Abandoning the secular dream
Video     Photos     Pakistan     World     Islam     Health     Crime     Islamic News     Business     Society     India     Travel     Middle East     Sport     sci/tech      Contact      RSS

How BBC’s HARDtalk exposed Dawn’s anti-establishment narrative

American officials believe China is likely to buy even more Iranian crude

‘Pakistan has come out of US shadow': Pakistani analyst

Why is Qadri boycotting 2018 elections – Ideology or ground reality?

Refurbished face of Pakistan’s far right

Zaman, Imam rise in latest ICC ODI rankings for batsmen

A failing system makes some students feel like misfits

The inside of extravagant Avenfield Apartments: Pictures

A technocrat setup in sight: Would general elections prove a mirage?

Knesset revokes Israel PM’s power to declare war alone

Yemeni forces fire drone, hit Aramco refinery in Saudi capital

Abid Boxer: A hanging sword on Shahbaz Sharif

Egypt gives Hamas ultimatum to stop flying kites into Israel

Sleeping with extremists: ASWJ announces support to ex-PM Abbasi for July 25 elections

Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by nine wickets in third ODI, clinch series

Textbooks — the real culprit

Could Sharif buy flats fairly in early 90s?

Iran, Pakistan to jointly produce defense equipment: Top general

Putin presents Trump World Cup football made in Pakistan

The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible

Dawn's CEO Hameed Haroon admits Dawn leaks issue was an international agenda

PTI leader meets ex-chief of banned outfit for votes

Why didn't Shahbaz Sharif reach to airport: The story of a secrete deal

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman: negotiations with Israel ‘a joke’

Pakistani Student Stabbed to Death in China

Two contentious decisions see Croatia crumble when it mattered most

A new face from Nawaz's dynasty: PML-N consider launching Maryam’s son

PML-N's Sheikh Aftab escapes assassination attempt in Attock

Inside Story: What happened to Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz at airport

Nawaz Sharif: Delusions of Grandeur

Pak-Iran improving military ties: A message to US and Israel

35k families displaced by Saudi attacks on Hudaydah: UN

US ready for direct talks with Afghan Taliban: Top cmdr.

Pakistani police open criminal cases against 17,000 members of ex-premier's party

Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by nine wickets in second ODI

Open Letter From Taliban Asks American People to Recognize Failure of 16-Year War

Pakistan, Iran army chiefs discuss peace, security issues

Sharif Saga: End of kleptocrats & thugs?

Will Interpol heed red warrant for Ishaq Dar?

Silence on recent bloodbath shows that 'mainstreaming' of radicalised outfits is a doomed plan

Who killed Haroon Bilour: A new story evolves

Saudi Awakening Movement leader arrested for opposing US troops in KSA

Iranian military chief to visit Pakistan soon on counterpart’s invitation

Emirati prince hiding in Qatar accuses UAE rulers of blackmail and corruption

France snatch World Cup glory from Croatia to win second title

China’s Sinopec will continue to buy Iranian oil

Diverting Iranian flights to Najaf to Baghdad

Elections under the threat of terrorism

Waseem floors Mthalane but loses world title via decision

Political campaign under threat: Who is the next target of terrorists?

Russia rejects Israeli call to keep Iranian advisors away from Golan

PML-N leadership booked for terrorism

Family meets Nawaz, Maryam at Adiala jail

Belgium claim 3rd spot at World Cup 2018, beat England 2-0

A matter of growing insecurities: Terror during elections

Maryam Nawaz goes to jail in Gucci

US, Iran Clash in Hormuz Strait: Not an Improbable Scenario

Croatian president can’t wait for final

USA enhances its support to Pakistan in educational sector

Would TLP a major stake holder in the elections?

Trial of remaining NAB references against Sharif family to take place in Adiala Jail

What Nawaz Sharif's Return to Pakistan Means for the Country's Politics

Turkey to sell 30 ATAK helicopters to Pakistan in major military export deal

A deadliest attack: 128 perish as savage attack on Mastung rally stuns nation

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz likely to be shifted in Adiala Jail

Nawaz, Maryam taken into custody at Lahore airport, passports confiscated

Nawaz Sharif lands at Lahore airport will be arrested shortly

Imam and Khan propel Pakistan to crushing victory over Zimbabwe

Mastaung Blast: Death toll mounts to 90, More than 200 wounded

Blast targets convoy of JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani, 4 killed

BAP candidate Nawab Siraj Raisani, 19 others killed in Mastung blast

Bilour’s Assassination: Is TTP trying to reassert itself after Fazlullah’s execution?

Fear of Khalistan: India demands UK to disallow Social Justice meet

Pakistan hosts spy chiefs from Russia, China, Iran

The return of Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif, Maryam in UAE, to reach Lahore by 6:15pm

World Cup final odds, lines: France the favorite to win it all over Croatia on Sunday

London police take Nawaz Sharif's grandsons into custody

Yemeni forces shoot down Saudi jet in Asir: Ministry

“Harf Kaar” App Lets You Correct Grammatical Mistakes in Urdu Language

Qatar funding pro-Israel US organisations

Beheading increases 70% in Saudi Arabia

Would Pakistan Supreme Court extend accountability to Ex-General?

Shrouded mystery: What was the secrete message Nawaz Sharif ignored?

Reham Khan book published online

Would Zardari play on front foot after Lawai's arrest?

Prison or gallows, I won’t stop, says Nawaz

US softens stance on Iran sanctions amid warnings

Croatia heads to its first World Cup final after beating England 2-1

Ministry asks NAB to probe corruption in Rs3b education project

Reuters: Saudi coalition has reached a dead point in Al-Hudaydah

The nightmare of terrorism: Is TTP back?

Petition seeking disqualification of ASWJ ringleader Ludhianvi referred to Chief Justice

Ishaq Dar seeks political asylum in UK: report

Who makes Cheemas and Fawads?

Is Pakistan serious to pursue Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project?

Nawaz, Maryam to be arrested at Lahore airport on arrival, flown to Islamabad: sources

France reach World Cup final as Belgium's golden generation falls short again

ANP leader Haroon Bilour among 12 killed in Peshawar blast

Israel supplied Saudi Arabia with internationally banned weapons

2018-01-13 09:08:58

Abandoning the secular dream


Pakistan was made in the name of Islam’ is the first thing you’ll hear when you suggest a secular government. They’re not wrong. The eggs that were laid in 1947 cannot be unhatched, and we’re not being forced to work with what we have.


’ll start by painting my picture of an ideal Pakistan. Pardon me if it does not agree with your own.


An ideal Pakistan is one where all people, irrespective of their religious beliefs, are free and equal. No religious group or sect holds dominion over the other. No religious group profits politically through special privileges in making and enforcing laws. There is no faith-based apartheid. The white and the green stand as one under one law. That’s secularism.


To install Islam as the state religion is to claim moral superiority above all else who, like you, make this country strong. It’s you telling a Christian cadet that you’re better than him. It’s you telling your Hindu colleague that you’re better than him. It’s you telling your fellow non-Muslim Pakistani that you have a right to hold the keys to his house, and make decisions on his behalf. ‘Because Pakistan was made in the name of Islam’, and millions of non-Muslims are accidental passengers on your boat; hunkered in the lower decks while you steer our collective fate from an all-Muslim bridge.


That is fine. This is what we have “democratically” chosen to believe. Two lions and a goat have each cast their vote on what to have for dinner. Who am I argue with the majority?


To put it in a different way, who am I and my secular comrades – all remaining six of them — to stand against 60 years of state-sponsored Islamo-nationalist opinion-making; the successful weaponisation of religion and brick-by-brick construction of the twin towers of mullahism and militarism?


Consider Exhibit A: the viral selfie of a contented youngster – ostensibly an activist or supporter of the Islamist organisation TLYR – with Major-General Azhar Naveed. This selfie is the culmination of decades of radical pro-Islamist state policy. The camera phone did not capture one moment in time, but a sixty-year marriage of nationalism and religious fundamentalism, made possible by powerful interests.


If you zoom in close enough, you may spot Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in the selfie, peering bashfully over the major-general’s shoulder; capitulating to the combined pressures of internal Islamist groups and the Saudi establishment. If you digitally enhance the background, you may spot General Zia ul Haq’s face emerging from the bushes, beaming broadly at the alliance before him. If you look at the selfie from a certain angle, you might even find a holographic representation of the Punjab University’s vice chancellor being forced to resign, after being pressured by the Punjab government to handover two-kanals of university land for construction of a madrassa.


Whoever assumed that the selfie is nothing more than a mildly amusing cross-sectional image of our political climate, rather than a longitudinal collage of pro-extremist state policies, may need to look again. To reiterate, who am I with my anaemic endorsement of secularism, to push this extremist Tsunami back into the sea?


This is a wave that has not only swept the living off their feet, but the dead along with it. Jinnah – a socially liberal, , dog-owning, British-educated, lawyer – was resurrected as a devout Sunni Muslim icon. Iqbal – the Nietzsche-inspired, ‘Hindustan’-loving poet, who warned of devils clad in ehram – was euthanised and returned as a staunchly Islamic partition theorist.


This isn’t defeatism. These are all questions that we ask ourselves when building a practical political movement, rather than arguing what is theoretically fairest. This is where we learn that practical activism isn’t simply about raising our voices, but maintaining strategic silence where required.


An underfunded, underheard secular movement is destined to generate little more than martyrs. But the readymade wave of Islamisation may well be surfed by the political left. It should be noted that religious equality is merely one part of a larger war against inequality that we’re engaged in. Class inequality remains the fountainhead of all injustice. It is, in fact, the only quantifiable form of inequality. He whose bank account is twice the size of yours, is twice as privileged as you.


The left must, within reasonable limits and without exacerbating religious extremism, be able to speak the language of the masses. We must not embrace that which violates our principles of liberty and equality, but we could be expected to steer the wave of Islamisation, and ram it straight into the gates of the plutocrats; those who sow the seeds of religious, sectarian, patriarchal, and class discord from their seemingly impenetrable gated communities.



ٖFaraz Talat


From other agencies (RSS Reader)

Gold Price Reduces

- Abb Takk