Shame on Pakistanis

3 08 2009

Yet another episode of shameful behavior that has become a hallmark of Pakistani Muslims. Scores of Christians were burned to death and their residential quarters were gutted by an angry mob of Muslims. The incident took place in a small town of Punjab — the largest province of Pakistan by population with the largest population of Christians.

Pakistan, especially Punjab, has a long history of violence against Christians. They are free to do that under the Islamic laws of Pakistan that allow violence against minorities if they are found to be blasphemous to Islamic teachings. One can even be sentenced to death if he or she is found to be desecrating any Islamic principles or figures.

Mullahs take full advantage of this clause and accuse non-Muslims with blasphemy. They gather large crowds that attack non-Muslims and burn their properties, sometimes also killing them. Interestingly, the later judicial inquireis have never been able to confirm the charges of blasphemy.

Things will continue the same unless and until the draconian blasphemy laws are not repealed by the Pakistani government. Western governments, especially the United States, should put some pressure on Pakistanis to mend their ways. US is giving billions of dollars in aid and it reserves the right to withhold its aid package if human rights condition in Pakistan remains pathetic.




6 responses

12 08 2009

Do you think that the education system is to blame? Insofar as many Pakistanis consider their “government” education system to be a joke, for the bulk of the populations, madrashas are the only alternative.

Until a generation replaces these ones who have inherited a different intellectual tradition, this sort of thing will be all too commonplace. This is my view on a prescription. I don’t exactly see laws to be an answer, though it should definitely be a part of their national system of collective morality – to be accepting of peoples of different religions. Enforcement in Pakistan is a nightmare – and to this extent, a more grassroots and localized answer seems applicable (schools).

I have subscribed to your blog because I’m a political scientist whose emphasis is on the Middle East. It’s refreshing to see a pro-American Muslim source and I look forward to reading your future material.

I would encourage you to visit my page and share your thoughts whenever possible.

12 08 2009

Thanks for your comment and for subscribing to my blog. Yeah the faulty education system is the main problem. More importantly, and as you have mentioned, the ineffectiveness of government in implementing better educational facilities gives way to rising extremism.

Poverty, of course, is another but interrelated issue. These two things are eroding the social fabric of not just Pakistan but a major chunk of the Muslim world.

13 08 2009
Mr. Tambourine Man

/They are free to do that under the Islamic laws of Pakistan that allow violence against minorities if they are found to be blasphemous to Islamic teachings./

This is a lie. While there is a horrid blasphemy law in Pakistan there is nothing in Pakistan’s law books that allows mobs to kill Christians because of blasphemy or take the law into their own hand.

Things will continue to be the same regardless of whether the blasphemy laws are repealed or not.

14 08 2009

This is not a lie but absolute truth. It is the blasphemy laws and rampant militant Islam that encourages these people to terrorize non-Muslims or even Muslims that raise valid questions about their actions. If blasphemy laws are repealed and there is a strict vigilance, no one will be able to do these shameful acts.

14 08 2009
Mr. Tambourine Man

No its a clear lie. Admit it you were talking out of your ass. There is no ‘Islamic law’ in Pakistan that allows people to conduct violence against minorities such as the Gojra incident. This is plain exaggeration and incorrect. And this is coming from and ex-muslim who has lived his entire life in Pakistan.

I think its absurdly naive to believe that everything will be hunky dory just because the blasphemy laws are repealed. The problem is the mind set and the groups who are intent on creating sectarian rifts extending to shias and ahmedis. This may slightly improve the situation but things will not fundamentally change just because some pre historic law is repealed.

14 08 2009

Why should I admit it when this is a clear truth? No one in Pakistan, despite the local customs and psychology, can take the law in their hands if there is a rule of law and that too a secular one. Of course, not everything will be fine once these laws are repealed but at least they will give a sense of protection to non-Muslims. Otherwise, you are right that Pakistan needs a dynamic change and secularization to eradicate these deep-rooted issues.

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