Featured

Opportunist lot and Crises – Not a good Fit!

20431437_1711625885800879_2248431937505416855_n
Ayesha with the means of her fame, name and success – Imran Khan

Yesterday the whole media was inundated with the news of renegade Ayesha Gulalai.

She has made some serious allegations against the party chairman, Imran Khan. She has alleged that Imran Khan sent her some text messages on her phone that were full of turpitude. Also, she said that Imran Khan is a drinker and often times parties at Banigala with his friends, and that at one instance she was asked to participate in such a party.

She touts her pseudo-amour propre but horribly fails to justify as to why she has been with Imran Khan for four years when she had received such messages four years back? Was she enjoying them? Why won’t she just distance herself from the party? Was she ready to barter her so called self-esteem for some gains in the form of party post, party ticket to fight elections, or some other material benefit? There are news of her being strongly inclined towards Imran Khan for the sake of marrying him.

She says that Imran Khan’s Black Berry phone should be investigated to see whether or not he sent me the messages. Well, If you say that you received those messages, you should straightaway shown it in the press conference from you own phone. Why didn’t you do that?

The underlining fact is that she was a sleeper in PTI, who has now been unleashed by her masters. Amir Muqam of PML-N has reportedly met her a week ago, and offered her a huge sum of money. Well, money can make the mare go! PML-N can see that the Foreign Funding case is about to come out in PTI’s favor, and so is the case with Banigala case. This is why they have regressed back to their original style of politics, i.e. levelling baseless personal allegations, mud-slinging, slandering, etc.

Its a good trend of riddance to the turncoats that happen to be around for their own vested self-interest. Khan’s vision is our end, to be achieved by virtue of untiring struggle, persistence, courage to speak the truth, support the truth and what is good, and raise voice against what our conscience deems wrong. This is very difficult a thing to do, esp. in the face of such opposition aka league of the crooks.

But what irks me the most is when people play some infamous cards like victim card (of being discriminated against, not getting time to talk to the top brass, etc.), feminist card (for being ignored because of their gender), religious card (using religion in case they fail to meet their vested objectives), or nationalist card (by trying to be superior through race or ethnicity).

Sadly, Ayesha has used all of the above. She said, she cannot digest degradation of fellow women, allegedly, by party workers at the behest of their chairman, i.e. Imran Khan, and that she is a Pukhtun to whom nothing is dearer than her dignity. Well, I won’t say anything about her father, her own ‘westernized’ living style, westernized education, in addition to her political career – which is in total contrast to the traditions and conventions of Pukhtuns and Pukhtunwali. We will definitely not talk about your sister, who resides abroad, can’t even speak a word of Pashto. You call yourself a proud Pukhtun? Well, how about teaching her how to cover her body by not wearing revealing garments? We will leave it at that!

She hasn’t even hesitated to slander Imran Khan by calling him characterless person and as unholy and unfit for becoming PM of this country and that he be tried under article 62 and 63 of the constitution. Ironically, all this she recalled after being with him for years, and now all of a sudden he is the beast when elections are round the corner!

Ayesha was elected (more aptly ‘selected’) to the National Assembly on a reserved seat – How can you win an election, that too, from NA-1? Besides, what makes you realize you can ask for tickets? Its not any other party that makes decisions based on someone’s looks. Its the vote bank that a prospective candidate can garner and potential to win. Besides, she has lost elections first on PPP’s ticket and then in the Gen. Musharaf era. When she came to PTI, chairman Imran Khan selected her out of the four candidates, and so cleared her way to the parliament for the first time. Now she is accusing her very benefactor. This is not and can never be in line with the traditions of Pukhtuns and Pukhtunwali.

Finally, and this is for everyone who is against Imran Khan, never forget two things:

Whoever allies themselves with Imran Khan, becomes immortal in the political history of Pakistan, is shot to fame, gets their name embossed notwithstanding their inconspicuous persona in the past. Her being one of the sort!

And whoever deserts Imran Khan, they get forgotten, not even becoming a part of history, go back into oblivion notwithstanding their stature, of the likes of Javed Hashmi, whom now people consider a rabid dog and a lunatic.

This is not to say, that he is angelic, but what God has bestowed him with because he is doing his best for the sake of this country in good faith – and as per Prophet Muhammad’s saying, everything depends upon faith and intent.

She will be on TVs for a few days and then bang, she will be forgotten like so many big wigs of politics after throwing the gauntlet to Imran Khan. Remember that – always!

میری ہستی کی میں کیا مثال دوں تمہیں

لوگ مشہور ہوگۓ مجھے بدنام کرتے کرتے

Lampooning the Pukhtuns

On this Eid-ul-fitr, Pakistan’s National TV, PTV, aired a program by the name ‘Hasna Mana Hai’ in which a poet named Jawad Hassan Jawad made fun of Pukhtuns and humiliated them. In his poetry, he labelled them as Terrorists, Smugglers, Naswar-eaters and stinking creatures.

I am not surprised to see and hear ridicule and derision of Pukhtuns. This is definitely not the first incident. We have been laughed at, ridiculed, caricatured, depicted as terrorists, looked-down upon in this Land of the Pure, promoted as Truck Drivers, Chowkidars, Nokars, Stupid and dumb creatures, and as Narrow minded aliens, as Mullahs, as Pedophiles and what not!

Punjabi Ethnocentrism has already led to the breakage of Pakistan in 1971. They can be frequently seen mocking Baluchs, FATA’s and now KP’s people and their cultures. They think they are better than us, the Pukhtuns. I cannot figure if this is inferiority complex or superiority complex. They forget to see their ugly faces in the mirror. They know they are not better than us, they know it! That is the very raison d’être of their hatred. This hatred is been reflected in every aspect of our life in this country, on a daily basis, right from the inception till date. I don’t know what to call ourselves, – Cowards, may be or Indecisive? We seem to have nerves of steel to be capable of tolerating this nonsensical abasement for 70 years now. They did the very same to Bangalis, too.

Either they don’t know anything about the history of Pukhtuns or know a lot about it. In either case, they know they aren’t better than us.

Father of the Pukhtuns, Qais Abdur Rashid, did bait on the hands of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) himself and converted to Islam. Can you match his honor, O Punjabi brethren?

Qais also married the daughter of the greatest of Muslim military commanders, Khalid Bin Walid. Can you even imagine matching this honor in the farthest of your thoughts?

We are smugglers, right? Firstly, those are Aghanis that do smuggling across the border not Pakistani Pukhtuns. But lets not haggle about it, and granted we are Smugglers. Lets say we smuggle TVs and Cars at most, right? What did your Punjabis do to the whole country? Didn’t Nawaz Sharif sell out the whole of Pakistan? Didn’t Gen. Shuja Pasha sell out the whole of Pakistan? I think these are bigger deals than mere smuggling and are incidents that are still fresh in the news. I can recount many others of the like.

We are Naswar-khor, right? So what? Pukhtuns are not the only people who consume it – People in most of the Central Asian states, Russia, India and Iran also consume it. In fact, a variant of it is also extremely popular in Sweden, called Snus. Also, Naswar is, like most of the drugs, Western invention, not Pukhtun’s. Why should it be associated with the names of Pukhtuns? Merely to humiliate them? It is a drug and should be kept as such not as a tool to make fun of a whole ethnic group.

We are Terrorists! Okay, but what about Punjabi terrorists? The actual creators of this whole terrorism in South Asia? Who are the recruits and master minds of Lashkar e Jhangvi, Sipah e Sahaba, Jaish e Muhammad, Lashkar e Tayyaba, etc. etc. In fact, most of the Daesh‘s recruits and master minds come from Punjab. Not only that, we have seen, in recent past, many of them have been involved in hideous activities like terrorism and sexual harassment etc. in the Western and Middle Eastern countries.

We are Pedophiles, right? But every now and then, we see in the news the Punjabi Pedophiles raping little girls and boys, often times killing them after. In fact, most of the times, the heinous criminals used to record videos of rape, and sell it online. Recent cases like Sargodha and Kasur porn scandals are merely tip of the iceberg.

We are Chowkidars? Yes, proudly so! We have been your Chowkidars for the last 70 years since your army is unable to do their bit of Chowkidari. It takes balls to do Chowkidari. You don’t have them. On and off, Kashmir ki Chowkidari – Pukhtuno ki Zimadari. When you sense a fight between India and Pakistan is about to happen, we often see Punjabi-controlled media showing the most patriotic and loyal-to-the-land Pukhtuns, telling us to find them in the front ranks to fight against the enemy, exciting them to fight for them in case of war. There is a very thin line between Madness/Stupidity and extreme Gallantry and Patriotism. We call it gallantry and patriotism, Punjabis call it Stupidity. Its a matter of perspective actually!

I can go on and on for the rest of stereotypes (about Pukhtuns) as well but will call it a day!

I can stereotype Punjabis as non-observant of Fasts, as free Farters, as obsessed dancers who dance to biscuits, to detergents, to soaps, to shampoos, to mobile products, to the new crop, to agri-products, even to funerals, as greenish-yellow skinned sub-humans, who regularly eat dogs and donkeys, who indulge in child pornography, and commit child molestation etc. etc. but won’t say anything more than that!

At the time when the country needs unity and oneness, Punjabis are dividing it, making schisms after schisms, deriding other ethnic groups, making them the subject of their jests, discriminating against them as each and every level and in every possible way. At the time when our motherland needs us to unite as one people, Punjabis are dividing us into different nations. At the time when our country’s alienated people need to be wooed over back, welcomed back into the folds and laps of this beautiful land, appeased and deemed as equal Pakistanis, Punjabis are hell bent on destroying the very fabric of the state from which it was tailored by fostering the seeds of hatred, – also sown by them.

It is high time we come together as one people, as Pakistanis! Unless and until that happens, we will continue to play in the hands of the enemies, using us against each other for their own designs. But for that to happen, we should heartily accept each other and try to spread love instead of hatred, observe unity instead of strife, and harmony instead of dissonance!

Finally PEMRA should take notice of this and make the poet apologize on TV.

I am a misfit in this world!

12138502_1716488148572500_3205185106703462357_o
Away from technology, away from hectic days of urban life, away from society!

In Feb 2017, I completed my Bachelor Degree. Despite the fact that I have graduated with flying colors, I don’t have any idea of my course in life. What am I going to do from now onwards? What is my future? What should I do vis-à-vis my career? What to do about my own financial security? What steps should I take for self-sustenance etc.?

There could be no two opinions on the fact that I want to take a job accordant with my educational qualifications, but those sorts of jobs require you to have at least three years of experience which baffles a fresher’s mind as to where you will start off when you don’t have that much experience in the first place. But when you eventually do get some low-paying job, way below your level, another sword hangs over your head; that of being ‘overage’ – a disqualifying differential! Besides, by the time one reaches that point, one has already lost all the enthusiasm and zest for seeking a job and doesn’t actively commit him/herself to job searching.

Personally, I have no issues whatsoever with doing some menial or lowly job as the ultimate rationale is to live a dignified life with peace of mind, but that I can’t do on two grounds:

First, I can’t get an inferior job because I am rejected on grounds of being overqualified in this cadre, and secondly, even if I succeed in securing one, I would be looked down upon by my contemporaries, friends, and family, esp. if they are better off as compared to me for opting for a low-grade job. In such an environment, coupled with many other reasons and factors (mentioned below), I cannot survive. I have developed a syndrome of detestation for this world at large and this society, in particular. I deem myself a misfit in this society with misplaced priorities which, in my humble opinion, has caused the entropy that we see in the world today. I wish I could run away, to avoid even the furthest tentacles of this poisoned place and poisoned people with poisoned minds.

But if there were no societal burdens to attend to, or perhaps because of the very nature of our society and our people, I would love to retreat, or rather run away to some faraway place, to some mountain or jungle, where there are no human beings around – which is quite a paradoxical thing to say, where there is no concept of jealousy, no leg-pulling, self-consciousness and showing off for the fear of being laughed at and mocked or despised, where there is no concept of being angry because one forgot to pay Salam to you, where there is no enmity on account of being oblivious of the insalubrity of some distant cousin, where there is no tension of lack of material affluence, where there is no fear of being exploited or taking advantage of someone, where the idea of power and authority is not known, where there is no infringement on rights, where there is no corruption, where there is no adulteration, where there is no oppression, where there is no factory, no pollution, where there is no concept of war, no concept of weapons, no reason to fight, no disputes, no nationalism, no boundaries, no rules, no chauvinism, no fake piety, no hypocrisy, no politics, no medium whatsoever to be connected with anyone! no sorrow of seeing the old and elderly being humiliated for their rightful rights.

A place where there is no sorrow of seeing the old and elderly being humiliated. No sorrow of seeing a little girl or boy stripped of their dignity. No sorrow of seeing unemployed youth with a plethora of degrees wandering around from office to office, dropping resumes, pleading for a job and getting ridiculed. No sorrow of seeing a young man beaten to death over exhibition of his culture, or perhaps where there will be no culture at all. Where there will be no looters of national wealth. Where there would be no concept of labor, no concept of punishment, no complex philosophy of morality and ethics. Where hate will be unknown, where there will be no black or white magic, no fast moving conveyance systems with people who have no time on hand, no such hectic schedule. A place where there will be no injustice, no discrimination, no favoritism, no racism, no laws to regulate lives of people if there are any, where they will not be judged on the basis of cast, creed or color, or the way they dress, or the way they tend to look – where all will be at par with each other, all equal – as one human race, a fraternity above all the differences.

We don’t belong to the world that we see and live in today! Every soul on the face of this planet is wild and free. Everyone wishes to live in such a free place – a place where there will be peace of mind, serene ambiance, pollution-free environment with a perfect eco-system, where plants, animals, and humans live in complete harmony – all contributing to the eternal bliss, eternal love and eternal well-being!

I dream of such a place, I wish it could one day materialize! Amen

[ Originally Published on the Voices of Youth website
 (http://www.voicesofyouth.org/en/posts/i-am-a-misfit-in-this-world) ]

Misogyny – Thy name is PMLN!

The use of offensive language against the male counterparts is quite a norm in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz party, but hurling lewd remarks, caricaturing, uttering abuses and vulgar comments, and false accusations representing the utmost disgust and hatred for women are the hallmarks of PMLN.

Members of the said party had been involved in slandering and mud-slinging against the erstwhile Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, whose very intimate photos were thrown down and disseminated in a conservative area just to discredit her – stripping her of her dignity, Mrs. Nusrat Bhutto pictures were also dropped from planes for the very same evil purpose and Jemima Goldsmith, who they accused of smuggling antiquities out of Pakistan let alone calling her a ‘Jewish lobby’ and pestered her to the extent whereby she couldn’t afford to stay anymore in Pakistan and so led to the dissolution of her marriage with Imran Khan.

After Imran Khan married Reham Khan, they had alleged her of being a British women who is oblivious of the Islamic injunctions and norms and values of Pakistani society and that she dances with ghair mahram men and released her videos on social media and calling her a ‘weather girl’ with no journalism degree whatsoever!

Furthermore, they tried to muzzle and blackmail late governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, by making public the intimate photos of his daughter.

One of the ministers of PMLN, who carries a persona of an educated and well-read gentleman but lacking even the very basics of ethics and morality had caricatured a female member of assembly right on the floor of the parliament. He had uttered lewd remarks and was joined in this indecent and lascivious exercise of spewing indecent and misogynistic comments by his party peers. The very same MP had caricatured a female MP of PML-Q by calling her ‘Penguin’ when she walked with a wobble.

Another minister belonging to the same wretched party passed quite a lustful comment on a female MP of PTI during a parliamentary debate.

This was then followed by accusing Ayesha Gulalai of being held by police for carrying hashish and liquor which later proved a mere slander and farther from the truth.

The tale doesn’t end here! They have accused their own worker, Samiah Choudhary, of being a drug addict while she was found dead in the room of federal lodges allotted to MNA Choudhary Ashraf of PMLN. The investigation report later confirmed, she was raped and killed afterwards.

Also, stories of Hamza Shahbaz, son of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, are well-known. He has had his wife, Ayesha Ahad, beaten by Punjab police in the jail while he himself stood there watching this sorry spectacle.

During the PTI Dharna of 2014, a lot of women participated in the protest which the PMLN termed as Mujra.

On Mar 9, another MP of PMLN used extremely uncouth and insulting language against the female members of PTI’s MP. The MP had the guts to tell all this in a media talk right outside the parliament! The same party members couldn’t get enough of extolling the so called sanctity of the parliament and the use of decent, civilized and parliamentary language.

These are merely a few examples of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s hatred for women, always targeting them for character assassination and harassing them in whichever manner they deem good.  In this regard, the criminal silence of its leaders, especially the female members, is particularly condemnable and very unfortunate. This party is founded on the disgust for women – This party bleeds misogyny!

Enlightened Moderation – Its factors, Pros & Cons, Conclusion!

Enlightened Moderation

Introduction and Etymology:

Enlightened Moderation is a phrase comprised of two words, ‘Enlightened’ which is not only the product of education, rather it is a state of mind. It implies being open to reason and to a wide spectrum of opinions of a variety of schools of thought, irrespective of consent or disagreement over a particular matter. ‘Moderation’ on the other hand side is a mixture, i-e: it entails to have or possess qualities or features of two dielectrically opposed theories or concepts. It is a middle-of-the-road concept unlike to be on either of the extreme. In other words, Enlightened Moderation simply means to be progressive and modern and still retaining the fundamental beliefs of Islam.

The idea of Enlightened Moderation applies to the religion of Islam and advocates that Islam be practiced in a moderate way rather than in a fundamentalist or extremist fashion. It connotes to be open to and tolerant of other sects and religions, its followers and their beliefs and to refrain from exercising the ideas or beliefs of Islam in extreme fashion. We, the Muslims, must be open and fair to reason, logic and rational thoughts and ideas. This is a strategy that aims at ameliorating the image of Islam in the global arena which has been caricatured by practicing its fundamentalist brand which in turn has given rise to social evils like militancy and extremism. Enlightened Moderation emphasizes the adoption of balance and placatory approach, so that the negative image of Islam could be reconstructed into a positive one.

The proposition of the theory of Enlightened Moderation came against the backdrop of the incident of September 11 (Twin Tower/Word Trade Center) incident. The very term or phrase was coined by the erstwhile President of Pakistan, Gen. (r) Pervez Musharraf, at the annual OIC summit conference held at Malaysia in 2002. He later clarified his stance further on the Enlightened Moderation when he composed a full-fledged article Time for Enlightened Moderation, which got published in a number of newspapers nationally as well as internationally, in 2004, explicating the need and importance of the theory.

Strategy of Enlightened Moderation:

Enlightened Moderation, according to Pervez Musharraf, is an elaborate strategy and complete plan of action which aims at securing mother earth from menace militancy, extremism and terrorism and making it a safe abode for all of the mankind, Muslims and Non-Muslims equally, struggle for wiping off the vile image of Islam that is portrayed in the minds of Non-Muslims, esp. in the West by exercising the fundamentalist brand of Islam and to send a clear message to the world, convincing them that Muslims aren’t extremists so as to attain the soft image internationally, to remove any misconceptions and wipe off false perceptions that west has about Islam and Muslims. Also, this strategy aims at curbing militancy by the counteraction of education.

The strategy of Enlightened Moderation is expounded as a two pronged strategy:

a)        The first part applies to the Muslim world, i-e:  to enlighten and inculcate the fundamentalist and fanatic Muslims to refrain from indulging into activities that are considered as extreme, to give up militant endeavors and acts and to espouse the path of socio economic uplift for the betterment of their country in particular and Ummah in general.

b)        The second part applies to the west, i-e: countries in the west, especially US, are obliged to help in the socio economic uplift of the deprived Muslim world, they must expedite the process of resolving issues with justice that entail the misery of Muslim world and to assist in the eradication of  the political injustices and disputes.

 

 

The two points, Obligations of the East and West each, are now explained in detail pertaining to the Strategic and Operational parameters.

A)        Muslim Prong of the Strategy:

      This prong of the strategy is to be delivered by Muslims in four parts/steps:

  • To nullify/dispel the perception that all Muslims are fundamentalists, extremists or religious fanatics.
  • To enlighten/educate the fundamentalist Muslims and make them give up fundamentalist ideas and concepts, to bring them back on to the middle-of-the-road Islam. To inculcate in their minds that Enlighten Moderation is actually what Islam has been preaching since the times of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W).
  • To use them for the economic uplift of the society and ummah at a large.
  • To reanimate the OIC for the fulfillment of the aspirations of the Muslim world and for the emancipation of the poor, deprived and alienated Muslim countries.

                Terrorism is one of the biggest threats of the day that the world faces. Any person involved in terroristic activities is loathed by people of all sects, religions, places and races. The problem that Muslims face today is that West deems all the Muslims around the world as Terrorists and Extremists. They perceive/see around 1 billion Muslims through the same lens, categorizing them all together as terrorists, which is not fair. In any society, at any given time period, there are always some militant and extremist elements and outfits who would not like other people to live in peace, compassion and mutual harmony. Such elements are always in a quest to sabotage the peaceful living of other people. Same is the case with Muslims society; there are some militant and extremist elements who execute the afore-mentioned acts, but here is what the West needs to understand that these people are a mere handful out of a population of well over a billion Muslims, just like all the Irish people couldn’t be tagged as members of the cult IRA, likewise all English couldn’t be considered as members of the EDL. They don’t represent the whole lot. Most of the Muslims are not like them and detest the way that they have opted for, while also hate being tagged as a fundamentalist or terrorist. Most of these miscreants do these foul acts in the name of Islam, while pursuing some other agenda. A larger percentage of them have resorted to terrorist acts (oftentimes in the name of Islam) as a reaction to the Political Injustices done to them. Also, a fraction of the same people is the enemies of Islam who dwell under the guise of Islam and exploit the sentiments of innocent people for the pursuit of their evil ideas and deeds.

                  The next challenge that Muslims face today is to indoctrinate the extremist and fundamentalist elements again against the fundamentalist version of Islam and how to woo them over to the middle-of-the-roader version of the aforesaid religion. This challenge can only be achieved through education and enlightenment of those people. They must be convinced that ‘Enlightened Moderation’ is what Islam advocates. Islam despises and discourages fanaticism, extremism and apocalyptic religious fervor. One must not go beyond the pre-defined boundaries. As a matter of fact, Islam is the most logical religion on the face of earth, so Muslims must be open to reason(ing) and rational queries and comments. Islam encourages the exercise of reasoning, rationality and good judgments. It can answer all sorts of questions, as Islam is the only perfect religion. Being open to reason doesn’t mean, in any possible sense/way, to compromise the religion of Islam or its principles, and/or injunctions, neither does it mean undermining the basic Islamic beliefs and injunctions. So ‘Enlightened Moderation’ is not any product of the west, and this creed is rather Islamic and rational dictated by both Islam and the intellectual commonsense of the west. Muslims must be the vanguards of rational thoughts and rational approach, optimism, broad-mindedness, and positivity. They must be educated to realize the fact that both the doers of terrorist acts as well as the sufferers, both, are mainly Muslims. How come such acts going to help with the projection of a nice, moderate and reasonable image of Islam, and how come these acts going to convince/inspire the non-Muslims, rather these disgust them from the religion. The holy prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) never preached fundamentalism, extremism, and/or fanaticism. He always has been the harbinger of change, progression, modernization and advancement. Muslims of the day have put the teachings of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) on their back. They were adamant to get out of their shell, rather remained in there while the rest of the world progressed. This is the main reason why Muslims are left far behind the rest of the world in the fields of education, esp. Science and Technology. So the only way to get them back on track is to educate them and reintroduce them to the moderate Islam. This is the only option that we have!

                                                The third challenge that Ummah confronts is how and what to do to get the deprived Muslim world emancipated off the economic shackles and how to use the now-ex-fundamentalists or religious militants for their own betterment and socio-economic wellbeing. The economically sound and stable Muslims countries are obliged to extend their full support towards the economic uplift of the poor ones. Once all the Muslims succeed in putting aside their grudges and disputes, with the realization that they can only get their voice heard and raise voice for their rights once they are economically strong. This is the reason why they should put all their energy in for their social and economic uplift. This will not only help the poor countries and their people who live their lives in abject poverty and despair to get out of the pit of destitution and dismay, but also help with the long tarnished, distorted and vile image of Islam to reconstruct it into a more accommodative, open, and soft one.

                                                The fourth and probably the most important challenge is how to reanimate or reinvigorate the OIC – What Musharraf described as ‘the operational parameter of the strategy of Enlightened Moderation’. It is a corporal body of about 57 Muslim countries. It is important that the OIC be restructured and reorganized in a way that accords with the trends and conventions of the contemporary time. All the member states must put their efforts to fortify the organization Politically, Socially, and Economically. Only then, it will be in a position to raise voice for the Muslims, their rights, and Justice.

B)        West Prong of the Strategy:

West must do the following as a commitment to their prong of the strategy of Enlightened Moderation:

  • Resolutely resolve all the disputes of the Muslim world.
  • Help in the economic uplift of the Muslim countries living in utter destitution.

 

West must know the cause for extremism and militancy is not religion but Political injustices, denial and deprivation. As Musharraf describes it in his article,

Political injustice to a nation or a people when combined with stark poverty and illiteracy makes the explosive mix leading towards an acute sense of deprivation, hopelessness and powerlessness. A people suffering from a combination of all these lethal ills are easily available cannon fodder for the propagation of militancy and the perpetration of extremist, terrorist acts

It is an established fact now that it is the west that has been antagonizing Muslims though so many incidents and events, that have literally polarized the whole Muslim world – dividing it between the Extremists on one hand and Liberals on the other. We can trace back the genesis of the Muslims getting tagged as Extremist or Militants. First of all there was only the Palestinian Intifada as the only concern in the Muslim world, then the Soviets attacked Afghanistan which worsened the matters even more, then came the Americans, also invading Iraq. We can go on mentioning many more like Chechnya, Bosnia, and Burma etc. The reason to recapitulate this is to let the world know that it is not the religion of Islam that preaches the Extremism and Militancy but the political injustices done to the people, who as a reaction, in disgust, adopt the path of extremism and militancy. For attaining global peace, it is essential that West must fairly resolve all the issues and disputes of the Muslim world.

Secondly, West, esp. the US must help the deprived Muslim countries in their economic uplift to make them stand on their legs. In this regard, they must give aid to the poor countries, fund the education sector, work out employment opportunities, and increase trade with those countries.

It is clear that both the prongs aim at establishing global peace, resolving decades long disputes between Muslims and Non-Muslims, building mutual harmony and emancipation of the deprived Muslim countries.

Points of argument in favor of Enlightened Moderation:

                                                Supporters of the Enlightened Moderation tend to support their arguments in its favor with the following points:

  • The only strategy to put an end to extremism, militancy, terrorism and fundamentalism.
  • Enlightened Moderation is advocated by Islam, i.e. Quran and Hadith.

“Ummatan Wasatan” (A moderate community) – Al Quran.

“Khair ul Umoori Ausatuhaa” (Moderation is the best course) – Hadith of Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

  • The only way to empower Muslims and get their voice heard.
  • It unites Muslim countries.
  • Enlightened Moderation is the strategy to smoothen the disputes of Muslim countries.

Enlightened Moderation and Modernization Vs Westernization:

                Most people confuse Enlightened Moderation and Modernization with Westernization despite the fact that these are completely irrelevant concepts. Westernization is the adoption of foreign cultures, imitating the way westerners live, dress, eat, and meet etc. while Enlightened Moderation and Modernization are the concepts that emphasize progression and advancement and knowledge. These espouse being enlightened with knowledge and open to criticism and reasoning. Musharraf said,

                        “We must adopt a path of moderation and a conciliatory approach to fight the common belief that Islam is a religion of militancy in conflict with modernization, democracy and secularism.”

                       

Criticisms:

                        Musharraf’s concept of the Enlightened Moderation has been the target of criticism by critics of almost all walks of life, from the very beginning. Amid Muslims, the supporters of the so-called ‘Moderate’ Islam are considered classic example of those who don’t really care about the religion for any possible thing, except for their vested interests. In this analysis we will see if it is really their benighted opportunism that makes them espouse ‘moderate’ Islam as a tool for their self-promotion. Their stance and positions change frequently with the ever-changing preferences of the US; and this is the proof of self-centered approach in this respect, but an objective analysis of their approach is imperative.

              While writing the Time for Enlightened Moderation, Musharraf tries to kill two birds with one stone. He tries to please both Muslims and Non-Muslims by pushing their agenda of ‘War within Islam’ through the neo-cons of the west and Muslim neo-mods.

               Pervez Musharraf craftily puts forward the Enlightened Moderation as a strategy and not another form of Islam to avoid annoying Muslims and win their hearts and minds instead.

               He says in his article,

                        The suffering of the innocent multitudes, particularly my brethren in faith – the Muslims – at the hands of militants, extremists, terrorists, has inspired me to contribute towards bringing some order to this disorderly world. It was this very urge which led me to expound the strategy of Enlightened Moderation.

But he hides his source of inspiration which is nothing but his vested interest.

       Why would not a true Muslim be moderate without following the Enlightened Moderation? He provides no explanation or reason whatsoever.

        Musharraf commences the article with senseless sentence like “something must be done to stop carnage”. He appeals and sounds so apologetic which makes no sense because appeasements don’t help in changing the minds of the perpetrators nor their policies.

         He resolves quite early that “the perpetrators of the crimes are…. Muslims”.  Now here he tries to please the west and the Islamophobes, endorsing their stance of classification of the Muslims. His argument lacks fairness, though. Compare this with those who are covered up to their necks in innocent blood, having scores of nuclear weapons, has violated so many times the sovereignty of so many countries, bypassed UN to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. But this seems nothing to him to consider.

        One of the basic and frequent objection is that why does the world attribute terrorism, extremism and massacre with Muslims for the death of a wee no. of people, while not associating these with the people afore-mentioned in the preceding point.

        Musharraf has expounded Enlightened Moderation as a two-pronged strategy: a) Shunning Extremism/Militancy b) Adopting the path of socio-economic uplift.

Now as far as the two prongs are concerned, no one really would long to live in ever going wars and violence and never ending poverty. Also, Quran and Hadith (as well as Sunnah) together makes Islam – denounces and discourages violence. So what is the point in embracing a new version of Islam? Musharraf just doesn’t clarify and answer this question in his article.

As for as the second prong of the Enlightened Moderation is concerned, the dilapidated situation Muslims are in, is not because of their alleged obsession with their faith rather their lack of obsession with it, and this is the reason they cannot manage to get out of the darkness. They don’t need any kind of Enlightened Moderation to ameliorate their state. The Enlightened Moderation is a completely misleading title and is quite irrelevant with the propounded strategy, which in turn is devoid of common sense.

      He tries to equate moderation with ‘conciliatory approach’ and shows that Islam is not in conflict with secularism. This is the crux of all this effort wherein he tries to make his political guile acceptable to the west, and equates secularism with Islam.

      Every now and then, in the article, Musharraf makes appeals to the west, esp. US, “…to resolutely resolve all the political disputes concerning Muslims with justice”. The inference one can draw from it is that US (and west) are not dealing with justice and their injustice is the root cause of the problems today, and whoever stands by the unjust in perpetrating injustice becomes accomplice in the crimes of unjust. So why Musharraf doesn’t call US and its allies as terrorists for this particular reason? Why is he appealing to them for justice, instead?

Let us agree with him that A people suffering from a combination of all these lethal ills are easily available cannon fodder for the propagation of militancy and the perpetration of extremist, terrorist acts”. Question is: What is the root cause of all these ills? When these ills don’t originate from Islam, why then introduce different version of Islam, or a strategy with a misleading title, to address them?

Conclusion:

                        After an impartial and unbiased objective analysis of this whole concept and the involved factors leads one to conclude that this whole concept – though put forward with such dexterity that can quite easily influence and possibly win over hearts and minds of people – is in itself contradictory and paradoxical as is clear from ‘criticisms’ stated above. It aims at unifying the Muslim world, where as in reality it has divided Muslims between Liberals and Fundamentalists. The drawbacks of this strategy overwhelm its merits and advantages. It is not strong enough a strategy to apply as it is not acceptable to most of the Muslims, It lacks clarity and fairness. Hence it is not feasible.