Shamim writes of the Islamic moral hypocrisy in its application to Pakistan religious minorities, especially Pakistani Christians.
I Beg to Differ
By Shamim Masih (Mahmood)
Sent 3/1/2017 8:53 AM
ISLAMABAD: Various cities in the upper parts of Pakistan were jolted by earthquake tremors on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. I heard one of my friend saying that God is angry with us and thus there are earthquakes and other natural disasters etc. It is common practice in Pakistani society; especially Muslim prayer leader decry in Friday prayer sermon counting the possible reasons why God is angry and reasons of natural disasters. The major reasons quoted are: selling alcohol, committing adultery especially during Ramanza [aka Ramadan], Women going out for shopping in the markets, co-education system and youth using mobile phones and latest technology. These are botched up priorities and it is very painful to see the priority list of do’s and don’ts of the Moulanas.***
[***Blog Editor: As an American blogger, I was not certain what a “Moulana” was. Google-America was not cooperative. That search suggested alternative spellings. In the context of Shamim’s paragraph I am going to guess two Google alternatives: Maulana and Mawlānā.
Maulana (The Free Dictionary):
1. A Muslim man respected for his religious knowledge or scholarship.
2. Used as a courtesy title for such a leader or scholar.
Mawlānā (/mɔːˈlɑːnə/; from Arabic مولانا, literally "our lord/master") is a title, mostly in Central Asia and in the Indian subcontinent, preceding the name of respected Muslim religious leaders, in particular graduates of religious institutions, e.g. a madrassa or a darul uloom, or scholars who have studied under other Islamic scholars. ***]
Looking analytically, what is agonizing is when mentioning sins, the sin of telling a lie, cheating, hypocrisy, bribery, killing poor and innocent people, injustice from bottom to top, child abuse even in Madrisas (seminaries), the religious leadership and elders of the society conveniently overlook adulteration of foodstuff and medicines. I am not a supporter to those mentioned above but we can realize that selling wine would be one or few persons, the rest are teetotalers. Fornication would be an individual act. So how comes so grave a sin in the whole society? These could be sins but major sins are overlooked and moulana sahib [Islamic titular veneration] straight away jumps to mention drinking, dancing, modern dressing and using cell phones etc. etc.
For those who believe, God is actually unhappy because of our botched-up priorities. Bribery is now accepted as norm, people give false testimony in sensitive legal cases like blasphemy and then proudly mention it to others. (It is pertinent to mention that in giving testimony usually an oath is taken on Religious books) Telling lies has become a regular affair and being truthful and righteous is considered a weakness. Discrimination and inequality are against a special segment of the society. And thus, God is unhappy and keeps warning us to sort out our priorities.
A Superiority complex and forced imposition have made this world hell. There is no peace, stability, security and equality in the society. Freedom of speech is merely seen in papers but claimed all over. The poor are becoming poorer and rich are more rich. Thus, poor especially religious minorities are at risk. Hundreds of individuals have been falsely accused because of property disputes or personal vengeance. Blasphemy laws put Christians and other religious minorities at risk. Discriminatory laws have restricted minorities’ representatives to grow in all avenues of life. Touching the Quran or any other book of Islam, expressing or publishing atheistic opinions and preaching of other religions are consider as crime in Pakistan. Christians are often falsely accused of participating in these activities, but in and of themselves these laws are unjust constraints on religious freedom.
Christians and other religious minorities should be free to exercise their religion without fear of unjust persecution. This has to end, we must not rest until there is peace, security and equality for Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. This creates a stigma which condemns religious minorities to live under the permanent threat of death. The lives of the poor hang on a very thin thread.
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Edited by John R. Houk
Text embraced brackets and source links are by the Editor.
© Shamim Mahmood