“Thank God for Pakistan,” God probably says to himself. Without Pakistan, after all, who on this planet would defend Islam as earnestly as we do?
Exhibit A is the Tahaffuz Namoos-e-Risalat Mahaz protesting the presence of women running in a marathon organized by the Punjab government. Why? I’ll let them explain it:
What sort of a message does the Punjab government want to give by bringing women on roads like this? We will definitely protest recorded tomorrow, now that we have decided to stand up to them.” Muhammad Ali Naqshbandi, the General Secretary TNRM told The Express Tribune.
Naqshbandi added that, “This practice of women running is against Quran and Sunnah, women are not even allowed to walk fast around Ka’aba.”
Indeed. I have no doubt that violence will be either explicitly or implicitly threatened, and I have no doubt that the authorities will back down, just as they did in 2005.
Exhibit B is the Senate (congrats to the PPP on their gains, by the way) condemning the Quran burning in Afghanistan at the hands of U.S. forces:
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s upper house of parliament on Tuesday passed a unanimous resolution condemning the burning of Quran’s at a US base in Afghanistan and demanding that those responsible be punished.
“This house demands investigation and punishment for those who were responsible for this deplorable act,” the resolution said, passed four days after elections widened the main ruling party’s representation in the Senate.
“Nato will have to take steps to stop such irresponsible acts in the future,” added the resolution, presented by Nayyar Bukhari, leader in the Senate from President Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party.
I thought pandering took place before an election, not after?
Anyway, Exhibit C is my favorite. The Punjab Assembly has passed a resolution, unanimously no less, for the teaching of the Quran to be mandatory in all public and private institutions.
LAHORE: A resolution supporting mandatory teaching of the Quran, with translation and comprehension, in all public and private educational institutions was passed, unanimously, on Tuesday by the Punjab Assembly.
The mover of the resolution, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s (PML-F) Dr Asma Mamdot, said young people had no knowledge of Quran’s teachings. She said that she planned on moving a bill in the house soon.
The resolution presented by Mamdot said that the house was of the opinion that the teaching of Quran should be made mandatory in all educational institutions in order to “sensitise” the young generation. It called for making Quran lessons part of the syllabus, starting from grade 1 and continuing till professional degrees. The Punjab government was also asked to allocate funds for teaching of Quran.
Mamdot later told The Express Tribune that madrassas’ interpretation of the Quran was turning children into terrorists. She said she believed that terrorism would be eliminated from the country if Quran was made part of school and college curriculum.
Where to start? First, if there is a causal relationship between levels of religiosity and terrorism in Pakistan, I am not sure it is an inverse one, as the good doctor claims. Second, if someone can point me to the pedagogical purpose of this — when all students in Pakistan already study Islamiat — I’d like to hear it.
As I said, Islam could not have hoped for a better and more dedicated thekedar than Pakistan. A great honor and privilege it is, too.