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Default Why do we fear Secularism (Secularism from a Liberal Muslims Perspective) - 03-18-2012, 09:17 PM

Why do we fear Secularism?


Many Pakistanis have a built in aversion towards the word secularism while taking an excessive pride in the Islamic Republic attached to Pakistan’s name. Despite the fact that many Pakistanis fail to follow the tenets of Islam and the word Islamic Republic makes a mockery of the meaning it remains a source of excessive pride. People claim that today the country is very far from Islam as very few people in Pakistan really follow the tenets of Islam however very few of them can answer the question whether it worthwhile to have an “Islamic Republic” only in name. However the real question is do we really have anything to fear from Secularism in the first place?

According to its dictionary meaning Secularism refers to the equal treatment of each and every religious group within the Nation and to the idea that religion should have a smaller role in politics and decision making because when it has too large a role people spend their time over their own separate interpretations of religion rather than Nation building and the tasks at hand.

Many Muslims in Pakistan fear secularism because they have a perverse idea of the concept fearing Islam will be diminished with Secularism. This is completely untrue. Pakistan’s Islamic identity will not be lost with a Secular system.

Will Secularism decrease Islam’s value in Pakistan?

Many Pakistanis continually fear that secularism will decrease the value of Islam or worse will eliminate Islam from Pakistan.
The fact is no one is pushing Islam away and with 95% of the population of Pakistan being proud and extremely pious Muslims for the most part it is impossible to even try. Islam will still be practiced by the majority of people as it is being practiced today without any hindrance whatsoever. The only difference perhaps will be that religion will be a personal matter. A person who does not follow Islam devotedly or a follower of a different religion or a sect of Islam will not be persecuted for having his own separate beliefs.

If seen in such a light Secularism is nothing to be feared. We can be proud Muslims and defend Islam as much or even more with a secular constitution as we can by labelling a country ruled by very corrupt people with barely any link to Islam an “Islamic Republic”. An Islamic Republic where the rulers themselves have no link to Islam and others often use religion as a tool to fulfill their personal interests.
The fact is only a country that has a constitution, laws (that are implemented instead of being cleared by people who can pay bribes) rules and regulations based on the tenets of Islam, the Islamic economic and judicial system based on the teachings of the Prophet should have the right to even call themselves Islamic Republic. Instead Pakistanis have tried to have Islam in letter and spirit for 60 years and failed. It's more than time we revised our direction.

The tenets of Islam support Secularism & harmony
“To you be your Faith, and to me mine.”
Ayat 109:6

During the rule of Ali Ibn Abi Talib the fourth Caliph of Islam a Jew stole a shield that belonged to the Caliph and claimed that it was his. He was brought to the court of Ali to settle the dispute. However due to lack of proof and according to Islamic law the Jew was allowed to keep the shield as Hazrat Ali could not prove he owned the shield. This was a verdict going against a Muslim Caliph in his own court. However Hazrat Ali accepted the decision calmly. On the other hand the Jew was dumbfounded as he had indeed stolen the shield. He was quick to embrace Islam and declared that he had lied in front of the entire court.

This was one example of how Islam spread to become one of the largest religions in the World and won hearts and minds. It was due to the insight and tolerance our ancestors had that we got to where we are, that Cordova and Baghdad became centres of learning and Islam spread from the corners of Spain to the boundaries of far east.

Unfortunately many people in Pakistan do not understand that human rights and the equal treatment of all individuals in the country is more important in Islam rather than a notion of Islamic pride and superiority where labelling a country an “Islamic Republic” is deemed necessary. This pride comes from a past that our ancestors built with policies that we fail to understand today.

The Quaid E Azams Principles

“In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State — to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non- Muslims — Hindus, Christians, and Parsis — but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.”
Quaid E Azam, February 1948

The above quote is the greatest proof that Quaid E Azam did not want a state that was built completely on the basis of religion. Unfortunately since his death the constitution has been changed to suit every new leader that came and the title “Islamic Republic” untrue it may be has been added along with many laws that are completely out of line with Quaid E Azams original ideas for Pakistan. If we look closely at many of his speeches we will notice Quaid E Azam was a staunch supporter of secularism with an added focus on Islamic thought and ideology. Therefore until he was alive the Islamic Republic was never attached to the countries name. That happened when Ayub Khan came into power.

Other speeches by Quaid E Azam that clearly supported the message of peace, harmony and equality between all groups whether they are ethnic or religious are stated below.

‘We are starting with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state. No matter what is his colour, caste or creed is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations….”
“In due course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to be Muslims – not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual- but in a political sense as citizens of one state.”
“[If you] work together in a spirit that everyone of you no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.”
11 August 1947

“The tenets of Islam enjoin on every Musalman to give protection to his neighbours and to the Minorities regardless of caste and creed. We must make it a matter of our honor and prestige to create sense of security amongst them.”
30th October 1947

Clearly Quaid E Azam understood that a Nation could not be built until differences in the minds of people were eliminated and people saw themselves as equal members of a single society regardless of faith or ethnicity.

Perhaps if that spirit was alive today Pakistan would not be afflicted with minor issues and infighting over Shia-Sunni, Barelvi-Deobandi, Ahmedi, and the principles of personal freedom would have given way to building a Nation that was the most glorious one in history. Unfortunately this destiny still awaits the Pakistani race which dreams for justice and equality. Many people continuously deny Quaid E Azam wanted a secular country fearing that Islam will be destroyed by such a move or fearing for their own interests but Quaid E Azam did indeed want a Nation that was Secular and gave equal opportunity to all inhabitants.

People try to deny this but the fact is that this is not a bad thing for us to be ashamed about being Muslims but something glorious in itself that a leader who did so much for Muslims, giving them a new homeland and independence still understood the morals of our ancestors because of whom Islam to spread.

Issues caused by the misinterpretation of Islamic Law & resources used to contain them

The fact that laws created to safeguard Islam are being used for the benefit and self interest of bad people does not do anything great for the image of Islam. A clear example is the blasphemy law, a law that makes an insult to Islam, the Prophet or the Quran illegal and punishable by death. This law has been used against minorities for a long time. However Muslims have fallen victims to this law as well.

An example of how this law is misused was the case of Mohammad Imran who was arrested in Faisalabad for blasphemy on the 28th of October 2007. He was falsely blamed because of a personal argument. After being arrested he was first tortured by the police, then the inmates and later he was placed in solitary confinement without anyone looking after his injuries. He was only released in April 2009 after being declared innocent.

Another example was the framing of Akhtar Hammed Khan, an 81 year old writer and sociologist by business interests and authorities unwilling to let his development work take place in Orangi, Karachi. He had launched a development project on the behalf of the people of Orangi. His project offering real estate loans on good terms and work to improve the condition of women through education, and access to employment and family planning was not well liked by these authorities. Thus they decided to book him on false charges with the police under the blasphemy laws. He was later released due to inadequate evidence but the case proves how the law is being used to settle personal scores and disputes.

Minorities have many such stories to share as 60% of all victims who are framed under this law are Non Muslims. The law has become a tool for fanatics, murderers and people seeking to settle personal scores yet the law still hasn’t been repealed due to the fact that militants have some influence on governance. Land disputes or personal quarrels are by far the main reason for people to be booked under this law.
Another such law is the Hudood Ordinance where in a case of Rape four witnesses are required to confirm that a rape has taken place. This is practically impossible. However the woman who complains that a rape has taken place is often booked for being with another man while the culprits of the rape run free.

Therefore the Hudood Law became a tool in the hands of rapists and today any woman can be raped and when she goes to the police to get justice the Hudood Law can be used to frame her as by claiming that she has been raped she also admits that she has been with another man and committed Zinah. Some figures claim that in the year 1979 there were only 70 women in Pakistani jails. A decade later, in 1988, this figure had risen to 6000 and over 80% of the women in prison were there because of these laws. It is said many more women do not even report rapes in fear of being persecuted due to this law.

Is Pakistan really Islamic?
Better to have a Secular constitution than Islam only in name

There is no doubt that our leaders found us a land that was a safe haven for Muslims and gave us freedom to make our own decisions without the fear of suffering biased treatment for the faith we followed. However the question today is how much Islam is being followed in the country?
For instance the Quran states:

“Keep yourselves away from bribes because it is kufr and one who receives them will never smell the scent of paradise”.

The fact is in Pakistan taking and giving bribes is so common that even a noble person can hardly live without paying one. Some honourable folk still struggle on but their lives are much more difficult. If a person has money it is a possibility he has given or taken a bribe at least once. Unfortunately the entire bureaucracy is at the forefront of this rot. Justice is sold and witnesses can be bought.

On the other hand while drinking is not allowed and a license is required in order to drink in Pakistan people who want to drink do so with impunity and with no fear of being punished. The law is not even being implemented while if a drunkard happens to get caught a simple bribe wins back the persons freedom. Also while adultery is considered a punishable law under the constitution it is practiced by many people in the country without any fear of punishment. The same goes for many other laws. It is virtually impossible to implement these laws and it costs resources to do so.

The fact is many laws related to Islam exist in Pakistan but they are there only in name. They are either being misused by people for their own interests or they are not implemented and people who commit heinous crimes are allowed to go free because of them without any fear of punishment while the innocent are framed. Particularly the law simply does not apply to government officials who can flout any rule because of their influence and power.

The real question for Pakistan today is whether it is sensible to have a false, broken and corrupt “Islamic Republic” in name or it is better to have a secular constitution that guarantees freedom to everyone and ensures that there are no vaguely addressed laws that make a mockery of our Religion and are misused for the benefit of a few criminals.

http://www.havisultan.com/index.php?...gion&Itemid=71

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
^^^^
If you like the article please comment on it on my site or rate it there (At the top under the heading when you go to the link)... This article has nothing against Islam. Secularism is not incompatible with Islam. Unfortunately because it is aimed at the Mullah's it does not go into detail about how a society can progress better when it makes religion a personal matter and disengages itself from it and provides freedom to everyone.


I am the author of Badal, an upcoming fiction novel on the War on Terror. For more information about me visit [URL="http://www.havisultan.com"]www.havisultan.com[/URL]

Follow me on twitter:
[url]https://twitter.com/#!/HaviZSultan[/url]

Last edited by haviZsultan; 03-18-2012 at 09:21 PM.
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Default 03-18-2012, 09:23 PM

secularism is also an ideology which can by either extremist, moderate or liberal, like for example here in canada I believe we have Liberal kind of secularism, in which people are allowed to practice or preach what ever they want. But in countries like France or even Turkey I think the secularism there is more of an extremist type because obviously they are placing many restrictions on muslims to even practice their religion. So again it depends which type of secularism is the article talking about.

The article is correct about pakistan though, I dont consider it a Islamic state. I mean when there is a red light district just beside the biggest mosque in the country, how can that place be a Islamic place? it is a very hypocritical society in every way

Last edited by Karachi; 03-18-2012 at 09:27 PM.
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Default 03-18-2012, 09:27 PM

The extreme secularism you describe is much milder than extremes of religion, the followers would chop people's heads off for adultery.

Extreme secularism is better because everyone is treated equally unlike when an extreme of religion exists.
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Default 03-18-2012, 09:46 PM

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Originally Posted by Karachi View Post
secularism is also an ideology which can by either extremist, moderate or liberal, like for example here in canada I believe we have Liberal kind of secularism, in which people are allowed to practice or preach what ever they want. But in countries like France or even Turkey I think the secularism there is more of an extremist type because obviously they are placing many restrictions on muslims to even practice their religion. So again it depends which type of secularism is the article talking about.

The article is correct about pakistan though, I dont consider it a Islamic state. I mean when there is a red light district just beside the biggest mosque in the country, how can that place be a Islamic place? it is a very hypocritical society in every way
France and Turkey are not following Secular concepts. When you begin to ban some things in peoples religion you begin going against freedom. The ban on headscarves is illegal and is against the principles of liberalism and secularism itself. But I still appreciate Turkey. They have managed to eliminate fanaticism from their society completely. Turks are some of the most liberal Muslims today.

That being said it is also wrong what we are doing. We are forcing Islam down peoples throats. And as you say Pakistan isn't an Islamic state. We have tried to impose Islam for 64 years and failed. Why don't we just give up and try to build up a secular society.

This is what I am saying. Accepting a secular constitution will ensure equal rights for everyone. Plus as the article proves its what Jinnah wanted. How else can we explain no Islamic republic being attached to Pakistan's name until the death of Liaqat Ali Khan.


I am the author of Badal, an upcoming fiction novel on the War on Terror. For more information about me visit [URL="http://www.havisultan.com"]www.havisultan.com[/URL]

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Default 03-18-2012, 09:47 PM

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Originally Posted by haviZsultan View Post
Why do we fear Secularism?


Many Pakistanis have a built in aversion towards the word secularism while taking an excessive pride in the Islamic Republic attached to Pakistan’s name. Despite the fact that many Pakistanis fail to follow the tenets of Islam and the word Islamic Republic makes a mockery of the meaning it remains a source of excessive pride. People claim that today the country is very far from Islam as very few people in Pakistan really follow the tenets of Islam however very few of them can answer the question whether it worthwhile to have an “Islamic Republic” only in name. However the real question is do we really have anything to fear from Secularism in the first place?

According to its dictionary meaning Secularism refers to the equal treatment of each and every religious group within the Nation and to the idea that religion should have a smaller role in politics and decision making because when it has too large a role people spend their time over their own separate interpretations of religion rather than Nation building and the tasks at hand.

Many Muslims in Pakistan fear secularism because they have a perverse idea of the concept fearing Islam will be diminished with Secularism. This is completely untrue. Pakistan’s Islamic identity will not be lost with a Secular system.

Will Secularism decrease Islam’s value in Pakistan?

Many Pakistanis continually fear that secularism will decrease the value of Islam or worse will eliminate Islam from Pakistan.
The fact is no one is pushing Islam away and with 95% of the population of Pakistan being proud and extremely pious Muslims for the most part it is impossible to even try. Islam will still be practiced by the majority of people as it is being practiced today without any hindrance whatsoever. The only difference perhaps will be that religion will be a personal matter. A person who does not follow Islam devotedly or a follower of a different religion or a sect of Islam will not be persecuted for having his own separate beliefs.

If seen in such a light Secularism is nothing to be feared. We can be proud Muslims and defend Islam as much or even more with a secular constitution as we can by labelling a country ruled by very corrupt people with barely any link to Islam an “Islamic Republic”. An Islamic Republic where the rulers themselves have no link to Islam and others often use religion as a tool to fulfill their personal interests.
The fact is only a country that has a constitution, laws (that are implemented instead of being cleared by people who can pay bribes) rules and regulations based on the tenets of Islam, the Islamic economic and judicial system based on the teachings of the Prophet should have the right to even call themselves Islamic Republic. Instead Pakistanis have tried to have Islam in letter and spirit for 60 years and failed. It's more than time we revised our direction.

The tenets of Islam support Secularism & harmony

“To you be your Faith, and to me mine.”

Ayat 109:6

During the rule of Ali Ibn Abi Talib the fourth Caliph of Islam a Jew stole a shield that belonged to the Caliph and claimed that it was his. He was brought to the court of Ali to settle the dispute. However due to lack of proof and according to Islamic law the Jew was allowed to keep the shield as Hazrat Ali could not prove he owned the shield. This was a verdict going against a Muslim Caliph in his own court. However Hazrat Ali accepted the decision calmly. On the other hand the Jew was dumbfounded as he had indeed stolen the shield. He was quick to embrace Islam and declared that he had lied in front of the entire court.

This was one example of how Islam spread to become one of the largest religions in the World and won hearts and minds. It was due to the insight and tolerance our ancestors had that we got to where we are, that Cordova and Baghdad became centres of learning and Islam spread from the corners of Spain to the boundaries of far east.

Unfortunately many people in Pakistan do not understand that human rights and the equal treatment of all individuals in the country is more important in Islam rather than a notion of Islamic pride and superiority where labelling a country an “Islamic Republic” is deemed necessary. This pride comes from a past that our ancestors built with policies that we fail to understand today.

The Quaid E Azams Principles

“In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State — to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non- Muslims — Hindus, Christians, and Parsis — but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.”

Quaid E Azam, February 1948


The above quote is the greatest proof that Quaid E Azam did not want a state that was built completely on the basis of religion. Unfortunately since his death the constitution has been changed to suit every new leader that came and the title “Islamic Republic” untrue it may be has been added along with many laws that are completely out of line with Quaid E Azams original ideas for Pakistan. If we look closely at many of his speeches we will notice Quaid E Azam was a staunch supporter of secularism with an added focus on Islamic thought and ideology. Therefore until he was alive the Islamic Republic was never attached to the countries name. That happened when Ayub Khan came into power.

Other speeches by Quaid E Azam that clearly supported the message of peace, harmony and equality between all groups whether they are ethnic or religious are stated below.

‘We are starting with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state. No matter what is his colour, caste or creed is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations….”

“In due course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to be Muslims – not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual- but in a political sense as citizens of one state.”


“[If you] work together in a spirit that everyone of you no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.”

11 August 1947

“The tenets of Islam enjoin on every Musalman to give protection to his neighbours and to the Minorities regardless of caste and creed. We must make it a matter of our honor and prestige to create sense of security amongst them.”
30th October 1947

Clearly Quaid E Azam understood that a Nation could not be built until differences in the minds of people were eliminated and people saw themselves as equal members of a single society regardless of faith or ethnicity.

Perhaps if that spirit was alive today Pakistan would not be afflicted with minor issues and infighting over Shia-Sunni, Barelvi-Deobandi, Ahmedi, and the principles of personal freedom would have given way to building a Nation that was the most glorious one in history. Unfortunately this destiny still awaits the Pakistani race which dreams for justice and equality. Many people continuously deny Quaid E Azam wanted a secular country fearing that Islam will be destroyed by such a move or fearing for their own interests but Quaid E Azam did indeed want a Nation that was Secular and gave equal opportunity to all inhabitants.

People try to deny this but the fact is that this is not a bad thing for us to be ashamed about being Muslims but something glorious in itself that a leader who did so much for Muslims, giving them a new homeland and independence still understood the morals of our ancestors because of whom Islam to spread.

Issues caused by the misinterpretation of Islamic Law & resources used to contain them

The fact that laws created to safeguard Islam are being used for the benefit and self interest of bad people does not do anything great for the image of Islam. A clear example is the blasphemy law, a law that makes an insult to Islam, the Prophet or the Quran illegal and punishable by death. This law has been used against minorities for a long time. However Muslims have fallen victims to this law as well.

An example of how this law is misused was the case of Mohammad Imran who was arrested in Faisalabad for blasphemy on the 28th of October 2007. He was falsely blamed because of a personal argument. After being arrested he was first tortured by the police, then the inmates and later he was placed in solitary confinement without anyone looking after his injuries. He was only released in April 2009 after being declared innocent.

Another example was the framing of Akhtar Hammed Khan, an 81 year old writer and sociologist by business interests and authorities unwilling to let his development work take place in Orangi, Karachi. He had launched a development project on the behalf of the people of Orangi. His project offering real estate loans on good terms and work to improve the condition of women through education, and access to employment and family planning was not well liked by these authorities. Thus they decided to book him on false charges with the police under the blasphemy laws. He was later released due to inadequate evidence but the case proves how the law is being used to settle personal scores and disputes.

Minorities have many such stories to share as 60% of all victims who are framed under this law are Non Muslims. The law has become a tool for fanatics, murderers and people seeking to settle personal scores yet the law still hasn’t been repealed due to the fact that militants have some influence on governance. Land disputes or personal quarrels are by far the main reason for people to be booked under this law.
Another such law is the Hudood Ordinance where in a case of Rape four witnesses are required to confirm that a rape has taken place. This is practically impossible. However the woman who complains that a rape has taken place is often booked for being with another man while the culprits of the rape run free.

Therefore the Hudood Law became a tool in the hands of rapists and today any woman can be raped and when she goes to the police to get justice the Hudood Law can be used to frame her as by claiming that she has been raped she also admits that she has been with another man and committed Zinah. Some figures claim that in the year 1979 there were only 70 women in Pakistani jails. A decade later, in 1988, this figure had risen to 6000 and over 80% of the women in prison were there because of these laws. It is said many more women do not even report rapes in fear of being persecuted due to this law.

Is Pakistan really Islamic?
Better to have a Secular constitution than Islam only in name

There is no doubt that our leaders found us a land that was a safe haven for Muslims and gave us freedom to make our own decisions without the fear of suffering biased treatment for the faith we followed. However the question today is how much Islam is being followed in the country?
For instance the Quran states:


“Keep yourselves away from bribes because it is kufr and one who receives them will never smell the scent of paradise”.



The fact is in Pakistan taking and giving bribes is so common that even a noble person can hardly live without paying one. Some honourable folk still struggle on but their lives are much more difficult. If a person has money it is a possibility he has given or taken a bribe at least once. Unfortunately the entire bureaucracy is at the forefront of this rot. Justice is sold and witnesses can be bought.

On the other hand while drinking is not allowed and a license is required in order to drink in Pakistan people who want to drink do so with impunity and with no fear of being punished. The law is not even being implemented while if a drunkard happens to get caught a simple bribe wins back the persons freedom. Also while adultery is considered a punishable law under the constitution it is practiced by many people in the country without any fear of punishment. The same goes for many other laws. It is virtually impossible to implement these laws and it costs resources to do so.

The fact is many laws related to Islam exist in Pakistan but they are there only in name. They are either being misused by people for their own interests or they are not implemented and people who commit heinous crimes are allowed to go free because of them without any fear of punishment while the innocent are framed. Particularly the law simply does not apply to government officials who can flout any rule because of their influence and power.

The real question for Pakistan today is whether it is sensible to have a false, broken and corrupt “Islamic Republic” in name or it is better to have a secular constitution that guarantees freedom to everyone and ensures that there are no vaguely addressed laws that make a mockery of our Religion and are misused for the benefit of a few criminals.

http://www.havisultan.com/index.php?...gion&Itemid=71

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
^^^^
If you like the article please comment on it on my site or rate it there (At the top under the heading when you go to the link)... This article has nothing against Islam. Secularism is not incompatible with Islam. Unfortunately because it is aimed at the Mullah's it does not go into detail about how a society can progress better when it makes religion a personal matter and disengages itself from it and provides freedom to everyone.
It is simply a visceral reaction associating a concept and governance ideology with repeated incursions by outsiders.

For instance, lets say if you have Society A and Society B. Society A likes chocolate milk and Society B likes Iced Tea. If Society A keeps invading Society B or they keep clashing the people in Society B might begins to view many traits about society A with suspicion, including their love for chocolate milk.

This is my point, you cannot force ideologies onto people at the barrell end of a gun and you cannot expect that within a span of 50 years (in historical terms thats a blink of an eye) that folks will lose any suspicion for culture associations of a recent occupier.

Cross fertilization and adoption of ideologies takes time, reason, and a stable society.

Take for instance Eastern Europes severe distate for the Turks and by extension Islam. Their reasons, i.e the reasons of the Hungarians and the Czech had nothing to do with womens movements, veils, 4 wives, marrying young women or the reasons we hear today. Rather their associations are with what they saw as offensive incurions of the Turks which were only halted by Charles the Hammer.

You are only fomenting and encouraging a clash of civilizations by trying to hoist foreign concepts onto a mass of people that are really not endorsing them. Its the same issue as Tahrir square. Folks here like Baygham were celebraing the supposed fall of Islam in Egypt and claiming that the youth were "taking back the night." In reality, it was nothing of the sort. Instead, and Wael Ghanem the google exec involved in Tahrir square alluded to this in his Harvard talk, the other 10s of millions of Egyptians of teh villages and the rural masses gave their voice in parliamentary elections when they elected the Islamist parties.

In the same way, Pakistani politics is local. Those guys switch parties like Donald Trump switches ties or wives. Villagers have no idea who or what they are voting for other than what the local Khan or Nawab tells them to vote on. The PPP idea of getting out the vote is basically their folks going village to village telling the Malik to tell the average person to purple up his thumb.


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Default 03-18-2012, 09:53 PM

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Originally Posted by roadrunner View Post
The extreme secularism you describe is much milder than extremes of religion, the followers would chop people's heads off for adultery.

Extreme secularism is better because everyone is treated equally unlike when an extreme of religion exists.
I agree. Even extreme secularism is better than womans fingers being chopped off for talking to a man other than her husband, where acid is thrown on a woman's face for going to school, where a 17 year old girl is lashed as she begs and screams for rejecting to marry a Taliban commander.

The brutality religious extremists are capable of can never be compared to the behavior of the Secular extremists.

@ Karachi
I do not like the Ultra liberals in Pakistan, however. I believe they have highjacked the liberal movement and are all PPP supporters who care little about corruption even though they criticize terrorism. Its partly because of them Pakistan is in a mess. They went to their dance parties and chilled all the time and were only to happy to ignore Pakistan and left control to the Mullah's. They can't complain of the Mullah's taking power and influence when these thugs themselves ignored Pakistan and did not care about the poor.

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Default 03-18-2012, 10:06 PM

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Originally Posted by haviZsultan View Post
Why do we fear Secularism?


Many Pakistanis have a built in aversion towards the word secularism while taking an excessive pride in the Islamic Republic attached to Pakistan’s name. Despite the fact that many Pakistanis fail to follow the tenets of Islam and the word Islamic Republic makes a mockery of the meaning it remains a source of excessive pride. People claim that today the country is very far from Islam as very few people in Pakistan really follow the tenets of Islam however very few of them can answer the question whether it worthwhile to have an “Islamic Republic” only in name. However the real question is do we really have anything to fear from Secularism in the first place?

According to its dictionary meaning Secularism refers to the equal treatment of each and every religious group within the Nation and to the idea that religion should have a smaller role in politics and decision making because when it has too large a role people spend their time over their own separate interpretations of religion rather than Nation building and the tasks at hand.

Many Muslims in Pakistan fear secularism because they have a perverse idea of the concept fearing Islam will be diminished with Secularism. This is completely untrue. Pakistan’s Islamic identity will not be lost with a Secular system.

Will Secularism decrease Islam’s value in Pakistan?

Many Pakistanis continually fear that secularism will decrease the value of Islam or worse will eliminate Islam from Pakistan.
The fact is no one is pushing Islam away and with 95% of the population of Pakistan being proud and extremely pious Muslims for the most part it is impossible to even try. Islam will still be practiced by the majority of people as it is being practiced today without any hindrance whatsoever. The only difference perhaps will be that religion will be a personal matter. A person who does not follow Islam devotedly or a follower of a different religion or a sect of Islam will not be persecuted for having his own separate beliefs.

If seen in such a light Secularism is nothing to be feared. We can be proud Muslims and defend Islam as much or even more with a secular constitution as we can by labelling a country ruled by very corrupt people with barely any link to Islam an “Islamic Republic”. An Islamic Republic where the rulers themselves have no link to Islam and others often use religion as a tool to fulfill their personal interests.
The fact is only a country that has a constitution, laws (that are implemented instead of being cleared by people who can pay bribes) rules and regulations based on the tenets of Islam, the Islamic economic and judicial system based on the teachings of the Prophet should have the right to even call themselves Islamic Republic. Instead Pakistanis have tried to have Islam in letter and spirit for 60 years and failed. It's more than time we revised our direction.

The tenets of Islam support Secularism & harmony

“To you be your Faith, and to me mine.”

Ayat 109:6

During the rule of Ali Ibn Abi Talib the fourth Caliph of Islam a Jew stole a shield that belonged to the Caliph and claimed that it was his. He was brought to the court of Ali to settle the dispute. However due to lack of proof and according to Islamic law the Jew was allowed to keep the shield as Hazrat Ali could not prove he owned the shield. This was a verdict going against a Muslim Caliph in his own court. However Hazrat Ali accepted the decision calmly. On the other hand the Jew was dumbfounded as he had indeed stolen the shield. He was quick to embrace Islam and declared that he had lied in front of the entire court.

This was one example of how Islam spread to become one of the largest religions in the World and won hearts and minds. It was due to the insight and tolerance our ancestors had that we got to where we are, that Cordova and Baghdad became centres of learning and Islam spread from the corners of Spain to the boundaries of far east.

Unfortunately many people in Pakistan do not understand that human rights and the equal treatment of all individuals in the country is more important in Islam rather than a notion of Islamic pride and superiority where labelling a country an “Islamic Republic” is deemed necessary. This pride comes from a past that our ancestors built with policies that we fail to understand today.

The Quaid E Azams Principles

“In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State — to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non- Muslims — Hindus, Christians, and Parsis — but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.”

Quaid E Azam, February 1948


The above quote is the greatest proof that Quaid E Azam did not want a state that was built completely on the basis of religion. Unfortunately since his death the constitution has been changed to suit every new leader that came and the title “Islamic Republic” untrue it may be has been added along with many laws that are completely out of line with Quaid E Azams original ideas for Pakistan. If we look closely at many of his speeches we will notice Quaid E Azam was a staunch supporter of secularism with an added focus on Islamic thought and ideology. Therefore until he was alive the Islamic Republic was never attached to the countries name. That happened when Ayub Khan came into power.

Other speeches by Quaid E Azam that clearly supported the message of peace, harmony and equality between all groups whether they are ethnic or religious are stated below.

‘We are starting with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state. No matter what is his colour, caste or creed is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations….”

“In due course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to be Muslims – not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual- but in a political sense as citizens of one state.”


“[If you] work together in a spirit that everyone of you no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.”

11 August 1947

“The tenets of Islam enjoin on every Musalman to give protection to his neighbours and to the Minorities regardless of caste and creed. We must make it a matter of our honor and prestige to create sense of security amongst them.”
30th October 1947

Clearly Quaid E Azam understood that a Nation could not be built until differences in the minds of people were eliminated and people saw themselves as equal members of a single society regardless of faith or ethnicity.

Perhaps if that spirit was alive today Pakistan would not be afflicted with minor issues and infighting over Shia-Sunni, Barelvi-Deobandi, Ahmedi, and the principles of personal freedom would have given way to building a Nation that was the most glorious one in history. Unfortunately this destiny still awaits the Pakistani race which dreams for justice and equality. Many people continuously deny Quaid E Azam wanted a secular country fearing that Islam will be destroyed by such a move or fearing for their own interests but Quaid E Azam did indeed want a Nation that was Secular and gave equal opportunity to all inhabitants.

People try to deny this but the fact is that this is not a bad thing for us to be ashamed about being Muslims but something glorious in itself that a leader who did so much for Muslims, giving them a new homeland and independence still understood the morals of our ancestors because of whom Islam to spread.

Issues caused by the misinterpretation of Islamic Law & resources used to contain them

The fact that laws created to safeguard Islam are being used for the benefit and self interest of bad people does not do anything great for the image of Islam. A clear example is the blasphemy law, a law that makes an insult to Islam, the Prophet or the Quran illegal and punishable by death. This law has been used against minorities for a long time. However Muslims have fallen victims to this law as well.

An example of how this law is misused was the case of Mohammad Imran who was arrested in Faisalabad for blasphemy on the 28th of October 2007. He was falsely blamed because of a personal argument. After being arrested he was first tortured by the police, then the inmates and later he was placed in solitary confinement without anyone looking after his injuries. He was only released in April 2009 after being declared innocent.

Another example was the framing of Akhtar Hammed Khan, an 81 year old writer and sociologist by business interests and authorities unwilling to let his development work take place in Orangi, Karachi. He had launched a development project on the behalf of the people of Orangi. His project offering real estate loans on good terms and work to improve the condition of women through education, and access to employment and family planning was not well liked by these authorities. Thus they decided to book him on false charges with the police under the blasphemy laws. He was later released due to inadequate evidence but the case proves how the law is being used to settle personal scores and disputes.

Minorities have many such stories to share as 60% of all victims who are framed under this law are Non Muslims. The law has become a tool for fanatics, murderers and people seeking to settle personal scores yet the law still hasn’t been repealed due to the fact that militants have some influence on governance. Land disputes or personal quarrels are by far the main reason for people to be booked under this law.
Another such law is the Hudood Ordinance where in a case of Rape four witnesses are required to confirm that a rape has taken place. This is practically impossible. However the woman who complains that a rape has taken place is often booked for being with another man while the culprits of the rape run free.

Therefore the Hudood Law became a tool in the hands of rapists and today any woman can be raped and when she goes to the police to get justice the Hudood Law can be used to frame her as by claiming that she has been raped she also admits that she has been with another man and committed Zinah. Some figures claim that in the year 1979 there were only 70 women in Pakistani jails. A decade later, in 1988, this figure had risen to 6000 and over 80% of the women in prison were there because of these laws. It is said many more women do not even report rapes in fear of being persecuted due to this law.

Is Pakistan really Islamic?
Better to have a Secular constitution than Islam only in name

There is no doubt that our leaders found us a land that was a safe haven for Muslims and gave us freedom to make our own decisions without the fear of suffering biased treatment for the faith we followed. However the question today is how much Islam is being followed in the country?
For instance the Quran states:


“Keep yourselves away from bribes because it is kufr and one who receives them will never smell the scent of paradise”.



The fact is in Pakistan taking and giving bribes is so common that even a noble person can hardly live without paying one. Some honourable folk still struggle on but their lives are much more difficult. If a person has money it is a possibility he has given or taken a bribe at least once. Unfortunately the entire bureaucracy is at the forefront of this rot. Justice is sold and witnesses can be bought.

On the other hand while drinking is not allowed and a license is required in order to drink in Pakistan people who want to drink do so with impunity and with no fear of being punished. The law is not even being implemented while if a drunkard happens to get caught a simple bribe wins back the persons freedom. Also while adultery is considered a punishable law under the constitution it is practiced by many people in the country without any fear of punishment. The same goes for many other laws. It is virtually impossible to implement these laws and it costs resources to do so.

The fact is many laws related to Islam exist in Pakistan but they are there only in name. They are either being misused by people for their own interests or they are not implemented and people who commit heinous crimes are allowed to go free because of them without any fear of punishment while the innocent are framed. Particularly the law simply does not apply to government officials who can flout any rule because of their influence and power.

The real question for Pakistan today is whether it is sensible to have a false, broken and corrupt “Islamic Republic” in name or it is better to have a secular constitution that guarantees freedom to everyone and ensures that there are no vaguely addressed laws that make a mockery of our Religion and are misused for the benefit of a few criminals.

http://www.havisultan.com/index.php?...gion&Itemid=71

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^^^^
If you like the article please comment on it on my site or rate it there (At the top under the heading when you go to the link)... This article has nothing against Islam. Secularism is not incompatible with Islam. Unfortunately because it is aimed at the Mullah's it does not go into detail about how a society can progress better when it makes religion a personal matter and disengages itself from it and provides freedom to everyone.
The other issue is that you make generalizations. For instance, the Caliph Omar suspended the cutting of the hand in a time of famine, providing Islamic Jurists with some precedent.

The issue with secularism from a purely Islamic viewpoint is that it is, contrary to what you say, an incompatible concept when applied in contradiction to Islamic law.

For instance, let us say that Jurist argues, based on one Prophet hadith, that the Prophet urged followers to not advertise wrong, and coupled to other hadith, advocated that man stop his personal sin and keep the sin between him and God. For instance, note the Prophet turning away in this hadith of Bukhari:

A man came to Allah's Apostle while he was in the mosque, and he called him, saying, "O Allah's Apostle! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse.'" The Prophet turned his face to the other side, but that man repeated his statement four times, and after he bore witness against himself four times, the Prophet called him, saying, "Are you mad?" The man said, "No." The Prophet said, "Are you married?" The man said, "Yes." Then the Prophet said, 'Take him away and stone him to death." Jabir bin 'Abdullah said: I was among the ones who participated in stoning him and we stoned him at the Musalla. When the stones troubled him, he fled, but we over took him at Al-Harra and stoned him to death.

Based on what you are saying, if a society as whole decides that an portion of the Quran or Islamic law was outdated, then it would be inapplicable.

Forget moral applications which is what every one and mother jumps to... lets talk about, for instance, interest based loans. The Quran has a clear injunction against the concept of interest. Now, in a secular paradigm, if a Bank decides to take put out an interest loan or give out a series of them, then it is the business of the series of folks taking up the loans whether they are permitted to take interest or not. Yet the Surah itself refers to dabbling with interest as a declaration of war on God and his Prophet.

So I think you are making sweeping generalizations left and right when you attempt to say simply: Oh Islam and secularism are marriage material for two concepts.

You are watering down two very important ideologies simply because its within your comfort zone.


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Default 03-18-2012, 10:14 PM

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I agree. Even extreme secularism is better than womans fingers being chopped off for talking to a man other than her husband, where acid is thrown on a woman's face for going to school, where a 17 year old girl is lashed as she begs and screams for rejecting to marry a Taliban commander.

The brutality religious extremists are capable of can never be compared to the behavior of the Secular extremists.

@ Karachi
I do not like the Ultra liberals in Pakistan, however. I believe they have highjacked the liberal movement and are all PPP supporters who care little about corruption even though they criticize terrorism. Its partly because of them Pakistan is in a mess. They went to their dance parties and chilled all the time and were only to happy to ignore Pakistan and left control to the Mullah's. They can't complain of the Mullah's taking power and influence when these thugs themselves ignored Pakistan and did not care about the poor.

I am a liberal but also a patriot. For more information visit the About me page of my website.
www.havisultan.com
Once again, its all relative. You are taking confounders and imposing them over a greater whole. And then you are ignoring other important confounders in the application of law. I bet you if I find you 10 extremely moronic people they can misapply American secular law to such an extent that they actually ruin lives. Enter the case of the Norfolk sailers and their battle agaisnt the idiocy of the State of Virginia:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...e-confessions/

Or take the way that a small town in Texas and an idiot named Rick Perry doomed one man to an undeserved death. Listen to the town people interviews:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/death-by-fire/

It was simply because of wrongful deaths in the US that Barry Schwartz, a lawyer, started the DNA based Innocence Projects.

This is not at all an indictment of American Penal Codes or secular law in general. But it is an illustration of how the wrong folks applying any law has nearly equal devastating consequences.

In regard to your acid inthe face comment, that is an example of the rhetoric that lowers the quality of the discussion because you are making gross assumptions. Show me a single hadith or ayaah of the Quran where it allows any young man to throw acid or disfigure a girl's face?

In Iran when this occured, the young man that did it was a young college student without a religious bone to him. He was just pissed off because the girl wouldnt marry him.

To the contrary secular tribal law, for example in Waziristan, a generation ago would work where a female adulteress was killed and a male's nose was cut off. Compare that with other Pashtun regions where both were killed.

This is why I really abhor these discussions here because you have folks that discuss these concepts along party lines and get emotional to the point where the merits of the discussion are lost.


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Default 03-18-2012, 10:27 PM

Once again, before you get all hot and bothered Toramana, I am NOT commenting on the morality of Americans, America, or the West. I am debating with Havi about HIS comments. So please save me the idiocy of some random comment telling me that if I hate interest banking to move out of the West. It was an example for the discussion with Havi and simply that. If you are not going to provide a rational discussion and simply are going to apply party rhetoric then go debate with yourself.


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Default 03-18-2012, 10:38 PM

our brother barakzai said it all.

if the 2 concepts are incompatible, than islamic law has no value or legal right in a secular authority and the same thing the other way around.

the thing is that secularists think muslims are stupid by saying that islams value is not decreased in a secular state. our laws don't apply but the value of the religion is not eroded? you could say the same thing about satanists. our religion has the same worth as satanism in a secular country.


There are people today who think that admitting God’s absolute greatness decreases the value and importance of humans in the creation, as if God and mankind are rivals competing in greatness and power. Meanwhile I feel that whenever our perception of God’s greatness increases, with it we become greater, because we are the creation of a great God.

Sayyid Qutb
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