A week ago, on Palm Sunday, scores of Pakistani Catholics were lined up in front of a metal detector, waiting to enter St Anthony’s, a small Catholic church 900 metres from Karachi’s Cantonment train station. Across the road, vendors sold religious paraphernalia – crucifixes, prints of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, red and gold-spangled cloth to decorate shrines, garish reproductions of Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
A lone guard stood at the door waving people through, and a volunteer scout directed the traffic. The scene illustrates how vulnerable this particular minority is to the rage of Pakistan’s religious extremists, who have been trying their hardest to destroy the diversity that is so important to Pakistan’s slowly growing awareness of pluralism and tolerance. [1004 comments]
[TOP RATED COMMENT 373 votes] I think they are already running things in Pakistan.
[2ND 348] I have no doubt you mean well but the evudence is massively against your opinion. Radical Islam ( ie literal 8th century Islam) has already infriltrated the highest eschelons of Pakistan’s military, government and civil service. To give only one of numerous examples, why do you think you think Osama Bin Laden hose to live safely in a conspicuous fortified compound in the Pakistan equivilent of West Point or Sandhurst ? He knew he would be protected. No wonder the Americans could not risk informing their so called ally of their plan to get him.
Today Islamic extremism is playing the same role as Bolshevism in the 20th century: it is an ideological epidemic, crossing borders, radicalising young people, infiltrating our own societies and wreaking havoc wherever it gains power. The most virulent strain of the epidemic is Isis. Ten years from now, I fear, we shall look back and wish we had done more to snuff it out before its imagined caliphate became a reality.
The proposition that Islam and democracy are -currently – incompatible should be debated seriously, something which the author fails to do. The possibility that Christianity might have acted – at a time in the past when state and church were joined at the hip – as a geopolitical structure as well as a religion, does not , in itself, negate the thesis that Islam is doing exactly the same now.
Yes but how does one deal with a sizeable percentage of people who adhere to a belief grounded in medieval pre Enlightenment superstition and certainties ?
Islam came out of the xenophobic and violent Arab / Bedu culture of Saudi Arabia. It was then spread violently by conquest throughout the Middle East, Far East, North Africa and into Southern Europe. The sword on Saudi Arabia’s flag celebrates this fact.
We used to say that there was nothing more dangerous than a fool with a cause. Well, a fool with a cause who believes they are carrying out God’s will is literally capable of anything. Any genocide, any atrocity, any sacrifice. We have three pillars of the State – The Monarchy, The Church and Parliament and they are all largely independent. The Church and Monarchy have been suitable neutered and liberal parliamentary democracy rules supreme.
Islam is not just a religion. In Islamic countries it is not part of the state, it is the state. It is also an ideology that seeks total control over its citizens in their personal life, their economic life and their political life. In Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Yemen, Sudan, Pakistan Somalia and Afghanistan Sharia is the only source of legal decisions. Stoning to death, beheading and amputation of limbs remain a legal form of punishment for such crimes as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery, theft and homosexuality.
In the West we value rational evidence based debate, democracy and the rule of law. Much of Islam values only irrational religious doctrine written down hundreds of years ago for a different age.
[3RD 307] “The majority of Pakistanis are peaceful and would not act violently towards religious minorities even if they do not share their religious beliefs.”
1) The constitution of Pakistan forbids non-Muslims from becoming President or Prime Minister.
2) No non-Muslim has ever been elected to a general seat in Pakistan’s parliament (a small number are appointed directly by the political parties).
3) All non-Muslims are officially classified as “dhimmis”, a derogatory term used for subjugated non-Muslims living in a Muslim country.
4) Since 1947, the proportion of non-Muslims in Pakistan has fallen from 22% to 1%.
If most Pakistanis are secular and peaceful, why don’t they change these apartheid-style laws that victimize non-Muslims? [Guardian Cif] Read more