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Monday, January 21, 2013

Freedom of Speech and the Islamophobes.

Harris Zafar of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, USA is an excellent writer and a Jihadist in the true sense of the word. His Jihad is to spread the true and peaceful teachings of Islam to his homeland and to the wider world through his writings.

In this struggle, he has invited many critics. Some from within the Muslim community who consider his Ahmadi faith as heretical, but the most vocal and hateful criticism comes from the American Ultra-Conservative Islamophobes. One of them, Andrew E. Harrod writes that in his latest article, that Harris fails to make any sense. To Harod, Islam is a unique case of a false faith which invaded, forcibly converted and occupied almost half of the world for a whole millennium. Harris Zafar's attempts to explain the misdeeds of despots and extremist clerics as unislamic are futile.

The tragedy with this type of Islamophobia is that it does not recognize reform within Islam as a genuine phenomenon. Their hateful propaganda has unfortunately been supported by the actions of the medievalist Islamists. For people like Harris and me, and all the other moderate Muslims the cult of Robert Spencer and the cult of Suicide bomber share the same view of history. Both of them see stories of violence in some history books as true and both of them reject reform and tolerance.

Harrod repeats the same distorted historic 'evidence' of killing of blasphemers and apostates during the time of the Prophet which is so common in Islamophobe literature. He also cites the same injustices being carried out in countries where despotic regimes are in control.

We cannot deny that some history books do mention events where alleged blasphemers and apostate were killed. At least this is how the orthodox Muslims understand them. As is the case with any scripture or historic narrative, readers can super-impose their own whims on the text to interpret it as they wish. So if OBL or Robert Spencer want to read the story of Kaab ibn Ashraf as an example of killing of a blasphemer, they will make every effort to ignore the fact that Ibn Ashraf was in direct contact with the leaders of Quraish and was posing a direct threat to the lives of the inhabitants of Medina. Similarly, Mr. Harrod, Spencer et al., will be happy to accept the story of Asma bint Marwan several others as true whereas Islamic scholars of Hadith have declared those narrations as fabricated or weak.

Fabricated events cannot become real just because Saudi Arabia is beheading and Iranian regime is condemning people for apostasy and blasphemy. There were hoardes of crucaders killing innocent women and children in the name of Christ. There are Jews killing unarmed civilians in the name of David and Moses. Can I start being disrespectful of these Prophets of God? Should a cartoonist be asked to portray these evil acts with Jesus, Moses and David as the subjects of these images? I am sure someone, somewhere is capable of doing this. But as a decent human being, I will abhor such 'art' as disrespectful, unfair and slanderous.

As human beings, we need laws and rules to regulate how society should behave. A line needs to be drawn where freedom of speech can turn into a license to cause offence, to stir up hatred and eventually violence in a society.

There is no confusion in Islam about freedom of conscience and expression. The real confusion is in the minds of Islamophobes who feel that their only weapon will be taken away if a law was enforced to curb their bigotry and naked hate.

I wish Harris all the best in his struggle against Islamophobia in the USA. It is the struggle for the triumph of real Islam, which will put an end to all persecution, war and bloodshed InshaAllah.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pakistan, Shia Genocide and 1974

Muhammad Hanif, a popular novelist and journalist tweeted recently about a discussion he had with a young man at a vigil for the Quetta massacre victims. They disagreed upon the year when the Shia killings started in Pakistan. The young man insisted that it all started in 1997, while Hanif knew it to be 1985. He concluded that the kid was too young to remember and he was old enough to be right.

Majority of the Shia Muslims dying in Pakistan at the hands of takfiri terrorists, and most of those protesting against this ongoing genocide don't know or remember 1974.

It was the first year of official takfir in Pakistan.

An elected parliament which consisted for some very vocal Shia politicians, under the guidance of a Shia prime minister allowed Sunni and Wahabi Mullah's to amend the constitution to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslims. One can read the speech by Syed Abbas Hussain Gardezi in the proceedings which supposedly represented the Shia opinion on the matter. I do not believe Mr. Gardezi was representing the Shia Muslims of Pakistan. He, like most of his colleagues were politicians who ushered in the dark years without realizing it.

On 6th of August 1974, day 2 of the in-camera session, the Head of the Ahmadiyya community, Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad cited numerous examples of fatwas (edicts) of Kufr by various Muslim sects against each other. He argued that Parliament should not behave like a takfiri mullah as those demanding the 2nd amendment call each other kafir too.

During the cross-examination, Attorney General Yahya Bakhtiyar refused to accept that all other edicts of heresy had anything in common with the proposed 2nd amendment. According to him, all Muslim sects were unanimous in declaring Ahmadis as Non-Muslims while the edicts quoted by the Khalifatul Masih were individual opinions of one sect against another.

Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad then quoted Dr. Khalifa Abdul Hakim, a famous religious scholar of Paksitan (Page 284), who wrote that a well known Mullah who was also a reluctant migrant to Pakistan declared a number of sects as Wajibul Qatl, includig Shias. He then quoted another scholar who famously said "We have only started Jihad against one sect (Ahmadis). We will deal with the others once we are done with them first".

On hearing this, Yahya Bakhtiyar tried to dismiss it as an individual opinion. But Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad told him that in future other sects will gang-up against another and the cycle of destruction will go on.

'That will be Hara-Kiri". Yahya Bakhtiyar remarked; probably the only correct conclusion he made during those 17 days.

Hara-Kiri, according to wikipedia is, "The ceremonial disembowelment, which is usually part of a more elaborate ritual and performed in front of spectators, consists of plunging a short blade, traditionally a tantō, into the abdomen and moving the blade from left to right in a slicing motion".

My deepest sympathies to the Shia Muslim brothers and sisters of Pakistan. It appears that they were bound by a Hara-Kiri pact without their consent.

Muhammad Hanif and many other liberal Pakistanis taking part in vigils and sit-ins this week can also mention 1974 to everyone. Those asking the PPP government for protection should be told that in the summer of 1974 a similar massacre happened all over Pakistan, and Bhutto's first Parliament was busy surrendering to Takfiri Mullahs.


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