The Saudi-isation of Pakistan

Pervez Hoodbhoy has always been among the few sane voices to be heard from the Pakistani intelligentsia, and he has dared to speak and write about matters that few do. Read his recent article here.

Comments

Uni said…
Our top leadership has never been "Talibanised"..

The people who handle the top education institutes of this country are not "talibanised"...

The cream of society, the elite, the posh people.. aren't "talibanised"...

And the country is STILL going to the dogs...The state of affairs is still getting poorer and poorer... and the demise of the nation is still predicted at large ..by this very elite I am talking about..

Ring any bells?
Adnan Siddiqi said…

from the Pakistani intelligentsia


Now this is something which is funny? "Intelligentsia"? so how do you define it? A group of people which is embracing fascism of one group(Secular left) and condemning other group(Religious right) are intelligent for you?

Why this intelligent hoodbhoy don't cry about people killed in drones? How many madarassahs has he personally visited?

when I hears such lame and boring rants by people like Hoodbhoy then I am forced to believe that: Ignorance is bliss and these guys have been blessed with this feature by God.
Abdullah Shahid said…
This Muhajir movement, under Altaf Hussein, arose due to the so called atrocities committed by the local people on them. And we have the result: they are the gangsters of the city.

Taliban are spreading due to the same reason. Killing them is not the solution. They will take revenge. Dialogue is the way.
Abdullah Shahid said…
'Political leaders like Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan have no words of solace for those who have suffered at the hands of Islamic extremists. Their tears are reserved exclusively for the victims of Predator drones, even if they are those who committed grave crimes against their own people. Terrorism, by definition, is an act only the Americans can commit.'

This is the most absurd thing I've ever read. Only yesterday I heard Imran Khan, in a talk show, condemning the atrocities of Taliban. Secondly theres hell of a difference between domestic violence and external excursion. And the later is more dangerous and unacceptable, which, by no way means to ignore the former. How many people are murdered in India each day? Lets say a thousand. But when a hundred of their people were killed by 'foreigners', they shouted the hell out.

Americans should mind their own business, they should pay attention to their economy. Taliban became this so called problem to us only after American invasion of Afghanistan. If Americans leave Afghanistan today this problem will be solved. By the way, what have they achieved in Afghanistan and Iraq in these EIGHT years of war? Are the Taliban exterminated? Are the suicide bombings over? Have the American soldiers stopped dying? Result: THIS IS NOT THE SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM. Americans are only creating more hatred and a stronger agitation against them which will over throw them eventually.
Awais said…
@ Uni

All the people you have mentioned... these are what, 8% 10% of Pakistan? Life in big city is prone to give a wrong impression of what the conditions are like in the rest of the country.
Awais said…
@ Adnan

I used the term broadly and non-specifically; i don't have a list of who-is and who-isn't included in it.

@ Abdullah

And how do you propose dialogue with the Taliban? Something like this:

We will allow you to force women and girls into homes, force men to have beards, burn all the cds, ban all music and arts, and implement your version of Shariat, and in return please don't send your suicide bombers to attack us... so is it a deal?
Awais said…
Yes, the American's created the Taliban, and yes, their oppression made the Taliban more aggressive. But you can forget that if America leaves Afghanistan then the Taliban in FATA and NWFP, and Maulana Fazlullah in Swat and the likes of him would automatically give up their obsession of implementing their violent shariat in the territories they are occupying right now.
Adnan Siddiqi said…
Awais, you talk about Taliban and their version of Women rights. I made few posts about Musharraf's version fo Women rights which one can read here

and we all know that Musharraf was a pro Secular dictator.
Adnan Siddiqi said…
The link:

http://tinyurl.com/mush-women-rights
Adnan Siddiqi said…
@awais: Sorry to say but your anwer to Uni didn't actually answer her/his question.

Regardless of percentage, they re ruling(read screwing Pakistan). Are you saying that FATA people are more in number than these secular militants?
Abdullah Shahid said…
Err...no. I would say, 'We will stop killing your children and mothers and sisters and daughters with our missiles and Pakistan is yours as much as it is ours. In return would you please stop destroying the schools (if at all thats you and not the foreign intelligence agencies who have now their whole network in the tribal areas. Who knows?). And hey guess what? We have common enemies trying to pound on our country. Lets get united against them.'
Abdullah Shahid said…
And about Shariat, its upon the people to decide. Whatever the majority of Tribal areas decides that should be implemented. If they want Shariat, let them have Shariat. The Geo news showed a day before some on road interviews of some people from Sawat. They said they wanted Shariat to be implemented.
Well, I'd like to share an interesting article in a Chennai newspaper: http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012650570800.htm

"More than half-a-century ago, two of Pakistan’s most eminent judges drew this bleak lesson from a wave of violence that had led the country into the first of its many experiences of martial law: “As long as we rely upon the hammer when a file is needed and press Islam into service to solve situations it was never intended to solve,” wrote Justice Muhammad Munir and Justice Mohammad Rustam Kayani, “frustration and disappointment must dog our steps.” "
Awais said…
@ Adnan

I'll certainly have a look, but i am not a proponent of Musharaff's views.

About answering Uni's questions... the article doesn't present a simplistic picture that the sole reason of country's downfall is Talibanisation; neither does it support the assumption that all who are un-talibanised are very competent people. So, yes, our top leadership and the elite are not talibanised, but they have grave flaws of their own, apart from the flaws of the system. And i am not as good a political analyst to tell you all the actual reasons of why the country is STILL going to the dogs...
Uni said…
Their tears are reserved exclusively for the victims of Predator drones, even if they are those who committed grave crimes against their own people.

Oh yeah.. Sure. Those who are killed, who are they ? Does anybody know? Can anybody be absolutely 100% sure that the militants are killed, and woh bhee those militants who are blowing up schools etc..?

Schools are still being blown up.. the real terrorists "miraculously" escape all the bombs our army has to offer

What does THAT tell you.. ?

Pakistan’s self-inflicted suffering comes from an education system that, like Saudi Arabia’s system, provides an ideological foundation for violence and future jihadists.

Now you see, who this guy is really blaming? He is targeting our entire education system, which, he says is like an ideological foundation of Islam..

Oh really?

Ask any of your superb KGS and LGS pupils.. kaunsi Saudi ideology UNHON nay apna lee..

This is all crap. Reading this entire article just confirmed it...(I had only read the excerpt you had provided first)..
Awais said…
I am not aware of Hoodbhoy's explicit views on the matter of American bombing, but i certainly am not in favour of it, nor do i think he is. The mentioning of American bombing is primarily in the sense of contrast, of people's different reactions to American and Taliban attacks.

About the education, you are missing the point, if you keep on limiting it to LGS, KGS and institutes like these. There is a huge of chain Madressa schools in Pakistan. There are the government schools and other schools in smaller cities and towns (i am not talking about Lahore, or Karachi, or Islamabad!). There are universities in which you can see a distinct hold of Jameeat and their missionary zeal.

You can remain in denial, but it won't change the fact that religious extremism is dramatically increasing in this country. Big cities uptil now have been relatively safe, but who knows for how long.
Uni said…
There are universities in which you can see a distinct hold of Jameeat and their missionary zeal.

Coming to madressahs later, talk about these universities first. If you're afraid of politicizing education, and students entering politics, then you should point all fingers towards ALL organizations (not just Jamiat)..

IF you're afraid of Jamiat because it happens to have a religious basis, then you should point out incidents relating Jamiat ONLY, leading to disaster ..

I am sure you won't find many.

Now come to madressahs.. How many of madressah students are involved in the robberies, murders related to robberies, car crashes, these daily pareshanian..which acutely affect each Pakistani nearly on a daily basis..

?

Does Hoodbhoy target that ?

No he doesn't. Do you point fingers towards them? No you don't.

Cuz you with your limited approach, see only and only religious fatwas spreading in places like swat.. and you think that out of the blue (never happened in 60 years).. these madressah graduates have started spreading hate and terror..

When you don't even know or realize or acknowledge, that the madressah heads have publically denounce all acts of terror, and they would never do something so inherently against the spirit of Islam.

And you say I am in denial?
Awais said…
Yes, i am against ALL student political organizations, and am against students entering politics. Jamiat happens to be special, because it also has the added bonus of being religious.

I don't remember specific events of violence being caused by Jamiat, though i am sure such events have happened. I am more concerned by its social impact. Everybody will recall Jamiat's hostile opposition to music classes being held at Punjab University, a clear sign of Jamiat's insensibility to fine arts. Apart from that, Jamiat has the self-claimed responsibility of Islamizing the atmosphere of the universities, and this would also involve threatening or coercing those students who happen to transgress the limits of their Islamic morality.

Just have a look at Jamiat's charter:

"Islami Jamiat Talba has made many sacrifices for Islam and Pakistan.... Islami Jamiat Talba through his movement, succeeded to declare the Ahmadis (Qadianis) the non-Believers in the national law of Pakistan."

[Me: And has also been forefront in the persecution of Ahmadis.]

"Islami Jamiat Talba Pakistan is working in Pakistan to eliminate the non-Islamic factors and the secularism from the curriculam and techings of the educational institutions of Pakistan."

"Therefore, many impediments and constraints came into various shapes in the way of Jamiat to avert it to move further from its aristocratic mission of Islamization like the ban on students' union in academic institutions which was a main source to develop influence of students. But, fortunately, Jamiat has succeeded to move forward with its global mission of Islamization."

"This is a consequence of Jamiat's endeavor that many of its accomplices have presented their immolation in Kashmir, Afghanistan and in Pakistan against the rival forces."

"Islami Jamiat Talaba has been trying to save the youths from astray, delinquency, obscenity by showing them a path of righteousness and good deeds for the sake of infinite hereafter and the success in this worldly life."

Source: http://www.jamiat.org.pk/jamiat_intro_aboutijt.htm

Every word of it stinks of religious fundamentalism, religious intolerance. Jamiat is a religious bully and is proud of being one.
Awais said…
About Madressahs... i have never accused the Madressah students of such acts. [Though recalling the actions of the students of Lal Masjid makes one reconsider it!]

The objections are madressah education are primarily two:

1) They are a breeding ground for the Taliban and the Islamic militants. However, the percentage of madressahs which actually provide training for such purpose is low.

2) The education they give to their students in based on conservatism, fundamentalism, the students have a narrow outlook with little knowledge of modern subjects, have a tendency of sectarianism, have a bias against secular ways of thinking, and exhibit religious intolerance.
Awais said…
No, i don't believe that this is happening 'out of the blue'. The process was a slow and gradual one. It had started to become manifest even during Bhutto era, became intensified and aggravated during the Zia regime owing to the Afghan war and the Kashmiri resistance, the Taliban and other religious militants were created by the government to be used as weapon against Soviets and the Indians. They persisted during the post-Zia years, and then 9-11 happened, and American and Pakistan found that they had created this Frankenstein monster of religious extremism, which was now getting out of control.
Uni said…
Jamiat happens to be special, because it also has the added bonus of being religious.

Every word of it stinks of religious fundamentalism, religious intolerance. Jamiat is a religious bully and is proud of being one.

And then, what is the difference between you, and these religious bigots. If (as you say) they can't tolerate non religious acts, do you tolerate religious ones?

If they can't tolerate non religious activities/organizations, do you tolerate religious ones????

I will never support coercion in religion. But I will always oppose singling out religious factions and labeling them as something vile, when one oneself isn't MUCH different.
Uni said…
Though recalling the actions of the students of Lal Masjid makes one reconsider it!

Ahan.. so one had the right to burn them alive, women and children..

And your support for the government int his matter gives ME what message ?? That YOU are the epitome of tolerance and peace???

Not to mention..plain.. humanity ??????
Uni said…
They are a breeding ground for the Taliban and the Islamic militants.

You do know you sound exactly like the rote learning kids in madressahs, you so intensely dislike.. :)

I mean, LOOK at you. You're parroting the words of Rumsfield, Collin Powell, Anne Patterson, Bush, Condoleeza Rice...EVERYBODY who lied their way to a full fledged war in Iraq, by quoting the same stupidly empty words, that held NO meaning..!
Not to mention. They are STILL doing so ...and under the cover of these empty words, attacking our own country and killing people (nobody even knows keh kitnay innocent marr gayy hain!!)

Don't you remember the children of Bajaur??????????????????????????

OR you conveniently have a short memory lapse regarding these glaring questions!
Uni said…
The education they give to their students in based on conservatism, fundamentalism, the students have a narrow outlook with little knowledge of modern subjects,

I would only agree to the modern subjects bit, because this is happening. Yes. And even the scholars admit it and are adressing this issue. But to change a curriculum and a particular mindset, it isn't easy.

maybe you should have watched that program hosted by Aneeq Ahmed. Maybe your views would have been a lil different by seeing THOSE madressah men.
Awais said…
The difference between me and them is that i believe in individual freedom and they don't. I believe that an individual has the right to live his life the way he wants, whether religious or non-religious. But they believe that they have a right to interfere in the lives of people who do not follow their version of Islamic morality. That is the difference. I don't have any problem with people being religious; most of my close friends are genuine believers. I have no problem with them. I don't preach to them all day or try to convert them. Nor do i oppose them if they go to the mosque and pray. But who gives Jamiat the right to oppose the students who wish to study music and dance in the university, or those who wish to openly interact with the opposite gender on the college campus.

That is precisely the difference. I do tolerate religious people. The only thing i don't tolerate is religious people dictating non-religious people and telling them what they should and should not do.
Awais said…
Please, i never said i approved the killing of the students of Lal Masjid. But i do not doubt that the students of Lal Masjid had become a problem to be dealt with.

Well, i am afraid that if you believe that there are no madressahs at all that are providing militant training, then you are putting yourself in a very untenable position. I don't say that all madressah are like this, but a certain minority of them is.
Uni said…
The difference between me and them is that i believe in individual freedom and they don't.

I never support their coercion tactics. (and yeah, there may be a few I would never deny that). But you're opposing their very existence. You assume that thats all what they do. When they don't.

I have studied in a government university, where these organizations exist.. and I have closely seen how they work. I am surprised because you're completely ignoring the coercion tactics of ANOTHER organization JUST because those tactics happen not to be on religious basis..

The only thing i don't tolerate is religious people dictating non-religious people and telling them what they should and should not do.

Then again, who is dictating whom? I know if I attend a dars, I do it out of my own free will. If I am told what's right and what's wrong, and something on those lines is discussed, then who is stopping me if i do NOT do the things that are being preached. It's my own will.

Similarly, it is for everybody. If somebody has the aim of preaching the teachings of a particular religion, how is it affecting you?

JUST because somebody is preaching a certain thing, you tend to flare up and demand that they be disbanded. If you're against some of their tactics, that's a different story..

Khair..

But i do not doubt that the students of Lal Masjid had become a problem to be dealt with.

Then again, they were acting out against something they felt was genuinely wrong with the society.. If they hadn't appealed to the govt, and just acted on their own.. baat thee. But they HAD appealed.. and nobody listened to them.

Who knows. Maybe we're apathetic to their plight because we listen to these stories every day. We are immune to their burning alive.. who cares. They were harping about religion.. According to some , jo hua bilkul sahee hua.

Well, i am afraid that if you believe that there are no madressahs at all that are providing militant training

Might be few. But to the point of being negligible. Most "training centres" (if there are any), are either state/or agency sponsered. No genuine religion is involved there.

But you and others like Hoodbhoy would target only these few, and make it seem like ALL madressahs are bad.. and ALL of them are "breeding grounds" etc..
Awais said…
If it were a simple of preaching, then it wouldn't be raising the alarm among all the liberal-minded people that it is; the events that the country is experiencing is making us feel threatened about our existence. The difference between the ideology of Maulana Fazl-ullah and that of Jamiat and others isn't that great; the only difference is that the former has the guns and the political control. And it is the potential of what these religious power-wielders can turn into that makes us criticize and question their existence. These religious organizations with the aim of "Islamizing" the country do not believe in tolerance; they seek to create a society where liberal-minded people would be marginalized, would feel threatened.

When an organization believes it their responsibility to deny the students their right to study music and dance, that is not tolerance, that is not simple preaching.

When gun-wielding militants ban female education, that is not tolerance.

When people create an environment in which a woman not observing purdah feels threatened, that is not tolerance.

When people openly burn CDs and DVDs declaring them obscene and un-islamic, that is not tolerance.

When people forcefully close down barber shops so that people can't shave off their beards, that is not tolerance.

Intolerance in actions is always preceded by intolerance in beliefs. The former we can see in the Swat and FATA. The latter we can see in the religious evangelists all over the country. And this is a cause of alarm for all liberal-minded people.

Do you know how many schools have been blown up by islamic militants because they provided education to girl? How many else have been closed down? And yet it is educated women like you, who by supporting such fascist groups are denying the women of the north-western region their right of education and employment.

As Mohammad Hanif writes in a recent article:

"In Karachi, there are frequent warnings that the Taliban are headed this way. There are posters warning us about Talibanization. Altaf Hussain thunders about them at every single opportunity. But nobody seems to warn us about the preachers who are already here: the ones wagging their fingers on TV always tend to precede the ones waving their guns, smashing those TVs and bombing poor barbers."

I am raising my voice because i don't want to raise my daughters, if and when i have any, in a society where bearded gun-men threaten her and deny her the basic human rights she is entitled to.

But thank you for your criticism and for explaining your own point of view.
Uni said…
Just one last piece of advice.

Do not mix the likes of Maulana Fazlullah (and Fazlur Rehman for that matter) and ANYTHING even remotely religious.

What I mean by that above is keh ure grouping everybody under the same umbrella. You shouldn't :)..

Those who are blowing up schools, and banning shaved beards, have nothing to do with say, Jamiat's concept of Islamic ideology.[minus the coercion tactics , which are few]..

So please keep them separate.. and maybe then you're going to raise your voice in a better way. Even I protest against the school bombing. But i would never call them "Islamic militants".. they may be militants, but they're nowhere even near Islamic.

I don't know how well I tried to explain, but this is a really fine line, which many do not pay heed to..

Thanks for "tolerating" my comments..:)
Helio said…
@Uni:
I agree that generalizing all the religious people in the same category is wrong.
However i do believe that the most important thing is individual freedom i.e. the right for each person to live his/her life however he/she likes it as long as it does not negatively effect other people.

"Preaching" is clearly not wrong but "enforcing" your will onto someother person obvious is. And thus you should be against every single person, religious or not, who is enforcing a lifestyle on people whether they want it or not. And unfortunately at the moment there are far more religious people who are forcing people to do things [you have the examples in awais's comments] than non-religious/secular people.

And whether we call them "islamic militants" or not, there is no denying that they are doing all this in the name of Islam, whether we like it or not.
Adnan Siddiqi said…
@Uni: I really liked your comments and how you exposed the hypocrisy of wanna be liberals. Jazakum Allah Khair..


it wouldn't be raising the alarm among all the liberal-minded people


@Awais: Since when liberals feel good about religion?
Umer said…
"Since when liberals feel good about religion?"

What's that? Who's a liberal?
tahir said…
Salaam,

[The difference between me and them is that i believe in individual freedom and they don't.]

Well, what if some individual starts living naked in your locality...? What would be your opinion on this "respectable" action of his...?