Tuesday, October 23, 2018
07:41 AM (GMT +5)

Go Back   CSS Forums > General > News & Articles > Dawn

Reply Share Thread: Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook     Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter     Submit Thread to Google+ Google+    
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Saturday, May 14, 2016
kingfalcon's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 553
Thanks: 330
Thanked 327 Times in 200 Posts
kingfalcon will become famous soon enough
Default Death of diversity

Death of diversity

THE recent brutal murders of secular and atheist bloggers, gay rights activists, academics and writers in Bangladesh have shocked the world.

Outfits claiming to be affiliates of the militant Islamic State (IS) group have accepted responsibility. In Pakistan, too, several civil society members who opposed fundamentalism have been murdered in broad daylight. In both countries, few of the perpetrators have been arrested.

Other Muslim countries, too, have seen killings in the name of Islam; some have been the scene of ethnic and sectarian cleansing on a horrifying scale. So why can’t so many Muslims let people of different faiths, views and lifestyles live among them in peace? In a column in the Guardian recently, Elif Shafak, a Turkish writer, says:

“It is hard to be an Armenian in Turkey. Or a Kurd, or an Alevi, or gay, or a conscientious objector, or a Jew, or a woman, or somebody who just doesn’t happen to agree with what’s happening in the country… An ‘ideology of sameness’ dominates the land. That ideology is shaped by Turkish nationalism, Islamism and authoritarianism blended with machismo and patriarchy. The tension in politics permeates all aspects of daily life.”

In Pakistan, we could add Hindus, Christians and Ahmedis as well as Hazara Shias to Ms Shafak’s dismal list; except that life for them isn’t just ‘hard’, it’s often very short.

I suppose minorities in Pakistan should be grateful that we haven’t (yet) begun treating them as the IS does, but for those at the sharp end of our religious zeal, I doubt if this is much of a consolation.

Differences are something to celebrate, and not erase.

A few years ago, while flying from Colombo to Karachi, I found myself sitting next to a member of the Tableeghi Jamaat, the evangelical outfit that travels the world to convert people to Islam. This worthy, after insisting on praying in the aisle, thereby blocking it for the crew and other passengers, turned to me, no doubt thinking I was Sri Lankan, and said in English he would like to discuss religion with me. In Urdu, I told him to mind his own business and leave me in peace.

At Karachi airport, while we were waiting for our luggage, the call to prayer was made on the sound system. Needless to say, my neighbour ignored it and chatted on with his pals. I later learned that the Tableeghi Jamaat regularly travels to Sri Lanka to save Buddhist souls.

So why do so many Muslims have a problem with diversity? One of the most wonderful things about our world is that it is populated by such a vast collection of people of different ethnicities, languages, beliefs and lifestyles. Millions have no belief at all. We dress differently, eat different food, and have a bewildering array of customs.

For me, these differences are something to celebrate and enjoy, rather than wish to erase.

If people were privately disapproving of diverse traditions, skin colour and nationalities, there would be no problem. But far too many Muslims believe killing all those who are different is their religious duty. Thus, a poor Ahmedi shopkeeper was murdered in Glasgow because, according to his killer, he had somehow ‘disrespected Islam’.

By imposing the harsh, literal interpretation of religion exported and promoted by Saudi Arabia, we have turned Pakistan into a drab, monochromatic landscape where colour, laughter, dancing and music are frowned upon, if not entirely banned. And yet Islam in South Asia was once characterised by a life-enhancing Sufi tradition that is now under threat. More and more, we are following the example set by the Taliban.

It would seem that many Muslims are bent on isolating themselves from the rest of the world. Instead of building bridges, they are busy erecting walls. When they have moved to the West, they make little effort to imbibe the host culture, living in self-created physical and mental ghettos. Many opinion polls show the gulf between immigrant Muslim communities and the locals.

Given these attitudes, combined with a succession of terrorist attacks in which thousands have been killed in the West, we should not be surprised at the backlash that has developed.

Although Donald Trump’s Islamophobic message is extreme, he is clearly speaking for millions of Americans when he says he wants to prevent Muslims from entering America.

Often, Muslims in the West complain that they are not allowed to build mosques by local authorities. But they are silent on the ban imposed by the Saudis on building churches or temples in their country.

Clearly, there is a double standard at work here: we reject divergent views, beliefs and lifestyles in Muslim countries while demanding acceptance on our terms in the West.

As we are discovering, things don’t work like this in the real world.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2016
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to kingfalcon For This Useful Post:
Daisy (Saturday, May 14, 2016), ursula (Sunday, May 15, 2016)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chronological order of major events in Islamic History Babban Miyan Ding Dong Islamiat 1 Monday, May 28, 2012 10:59 PM
Islamic History (Chronology) Zulfiqar Shah Islamic History & Culture 0 Monday, June 27, 2011 12:09 PM
Islamic History (Chronology) Nek Muhammad Islamic History & Culture 0 Wednesday, December 08, 2010 09:47 PM
History of Islam (Year by Year) Shabab368 Topics and Notes 2 Tuesday, October 06, 2009 12:34 PM

CSS Forum on Facebook Follow CSS Forum on Twitter

Disclaimer: All messages made available as part of this discussion group (including any bulletin boards and chat rooms) and any opinions, advice, statements or other information contained in any messages posted or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not of CSSForum.com.pk (unless CSSForum.com.pk is specifically identified as the author of the message). The fact that a particular message is posted on or transmitted using this web site does not mean that CSSForum has endorsed that message in any way or verified the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message. We encourage visitors to the forum to report any objectionable message in site feedback. This forum is not monitored 24/7.

Sponsors: ArgusVision   vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.