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Thursday, April 18, 2013

What — Me Worry?

PPP has completed a full term in office. Wow! However, the last bit of its term was sadly inappropriate (despite many good laws that were recently passed by its Government), specially when it came to the Shia Murders! Not a word was spoken for a while and very little has happened after the late visits of various bodies.

Death is here to stay … while Life moves on. We now have politicians campaigning everywhere for the elections on May 11th … and being attacked (quite often even killed). Every party has had that happen to it (or will have it, as the election dates get closer).
Here, for example, is Norbalm (Norbert Almeida - who also sends messages of crime out on the Phone if you subscribe to the service) and his first message this morning: #Karachi early morning 4 bodies. Shot/tortured dumped in different parts of the city.
We also have peculiar laws here, too.
Ahmadis cannot freely vote in Pakistan due to the discriminatory processes introduced in the election related laws which climaxed during the regime of former dictator General Pervez Musharraf. He bowed to Islamists' demands (as did Z A Bhutto!) and issued a Presidential Executive Order, effectively barring Ahmadis from participating in the election process. The Executive Order No. 15 of 2002 excluded Ahmadis from the country's joint voter roll, requiring they be registered on a supplementary voter roll, and necessitated that Ahmadis must sign a declaration to renounce their faith in Islamic tenets.
Let's look at a major belief among Shias themselves (and the Sunnis).

'Imam Mehdi'— the 12th Asna Ash'ari Shia Imam — (the Shias believe) was taken away by the Will of Allah when he was a child, and he will 're-appear' before Doomsday. Strangely, the Sunnis, with no information about this from the Qur'an, also believe in Imam Mehdi's coming to Earth because it is mentioned in the Ahaadees. Naturally, there are strong differences: The Shia Imam has been born! The Sunni Imam Mehdi will be born!

Would some of the Muslims in Pakistan (Sunni or Shia) be annoyed, too, if the Aga Khanis or the Bohris were not allowed to vote? They are considered Shias, but are not part of the Asna Ash'ari group which is the major portion of Shias.

The Aga Khanis have a Living Imam, which is why I could not find a proper Imam Mehdi piece on the Internet about their beliefs. The Dawoodi Bohras have this to say, and this … parts of which could even be considered Blasphemy. Bohris, according to an article on the Internet "believe in appearance of Imam Mahdi who will fill this earth with justice while it is filled with oppression. They claim that Imam Mahdi appeared in North Africa whose name was Abdullah and founded Fatimid dynasty which is drawn from the progeny of Ali and Fatima."

And we are not even counting the Alawis/Nusayris of Syria, although Ayatullah Khomeini accepted them as being part of the Asna Ash'ari Shias, despite their heterodoxy.

The mad/bad militant groups from Saudi Arabia, known as the Wahhabis, as well as their growing followers in Pakistan, have claimed that Shias are not Muslims at all … and some other Sunni sects agree with them, including the Barelvis (*). Wahhabis also 'separate' the other Sunni groups from Islam (or consider them as having been shifted away from the 'true' religion) when left to their own devices.

Members of the Deobandis, a stricter version of the Sunnis in our subcontinent, are anti-Qavvaali and Milad and many other things that the Barelvis practice. The Barelvis add new ideas to Islam (considered a küfr by the Deobandis) … and soon these things become an 'act of faith' to their followers.
Startlingly it was a Barelvi who killed Salman Taseer … and he has hundreds of supporters from the Deobandi and the Barelvi crowd.
Yesterday, I saw this item in the news:
Thirty-two members of the U.S. Congress lawmakers have sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry. The letter bluntly says they cannot accept the May election results in Pakistan if Ahmadis are not also included as part of Pakistan's joint electorate.
The lawmakers impressed upon Secretary Kerry saying, "we cannot stand idly by and allow four million Ahamdis to remain disenfranchised and outside the electoral process. You have a unique opportunity to advocate on behalf of an entire segment of Pakistani society which has long been marginalized and oppressed…"
Secretary Kerry has been asked to 'press' Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari to immediately repeal Executive Order No. 15 of 2002 and have reminded President Zardari that with the historical successful completion of a term of democratically elected government, he has a unique opportunity to remove discriminatory voting restrictions on Ahmadis.
Can President Zardari agree? If he does, will Pakistan's Interim Government accept it? Or will Zardari be considered a Blasphemer by the JI and others?

So where are we headed?

Last night I saw a video - something you must see to understand that there are a few voices of reason in Pakistan. I know that this young man may not win … but I think he deserves your vote if you are in NA-250/PS-113. Talk to him first, though! There may be other areas where he may have very different and, often, contrary views to you.


(*) When I was at sea - and studying all religious beliefs - I came across a Chief Engineer who was a Barelvi. He had literature from his sect and gave me a copy of Imam Raza's works to read. Imam Raza is the Head of the Barelvi School of Thought (and is not the Shia Imam Raza). He has written many books, including a Tafseer of the Qur'an. One person had written to him and asked him that if he wanted to marry a Muslim Girl and there were no other Muslims in the area where he lived, what should they do for the required Vakeel. The book had this answer (it's not verbatim, but the gist is the same): If no Muslims are available get a person from Ahl-e-Kitaab (The People of the Book), that is a Jew or a Christian. Do not get Kuffaars (Disbelievers), such as a Hindu or a Shia!

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