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Monday, May 07, 2007

Thanks to you, Mr President, we now have this (and more to come)

Dr. Razia Sultana, associate professor, is one of the few women teachers left at QAU without a hijab. I received this from a friend of mine (also a professor at QAU) who visited her immediately following the incident: At about 10:00am Dr. Razia Sultana was in her office working on her computer when she was suddenly hit from behind upon her head by a heavy hand. The man would have hit her again, but Dr. Razia Sultana's student was present and caught hold of the assailant. He was turned over to the chowkidars. He said that he had been instructed by God and would not allow bay-purdah women in the university. He is not a university student and, apparently, had been stalking her since early morning. Although discouraged by the QAU authorities(???) from doing so, Dr. Razia Sultana has filed an FIR. IMHO, the mishandling of the Lal Masjid case - and the inexplicable as well as inexcusable consideration shown to the culprits - is directly responsible for this.

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Anonymous the olive ream said...

ZAK, I agree with you a completely on this.

It is about damn time the authorities responded with appropriate actions (punishments) against these criminals. And that is what they ARE absa-bloody-lute criminals judging by their actions and behaviour.

Appeasement of such extremist individuals/groups is the biggest mistake the Government has made...and now all lunatics are crawling out of the woodwork trying to force their version of skewed beliefs on the sane amongst the populace by beating them up.

Avarice fuels their insanity and nothing else! Giving it a label of 'religion' is fooling no one. These recent developments (including the incident you highlight above) are abhorrent to say the least.

BTW, welcome back to the blogging world ZAK. Your contribution is much prized!

07 May, 2007 23:41

Blogger Sidhusaaheb said...

Welcome back after the break!

Today, hundreds of years after the last of the major religions of the world were founded, rituals seem to have overtaken the essence of what the founders meant to propagate.

As far as I can see, this seems to be the case with all major religions in the world.

The founders, wherever they are now, must be feeling very sad, I am sure.

08 May, 2007 05:12

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Should the authorities respond in the same way when a woman wearing a hijab is refused a job?

Should authorities respond in the same way when schools refuse to entertain children whose mothers wear hijab and father have beards?

What about the appeasement of such extremist groups who are forcing their belief system on to other people. Somehow labeling it secularism allows them a free hand to do whatever it is they want.


08 May, 2007 11:00

Anonymous the olive ream said...


If a woman is refused a job because of her hijab, or if schools refuses to accept children whose mothers' wear hijab or whose fathers' have beards is pure discrimination. They should be punished appropriately. Suing their pants of the concerned institution would be a good start.

How should a woman respond if some bearded git walks to the woman and ask her to cover her head because 'he' feels it is the right thing to do....or how should a young boy feel for getting beaten up for wearing shorts?

The point being highlighted in this particular post is the prevelance of extremism generally by loons who consider themselves religious. They are in greater numbers forcing their unrealistic norms on the rest of the population, primarily women and the youth.

As I would despise anyone discriminating against a woman wearing a hijab or a man with a beard, I equally detest some self-righteous nutter telling me how to follow my own religion. Piss off!! Go practice your version on yourself and mind your own damn business.

Using physical or mental pressure to force others to conform to specific norms IS criminal. And the authorities ought to wake up to that fact. The more the comprise with these allegedly 'religious' parties, the bigger the problem for majority of the Pakistani population.

08 May, 2007 21:07

Blogger Maleeha said...

It is all criminal to begin with.

It is us seculars who are at fault; we are not united in large enough numbers to be taken seriously. It is no wonder the establishment pays so much attention to the 'religious right', they make themselves a nuisance to be reckoned with.

But one is just left wondering if there is a point to any of this. A fight against irrationalism will only leave one hitting one's head against a wall. You can't reason with those who believe reasoning is evil.

09 May, 2007 01:09

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Oh yes sue them, then tell me how many articles has Mr. Zak or you yourself have done regarding the discrimination people face at Mama Parsi School? Thats a fact, but we do not hear about this. Why?

How many here have written about discrimination faced at the many defense clubs where maids are not allowed across a certain line? Try sporting a beard and ask for membership.

No lets talk about a mentally unstable person who happens to sport a beard and lambast him and the institution. Could it be that the reason QAU discouraged Dr. Razia because they did not want bad publicity? Maybe she was discouraged to file an FIR so that it does not seem like any loon can come into the university and have his way with people working / studying there? Why a religious angle to it?

The religious right is the scape goat of the secularist. Anything wrong blame them. Take the case of Mukthram Mai, it was the “religious right” that defended her and the secular court that jailed her. But you do not hear about that do you?

Now what you will hear about is some loon telling a woman to cover up on the front page. That is Pakistan biggest problem, not the corruption, not the fact that more then half are denied clean water and electricity, not the fact that we have major disparity in wealth, not the fact that the rich are above the law, not the fact that our roads are not existent.

No none of that. The Main problem in Pakistan is the loon who is telling the woman to cover up.

Who really gives two fuck about a woman covering up when your major problem is trying to make ends meet and have two square meals a day?

Zak, OR, what the heck is wrong with you guys “WAKE UP”.


09 May, 2007 13:57

Anonymous Anonymous said...


By the way you said "Using physical or mental pressure to force others to conform to specific norms IS criminal."

Isn't that what the secularist are doing and have been doing through out history?


09 May, 2007 14:00

Blogger Zakintosh said...

Just as this is getting interesting we have the PTA blocking blogger again. So I am asking a friend of mine outside Pakistan to enter these comments.

Our critic friend - who prefers to hide behind the 'burqa' of anonymity (rather than blog her/his thoughts on her/his own space or write articles s/he feels present a better or different point of view so that others can comment) - will immediately respond with points with which I cannot continue to engage in this circuitous manner.

I would request that s/he email me her/his POV and engage in a dialogue (although that would reveal the identity) or hold back comments until Blogger is easily accessible again. Another alternative may be to shift the discussion to The Olive Ream blog ...

Now for a couple of responses.

"Take the case of Mukthram [sic] Mai, it was the “religious right” that defended her and the secular court that jailed her."

A rather meaningless statement. What does it mean to say that 'the religious right' defended her? Who are we referring to? Since no party or organization with such a name exists, we need to be more specific. I am sure many religious people as well as non-religious ones felt that she had been wronged. It was, after all, a 'human' issue. And what 'secular court'? I don't know if such a court can even legally exist within our Islamic Republic.

I disagree with An and Omer, too, on one aspect (and, I suspect, will be opposed by many others for this): The choice of refusing anyone admsission into a private institution - IMHO - is the rightful prerogative of private organizations, whether you detest their view or not. After all, by their very fee structures (justifiability is another debatable topic) private schools and clubs exclude a whole socio-economic class. One can (and does) find this abhorrent and should continue to criticize it. But legal or other recourses against them would hand over more power to the establishment (to be misused, I assure you). On the other hand, such discrimination by a state or public sector organizations should be protested and opposed in the strongest of terms.

As for the Religious Right being the scapegoat of the Secularists, the reverse is true as well. All ills of our society - if one is to read siome fundamentalist literature (Muslim, Christian or Hindu) - result from irreligiosity or the 'immoral' acts (differently defined by each group, of course) people commit. The Quake and Tsunami in our region and Katrina in the US received the same explanation from these rectoids.

On a personal front, 'An' asks what I have done to raise my voice in support of what s/he feels are more important issues. I need to show no record to him, for the same reason that, despite curiosity, I shall desist from asking how s/he anonymously helps those causes.

09 May, 2007 16:10

Anonymous Masoom said...

09 May, 2007 19:20

Anonymous Ghazala said...

Excellent post ZAK,
Very effectively highlights evil, criminal acts in the name of religion and many other 'isms' that are becoming an everyday affair in the land of the pure!
You surely don't believe that the 'Government' is actually interested in doing anything positive about these alarmingly proliferating fanatics!
@ anon, unfortunately i am completely at sea about what it is that you are trying to convey through your rather off the mark and trite personal comments. There are very serious issues involved here ( and I don't mean to detract about your concerns for other important issues) but perhaps this discourse should be confined to the issues highlighted in this post itself.
@ masoom has provided a very valid link to 3QD, worth a read - as always.
This discourse is getting really interesting - but can we please not have irrelevent personal attacks! they really are in bad taste.

09 May, 2007 22:36

Anonymous Ghazala said...

"Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story."

Max Ehrmann

09 May, 2007 22:42

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10 May, 2007 08:43

Anonymous JC said...


A visit to

should make things clearer to you

12 May, 2007 05:30


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