A time for introspection

Published: September 20, 2012

The writer is Director, Policy & Programmes Jinnah Institute, Islamabad. The views expressed are his own

The ridiculous excuse of a video, Innocence of Muslims, has angered the faithful across the globe. The quality of the film is so pathetic that it should have been allowed to die a natural death. However, trust some Muslims to be swayed by such brazen provocations and now all you have is a faux narrative of Islam versus the West. Mainstream media never had it better with Time and Newsweek printing cover stories with little or no editorial integrity.

Perhaps, what the West does not realise is that reverence for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is an article of faith for the Muslims. For centuries, the extremists on the other side — sometimes religious and mostly political — have continued to play up this emotion. If only there was better understanding and consolidation of the bridges that scholars such as Anne Marie Schimmel (And Muhammad Is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety, 1985) and Karen Armstrong (Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, 1991) built with much passion. By placing Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the proper historical, cultural and spiritual context, their works have attempted to undo centuries of vilification.

Salman Rushdie’s book — Satanic Verses — sparked global outrage in the late 1908s and since then, we have increasing polarisation between those who view freedom of expression as an absolute value, and extremists within Muslims who think violence is the only way to ‘save’ Islam from such attacks. Millions of Muslims are trapped between the two ends of this hate-spectrum. Despite the offence caused by such provocation, they will not resort to violence or support wanton destruction of life and property. But are these voices represented and articulated through credible leadership? The answer is no because the hold of clerics and merchants of political Islam is gaining more and more traction across the globe.

Take the case of Arab lands where a year ago, an Arab Spring was being celebrated. The developments in the region and the US’ follies of supporting extremist elements are backfiring. The quest of largely unemployed youth for opportunity, voice and freedoms is giving way to the resurgence of various shades of political Islam. This is partly why the blasphemous video, once dubbed in Arabic, caused mayhem and resulted in the tragic deaths of US diplomats. The fire of protests has spread across the Arab world and elsewhere, resulting in more destruction where Muslim zealots are ending up harming themselves.

This irony explains the dilemmas that the Muslims and the heterogeneous Islamic world (romantically referred to as the Ummah) face. They are unable to articulate an intellectual and cultural response to the changing world.

In the past decade, the US hegemony and global adventures have come into conflict with disparate religious groups and the most potent articulation of this conflict happens to the al Qaeda: a loose ideo-militant network that is difficult to hunt, for it represents a certain mindset and not an organised force on the ground, which drones and missiles can ‘neutralise’ to use a US euphemism for senseless murders.

Al Qaeda and its local affiliates have had a field day due to the video and have seized the initiative. Moderate and pragmatic Muslim leaders across the world are dumbfounded at the recent developments and have little choice but to cave in. For instance, Pakistan’s prime minister has banned YouTube, while other governments were more successful in leveraging with Google to block the video.

The battle is primarily political. The perceived injustices perpetrated by the US, for instance supporting Israel against the dispossession and brutal treatment of Palestinians, are etched into collective memory. These issues of power inequities are long-term and will take generations to be fixed.

The ‘victimhood’ of Muslims is also quasi-mythical. The anti-imperial rants against the US and the West often ignore that there is little resistance to the imperialists within Islam. The imperialists within (monarchs, clerics and plunderers who exploit, suppress dissent and kill without a conscience) are within the reach of Muslims. The battle ‘within’ Islam — for reformation, ijtehad and liberation from patriarchal, violence-preaching clerics — is a far more serious one.

The Prophet (pbuh), who entered into an agreement with the Jews in Medina, assured the Coptic Christians of protection and engaged with non-Muslims, has followers who have failed him. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not allow non-Muslims to worship freely. By law, you cannot have churches and temples there. The Iranian state’s persecution of the Bahai faith is a tragedy of our times. What are we in Pakistan doing to our small non-Muslim population? Forget the non-Muslims; look at the manner in which minority sects within Islam are treated. There is much that the Muslims need to introspect about before they take bombs and bullets to express their anger on cases of persecution and blasphemy.

It might just help if they were to focus on knowledge, organised political and economic resistance, reforming their societies and reigning in the clerics who have no place in Islam to begin with. More importantly, before crying hoarse about the way the world is treating them, how about allowing Muslim women their due rights, enabling non-Muslim fellow citizens to receive the entitlements they deserve; and turning towards inquiry and reason?

Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2012.

Reader Comments (69)

  • Jat
    Sep 20, 2012 - 11:00PM

    Who is going to listen to you ?

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  • saad
    Sep 20, 2012 - 11:02PM

    Salman Rushdie’s book — Satanic Verses — sparked global outrage in the late 1908s and since then,… its 1980s …. correct itRecommend

  • Akhter
    Sep 20, 2012 - 11:05PM

    Mr Rumi you have summed up exactly the arguements I have been giving for the past few days.It is truly an inspiration to learn that that there are still people in Pakistan with balanced and objective views well done on an excellent article.

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  • rizwan
    Sep 20, 2012 - 11:27PM

    Perhaps, what the West does not realise is that reverence for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is an article of faith for the Muslims.

    they know full well what they are doing. they are simply doing what every status-quo power does for lengthening it’s life: nipping potential adversaries in the bud.

    now, west is strong and they will do what pleases them: with impunity.
    don’t play weak, because it never works…you play chicken, you will be roasted like one.

    if you intend to put an end to it, work hard, atleast for next 50 years, and then you will have some chance.Recommend

  • Indian Wisdom
    Sep 20, 2012 - 11:27PM

    Beautifully written……

    “The Prophet (pbuh), who entered into an agreement with the Jews in Medina, assured the Coptic Christians of protection and engaged with non-Muslims, has followers who have failed him. ”
    Seems Muslim world has entered its dark ages. During the dark ages of Europe Christians didn’t hesitate in killing other christian who spoke against the concepts spelled in bible. Even the “sins,” like refusing the concept of resurrection of Jesus was deemed fit for beheading.However entire world is fortunately out of that period.
    Having said that unfortunately Islamic world has entered its dark age and that also in the 21st century!!! Even more unfortunate there is no ray of hope visible….

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  • Sep 20, 2012 - 11:29PM

    Love you Raza – if a television programme has you on – I most definitely watch it – a pleasure listening to you. this is love from India – I am afraid a copycat video on one of our many gods will be made and the lunatic bajrang dal will go berserk – we are so under prepared for this cyber menace – we need to cultivate the art of ignoring the rubbish and getting on with solving the serious issues of our time like malnutrition.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 12:36AM

    Here, as a Muslim, my repartee to your liberal parochial imagination of my coreligionists:

    “The ‘victimhood’ of Muslims is also quasi-mythical. The anti-imperial rants against the US and the West often ignore that there is little resistance to the imperialists within Islam”

    Are you saying the occupation of Afghanistan and Palestine is “quasi-mythical”? Are you saying the Western invasions, physical and cultural, on Iraq and on elsewhere were all myths constructed to flame “Muslim victimhood” by Deobandis and Barelvis, Sunnis and Shias, Arabs and non-Arabs?Those atrocities are not imaged, they are real!!

    “The imperialists within (monarchs, clerics and plunderers who exploit, suppress dissent and kill without a conscience) are within the reach of Muslims.”

    Who decide the “monarchs”, “clerics” as our imperialists? You? Do you consider our current democrat as our imperialist or democracy supposed to create a just leader? Why wouldn’t you call yourself as an imperialist who demand Muslims to discard their holy book in exchange for reasons?

    “Plunderers who exploits and those who suppress dissent and kill without a conscience” are all universal problems. Do you think capitalist system and military complex will exist without the aforementioned individuals and acts? To reduce this universal problem into a Muslim problem is about projecting your parochial view of Muslims as the “other” and as a singular entity with this unique set of problems unmatched by someone and somewhere else.

    “The battle ‘within’ Islam — for reformation, ijtehad and liberation from patriarchal, violence-preaching clerics — is a far more serious one.”

    “The battle within Islam” only exist among liberals and self-proclaimed progressive who want us to be as liberals as you. Read my lips, we don’t want to be liberals. We don’t want to be you.

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  • fus
    Sep 21, 2012 - 12:36AM

    Well said, but it is like talking to deaf ears. We are hypocrite when it comes to learning and practicing Islam.

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  • gp65
    Sep 21, 2012 - 12:40AM

    A thoughtful article. While I think the video was in poor taste and wish it had never been made, I cannot buy your viewpoint that it should be banned or the maker punished. Would like to put some thoughts here for your consideration to support my thinking:
    1. Just as Muslims believe that Quran is revealed by God, Americans believe that freedom of expression is an inalienable riht that flows to them from God and hence cannot be legislatd by a human.
    2. Freedom of worship (which also includes freedom to not worship) is seen as a subset of freedom of expression. It is thus unsurprising that in countries which includes most Muslim majority countries where freedom of expression is not absolute, the freedom of worship for people not of majority faith is also severely abridged.
    3. Freedom of expression is tested only during times of conflict. IT is not much of a freedom to say ” I love my mother and gaajar ka halwa”. USA does not prevent people from creating videos that offend Christians either. Please google ‘stand up comedians atheist’ and see what you come up with.
    4. Freedom of expression is an empowering tool that allowed ordinary Americans to fight powerful clergy whose oppression they escaped (refer Pilgrim Fathers). Today too it has allowed gay right activists to stand up to priests who totally are against homosexuality because it is against what is stated in Bible. The opposition to gays is high among right wing Christians and this also is a huge politicial issue – yet no one has been able to muzzle the rights of gays BECAUSE of freedom of expression.
    5. You have a right to be offended. You do not however have a right to ‘never be offended’. Thus a video that offends you does not violate your right.
    6. Finally while you have not mentioned it, someone is sure to bring up holocaust denial laws as one form of abridgment to freedom of expression. They should be aware that there are NO holocaust denial laws in USA.

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  • Arifq
    Sep 21, 2012 - 12:41AM

    Wanton destruction of Muslim saint tombs from Mali to Pakistan, children begging in the streets, killing of Shia muslims beheading Pakistani soldiers making their video and releasing it to media people! None of these events deserve our attention, there are no protests, no regrets, nothing. What have we become?

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  • John B
    Sep 21, 2012 - 12:42AM

    Several scholars introspected hundreds of years before and were silenced. To introspect, one needs to accept criticisms first. Silencing the critics is not a good way of introspection.

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  • san
    Sep 21, 2012 - 12:54AM

    BlockquoteSalman Rushdie’s book — Satanic Verses — sparked global outrage in the late 1908s
    Blockquote

    It must be 1980s if i am not wrong.

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  • Thomas
    Sep 21, 2012 - 1:02AM

    Thanks for a good thought provoking article.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 1:15AM

    Here, as a Muslim, my repartee to your liberal parochial imagination of my coreligionists:

    “The ‘victimhood’ of Muslims is also quasi-mythical. The anti-imperial rants against the US and the West often ignore that there is little resistance to the imperialists within Islam”

    Are you saying the occupation of Afghanistan and Palestine is “quasi-mythical”? Are you saying the Western invasions, physical and cultural, on Iraq and on elsewhere were all myths constructed to flame “Muslim victimhood” by Deobandis and Barelvis, Sunnis and Shias, Arabs and non-Arabs?Those atrocities are not imaged, they are real!!

    “. The imperialists within (monarchs, clerics and plunderers who exploit, suppress dissent and kill without a conscience) are within the reach of Muslims.”

    Who decide the “monarchs”, “clerics” as our imperialists? You? Why wouldn’t you call yourself as an imperialist who demand Muslims to discard their holy book in exchange for reasons? “Plunderers who exploits and those who suppress dissent and kill without a conscience” are all universal problems. Do you think capitalist system and military complex will exist without the aforementioned individuals and acts? To reduce this universal problem into a Muslim problem is about projecting your parochial view of Muslims as the “other” and as a singular entity with this unique set of problems unmatched by someone and somewhere else.

    “The battle ‘within’ Islam — for reformation, ijtehad and liberation from patriarchal, violence-preaching clerics — is a far more serious one.”

    “The battle within Islam” only exist among liberals and self-proclaimed progressive who want us to be as liberals as you. Read my lips, we don’t want to be liberals. We don’t want to be you.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 1:17AM

    ” More importantly, before crying hoarse about the way the world is treating them, how about allowing Muslim women their due rights, enabling non-Muslim fellow citizens to receive the entitlements they deserve; and turning towards inquiry and reason?”

    Muslim world is not “crying hoarse” about the way the world is treating them. That’s not what they are doing. They resist with all the power they have. Muslim world has witnessed 5 of its countries being attacked by the West in the past 11 years.Those Palestinians in refugee camps in Gaza or Iranians guarding their border are all resisting with all their energies, with their hearts and souls. Maybe if you carefully listen to them, you might see rational individuals facing real brutalities and assaults who resist rather than merely “crying hoarse”.

    When invasions by invasions, onslaughts by onslaughts and attacks by attacks on the Muslim world by the West culminated in the insults on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); it became the straw which broke the camel’s back. Hiding behind free speech does not change a bit the hatred those filmmakers have for Islam or the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This on top of your invasion of and onslaught against the Muslim world. So, you kill us, you hate us and yet you want to pretend to be the good force here. When Muslim rose in tandem, you call us too backward, too barbaric and too stupid.

    “Muslim women their due rights”? What are those due “rights”? Who decide them? Liberals and feminists? So, who are the imperialists again?

    Enabling non-Muslims to function as citizens within a nation-state is not something you need to tell us. However, why don’t you look around at your Western friends and wonder why they are so bigoted toward Muslims to the extent of believing in Euroarabia?

    Turn to inquiry and reason? You are kidding me right? Muslim world doesn’t think at all? Or their thinking because it refuses to buy into the liberal ideology made you think we are not thinking or lack reasons? If that is so, it is not us who is lacking “inquiry” and “reason” here, it’s you.

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  • Mir Agha
    Sep 21, 2012 - 1:59AM

    You’re a dimwit if you think this is about religion. Fact of the matter is people see the reality for what it is: the US killing and pillaging across the “Muslim world”. That’s not a myth, it’s reality. The mythical and conspiratorial notions come from the neocon apologists like yourself. Truly in la-la land if the self-proclaimed progressives are that far off from the truth.

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  • Anon
    Sep 21, 2012 - 2:28AM

    Raza Sb, the introspection is equally needed in the West too. After doing everything from colonising us in the last century to waging the war on terror to militarily cleanse us of extremists, it seems the more the West tries to subjugate, bribe, control us Muslims the more we seem to be violent. Maybe if the West just took a break, stopped involving in our matters and backed off for a while, the reaction would just temper down. The problem is even when you see Muslim societies making their own choices re: Muslim Brotherhood being democratically elected in Turkey Egypt and Tunisia it doesnt satisfy the liberals and the West who continue trying to mold Muslims into a specific universal product. Well so far the ‘imported’ solutions for moderation haven’t work. And even the liberals we see in Pakistan have been a bad example because of their sheer hypocrisy by condemning extremism on one hand but turning a blind eye to elite corruption in their hands and foreign interference. Introspection and change has to be a too way traffic. The West can’t provoke Muslims, mete out injustice and interfere in internal affairs without getting its hand bit in the process. (while you criticise Saudi for its rights abuses you forget that it has the solid support of the West as an ally who have no problems)
    Also please stop being so hypercritical of our state, it almost sounds self loathing. Keep in mind, ironically in these protests one positive thing has been that it has united and brought together peoples of all sects Shia, Sunni Deobandis barelvis on one platform in equal outrage. So all hope is not lost.

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  • Azra Shahnaz
    Sep 21, 2012 - 3:35AM

    What fine understanding when Mr. Rumi says that “the hold of clerics and merchants of political Islam is gaining more and more traction across the globe.” But what a pathetic failure when he fails to recognize a fact that the “liberals” gave in to the American concerns and not stand completely isolated! They may be darling of the American establishment or media, but they have no say in the society they claim to represent! The Pakistani liberals need to do some honest and serious introspection!

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  • Awais
    Sep 21, 2012 - 3:51AM

    You want us to use reason? Alright, let’s use it surgically. You say there are millions of Muslims who will not use violence. Wrong. There are over 1.6 billion Muslims, so we can safely say there are over 1.5 billion Muslims who don’t want violence.

    Then this pathetic idea that the US commits “follies”, as though they make innocent mistakes, that Muslims have merely “perceived” injustices and they have quasi-mythologized those injustices. While you think Muslims make too much noise and blindly exaggerate about injustices, Robert Fisk, arguably the foremost journalist in the Middle East for the past three decades, has this to say when commenting on his 1300 page book The Great War for Civilisation, The Conquest of the Middle East:

    “When I reached the end of my book, of eighty years of duplicity in the Middle East, I found myself amazed at how much restraint Muslims had shown towards the West.”

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  • Nagpuri
    Sep 21, 2012 - 6:03AM

    @Zeeshan

    how about the colonization and barbarism that was inflicted on native Hindus beyond the mountains of Hindukush? What’s your justification of that? Or what’s good then is bad now? Or with time values, morality changes? Dare i say religion changes?

    Once you loose some nearest and dearest in some terrorist attack like 9/11, or mumbai or Shia beheading, ahamdi killings, you would know what’s real outrage as opposed to some silly video and cartoons. I wonder if you had experienced those 2 events on same day, for which you will be shedding tears for?

    How about you fight and kill those who kill Shia or Ahmadis or god forbid Hindus in Pakistan?

    I hope you get out of perpetual victim hood like people who did after Arab spring. West couldn’t stop that.

    BTW, world has moved on from absolute beliefs in religious fables, time for you to join 21st century.

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  • Selvam
    Sep 21, 2012 - 6:42AM

    US imperialism has been put into Muslim minds by mullahs; do you realize that that Islam was the biggest imperialistic movement on this planet ever? What started around Mecca and Medina was spread far and wide. Ninety nine percent of Pakistanis are of South Asian stock, but now you want to have Arabic names, speak Arabic etc. Mecca is 2800 km from Pakistan, including a few deserts and seas. Saudis are not speaking Punjabi or want to have South Indian names etc. Imperialism is the last word Muslims should use.

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  • Ajit Harisinghani
    Sep 21, 2012 - 7:48AM

    Rational Thinking from Raza Rumi –
    A Ray of Hope amidst the Darkness of Hate that is Drowning the Country.
    How Many Generations Lost before it is Light Again?

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  • Khawar
    Sep 21, 2012 - 8:05AM

    “turning towards inquiry and reason” —- well said Rumi Sahab

    But Umma prefers Inquest & Passion

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  • Saleem
    Sep 21, 2012 - 8:48AM

    My daughter, student of Grade V, saw the violence videos of protests in Islamabad and promptly asked, ” If this is to be done by elders; why are we taught discipline and tolerance?”
    I didn’t have answers.

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  • Sep 21, 2012 - 9:02AM

    some of the comments above indicates that a suggestion for introspection by Muslims is not going to be listened. so forget it or try differently..

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  • Mirza
    Sep 21, 2012 - 9:16AM

    A very bold and truthful Op Ed with a lot of sense. However, most Pakistanis do not understand that one person with a small team of a few people made a short video to insult our beliefs and satisfy his vulgar ego. Nobody in the US knew about that video and it was the agitation in Muslim world that made most people curious and watch this short video. The fact is nobody in the US including its govt can stop people doing such shameful acts. There are laws against hatemongering and supporting Hitler like beliefs but not in the US. In the US there are all kinds of hate based groups even though they are watched by the FBI but nobody can ban their freedom of speech. It is only when they start acting violently then the law comes into action. The US govt will never stop its citizens from their right of free speech, no matter how many Muslims burn how much of their own country. Are there no Muslims in UAE and S. Arabia to come out and demonstrate? None in those countries love our prophet pbuh?

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  • Sep 21, 2012 - 9:18AM

    I see 2 worlds in the future – Islamic and the free.

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  • Shan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 9:24AM

    More Muslims are killed by their fellow Muslims then any ‘imperialist’ power. But please dont drag the rest of us tolerant* Pakistanis with you.

    *tolerance is a fundamental human trait that has nothing to do with being religious or secular.Recommend

  • Mahesh Dutt
    Sep 21, 2012 - 9:39AM

    I am glad you mentioned Anne Marie Schimmel at this juncture. It is time more Pakistanis knew about her and her work. Loved reading this article and as often, agree totally with you.

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  • Gratgy
    Sep 21, 2012 - 10:00AM

    @Zeeshan
    Muslim world is not “crying hoarse” about the way the world is treating them. That’s not what they are doing. They resist with all the power they have.

    By burning your own cities and killing other muslims?? Way to go Man!!

    Those Palestinians in refugee camps in Gaza or Iranians guarding their border are all resisting with all their energies

    So did the Bengalis in 1971. They were fighting murderers and rapists from the west. in this case West Pakistan

    This on top of your invasion of and onslaught against the Muslim world. So, you kill us, you hate us and yet you want to pretend to be the good force here.

    You are like a kid on a tree with a slingshot hitting people on the ground. When someone rolls up his sleeves and beats the crap out of you, you claim victimhood.

    When invasions by invasions, onslaughts by onslaughts and attacks by attacks on the Muslim world by the West culminated in the insults on Prophet

    If invasions are bad then why do you name your missiles after people who invaded you??

    Enabling non-Muslims to function as citizens within a nation-state is not something you need to tell us. However, why don’t you look around at your Western friends and wonder why they are so bigoted toward Muslims to the extent of believing in Euroarabia?

    The sheer hypocrisy of your sentence. Lol! Do you even read what you type??

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  • gp65
    Sep 21, 2012 - 10:16AM

    @Mirza: “Are there no Muslims in UAE and S. Arabia to come out and demonstrate? None in those countries love our prophet pbuh?”

    I would like to reinforce what you are saying by pointing out that while there have been demonstrations in Chennai India they have been peaceful.

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  • JAGDISH PRASAD SHARMA
    Sep 21, 2012 - 10:26AM

    The article written above should be translated in both hindi and urdu and published in all the leading newspapers of both India and Pakistan so that people living there could know that there are right thinking people in Muslims too among fanatics in the Muslim world.Recommend

  • Khawar
    Sep 21, 2012 - 10:38AM

    Because religion is kept on leash by both Saudi and UAE Govts.Recommend

  • ethicalman
    Sep 21, 2012 - 11:39AM

    As soon there is anything about the prophet or Islam..There is a competition in the Muslim world that who is more pious Muslim..the competition is about Muslim rage ..It’s like Muslims Olympics who will get more mobs , more killed.. I question why there is no retrospect in Muslim world ?

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 11:53AM

    @Gratgy,

    “By burning your own cities and killing other muslims?? Way to go Man!!”

    Is this the image of the Muslims in your Indian mind?

    “So did the Bengalis in 1971. They were fighting murderers and rapists from the west. in this case West Pakistan”

    When you said West, I thought you were referring to India. Why the sympathy for Bengalis when you are hunting them down in Assam? And why not show the same sympathy to Kashmiris?

    “You are like a kid on a tree with a slingshot hitting people on the ground. When someone rolls up his sleeves and beats the crap out of you, you claim victimhood.”

    What are your blabbering? a kid with a slingshot? Muslim world is not a kid with a slingshot. We didn’t occupy London. So, your logic needs 180 degrees turn.

    “If invasions are bad then why do you name your missiles after people who invaded you??”

    Who invaded us? Ranjit Singh? Maratha?

    “The sheer hypocrisy of your sentence. Lol! Do you even read what you type??”

    what’s the hypocrisy about? To point out that the same hypocrites who demand Muslims to give space to non-Muslims are themselves incapable of walking the talk? You have a comprehension problem.

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  • Truthiness
    Sep 21, 2012 - 12:01PM

    @Awais:
    “You say there are millions of Muslims who will not use violence. Wrong. There are over 1.6 billion Muslims, so we can safely say there are over 1.5 billion Muslims who don’t want violence.”
    Problem is that 0.1B Muslims create the narrative for 1.6B.
    ..Peace

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  • Truthiness
    Sep 21, 2012 - 12:04PM

    The question for introspection:

    Is our faith so weak that it can be affected by a stupid video or a an 11 year old menatally challenged?

    Peace

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  • gp65
    Sep 21, 2012 - 12:20PM

    @Awais: ““When I reached the end of my book, of eighty years of duplicity in the Middle East, I found myself amazed at how much restraint Muslims had shown towards the West.””

    What did RObert Fisk have to say – if anything – about the restraint shown by Ahmadis towards Pakistan? What about restraint shown by Indians towards PAkistan in face of 4 wars and thousands of deaths caused by paid mercenary non-state actors sent to our land? Did he say anything about the rights of Shias in Balochistan and Bahrain?

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  • True Indian
    Sep 21, 2012 - 1:01PM

    May God give birth to more and more people like Mr. Raza Rumi…Only people like these can save Pakistan and the world…

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  • Domlurian
    Sep 21, 2012 - 1:12PM

    @gp65, “while there have been demonstrations in Chennai India they have been peaceful”.
    Really, did you see the pictures, didn’t you read the news?

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  • rizwan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 1:22PM

    @Zeeshan:

    such an incoherent rebuttal. i thought you would be great in countering grategy. but you disappointed. instead of answering him, you just skirted away the main issue by asking irrelevant question.
    @ GRATEGY:

    maybe he is only good at asking question, but never at answering them….

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  • CAT
    Sep 21, 2012 - 2:49PM

    @Zeeshan: You have every right to peacefully hold your view; just don’t get personal. Finally, if you do not want to like ‘me’, why read the Express Tribune? Surely, there are other newspapers, magazines, pamphlets etc where you will feel at ‘home’. Have a good productive day!

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  • Sep 21, 2012 - 3:06PM

    Probably first time I disagree most part of your piece. With due respect you’ve talked in detail about vibrant Muslims. The most important things its time to define freedom of speech and hatred speech.

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  • Raza Khan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 3:52PM

    Fully agree with you but majority would not understand even a single word of your article!Recommend

  • Rehan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 3:58PM

    @Jat:
    All the more reason why this needs to be said.

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  • Jat
    Sep 21, 2012 - 4:07PM

    @Rehan: True. The scenes on tv screen are reminiscent of Arab Spring. Frightening to say the least.

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  • Afzaal Khan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 4:40PM

    Oh cry me a river its high time liberals start thier own intrsopection as to why they are not listened and ridiculed in the society they seek to represent. Funny enough only people most ppl agreeing with author are like minded liberals, indians and westerner. That shows how liberals have no standing whatsoever in the society except on the pages of english dailies.

    To indian if Islam was imperalistic and wanted the way of life like west there wouldn’t have been any hindu nor a temple standing in whole subcontinent, had enough time to accomplish both.

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  • Sid
    Sep 21, 2012 - 5:02PM

    @Zeeshan, if you are a teen, good thing you are talking about it so much.. if you are old, no hope.

    When you talk about onslaught and attack and protest and blah blah blah…what do you have to say about what the invaders did to the subcontinent?

    Your fore fathers weren’t muslims you know. As much as present day india, present day pakistan was a key center of hinduism and the place where one of the first libraries of the world was located (Taksha-shila). The invaders burnt it down cause no other word but the world of their holy book was good.

    Are you going to introspect about the misdeeds of your creed, or is it going to be another blah blah blah balh…exclamation mark, exclamation mark response.

    Grow up, long life to live..you will be responsible for the days your people will see.

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  • Guest
    Sep 21, 2012 - 5:15PM

    “We have increasing polarisation between those who view freedom of expression as an absolute value, and extremists within Muslims who think violence is the only way to ‘save’ Islam from such attacks. Millions of Muslims are trapped between the two ends of this hate-spectrum.”

    Raza freedom of expression as an absolute value is not part of a “hate spectrum.” It’s a fundamental civil liberty that is alien to Muslim countries.

    Before being so critical of the West for its insensitivity to accomodating Muslim delusions and fairy tales, perhaps it would be best to do a bit of housekeeping. Start by providing a list of Muslim countries where religious minorities feel comfortable living in peace. I can think of none.

    As to the rest of the housekeeping, perhaps non-Muslims would stop criticizing your religion if you reformed your primitive blasphemy laws, stopped treating your women like chattel, stopped making excuses for why marrying children is OK, put a premium on education, and stopped blaming others for YOUR problems. And really, just stop with the violence, intimidation and threats. Recommend

  • Learner
    Sep 21, 2012 - 5:15PM

    I think the kind of venom that many, if not most, Indian commentators spew against Muslims, Islam and Pakistan at every possible instance, there are very few who engage in constructive criticism, ET would do well to exclude them. I can understand when such shameless comments go uninhibited on Hindustan Times, the RSS brigade infests the comments’ sections there, but to allow the same on ET is in bad taste and defies wisdom.

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  • Khurram
    Sep 21, 2012 - 5:42PM

    Dear Raza sahib, your arguments of rationality are too little too late. A nation that is intellectually bankrupt and now out of control under the leadership of the raging mullahs would eventually destroy itself!!!!

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  • Feroz
    Sep 21, 2012 - 6:03PM

    Pakistan is not in a position to protest against hate material at all. Realms have been written about the hate generated from Text books against other Religions. How would Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhist citizens feel when they read those same text books. First get rid of the hate material before protesting about some action in a far away land.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 7:43PM

    @Sid,

    I hope you are not a Hindutva.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 7:44PM

    @Selvam,

    “US imperialism has been put into Muslim minds by mullahs”

    How was that “put into Muslim minds”? Muslim minds are too backward to observe reality that they need fibs and lies from “Mullahs” ?

    “do you realize that that Islam was the biggest imperialistic movement on this planet ever?”

    This coming from a man who called himself an Indian by submitting to New Delhi. Ask us whether Islam is “the biggest imperialist movement on this planet ever” instead of concocting myth.

    “What started around Mecca and Medina was spread far and wide.”

    Islam didn’t start around Mecca or Medina. It reemerged from these holy cities.

    “Ninety nine percent of Pakistanis are of South Asian stock, but now you want to have Arabic names, speak Arabic etc.”

    What language are you speaking? We are not only South but also Central Asian. The Northeast people are not South Asians, but that does not stop you from colonizing their lands. Pakistanis do not have an Arabic name. They have names which marked themselves as Muslims. They also have Persian names and Turkish names.

    “Mecca is 2800 km from Pakistan, including a few deserts and seas. Saudis are not speaking Punjabi or want to have South Indian names etc.”

    If Islam were to originate from Punjab, Arabs too would be speaking Arabic. Maybe if you spread Sikhism to Canada, Canadians might be speaking Punjabis?

    “Imperialism is the last word Muslims should use.”

    say an Indian?Recommend

  • Gratgy
    Sep 21, 2012 - 8:08PM

    @Truthiness
    Is our faith so weak that it can be affected by a stupid video or a an 11 year old menatally challenged?

    I like the way you think man! I had commented yesterday, which I will repeat. We have a saying in Hindi- Haathi chale bazaar Kutte bhaunke hazaar. -When an elephant walks in the market dogs will bark but should the elephant get offended?

    Why should you get offended when you have confidence in your religion and yourself. Ignore the dogs that bark.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 8:19PM

    @CAT,

    Debating with your kind is important for the future of MY nation. The problem of saying “don’t get personal” is you using your personal tendentious perspective to judge Pakistan and Muslim. So, if you keep your personal opinions to yourself, maybe we would not have a debate in the first place. And, I do read news and papers which make me feel like “home” and those sources are where I got the opinions and views which I synthesized to articulate my thoughts. Well, I do have a productive day: I juggle multiple duties in life including defending Pakistan and Muslims from people like you.

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  • Gratgy
    Sep 21, 2012 - 9:15PM

    @Zeeshan
    Well, I do have a productive day: I juggle multiple duties in life including defending Pakistan and Muslims from people like you.

    Aah we have an Internet warrior in our midst, Do your duty lad, if not for yourself, do it for your country. don’t let these buggers discourage you.

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  • Gratgy
    Sep 21, 2012 - 9:21PM

    @Zeeshan
    Debating is important for the future of MY nation.

    Let me give a word of advise to you ,Arguing on the Internet is like participating in the Olympics for the mentally challenged. Even if you think you won, you are still retarded.

    We come here to Express TribuneRecommend

  • mind control
    Sep 21, 2012 - 10:10PM

    Mpderator ET- Is this space reserved for Zeeshan only? If not…..

    @Zeeshan to Gatgy

    Is this the image of the Muslims in your Indian mind?

    This is the image on the front pages of Pakistani news papers. If you know what they are.

    What are your blabbering? a kid with a slingshot? Muslim world is not a kid with a slingshot.

    I agree.

    We didn’t occupy London.

    No, just Grenada, Spain, Faras of Zoroastrians, Mesopotamia, Hindustan, Egypt etc etc.

    Who invaded us? Ranjit Singh? Maratha?

    Read up on Taimur, Ghauri, Ghaznavi, Nadir and Abdali.And the areas they invaded.

    To point out that the same hypocrites who demand Muslims to give space to non-Muslims are themselves incapable of walking the talk?

    Is that why US,Europe,Australia,India all allow Muslims full citizenship with all rights?

    You have a comprehension problem.

    Ahem! Do look up ‘Projection’ in a good book on psychology.Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Sep 21, 2012 - 11:12PM

    I see only one world in future: the technology based western countries and the others who will follow them. The rest will return to nature, to mud houses.Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Sep 22, 2012 - 12:35AM

    @Gratgy,

    “Aah we have an Internet warrior in our midst, Do your duty lad, if not for yourself, do it for your country. don’t let these buggers discourage you”

    Coming from an Indian in a Pakistani newspaper?

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  • Mahakaalchakra
    Sep 22, 2012 - 4:24AM

    @Zeeshan:

    Your posts lack depth. You have no response to many questions raised in the comment section.

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  • Alex Greg
    Sep 22, 2012 - 9:19AM

    I think now muslims should understand the pain of the other Relligon ..the way they destroyed Bamiyan Buddha in Afganistan.See what pain bhuddists had felt at that time..Muslims…Destroyed many Hindu temples in pakistan…they also felt that way ..but they never reacted in violently ..

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  • Zaid Hamid
    Sep 22, 2012 - 3:17PM

    @Zeeshan:
    Oh Zeeshan you are our great hope. We can depend upon you for the act of denial. You put it up so perfectly with your topsy turvy logic. We will show the world how angry we are on Israeli occupation of Palestanian lands by committing the same atrocities on Baluchis. We will show how angry we are by killing Ahmedis. And yes we will burn tyres, destroy our buildings, kill our coreligionists and then depend on you to put the blame on RAW/Mossad/CIA for historical and fictional excesses committed on Muslims. Way to go! Keep this rant up.

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  • Manishj
    Sep 22, 2012 - 4:11PM

    I am an Indian and a staunch Hindu. i am of the strong opinion that India and pakistan have drifted apart from each other so much that the two countries can not be friends, at most they can be good neighbors who mind their own business and dont poke their dirty nose in each others’ affairs.

    Having said that it pains me to see the current state of affairs in both the countries. Both the countries have different set of problems but Pakistan seems be losing the way towards solving them.

    However, This is not my argument. What i observe is that most of the Indians who comment on these pages seem to be getting a sadistic pleasure by bashing Pakistan, which i find unfair.

    If you guys ( indians commenting here), are so concerned about the state of affairs in Pakistan( which i doubt) that you spend your precious time on the pages of a Pakistani newspaper, then you must also think about how you are contributing. Are you guys interested in a solution or you only want to talk about a problem? what is it that you are bringing to the table? If you really have to comment please suggest how to tackle the issue. Provide solutions rather than harping about problems and feel happy about it.

    Your attempts in doing so may be thwarted by Pakistani readers and you may be asked to mind your own business but that is fine. atleast few of them will understand your sincerity and will appreciate it and may decide to take it forward.

    Else, you guys are only rubbing salt on the wound.

    Thank you.

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  • Akhter
    Sep 22, 2012 - 5:04PM

    @Zeeshan:
    I really think you need to get out more and look closely at the Pakistan and so called Muslims you say you defend everyday! Fact is Pakistan is an In-Tolerant society where might is right! we have very little or no regard for people of other religions, ask yourself how many non-Muslims do you know or are friends with? furthermore you say you read newspapers and keep up-to date with current affairs. Then you will already be aware of the honor crimes committed on a daily basis against defenseless women, how about the crimes we commit against non-Muslims or even different Muslim sects ( eg Shia killings) What about the daily killings in Karachi?. As a Pakistani Muslim for saying all of the above i will be instantly labelled a LIBERAL without a second thought, its almost like the word liberal is a swear word in Pakistan. You say you do not want to be like us (rational minded) then i certainly do not want to be like you.
    Finally we need to get over this obsession with being anti Indian, i feel its great that Indians participate in any discussion we have as it enhances our exposure to rational thought.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 22, 2012 - 9:18PM

    @Akhter,

    Please spare me your lecture. Do you believe your Western friends are a tolerant bunch? What does honor crime have anything to do with Islam? Did your forget it was shared by your fellow “non-Muslim friends” in India too? Should we talk about the atrocities toward female babies among your Punjabi Sikh and Hindu friends?

    Nobody in Pakistan is condoning the killing of Shias or Ahmadis except for the fanatic few. It’s in your imagination that we passed sweet to each other when Shias were killed.

    “Rational minded (sic)” does not equal being liberals. That’s a bit pathetic assumption. Secondly, I am not that pathetic to ask you to be me either.

    Indians enriching this website? You are kidding me right? They are here to spew venom and vitriol which sound as ” rational thoughts” to those with “rational minds like you”.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 23, 2012 - 8:10AM

    @rizwan,

    Those questions were not irrelevant, it allowed for Gragty’s Hindutva’s Freudian slip to emerge. Just like what it did to Zaid Hamid etc.

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  • Akhter
    Oct 3, 2012 - 8:51PM

    @Zeeshan:
    Well all i can say is that after reading your reply i guess its futile to endeavor on a intellectual debate, its exactly this “us and them” mentality that has led Pakistan to be the “Retard” of the international community, Just because people in other countries show hatred or in-tolerance towards Islam does not make it OK for us Muslims to do/behave in a similar fashion, but then i do not wear your rose colored spectacles that tell you AAAAL is WELL!.
    The title of this blog was Time for Introspection ie look into ourselves and see if we are truly following the Koran and sunnah, Just take a walk in any bazaar in Pakistan and you will get your answer, but then i’m wasting my time so i’ll just shut up!

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