Tolerance and moderation

  • In today's Pakistan, Shias are being target-killed; minorities are fearful for their lives; the Hudood laws are taking their toll of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

    Capping the collective psychology of intolerance into which the country is rapidly sinking, the Supreme Court recently accepted a petition by a sermonizing journalist and moralizing retired judge to censor Indian entertainment channels on cable and satellite because of "obscenity".

    The Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, blithely ordered PEMRA, the media regulating authority, to act against such "obscenity" within 30 days. When the regulator meekly raised the question of a working definition of obscenity, the court advised PEMRA to seek the council and advice of the very petitioners who want the ban imposed on the basis of their reactionary views on "women" and "sex". Curiously enough, the obscenity of everyday life to which attention has been continuously drawn by many discerning writers and commentators -- religious violence, rape and naked display of brutal power and conspicuous wealth amidst grinding poverty, oppression and exploitation - continues to escape the notice of their Lordships.

    Not unsurprisingly, the cable operators whose livelihood depends on the insatiable demand for "obscene" Bollywood movies and TV serials, are agitated. They are pressurizing the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, the apex assembly of TV channels and producers whose livelihood depends on them, to resist any encroachments by PEMRA on their operations. The situation is overflowing with multiple ironies: one is the thriving business of thousands of retailers across the country who sell pirated and uncensored videos of Bollywood and Hollywood movies in plain view of the same moralizing busybodies; another is the fact that the same cable operators tripped over themselves some months ago to impose a ban on BBC TV for showing material adjudged to be "anti-national".

    A literary case of intolerance in point is that of the most talented Pakistani writer of today, Ali Akbar Natiq, who is being persecuted for decrying orthodox Islamic punishments in Saudi Arabia like the cutting of hands for theft and stoning to death for adultery. Words like "obscenity", "banned" and "censorship" are back in the public domain with a vengeance.

    The debate has now spilled over into notions of fundamental rights, press freedom and editorial prerogatives. The journalist who has filed the petition has been "restrained" by his editors from hogging the front page of his newspaper because his reactionary moralizing perspective is against the editorial policy of the media group. He has reacted by galvanizing friendly, like-minded journalists to rail against restrictions on his "press freedom". The irony here too should not be missed: a journalist wants to censor certain media content but is decrying a restriction on some of his views. Consequently, the media is split over questions relating to the rights of media owners over their editors and the prerogatives of the editors over their reporters, all in the name of "press freedom".

    Therefore this is a good time to reassert the views and vision of the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and to insist that these should form the preamble to Pakistan's constitution instead of the revised Objectives Resolution inserted into it by the hypocritical dictator General Zia ul Haq who exploited the good name of Islam to legitimize his regime. Mr Jinnah was a liberal, modern man who hoped that in the new state of Pakistan, citizens would be "free to go to your temples ... free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship ... You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State ... We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State ... Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State."

    How do we go about doing this? For starters there must be a political consensus among the mainstream political parties and the Pakistan military that the use of Islam for political purposes must stop even as we continue to emphasise its notions of social justice and moderation for all. General Ashfaq Kayani's recent exhortations to Pakistanis to shun extremism and intolerance must be drummed into civilians and faujis alike at every level. The civilians must also make a determined effort to cleanse our textbooks of militaristic notions of jihad and intolerant versions of Islam. Finally, we must make a serious effort to strengthen and implement laws against extremism and terrorism and loosen and revise those that stifle debate and dissent. The Supreme Court should help rather than hinder this process.

  • Dont you get tired?

  • Thank You BSObaid Saab, even if it was a back handed compliment.

    I know I am stuck between rock and a hard place.


  • Aik plate beef biryaani air aik plate tel wala chicken qorma aur 3 sheermaal.

    Bohot bhook lagee hai.

  • bsobaid saheb

    "Aik plate beef biryaani air aik plate tel wala chicken qorma aur 3 sheermaal.

    Bohot bhook lagee hai."

    Your expression is very mouth watering. Where would these be served?

    As a matter of fact, such mouth watering meals are daily menus of Saudi and Irani backed Mullahs.

  • Shirazi, I was going to say you are wasting your time with Religion of Peace™ followers but they beat me to it and said it themselves. :)

    Their religion neither has, nor cares for tolerance and moderation. Kill, kill kill is the moto. It goes well with their animal instincts.

  • yaya sahib

    did you delete your other thread.I can't find it

  • I think Admin is moving them to religious forum to save you maulanas from embarrassment as much as possible.

  • ajhons jee,

    A few thread shifted to Faith & Religion.

  • We can see non-Muslims' tolerance level in:

    1. Burma

    2. Philippines

    3. Bharat

    4. Ethiopia

    5. Thailand

    6. Russia

    7. China

  • ٹالرنس ہی ٹالرنس ہے ادھر تو- آپ کو نظر نہ آئے تو اور بات- کيا مسيحيوں کو جنگل ميں جاکے رہنے سے روکا ہے کسی نے؟

    اسلام آباد: پاکستان میں حالیہ مذہبی تعصب پسندی کے شکار سینکڑوں عیسائیوں نے اپنا گھر بار چھوڑ کر اسلام آباد کے نواحی جنگل میں پناہ لے لی ہے

  • Hussain Farooqui, China are your best buddy, at least don't blame them please. Good attempt to divert the attention from your terrorism though. Clear proof that you are stumped and are unable to defend allegations against yourself. However most countries that you mentioned are victim of Islamist terrorists (aren’t we all are?) and are fighting against it. If India were so bad you would see hundreds of Muslims coming over to Pakistan, which is not so.

  • " save you maulanas from embarrassment "

    Really, you must be kidding.

    This is the same approach religion fanatics take when they are countered.

    Why do you think thah you are 100% right and I'm 100% wrong.

    Thank You Easygo bhai.

    I never thought someone his following my posts except Yahya the great

  • ارےاجھونس بھائی

    اپنا تو مین مقصد ہی دوسروں کے تبصرے پڑھنا ہوتا ہے


  • Can I have my tel wala chicken qorma with sheermaal please?

  • کوئی کام تو کيا نہيں اور روٹياں توڑنے آگئے- جاؤ پہلے ايک مسيحی کو مار کے آؤ بلاسفمی کے نام پہ پھر روٹی مانگنا-

  • I know you have bad memories attached to it, but this is one useful link for you and your friends...

  • I remember I was once sitting with a punjabi moulvi sahab in his office in a madarsa.

    He received 2 big degchee full with murghi kaa salan. Moulvi sahab secured it safely under a little table and covered it with a bunch of jaa namaz and newspapers.

    4-5 little pathan/afghani madarsa children would then gather around his office and ask for it but the cranky moulvi sahab would at first want to throw his shoe on them but when those kids would'nt go anywhere, he took out a steel plate from a box and poured some salan (and yes salan only) and gave it to them.

    The moulvi sahab might have sent the degchee to madarsa kitchen later on, I dont know.

  • I know you dont eat these desi food.

    Aap pasta, salmon aur baked potato aur Karela juice kay saath ghareeb aur jaahil pakistanioo kee halat pay aansoo bahatay hein

  • aaj saray kahan ghaib hein?

    kahein aaj deewali tou nahi?