Lets open those windows

Come with me my friend, let me open those doors for you,
come with me, let me show you what is outside,
could it be something you never knew,
or something you thought you should never see,
how would you know if you don’t explore

Closed Windows

Nothing grows here

Do you feel the fresh air ? Smell you never experienced before ?
That is flowers, lots of them. Butterflies ? Yes those too,
But they don’t grow here, inside these closed doors,
butterflies, they love it outside when you admire them, run after them,
they die when you keep them them here, behind closed doors

Nothing grows here my friend, nothing except our false wishes,
You’ll have to come out with me, you’ll have to open those windows,
You’ll have to let the fresh air in, you’ll have to come with me …

Let me open those doors for you ….

Are you a Humanist ?

Dont be a Sheep

Dont be a Sheep

One of the misunderstandings we develop is around being Humanist, we start taking it for granted and assume that just by supporting women rights, opposing religions and supporting rights for homosexuals, we have done enough to take ownership of Humanism.

In reality, it involves much more than that, its not only about treating others on the same level but also constantly evaluating your own position as if you’re able to stand up against the injustice without any particular bias. If you’re against Taliban’s killings of innocent people but you cant feel the same pain for an innocent person died because of the bombings carried out by US forces then its time for re-evaluating your own position if you really understand what humanism is.

If you cant stand up against injustice wherever you can, you havent understood the Humanism yet …

Same way if you let injustice happen in a group where you are a member and you decided to stay silent just because you don’t want to get into trouble , you’re a long way short on Humanism.

Humanism simply means to stand up for your own rights and for the rights of others, it was some crazy Humanists who stood up during 1st May’s protests more than 100 years ago which lead to a historical change in the world we live today.

If you would like to see a better tomorrow for your next generations, its time to stand up and abolish the chains of Authoritarian Hierarchies which is only possible by applying the same standards for others that you would like to see for yourself.

Dont be a sheep …

Who got rid of Bhutto ?

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Zulfikar Alî Bhutto

Zulfikar Alî Bhutto

Perhaps Bhutto should be remembered as Pakistan’s dilemma, 35 years since he is gone and the world is still undecided and  confused as what to make of him ? Leader of the people (Quaid-e-Awam as some call him), Reformist, Symbol of Courage, Murderer, Arrogant, Traitor or as some claim “the reason for East Pakistan’s separation”. I don’t believe that this million dollar question can ever be settled down as what was Bhutto and who was working behind the scenes to get rid of Bhutto but there are few things which are popularly believed about him, some are right but may not be everything.

Bhutto’s Role in 71 war:

It really depends on who you talk to, Bhutto is often seen as the responsible for 71 war and the separation of East Pakistan and one of the famous statements you keep hearing in defense of this argument is that he once said “I’ll break the legs of those PPP members who dared to attend the inaugural session of the National Assembly if Shaikh Mujeeb is to be given the Government. However, there is actually more to it.

Dr. Mubashir Hassan was perhaps the most closest and trusted person in Bhutto’s team, some even argue that he was the master mind behind Bhutto’s rise to fame. A lesser known fact is that Dr Hassan traveled to Dhakka to meet Shaikh Mujib and his close circle to act as a deal broker. Dr Hassan managed to convince Mujib to meet Bhutto but. After Dr. Hassan achieved this task, Bhutto and Mujib agreed to run a coalition government for the sake of keeping Pakistan united. The deal was that Mujib would have become prime minister (given the fact that his Awami League had the majority in election results) and Bhutto would have succeeded Gen Yahya as president.

Bhutto a charismatic leader

Bhutto a charismatic leader

Yahya and other Generals were initially unaware of these secret talks, later they tried to reach a deal directly with Shaikh Mujib, the details of deal are unknown till this day. However for some reasons Pakistan Army’s talks with Sheikh Mujib failed and Yahya then postponed the opening session of the National Assembly and ordered an army action against Mujib. Some source claim that these talks were kept so secretive that even the most senior Generals from Pakistan Army didn’t know what was being proposed.

Nuclear Bomb:

The defeat in 71 war was not only a loss of a territory but it also had significant psychological effects as well. The whole nation including Army had reached to its lowest level of moral and everyone in Pakistan was shattered. We should also not forget the International consequences of the war, Cold War during those days was on its peak. Many people now assume that Bhutto perhaps began thinking about acquiring Nuclear Bomb after 71 war, however this is not true.

Bhutto’s interest in nuclear technology was said to be began during his college years in the United States when Bhutto attended the course of political science, discussing political impact of U.S.’s first nuclear test, Trinity, on Global politics. While at Berkeley, Bhutto witnessed the public panic when the Soviet Union first exploded the bomb, codename First Lightning in 1949, prompting the U.S. government to famously launch the research on Hydrogen bombs. However, in 1958 when long before as Minister for Fuel, Power, and National Resources, Bhutto played a key role in setting up of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) administrative research bodies and institutes.

Bhutto believed that if Pakistan was to defend itself from the Indian Aggression it was important to find an answer for India’s preparation of acquiring Nuclear Technology. During his campaign for acquiring Bomb he wrote to several heads of state and one of his famous writing was:

Pakistan was exposed to a kind of “nuclear threat and blackmail” unparalleled elsewhere. If the world’s community failed to provide political insurance to Pakistan and other countries against the nuclear blackmail, these countries would be constraint to launch atomic bomb programs of their own! … Assurances provided by the United Nations were not “Enough!”…

Bhutto’s ambitions were clearly disliked by the United States and other Western Powers. Henry Kissinger once famously said “We will make an example of you if you didn’t stop your Nuclear Ambitions”. Many people use this particular statement to show that US and Western Powers had a great interest in getting rid of Bhutto as they saw him as a threat.

Bhutto being taken to Court

Bhutto being taken to Court

But, we conveniently forget the fact that it was General Zia-ul-Haq who continued to work on developing nuclear weapons after Bhutto’s death and the same Western Powers not only turned a blind eye but in many instances they helped Pakistan Army. It may be argued that by that time geopolitical realities had changed and West need Zia’s regime. Second point we often overlook is the fact that Pakistan was not the only country who was warned against developing Nuclear Technology, South Africa, Argentina and Australia were all in the same boat.

Islamo-Socialism Honeymoon:

Bhutto was a strong supporter of Socialist Ideology, he began drifting towards the Leftist Ideology during early years of his student life. There is not much evidence to suggest that whether he was also an equal supporter of Authoritarian-Socialism as most of his actions suggests that he favored the empowerment of people instead of establishment. In my opinion he should be best described as a Social-Democrat more than anything else.

But the problem was that Bhutto was fighting on several fronts at the same time. He was busy rebuilding a heartbroken nation, strengthening ties with China and Arab countries, over looking Nuclear development, and above all he was busy firefighting a cold war with Pakistan Army. Another lesser known fact is that Army had already started considering Bhutto a traitor and the sole reason for the defeat in 71 war. A small group in Pakistan Army was secretly working on a Coup to take-over his Government and On 30 March, some 59 military officers were arrested by army troops for allegedly plotting a coup against Bhutto.

Empowerment of people

Empowerment of people

All these pressures forced Bhutto to look for new Allies and also to make new friends. It was during this time he began negotiating with not only Extreme Leftists (Libertarian Leftists) but also the Religious Parties too. Bhutto successfully made a deal with staunch opponent Wali Khan while he reached out to people like Mufti Mahmood. He later on had to bow down to the pressures of Religious Parties and Saudi Arabia to introduce an amendment to 1973 constitution that declared Ahmedis as Non-Muslims.

Some argue that bowing down to Religious Parties was his biggest mistake but very few actually understand the kind of pressure he had during that time and specially from Saudi Arabia who was desperate to make sure no Ahmedi is able to use Pakistani Passport for traveling to the holy places of Islam. Bhutto had limited options but to make deals. Another problem was that he was being labelled by many as a Surkha (a term used for Communist) and some even claimed that Bhutto was not even a Muslim which forced him to even change his lifestyle and to be seen in Shalwar Kameez and attend Namaz (Islamic Prayers) Gatherings more than ever.

My thoughts:

Its hard to suggest who wanted to get rid of Bhutto, there are many players who must have had strong interest to get rid of him same as there were many who wanted him to survive such as Arab Friends (Libyan Prime Minister was in Islamabad for several days with a private plane to request for his exile but the request was turned down by General Zia). But one thing is quite clear that whatever Bhutto is seen as he isn’t seen as a Murderer at least. People today accuse him of several other things that even includes being responsible for the 71 war and the declaration of Ahmediya as non-Muslims but very few (if any) would believe that he had any role in the famous Kasuri Murder for which he was hanged to death.

I did not kill that man. My God is aware of it. I am big enough to admit if I had done it, that admission would have been less of an ordeal and humiliation than this barbarous trial which no self respecting man can endure. I am a Muslim. A Muslim’s fate is in the hands of God Almighty. I can face Him with a clear conscience and tell Him that I rebuilt His Islamic State of Pakistan from ashes into a respectable Nation. I am entirely at peace with my conscience in this black hole of Kot Lakhpat. I am not afraid of death. You have seen what fires I have passed through.

—Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, My Dearest Daughter: A letter from Death Cell.

Therefore, I will Assert

One of the problems we face when looking at things Philosophically is that there is nothing good or bad, nothing right or wrong, everything has a relative meaning and a subjective interpretation. This kind of discussion is often the home-ground to those who have a certain agenda on their mind “you don’t know it, hence my assertion become valid” or even better “nothing is right or wrong, there is no such thing as a solution ? Therefore my solution is the ultimate solution”. This whole game of asserting ideas is rather oxymoron as when you accept (even for the sake of argument) that there is no such thing as perfect or ideal solution then what makes your solution the right or perfect solution ?

i-can-therefore-i-will

While Facebook Debating is a great learning platform, it can be quite a challenging one too. You meet and talk to people of various sorts, some intelligent, some not, some following one ideology and some another. At times, it can even be frustrating too, it wouldn’t be often you will meet people who would have actually read / researched / known what they were talking about. Fact of the matter is that very few people know or even bother to know the facts but they all have an opinion. Having Opinion isn’t the problem itself, in fact everyone is entitled to have an opinion its the assumption that in the absence of Absolute Answers, my position becomes the Default Position that goes against the notion of this article.

Talk to Religious Defenders and they will ask you “Who made all this”, you reply with all your honesty saying “I dont know” and immediately they feel encouraged to tell you “Therefore its God” as if nothing else could have been possible. Second stage is even more painful when (depending on who you are talking to) they will start asserting “And his name is Allah whose direct word is Quran”. It isn’t rocket science to understand that its the inability to even think outside the box that has lead us to where we are today.

Talk to a Patriot and with all your honesty you share your opinion that going to the Vietnam War was purely wrong and US has had a modern day model of Imperialism and you suddenly get a reply “Therefore Pakistan was right all along and has never done anything wrong, it was all Jeudo-American conspiracy to frame Pakistan”. No, it doesn’t mean that, what it really means is that you’re suffering from Patriotism Syndrome and have lost the ability to independently and honestly analyze the situation. Just because I highlighted mistakes of India, America or Israel it doesn’t automatically prove Pakistan was innocent since the time it was born.

Denial is the next stage when the argument proceeds, your natural reaction during that debate will automatically include some of the mistake Pakistan has been making throughout the history and that will open the floodgate to the Denial. “Pakistan is a victim, Pakistan didn’t do any genocide in 71, Talibans are Atheists trying to malign Pakistan and Islam’s name, No Muslim can ever kill anyone” and so on …

Going to the neutral position and looking at things from an honest perspective without a Biased view is still an Alien idea to not only our societies but also in Western Societies as well, human race seems to have a long road to travel to before we are able to sit down on discussion tables and start looking for today’s solutions for today’s problems …

Prophet’s Marriages

The most discussed subject on Religious forums is Prophet Muhammad and his life. Muslims claim that Prophet was the best person ever walked on earth hence he needs to be respected and followed while the Anti Islam group suggests things otherwise. This topic is the most debated one and always attracts a heated debate. What are the issues surrounding Prophet’s life and why the explanations provided by Muslims isn’t helping much ?

Believe it or not, this is the most discussed topic on forums, Muslims don’t seem to have a problem with Prophet having too many wives while the Non Muslims are just not able to digest it. Some of the most common explanations provided are:

He didn’t marry for sexual pleasure: Muslims claim that the marriages were not for sexual pleasure, how can a person who gave his youth to a wife 15 years older than him be sexually motivated for the other women in his life. There are several issues with this claim.

Age Issue: First of all, the story related to Bibi Khadija doesn’t pass the common sense test. Prophet had children as late as when he was 40 years old which makes Bibi Khadija at least 55 years of age. There are no historical evidences to suggest that the women in those days (with extremely poor health standards) were able to conceive and have children at such age, it doesn’t make much sense. My guess is that the story related to Bibi Khadija being older than Prophet sounds a doctored story and could have been made up much later by Muslim Historians.

Wealth: There are also clouds of doubt around the stories related to Bibi Khadija’s wealth and her business empire. Question is what happened to that Empire after her death ? We don’t get any historical references in Islamic History about the wealth she must have left behind her. In fact we do get accounts of extreme Poverty experienced by Prophet during the later years of his life.

Control Freak: It could also have been possible that Bibi Khadija was a powerful woman (provided that the stories related to her age and wealth are actually correct) and she was a controlling person. Prophet Muhammad could not have dared to even think about second marriage during her lifetime.

Not for Sex: There are multiple ahadith which clearly depicts the sexual desires of Prophet Muhammad, one particular hadith even talks about Prophet making rounds to all his wives on a single night. Some of the ahadith narrated by Bibi Ayesha are pretty sexual in orientation and contradicts with the claim that the Prophet had no sexual interest.

Providing Shelter: One more argument that is quite popular is that the Prophet married all these women to provide them shelter as they were War Survivors. This claim is also based on factually incorrect information, not all women were war survivors. And ironically, one wife who was indeed a war survivor was Bibi Safiya but then question is who made her a Widow ? Who was responsible for the killing of her father, whole family and her husband ? It was actually Muslim forces themselves who killed all her family on the same day and she becomes Prophet’s wife by the night.

The argument of Marriages for Political Alliance has a low standard of morality in it

Political Alliance: Quite often it is claimed that the marriage with Bibi Ayesha was necessary to strengthen political ties between two tribes. This argument has a low standard of morality in it, is it moral to use women for political purposes ? And that too as young as 9 years ? Secondly, a Sahih hadith itself suggest things otherwise as Prophet describes how he saw Bibi Ayesha in his dreams and he thought that its God’s wish that he should marry her. Political alliance argument is not supported by any hadith

Slaves and Concubines: It is also reported that besides multiple wives, Prophet also had four concubines. The most notable among those is Bibi Mariya al Qibtiya. It’s important to note that she was not a war survivor but rather sent as a Gift by King of Egypt in response to the invitation to Islam. She later became mother of Prophet’s son without marriage. The above mentioned argument about Prophet not having Sexual Desires is also refuted by the fact that he had Slaves and Concubines with whom he had sexual relationships.

Perhaps all Prophets in history had a darker side

King David’s 300 plus wives and concubines: Some Muslims also like to point out that King David (Prophet Daud in Arabic) had 300+ plus women in his lif. This is a fallacy argument, two wrongs don’t make a right and if there is anything this argument actually shows that perhaps all Prophets in history had some darker side attached to them and can not be judged as Moral according to today’s standards at least.

Some modern-day, educated, liberal, apologist Muslims have conveniently started to deny those Ahadith which are problematic in nature such as the ones mentioned above. This is a major development in the Muslim world as the ahadith and history that Muslims were proud of for centuries has become a source of embarrassment for many and can not be defended anymore now. Secondly, the Selected Rejection of Ahadith also leads to more problem as people take it as double standards followed by Muslims, why are they happy to accept popular historical references painting a nicer picture (such as calling him Ameen and Saadiq) of Prophet Muhammad but not the ones where his actions can not be justified by today’s standards ?

Great Muslim Apostasy

The Great Apostasy is a term referred to the way Western Civilization has abandoned the Traditional Christianity and more so around the loss of power for Church in the matters of State and Legislation. The term does not suggest that the whole western world has become an Apostate or does not associate itself with Christianity but what it rather mean is that the original version of Traditional Christianity is not only forgotten but quite often is being rejected and in some instances heavily criticized as well as ridiculed by some.

Great Muslim Apostasy

I see a similar movement gaining momentum in Muslim Societies at the moment. I see that we are currently experiencing something that may be remembered as part of one of the most historical developments in human civilization, perhaps even more important than the Great Apostasy of West. I see that we’ll be sitting with our grand children and telling them how we saw and have had first hand experience to see Islam (the most rigid and conservative religion) to lose its ground in the response to the culture of growing Education, Rationality, Reasoning in Muslim Societies and how the Educated Muslims started to see the original and traditional version of Islam as a Pervert Ideology responsible for holding them back in this world. And while all this was happening, there was a group of Defenders who were trying hard to protect the Traditional and Conservative version of Islam in the same way that Conservative Christians did during a long period of Great Apostasy. This group even used Terrorism in the name of Jihad but nothing helped and eventually the Great Muslim Apostasy made its way … obviously through the help of external sources such as the Media and Digital Revolution.

This might sound like a dream to you but if you analyze bit closely, you will realize that the Traditional Islam is under a serious threat right now, not only from the external elements but in fact from within the Muslim Society itself and more-so-over by the Educated (Moderate as they like to call themselves) Muslims who have clearly started feeling embarrassed over the typical interpretations of Islam that has been the source of pride for Muslim Societies for generations and centuries. Everything from Child Brides to the killing of Apostates is being severally denied by Moderate Followers of Islam with a desperate desire to take control of the Interpretation of Islam as per the modern world and modern values instead of living in 7th, 11th or even 20th century.

The Rejection of Hadith is perhaps the most fundamental change occurring right now. The culture to deny Hadith or to put shadow of doubts over its authentication isn’t new and it has a deep-rooted history with some influential figures like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Ghulam Pervez in Indo-Pak region however for long enough these people have not only been ridiculed by calling them Pervezis (followers of Pervez) but also persecuted in some cases. Declaring openly that Hadith are the source of shame for Islam has never been easier as it is in current times. Next stage is the reinterpretation of Quran, the direct word of God as Islam claims. Just a simple Google search will guide you to hundreds of resources where not only the Verses are interpreted differently but in fact Translated differently in order to make it sound more reasonable, more humane, and more compatible with today’s world. Ironically, the same way that these Moderate Muslims blame Mullahism for introducing the corruption in Islam, the same kind of blames were associated with Church for adding stuff from Solar Monism and Mithras to attract Pagans to Christianity. Today the Muslims are questioning the deep-rooted history of Islam that many feel is filled with the Pagan Culture itself.

The movement may be in its early stages and very hard to be noticed but there is a definite growing divide between the Traditionalists and moderate Followers and its clearly indicating that the Great Muslim Apostasy is most likely certain in coming years and decades.

Judging Muslims

I’ve often written about the increasing criticism on Islam in recent months and years and the kind of poor response by Muslims to handle that criticism. Partly it is due to the fact that criticism is a new thing for these societies and the other reason I could see was that there is a serious drift between different Muslim Sects and sections of societies themselves, they don’t have a uniform response.

1main IMG_191 LLC shutterstock_86840116

And now it appears they have started to pay price for that lack of planning and a structured approached to handle criticism. Price is that the world has already started labelling them, their culture, their practices and the way they look as Primitive, Backward, Ugly and Illiterate. The prejudice is on the rise and is clearly visible on several platforms including the online forums such as Facebook. People start judging you from your name and most often from your profile and / or cover picture. Here is what you can try.

Create a Facebook ID with a Muslim name and put a photo as your profile picture of a Mullah with a sort of Orange Beard. Make sure your name includes Muhammad. Put a typical Islam Praising banner as your cover picture and start joining Debate Forums. You’ll notice that people will judge you before they hear you or your arguments. You’ll also notice that it wouldn’t matter how much your arguments are well constructed, backed up by solid evidences, and have rational justifications … you will still be judged.

Prejudice is a natural human psyche and has a history as old as humans themselves and though it has dropped significantly in the modern societies, we are still not able to get rid of this psyche altogether. No matter how much we dislike to admit but we still turn our heads when we see a person who looks different compared to the majority of people around us. We do give a funny look at somebody’s traditional dresses and start considering them Primitive. This practice has existed and it still exists. But what is happening to Muslims is bit new.

I get prejudged myself at various places that includes Airports. I often have to go through extra security checks although they tell me its a random check but somehow I keep hitting that jackpot and come out to be the lucky winner. Its all based on your looks and your name.

Is this a fair treatment ? I don’t think so but could that have been prevented ? I’m really not sure …

Muslim’s response to criticism and the failure of so-called Moderate Islam to regroup itself and start condemning the Primitive practices has actually made things even worse. We can’t see a meaningful movement in the modern muslim societies to denounce Terrorism, to campaign in favour of adopting more and more science and to tell their brethren to stop labelling non muslims as Filthy and everything that goes wrong as a Yahood-o-Hanood (Jeudo-Christian) Conspiracy. There is simply no movement and no rationality prevailing in these societies and the result is that the outside world too is losing its patience with Muslims.

This in my view is quite a complex situation and I really can’t see what can be done to improve the image of Muslims in non-Muslim societies if Muslims themselves are not ready to understand where they are going wrong …

What ? No Judgment Day ?

Some of the topics are just super favourite for Theists which will keep coming back to almost any discussion you have with them. The concept of Judgement Day and the Reward / Punishment model is just one of many from the list. Usually, the discussion will start on the topic of God and if you say you’re not sure about whether or not God exists they will first give you a puzzled look and then ask you the same old question about Judgement Day …

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Consider the following conversation:

  • Person A: Do you believe in God
  • Person B: Well … not as the Religion tells us
  • Person A: If there is no God then what about the Judgment Day
  • Person B: I think there is no Judgement Day either
  • Person A: Oh really ? Then you think all those criminals in this world are not going to be punished for what they have done here in this world
  • Person B: May be, quite possibly
  • Person A: What rubbish. Why would you then do good things if there is no reward for doing good ?
  • Person B: Good question and I understand your hypothesis but there is no evidence for such thing
  • Person A: Yes there is no evidence but it makes complete sense to have the institution of Judgement Day, all your good deeds should be rewarded in afterlife and people should be accountable for their wrong acts

Actually Person A makes a lot of sense here, this is exactly the way it should have been … in an ideal world I mean, with a God in fact a God that not only exists but also truly believes in Justice and the God who is not so big on Ego … you know what I mean.

When all these Theists insist on the necessity of Judgement Day as an institution in order to encourage people in this world for doing as much good stuff as possible and avoid engaging in Bad acts, they conveniently forget that the same Religion which installs this idea of Judgement Day in their mind is actually saying quite a contrary thing to what they really believe in.

In majority of the mainstream religions, the emphasis of being a good person is not on doing good things or living a decent life here on this planet but rather on who you worshipped as your God during your stay here on planet. Some religions such as Zoroastrianism puts a lot of focus on Good Deeds in fact their whole ideology is based around living a clean decent life but with a catch. In order to be rewarded properly you need to be born into a Zoroastrian Family and worship Ahura Mazda as your God, if you were unlucky enough not to be a born Zoroastrian try to be one next time, during this life at least you have been just an unlucky person. And then there is no way either to become a Zoroastrian, as I said try next time. Christianity isnt much different, although you can become a Christian but you got to accept Jesus as your lord before the ticket to heaven can be issued in your name.

Islam, while allows anyone to become a Muslim (in fact quite desperately want you to be a Muslim) suffers from the same psychologically neurotic egoistic God Character who clearly tells you in his direct word known as Quran that unless you belong to one of the People of Book and believe in Allah as your God (don’t ask me why would you worship Allah unless you become a Muslim but thats a different topic altogether) and then if you do good things in this world you need not to worry up there at the time of Judgement. Another verse clearly say that although you think doing good in this world will help you up there actually it wouldn’t because you did not accept Allah as your God.

The whole emphasis is on who you worship, doing good just comes later down the list. So if you don’t believe in a particular type of God or if you are a Pantheist (like Einstein or Stephan Hawkings) and believe that Nature is God, don’t be too excited when your Religious friends tell you how everything good you do in this world will be rewarded up there, it wouldn’t be …

Can you say No to Shariah ?

While Pakistan Government’s is holding talks with Taliban, the Media and general public of Pakistan (not only inside Pakistan but also the overseas Pakistanis) are busy discussing what could be the outcome of these talks. One issue that keeps coming back to discussion is the Taliban’s demand to implement Shariah in Pakistan.

Religious Blackmailing
While Taliban have officially provided a list of demands, their core focus is and has always been on the Shariah Law. This basically negates the theory of a lot of ordinary Pakistanis they held before these Talks that Taliban are in fact not Muslims and they are just a creation of foreign elements to destabilize Pakistan. I’ve long held my view that there are various types of Taliban groups and some may have had some connections with some foreign forces but real motive behind Taliban has always been Ideological. Implementation of Islamic Shariah Law is the core theme of that Ideological movement. It is also interesting to note that even though most of these Taliban groups have had different conflicts but their core ideology is always on the same page. They may have difference of opinion on who will have major authority or whose interpretation of Shariah Law will get priority but that doesn’t negate the theory that regardless of the conflicts they all want Shariah to be in full force.

There is a clear resistance from the Liberal or Semi-Liberal sections of society. Media for example is constantly asking for “Which Shariah you want to implement ?”. Ironically, people like Maulana Abdul Aziz have managed to shut them up with such a simple answer that “it will be the same Shariah as per the orders of Prophet Muhammad”. Nobody (unless you belong to a radically different sect of Islam such as Shia or Ahmedi etc) will be able to say NO to this demand. The core theme of Muslim belief is to believe that Prophet Muhammad was the best person ever walked on earth and his policies, his laws, his suggestions is what we should all adhere to. There is also a sort of Guilt that these so-called Moderate or Liberal Muslims live with in their everyday life where they do things they like doing but they will always have a kind of guilt inside them that they aren’t good Muslims and they aren’t doing what the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad demands them to do.

This whole game of emotional blackmailing has high chances of getting what it strives for. Masses will eventually have to give up to these arguments and as the Sunni school of thought holds the majority they will eventually come into terms of what kind of Shariah Laws should be implemented and how. Obviously, the minority forces such as Shia etc will oppose this but as they are already on decline their opinion hardly matters. Iran’s influence also doesn’t matter much because they have implemented their own version of Shariah there as per the understanding of Majority which is of course Shia Ideology. Sunnis and other minorities simply have to bow down and accept whatever the majority’s view is.

In my opinion, there is no solution to this as the Pakistani Society is miles away from getting closer to the Secularist Ideology where no particular sect’s beliefs holds authority and everyone is an equal citizen. Ordinary people of Pakistan can not say NO to the Shariah Law because saying no to anything that is associated with Prophet Muhammad is beyond even imaginations for them. These currently on-going talks may not be fruitful, there may be several talks in future but to me, its only a matter of time before we see Taliban’s dream coming into reality one day …

Answering Theists

Everywhere you go, you get to see the same questions from Theists. Whether it’s a discussion happening at the dinner table, at the BBQ Party in your backyard or the Facebook forum, same questions again and again. I thought I’ll compile some of the common questions Theists like to throw and some of the answers that I’m becoming tired of repeating on everyday basis. Hope you’ll find these useful.

Answering Theists

1. Why are you an Atheist ?
Different Atheists have different reasons for their lack of Belief, we can not have one universal standard reason that can be applied on all Atheists. Atheism literally means “not believing in the deities”, it doesn’t mean all Atheists actively propagate that there MUST be NO God, it simply means that the Deities that people believe in doesn’t make sense to Atheists the same way one Theist’s Deity doesn’t make sense to another Theist’s Deity.

There is also an urge for Theists to believe that there must be a Naughty Reason why an Atheist is an Atheist or it should be based on Atheist’s Rebellion attitude however in majority of cases this is not true. Atheists reach to their conclusion after a lot of thinking and researching unlike the Theists who are believers (majority of the cases) because of the childhood indoctrination or the lack of capability to apply critical analysis on their Beliefs.

It satisfies Ego of Theists to believe that the Atheism must be based on a some kind of Conspiracy because their argument is based on an Assumption that the Default position should always be based on a Belief of some of kind of God, and any rejection of that belief must involve a Conspiracy. This is merely a Defence Mechanism and based on lack of knowledge about how and why certain people turn into Atheists.

2. Do they believe in Out of Nothing argument ?
First of all, the default position of Atheism is based on “We Dont Know” premise, this is why it’s often too difficult to distinguish between Atheism and Agnosticism. When we say “we don’t know”, we are literally saying that anything is possible including Theist’s forced argument that “a God must have done all this” and “this might have come from nowhere or as a result of a pure accident which means it’s a mere process that might have created everything and not that some intelligent force was behind it”.

Theists then like to Assert that Atheism believes in “Out of Nothing argument”, the answer is Yes and No. Atheism believes in the possibility of “Out of Nothing argument” as much as believing in the assertions of Mayan Civilization that some Aliens must have created this universe.

3. Isnt Universe evidence of God ?
No it isn’t, I wish if it was an evidence and we could have settled down this centuries old debate.

Evidence means something we can directly verify as and when we want it to, which means it also has the ability to be reproduced again and again by using the same set of laws. In case of God as defined by Religions, we do not have any evidence. Hence the argument that the universe exists hence God exists is as valid or invalid as saying the Universe is the evidence of Aliens creating this universe for us and then watching us.

4. Can you disprove that God doesn’t exist ?
No we can’t, neither we need to. Being a Theist you are making Assertions for God’s existence hence its your responsiblity to provide evidence of his / her / their existence. The same way you can’t disprove that there exists an invisible naked boy on your head who walks with you all the time, nobody can disprove your claims for God’s existence too. But the important point here to remember is that you can’t prove your own claims that God does exist the way you define him / her / them.

5. Does Atheism makes sense ?
Everybody’s definition of Sense is different and is heavily influenced by the society this person is raised in, the authors and books this person has read and then the person’s acceptance to the fact that how much sense is possible and what will be the boundary where human logic will cease to make sense.

God’s character is itself an attempt to escape from the harsh reality of limited sense that we can make about things we don’t know. Atheists happily accept the fact that there will always be things we wouldn’t be able to make sense of them, it doesn’t mean we should start accepting the “Blunt Assertions” made by Theists because somehow they have been able to convince themselves that in the absence of true sense all these Assertions are sufficient to entertain human intelligence.

6. Who made it then ?
The whole point is that we don’t know and you don’t either. However painful and insulting this reality might sound, the fact is that nobody knows who made it. We can’t even be sure that if someone must have made it.

This argument itself is based on a deadlock where we say that everything must have been made by someone and yet we reach to the stage where we can’t explain that who made God then ? Ultimately, Theists have to break their own chain of logic and they are required to give discount to the God’s character that he / she / them must have always been there. The same way, you could argue that Nature could have always been there and doesn’t need a creator.

7. What if you were wrong ?
What if you were praying the wrong God ? Considering the number of Gods and Deities that exist, the probability of hitting the jackpot of praying to the correct God is pretty low.

Secondly, try to understand that Atheism is based on the absence of Fear (unlike theism), they do not believe that God exists that needs to be accepted and if you don’t accept him / her / them you will be punished. So this whole argument around making them scared of punishment isn’t going to help either. Atheists demand evidence not the Fear of Punishment.

8. So no Judgement day ?
Quite possibly. Its a comforting thought to believe that at the day of judgement (supposedly) there will be reward and punishment for those acts that were not dealt properly here in this world. However, just because its a comforting thought, doesn’t mean its the way thats the way its going to be. We again have no evidence for this premise.

Secondly, every religion itself has contradicting views on the concept of Judgment Day itself. The central theme in most of the mainstream religions regarding the day of judgement is around the belief in one particular God of that particular Religion and the Reward / Punishment for your Good / Bad Acts takes a back seat. So, even if you were doing good things but believing in the wrong God you will still be punished at the judgement day.

9. But so many people believe in God
This is a logical fallacy. Larger number of people believing in something doesn’t make it true. Secondly, there are thousands of Gods that different people believe in, if it was that simple we could have easily held some kind of elections throughout the world and whoever had the majority could have been declared the winners of identifying the correct God.

Fact is that Theism is a product based on Fear and the lack of capability to apply critical thinking over beliefs. The societies where education and freedom of thought as well as expression is increasing the Atheism is also increasing on parallel bases in those societies. Hence, the number of people believing in one thing or disbelieving in another thing does not make that belief right or wrong.

10. Atheists believe in Evolution
Yes and No. Not all Atheists believe in Evolution and not all Atheists care about knowing much about Evolution. However, the Theory of Evolution has become an established faculty of Science now and the Scientists are happy with the amount and quality of Evidence(s) that support the theory. Theists are most welcome to reject the theory and get left behind in the world of science.

On the other side, Theist’s rejection of Evolution is based on the fear that if they accepted Evolution it will basically mean that their Religious theories and stories around creationism will be proved wrong, so the rejection is a mere Defence Mechanism at its best.

Another interesting point to consider is that not all Theists reject Theory of Evolution. Some Theists even claim that the theory is absolutely compatible with their respective Religion. Some went even further and came up with a complete theory of Intelligent Design where God and Evolution were working closely together.

There is no one standard when it comes to the belief or disbelief in the Theory of Evolution by either Theists or Atheists.

11. Whats your purpose of life ?
Different people have different purposes of life and most of the time there are more than one purposes, in fact the purposes keep changing with time and age. Whether we like it or not, the basic purpose of humans as well as other animals remains to survive somehow in this world for as long as possible.

All the other purposes are self assumed and man-made purposes. It also depends on each individual’s nature and interests as well, some people like spending time and effort on Sports, some on literary works, some like to learn and some don’t like to do anything at all. Some find it comforting to give back as much as they can to the society while some enjoy making as much money as possible and live a good life.

The evidence suggests that Atheists take their life pretty seriously and thats how the so-called Godless Societies have worked quite hard to make their lives heaps better during last few centuries. While on the other hand, pure Religious Societies have struggled for long enough to take responsibility of their own life and they would rather keep praying to their respective God(s) to make their life better.

12. What Morality you follow ?
Its unfair to link Morality with Religions. Morality has evolved in human history as a result of desire to not only survive on this planet but to live happily here. Humans want to do good so that they can save themselves from the evil of others, this basic necessity has forced humanity to come up with the list of Moral Values and then constantly update those values as the time changes and so our requirements.

Religious Moral Code is generally based on Rigid and Unchangeable ideas that came from Ancient times. Those Moral values could have worked well for the people back in 1st century or 7th century but not necessarily for the ever-changing human conditions of today’s societies.

Some Theists have tried to introduce flexibility around Moral Codes dictated by God(s) and tried to make them compatible with current times and this is welcomed by the Godless sections of Societies which indicates the possibility that Theists and Atheists can even live together while maintaining their own view on Morality.

13. Why don’t Atheists practice Incest ?
Atheists don’t practice Incest because thats what they have learned from the society they grew up in. Some Atheists still practice Incest and so do some Theists, it doesn’t suggest anything about whether or not they were Atheists, they just practiced it because they wanted to do it same way there are Thieves or Rapists in this world regardless of the fact what beliefs they have.

Some Atheists who were raised in Muslim Societies don’t see Cousin Marriages as Incest while those who were raised in Western Societies see Cousin Marriages as a very bad practice and consider it as Incest. It all depends where you grew up.
Its also interesting to note that most of the mainstream Religions have had links to the stories related to Incest at some stage. Most of the Creationists accept that Adam and Eve made their kids marry each other, same goes for the Noah’s story after the Great Flood. In another interesting story Prophet Lot (Loot in Arabic) had sex with his own daughters. Most of the Religious figures have also been involved with Children which is considered Pedophilia today, a crime punishable by the law.

This is why we said earlier that the Morality has evolved with time instead of being revealed from some higher authority.

14. Atheist until you’re dying
No, not true. The point to understand about Atheism is that its the natural phenomena and not some kind of intentional act to avoid believing in Deities. With this proposition, Theists are literally implying that being a believer or a disbeliever is something you control yourself. While the reality is that it’s a deeply complex thought process and most of the Atheists can’t believe because those beliefs don’t make sense to them.

Different people react differently at the time of their death, some people may have had frightened experiences and might have started believing in God(s) out of an extreme fear of death. While others may have maintained their view on God’s existence and died as Atheists, Christopher Hitchens was a recent example, an outspoken Atheist who knew he was dying from Cancer and yet maintained his disbelief.

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