I am terrorist - and so are you

Published: June 2, 2010
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The writer is a former TV morning show host (naveen.naqvi@tribune.com.pk)

The writer is a former TV morning show host (naveen.naqvi@tribune.com.pk)

There are many before me who have written about Friday’s attack on the Ahmadis in Lahore. By the time this piece goes into print, still more will have written — and written better — of the audacious attack on Jinnah Hospital by the terrorists who came back to save their own. However, if I do not write of these attacks, I will become more complicit than I already am, for isn’t it true that every time I renew my passport I am complicit as are you? Every minute that I hold my national identity card, I may as well be holding a gun to the head of any minority in Pakistan.

The power-holders who created and bred these killers were complicit. Those who continue to feed them for strategic reasons are complicit. Whoever is the voice in the recording that did the rounds on the internet before it became a scandal and threatened to be a lawsuit, the one that said Ahmadis were kafirs, he is complicit. Let us also not forget the immediate reaction from the state, which was predictably to not look inward but to blame the ‘foreign hand.’ I could almost see Tariq Aziz, fist raised in the air standing at the stage of his Neelam Ghar, bellowing, ‘Sahee jawab kay liye, Rahber water cooler aap ka hua! Denialistan Zindabad!’

But wait, it’s not over yet. We cannot overlook the judiciary on which we have pinned our hopes, the Supreme Court that set free the greatest hate-monger against religious minorities, Hafiz Saeed. Then there is the government, which indicates a possible military operation against what have now been conveniently coined the Punjabi Taliban while allowing Saeed to embark on the extremist version of a rock tour.

One thinks there is hope yet. There is the activist community. A few members of Karachi’s civil society collected at the Press Club to agitate against the assault on the Ahmadis. They could only assemble for half an hour, and had to cut their protest short. Why? Because, reminiscent of a “Monty Python” skit, next in line was the anti-Israel protest. Of course, this was the real crowd-puller. They easily managed to nudge and jostle their way in. ‘Well, it’s our turn now, innit?’ The liberals, having been threatened by a bunch of murderous thugs just a week before over the Facebook fiasco, complied and withdrew.

Much as I disagree with Israel’s actions, I was ashamed to read in the papers the following day that in Islamabad alone a thousand people came out to protest within minutes of the attack on the flotilla.

No matter what I write, and how I may protest or apologise, it does not change the fact that I am complicit.

I am terrorist and so are you.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2010.

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Reader Comments (78)

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 2:31AM

    Thank you! Finally someone recognizes that we are all complicit! Recommend

  • Asif Rafiq
    Jun 2, 2010 - 4:33AM

    It is absolutely silly how there were mass protests across Pakistan with regards to the Israeli attacks on the aid convoy. While those attacks were totally unjustified I cannot for the life of me understand why people in Pakistan are worried about their Muslim brothers while their own house in on fire. When is the last time you heard of Arabs or Persians supporting causes in Pakistan. Kashmir is not even on their radar let alone the daily terrorist attacks against civilians and the state of Pakistan. Furthermore, I have to wonder which nation in the world can take a “condemnation” from the government of Pakistan on foriegn incidents seriously when Pakistan’s internal record it self is so tarnished.Recommend

  • 501
    Jun 2, 2010 - 5:00AM

    Best op-ed I’ve read in a long time.Recommend

  • Rashid Hasan
    Jun 2, 2010 - 5:13AM

    Very well written! Religion and its hegemony over almost all matters of governance and legislature is to blame here. Minorities (especially the ones deemed heretic kind by the majority version) are ruthlessly subjugated and decimated in Islam. Religion and its absurdities must be highlighted. Moderates and liberals who keep professing the innocence of their faith (Islam is so good! these extremists have hijacked our faith! show me where it is allowed in Islam to kill heretics? (actually sir, it is not very difficult to find. It is present all over)) actually provide the shade under which these extremists thrive. Religion is the elephant in the room. It must be fought.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ziad
    Jun 2, 2010 - 8:15AM

    Is it ‘sympathizing with the terrorist day?’ Recommend

  • pervaize
    Jun 2, 2010 - 8:39AM

    Are you blind to what has been going on in Kashmir, in Palestine for years Muslims have been attacked and killed. Muslims have been attacked and killed all over the world. Look at the Iraq War what did the Iraqi people do to USA to invite a invasion? Since then daily bomb blasts , massive killings by Black water and did any court in USA give any sentence to any Blackwater men for killing?
    In Afghanistan another invasion took place, and daily attacks on women, children are happening so why are you not weeping for them.
    You need to get your facts straight , you just put the gun on your headRecommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 9:52AM

    Yes Naveen, by our silence, we are all complicit. It was almost heartbreaking to hear a friend whose 91 year old war hero general was among those gunned down say that his father survived the Indian bullets while fighting for Pakistan but fell to a Pakistani’s bullet… you can imagine how I simply lost the words I had been summoning to condole with him.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 9:58AM

    Indeed true, however I don’t think the so-called civil society contributes more than just symbolic protests. No matter how free we can roam physically in this country, deep down inside, we all are slaves of our confined brains.Recommend

  • Harris
    Jun 2, 2010 - 9:59AM

    Nicely written, but here in Lahore it was the opposite, the vigil for Ahmedi Muslims got more supporters than the Flotilla people. And yes, the vigil people got the tv and news coverage too, the other group was on the same square (Liberty) but they dint get any flash.

    Moreover they were also threatened off to go somewhere else because one side had the banners of “Itehaad bainul Muslimeen” and the ENLIGHTENED ones had “NO RELIGION IN STATE” …. and not to forget, both were from top universities of the city and were wearing Levi’s and CrossRoads… not the KURTA CHAPPAL!Recommend

  • shshs
    Jun 2, 2010 - 10:11AM

    Good effort to awaken the sleeping culprits.Recommend

  • zahid naqvi
    Jun 2, 2010 - 10:17AM

    Nice coulum
    i am from gilgit
    i request you u write on the accidental lake in Hunza in result thousands citizen effected and became displacedRecommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 10:36AM

    Excellent one! Kudos.
    Heartening to hear some Sane voices from otherwise maddening cacophony of Hate.May you’re Tribe spread.
    Regards,
    PIRecommend

  • Amir
    Jun 2, 2010 - 11:46AM

    We became silent accomplices when a group of medical students was hounded out of Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad last year because of their beliefs. That news appeared in Dawn, and was followed by a couple of letters to the editor condemning the incident. And that was the end of it.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 11:50AM

    Yes Naveen, indeed we all are culprits in some way or the other. Kudos to the woman who stand high in front of Rehman Malik and refused to accept flowers and in return gave him a piece of her mind. This is the beginning of the end for this government. (Insha’ Allah). If one woman can raise her voice, so can we. What are we all waiting for? The last few months of this government will be totally different I tell you. They will try n solve all the problems and interact more with the ordinary citizens to comfort them and solve their issues. This will be just to get more votes in the next elections. And trust me, our poor nation will again fall prey to these vultures. We need to bring change and that can only be done when we realize the true value of our VOTE.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 11:52AM

    Grim reading but with the ring of many truths about it. There are islands of sanity and moderation, but surrounded by oceans of extremism and hatred. There is no nodal point around which ‘moderation’ can coalesce, and the political system is ossified, turned inwards and concerned principally with the maintenance of the status-quo. This is neither a culture nor an environment where change can be catalysed or welcomed. Those who would seek NOT to be complicit will be/are neutralised or marginalised into safe enclaves – the English language press being one of those. Those of us that write in the EL press are kidding ourselves if we think we are really making a difference. We are coralled, because the real power of the written word in Pakistan lies in the Urdu and other languages press. Is the establishment concerned with what we have to say? Of course not – we are speaking to a powerless minority of English speakers and readers. Now if us moderates could get ourselves into print in the Urdu press, to raise our heads above the parapet there, then perhaps complicity might be effectively challenged. As it is, we are little more than polite chatter in the corner of the drawing room.Recommend

  • ahmad
    Jun 2, 2010 - 12:45PM

    That article just hit a sore nerve…..i exactly remember the day i got my passport….i had to declare my beliefs and condemn a few people to kafiristan before i got my passport…..i promised that day, that no matter what….my children will not be raised in pakistan. Recommend

  • Saleem Qazi
    Jun 2, 2010 - 1:06PM

    Well said, Naveen. At least you got it off your chest. I was waiting for someone to try to link it with what was said in the leaked tape, but I don’t anybody did it. That conversation clearly sets the agenda for the future attacks and Ahmadi Jamaat is singled out as the biggest threat to Islam. But I agree with Chris Cork’s observation regarding what is published in Urdu and other regional print media and propagated in television talk shows. Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 1:07PM

    Chris,

    You are spot on. People like Naveen Naqvi are interested only in winning kudos from the Americans and the British. These fake humanists shed crocodile tears and write stirring articles against “terrorism” and in favour of the USA’s “war on terror” just so they can bask in the glow of warm words from their foreign patrons.

    If they really cared for their fellow Pakistanis they would be writing in the Urdu press and raising the awareness of the ignorant masses. They have no time for that. They grow rich on the corrupt lifestyle that they have perpetuated in Pakistan and they are quite content to lead lazy, self-indulgent lives, dashing off articles in a foreign language now and then.

    You might like to read this article on the position of Urdu in Pakistan:http://sakibahmad.blogspot.com/2010/01/punjab-governments-own-goal.htmlRecommend

  • SaudUmar Khan
    Jun 2, 2010 - 1:51PM

    It is just sad that people will gather for anything that has an international and/or media bit attached to it, but when it comes to our own country, our own people, we sit back and wait for somebody to make the first move. And if ever a move is made, we wait for it to catch the hype before coming out and alighting our assets.

    The rival politicians will come out on the streets for their “one-up” on the governing party, but when it comes to a collective good, we dont see them anywhere. The main reason – there are different segments of the society who have been indulged in a particular set of problems. If a certain group of individuals does not have access to basic necessities, they will not come out in support of those who are fighting for judiciary. Similarly, small shopkeepers who cant help but wait for electricity throughout the day just so that their goods do not go to waste will definitely not join such protests.

    Recently, we have grown more and more concerned about what happens to Muslims (in general) and Pakistanis (in particular) abroad than what happens at home. We have managed to gather more protests against the Flotilla attacks within three days than we could against the attacks on our own homeland for years from within and outside the country.

    It is just a sad state of affairs, and yes, we all are a part of it.Recommend

  • M. Ismail Khan
    Jun 2, 2010 - 2:00PM

    yep, we are all in it… together in this heap of…don’t see getting out of it, not right now, and until we all are ‘really’ willing and ‘ready’ to do so…what we are listening or reading is a squeak hear and some desperate call for help there, like a person seeking pardon while being stoned to death by a hoard.

    ..on our left are soul eating corrupts and on the right is flesh eating Frankenstein. The so called erratic civil society, publicity hungry courts, tainted politicians and even generally liberal masses stand no chance against Taliban virus unless some sane elements of the most organized organ of the state – the military – rises to build a new future…somewhat based on Turkish model… (I know many of you may raise the past but I am talking about present and the future!)…u just can’t treat this rotten cancer with dubious democratic pills…laud thinking? Yes.Recommend

  • Adeel
    Jun 2, 2010 - 2:47PM

    It really is time to remove religion from our politics! Bangladesh has done it and we should too!Recommend

  • Ammar Zafarullah
    Jun 2, 2010 - 3:01PM

    The point regarding Hafiz Saeed is most disturbing, one wonder what miracles did the prosecution pull off that the courts did not find any factual evidence, India had given five dossiers they must have something in it!!!
    The burqa-clad Molvi Abud Aziz of LaL-Masjid was set free despite of being nominated in nine cases! What is wrong with the judicial system?Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 3:05PM

    No one is terrorist here and you should not blaming any either. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed faces no legal charges against him and those that were there, had no legal standing and hence quashed by the independent courts (i hope you don’t call them terrorists either). It is the media, of whom you are an integral part, that has made few people terrorists while other heroes when the facts speak otherwise.
    I am still proud of my identity as a Pakistani and will always remain so! However, i agree that the killing of innocent Ahmadis (Non Muslims as per Pak Constitution) is highly deplorable act. However, you should also have written similar articles on the daily killing of innocent Muslims in tribal areas of Pakistan. I wonder why so much media coverage was given to Lahore attack when a lot more innocent people (7 Times greater) have been killed in our tribal areas as a result of drone attacks and yet it is still going on without any visible stop.
    Our media is lately controlled by people living in Khi and Lahore and it is their opinion that is showed as National Opinion. The same is happening to our blogosphere but that will never distort facts because facts are still not what is preached on our media these days. To know the reality, we have to consider the whole five provinces of this country as well as the FATA/PATA. Pakistan is a much bigger country then Lahore and Karachi where people like you (the media managers) reside! Recommend

  • saad
    Jun 2, 2010 - 3:42PM

    Dear All,
    Terrorism u cant define as an act of singular it is always true that One man terrorism is other’s fight for their right.We have seen an recent example of state terrorism conducted by none other than the strongest ally of United States i.e Israel.Do u think who ever feel the intensity of this event will never react …!!1 Some through words,some through procession,some through Protest but there are some who use to take revenge of these acts in shape of retaliation and i would like to ask from you if world consider these as terrorist then why not consider terrorism of country like Israel , India who are practicing state terrorism in Palestine and Kashmir.

    @Naveen:i agreed with your say but could you please express your say that what is the solution of this as per your knowledge??It would be good if u could state that as well please!!!Recommend

  • Spinkane
    Jun 2, 2010 - 3:48PM

    Naveen you are a courageous lady,while most of us are cowards.We are indeed complicit.No one can touch that anchor.If it was a liberal journalist by now the whole state machinery,including judiciary,would have been at his throat.The religious people are privileged community,they can get away with anything.If our constitution says that the head of state has to be a Muslim, then how come it is a democratic state.I have all my sympathies with the minorities,who are being mistreated in our country.The extremism started in this country the day “OBJECTIVE RESOLUTION” was passed in 1951 and the the state prime concern was declared as security.Recommend

  • Aisha S
    Jun 2, 2010 - 3:54PM

    A well written and (mostly) well received article. I can only echo others thoughts – when one’s home is on fire how can you look to others to help them?
    Until the law is changed – for Pakistan to become the truely tolerant Islamic republic it was meant to be – these sorts of deplorable attacks will continue to occur against minority groups.Recommend

  • Fas
    Jun 2, 2010 - 4:00PM

    Must we do this? Didn’t Nazi Germany already go through all of this and come out, you know smarter than the Pakistanis who espouse such views. Take history as an example, the issue of collective responsibility is an archaic notion which holds no value, save for the winners of the conflict to witch hunt the losers.

    By the same notion, every American or Brit you (generic you) have worked with, studied with and have befriended is a war criminal by the actions of their military in various wars. The fact that Napalm was used in Vietnam in violation of the CBW treaty, or the violations of the Geneva Convention when it came to rendition, and the various prison camps in Iraq and Afghanistan is testament to these realities.

    However in such cases many draw the distinction between the acts of war and the common man on the street. At the end of the day I am only responsible for my own actions. Just like the average man walking down Edgware road or Central Park is by no means responsible for the actions of a solider some thousand miles away, in the same vein I am not responsible for actions I have not taken.

    One can condemn the actions. Protest them. But at the end of the day the mentality that we are all terrorist is an individual notion and issue of individual guilt. If you agree with the author, by all means I will happily label you a terrorist. I however am a law abiding citizen with no desire for malice towards any other individual based on race, creed or faith.

    Please don’t project ones own (again generic) insecurities to make others feel worse.Recommend

  • FY
    Jun 2, 2010 - 4:02PM

    I don’t know why you and a lot of other people fail to understand the difference between what is happening here and what Israel did. what happened in Lahore is condemned by all and every religious/non-religious faction, and no one openly supports it. Who will the protests be against, how can anyone be complicit in baseless killing. its not an ideology – and you are making it sound like one – that any sane person supports. Israels aggression is an open atrocity and there is sense in protesting against it in any way possible.Recommend

  • Vic
    Jun 2, 2010 - 4:11PM

    @MJK: Muslims being killed in frontier areas? I hoped that someone cares: but alas, only to read on and find you too have no place in your heart for the suffering of others.

    Have you closed your eyes and heart to the children who cannot go to school because the terrorists have blown them up? To the women who will remain lifelong ignorant because some fanatic with a gun will shoot them if they dare to want to learn? To those who fall ill but for whom hospitals lay destroyed?

    No matter how heartless the killings by the faceless drones, they cannot match in sheer terror the deliberate use of bomb and gun against the defenceless, for whom only the State of Pakistan can and should, but does not, stand at guardRecommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 5:16PM

    This country was found on the basis of religion and those secularist who try to deny it can look at our Green and white flag. The very colors of our flag says the same! Our founding fathers knew it well but alas our modern day media players, who have very less contact with the ground realities and whose sole source of info comes from other news channel, thinks they have magic wand and they can solve the problems. Unfortunately, to them the solution is to make it secular.
    However, our problems started when we tried to sideline our own religion.
    And courts didnt punish Hafiz Saeed etc because it was US controlled media that made them the so called Public Enemies while in fact there is nothing that can prove them such so i think it is time that you start challenging your assumptions that you only made while sitting in the comfort of your rooms while watching and reading Western media sources only.
    To the same West, Israel is still the most oppressed nation of the world and the stone throwing and food deprived Palestinians are the most barbaric nation of the world.
    As i said earlier, reality is far different then what we see around us, while being in the circle of secularist elites of our society. Recommend

  • Syed Hasan Abbas
    Jun 2, 2010 - 5:50PM

    Its really good to know that some people were out staging protest against the attacks on Ahmedis’ worship places. But, i guess, you should not compare that protest with the protest against Israel. Simply because you should remember that how many protests were staged against suicide attacks on Srilankan Team, FIA offices and Moon market blasts in Lahore (unfortunately i am unable to count number of terrorists’ attacks in NWFP). Nobody came forward! Like the Ashura & Arbaeen blasts in Khi, only the victimized community comes forward and raises its voice! Majority never joins minority for minority’s sake!Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 6:40PM

    @MJK: You expect our westernised fascists to protest against USA attacks on North Western Pakistan! Fat chance of that. To date thousands of Pakistani soldiers and citizens have died as a result of USA’s actions in Pakistan but these fascists have their lips firmly sealed. When it comes to USA they see no evil, hear no evil and speak only nonsense in defence of those civilised white & black barbarians in smart suits. The American reaction to Israel’s act of barbarity against defenceless people on high seas has revealed the world’s only super power to be totally hypocritical and two-faced.

    You can read about the destruction of North Western Pakistan at the hands of the USA, and its collaborators in Pakistan, in the blog post I put up yesterday.

    We need a countrywide march to stop General Kayani go marching into North Waziristan to sacrifice yet more Pakistani soldiers and citizens at the altar of USA interests. At a time when even the unspeakable Karzai is seeking independent negotiations with the Afghan Resistance against foreign occupation, why do we have to go on a killing spree of our own people? Is there no one in our civil-military leadership to tell the USA to bring its barbarity to an end, negotiate with Afghans and LEAVE? We have already done more than any other nation in the world – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 6:44PM

    @Vic! So whats your point here? You mean to say that since terrorists blasted these people earlier, it is now the fundamental right of the USA and its allies to bomb them too just because the terrorists are living in their neighborhood? For God sake who gave them the right to kill innocent people in the name of collateral damage?
    I am disappointed to read your comments as to how you people consider these people having lives of a lesser value! Till date 1000+ of innocent women, children and old people have died because of those drone attacks and now you are telling me that they have to suffer it since it is lesser of the evil then what they were facing earlier?
    It is this type of justification which is used by Israel as well when it kill innocent Palestinians and also was used by USA when it killed around 1 million Iraqis. And i am sure the terrorists also have started learning from them since they also find such reasons to train their suicide bombers while sending them on missions to harm innocent civilians.
    This inhuman thinking needs to change as this is the very thinking promoting terrorism at first place, no matter if it done by West against innocent Muslims or by Terrorists against people of other religions or sects. Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 7:14PM

    wonderfully written, This is such a shame when we saw a sectarian outfits and many other people protesting against Israel but couldn’t condemn attack on Ahmadis

    There’s no money announced for the families of Ahmadis victim yet and sadly nobody is speaking about it ! Recommend

  • Tarique
    Jun 2, 2010 - 7:17PM

    @Asif Rafiq
    Well it is nothing wrong to help others to put out their house’s fire even if your house is on fire.And equally it is wrong to assume that If Arabs are not supporting Pakistanis ,we could not and should not condemn an inhuman act. I think this is totally wrong argument.
    Whats hypocritical and bit foolish act on part of Pakistani people and also with some pseudo intellegentsia is a broken,ambiguous and self destructive ideology.
    More than 90 Pakistanis were brutally killed in recent Lahore attack and unfortunately they were happened to be Ahmedis so no protest and no sane voices heard.
    Terrorist organizations have been wreaking hell on our masses since more than eight years and when you ask my Pakistani fellow to raise voice against these killers,shrugginging their shoulders they walk out saying that they cant be Muslims (and also Pakistanis) and this is all conspiracy hatched by America,India and of course Israel against Muslims.
    Yes it is true that Israel has brutally killed,maimed,starved to death Palestinains and these people are muslims so majority of Pakistanis have such a strong hatred against Israel but these terrorists have done more damage to us than Israel but you cant guage th level of hatred against these terrorists even in my view most Pakistanis have the soft corner against these killing Machines.

    It is now crucial time for us to step forward and speak against these terrorist organizations.Why just only ENglish Media has to be against these terrorists(only 8 percent) and why Urdu printed and electronic media is shying away?Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Jun 2, 2010 - 7:33PM

    Very nice article. The true state of affairs. We only get pushed when “our community” gets hurt. When it is someone else, it is none of our business. Sad sad!!!Recommend

  • shkhan
    Jun 2, 2010 - 7:41PM

    I completely and vehemently deny the argument that our country was found on the basis of religion. Our country was found on the basis of minority rights, albeit for the Muslim minority. It is a matter of great shame for me that we, having only a relatively recently experienced unfair minority treatment ourselves, mistreat our own minorities so disgracefully. The considerable 25 percent white portion on our flag represents minorities. The constitution, for the most part, protects minorities.

    It is not the business of the state what religion its citizens are and it is an absolute, collective failure of our leadership and ourselves, to not have had the courage and wisdom to adopt lessons in basic humanity, or not even to follow Islam as intended. Islam teaches respect and freedom for all belief systems and religions.

    Even from a more puritanical point of view, it is really a travesty against Islam and God for these people to assume the role of deciding who is a Muslim and who is not, when Islam makes it very clear that man is answerable only to Him. The militant assailants of our state and our citizens should perhaps be tried under our notorious blasphemy law themselves for placing themselves above God. Recommend

  • saud ahsen
    Jun 2, 2010 - 8:00PM

    article is very well written ..u really deserve a pat on your back..
    hats off…Recommend

  • Salma Ahmad
    Jun 2, 2010 - 8:38PM

    Thank you Naveen for writing such a wonderful article! I only wish that people had the courage to hold on to reasoning and take constructive measures in matters that are really important. It is indeed ironic, that thousands gathered to protest the attack on freedom flotilla which was no doubt unjust and condemnable but people need to clean their own backyards first! There are laws for persecuting Ahmadis. State doesn’t sanction other sectarian violence. And it should be noted that when a Shia kills a Sunni, a Sunni kills some Shias right back.Its only Ahmadis who never resort to violence despite years of persecution. However, the debate is not about this. Everyone knows that religious parties and other anti-Ahmadi sections are openly carrying on their hate campaign against Ahmadis. In that case, all such people are complicit. But recognizing this is not enough. You need to make a difference! Today, this can be done by the use of pen.Please I urge you to continue writing articles and urge the government to repeal anti-Ahmadi laws. The process is frustrating but you will know that you are contributing in making lives of various Ahmadis better. Thank you!Recommend

  • Maestro
    Jun 2, 2010 - 9:19PM

    Good article Naveen!

    Pakistani nation is filled with prejudiced people. The hate will consume us all!Recommend

  • Farid Ahmad Malik
    Jun 2, 2010 - 9:40PM

    This is so wonderfully written.

    Superb.Recommend

  • Salma Ahmad
    Jun 2, 2010 - 10:30PM

    @ Pervaize:
    Why is there a need to check the treatment being given to Muslims in other countries when Muslims in Pakistan are being persecuted by their very own government and fellow citizens? Whether you like it or not, the fact is that Ahmadis are Muslims who believe in Allah and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the seal of the Prophets and follow all pillars of Islam. There is dire need to cleanse our own country from hate elements first and to repeal anti-Ahmadi laws that have curtailed basic rights of Ahmadis. So you need to correct your facts. Moreover its not for you to pass a judgment whether someone weeps on the inhumane treatment being given to Muslims all over the world or not. It is all matters of heart and nobody can decide what another feels or what his intentions are except for Allah.Recommend

  • Amjad Mehboob
    Jun 2, 2010 - 11:16PM

    Perhaps you are right.Recommend

  • Malik Umer Hayat Chheena
    Jun 2, 2010 - 11:37PM

    As Salam O Alekom
    I am Complicit…. hmmm seems good to listen. Our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ever respected every one even non-muslims. Being a Muslim our belief is the finality of Prophethood. Yet when a community is decided to be constitutionally then there is no other way but to respect the constitution. KILLING in the name of honour has been a great taboo and now the unlawful people have started acts against the minorities. No doubt what the constitutional amendment for the Ahmedis has been done, yet there is no place to kill them in such a way. Being Pakistani citizens they have each constitutional right and are to be defended by the same.
    SALMA AHMAD wrote that Ahmedis never resorted against Muslims is a half truth ie half lie of this part is that since proclamation of Ahmedis as non-muslim community they are peaceful. On the other hand the movement which ended up in this constitutional decision was started when some student organization people were attacked by Ahmedis at the CHENAB NAGAR (Rabwah) railway station. and then the complete story which ended by BHUTTO’s decision.

    On the other hand it is a half truth is that they have been peaceful in respect of constitution of Pakistan since almost last 28 years.

    Being Pakistani they are to be given same rights, and each Pakistani should have same standing in terms of life.

    Please dont blame every thing on Religious Mullahs, ie except major Mullahs or Ulema most of the Madaris have been run on the alms given be us people. It is us which have given them this path. These are the DULLAHS as well said by Javed Chaudhry.

    I am a Muslim and I am not terrorist.
    I am a Pakistani and I am not terrorist.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 11:40PM

    Thank you for the absolutely brilliant piece N!Recommend

  • Jun 3, 2010 - 12:41AM

    Sweet. Lets have a dinner party and discuss it over Lasagne. Recommend

  • Muhammad Ziad
    Jun 3, 2010 - 1:48AM

    Lol , the dilemma is that thousands have died in waves of terrorists attacks. The world just woke up ? Recommend

  • Sri
    Jun 3, 2010 - 2:44AM

    As an Indian, I feel that the liberal tribe (silent majority) in Pakistan is finally breaking it’s shackles and literally coming out! For me, while demonizing the enemy and giving you all a cohesive identity, the Pak leadership (your army) forgot that there are certain civil norms that should never be broken. Like mistreating and dehumanizing your minorities.

    Does India mistreat it’s minorities and it’s poor similarly? Yes, of course, to a good extent, but not by law. But you will see everywhere and in the media that there is no dearth of people in all strata protesting these injustices. Democracy also gives the poor and minorities a strong voice.

    Believe me, Pakistan just needs a benevolent Ataturk in the military who can change it’s culture from within and strong civil leaders who finish 3-4 terms. After all, the world runs on hope!Recommend

  • Salman Malik
    Jun 3, 2010 - 3:40AM

    @Muhammad Ziad ppl like you can just laugh!..this positively: “Better late than never!”Recommend

  • Omar
    Jun 3, 2010 - 4:52AM

    Brilliant article. Anyone who is serious about finding out what the exact historical background is please read:
    http://www.thepersecution.org/dl/report_1953.pdf

    This is 1953 judicial report, that clarifies how movement agaisnt the Ahmadies was started. And Mr Malik Umer, this will be a good read for you, because it just might help you to correct your factsRecommend

  • Khan
    Jun 3, 2010 - 6:13AM

    Look at the ‘logic’ offered by these chronic extremes. If there is unjustifiable unjustice happening with Muslims in Kashmir and Palestine, this gives are licence to kill minorities in Pakistan and make judgements on ther beliefs and LAW prohibiting the these weak and friable to even disagree???

    So, it initiates the logic that where Muslims are in minority, they should also face the same fate???

    What a pyschosis!!Recommend

  • Khan
    Jun 3, 2010 - 6:22AM

    @Malik Umer Hayat Chheena

    I am a Pakistani and act and contribute on the basis of bias and half information.

    Malik your facts seems to be wrong as for example, I have just researched that the Samdani Commission appointed by BHUTTO dismissed the charges against Ahmedis re CHEENAB NAGAR (Rabwah) railway station incidents you referred.

    The arguments based on half and bias info – what you think make us – an accomplice or?

    And do we really believe in the day of judgement or ANY religion at all?Recommend

  • Muhammad Farooq
    Jun 3, 2010 - 8:26AM

    On the basis of reality I totally agree with Naveen Naqvi. Of course we are out of track and our leadership wants too.Recommend

  • Saif
    Jun 3, 2010 - 2:32PM

    Islamic Republic of Pakistan, right?Recommend

  • Malik Umer Hayat Chheena
    Jun 3, 2010 - 3:23PM

    @ Khan

    If you seem to taunt, it is not good as your first sentence says.

    Mr Khan on the info i just have sequeezed the matter. And it the incident of Chenab Nagar (Rabwah) Railway Station is reality. I could give you complete details, yet there are two hinderances ie forum and distance as my data set is in Pakistan.

    Mr Khan if you feel that i did any mistake i only comprehended the facts. I still believe in God and on the day of Judgement thats why i am not anonymous here. Recommend

  • saher
    Jun 3, 2010 - 4:08PM

    It is sad how sum ppl are justifying the attacks on the minorities… it is sad that we have forgotten why the whole flag of pakistan is not green, but has a white portion. it is even sadder that Jinnah’s purpose of Pakistan was not only to save muslims from the attacks of hindu majority but also to make a state where the treatment to minorities is examplary. just sad…
    It is ad that instead of setting things right in Pakistan, we prefer to settle abroad so that we can continue blaming Pakistan…Recommend

  • Saif
    Jun 3, 2010 - 4:46PM

    Primarily, there should be a clear distinction and boundary line drawn between fundamentalism and extremism. These boundaries should be acknowledged, accepted through a mutual agreement, and should be included in the very constitutional body of Pakistan. This sensitive issue of followers associated with a self-proclaimed prophet should be publicly discussed (with all the critics and so-called liberals invited) so that nation can reach a conclusion regarding Ahmedi sect’s legitimacy of being called a Muslim.

    I pose a question here to the writer, and to every one reading: Given that you are a Muslim, do you accept the inclusion of Ahmedis as Muslims (Since Ahmedis claim them selves to be Muslims, rather than ‘Ahmedis’)?

    There is not a single issue, if Ahmedis stop calling themselves Muslim and accept themselves as Qadianis, period.

    P.S. I strongly condemn the mass killing of Ahmedis, as a Pakistani; as a Muslim; as a Human!Recommend

  • Khan
    Jun 3, 2010 - 5:41PM

    @Malik
    That is the point, we should only talk about common ethics and not indulge into partial or random info. According to my research full Samdani commission report is available at Lahore High Court that states charges against Ahamadis unsubstantial, having a good look at that report might help and can be a good addition to the data sets.

    Partial info no matter provided with what honesty can create bias in minds that are prone to have bias – so should be avoided by the people who believe in common ethics first and then religious specifics after. Thanks.Recommend

  • Fahed Gill
    Jun 3, 2010 - 6:05PM

    Nice peace of sharing thoughts Recommend

  • Syed Hasan Abbas
    Jun 3, 2010 - 6:07PM

    @Sri … i think you have never read a single line about what happened to minority in Gujarat… and what is happening to in Kashmir for the last 63 years!!!! :-)
    Moreover, in my view, Pak’s situation and environment is much better than that in India since here just a few terrorists attack everybody (including minorities) but in India, mobs of the majority crush the minority everywhere and the law enforcement agencies always use delay-tactic to ‘control’ the situation! :-)Recommend

  • Jun 3, 2010 - 6:12PM

    I have never read an article which exasperates all moderates regarding the mindset of military-n-mullahs against religious minorities – the culture of denial has shattered the fabric of the society. Thanks Naveen Naqvi for the brilliant article – but I would rather be a reformed terrorist!Recommend

  • Maestro
    Jun 3, 2010 - 9:26PM

    @omar – Thanks for the link to the excellent doucment. It clarifies some of the lies that have been propogated against the Ahmadis.Recommend

  • farhan
    Jun 3, 2010 - 10:47PM

    I am pleased to read it. But, at the same time also perturbed on how can we wake up our urdu media?

    I would request all who have praised this article to please give their feedback to urdu Tv and newspapers, to change their mindsets on minority rights and reveal the reality of taliban’s barbarism.

    This is true that now some section of media taking seriously the threat of religious fanatics, but alas, 95 per cent right-leaning media still neglect the real issue of terrorism and its roots.Recommend

  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Jun 3, 2010 - 11:41PM

    The attitude of the government after the attack on Ahmadis who are also as Pakistani as you and me is shameful. The two arrested terrorists might have been already set free. No feedback and no news. We are, however, very much concerned about the Israeli attack. What a paradox! We are all lost in religion!Recommend

  • maz
    Jun 4, 2010 - 12:17AM

    A nice article and may Allah allow you to be a true Muslim a provider of truth and honest and a protector of the human race. The fact that the minister hobnob with these terrorist organization heads is for votes they have prostituted themselves for a few coins of Silver. the beast they created to fight proxy wars has now come home to roost and what will the average Pakistani Sunni Muslim do when they are forced to conceal their women ridiculously from head to foot in a potato sack and stop sending their women daughter and girls to work or study and the men are forced to wear beards and stop listening to music ? what will they do then.

    Those that stay quiet against discrimination are just as guilty silence is compliance.

    Ahmadies pay taxes in Pakistan also so why are they being treated like second class cattle no minister went to their funerals Shabaz Shariff goes in the night like a thief to the hospital to do some pr work why has he not visited the crime scenes and expressed his sorry with the victims ?

    Because they are living and endorsing the laws of persecution which are anti Islamic that were enforced in 1974 and 1984.

    May Allah Bless Pakistan as these leadership will destroy it.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ziad
    Jun 4, 2010 - 7:35PM

    Maz, before calling Burkhas as potato sacks you should have considered and respected the values of the people that adhere to it.
    Well , secular does not mean you hurt my religious values … i have claimed nothing here that would have hurt the ahmedis or any other Pakistani. Even though by Constitution i can freely claim that they are not Muslims then how dare they say anything regarding the abaya? As a Muslim i can speculate Ahmedis to Pay Jizya for being Non Muslims – we pay Zakat to the government over the taxes (talking about taxes if you will) . I will blog this. Recommend

  • Jun 4, 2010 - 8:07PM

    I think it is a shame that the author blames the court of releasing Hafiz Saeed and charges him with spreading hate which is unsubstantiated as well.

    Well the charges on him was regarding his involvement in Mumbai incident and he was released because the court found him non-guilty. I do not think the author has any liberty at all to make such claims regarding court’s orders.

    Other than that I think the article was good.Recommend

  • Farhat
    Jun 4, 2010 - 9:26PM

    Very good article.. If only the people of Pakistan start seeing this too.Recommend

  • shahji
    Jun 5, 2010 - 1:08AM

    @ shkhan your response to the article, should be expanded into an article! encore.

    : I completely and vehemently deny the argument that our country was found on the basis of religion. Our country was found on the basis of minority rights, albeit for the Muslim minority. It is a matter of great shame for me that we, having only a relatively recently experienced unfair minority treatment ourselves, mistreat our own minorities so disgracefully. The considerable 25 percent white portion on our flag represents minorities. The constitution, for the most part, protects minorities.

    It is not the business of the state what religion its citizens are and it is an absolute, collective failure of our leadership and ourselves, to not have had the courage and wisdom to adopt lessons in basic humanity, or not even to follow Islam as intended. Islam teaches respect and freedom for all belief systems and religions.

    Even from a more puritanical point of view, it is really a travesty against Islam and God for these people to assume the role of deciding who is a Muslim and who is not, when Islam makes it very clear that man is answerable only to Him. The militant assailants of our state and our citizens should perhaps be tried under our notorious blasphemy law themselves for placing themselves above God.Recommend

  • Abulfazl Mahmud
    Jun 5, 2010 - 1:56AM

    It is obvious that this country – Pakistan of Jinnah – has been hijacked (in fact was hijacked long ago) by the Maulvi through ignorance or vested interests of people like Liaquat Ali Khan who acted as tools of arch foes of Pakistan idea like Maudoodi and others of Mullahcracy. The Maulvi has misshaped Islam beyond recognition and swung an entire community to a state of unreality and disorientation. This country appears now to be on a collision course with everytghing that is humanly and internationally legitimate. It is a great article but an overwhelming majority being of the mindset of MJK and Sakib Ahmad, what effect can it have for betterment of our mental health?Recommend

  • Adnan
    Jun 5, 2010 - 2:13AM

    Dear Morning Show Host,
    If one is not to call a kaafir a kaafir, is he to call him a Muslim? Ahmadis have been proven to be Kafir as their beliefs contain elements of Biddat and Kufr.
    The loss of life is tragic ofcourse, there is no justification for the murder of innocents. As to protesting against it, there is nothing wrong with that, but here is where we should draw the line. I have heard people, and reporters for that matter, referring to them as Shaheeds and to their Ibaadatgaah as Masjids. In a society of ill-educated Muslims this is to be expected, but it should also be corrected.
    Many articles i have recently read, but they all focus on the government keeping silent or not many condemning it. While you shy away from the minor details. Tell the people boldly that they are not Shaheeds if they are Ahmadis and that their place of worship is not a Masjid.
    But this is something that you intentionally forget. These minor details are enough to mislead a few and outrage a majority …
    Recommend

  • zahid sheikh
    Jun 5, 2010 - 12:26PM

    Parliament’s resolution condemning attack on Ahmadis is a good job. Women members took the initiative and the men followed. Earlier what prevented Senate, after all, from doing so? The ‘Establisment’ can change its image if they press for the removal of discriminatory laws from the Constitution. Snatch the dreadful tool from the hands of extremists, which they using so impudently. Will the Urdu Press publish what Naveen and others have written?Recommend

  • Nida
    Jun 6, 2010 - 6:29AM

    Great article.
    I think there are more important issues at play here than worrying about whether to refer to Ahmadi’s as ‘Muslims’ and what to call their places of worship, Adnan. They are human. They are Pakistani’s. That should always come first. There is no justification for the treatment of minorities as secondary citizens, and there never will be. The authorities should be damn ashamed of themselves. We, as Pakistanis, should be ashamed of ourselves, for signing that horrid declaration every 5 years. Recommend

  • sophia
    Jun 6, 2010 - 7:42AM

    Agreed with all of us being complicit, liberals should be ashamed for not being out on streets like they were when the judiciary was under attack and shame on judiciary as well as its supporters that can’t now push the judiciary to take action. Having said that, I am disturbed to see this comparison of misery, is there anything to be gained by comparisons to those killed by Israel deserving more or less outrage than Ahmadis? When we can see the relationship between all sorts of oppressions and the importance of standing up for each and every one of them and not suggest that one is not as important than the other,perhaps then we can have the end to such oppressions. To Asif, I find it sad that you suggest that we should not stand up for those who did not do anything for us, should one stand up for those who are victims only if they have done the same for us, especially what do you expect from those living under a brutal military occupation and have no freedom of movement. To Sri, while I agree with some of what you say, having been around Indian progressives here, I beg to differ with you about India not having laws that oppress and discriminate. And also that Pakistan needs a military dictator to corrects its problems, we are in big part in a mess because of pakistani military’s long history of corruption and rule, military is part of the problem in pakistan not a solution.Recommend

  • Omer
    Jun 7, 2010 - 3:50AM

    Its a shame that religious hate is allowed to simmer in broad daylight.
    Half of our country is just taught to hate India instead of concentrating on our own problems. This massacre by the illiterate so called protectors of Islam and our focus on the flotilla incident shows what we have become. No one cares about us. Persians and Turkish people do not write lengthy articles about Pakistani issues. We suffer from an inferiority complex and the majority of our focus on Islamic people elsewhere being treated poorly is just an effort to fool us into believing that we are equal to the Arabs and the Persians and the Turkish people in the Islamic world. How can we ignore the mistreatment of our own people!!
    It is high time that we stop putting all our efforts into standing up for the rest of the Islamic world and think about our own country. It is high time we channel all our efforts into hating India and try to make our nation prosperous and safe place to stay. Recommend

  • Ali Sibtain Naqvi
    Jun 9, 2010 - 7:50AM

    As a minority I am very well versed with the hate culture and I guess Shias in Pakistan classify as a minority owing to the systematic discrimination you very rightly highlighted.
    There are so many moulds you can classify humanity into, right’s, leftist, liberal, fanatic, etc etc. But there are some that fit into none. Some that fit into many. I have no expectations of the fanatics they are what they are and disgust me in no minor amount however the ones who disgust me are the idealists. In the search for ideal solutions which are unattainable they let go of pragmatic practical realities.
    There was a time when in our midst the dictator succumbed to public opinion because the weight of public opinion against him was by fanatics and sadly by the disgusting breed of idealists. What they could the idealists could not foresee (and have failed to see every time that they have weighted the same bunch of crooks in) that they are voting in monarchists in the veil of democratic politicians.
    How is it that politicians today with impunity can be voted in again when they don’t have a degree? how is it that an elected parliament legitimizes a person without a degree sitting in parliament whilst a dictator repelled that? how is it that an elected representative of the public going for a budget session for the masses vehemently states that he neither knows or needs to know what the price of basic consumer goods are? How is it that the Prime Minster of the county can came out and say that Bangladehis have load shedding they don’t complain? Isnt it his job to ensure we are more like a developed nation rather than justify being not one? or is he too busy being a poor wheat farmer who gleans when Government raises wheat support prices for the poor farmer? How is it that a democratically elected savior of the masses doomed all public, private institutions of this country and above all education in this country by nationalizing it? how is it that a democratic elected leader in a bid to prolong his power parlayed with the Mullah and gave legitimacy to them opening the doors for the fanatical revolution of the 70’s and 80 that has brought us to today’s state of affairs of hate culture.
    The only savior of Pakistan could have been the 30% middle class all of which to varying degree is educated, the ultra rich comprising maybe 5% not all of them have degrees or at least valid one, they are the ones in power and they legitimize themselves by keeping 70% at the poverty line, i.e. they provide sufficiently for them just to survive and in the process command votes of their subjects but ensure that they never rise above it to develop the intellectual capability to rationalize and vote these crooks out. They are not free voters they never will be they are just captured subjects who in their masters bidding vote as they are told.
    Don’t go by labels, Democracy that we have is just a tool to keep monarchists under the guise of democracy in power. It is no utopia that idealists perceive, perhaps the mere notion is like a ecstasy drug to them they get lost in it and failed to see that three more years of democracy have yielded nothing again and when the current breed says its all the dictators fault give us more time what they are essentially saying is let us fool you more and loot more.
    In Pakistan the adage shame on you if you fool me once and shame on me if you fool me twice just doesn’t apply. Its good that you have not missed Mr Hafiz Saeeds release by our Supreme Court of justices but let me assure you that the whole fiasco that bought the dictator down started with the missing ‘persons’ or the missing ‘terrorists ‘shows that the supreme court was siding with the fanatics and terrorists. Name one just one thing the supreme court has done for the awam since the bastion of our liberties Mr Chaudry got reinstated? and please do not name that as the release of Mr Haifz Saeed. Did they ever take suo moto notice of attacks on minorities? After all that’s justice isn’t it or are they still busy trying to secure the release of missing terrorists? Idealists should snap out of their cocoons they are aiding the fanatics more than they can do themselves.Recommend

  • Robbie
    Jun 14, 2010 - 6:00AM

    I read your essay with interest. We follow events through the internet closely in your country and we wish for peace, stability and freedom for all in Pakistan; as we do in our part of the world. Determining how to get there is another question entirely – but at least some people of good will are still prepared to stick there necks out and try. May peace be upon you! Shalom from Israel.Recommend

  • Zahid Shah
    Jun 25, 2010 - 11:13PM

    Nice article. i wish to get in touch with Rashid Hasan, I really appreciate the courage you picked up to be more precise and focussed on the subject.Recommend

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