Islam has been, from its very beginning, not only a religion but a political community (Ummat al-Islām), and Muhammad was not merely a prophet, but a political leader and military commander whose aim is occupying the world. Therefore, Islam is more politics than a religion. Since Allah promised the Muslims victory and superiority over all other religions worldwide, it is sanctioned for all Muslims to occupy the world. Humanity is divided into two groups: the followers of Islam who are called “believers,” as compare to all the others, who, being not Muslims, are infidels or apostates by definition and deserve death.
It is the duty of the Muslims to propagate the only one true faith, Islam, throughout the world. It is the duty of the Muslim to invade, by force, to the lands of the infidels. Should the infidels refuse to embrace Islam, jihad is the means to vanquish them. These are the three main arms of Islam, the Muslims use at will and according to the circumstances.
A brief glance to world situation today clearly reveals what Western leaders refuse to utter; and Western media refuses to display; and what Western academia refuses to teach and to investigate – that Islam is the main source of all humanity’s troubles. 95 percent of world terrorism and more than 70 percent of world violence are purely Islamic. There are political, religious and ethnic minorities all over the world. In our global world, there is not even one country that has not minorities. However, there are three salient facts:
First, and of critical importance, Muslims are the only minority that do not want to integrate and assimilate. On the contrary, they have come to change and transform. Muslim minorities are almost the only cause of turbulence, agitation, hatred, rage and violence. This fact is one of the main reasons to the mired situation in most states globally.
Second, In the US, they have exacerbated the rage of Blacks and Hispanics, large parts of them converted to Islam, and part of them have deteriorated their upheavals to more radical-violent spectrum. In other states Muslims are the cause violence takes so high level of societies’ situation.
Third, in Arab-Islamic states, minorities are extinct species. They are persecuted, butchered, massacred, and slaughtered. This fact shows the true face of Islam. While demanding (by force of violence!) civilian rights in the West without accepting and recognizing any civility or loyalty, they treat other minorities savagely and deadly.
We have clearly to understand and declare that only one religion today regularly motivates large numbers of its followers to murder, behead, terrorize, rape, butcher, and enslave all other peoples across the globe. It is Islam; not Christianity; not Judaism; not Buddhism; not others. Islam. Only Islam. We know it, and still run away; we see it, and still we close our eyes; it is so clear and obvious, and still we deny it. It is one of the unfortunate facts that we all ignore this unprecedented evil in history and continue to pay protection money out of deep intimidation and ignorance. We all whitewash this horrific situation, as we are in deep mental and willful blindness.
Contrary to the Free World’s beliefs and conceptions, Muslims take Islam’s doctrine and teachings seriously and take it a must to follow. The Qur’an explicitly and repeatedly commands Muslims to engage in Jihad: “Jihad is ordained for you Muslims.” It explicitly and repeatedly commands Muslims to “kill the infidels wherever you find them;” “strike off their heads,” enslave and make sex slaves of their wives and daughters, and continue this Jihad “until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.”
As is clearly seen from current history, Muslim terrorists across the globe are murdering, beheading, enslaving, and raping infidels wherever and whenever they can. There is not even one state around the world that is not influenced and/or inflicted by Jihad, Da’wah and Hijrah. These Jihadists are encouraged by Islamic exegetes and Imāms’ preaching; are directly supported by many Muslim sponsor states, like Saudi-Arabia, Qatar, and Iran; and by terrorist exporting states, like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, and Sudan.
The Qur’an explicitly and repeatedly commands Muslims to use all means of propagation to accomplish Islam’s targets and Muslim exegetes. Travelling Imāms, who are the uppermost enemy as preachers of evil, legalize the immigration, Hijrah, as a strategy to occupy the world. There is a perpetual Islamic political and religious encroachment into the deep fabrics of the non-Muslim states, perpetuated by Da’wah and Hijrah. This new kind of invasion, unknown in the record of history, happens since the Free World is voluntarily conceding to Islamic whims.
The strategy is simple but brilliant: Muslims consistently suppress any criticism of Islam by all means, from intimidation and riots to butchering and slaughtering. They immediately cry out, ‘racism,’ even though Islam is not a race; or ‘Islamophobia,’ even though it is absolutely not a phobia to fear Islam as it is founded upon a concrete reality. Indeed, this horrific situation is due to the fact that Islam is a political religion with political goals and political means to achieve its political strategy. It is a political system meant to impose its political ideological teachings on the entire universe.
The fact is that Muslims present their sensibilities and cry out they are insulted as a tactic and a strategy at the same time. When they do it, they are successful in imposing their will and censoring the Free World’s freedoms. With Western stupidity, ignorance, and intimidation, Muslims aim at bringing the world into submission.
The last example of continuing stupidity that motivates and drives Islamic atrocities is the media’s idiotic, retarded, unprecedented stupidity, detached from reality, as if, Muslim grievances, poverty and lack of education, is responsible for the terrorism. We have already referred to this in one of the articles in Modern Diplomacy. The fact is it is exactly the opposite. But the media continue to spread Islamic Da’wah, propagation, and the result is blaming the West and defending Islam.
The Nice massacre, is another example how the media viciously acts to rescue its narrative that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. With this line, Reuters reporter, Tom Heneghan, leaves no stone unturned, in portraying France as an “aggrieving” Muslims. The Islamic Caliphate State’ French-language magazine Dar al-Islam appeared with the Eiffel Tower on the cover and the headline “May Allah curse France.” In its words: “France is gripped by an irrational and deaf hatred against Islam and Muslims that pushed it to the head of the coalition against the caliphate.” For Heneghan, Muslims are angry with France because it is warring against ISIS. Why? Because France is secular and it alienates non-Christian minorities. Muslim community is discriminated and Muslims live in poorer neighborhoods.
However, the truth is that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the Muslim terrorist who massacred 84 people at Nice was not a “lone Wolf” (what is this stupid definition?); he had accomplices, part of the Jihad syndrome. No, we was not poor and miserable in France and he was not depressed because of a divorce. No, he was not mentally unstable but good Muslim believer. No, his father is not a good French citizen but a member of a Tunisian Islamic party. No, his vicious terrorist murderous attack was not out of whim but meticulously planned and well thought out. No, his terrorism is not an isolated incident, but part of large world-wide Islamic Jihad.
However, the stupidity of the day concerning Nice massacre was the declaration of the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, that “France must live with terrorism.” Is it? Moreover, what was the reaction of French President, Francois Hollande, to the Islamic atrocity? He sounds almost as if he was being forced to speak: “We cannot deny that it was a terrorist attack.” Thank you so much. Raymond Ibrahim is so correct by blaming: imagine Winston Churchill declaring, “Britain must live with Nazism.”
And how both French leaders get out of this shame? They ‘externalize’ France’s foreign policy in the Middle East: now there is a ‘new’ diplomatic move to resolve the so-called “the Middle East Conflict,” by organizing a peace conference between Israel and the Palestinians. Instead of finding and executing a reliable strategy to fight Islamic Jihad, in fact Islamic atrocities in France and in Europe at large, France is meddling in Israeli affairs, and finds time to deal with Israel, as if pressing Israel will ease its mired Islamic situation. The standing ovation Abu Mazen received in his racial anti-Semitic speech in the European Parliament was a shame and must be totally denounced.
To the French oblivious and ignorant leaders there is Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, declaration that there was a clear link between illegal immigration to Europe and terrorist attacks on the continent. “It is clear as two and two makes four, it is plain as day. There is an obvious connection… If somebody denies this connection then, in fact, this person harms the safety of European citizens.”
Europe is a dying continent. Europe has become a province of Islam, as the late Oriana Fallaci referred to years ago. Europe is walking toward its own cultural suicide with eyes wide open, as if it does not care surrendering to a 7th century cult. Indeed, with its disastrous multiculturalism, European self-loathing and self-hatred gain ground over its Judeo-Christian values. The European states in their trauma of “no more war,” has created a deep black-hall, a vacuum that Islam entered freely and with full force. Not only that Europe has no answer to this hideous encroachment, it adds insult by helping to establish Islamic occupation in its continent.
William Kilpatrick has referred to the current situation in the US. Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of CAIR, urged Muslim Americans to take up the cause of Black Lives Matter. “Black Lives Matter is our matter… Black Lives Matter is our campaign.” At the same conference, Khalilah Sabra told the Muslim audience, “Basically you are the new black people of America… We are the “community that staged a revolution across the world; why can’t we have that revolution in America?”
In 2014, CAIR used the protests and clashes in Ferguson, Missouri as an opportunity to attempt to recruit blacks. The same is relevant to most of massacre atrocities done in the US. The paradox is that CAIR has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates, but not in the US, though it is a direct outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is listed as a terrorist group by the by Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Islam is a missionary political religion. Islamic proselytizers see the present situation in the US as an opportune time to concentrate on blacks and to radicalize them. They are the tool, the means to transform the US, according to the Muslim Brotherhood grand strategy, published in 1991. Islam has managed to convince the blacks and Hispanics that America is a racist society that was built on the back of slavery and Hispanic hard workers. America belong to them and not to the Whites. CAIR and other Muslim “civil rights” organization reinforce this narrative, while advocating that Muslims are victims of a similar oppression, colonialism, racism, and Islamophobia.
According to an academic approach the chief theorists of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb, and Abu al-A’la al-Maududi, were heavily influenced by Lenin and by the communist revolutionary thought. Maududi said: “Islam is a revolutionary ideology and program which seeks to alter the social order of the whole world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ideals… it is an International Revolutionary Party organized to carry into effect its revolutionary program… Muslims are under an obligation to do their utmost to dislodge the infidels from political power and to make them live in subservience to the Islamic way of life.”
Ali Gomaa, the grand mufti of Egypt, said: “Muslims must kill the infidels wherever they are unless they convert to Islam.” Infidels are apes and pigs. Muhammad Sayyid al-Tantawi, the president of al-Azhar University, also approves of killing Christians, Jews, and other infidels. He added, “This is not my personal view. This what the Shari’ah says, the law of Allah, the only valid law on the earth.” Abdallah Bin Muhammad Bin Humaid, The Chief Justice of Saudi Arabia, teaches In his book, Islamic Law and Constitution, that “Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam.”
Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood: “Islam is an all-embracing world concept which regulates every aspect of life. Waging warfare against the infidels is the highest expression of fidelity… It is a duty incumbent on every Muslim to struggle towards the aim of making every people Muslim and the whole world Islamic, so that the banner of Islam can flutter over the earth and the call of the Muezzin can resound in all the corners of the world.” Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the prominent Islamic cleric, “the most well-known legal authority in the whole Muslim world today,” said: “No peace can be made between us (Muslims) and the infidels. This what our holy book says. This is what Allah says. As Islam is a comprehensive system of worship (’Ibadah) and legislation (Shari’ah), the acceptance of secularism means abandonment of Shari’ah, a denial of the divine guidance and a rejection of Allah’s injunctions. The call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam.”
Muslims are not ‘radicals;’ they are ‘orthodox.’ They follow and observe the scriptures of Islam. They are abiding by the law of Muslims. They do not ‘hijack’ Islam and they do not misinterpret it. They adhere to their accepted established faith. The ‘radical’ Muslims, according to the Free World’s vocabulary, are in fact true orthodox believers in Islam, while ‘moderate’ Muslims, according to the Free World’s vocabulary, are in fact heterodox Muslims, who are also butchered.
It is clearly commanded: “Fight in the name of Allah and for the sake of Allah against those who disbelieve in Allah… When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them… If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizyah. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” These are the words of Muhammad.
The first directive is to understand the track Professor Mike Dobbins, from Georgia Tech, has passed over and to follow it. For years, he was an apologist for Islam. In his words: I believed those who painted Islam in a peaceful, glowing light. I made excuses for radical Muslims and lived in a flood of denial that religious teachings could still motivate a person to commit evil. I criticized those who warn of the dangers of Islamic doctrine, recklessly labeling them Islamophobes.
Today I am writing to say I am sorry, I apologize, and I ask for forgiveness. Those who have blindly defended Islam are tragically wrong. The critics of Islam are right. Islam is intrinsically, alarmingly violent, hate-ridden and oppressive on a scale greater than all other major religions combined. To say that Islamists are motivated to commit atrocities and embrace oppression based on religious doctrine is the understatement of the century. I, like most defenders of Islam, was ignorant, naïve, and in deep denial. I wrongly assumed that Muhammad promoted peace, love, and non-violence.
We who have carelessly thrown around the Islamophobe label, should lower our heads in shame and guilt. We must now live with the knowledge that we have abandoned and betrayed our principles. Those who criticize Islam, especially reform minded Muslims, are the bravest of the brave. They are literally putting their lives at risk by the simple act of criticizing the Qur’an, Muhammad, and the Sharī’ah.
We were unwittingly misinforming the public and deluding ourselves by not making the connection between Islamic religious teachings and Islamic hate and violence. We did not connect the dots and we refused to look for proper solutions. At the same time, we liberals were busy tarnishing the critics of Islam as bigots and racists, and by that abandoned our cherished values of defending equality of women, gays, and minorities, protecting free speech and religion, and other freedoms and civil rights.
No religion, book, prophet, law, or god, no matter how sacredly held by the follower, is exempt from criticism. We either live in a free society or a tyrannical one. Rather than self-censoring and abiding by Islamic blasphemy laws, we should be defending our values and freedoms. I challenge everyone, especially the people who smear the critics, to read the Qur’an, the biographies of Muhammad, the history of Jihad, and the political ideology of Islam.
Indeed, apologists not only pretend that Islam is not inherently aggressive and deadly; they also smear those who point out that it is inherently aggressive and deadly. As Sam Harris says: the leftist-smear-brigade will label you “Islamophobic” (as if fear of Muslims who actively seek to kill you were irrational); “racist” (as if Islam were a race rather than a religion); “intolerant” (as if you should put up with people who seek to behead, enslave, or rape you and your loved ones); and all manner of other absurdities. Leftists will also point out that, like the Qur’an, the Bible contains commandments to kill unbelievers, homosexuals, and other sinners, ignoring the fact that today only Islam motivates large numbers of its followers, indeed entire nations, to murder and enslave people in the name of Allah.
What the Free World has to do as a must?
The first task is that is it should recognize, define and understand Islam. It was Albert Einstein whom we can take an analogy: “if I was given one hour to solve a problem, I would have spent 55 minutes to understand the issue, and 5 minutes to find a solution.” Indeed, we must really and deeply understand Islam and its cultural framework, by reading its scriptures, by learning its bloody history, and by analyzing its current behavior and practices. Then, the Free World should learn its own weaknesses and strengths and openly tell, loud and clear, with sobriety and wisdom, the true story of the situation. Without these, the Ummah, the Islamic Caliphate, wins.
Islam wins because we fail to understand its motives and aims. We must call a spade, spade. It is impossible to understand what the situation is all about, if one fails to call it by its name, or is not ready to name its ideology, or cannot define the situation. However, concerning Islam, we do not understand or we are afraid to declare that Islam is the problem all along. We even do not want to admit that we have the solution to the Islamic horrific encroachment.
The Free World’s media and the cultural elite love root causes, but the root causes of al-Qaeda, the Islamic Caliphate State and other Muslim organizations are not poverty, unemployment, lack of education, or lacking democracy. It is Islamic religion. The Muslim terrorist groups are not unnatural to Islamic reality; they are in fact an organic part of the Islamic religion and its culture. It is exactly the teaching of the Qur’an that matters; it is exactly Islam that is important.
Former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, is correct by rattling the orthodoxy of political correctness, saying that Shari’ah is incompatible with Western civilization, the US constitution and the Free world basic values. Those who follow it are not loyal citizens, and either should not be allowed to enter the U.S. or should be deported from it. Islam and the values of democracy are totally incompatible. Everything that America stands for, freedoms, free speech, freedom of religion, civil rights, equal rights for all, and all the democratic power plays that are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution are in total contrast to Islamic teachings and doctrine.
Anything that is not in Islam is apostasy and all non-Muslims are infidels, including those Muslims who do not follow the articles of the Shari’ah. As early as 1991, the “Muslim Brotherhood in North America” has delineated in details the process of Islamic occupation of the US. The plan is to carry out a “grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated.”
Indeed, the Shari’ah is toxic; it is totalitarian with everything the democratic West stands for. It is an unfortunate fact that Europe ignored the announced goals and intentions of Adolf Hitler in his Mein Kampf, now the entire West ignore the horrific and much more concrete ideology and intentions of the Islamic doctrine. Moreover, the Nazis concealed the Holocaust and did everything to hide their actions. But today the spokesmen of Islam – Sunni-Salafi; Sunni-Wahhabi; Shiites – proclaim their intentions loud and clear without any camouflage. To paraphrase Mubarak Hussein Obama, the future must not belong Islam and those adhere the Shari’ah.
Arab and Muslim countries are not modern states with civil sovereign peoples. They are collections of quarreling antagonistic tribes and clans that were forced to live in states without any of the substance. When the Europeans left, the countries quickly became military juntas, and now they are fighting for survival against Muslim Jihadi groups that strive to bring the Muslims and the infidels to their 7th century desert. These Muslim groups are not a reaction against, but constitute the underlying pathology in the Muslim world.
The Free World’s media and cultural elite, with their ignorance and stupidity, are oblivious to the situation and insist that Western colonialism is the problem. But they fail to understand that the true regional alternative to Western colonialism is tyrannical rule, genocide of the minorities, discrimination of the other, and slavery.
Therefore, instead of pursuing liberalism and democracy as a solution to the Muslim countries, the Free World should strengthen the non-Islamic and counter-Islamic forces in the Muslim world. In order to win over, even trying to stop Islamic encroachment, it has to understand that the way that leads to the defeat of the Muslim Jihadi groups is paved only by defeating the culture and ideology that sustains and encourages them.
The problem is that Western leadership does not want to connect the dots between the Islamic ideology and teachings, so clearly permeating in the Sharī’ah. The cultural elite and the media even refuse to realize that the battlefield is in our own homelands; in our own streets and neighborhoods; in the TV studios; in the editorials of the papers; in university campuses; in the public opinion venues; and in the courts of law. That is why, if the Free World does not follow this, it has to experience Winston Churchill’s declaration:
If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.
Daughters Gone Forever: Forced Religious Conversions
Pakistan, an Islamic Republic, has blatantly discriminated religious rights of minorities. Over the years, the laws and policies associated with religious minorities have shifted from being neutral to becoming biased and prejudiced. The constitution stands for equality of all, irrespective of religion, colour, caste and creed. It also puts emphasis on tolerance and respect of all religions.
However, a rising pattern of forced conversions after 7 decades, in the country is making a mockery of the constitution of Pakistan. They are a violation of fundamental rights specified in the country’s constitution. Forced conversion can be defined, in simplest terms as “forced adoption of a different religion under threats, duress and pressure with the use of physical, emotional or psychological violence.” The victim is subjugated to mental, emotional and physical abuse involving threats against their loved ones. More than half of these cases involve girls aged below 18.
Pakistani religious minorities face several obstacles and great difficulties in the pursuit of justice. However, in this matter of forced conversions, the victims and its family face a great number of hurdles. When the girls are abducted, kidnapped, forcibly converted and married Muslims, the police and other authoritative bodies turn a blind eye. Even if the case reaches the courts, the lower and higher courts have shown a biased attitude and lack of adherence.
Conversion to Islamic religion is a one-way process, once someone becomes Muslim forcibly or voluntarily, then they can’t revert. This is because reversion in Islam is an act of apostasy which is punishable by a death sentence. Role of religious institutions in these cases is another reason for the rapid rise in such incidents. Many religious institutions fail to investigate the nature of the conversion and the reasons behind it. A mere affidavit is provided as a proof for age. Their significance also increases when the conversion certificate issued by the seminary or other religious institutions are used for further investigation by the court and the police.
The role of media is often silent in these cases. The main reason for unreported cases on media is the involvement of powerful religious leaders who pressurise the media to not report the stories. Another factor that limits investigation is the concept of honour among rural families. The victims sometimes themselves with the fear of social stigmatisation, avoid to speak out. This is the reason that majority of such incidents go unreported. The Peoples Commission for Minorities’ Rights and the Centre for Social Justice gave a report of 156 incidents of reported forced conversions between 2013 and 2019 (Jahangir 2020). The actual number can be much higher as many cases are not reported by the police.
Many claim that the converts turn to Islam by choice, not by force. A very disturbing fact about this inhumane activity is, the girls that are converting are largely underage. Many girls are as young as 12 years. Even in some cases where force is not used, it still cannot be regarded as consent as in case of minors this is rather a compulsion than consent.
The social issue is faced by all the religious minorities, but in particular, it is the most serious problem for Christian and Hindu women and girls.
Forced conversions are an emotional issue for the people of Sindh. An estimated 4.5 million Hindus live in Pakistan, the majority of them are residing in the South Eastern province. These cases are the most vulnerable and persecuted there. At the time of partition, the well-established Hindus of Sindh migrated to India and the remaining became a minority in the newly independent state. The increasing number of forced conversions violate Section 3 and 4 of Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act 2013, which sets 18 years as the minimum marriage age. (University of Birmingham, 2018)
One such case, was the case of Rinkle Kumari belonging to Ghotki. In February 2012, the young Hindu girl was found missing by her father. Rinkle’s family was informed through a phone call about her conversion. Despite the fact that, numerous times in Sakkar Police Station and almost all court proceedings, she cried and begged to go home with her parents, the husband was allowed to take her home. In April 2012 when she appeared in Supreme Court and her birth certificate which proved that she was below 16 years old, indicated that her marriage was illegal, was not taken into account. In Sindh, marriages below the age of 18 had been outlawed. The only statement about her going with the husband was accepted based on her faith. This case was one of the rare ones that attracted public attention to the issue of security and basic human rights of Pakistan’s Hindu communities. This also bought attention to the absence of legally-binding Hindu Marriage Act.
In 2017, finally, the Hindu Marriage Act was passed in 2017 which regulated the Hindu marriages and also catered to the problem of forced conversions in Sindh. The Sindh government has twice attempted to outlaw forced conversions and marriages, including 2016 bill introduced by Sindh Provincial Assembly that has not been passed yet. Protection of Minorities Bill, that sets 18 years for conversions was unanimously passed by the Sindh Assembly, but religious parties the bill against forced conversions rejected it and threatened to besiege the assembly. The had objection with age limit for conversions. The same bill was revised in 2019, but again protests by religious parties hurdled the process.
The members of Christian community can be characterised as the socio-economically marginalised group of the society. Most labourer’s belong to religious minorities that are majority Hindus in Sindh and Christians in Punjab. These labourers are subjected to physical abuse, human trafficking and economic exploitation. Just like Hindus, forced conversions are an emotive issue for Christians of Punjab too.
Tania, a 22-year-old Christian girl. She was kidnapped on 20 May, 2012 from Nankana City on her way to home from her job. The request of FIR was repeatedly refused by the police. The intervention of prominent lawyers and an influential figure, who was the ex-mayor of the local Union Council helped Tania’s family in registering FIR. (Movement for Solidarity and Peace 2014)
It was unfortunately then revealed then that before being forcibly converted and married, she was sold and trafficked twice by the abductors. After extensive negotiations between the former mayor, on family’s behalf and the traffickers, who demanded Rs.90,000, the girl was then recovered. When recovered, she showed signs of severe physical, emotional and psychological abuse. This case demonstrated another example where the police lacked authority and control. If the family did not have influential bodies on their side, they would have lost their daughter forever.
Another example is a very recent case of another young Christian girl, Arzoo Masih, 13-year-old was kidnapped and married to a 44-year-old Muslim man. Even though, the Church documents and verified form-B clearly showed that she was 13 and a 6th-grade student, police said the girl was 18-year-old and had willingly converted.
Cases of forced conversions and forced marriages that are reported also highlight the underlying common factors that make religious minorities more vulnerable. The case of Tania shows evidence that forced conversions provide a masquerade for more pervasive crimes such as sexual exploitation, child abuse, prostitution, human trafficking and hurdles of justice. All of this, as a whole, has left a detrimental effect on the social and economic wellbeing of minorities.
To tackle this social issue serious steps, need to be taken by the government. The first and foremost measure taken towards such cases is for the Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill to become law. The Bill addresses many issues related to forced conversions. It should not only be instituted in Sindh, but attempts should be made to introduce it in National Assembly, Punjab and across Pakistan to help religious minorities. It is also crucial to put attention on failures of the institutional protection of human rights.
The lethargic nature of our governmental system and official institutional bodies is the leading source of numerous problems in the country. It is vital for the government to ensure a faster response system by the police and the criminal justice system. Federal and State governments should guarantee proper legal protection and proceedings are available to the minor religious communities, especially in rural areas.
The socio-economic and cultural position of the religious minorities especially Hindus and Christians should be enhanced. They are mostly found at the bottom of the socio-economic tier which leaves them in a vulnerable position. To deal with this problem, equal access to jobs, education, government positions should be made. Cultural and religious beliefs are strongly engraved in society than in laws. So, in order to mitigate this problem, cultural, societal and religious means should be used. Religious influential leaders should emphasize that conversions should occur without force and compulsion.
Custodians of Islam, changing their Avatar
If we peek into the historical traces, it could be seen that the world has fought more wars on religion or for their state’s dignity and integrity than any other reason. It is mainly because accepting others ideologies either its religious or national, it’s hard to accept and this is at present the prevailing issue if someone looks deeper into the complex picture of geo-politics.
United Arab Emirates has passed new laws that have shocked the entire Muslim world. The Arab World has also been perceived as the “custodians of Islam” and other Muslim countries have look towards for the perfect implementation of misinterpreted “Islamic values”, ignoring the fact that mainly the values followed in the Arab world are Arabic not Islamic. There is huge difference among two interpretations.
UAE has recently relaxed its social constraints. These constraints that served as a shield from adopting the un-Islamic practices and pro-western values. UAE has allowed couples to cohabit; it has allowed drinking without fear of punishment. Lastly it has also it put off the honor crime from its menu means; they have criminalized the act of honor killing. The decision of UAE to revamp its policies depicts that UAE has chosen a “new” avatar, a more pro-western avatar, leaving the Islamic values behind. The broadening of personal freedoms reflects that UAE is on its new journey to change its society at home.
After the announcement of new laws it seems as if United Arab Emirates is more focus on shifting their oil dependent economy or other industries. This includes inviting the high-flow of Israel and Western investments into their country at the cost of anything. They are aiming to boost UAE is the skyscraper tourist destination for Western tourists and fortune seekers, businesses regardless of its “legal hard-line Islamic System.”
Moreover, the major revamps came particularly right after the historic U.S brokered deal to normalize relations between UAE and Israel. The future will reveal but it can be foreseen that the days of monarchy are coming to end. It won’t happen in few years; it will take time but is surely going to happen. The decades old filthy rich monarchy will be replaced by “Democracy” for sure.
Other than the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is also on the same journey. The new monarch King Muhammad Bin Salman is also tilted towards “Western culture” and more “Liberalist thoughts and values”. He is also more inclined to bring on more liberal structures in their country, for examples recently Saudi Arabia has given more freedom to women for driving and is allowed to work with men at offices or any other workplaces. These drastic changes were considered as an impossible task to do but things are changing rapidly.
The question to ask is, now where would Pakistan tilt? Whose society would Pakistan look upon as the guardian and custodians of Islam and its Islamic values? The Arab countries have also had massive influence upon the Pakistani society particularly in religious terms. Pakistan has to bear the cost of “Wahabbism” clashing with “Shiaism” and other Islamic sects that were mainly brought by the Arabs into the country.
Many Pakistanis have considered the Arabs as their ideal and the Arabian society as an ideal society to live in. I have also heard people giving examples of “Islamic system of Saudi Arabia” and how loyal they are to the “Islamic values”. They are also perceived as the “Guardians” and “Custodians” of Islamic values. But now as they are inclined or totally moving towards Western system, would Pakistan also opt for liberalism in their country?
As there has always been an environment of confusion in the Pakistani society. This confusion is, wither to opt for democracy or go for an Islamic system. This has created a sharp separation in the Pakistani society, the one struggling to go totally Western (far-left), and the others trying to preserve the Islamic system (far-right).
After United Arab Emirates new laws, this question is becoming more complex. The transformation of United Arab Emirates adoption of Westernized values shows that it is only the Muslim world leaving its values behind and moving towards a borrowed baggage of cultures and values. The future will disclose that who will sit on the throne of “Custodian of Islam”. Till now the changing geo-political situation shows that it is Turkey that is striving to go for this throne.
On the current politics of Arab powers I would say, “A tree’s beauty lies in its branches, but its strength lies in its roots,” rightly said by Matshona Dhliwayo.
Death of a Living Goddess and an Unfair verdict
The Living Goddess of Nepal (Kumari), a prepubescent girl child, possessing divinity is a well established and widely held belief. She is worshipped so long as her virginity remains intact and dismissed when she starts to menstruate. By all accounts, the reason she is highly revered has much to do with her virginity as the loss of holy status is inevitable after the first menstrual blood. Strong voices regarding child and human rights raised so far have brought remarkable reforms in Kumari practice; yet the elephant in the room, her dethronement after puberty, undeniably a serious problem, is often downplayed. The supposed divinity of the Goddess and it’s connection with pubescence, as outrageous as it sounds, triggers a couple of very important questions. Does the Living Goddess really possess divinity? More importantly, must not we ponder and assess the eventual end of her divinity?
The 19th century famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche declared– God is dead — a metaphor used to describe the gradual decline of faith in God. The philosopher attributes the advent of Scientific revolution and Age of reason in bringing an end to the existence of God, thanks to rational arguments and modern inventions or discoveries. Unlike the death of Western God, the Living Goddess of Nepal, or her holiness to be precise, meets a surprising death(end), figuratively speaking, at the hands of first menstruation. Sadly, just a few drops of innocent and natural blood, with rosy prospects of procreation and motherhood, is believed to have committed a grave crime that a verdict was passed against it long ago — puberty ends divinity.
Moreover, proclaiming divinity’s end, as soon as Kumari reaches adolescence, she is replaced by another “virgin” child. Even though blood oozing from any part of the body due to cuts or wounds leads to Goddess’ dismissal, the menstrual blood in every occasion has turned out to be most fatal. To confirm this we can check the numbers of all former Kumaris, and should not get startled if considerable cases are associated with their first period. Matina Shakya(2008-2017) was replaced in 2017 by Trishna Shakya (2017-present), after puberty ended her nine-year reign. When the same phenomenon hit Preeti Shakya (2001-2008) in 2008, she was shown the door to an anonymous life in the suburbs. Likewise, in 2010 the divine life for Chanira Bajracharya finished abruptly at 15, on the day she first menstruated and Samita Bajracharya(2010-2014) was appointed the new Kumari of Patan City in her place. It is a pity that once highly hailed all-powerful Goddess, sooner or later becomes a “nobody”, useless and mere mortal. Devotees accustomed to bow down before the deity in the hope of blessings are certainly baffled when simple biological blood brings her supreme divinity to its knees.
What would be the general frame of her mind and psychological state when the child realizes that fending off the imminent demotion is far from possible? Gripped by trepidation, she would definitely not want the undesirable menstruation, the antagonist, to come and take away her most cherished goddess status. Samita was in total shock and emotional at her dismissal following the start of her first period. Similarly, Preeti couldn’t help shedding tears when her term ended at 12 ,and banished out of the paradise, because of approaching menstruation, which is considered as flawed. This is highly likely to leave a false impression in the mind of a demoted child and the collective consciousness of people. To them puberty or “supposed” impure blood must appear a nemesis of Kumari, a nasty thing that ends her holiness.
God/Goddess’ existence is an unsolved riddle, yet lives of many great sages and mystics throughout the history of Indian subcontinent — Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, Shivapuri Baba, Meera Bai, Lalleshwari, Anandamayi Ma and so on — convince godliness being a possible phenomenon. With no single exception these humans share two things in common; years of spiritual endeavours and eventual mystical/godliness experience. On the contrary, a girl child is expected to fulfill 32 physical qualities, before worshipped as a Living Goddess. Whether the girl child reaches the same transcendental state as the other divine beings shall always remain a debatable issue. Giving a benefit of doubt, for argument’s sake, we can assume that Kumari’s divinity is no lesser than those of highly revered personages. But would it be judicious to believe that a temporary biological phenomenon is capable of ending divinity permanently?
In fact, literature on religion, spirituality and mysticism show that divinity is imperishable once obtained, which can be attested by the lives of human-turned holy beings. Thus what fizzles out at puberty’s touch, as in the case of Kumari, must be undeniably spurious and impotent . Above all, it is one thing to enjoy the prerogative of a goddess on chastity grounds but quite another to embark upon a spiritual journey and thereby attain godliness. Maybe the holiness does not exist inside the Living Goddess as believed and claimed, not at all, hence skepticism justified. Or perhaps it was there in profusion, but insofar as Nepalese society is accustomed to find coexistence of divinity and impure blood unbearable, it must have convinced us of the latter’s seemingly antagonistic role.
Challenging the popular yet pernicious existing belief that first menstruation ends divine power, I emphatically advocate that it is high time puberty is acquitted from a crime it “never” committed. Needless to say, since the inception of Kumari custom and up until the 21st century, Nepalese society’s fervent endorsement of such belief coupled with their reluctance to point fingers against the traditional practice certainly consolidated the superstition for many centuries. It “might” be our rights to continue long held old traditions and worship girl children in the form of goddesses, regardless of some compromises with their child and human rights. But we are not in the least entitled to mercilessly dethrone them under a completely false or trifle pretext. More importantly, we are not at liberty to dub a harmless biological phenomenon with an undeserved ugly reputation, on account of our illogical blood(menstrual) phobia. How many years or decades more it will take before we realize that menstruation is by no means impure, inauspicious and unholy? Although the divinity of the Living Goddess appears disputable, one thing seems as clear as crystal, that the verdict passed against innocent pubescence to date was downright unfair. Unfortunately, the apotheosis of a girl child(woman) to a Living Goddess status is undermined by the fact that the Kumari practice explicitly condemns menses, an integral aspect of womanhood.
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