Pakistan: Fanaticism and Tyranny Under Cover of “Islam”
It is almost impossible to avoid being charged with blasphemy in Pakistan these days and blasphemy carries the death penalty with it. Judges who exonerate someone accused of blasphemy can be killed and the person exonerated of blasphemy is sure to be lynched even after being freed. Accusations of blasphemy are easy, courts do not allow evidence to be submitted because even the submission of the evidence is blasphemy! Today, one may not even discuss some of the negative things the followers of the prophet Mohammed or his wives said or did, because even those facts of history as written by contemporary Muslims, is blasphemy.
In a recent case (Pakistani police charge 68 lawyers with blasphemy over protest) in Pakistan, A lawyer was detained by the Police so, 68 lawyers rose in protest and demonstrated against Umar Daraz, the Police officer who detained the first lawyer, cursing the Police officer….the Police turned around and arrested the 68 lawyers on blasphemy charges because they were cursing Umar Daraz and “Umar” was the name of a revered follower of the prophet Mohammed, one of the four “Righteously-guided” Caliphs of Islam!
First, Pakistan was transformed from a country that was founded to protect the rights of Muslims, to a country formed FOR Muslims, thereby, marginalizing its minorities. Still, matters were under reasonable control for a couple of decades even under successive (direct and indirect) military regimes that have plagued Pakistan since its first coup in 1958.
Until Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto arrived in a nullified electoral process. Soon after coming to power over he broke open the doors of tolerance by declaring the Ahmediyya to be non-Muslims even though they identify as Muslims…and that opened the door for the fanatical Mullahs to start taking control of the people by leading them down a path of “Strict Islam” i.e., fanaticism.
General Zia overthrew Bhutto in 1978 and gave fanaticism a free hand. Then, America decided to defend “Democracy” in Afghanistan by fighting the Communist regime that overthrew the king there and a proxy war between the United States and the Soviet Union began. Pakistan started down the hard path of imposing fanaticism on its people during this period, encouraged and financed by the US because it wanted dedicated fighters against the Soviets. Funded by CIA money and powered by American arms, hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Pakistanis were indoctrinated into an intolerant, ignorant and violent misrepresentation of Islam because they were needed for the “war!” against the Soviet Union Allowing them to be trained, got Pakistan Billions of dollars in US “Aid”…most of which found its way back to US and European banks by way of money stolen by the military and the civilian leaderships.
By the time Zia was assassinated in 1988, the gates of fanaticism in Pakistan had been blown out of existence and fanatics in Pakistan had truly taken over while the civilian and military regimes continued to pillage Pakistan…supported by the United States.
It is important to note that the spread of fanaticism is not because Pakistani Muslims are attracted to it, rather, the leaders of the fanatics have taken on the mantles of Islam, religious scholarship and nationalism as a means to power. The public is literally, driven to fanaticism because that is the only place where they feel they can live with Justice and in peace…even if that means, instant decisions cloaked by “Justice” and Peace because there are no “others” left to fight. While a lot of the leaders of fanatical movements in Pakistan may lay claim to having studied Islam (“Scholars” or “Ulema“), their derivative versions and interpretations of Islam, often have little or nothing to do with Islam as defined in the Quran. Unfortunately, we have seen throughout history, people quoting their scriptures to justify the most terrible deeds humanity can imagine, why should Muslims be exempt?
Muslims in the West, are taking partisan positions and dividing their ranks, leaving the doors wide open for persecution by Western security agencies. Many Muslims in the West have taken the lessons of the fanatics to heart because it is easier to follow a “scholar” than it is to study the faith and engage one’s own brain; a truism everwhere. Many local “scholars” have pressed home their position that to raise questions or argue without being a scholar is Un-Islamic thus, cowing the majority of Muslims who do not understand enough about Islam, to take a stand. They send their children to Sunday schools where the children generally are fed the same drivel that is pushed by the fanatics and new cadres emerge.
To be sure, there are many millions of people in Pakistan, Muslims and non-Muslims, who hate the Tsunami of fanaticism there, but they are either cowed into silence or, they are branded as “Kuffar” (Unbelievers) and are then persecuted collectively. Todays Pakistan has no place for reasonable people, Muslim or otherwise, only the compliant or the silent, are tolerated. Today, fanaticism has metastasized almost beyond cure, it is at a point where only another tyrant like Kemal Ataturk or Mao Tse-Dung can fix the problem with their own extreme and drastic actions…rather like Chemotherapy, which destroys everything in hopes of destroying the cancer.