people.
The same is happening today in Pakistan in the name of Islam. Every effort is being made to curb the fresh ideas and thoughts in the name of fighting heresy. Anyone with different opinion or thought is either eliminated or harassed. And all is being done to maintain the sanctity and purity of original Islam thought. I am afraid that results are also going to be the same. If we continue in this vain, after some time, I am afraid, we will also succeed in making Islam irrelevant for modern world. Another stark reality is that Islam today is more or less of the same age as Christianity during age of inquisition. Does it mean that religions also go through the same life cycles? The are born, rise, decline and in the become irrelevant? 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Diary of a disgruntled Pakistani

19th January 2012
Media had gone berserk over the appearance of Prime Minister in the Supreme Court in contempt case.  Some had great hopes that PM will be dislodged through disqualification and government will plunge into crises. But the hopes begin to dampen when Barrister Aitizaz was requested to represent PM in the court. In desperation some even started blaming Aitizaz for doing a double face and changing his earlier stance. Well today PM with his advocate appeared in the court. Couldn’t have asked for a better anticlimax! The defendants reiterated their commitment to respecting the decisions of the court. The judges appreciated the act of PM in appearing before the court and after some time next date for hearing was given and all the buzz fizzled out.
Hardly has anyone paid attention to the fact that case has nothing to do with upholding the principle of supremacy of law in the country. It can better be viewed as a turf war. Another institution is trying to assert that it is also a stakeholder in the power game. Once that is established, all will be well in the country.
Another thing getting lost in the chaos is the fact that how successfully PPP government has diverted the discussion from the tales of its corruption to the civil military relationship and the supremacy in the parliament.
Now that Supreme Court has asserted itself and its authority and PM has humbly presented himself to the court, be rest assured that matter will slowly dissipate like many others or buried under thousands of other cases awaiting attention from the honorable court.