Mullah and Islam: Only demands restrictions on womenWhen I use the word Mullah, it does not mean a very religious or/and uneducated person wearing a traditional local dress. The word Mullah reflects an approach or/and mentality that promotes limited edition of Islam. And, the bearers of this mentality can be university degree holders (deliberately not used the word educated because taking degree does not necessarily mean one has also acquired knowledge) and they may also be wearing a Western dress, but still think in a primitive way and hardly interested in to bring change in their cognition. They think that they have served Islam by wishing or demanding  implementation of the superficial Islamic ideology (Shahraih). They are similar to Facebook users who post a Quranic verse or a photo of a mosque to satisfy their emotional attachment and expect that others will boost their religious-ego by liking or sharing their post. One of such example is Ansar Abbasi, who is a columnist and journalist working for the Jang group; he published a column in the daily Jang newspaper on 06 February, 2014 in which he explained his version of an Islamic state and demanded the implementation of Shariah in Pakistan.

Women under siege

I have already mentioned in my other articles that those who wish to see a Pakistan as a true Islamic state, they have no clear road map; they do not know what to implement and how it will facilitate in improving the quality of life of a common person or enhance social justice. Ansar Abbasi, I call him an educated Mullah, has merely reiterated in the column, which Mullahs has rhetorically been demanding for ages.  The main points of Abassi’s column are banning of alcohol and gambling, controlling sexual relationships out of wedlock and prostitution, abolishing of  bank interest (which he considered equivalent to usury), putting women behind the shroud and eradication of co-educational institutions. Then he vehemently argues in the support of implementing Islamic punishments such as stoning for the adultery or fornication, but does not suggest any punishment for the rapist of women and young female children.

 Ansar Abbasy promoted the same limited edition of Islam, which is similar to so called Islamic scholars, Mullah and Talaban. This limited version of Islam suits them as it enhances their popularity and credibility in the innocent masses who are still emotionally attached to religion; whether or not they practice it is a different matter. If this is Islamic Shariah what Ansar Abbasi has written, then ninety percent of it has already been implemented in Pakistan. Alcohol and gambling are already banned in Pakistan and there are only a few people who manage to have access to alcohol. In Pakistan, there are no casinos and if there is still gambling, it will be within a close private small circle (at least I am unaware of such places in Pakistan). Pakistan is not a nation of alcoholics or gambler therefore it is not a major issue, which he brought in his columns. Limited Prostitution is though practiced in Pakistan, but one does not find a large number of prostitutes on the streets Pakistan. Of course, the gangs should be held responsible who force women to come in this profession. Anyway, prostitution is again not legally allowed in the country.

Pakistani banks run Islamic banking claiming interest (or usury) free accounts so those who are against taking interest on their deposits can opt for the option. He claims that Pakistani women are wearing western dresses which is again not true because only a small percentage of females living in posh areas of major cities are wearing jeans or sleeveless blouses, otherwise the rest of the population is wearing the traditional dresses – covering their full bodies except the face. Likewise, only a countable number of males and females studying in the coeducation schools and universities whereas most of the government schools and colleges are segregated on the basis of gender. What is not so far implemented is some of the Islamic punishments such as amputating the hands in the cases of theft or stoning to male and female in the case of adultery. Interestingly, he claims that there is a consensus on his version of Islamic Shariah among different sects, which is quite untrue. For example, Sunni Muslims consider ‘Muttah’ (a kind of temporary marriage) is analogous to adultery whereas Shiite Muslims consider it very legitimate mode of relationship.

 Ansar Abbassi have not shown any correlation as to how implementing his version of Islam will change the quality of life of common citizens in Pakistan. His column does not throw on the light, whether or not crime rate and social ills have increased or decreased between the periods when alcohol and prostitution were not banned. The fact is that the crime rate and social ills have increased if we compare the current condition with the period of the 60s and early 70s when alcohol was allowed and prostitution was allowed only to restricted red-light areas. Similarly, he does not evaluate if the religious era of Zia-ul-Haq really changed the fiber of society in a positive or negative direction. The fact is that Zia-ul-Haq had a Mullah mentality and his religious ideology introduced so many ills in the society.  Sectarian killing, the culture of guns and intolerance are a few examples of his so called religious or Mullah movement. Zia’s acolytes like Ansar Abbasi and Taliban wish to put the cart in front of the horse by demanding shallow Islam. Interestingly, Ansar Abbasi is so much concerned about the sexual relationship out of wedlock, but does not concern about rapists. These pseudo-intellectuals or Mullah type intellectuals make a hue and cry when a terrorist dies, but close their eyes and ears when innocent people die in terrorist attacks in major cities of Pakistan.

 These mullahs do not demand implementation of the real values of Islam because they are scared that they will lose their power and prestige if real Islamic values get implemented. Implementing Islamic values mean serving people and improving self-character which is the foundation of a national character. However, the Facebook type Mullahs feels emotionally satisfied by only pointing out fingers on others and demanding the state to suppress freedom of action and speech. Islamic ideology  does not approve of concentration of wealth in a few hands, telling lies, selling fake medicine, bribery, favoritism, false reporting in the media and so on. The fake mullahs never demands to pay appropriate wages to domestic workers and commercial employees (these fake Mullahs themselves hire services of domestic workers at cheap rates and treating them badly but never consider it as an unIslamic behavior). Similarly, human rights, freedom of speech and eradication of the class system are being considered as non-Islamic values by these pseudo-Islamic scholars. Islamic system believes in social, economic and legal justice, which is not on the agenda of these Mullahs.  Instead of putting women behind the doors, these Isalmists never promote the concept of sexual harassment.. Islam gives the freedom to individuals to lead their life according to their own beliefs and values, therefore it is written in the Quran there is no compulsion in the religion. Islam gives the message of coexistence of Muslims with other religions and does not allow state, group or an individual to interfere with others’ religion. It does not authorize any person or a state to declare someone as non-Muslim. Unfortunately, all values, which protects human rights, are alien to the Mullahs like Ansar Abbasi and reject them by considering as the Western values. These Mullahs should be despised for endorsing a limited edition of Islam.

 Nadeem Youaf

uploaded on 06 February 2014

Mullah’s Limited Edition of Islam