The One Party State

Published: July 28, 2012

The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore saroop.ijaz@tribune.com.pk

T H White while narrating a scene from the lens of an ant describing an ant-hill writes in The Once and Future King, “The fortress was entered by tunnels in the rock, and over the entrance to each tunnel, there was a notice which said: EVERYTHING NOT FORBIDDEN IS COMPULSORY.” I think that the statement on the notice read by the ant captures the essence of totalitarianism with more precision than any comparable phrase by George Orwell or Huxley. One cannot be sure if the drafters of the Ehteramul Ramazan Ordinance 1981 drew direct inspiration from the epitaph on the tunnel, yet the intention has an uncanny similarity.

Briefly the ordinance promulgated by Ziaul Haq prohibits eating, drinking and smoking in public places during the designated fasting hours while ordaining restaurants and hotels not to serve during the said time duration and violations punishable by imprisonment. To some, it would seem a completely rational law and also somewhat banal. Let me assure you that like most things done by Ziaul Haq this has nothing rational or harmless about it.  Many people find fasting a rather pleasant activity, for reasons either of spirituality or an opportunity for detoxification, etc and I find the devotion rather admirable. My problem only really begins when you not recommend but force me to undertake this noble endeavour. There is something about mandatory piety and to some extent medical well-being, which prompts thinking people to resist almost as an instinct.

Christopher Hitchens once wrote about the Christmas season saying that it is the dreary fact that official propaganda is inescapable, which turns the United States from a constitutionally governed country to the equivalent of a “One Party State”. ‘One Party State’ is a term that has an import beyond the holy month of Ramazan for us, however it is only in Ramazan that the true extent of the pervasiveness and influence of the parties of the believers is unavoidable. For one complete month a public relation campaign for the JIs and the JUIs is run uninterrupted on all channels free of charge. Heads are covered, beards grown and more and more Arabic salutations find their way on national television. Tedious as it is, there is nothing truly malicious about all of this except when the affected displays of piety to garner ratings clearly cross the line from being warm and fuzzy religious stuff into cold, nasty exhibitionist bullying.

I had the misfortune to view a video clip recently where a lady previously of the fame of wandering about in the moral wilderness of our public parks outdid herself with a new low. The clip displays her along with a clerical gentleman converting a Hindu Sunil to a Muslim Abdullah. The young boy in rehearsed although frazzled manner is making the transition into the folds of Islam. I have nothing against people changing religion from free will in a private affair, yet the message sent to an already beleaguered Hindu community is loud and visible — we do not like you as you are but will spare you if you cross over to the right path. There is everything cheap and pathetic about the display. One almost hopes that the mediocre pretentious woman tells us again in broken tones that the boy was a hired actor. She, with this display of cruel idiocy, has also upped the ante in the clerical racket in the television business, I fear, if the fake doctor is planning on a live execution of a non-Muslim to compete in the ratings now.

Imagine if you will that in a television programme in the United States, India or any place in the world, a Muslim Abdullah was converted to a Hindu Sunil. That would be as stupid as what Maya Khan did yet imagine our reaction. It would not have been merely silly, it would have a frontal assault, a grand conspiracy, it would have been an attack on Islam itself, jihad would have been the cry. Lahore and Karachi would have burned; Bar Councils would have announced strikes, Hindu and Christian places of worship all over the country would have been set ablaze, a dozen or so killed for good measure. Some cleric with extra cash would have announced a meaty reward for killing the newly converted, the host, their neighbours and their dogs, etc. This apparently is a one-way street, almost like the words of Hotel California, “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”. Before embarking on these expeditions of piousness, it is worth reflecting on the golden principle of antiquity, which dictates do unto others what you would have them do to you.

I can imagine the Hindus and other minority communities becoming edgy when someone like the impeccable Justice Rana Bhagwandas says that the Constitution makes non-Muslims “less-preferred citizens”. In fact, I will not be surprised if they do not merely become edgy but are in a state of outright frenzied panic. This comes from a gentleman who rose to become the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court; it is frightening to ponder about the feelings of ordinary non-Muslims. My Lord, Justice Bhagwandas uses very serene language as is his temperament in employing the term “less preferred” as opposed to  being outrightly discriminated and often-times hunted. No non-Muslim is allowed to become the president of the country as stipulated by the Constitution or even the prime minister as the oath requires affirming the basic tenets of Islam. So basically the coercive mechanism is already in place for nudging them or perhaps, more accurately shoving them to convert, without Maya Khan making more of a fool out of herself (if that is possible) on national television.

It has been said that personal faith is like some other things, it is very good to have one, quite natural to be proud of it, try not to make a public exhibition of it and whatever you do, don’t shove it down the throats of our children.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (79)

  • Babloo
    Jul 28, 2012 - 10:50PM

    Sir, the problem lies in the ideology and goals of the state itself, as conceived in 1947. Until that character and purpose is redefined , nothing can change. Its not a coincidense that 90% of Hindus and Sikhs left Pakistan while 85-90% of Muslims continued to live in India. The numbers tell the story about which state has been accomodative of minorties and which state has been hostile and intolerant. The contrast is stark.

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  • Ali tanoli,
    Jul 28, 2012 - 11:01PM

    Whats the big deal man i have seen Fox and CNBC shows these kind of things took place in iraq… u guys never said anything..

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  • Jul 28, 2012 - 11:17PM

    Excellent article! The owners of those TV channels who allows characters like Maya Khan are as much to be blamed by allowing her to come on TV and show these things like conversion.Recommend

  • Rizwan
    Jul 28, 2012 - 11:24PM

    I reside in Canada and want to share what I see here. In Calgary, in some communities/ areas, Christian churches open their door for Muslims to congregate and pray on Friday – to hold Jumma prayers. I cant think that ANY Muslim would do the same for the Christian community in Pakistan. Infact Molvis would have fits and would start frothing if anything were to be even suggested.

    I think that we Muslims will never learn the ways of our Prophet PBUH which in my opinion, the Christians implement in everyday life. They will go out of their way to be honest, upright citizens who will NOT interfere in your life or force you to do anything that you dont want to. All faiths are allowed to practise in peace and are not discriminated against. Something I dont see happening in ANY Muslim country.

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  • ballu
    Jul 28, 2012 - 11:31PM

    You hit the nail.. after one day of conversion there is no hue and cry in India or any other country then itself in pakistan and its media. This says a lot…

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  • Ejaaz
    Jul 28, 2012 - 11:38PM

    Saroop you are neglecting the great merit that is attached to bringing Islam to a Kafir. Historically, a public conversion was viewed having great merit because it did induce and pressure the remaining kafirs to convert. How can you ignore a millennia and a half worth of history that supported public conversions? She might be mediocre according to you, but she knows her audience well and she is delivering what the majority of Pakistanis want to see. You criticise in an on line english column which is only read by a tiny tiny fraction of Pakistanis and even amongst that tiny fraction a substantial number disagree with you. Your Indian followers might agree with you but an overwhelming majority of Pakistani Muslims welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Sunil recite the Shahad and become a Muslim. Can you cite a single, just one, column or editorial in an Urdu publication criticising the public conversion of Sunil? Even an oblique criticism in an Urdu publication will suffice. Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jul 28, 2012 - 11:46PM

    Good discussion on the real dangers facing Pakistan as Religious Intolllerance becomes the norm!

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  • elementary
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:00AM

    Maya khan is rapidly becoming the Icon of hypocrisy,pretentiousness and self righteousness, some of the evils that plague our society; although she faces tough competition from the smug faced Amir Liaqat hussein.

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  • Saleem
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:00AM

    When I think we can no longer stoop any lower there comes along an action to disprove my assumptions.

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  • x
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:20AM

    I think after reading Ms Bina Shah’s article, I would like to employ the term liberal fascist here. ET’s islamophobia has shocked even liberals like myself! I am sorry Mr Ijaz, I believe in minority rights, I dislike exhibitionism and I strongly believe non-Muslims should have equal rights in pakistan. However, your article reeks of dislike and condemnation of Islam which I totally disagree with.
    As for “whatever you do, don’t shove it down the throats of our children”, sorry I think we should raise our children as Muslims. And if we consider this as giving our kids the freedom to be atheists or whatever, then I think yes we should also convert to some other religion, and if it is on some TV show, I certainly wont mind.
    We dont need terrorists and self styled experts on islam but we also dont need those who are only muslims by name, not in actions or beliefs.

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  • Parvez
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:22AM

    You have said a lot and said it very well.

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  • sabi
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:48AM

    Such bigots who are dominating pakistani media,when in a civalised society,must either go behind bars or walk on roads.This clearly is by virtue of constitution which zia has defamed leaving no room for any morality or ethical life.Ignorance at his best in pakistan.Do whatever you want to do but under one condition- be hypocrate.

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  • Truth bites
    Jul 29, 2012 - 1:25AM

    Talat said it in a way that we understood it better that religion should not be part of entertainment.

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  • Mahakaalchakra
    Jul 29, 2012 - 1:46AM

    @Ali tanoli,:

    Really so?

    You forgot he is a Pakistani and talking about what has been going on in Pakistan.

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  • SKATZ
    Jul 29, 2012 - 2:17AM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    firstly I have not come across a live conversion anywhere on public television in the world. Secondly are you suggesting that Fox News should be the benchmark our news outfits in Pakistan should emulate… you seriously need to see a shrink….

    Finely written article that highlights how Pakistanis will peddle even religion now for petty gains… God Help us all!

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  • Mj
    Jul 29, 2012 - 2:24AM

    @Parvez:
    I think the article just might be too subtle for our brainwashed and thoroughly indoctrinated masses. But that is to be somewhat expected in the current environment of mass religious hysteria and witch hunts. Brilliant article as usual.

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  • sherkhan
    Jul 29, 2012 - 2:36AM

    @Mahakaalchakra: Ur Sure that dude is not paid by Indians to defame Pakistan…. At lease he is not burned alive as they do in India. In Islam there is no Force conversion. If he converted its between him and the creator/Allah (SWT). In India Check out the youtube clips Hindus are converting to Islam and Christianity in groups.

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  • sherkhan
    Jul 29, 2012 - 2:49AM

    @Babloo: That’s why in Hindustan Muslims were burnt alive in in Gujarat with the state sponsored machinery. Muslims, Christians, and Daleets are victimized and systematically discriminated everyplace in democratic India . Don’t pretend to be a hero here.

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  • Arifq
    Jul 29, 2012 - 3:17AM

    Saroop Sahib, title of your piece is putting it gently what in other liberal societies would be described as religious fascism married with consumerism. Another great writeup, many thanks.Recommend

  • Arindom
    Jul 29, 2012 - 5:10AM

    No, we don’t want such nonsense on TV in India, we are far more civilized here.

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  • kaalchakra
    Jul 29, 2012 - 5:18AM

    At least in Pakistan, Abdullah was free to revert to his original religion. In India, millions of Muslims are being forced to become shudders by fascist Shivasena and BJP. Nobody in Pakistan is raising that issue. To be a Muslim is to be blamed for existing.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 29, 2012 - 5:29AM

    Can you admire Hitler and seperate him from mass killings of Jews and Gypsies ?
    Can you admire Jinnah and seperate him from his communal, religion based identity politics ?
    Pakistan has to repudiate the religion based politics of Jinnah, if it wants to correct its course.
    Wwhat I say may be sacriligious for Pakistanis , but factual.

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Jul 29, 2012 - 6:09AM

    I had preferred Ms. Veena Malik anytime. She has been exposed to other cultures, especially the most secular Bollywood, and would have never done such a stupid thing.

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  • Tamooriqbal@hotmail.com
    Jul 29, 2012 - 6:16AM

    Yeah ive seen it in the us ever heard of pat robertson he shows this stuff on tv all the time.

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  • Khalq e Khuda
    Jul 29, 2012 - 6:20AM

    I seriously think Pakistan should consider talking to India about a population swap. There is an abundance of Indian Muslims who continue to get disillusioned about the idea for Pakistan and it is beyond clear that we simply cannot digest the presence of religious minorities. Lets give them a better chance in life which we have failed so far. Maya Khan still does her show and despite the hue and cry judiciary’s refusal to bring Salman Taseer’s murderer to justice ensures that people like Maya Khan continue to be glorified.

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  • QASIM
    Jul 29, 2012 - 6:23AM

    Be ready for next episode you will see good NAMAZI , Maya and Dr shahid will do live commentry and will show the KUFFAR ,how good namazi we are.

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  • Amit
    Jul 29, 2012 - 6:24AM

    Feel very sad about the mindset of the majority of Pakistanis. How does one befriend fascist neighbors who are openly supremacists against you and frankly their own heritage?

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  • Abbas
    Jul 29, 2012 - 6:27AM

    I do not understand why Maya Khan is being blamed? You have created a situation for people like Maya Khan to emerge and behave this way. When you create a society on the basis of religion and hate every religion other than islam, write constitution in the color of religion, what right does anyone have on what Maya Khan has done?? Has not Afridi used religion being the cricket captain? Even if its a dog or murderer, it seems all Pakistan cares is what religion they belong to.

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  • adam
    Jul 29, 2012 - 7:13AM

    @ Saroop Ijaz,
    Sir, unfortunately the sensible people seem to be a tiny minority too. Sooner or later the fundamentalists once in power are going to force their medieval viewpoint on them too.

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  • Likhari
    Jul 29, 2012 - 7:28AM

    the great bhutto sahab made is legal to sell religion anywhere/everywhere in 1973 constitution. Its Halal now. Recommend

  • Fida Soomro
    Jul 29, 2012 - 8:16AM

    Sir
    you did better in your article. exteremism is a major issue of this country and it is getting strong roots in lower class due to less education and big economy problem

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  • Altaf Hussain, Mumbai
    Jul 29, 2012 - 8:43AM

    @Ejaaz:
    Your perception of Kafir might not be the same of other muslims the world over. If public convertion of a so-called ‘Kafir’ were to pressurise or induce other ‘Kafirs’ to convert to Islam then you have not understood the religion of Islam.

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  • Mirza
    Jul 29, 2012 - 9:43AM

    @Rizwan:
    A great Op Ed by a bold writer. Rizwan, I have similar personal experiences that schools, churches and temples have been used frequently for teaching Islam/Quran and for Friday and Sunday prayers for many years. In fact there have been Sunday schools in public schools without any problem. Even though the US law does not support religion in public property but they gave exception to Muslims.
    Not only that our graduation, birthday and other gatherings regularly take place in churches. There is no condition to be a member of that church or even a resident of that area. I have personally gone to many churches on different occasions.
    On the other hand our mosques do not allow kid’s graduation parties let alone birthdays. Yet they do not call them mere mosques but Islamic Centers. Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • Khaki Topi- Kali Chaddi
    Jul 29, 2012 - 10:00AM

    Hypocracy of many Pakistani muslims is seen, when they are mute spectators when Pakistani Hindus are converted or threatened or treated as second class citizen in their own country. All these Pakistani muslims would justify such acts giving stupid reasoning of faith based country Pakistan is. At the same time, same Pakistani muslims would raise hue and cry when terrorists or illegal immigrant Muslims in other countries are on receiving end. Such double speak doesnt go well with other people around the world. Pakistani muslims will either amend their ways of thinking or remain on receiving end of stick .

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  • Singh
    Jul 29, 2012 - 10:15AM

    @Ali tanoli,:
    Can you show even one episode of FOX or NBC or any American channel. I am citizen of USA from last 25 year, & have never seen any such episode. Don’t lie so big on Internet. People can read it cross the globe. ET is quite popular here in Asian community. Recommend

  • Sanity
    Jul 29, 2012 - 10:19AM

    We as Hindus in Pakistan have been forced to sidelines and made so inconfident that we seldom have the courage to come out in open against such issues. Even though I want to share this article on Facebook, keeping in mind the reaction of my Muslim friends I have decided against it.

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  • Imran Con
    Jul 29, 2012 - 10:39AM

    I just can’t find it in me to see the show itself as a big deal. My reaction would just be turning the channel and forgetting about it. But, I am getting the feeling, as the topic makes its rounds, that it’s of those things I’d have to experience first hand alongside the assortment of past related issues day after day, year after year and have it build up over that time. I can only see it from an impersonal perspective and most of the bad reactions are of the personal variety.

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  • Jul 29, 2012 - 11:20AM

    @sherkhan:
    looks like you have forgotten who the Taliban, Mumtaz Qadri, Sipah-e-Sahaba etc are in Pakistan.

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  • Toticalling
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:00PM

    Ijaz, your comparison to a Muslim converting his faith on TV and Sunil is not valid. Hindus are more tolerant people; they will not start demonstrating and killing to defend their faith. I am sure they are angry, which is legitimate.

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  • Habib
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:11PM

    I fully agree with you Suroop. A very well written article. We are still suffering from the the hypocrisy which Zia introduced in our culture and society. We Pakistanis really need to do a lot of introspection and come out with a cool,calculated response to the challenges we face. If we fail to do so, time and history might not be on our side.

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  • vivek ruparel
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:13PM

    @Ejaaz:
    Good u accept u want to pressurize hindus and christians to convert. thts wht aurangzeb did with Guru Tegh Bahadur and Kashmiri pandits. Thats wht most likely happened to ur ancestors. I dont mind a person convertin on free will but the crass display of it on TV is cheap. U hav reduced ur religion to a tamasha. If u want to apply pressure in 21st century on ppl 2 convert, imagine wht would have happened to your ancestors from 712AD. Arabs Turks Mongols others would have done with locals in Sindh & Punjab

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  • vivek ruparel
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:18PM

    @sherkhan:
    Hahahaha Have u forgotten suicide attacks in ur country. More muslims are killed in ur country than in India dude. BTW its ur HRW which says in Sindh alone 25-30 girls are kidnapped and forced to convert. Shukar hai Khuda ka Gaffar Khan and Wali Khan are not alive to listen or read ur fanatic rants. They would have died of shame. And many ppl r converting back to hinduism in India and many in West are converting to Hinduism. We dont tom-tom like U. Religion ko tamasha bana diya

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  • vivek ruparel
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:29PM

    @Altaf Hussain, Mumbai:
    Dude read the comments of ppl on this post, 1 of them has stated openly tht this will help induce pressure on others to convert! y this crass display on tv, religion ko tamasha bana dena zaruri tha? BTW Aurangzeb is famous for using money and force to do so. Guru Tegh Bahadur Kashmiri Pandits and Sambhaji maharaj were all victims of his brutality. in 21st century Sindh alone has 25-30 girls kidnapped and forced to convert. How would you react if we did live broadcast on tv channel of a muslim guy converting to hinduism like this?

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  • Diggvijay Singh
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:46PM

    Converting a Hindu to Muslim on a live TV show is not a crime. In India too this is commonly done by Dr. Zakir Naik on his own TV channel through which he promotes peace and harmony. Conversion is a fundamental human right.

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  • Jpy
    Jul 29, 2012 - 1:43PM

    @Ejaaz:
    What a dumb head you are by supporting forcefully converting somebody. Do you think he has mentally changed???

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  • Sanity
    Jul 29, 2012 - 2:05PM

    The people in my region are a hopeless case. If the mindset of the people was not changed by great people like Shah Abdul Latif, Sachal Sarmast, Baba Bulleh Shah ….., then I am sorry to say I have no hope.

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  • Enlightened
    Jul 29, 2012 - 2:09PM

    @Diggvijay Singh:
    Conversion from one religion to another with ones own free will is not a crime but promoting the same on a TV channel tantamounts to be a henious crime especially in Pakistan, where minorities are treated as second class citizens and discriminated as well.

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  • garga786
    Jul 29, 2012 - 3:04PM

    Less preferred citizens?
    Only snnis are citizens.
    Others are not even citizens.
    Allah khair kare.

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  • Goatam
    Jul 29, 2012 - 3:29PM

    Very bold and nice article. You have rightly written that our country would have suffered few billion rupees loss by our moulvis, had in any country of world – a Muslim is shown converting to any other religion in live tv show. What benefit maya khan or any other Islamists get by having addition of another Muslim ?? None my dear country men none. aren’t you enough so far?

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  • Polpot
    Jul 29, 2012 - 3:39PM

    India made its muslim rocket scientist its President
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Pakistan made its Hindu student a muslim.

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  • Nadir H. Khan
    Jul 29, 2012 - 4:11PM

    BRILLIANT, sir, brilliant ! (And that Hotel California reference was pretty apt and priceless!)

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  • Feroz
    Jul 29, 2012 - 4:36PM

    Saroop has shown us through his many articles that he is an intellectual giant and and a great human being exhibiting values that shine through the dark hole the country has made itself into. When everyone believes that human values can get no lower in Pakistan we get shocked with many such incidents. It is better to be an atheist than a fanatic.

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  • madan
    Jul 29, 2012 - 4:36PM

    I would like to know that if this recent convert gentleman wants to again reconvert his religious status to some other religion for eg. Ahmediya muslim or Shia Muslim or Christianity faith or Hindu faith or Buddhist faith or any other faith and calls for a press conference in karachi or any other place in Pakistan, then what would happen to this poor man. My thought is that he would be lynched, or cut to pieces or stoned to death or shot to death within one hour of his action. Please, some one tell me if I am wrong.

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  • Zalim Singh
    Jul 29, 2012 - 4:36PM

    thank you sir.

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  • Mj
    Jul 29, 2012 - 4:40PM

    It is time for Hindus, Christians, and agnostics/atheists to fund and start their own tv channel to test the limits of hypocrisy of our majority Muslim population.

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  • Shahmeer Khan
    Jul 29, 2012 - 4:56PM

    Did Saroop Ijaz write an article about Burma Massacre? or that was a non-issue for him? 20K dead muslims Plus 10K Missing VS One Sunil !!!

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  • Silas
    Jul 29, 2012 - 4:59PM

    @Ali tanoli,:
    Nothing of that sort happened otherwise there would have been a huge public outcry. Recommend

  • andleeb
    Jul 29, 2012 - 6:19PM

    @kaalchakra: Love your sarcasm ;-)

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  • Aslam
    Jul 29, 2012 - 6:42PM

    I don’t know why these so-called liberal are in pain when one Hindu converted to Islam by his own will. In many Muslim countries and especially in Arab countries, a large number of people are converting to Islam, so why our own liberals are making this so controversial. And why our liberal have closed their eyes about the fact in Indonesia, where 2 million people are being converted from Islam to Chritanity every year. Why they cann’t write even a single line on that. So now in Pakistan, we have everything, but are getting nothing, no electricity, law and order and even basic necessities of life. So so-called liberals should think over this, why it is happening. It is our ignorance to Islam. Every Muslim has a duty to preach the religion in a good manner as there is no Prophet after Muhammad PBUH and it is duty of the Ummah to preach their religion but not forcefully, in a manner that our Leader, our Prophet PBUH told us.

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  • LIAQAT ALI
    Jul 29, 2012 - 6:58PM

    THE ARTICLE IS EXCELLENT AND I FULLY AGREE .We must tacke this renewed zeal of our fellows.

    However it needed to be pointed out that extremisism on ALL sides is bad and Hindu extremism had not been timid so to say for past more than two decades.Muslims in India are living a third class life junior to untouchables.Dont tell me the exceptions but lets talk about majority of muslims who live in contsant fear in India (Partially dure to bad pakistani policies but also due to Hindu extremism and use of Hinduvata for political gains by many parties just like use Islam in pakistan. .

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  • Anonymous
    Jul 29, 2012 - 7:33PM

    @Mirza:
    One masjid was vandalized in probably Tennessee and church opened the doors that their premises can be used till the property gets repaired.

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  • Ram
    Jul 29, 2012 - 7:48PM

    Hinduism is probably one of the few religions, no one is forced to become a Hindu. We Hindus also don’t know the processes involved in converting a Muslim or Christian to a Hindu. These kinds of gimmicks may be popular for Pakistanis but the Indian press (both print and digital media) have ignored this news as it is of no concern or interest to any Indian Hindu or Indian Muslim. I agree with the view of the author in toto. I think you guys have a lot to discuss, debate and act on your economy, governance, welfare of the people, etc instead of resorting to cheap publicity. I don’t think any other Islamic country gives importance on these things and it is high time you guys follow prosperous nations like Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar

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  • Rapid
    Jul 29, 2012 - 8:03PM

    As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
    To surrender to ignorance and call it god has always been preamture, and it remains premature today.
    And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who try to force their childish beliefs on us.

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  • Munir Munshey
    Jul 29, 2012 - 8:16PM

    This is the age of the reality Tv. People convert all the time. Conversions happened even before TV was invented. Allama Iqbal’s parents, Mr. Jinnah’s parents and countless others converted to Islam, though not on TV. Mr. Gandhi’s son too converted to Islam in 1921. Was it a forced conversion? The rulers in India back then were Christians.

    They convert to Islam in India too. In Pakistan it is forced conversion or Tamasha, in India it is Love-Jihad. In US they are criminals converting to Islam in Jail. In Britain, insane career women convert to Islam. Each has his own excuse. Believe whom you will. Recommend

  • Irshad Khan
    Jul 29, 2012 - 8:35PM

    I think Maya wants to be popular with extremists and fundamentalists? What our society has gained from converting an ordinary innocent boy to a Muslim?

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  • Irshad Khan
    Jul 29, 2012 - 8:42PM

    Are we(Muslims) lagging behind in quantity or quality? We should concentrate to improve our quality of being a good human-being instead of increasing our number.

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  • Faraz
    Jul 29, 2012 - 8:44PM

    @kaalchakra:
    Yeah. Your comments sir, are the near perfect example of a Pavlovian response.
    Shoot from the lip and invent ‘facts’ on the fly without having to give them a moment’s thought.
    While I abhor the Shiv Sena and other such fascist outfits, I would be grateful if you could cite real instances of forced conversions or for that matter any muslim to Hindu conversions engineered by the Sena.

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  • gt
    Jul 29, 2012 - 8:55PM

    @Ejaaz:
    Then you MUST NOT MIND if other faiths are similarly impelled, as Christians were in Kashmir, to bring Muslims over to their religions, and publicly, will you not? Christians publicly baptized Mulsims in Srinagar and other places, because their prophet and Church enjoins them to save benighted Muslims from eternal damnation. Paul expressly tells them that their God has been lenient with them thus far, but after Christ’s ministry that grace period is over, and henceforth there is but a single path. Therefore, Christians feel bound by a moral duty, just as Muslims do.

    So who will decide who is right? Do you wish to fight it out? You can, if you wish to, and invite annihilation for your kind all over the globe, a consumnation most welcomed by other faiths.

    The point here is that if you claim a certain privilege, please understand that others will claim that as well, and it may not be to your liking when that happens. Your comment illustrates a smug ignorance of reality that is typical of Pakistan in general, and which suggests that you cannot understand that you exist in a community of nations and faiths, each of whom exercise rights equal to your own. You exist at the goodwill of all, and cannot continue continue to survive individually or as a nation without this combined goodwill of the world community. What catastrophe will it take for you to wake up. Are you so ill-educated that you do not know the example of Japan and Germany?

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  • Ashvinn
    Jul 29, 2012 - 10:18PM

    @Mirza:
    I appreciate ur honesty please hold on it, but the again who knows u might also one day come up with a theory on Hindus and Indians , although I must say ur evey balanced

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  • Ashvinn
    Jul 29, 2012 - 10:37PM

    @Faraz:
    Well it is fashionable for Pakistanis to compare shiv sena to sorts of Pakistani based organisations, that is the only way they can justify their wrongs.

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  • Abid
    Jul 30, 2012 - 12:18AM

    Well said Saroop.
    Ehteram means one must have respect towards someone or something in his/her heart. While Ehteramul Ramazan Ordinance 1981 puts coercive & forceful means in the hands of self-righteous who make it sure that no one should be allowed to behave in a different manner.
    As someone said that beware of the man who says believe in my God as I do otherwise God will punish you. When you believe then he says believe in my God as I do otherwise I’ll kill you.

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  • Waseem Yousaf
    Jul 30, 2012 - 1:07AM

    I feel really sorry for Muslims that they have forgot their teachings of Muhammad (PBUH). Minorities must be given equal rights. Thats what Jinnah said on Independence. And thats what Islam says. If you are not implementing it than you are no more PAKISTANI and even a Good MUSLIM !Recommend

  • Muneeb
    Jul 30, 2012 - 3:09AM

    Great piece Saroop sahab.
    Thank you for highlighting the plight of the minorities in our Great Islamic Republic, where hypocrisy is our middle name!

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  • Jul 30, 2012 - 4:04AM

    @Rapid:
    “……
    And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who try to force their childish beliefs on us.”

    .
    I am afraid I cannot quote any statistical proof, but from anecdotal evidence I feel that the so-called-educated, i.e. people with epithets of higher academic achievements are not any less active in showing the right path to the lost ones.

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  • kaalchakra
    Jul 30, 2012 - 4:18PM

    Faraz

    That is ludicrous. Do you wish to deny Abdullah his basic freedoms? And as to inventing facts, do you deny that Muslims in India live in worse conditions that Jews did in Nazi Germany? You probably would, given your support for Kashmir’s ‘accession’ to India which never took place. Must we all suffer such a person’s views on a respected Pakistani forum?

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  • Aries
    Jul 30, 2012 - 7:12PM

    Bravo! Please have it translated and published in the Urdu Press. That is where your comments are most needed.

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  • sabi
    Jul 30, 2012 - 9:16PM

    Aries,

    “Bravo! Please have it translated and published in the Urdu Press. That is where your comments are most needed”
    Responce from urdu media-”NO THANKS-We do’nt publish such articls”.

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  • bharat
    Jul 30, 2012 - 9:18PM

    I think if some one converts to another religion ,its his personal choice. We have no say.

    Most Indians should realise that in Pakistan the Hindus have been destroyed.There are only a few left today.

    While in India, muslims get a lot.

    The sad part is that the Indian Muslims did not go to Pakistan , a country they love so much.

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  • mateen
    Jul 30, 2012 - 9:44PM

    @ Babloo, well said, a reality we intentionally ignore, rather push under the rug then cover with justifications equally absurd and baseless, Jinnah is inseparable from communal politics, these venomous seeds were by him and his cronies now we are just reaping that bitter harvest haunting us in shape of Talibans, various Sipahs and Lashkers. Recommend

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