Obituary of liberal-secularism — II

Published: August 27, 2011

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Perhaps we don’t realise that the world is getting ready to accept religious radicalism as a reality in the Muslim world. The primary lesson drawn from the soft uprising in the Arab world or the recent political development in countries like Turkey goes to show that democracy will pave the way for Islamists and not those defined in western terms as liberal.

A few months ago, a visiting American academic reputed as a South Asia expert, was probing for a right-wing political leader or party that could get other right-wingers to follow him. During a conversation with a European diplomat, it transpired that his country sought to cooperate with Islamists in the Arab world, especially those who are willing to coexist with the international community. Bottom line: Islamists can do almost whatever they want in their country as long as they stay away from violence and the developed world.

Liberalism seems to have failed in the Muslim world and is taking down secularism with it. There are two basic reasons for this. First, the 20th century Muslim world is not largely known for liberalism, including Turkey which had secularism but not liberalism. It is important to note that liberalism is a combination of social, political and ideological plurality. Secularism is not supposed to negate faith but allow for a pluralistic society where all faiths can grow without any pressure from the state. Anti-mullahism does not automatically translate into liberalism until it is accompanied by political liberalism as well. The Turkish ruling elite, which partnered with military-authoritarianism, caused the frustration that led to the rise of the AKP (Adalet Ve Kalkinma Partisi — or Party for Justice and Progress). This also means that the intensity of Islamism will vary from state to state. While in some countries Islamism may support liberalism, in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and others, it may eliminate it. For those that underestimate the ideological power of the ahle Hadith and Deobandi militant outfits, their real nuisance lies in converting people to the idea that a Muslim society’s main task is to prepare for a never-ending conflict with the world and convert their own and other societies to a lifestyle they believe has been ordained by God. The formula is not liberal at all because it does not even allow for multiple interpretations of the holy text, leave alone other faiths.

But the second reason that the world may eventually come to terms with Islamism is due to the growth of scholars in western universities in particular, who are shaping the academic understanding of the Muslim world in the West in a certain way. These scholars, mostly anthropologists, present Islamism as a critical part of the local culture, which often leads to the conclusion that liberalism is a cultural anomaly. In forcing their affected conclusions, these scholars brutally misconstrue theoretical concepts to fit their conclusions. Scholars of Pakistani origin, for instance, have tried to tailor the concept of secularisation, agency and democratic debate as if to prove rabid Islamism was a normal thing in a society that was once known for cultural and religious pluralism. Then there are others who present madrassas like Jamia Hafsa and others as normal entities. There is no regard in this discourse for historical realities such as the close bond between state and non-state Islamists to serve the state’s interests, which has resulted in strengthening the Islamists.

While the liberal Muslim tradition got pushed back due to several reasons that cannot be discussed in this limited space, the rabid narrative got popularised because of massive financial and political support from Saudi Arabia, Libya, the Gulf States and Iran. Indeed, a lot of the Islamic centres in the West or Islamic studies programmes get funding from the above-mentioned states. Not to mention, the damage done by security studies to the study of Muslim societies. In an urge to create workable policy options, a security study tends to narrowly compartmentalise situations and characters. It means that entities like the Lashkar-e-Taiba or other militant outfits are presented as normal and part of indigenous growth. One way to stop this development is for the liberal discourse to base its argument on the liberal Islamic tradition. Liberalism is not foreign to Islam. People would benefit a lot if they went through the works of scholars like Abdullahi An’Naeem, Khalid Abul Fazl and others to understand that a peculiar kind of Islamism may not represent Islam.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2011.

Reader Comments (46)

  • Abdullah
    Aug 27, 2011 - 10:24PM

    For more than 60 years, you secularists had the power of the state and its institutions behind you, and if after 60 years you only come back to cry about your failures and blunders, then pardon me you had no right to exist in the first place !

    You can’t plant secularism, liberalism, humanism in a nation that believes in Quran to be the ultimate guidance and Sunnah of Muhammad SAW to be the ultimate authority. When you take Islam – a complete code of life, deen not mazhab – as a religion similar to Christianity you have lost your way their and then. If you want to secularism, humanism, liberalism in Muslim World you are up against these two foundations of Islam.

    Times are changing, Islamists were never an anomaly in Muslim World, despite all the 70 year rhetoric of liberals and secularists. On the other hand liberals, humanists, secularist and pseudo intellectuals and ‘enlightened islamic scholars’ were and would always be an historical aberration which caused by colonizations of Muslim World by the British, French and Italians.

    Time to let it go now …

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  • faraz
    Aug 27, 2011 - 10:24PM

    Of course, West doesn’t care about Islamic movements which do not come into conflict with their aims. CIA is the real father of jihadi groups inside Pakistan and Afghanistan. Jihadi literature published by University of Nebraska was used to indoctrinate masses. The medieval monarchy of Saudi Arab is US’s main ally in Middle East. US successfully uses Saudi influence to isolate Iran. Muslim brotherhood is cozying up to West. AKP is desperate to enter into EU. US has no problem with Taliban if they expel Al-Qaida. In Pakistan, the rhetoric of ideological conflict is only meant to take control over internal resources; our mainstream religious parties have a long history of collaboration with the military establishment which is always ready to cooperate with US.

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  • Aug 27, 2011 - 10:39PM

    While I agree with the general sentiment about the demise of liberalism in Islamic societies (including places like Malaysia), I think Turkeys’ recent transition to democracy is an exception which should be celebrated,.Erdogan has been able to keep an unusual balance between respecting popular religosity and an uncompromising stance on preserving the secular state of Turkey enshrined in its constitution. The author needs to spend more time understanding Turkey’s contemporary political milieu.

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  • Roflcopter
    Aug 27, 2011 - 10:43PM

    Atheist horde incoming!

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  • Aug 27, 2011 - 11:17PM

    It is fine if the writer thinks that any thing close to Akbars Deen e Ellahi is liberal Islam and is more appropriate .But why is she in the name of Liberalism trying to brand deobandi and Alhe Hadith as troublemakers is difficult to understand. Even Europeans are ready to coexist but these fellows are not , there desire is that they should accept their liberal Islamic traditions or else………. .Madam East is East and West is West and never the twin shall meet

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  • ali
    Aug 27, 2011 - 11:20PM

    @Abdullah

    So this living hell is still not enough religious for you. Whatelse you want, should we put a ban on cars, and bring back the camels?

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  • Izhar ul Haq
    Aug 27, 2011 - 11:22PM

    A good piece as always but I beg to disagree with conclusion. Let us go back to history, violence did not take over Islam in recent time, it started right after death of Prophet Muhammad. All Caliphs were fighting internal wars, various groups killing each other and setting new examples of barbarianism from day one to today. History tell us that Muslim, either in minority or majority has never been in peace, internally and externally and never allowed space for divergence of views. There can nothing be more absurd than calling any version of Islam as secular or even near to liberalism. Islam is a religion of expansion, control over power and thereby implementing divine rules, where does pluralism can exist.

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  • fahad ullah
    Aug 27, 2011 - 11:42PM

    Saudi Arabia,Libiya,Iran till 80s in short even today most of the Gulf States are ruled by the regeimes with whom WEST has always enjoyed a very strong and good relations.and as far as Pakistan is concerned Militry or Civilians Governments again West has backed them both Politicaly and Economicaly.Now whom should we blame Islamist or these so-called secular /liberal forces.Rest Islam is Islam there is no room for liberalism,Secularism or any other evil concept or man made doctroine it is complete way of life and very much political in its every aspect…
    ”When anyone studies a little or pays a little attention to the rules of Islamic government, Islamic politics, Islamic society and Islamic economy he will realize that Islam is a very political religion. Anyone who will say that religion is separate from politics is a fool; he does not know Islam or politics.(Tahrīr al-Wasīla vol. 1)”

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  • Parvez+Mahmud
    Aug 27, 2011 - 11:43PM

    @Abdullah
    You have a solid argument in terms of performance of liberals. I’m waiting for for liberals to respond.
    @faraz. What you are describing is opportunistic exploitation that reflects more on US policy than anything else. I know you are an Indian and you can answer why India went from socialism to capitalism without breaking a stride?

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  • tanoli
    Aug 27, 2011 - 11:52PM

    double standerd of secularism is dying.

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  • Aug 28, 2011 - 12:14AM

    M/S Ayesha Siddiqa,I understand your pain,anguish,would end my life If I was Pakistani liberal,such will be mine depression.I agree with the theory of Mr Abdullah,he has very clearly articulated what Islam,is about.Liberalism,humanism,secularism are up against the two pillars of Islam.Turkey is exception to the rule,that was essentially due to the Personality of Kamal Pasha,he was a strong founder like Gearge Washington.USA and West have surely betrayed Liberals like you,but they have no choice,they can not risk to put their civilians trying to reform Islamic nations,but the accomdation you see all around,is the realization in Western Capitals the futility of bringing 3 no,no,that is secularism,liberalism and humanism to Islamic world,hence coddling Soudi Arabia and other important Islamic nations.They will sooner or later reach understanding with Pakistan too.,namely do whatever you want in with your radicals,just stay within your borders,that is very sad and tragic,but the alternetive is zero options.USA paid a heavy price in Afganistan and Pakistan and Iraq,they have no stomace for intervension and losing youngman in losing cause.Their economy is in bad shape,there is nothing to show for.and no future or prospect,In Soudi Arabia the oppresion of female will go unabeted,so will other lack of freedom.I am of this opinion ever since I started to learn about Islam,what Islamic countries practice in all fairness there are no major contradiction,some libreals will argue for debate,but at crunch time they are or anybody can not change anything in the nature of the “TWIN Pillars’ of the the foundamentals,as Mr Abdullah so well clarified,we liberals might not agree with it,but we are not the “MOVERS AND SHAKERS’ of Islam in our Islamic country,sooner we realise this less will be pain and heatache.

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  • Ahmed
    Aug 28, 2011 - 12:33AM

    “Scholars of Pakistani origin, for instance, have tried to tailor the concept of secularisation, agency and democratic debate as if to prove rabid Islamism was a normal thing in a society that was once known for cultural and religious pluralism.”

    Is the specter of culturally sensitive academics really haunting western universities? Can we please get some names?Recommend

  • faraz
    Aug 28, 2011 - 12:48AM

    @Abdullah

    Rioting by religious groups started way back in early 50s when hundreds of people were killed in anti-Ahmadia riots. Mullah military alliance took roots in late 60s and dominated politics from the 1980s onwards.
    Over 40,000 have killed by extremists and their motivation is religious dogma. Thousands have died in sectarian killings and bomb blasts in mazars, mosques and Imam bargahs over sectarian disputes. And all the sectarian disputes are based on different interpretation of Quran and Sunnah. So first decide which interpretation should be considered the ultimate guidance?
    And please elaborate this rhetoric of code of life. There is no political or economic system described in Islam. How a ruler appointed in Islamic system? What are his powers? How can we remove the ruler? Umayyad, Abbasid and Ottoman were dynastic monarchies, which worked just like any other monarchy. What does fiqh say about trade, fiscal and monetary policy?

    @Pervez+Mahmud

    Well I am talking about the popular myth that there is some ideological conflict going around in the world between Islamists and the West. Western nations don’t care about local religious groups fighting over petty issues concerning clothes. And I am a Pakistani, but fortunate enough to have the opportunity to read books other than Punjab textbook board books.

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  • Arifq
    Aug 28, 2011 - 1:06AM

    Another liberal throws in the towel! This is sad, then again totally understandable, we live in a fascist state which allows the murder and abduction of those who dare to oppose the religious extremists. Liberalism was never given a chance in Pakistan when the Objective resolution changed its name to Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Liberals such as Ayub or Bhutto always pandered to the religious lobby and laws were made to placate their views. Therefore, those who blame liberalism as a failed concept for Pakistan need to correct their perception, Pakistan has always been an authoritarian state liberalism was limited to the upper echelons of society and that too only for social purposes. Political and economic liberalism was never given space in Pakistan had we allowed Jinnah’s Pakistan we would not have lost East Pakistan or be on the verge of implosion. Ayesha Bibi, I have the utmost respect for you but in this case I would differ with your view, religious bigotry is on the rise not just in the Muslim world we see the same in Christian dominated regions, Sudan is a very good example where the Christian south chose to separate from their northern Muslim cousins. We live in a world of shrinking resources, rising populations and climatic imbalances, perfect recipes for rise of religiosity across the world, point being we should analyze and conclude based on the prevailing environment, lets not discard ideologies that the world needs to survive.

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  • Moderate
    Aug 28, 2011 - 1:11AM

    Although I agree that plurality of practices has existed in Pakistan(and still does btw you just dont look hard enough) but your lot has in the last 10 years has tried to import an artiifical form of liberalism whose only backing was the corrupt elite and western diplomatic chatter over lavish soirees in Islamabad. It is only recently that the author has taken a more accomodating in approach, 10 years ago did you ever attempt to use non-Western, moderate Islamic countries as examples of liberalism?
    There is no point in writing an obituary and crying yourself hoarse over something that never existed in the first place, and even if it did you people went about it in an extremely disingenous manner.

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  • Mir Agha
    Aug 28, 2011 - 1:13AM

    Secularists can make themselves useful by speaking the truth on all matters. You have this narrow-world view where you can’t seem to point out obvious. I appreciate your efforts in pointing out the hypocrisy and decay in the muslim world. But there is hypocrisy the world over. And you aren’t the only ones pointing these things out. You can be conservative and still be critical of the muslim world of today. Using neocon propoganda to try to sideline real, honest interaction of ideas is being anti-liberal. We get it though, one’s Left is the others’ Right.
    Start by having a common platform. Speak out against the terror that visits Pakistanis in the tribal areas by the US. Don’t stop speaking out against the terror of the reactionaries (TTP/AlQaeda) who uprooted the lives of their generous hosts. Speak out against the “war on terror” and the terror that is pushed onto the Afghans by US led forces. Don’t stop speaking out against the international Jihadists who mind numbingly invited all this. Atleast have the decency to mention the obvious farse of a case against Dr. Siddiqui. Don’t stop speaking out against dogmatism and literalism. The campaign to free an innocent woman like Asia Bibi is commendable, a cause you’ll find you have in common with a lot of those “Islamists”. It’s not an either/or, us vs. them propostion like a lot of things in your head.
    Take your own advice of being pragmatic and realistic, stop harping on about something that is not going to happen (secular Pakistan and muslim world). Less emotionalism, rhetoric, and more nuanced reason. Until you start doing that, you’ll be taken for what you are in reality: neocon propogandists.Recommend

  • OompaLoompa
    Aug 28, 2011 - 1:30AM

    @Author
    Maam, I know your bread and butter involves cryin shrill over Islamists and Army being the sole cause of everything wrong with Pakistan and history, but it would be more productive if you could take on the corrupt cabal that has run the country to the ground. If you invested the same energy attacking the taking on corrupt politicians and tyrannical fuedals with the same vigor that you reserve for Islamists you would find yourself being deserted by most of your so called peace-loving-liberal friends (or 80 percent of your twitter followers) but you will however find audience with the common man in Pakistan, which in the end is what matters if you want your ideas to make a real difference.
    Also stop attacking those academics you present alternate views on your ideas, it makes you appear intolerant and arrogant.

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Aug 28, 2011 - 1:42AM

    Madam,

    Not your central point but what was SOFT about the Arab Spring?

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  • Aug 28, 2011 - 2:14AM

    I have beef with the columnist,and also to pick bones with those who know their Islam well. Mr Abdullah is honest,and Im amazed that Mr IZUR UL Haq comment got the day of light,not that anything he said is not factual.Of the first 4 caliphs 3 got murdered,and the entire family of Prophet(PUBH) got sloughtered at the battle of Karbala,and The wife Ahisa led a battle against Caliph Ali,so there was massive bloodshed right at the start.The idea that there is hidden secularism,liberalism and humanism and pluralism and tolerance and people are peaceful is somehow suspect to say mildly,there is no way a massive dissent like of which we witness in India could ever unfold in Pakistan.As Sinfield would say ‘not there is anything wrong in violence and little killing.What liberals like Ayesha Siddiqa are lamenting,is about something which never ever existed,that is why I admire Mr Abdullah and IZur,who very honestly explained the “2 pillars’ of Islam.those who want to get clear picture,read Mr Abdullah’s comment at the top.It is as honest as it can get.The west has now come around to that and are now making peace with so called extremeist and radicals,they were already ever,never pretended to be any thing else,USA has wonderful relationship with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,KSA never changed only USA never rocked the boat.The liberals are on the run in all Islamic world,they never ever had big following,they were allowed to exist,but now their well being is in danger,that’s all,folks.,the fat lady has cleared her throat.

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  • Abdullah
    Aug 28, 2011 - 2:19AM

    One way to stop this development is
    for the liberal discourse to base its
    argument on the liberal Islamic
    tradition. Liberalism is not foreign
    to Islam. People would benefit a lot
    if they went through the works of
    scholars like Abdullahi An’Naeem,
    Khalid Abul Fazl and others to
    understand that a peculiar kind of
    Islamism may not represent Islam.

    So liberalism enters phase 2 ! Social engineering of Muslim world by propagating pseudo scholars. Mission : Produce RAND Muslims !

    http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG574.html
    http://www.iviews.com/Articles/articles.asp?ref=IV0503-2647

    Lagee rahooo !!!

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  • N
    Aug 28, 2011 - 2:38AM

    If we are to study our religion and its spread unemotionally, we will find that politics and faith are part of the same coin – all its surfaces and core. We are an Iran and Turkey in the making. That, perhaps, is ‘better’ than being liberal – that we ought to but do not want to be and LET – that we should never be.

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  • Cynical
    Aug 28, 2011 - 3:02AM

    @Ali

    “….put a ban on cars and bring back the camels.”
    Brilliant man!

    I am sure @salman who brags ‘east is east and west is west’ will agree.

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  • Mango
    Aug 28, 2011 - 3:15AM

    “rabid narrative got popularised because of massive financial and political support from Saudi Arabia, Libya, the Gulf States and Iran. Indeed, a lot of the Islamic centres in the West or Islamic studies programmes get funding from the above-mentioned states.”

    Madam, as a Pakistani who have lived over forty years in the west, lived in many European countries and have had contact with academics in these countries this is a crucial observation. It is the Arab view that has been presented.

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  • From Turkey
    Aug 28, 2011 - 3:33AM

    So you briefly mentioned the name of Turkey and then immediately proceeded to talk about Saudi Arabia and Iran and shackled Pakistan to them. Why? Why is this fatalistic pessimism?

    I know the situation might look bleak but there is always hope. People who mentioned this before me are right, you completely ignored Turkey’s progress and it’s potential to be a inspiring phenomenon among progressives of Muslim majority countries. Mind you I said inspiration point and not an exact model, as you are having such a meta discussion about Islam’s political nature (I don’t personally like to stereotype religions) As a Turkish citizen I am disturbed by this deliberate avoidance of Turkey when it comes to this. Sometimes I see a Pakistan based secularism conference or summit etc. but there is not only nobody from Turkey but also no mention of Turkey at all. I see authors bypassing Turkey and starting to talk about Saudi Arabia etc. I seriously can’t see why is it happening.

    There were countless numbers of articles published lately about the progress of democracy in Turkey, I suggest anyone interested look them up. Though I am sure many Pakistanis know a lot about it already in this age of information.

    Anyway, progressive Pakistanis should know that they’re not alone. It’s 2011 and nothing’s the same anymore.

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  • pl/sql
    Aug 28, 2011 - 3:56AM

    @Abdullah:
    I am not a Pakistani and I’d hate to live in a country that you want yours to become, but I agree with every single point you made about muslim societies. Islamists are not the aberration but muslim liberals are. Thank you very much for speaking the truth. – An atheist Indian.

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  • Khalid
    Aug 28, 2011 - 6:06AM

    @Parvez+Mahmud:
    This is very typical of us to put the blame on others, If someone has a differnt opinion than us, we are quick to label him as a hindu or a jew, or their agent. Whatever Faraz has said, that should be refuted with arguments and not labelling him as a Indian.
    By the way, when was a socialist state, if India was a socialist state, then the definition of socialism needs to be re-written. This is a new point you are suggesting to marxist theoritician.

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  • Ali Shahid
    Aug 28, 2011 - 6:48AM

    In response to Abdullah,
    1) Secularism, Liberalism and Humanism are emerging as popular forms of resistance to the failure of Zia’s Islamization. The radical elements of Islam as “planted” by Zia who was clearly not secular ( and you accuse seculars of dominating the country for the last 60 years ) has affected the very roots of our society culminating in widespread violence, intolerance and stagnant intellectual thought.

    2) Islam is a very inclusive religion, Muslims in Spain encouraged liberalism and a plural society, the contribution of jews and liberal muslims in that time is a heritage to be celebrated. The muslim society in subcontinent was liberal throughout, until liberalism was attacked by Aurangzeb and sorts, the intellectual growth of Mughals stopped.

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  • Abdul Quddus
    Aug 28, 2011 - 7:58AM

    @Abdullah
    I see what your are saying. But Islamists in South Asia never achieved the total and absolute control that they achieved on the Middle East. Even Aurangzeb had to compromise to some extent with his hindu subjects. He could not crush the different interpretations of Islam. India was not Egypt which because it was a river valley in desert easy to rule. In this sense, Pakistan is an aberration in the 1000 years of muslim presence in South Asia. Never was there such a absolute majority of muslims. In addition, there also such a plurality of interpretations of Islam. Islam in the middle east was featureless like the desert. In South Asia Islam was like tropical garden with thousands of different flowers. The big question is do we want to become a drab featureless desert like the middle east ?

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  • Milestogo
    Aug 28, 2011 - 10:19AM

    Pakistan had it it’s chance with secularism. It’s about 70 years late – give and take.

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  • Ahmed
    Aug 28, 2011 - 10:32AM

    Plurality has existed in subcontinental Islam. But let’s be clear… It existed not because of Islam but despite Islam. In fact, pluralism is a result of our 5000 year old Indian subcontinental heritage. Islam adjusted to the local pluralism to thrive and spread, mostly in the form of Sufism that fuses Indian metaphysical thinking and practices with Islam. True Islam by it’s very nature is a proselytizing religion with one and only right path. Nothing to be ashamed about as muslims. In fact, it has been a traditional strength for Islam to control all aspects of human activity, clearly demarcating believers from kafirs.

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  • Amit
    Aug 28, 2011 - 10:42AM

    @abdullah

    I agree that the liberal thought is dead , we are also burdened by pseudo liberalism and Secularism, why the majority should take burden of a illiterate and backward minority all the times, the only outlet is to follow true form of religion, if the minority follows the rule and religion of the majority then only it should stay

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  • A Warning Giver
    Aug 28, 2011 - 11:04AM

    Desperate and extremist liberalism introduced by Musharraf has destroyed peace and tranquility of our Pakistan.

    We see ” nahoosat “, greed , cars , pollution ,noise, chaos, murders , TVs and cell phones every where.

    Our grand fathers era was, for sure, more clean, content, tolerant and spiritual than ours.

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  • Sahira
    Aug 28, 2011 - 11:59AM

    @ Abdullah

    You wrote, “If you want to secularism, humanism, liberalism in Muslim World you are up against these two foundations of Islam. “

    Sad to read it. I knew it all along as a Muslim but still hoped that Islam could be reformed.That it holds compassion for others. Sad that i believed that it could be compatible with the world. Thanks for telling me that this is not the case. Now i am out of my delusion.

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  • Trooper
    Aug 28, 2011 - 12:09PM

    Abdullah: U are the man!

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  • Umer
    Aug 28, 2011 - 2:09PM

    A Warning giver: Musharraf was neither liberal nor secular. What has personal tastes got to do with views?

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  • Aug 28, 2011 - 2:48PM

    Confusion amongst liberals themselves continues.
    From hard-core liberal secularists, to those equating secular and religious plurality and then those amalgamating liberalism, secular and Islam altogether.
    They need lucid views as to what do they want, before reaching out.

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  • Twop
    Aug 28, 2011 - 3:55PM

    My sincere advice to the author: Stop passing judgements from that glass tower of yours and for once, for the love of the Almighty, try to understand what an Islamic society is about!

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  • Abdul Aziz
    Aug 28, 2011 - 8:30PM

    @ali:
    If you read Quran seriously you will find Allah does not stop the followers not to benefit from the progress made in Science and Technology. Instead we are required to use it. Education is compulsory for every Muslim. What ever is happening in this world is not because of Muslims or Quran, it is because we are away from Allah and Sunnah..

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  • narayana murthy
    Aug 28, 2011 - 9:48PM

    Liberalism is not for a country like Pakistan.

    I was just thinking how Pakistan is the only country in the ENTIRE world where good people get bad treatment – Hamid Mir, Ayesha Siddiqa, Hassan Nisar, Raza Rumi, Asma Jehangir, Ahmed Rashid, Najam Sethi, Marvi Samrad, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Nadim Paracha … – because they work for either RAW, CIA or MOSSAD.

    People like Benazir, Salman Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti and Abdus Salam get raw deals.

    On the other hand Zaid Hamid, Hamid Gul, Hafeez Saeed, all the pious (looking) Maulvis who openly declare their hatred for everything good in this world are lionized.

    Now, Pakistanis will angrily retaliate, if I said that this country is doomed. As usual, they won’t introspect.

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  • Aug 28, 2011 - 10:21PM

    Liberals and Seculars are against two pillars of Islam – Quran and Sunnah, best of luck in your vain efforts, you will never succeed.

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  • Ali
    Aug 29, 2011 - 3:32AM

    What else one can expect from Ayesha Siddiqa?

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  • Faction
    Aug 29, 2011 - 3:39AM

    @fahad ullah: Very well put. The west needs to understand this and stop pretending that there is a “good” Islam and a “bad” Islam. There is one Islam, it’s goals are clear, it’s methods are clear.

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  • Raies
    Aug 29, 2011 - 7:39PM

    @Sahira:
    Islam does not need reformation,Muslims need to reform themselves according to the Islamic teachings.

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  • DR AZHAR MUKHTAR SINDHU
    Aug 29, 2011 - 11:17PM

    Honour’ble writer has questioned the state’s and societiey’s abality to undergo transformation towards liberalism from sheer orthodoxy.
    yes true!situation is grim enough,military which is considered as modern institution theoraticaly, has highly a narrow geo-politico-stretegic doctorine.One one side (evolved from low to middle class fibre) they love to play polo(an elite’s game) other hand, they are champs of two nation theory.. To be a mullaha, as was in past is still the profession of poorest and deprived class of society devoid of logic reason and knowledge.
    Education system still ,is confused,haphazardous and class based.it is producing dwarfs”
    The only hope remains is the continued democracy which may help evolving a democratic society,
    In my considered opinion continued democracy and beter following of writers like aysha sadiqa is good omen that society is transforming although at snails paceRecommend

  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Aug 30, 2011 - 10:03PM

    Wow, this woman hates Islamists so much, that is what this article exudes. Dont hate religion too much, liberal fascism isnt a good trait either. For the past 3 articles, she has been bashing the author of secularizing Islamists!

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  • Abdul Quddus
    Aug 31, 2011 - 5:55AM

    @Dr Sindhu I met personally known christian priests from England. They were all highly educated and had been to elite universities like Oxford and Cambridge. While as you say rightly say the mullahs from the most poorest and deprived class of society.

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