Pakistan and Islam are not Synonymous


by Shariq
5th August, 2010 at 7:52 pm    

A couple of nights ago, Tony Livesey on radio5 had a spokesperson for MPAC on to debate President Zardari’s trip to the UK. Yesterday the Evening Standard had a headline on ‘Muslim’ cabinet member Sayeda Warsi being the first minister to meet the President. Both of these examples reflect the idea that Pakistan and Islam are synonymous.

Right now, the country’s biggest city Karachi is burning due to what is essentially an ethnic and regional conflict. Meanwhile, disastrous floods have killed over a thousand people and at the end of it, will likely have displaced over a million people. Like after the earthquake in Kashmir, a number of government and civil society institutions are trying their best to bring relief to the grieving and dispossessed. Oh, and there was a plane crash a week ago which killed over 300 people.

I understand that people have an interest in finding out about terrorism and that it is a huge problem for Pakistan, but it is not the only one and does not define it.

Sayeda Warsi met Zardari because she is the only cabinet member with Pakistani heritage. She would probably not have been called on to meet the President of Indonesia.

The MPAC rep was of Pakistani origin, but there are a lot more qualified people you can contact if you are doing a radio show. Most of the political parties have representatives here. There are also a number of Pakistani journalists, writers and commentators based in the UK.

My point is a simple one – that Pakistan has an identity outside of its relationship with terrorism. Btw, I think this is one of the reasons that the cricket team, for all its dysfunction and drama continues to resonate. It highlights a different side to the country.

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  1. sunny hundal

    Blog post:: Pakistan and Islam are not Synonymous http://bit.ly/deCDOh


  2. Dheeraj Nostromo

    Pickled Politics » Pakistan and Islam are not Synonymous: My point is a simple one – that Pakistan has an ident.. http://bit.ly/cRzbbV


  3. Naadir Jeewa

    Reading: Pakistan and Islam are not Synonymous: A couple of nights ago, Tony Livesey on radio5 had a spokesperson … http://bit.ly/dl5rt1


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  1. Old Holborn — on 5th August, 2010 at 7:55 pm  

    sorry mate, this is like saying Nazi Germany made good beer. Because it is German

  2. MaidMarian — on 5th August, 2010 at 10:17 pm  

    ‘My point is a simple one – that Pakistan has an identity outside of its relationship with terrorism. Btw, I think this is one of the reasons that the cricket team, for all its dysfunction and drama continues to resonate. It highlights a different side to the country.’

    Sure. It’s just that Pakistan has an issue with terror, it is not somehow ‘anti-muslim’ to say as much.

  3. Trofim — on 5th August, 2010 at 10:20 pm  

    Alright, Pakistan and Islam aren’t completely synonymous. Seeing as a mere 97% of the population are Muslim, how about “Pakistan and Islam are only 97% synonymous”?

  4. Joe90 — on 6th August, 2010 at 12:34 am  

    Since the invasion of afghanistan by the US and its allies the terror problem in pakistan has sky rocketed. So its a bit hypocritical of cameron and the west to blame pakistan for every problem on earth.

  5. Kisan — on 6th August, 2010 at 7:25 am  

    I read a good post on chowk.com recently that points out this quite well not that I fully agree with the last paragraph:

    http://chowk.com/interacts/17622/1/0/40#464874
    urstruly #: “We have been stripped off our history, culture, and language just like Turks.”

    …it depends on how you define our history, culture and language…..in pakistan, our history, culture and language are sindhi, punjabi, pushto and baluchi…..despite serious efforts, these have survived and have not switchede to imported cultures and languages like arabic, persian and english…..

    if anything, the turks, originating from central asia, did quite a bit to get rid of the history and langauge of the original inhabitants of anatolia, which they conquered…..similarly, conqueing arab muslims totally wiped out the languages and cultures of most of north africa and much of the middle east….they arabicized all the languages and cultures…..when in fact, arabs where, originally, only from the saudi peninsula….they rest were chritians, jews, speaking aramaic and what not……..

    so you need to first define what, “our” means……certainly our langauge is not arabic, nor is our culture arabic, nor is our history arabic….in fact, barring saudi arabia, yemen, uae, and southern parts of syria and jordan, none of the other areas had arabic as a language, culture or history……..

    this leaves religion as the only commonality…..however, our ancestors religion was not islam……it was hinduism…..the religion of the ancestors of north africans and middle easterners was not islam…..it was christianity and judaism….and before that, roman and greek centric……and before that something else……the religion of anatolia was also not islam…….so when islam came in, it stripped all these regions of the religion they were following……similarly, arabs attempted to arabicize the turks also, when they brought them in as slaves……however, the turks ended up taking over the arab empires……during this time, they still spoke turkish and had their own history and culture……..

    ….religion doesn’t have much to do with language, cutlure and history….islam is simply supposed to be a way of life…..islam neither dictates a language, nor a culture nor a history that should be followed…..no where in the quran does it say, all muslims should give up their own languages and speak only arabic, start wearing clothes and follow a culture based out of the arab peninsula etc……in fact, it impliclitly states that mankind has been divided into tribes, so people can be recognized…….

    the muslim empire, itself, quickly moved its headquarters from mecca to baghdad (a non-arab speaking city, under arabs conquered it)….

    …attempts to link islam with language, culture and history are unislamic and against quranic teachings……islam does not allow the wiping away of cultures, languages and history…..so do highlight what culture, history and religion you are talking about…..

    ———–

    The fundamentalist Muslims try to make Islam and a countries culture synonymous which they are certainly not. Go anywhere in the world and you find Pakistani and Indians congregated together in communities because they share some common language and culture. Religion is more superficial although fundamentalists try to make it all important.

    Terrorism certainly doesn’t define Pakistan. It is the tool of Islamists to make Islamic sharia dominant. Pakistan has a complex relation with this ideology and is bound up with it unfortunately but for most people Islam is quite superficial and they retain their underlying cultures, languages and humanity.

    Hopefully that will overcome Islamic terror in the end.

    Even now hardline Islamists cannot be the representatives of Pakistanis as they do not have their votes. MPAC as above are certainly not representative of Pakistanis as a group of people although in the UK they have cleverly managed to try to be.

    The Islamists managed to hijack the UK Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities into the Islamist program.

    By being organised they managed to get that clout just as the RSS managed to gain a big following in the US by organising community events.

    The Government and media shouldn’t play into this phenomenon by treating these extremist groups as community representatives.

  6. mikar — on 6th August, 2010 at 9:45 am  
  7. platinum786 — on 6th August, 2010 at 10:26 am  

    How narrow minded to think terrorism defines Pakistan. Terrorism has been a problem in Pakistan for maybe 8-9 years, the country was formed in 1947.

    Terrorism will be a problem until the USA and western forces are defeated in Afghanistan, then this scum will become Afghanistan’s problem again.

  8. Kamal — on 6th August, 2010 at 11:06 am  

    Fascinating because when pickled politics write articles on Muslims they do emphasise this – implying all asian Muslims function in a purely asian milleu and condemning those who say otherwise and talk about non Asian influences on Asian muslims.

  9. Golam Murtaza — on 6th August, 2010 at 12:00 pm  

    Agree with Shariq. Portraying Pakistan and Islam as completely overlapping is not only unfair to Christian and Hindu Pakistanis but stifles the voice of those Pakistanis who are born into Muslim backgrounds but are atheist or agnostic. I’m not going to hazard a guess as to just how many Pakistanis are in these two latter groups, as I really haven’t a clue. But surely they must exist.

  10. Soso — on 6th August, 2010 at 3:36 pm  

    My point is a simple one – that Pakistan has an identity outside of its relationship with terrorism.

    That may be true, but much of Pakistan’s identity, unfortunately, IS nonetheless tied up with terrorism.

    My point is a simple one.

  11. joe90 — on 6th August, 2010 at 5:00 pm  

    soso #10 do b52 bombers and raf aircraft bombing the crap out of afghanistan and drones blowing up people all over pakistan tie up the western forces also with inflicting terror?

    How about torture does that define britain in 2010? If you want to have a level playing field lets call it out on all the players involved.

  12. Soso — on 6th August, 2010 at 7:19 pm  

    Portraying Pakistan and Islam as completely overlapping is not only unfair to Christian and Hindu Pakistanis

    I think the horrible treatment meted out to hindus and Christians in Pakistan by the Muslim majority says all that needs to be said. Pakistan and Islam are synonymous and inseparable, which goes a longs ways in explaining just why both are SO backward.

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/86042/pak-hindu-youths-coffin-labelled.html

    …but stifles the voice of those Pakistanis who are born into Muslim backgrounds but are atheist or agnostic. I’m not going to hazard a guess as to just how many Pakistanis are in these two latter groups, as I really haven’t a clue. But surely they must exist.

    Oh they exist for sure, but with the country’s backward medieval “blasphmey” laws what apostate would ever come out of the closet.

    I feel sorry for Pakistanis, and as someone who has witnessed the ( violent) discrimination they undergo in the Arab Mid-East, one can only assume they remain Muslim out of either blind fear or plain old stupidity.

    It’s amazing that Pakistanis will go up to bat for a people and a religion, The Arabs and Islam, that have colonised them, brutalised them, and which now parade the Sind’s academic and intellectual achievements and discoveries as Arabo/Muslims in origin.

    Pakistan doesn’t mean “Land of the Pure” It means “no history”, “no memory”, “no past” and “no identity”…other than that which your Arab masters permit.

    With the myriad of cultural enrichements brought by Islam and the Arabs to the Indus Valley, The sind has never been so enlightened.

  13. Kamal — on 6th August, 2010 at 7:37 pm  

    Soso
    “I feel sorry for Pakistanis, and as someone who has witnessed the ( violent) discrimination they undergo in the Arab Mid-East, one can only assume they remain Muslim out of either blind fear or plain old stupidity.”

    Oh fvck off. They remain Muslims because its the truth unlike the absurd idolatry of Hinduism or Trinitarian Christianity. Islam liberated millions from the evil Hindu caste system- who in their right mind would go back to being enslaved ?

    “It’s amazing that Pakistanis will go up to bat for a people and a religion, The Arabs and Islam, that have colonised them, brutalised them, and which now parade the Sind’s academic and intellectual achievements and discoveries as Arabo/Muslims in origin.”

    More amazing that Hindus will go into bat for the religion of Aryan supremacy which colonized them.

    “Pakistan doesn’t mean “Land of the Pure” It means “no history”, “no memory”, “no past” and “no identity”…other than that which your Arab masters permit.”

    Er Islam came to what is now in Pakistan in 710- are you seriously suggesting 1300 years of history isnt history ? According to you religions like Sikhism which have much shorter history also have “no history”, “no memory”, “no past” and “no identity”

    And Hinduvata facism means “No history except Hindu history and destroy all that is not Hindu”

  14. Kamal — on 6th August, 2010 at 7:42 pm  

    Soso
    “Pakistan and Islam are synonymous and inseparable, which goes a longs ways in explaining just why both are SO backward.”

    Which is why, until its recent economic boom, Pakistan had a higher GDP than India. No doubt Hinduism is the reason India was so backward.

  15. Golam Murtaza — on 6th August, 2010 at 7:50 pm  

    Kamal, Soso. Hook up with each other and smoke a couple of joints.

  16. Cronous — on 7th August, 2010 at 2:53 am  

    @Kamal

    “Oh fvck off. They remain Muslims because its the truth unlike the absurd idolatry of Hinduism or Trinitarian Christianity.”

    Yea cuz my set of fairy tales is so much cooler than yours.

    “Islam liberated millions from the evil Hindu caste system- who in their right mind would go back to being enslaved ?”

    Do not South Asian Muslims have their own caste systems? How did it liberate anything?

    “Which is why, until its recent economic boom, Pakistan had a higher GDP than India. No doubt Hinduism is the reason India was so backward.”

    Actually it was because Pakistan went completely apesh*t with religion that India has surpassed it GDP wise. Religion never played a large role in modern India.

  17. June — on 10th August, 2010 at 5:16 pm  

    Islam liberated millions from the evil Hindu caste system-

    Islam means “submission”.

    “Submission” means the opposite of liberation.

  18. Muslim — on 10th August, 2010 at 5:19 pm  

    “Islam means “submission”.

    “Submission” means the opposite of liberation.”

    Not it is liberation. You are either a slave of created things or of the Creator. Islam teaches the latter.

    Yes true liberation comes from being a Dalit Untouchable (Hinduism) or worshipping a man (Christianity) or dressing like a gangster (Orthodox Judaism)

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