Mullahs: United against progress


Happy to oppress women



“Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains,” declared Karl Marx in the revolutionary Communist Manifesto of 1848. One may agree with his ideology or not, but it is a known fact that he succeeded in rallying workers against their systematic exploitation and oppression by capitalism in many parts of the world.

On Tuesday this week, Jamat-i-Islami called upon 35 religious organisations to gather together and formulate a plan to resist Pakistan’s drift towards progressiveness. Unlike Marx who stood against oppression, these parties stand together for oppression.

Protection of Women Against Violence Bill, which became an act after it was passed by a significant majority in Punjab Assembly, enables women to break the shackles of oppression, manipulation and fear. It allows them to come out and take a stand against violence committed by men. It helps them put the blame where it is due. The act provides women for an opportunity to keep the violent men away from them by involving the court.

Basically, it empowers women. Like workers challenging their rich, capitalist bosses, the Bill allows women to challenge the patriarchal traditions which have been imposed upon them under the cloak of religion. Naturally, mullahs, the perpetrators, are worried.

Terming the Act as ‘un-Islamic’, the clerics belonging to 35 organisations demanded the government to repeal it. The meeting and the announcement that followed is nothing more than a move to regain fast diminishing political relevance. These religio-political parties have stooped to even lower levels in the past by using religion to gain mileage.

Back in 2002, PTI Chief Imran Khan voted for Maulana Fazlur Rehman when the latter contested elections for the seat of Prime Minister. A Newsline report by Amir Zia in December issue of 2002 reads: “Imran maintained that he found himself ideologically and politically close to the MMA.”

The same Fazlur Rehman, who Khan said he was ideologically close with, declared voting for PTI haram right before May 2013 elections. “A person who could not make his own children Muslim nor Pakistani is dreaming of becoming prime minister of Pakistan and making the country an Islamic welfare state,” Express Tribune quotes Fazlur Rehman saying. (May 5, 2013)

Ansar Abbasi, who is the apple of right wing’s eyes, reported in November 2008 that Maulana Fazlur Rehman was allotted hundreds of acres of military land by Pervez Musharraf as a bribe for playing soft on him. “Musharraf’s dubious promise of taking off his uniform by December 2004 was first quietly accepted by the MMA and then when he went back on his promise the JUI-led MMA never created any problem,” Abbasi wrote on November 2, 2008.

One of the main contentions of this alliance is that Protection of Women Against Violence Bill has been enacted to fulfill the wishes of the US government.

A WikiLeaks cable numbered 131658 quoted former US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson as saying that Fazl told her his votes were ‘up for sale’. Ansar Abbasi reported about another US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks which suggested Fazl kept regular contact with US embassy.

In the past, when nefarious Hasba Act, which was promulgated by MMA-led KP government was being criticised, Akram Durrani, then CM KP and member of JUI-F, came to the rescue. Durrani visited US in a bid to ‘soften up’ MMA’s image. Speaking to South Asia Tribune, he said: “Yes, I visited the Pentagon and gave them a copy of the Hasba Act.”

It was interesting to see Ameen Shaheedi participating in the 35-party meeting consisting of highly conservative mullahs. He has been an outspoken critic of takfiri ideology that has taken roots in Pakistan, the same ideology which led to killing of hundreds of Shias in Pakistan, almost to an extent of their genocide.

Ironically, Shaheedi often locks head with those with whom he shared tables. Staunch supporters of Saudi Arabia, Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Sami ul Haq are a part of Tehreek-e-Difa-e-Harmain Shareefain – a movement formed in favour of Saudi attack on Yemen. It calls for Pakistan’s involvement in the conflict. Ameen Shaheedi, on the other hand, criticises any pro-Saudi move by Pakistan.

Earlier this year, Shaheedi almost faced off the Tehreek-e-Difa-e-Harmain Shareefain in Islamabad while protesting against the execution of Sheikh Al-Nimr and Pakistan’s expected participation in Saudi-led anti-terror alliance.

Jamia Binoria has declared Shias to be ‘zindiq’ and ‘kafir’ in a fatwa available online. (Fatwa no. 42350) Deobandi Sipah-e-Sahaba has for years waged war against Shias and gained significant support from all Deobandi quarters.

It falls nothing short of betraying the blood of hundreds of innocent Shias as Shaheedi opts to ally with their killers’ supporters and perpetrators.

While these leaders champion the ‘rights given to women by Islam’, their ideologies have been extremely regressive and tend to oppress women. Upon asked, Jamia Binoria decreed that ‘Although a woman can listen to the voice of a naat reciter, it is not advisable for her to see his face, for it incites fitna’. (Fatwa no. 3930)

Citing the expense and lack of time, when a PhD student asked Jamia Binoria if he could have his wife travel to Toronto alone, it was decreed that a woman cannot travel alone for more than 48 miles, thus he must come to get her himself or arrange for another ‘mehram’. (Serial no. 8631)

When asked if a man and woman can chat via text messages only on religious topics, the answer was that first of all, it must be avoided. If it becomes inevitable, they can chat only in the presence of the woman’s ‘mehram’ or in a meeting where other women are present. (Serial no. 6511)

A medical student asked if it’s allowed for him to listen to the voice of his female teachers, the answer read: “Although you can listen to her voice, it’s not allowed for you to see her as it may provoke fitna.” (Serial no. 15508)

These are just a few examples of the regressive ideology that religious groups very proudly perpetuate. If the current Women Protection Bill is not acceptable for them, do they want a model built on fatwas like some quoted above?

They even went to the extent of terming the whole Bill to as un-Islamic. I have discussed in my previous columns in detail about how each sect considers others to be apostates. How can they declare a Bill which has been passed by a majority to be un-Islamic without defining Islam in first place?

Clearly, they have gotten together to oppose the recent moves by Nawaz government towards a progressive Pakistan.


  1. I don’t see our women oppressed.This youngman does! The resolution is already on! Why this unfounded concern? Look at our TV Channels and huge billboards. They are all showing the female contours and “body”. Slowly but surely we are matching those we like to criticise but we copy them. This is hypocrisy at its lowest. Those who oppose this liberal exposure are being foolish. Those who are modern local Pakistani exhibitionists will be answerable when they depart. We should ignore them and sympathize and not criticize. I really ‘admire’ their parents and siblings. Does this mean this country has become the infamous Mandi.

  2. women on the billboards make a small minority of Pakistani women. there are countless other women in Pakistan's rural areas that are in dire need of such laws to hold those who oppress them accountable for their crimes. thank God for this law!

  3. I used to be very happy to seek out this web-site.I needed to thanks in your time for this wonderful learn!! I definitely enjoying each little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  4. It is in reality a nice and useful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  5. magnificent post, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector do not realize this. You should continue your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  6. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues? A number of my blog audience have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any tips to help fix this problem?

  7. you will reach significantly a greater amount of your focused on business sector in nearby pursuit than you will be with different expressions. google loco

Comments are closed.