Not a Tariq Jamil fan but can’t see usurpation of freedom of speech.

Thanks to Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistanis have been successfully conditioned to listen to politicians and religious leaders without question.

This has led to the blind eye towards the heavily documented rape culture in our religious institutions, sometimes by victims. This has also gotten our clergy the hall pass for generally misogynistic attitudes. This has also caused many generations to drift away from religion.

Zia mandated covering our head when on TV. He also authorized a largely religious programming for TV. Some might say that some of that censorship would’ve been well used for the Pakistani film industry’s sexual symbolism that is responsible for tons of bestiality and perverse practices in cinema houses but I digress!

Zia also made sure during his eleven year dictatorial tenure that people worshipped religious leaders. Anyone who didn’t was classified a non-Muslim. Blasphemy was very easy to commit and everyone was in constant threat of being excluded from the circle of Islam.

But Benazir Bhutto made a place for herself twice, head covered in a conservative assembly and all. She also led the country with a mix of liberal and conservative guidelines. When you’re a woman prime minister in an Islamic state, you are considered more empowered than you actually are. Benazir’s term twice didn’t bring much change except a historical documentation of Pakistan being progressive enough to accept a woman as their leader. To put things in perspective, the darling of the West who liked to call herself the Daughter of the East was hated by the clergy brigade of Pakistan. She was ultimately killed like her father was. Courage and political flair aren’t what we need in Pakistan so the Bhutto family was wiped out much like several other political families in this world.

Nawaz Sharif didn’t bother with resetting the moral compass either. Frankly, his other job of ransacking the country of its foreign exchange and wealth was so time-consuming that he had little time for anything else.

Now we have Imran Khan. We have a self-proclaimed womanizer, father of illegitimate kids that he was reluctant to accept as his own, the heartthrob of many women in this world, serial marrier, the subject matter of a sensational book written by his second wife, a good friend of his first wife whom he has two sons with and who also is the adoptive mother of his daughter born out of wedlock. He also, incidentally, is a huge supporter of the tyrannical clergy and religious leaders that we have in Pakistan. It’s a little paradoxical that he would support clergy as strongly as he does after he was persecuted by them so badly a few years ago but if you knew how clergy is the king maker in Pakistan, you’d see it as purely political.

But he fails to defend a religious scholar. He fails to ask for the freedom of expression for Tariq Jamil. He fails to let go of his agenda in favor of what’s right.

Tariq Jamil called out our media for being the perpetrators of false information on occasion. I don’t think anyone of us has been truthful all our lives so we might ask ourselves why the uproar. He has since then apologized under immense pressure also.

So actually I’ll just go back to the first point I made and profusely thank Zia-ul-Haq for making us animals when we hear another opinion that we don’t agree with. He thought clergy would always rise and religious leaders will always be revered. He didn’t count on the sheer process of conditioning. When you condition people into impressionable nothings, this is how they react to a difference of opinion.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing on this important matter. After reading it, I feel like sharing a few thoughts.

    I am a common person and therefore would share some commonsense based ideas/thoughts. First of all, human beings have been granted freedom of choice to live the way they want to. This essentially means that if they become spiritual, it must be based on their choice, but interestingly humans have mostly followed their ancestral traditions in regard to this aspect of life in particular. It means most of us, rather a huge majority of humans do not make a conscious choice in regard to their spiritual life. I think this is the worst thing a person can do to himself/herself because this aspect of our life provides us a kind of foundation to build our life upon.

    Based on this fact, it would perhaps be correct to say that a huge majority of people have no faith, rather merely following the religious tradition of their forefathers. The story you have shared (it appears) is in fact a consequence of that. So, that is what happens when we live any aspect of our life in a blind manner.

    How do we reach the point of making a conscious decision vis-a-vis God/Creator. I think one must become a good or true human being first to understand the importance of it. A person who lives close to nature is bound to raise questions relating to his existence and Creator etc. And if one sincerely pursues these questions, I presume on a logical basis, that one’s Creator must come to his/her rescue, otherwise, how can one believe in a Creator, who cannot even help His creation to find Him. My commonsense tells me that I am not here without a Creator and therefore if I am looking for Him, He must guide me to find Him. That is what I call spiritual journey. We must all go through this process or exercise to reach some conclusion. If a person is dead honest in knowing the Truth (God), one must find it, because its our Creator’s obligation to do that.

    From what I have shared so far, most of us have no faith, rather merely blindly following spiritual/religious traditions. So, what we see around us in Muslim world (or Pakistan) is a true reflection of this attitude of the people. This holds true for the other parts of the world as well.

    The nations that progressed, progressed essentially by challenging traditions. Resultantly, commonsense prevailed over traditions and hence progress. Of course, no people in the world are perfect but wherever we see something happening good is essentially the consequence of that approach (Renaissance in Europe is a great example). I know there could be or are good traditions, but I would insist that even those have to be analyzed in terms of their acceptance, otherwise, they may be there but would have no real impact on our lives.

    Would conclude by emphasizing again that we have no faith unless we find one through our sincere endeavor with 100 percent honesty. As Socrates said, ” An unexamined life is not worth living”. We must do that to reach some conclusion. In the absence of this process, we will become nothing, rather will remain traditional beings. And that does not mean existence. That is not life. That is NOTHING, rather a life wasted. To have no faith on a conscious basis is better than having a blind faith (in any traditional faith).

    Enough for now.

    Liked by 1 person

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