In each era, there remained people in every religion who are either conformists or non-conformists regarding their respective religions. The latter do not find themselves convinced, deliberately derailed or have their parameters to gauge a religion. In Pakistan’s present day society; there is a new group which is exponentially on the rise. I personally don’t find the word ‘Atheist’ suitable for them since they are a faction who is nurtured with extreme complexes and the vent in their book is only in maligning religions and particularly, Islam.
I was in an Aftaar dinner given by an organization in Islamabad a few days ago. One CEO of a Karachi-based organization initiated a talk about how he hates going in Muslim Mosques.
“I could go anywhere but a Mosque.”
“And why so Sir?” I was curious.
“Since there is politics every time I go to prayer.”
“I mean in Khutba there is always political imagery going on five times a day.”
“We don’t have Khutba five times a day Sir.” The other guys on the table supported this basic clarification.
“And there aren’t all of the places where you find such Khutbas” I continued, “but in state-owned Mosques or the ones under military arrangements.”
The man who looked quite sane skimmed as if he was offended and while other guys were interested in the conversation, he readjusted his fallacy.
“It happens in all Mosques of Pakistan.”
I couldn’t remain polite; “And who tells you to be a Pakistani Muslim?”
My thoughts scuffles two years back when on a social portal, a journalist who once a very fast friend of mine, was leading a write-up in favor of very onset of profane cartoons. I remember there was his entire fan-following blindly substantiating his anti-Islamic ideology, or you call it ultra-moderate approach in some people’s dictionary without any impediment of being a Muslim and going for ‘shirk’. My defending arguments were at loss when I decided to put my strong opposition to all the ‘gentlemen’. Resultantly, I had to do big homework in giving crushing reply to the fabricated ‘satanic verses’ by, their stars, Salman Rushdie and Tasleema Nasreen in particular. I haven’t forgotten yet that they kicked me out of the portal when I put up a prepared resistance, and with a mixed feeling of humiliation and jubilation, I counted myself the odd one out from the so-called Muslim plagues who let these events happen and seek agreement of such pseudo-machos.
This is a new fashion. Being a cool pseudo-macho and creating noise against Islam and its ideology without any contextual supporting arguments. Hardly have they ever consulted any right source to check their concocted versions. This goes on to show how a big chunk of generation is being tamed on the flute of the fronts who believe they are ‘The Creatures’ and since they think they are the most genuine humane and asset to the society, they brazenly ridicule Islam out of their personal pre-conceived prejudices. A common perception these machos carry is they are not answerable to any divine directions since they are no harm to society. You ask them about religious obligations and they climb on you with their ostentatious claims of humanity and devotion, just in quest to win you the arguments against all other Muslims who, in their firm view, do not stand up to human rights violations against other religions and cultures. And as you tell them about strict human rights instructions Islam enjoins upon Muslims without any spare and Muslim community being the biggest victim of human rights violations itself, they get frustrated and quote Ayahs that were revealed in the context of Jihad after first Muslim Hijra’h in utter state of war. In each places after Jihad instructions, the directions are very clear about the times of peace and those who ask pardon of their war designs. Machos only handpick what they want to just to show how well-versed they are about Islam before dismissing it ridiculously.
In a recent debate over forced Muslim conversions in Sindh, I asked one such macho who was frequently copy-pasting Ayah’s by googling ‘Jihad’. I told him that I was no authority and whatever I would say, he would come up with his pre-generated answers so why doesn’t he clear his concepts and go to the book’s complete translation for dealing his pathos and then if it doesn’t answer him, I had sworn that I would stand by him and he answers: “I don’t believe in any fairy tale book.” Remember, this was the same book over which he enlarged his arguments of how ruthless Muslims are, being a Muslim himself.
There is no tincture of doubt that the polarization into religious and macho extremist blocs is prerogative of our new social settings. Both anti-thesis believe the other is cancer in sum social structure. While the religious ones are adamant and most of them being string puppets are never ready to listen and appease, they are not on the right nature of their religion and can revert back which has happened on many occasions. The macho extremist flank is with cosmetic conviction about their right to malign Islam with stupid examples and quotes which they search for their stock. The macho extremist bloc is transmitting into every Muslim internet user and there are people, I am being honest, who will have the rhetoric of Muslim misgivings. A rudimentary folly they do is to quote the examples of Delhi Sultanate and Mughal rule and portray instances like Ghaznavi’s invasions as Islamic wreckage whereas even any literate non-Muslim knows that it is not Islamic history but ‘Muslim History’. Islamic History had nothing to do with how Allauddin Khilji besieged Mewar for abducting Princess Rupmati, Why additional Jizya was imposed by Feroz Shah Tughlaq or on what grounds Akbar formed Deen-e-Ilahi. After Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H)’s demise, caliphate and the later war against Yazid summed up the Islamic history. Later were Muslim rulers and if anyone of them complied with the clearly prescribed Islamic economic, judicial or socio-cultural injunctions is said to be a true Muslim ruler and the others, just Muslim and not ‘Islamic’ rulers.
I can recall that in school, I used to take short notes in my rugged rough copy of what seemed outstanding to me. One question regarding killing non-Muslims which was told by a teacher did not convince me. I asked my father to fetch me an Urdu-translation of Quran to see whether that Ayah existed or not. It did exist but in an entirely different context about how in war-field, the enemy’s pride has to be humbled. After so many years, with an empty mind, I started reading the Tashreeh of Quran and by now, many of my concepts are cleared. I can safely have opinions about whatever I have read and understood. I could loathe those who kill over sectarian prejudices and I could tell my mother that I don’t belong to any sect but Muslim and so forth. Like we refer to a dictionary or reference books in a quandary, why not referring to a book that is book of the books? Those who don’t, have no any right to belittle Islam like the machos do.
I oddly found out peculiar physical and mental abuses in the lives of such machos to aid them establish their macho-ism. Either they are too sensitive or too crass. After losing their temperament out of common setbacks in life, they become confused beings and further confuse people by taking refuge in mock-making of Islam and other religions. A harmonious religious co-existence has serious threats from such self-proclaimed masterminds. And once having known that a friend of mine has become a macho, a one-word definition that readers may clearly understand now in this discussed context, I asked him one fine evening;
“From when have you turned that much anti-religious?”
“Right from the day that ‘bitch’ (His girlfriend) duped me.” He retorted.