A liberal Pakistan

By Ali Shahid Zohaib, TS2A

Can kissing on the mass media between two young (and unmarried) people be justified in our Pakistani society? Of course no, definitely no; the simple and obvious reason is that we are an Islamic nation with religious ideals that forbid acts of affection in public. One more reason is the feudal nature of our society in which women are counted as assets and are usually dealt with an unwritten code of ghairat.

Kissing which considered as a very pure, innocent and sweet expression of love in the west is a taboo to be done in public in Pakistan. In our friends circle we talk with excitement about the sexual liberties in the West. It thrills our souls with adrenaline rushes when we think of western youth having the freedom of expressing love in public. It spices up our gossipy stories of You-Know-Who being caught kissing You-Know-Whom under the library tables. Besides kissing is not always a form of carnal expression of love. We have casual flying muahs by the socialite begums, the Arab style of cheek kissing at diplomatic parties. Some find entertainment in images of celebrities passionately embracing each other in acts of expressions of innocent love. Some also find enjoyment in these items in 3 hour Indian movies with numerous kissing scenes and what not. And who doesn’t feel for the characters at the end of a movie when the hero passionately kisses the heroine?

If we consider kissing so pure and innocent then why do we exhibit such hypocrisy? Why is it that the whole media of Pakistan starts a campaign when one of our film actresses kisses an Indian actor in an Indian movie? Why is it that our ghairat was jolted awake when a Pakistani daughter was being kissed by an Indian son whereas the same ghairat remained in deep slumber when Mai Mukhtaran was raped in the grounds of Meerwala by Pakistani sons?

The 21st century is the age of materialism and lust has got real existence in today’s society. The fast moving world has given birth to the rule of lust. The suffocation in our society which is the result of confusion between the materialism of west and the moralism of mullahs has given delivery to a confused generation. We need to define who we are and also map out the direction we want to go in. If we want a Talibanized version of an Islamic republic then we need to ban every form of show business and head start towards a harsh puritanical society, the eventual result of which predicts widespread homosexuality, depression among women and increase in social evils like marriage with Quran and karo-kari (Practiced in some tribal districts of Pakistan, it is a law made by tribal landlords according to which women who are seen interacting with unknown men are killed by gang rape).

On a similar node, since the buzzword these days is a softer image for Pakistan we have all sorts of flashy functions going on to project ourselves as a colorful, loving and expressive nation. But this is all going to prove futile. Our culture and heritage is indeed grand but what we are offering to the international community is actually daal as compared to the biryanis offered by India, Thailand and Malaysia. Taking the example of Malaysia and Indonesia which are also Muslim countries, they package lust and sex in their tourist brochures and CNN commercials. It is true that our culture has no such charm and appeal. But our culture is boring and dead to international people not because it has no substance or color but because we don’t offer anything tempting like lust and sex and erotica.

In short I don’t mean to suggest that we should open up strip clubs and nude beaches in Pakistan. My idea of a culturally liberal Pakistan is where there is freedom of expression not only in media but also other forms of art like dance, music and literature. We need to soften and liberalize the censor policy of the Pakistani film and television industry. It is sad but true that the western concept of liberty equates with that of sexual liberty so unless we allow some personal freedom in Pakistan, we cannot project an image of a liberal Pakistan.

23 Replies to “A liberal Pakistan”

  1. “unless we allow some personal freedom in Pakistan, we cannot project an image of a liberal Pakistan”

    …you mean project ourselves as a slave to what the west thinks, what the west feels and what the west does…..

    oh well but who am i to say anything… after all, i’m not any less a hypocrite than any of you all…!

  2. My idea of a culturally liberal Pakistan is where there is freedom of expression not only in media but also other forms of art like dance, music and literature.

    switch on ur tv and listen to the news about the huge uproar of anger among the muslims of the world against the danish news paper for publishing caricatures of our HOLY PROPHET(PBUH) WHY did this happen ??? due to the freedom of MEDIA ? due to the freedom of ART? OR DUE TO THE HATERED OF MUSLIMS IN THE HEARTS OF THE NONMUSLIMS

  3. Freedom of the media has only brought the reality out in the open.

    Curtailing free press wouldn’t have prevented anyone from dishonoring our or anyone else’s religion. There are those who project a negative image of Islam with or without freedom of press.

    Also with the aid of the internet and expanding communication networks, restriction of expression is nearly impossible. The very fact that what we’re writing on this blog is accessible to millions across the world is testimony to this fact.

    On a different node, recall the time when some ancient statues, sacred to the Buddhists, were blown up in Afghanistan? Doesn’t it relate to the current turmoil? Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t recall Buddhists all over the world creating such turmoil. They live by their claim of being a peaceful religion.

  4. …you mean project ourselves as a slave to what the west thinks, what the west feels and what the west does…..

    Dear Arslan may be what u need to understand is that they (the west) are the masters… they rule the world…they make the norms by which all of us are judged!and since we had accepted this ‘slavery’by our own wish(call it vertigo or whatever)… we have lost the right to whimper and protest!… Bow to the Master!

  5. I do not understand the logic of boycotting Danish goods by the muslim countries. I believe a nation ( denmark or any other european country) cannot and should not interfere in matters of the media and press. thats very much against the freedom of press.
    this controversy should be blamed on all the media people who have published these cartoons to test our patience.
    instead of being emotional and waging war against the whole europe , the muslim world can fight their cause through proper legal channels.
    United Nations is a better platform to prove and ratify a resolution demarcating the line between freedom of press and responsiblity of press.
    so we as an ummah need to be sensible and logical in our steps.
    violence and suicide bombers and negative image of jihad only portray negative image of us in front of west

  6. “Dear Arslan may be what u need to understand is that they (the west) are the masters… ”

    …sarcastically speaking….yes they are…..but honestly….. no they aren’t…. they’re just a bunch of disfunctional people who have no regard for their own religion…watch cortoons like the simpsons snd the family guy and you’ll realize how disrespectful they are towards their own prophets (who btw are equally important for us too)

    “Curtailing free press wouldn’t have prevented anyone from dishonoring our or anyone else’s religion. ”

    okay.. that’s true to an extent but not really…. i mean if there were restrictions, such things wudnt be made public that easily be it caricatures of religous figures in the newspapers, actual cartoons or in motion picture…
    instead of providing such blasphemy with a channel to be made public and create turmil as a result, we should focus in trying to bring and end to it

    “Freedom of the media has only brought the reality out in the open”

    what reality?

    “Also with the aid of the internet and expanding communication networks, restriction of expression is nearly impossible.”

    yea ok fine…agreed upon… but that still is a crappy excuse…

  7. I believe the article itself is very well written, is specific and conveys the ideas very clearly. Doesn’t actually leave room for most of the criticism and comments that have appeared.

    In my opinion religion is a matter of love, not enforcement. Just as you cannot force a non-believer into believing your stuff, you cannot/should-not force others to observe your view of the religion. I would never go against freedom of expression simply because the Danish have misused it. To see its benefits in the naive one should speculate clearly, where the developed nations stand and what brought them there, other than plunder. If plunder was the only cause Moghuls would never have fallen. How many of you dare to challenge your teachers all the time? Besides how many of you would challenge them again if humiliated the first time. It is simply because the teachers themselves are brought up in a society that does NOT allow freedom of expression. Although I would remain discrete, I agree with the author in most of the parts.

  8. I do not understand the logic of ………. media and press. thats very much against the freedom of press.

    yeah.. well thats what they write in books and teach in classrooms…but think beyond it …can you say that those caricatures were actually just expression of something??? what was it??? cheek? insolence? or just mere meaningless expression to showoff the freedom that they enjoy ??
    i totally support the boycotting of danish goods..because money is the only language the west understands!!! remember the pricing mechanism in the economies!!!(it surely twist things yourway!!!)i think OPEC should try to gather it self and should ‘EXPRESS’ their opinions which i think is a more appropriate platform than the UNO

  9. And you dont remember the aid that denmark and norway and france gave to the earthquake victims of Pakistan and the assistance they provided.
    http://www.kuhl-co.com/nyheder/design_pakistan.

    And when you say of responding by the OPEC forum , keep this in mind that the oil prices would infact be effecting the muslim world too as we are inter-related with the US economy.Similiarly US people can withstand the oil crisis because they have more purchasing power but have you thought about its effect to the economies of muslim world which are already in doldrums.
    i still believe a better way for the muslim world is to deal with the individuals who did this shameful thing ( individuals like the editor , cartoonists , media owners of the newspapers ) and not soverign governments the europe.

  10. we need not to remember such aid after which the aiders insult our HOLY PROPHET (PBUH) …… it’s like feeding u with a spoon and while the spoon is in ur mouth, slaping hard on ur face , the best way of insulting and degrading someone

    also Ali i don’t agree with ur idea of dealing with individual .. we wont get anything from it except that the matter will be left hanging in the air and the europeans will have good laugh at us ……..
    it’s not the individuals that matter what matters is that the european countries , france, denmark and other countries which commited such a shameful crime shuold be boycotted and all the muslim countries should break away all their diplomatic and bilateral relation of all sorts with them as a protest

    have you forgotten the HADITH of OUR HOLY PROPHET (PBUH)
    ” DO NOT TRUST THE JEWS(YAHOOD) AND CHRISTIANS(NASARA). THEY NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE THE FRIENDS OF THE MUSLIMS”

  11. we need not to remember such aid after which the aiders insult our HOLY PROPHET (PBUH) …… it’s like feeding u with a spoon and while the spoon is in ur mouth, slaping hard on ur face , the best way of insulting and degrading someone

    also Ali i don’t agree with ur idea of dealing with individuals .. we wont get anything from it except that the matter will be left hanging in the air and the europeans will have good laugh at us ……..
    it’s not the individuals that matter what matters is that the european countries , france, denmark and other countries which commited such a shameful crime should be boycotted and all the muslim countries should break away all their diplomatic and bilateral relation of all sorts with them as a protest

    have you forgotten the HADITH of OUR HOLY PROPHET (PBUH)
    ” DO NOT TRUST THE JEWS(YAHOOD) AND CHRISTIANS(NASARA). THEY NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE THE FRIENDS OF THE MUSLIMS”

  12. we need not to remember such aid after which the aiders insult our HOLY PROPHET (PBUH) …… it’s like feeding u with a spoon and while the spoon is in ur mouth, slaping hard on ur face , the best way of insulting and degrading someone

    also Ali i don’t agree with ur idea of dealing with individuals .. we wont get anything from it except that the matter will be left hanging in the air and the europeans will have good laugh at us ……..
    it’s not the individuals that matter what matters is that the european countries , france, denmark and other countries which commited such a shameful crime should be boycotted and all the muslim countries should break away all their diplomatic and bilateral relation of all sorts with them as a protest

    have you forgotten the HADITH of OUR HOLY PROPHET (PBUH)
    ” DO NOT TRUST THE JEWS(YAHOOD) AND CHRISTIANS(NASARA). THEY NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE THE FRIENDS OF THE MUSLIMS”

  13. we need not to remember such aid after which the aiders insult our HOLY PROPHET (PBUH) …… it’s like feeding u with a spoon and while the spoon is in ur mouth, slaping hard on ur face , the best way of insulting and degrading someone

    also Ali i don’t agree with ur idea of dealing with individuals .. we wont get anything from it except that the matter will be left hanging in the air and the europeans will have good laugh at us ……..
    it’s not the individuals that matter what matters is that the european countries , france, denmark and other countries which commited such a shameful crime should be boycotted and all the muslim countries should break away all their diplomatic and bilateral relation of all sorts with them as a protest

    have you forgotten the HADITH of OUR HOLY PROPHET (PBUH)
    ” DO NOT TRUST THE JEWS(YAHOOD) AND CHRISTIANS(NASARA). THEY NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE THE FRIENDS OF THE MUSLIMS”

  14. we need not to remember such aid after which the aiders insult our HOLY PROPHET (PBUH) …… it’s like feeding u with a spoon and while the spoon is in ur mouth, slaping hard on ur face , the best way of insulting and degrading someone

    also Ali i don’t agree with ur idea of dealing with individuals .. we wont get anything from it except that the matter will be left hanging in the air and the europeans will have good laugh at us ……..
    it’s not the individuals that matter what matters is that the european countries , france, denmark and other countries which commited such a shameful crime should be boycotted and all the muslim countries should break away all their diplomatic and bilateral relation of all sorts with them as a protest

    have you forgotten the HADITH of OUR HOLY PROPHET (PBUH)
    ” DO NOT TRUST THE JEWS(YAHOOD) AND CHRISTIANS(NASARA). THEY NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE THE FRIENDS OF THE MUSLIMS”

  15. And you dont remember the aid …
    okay..! fine.. now do we have to lick their boots for the res of our lives…Com’on now it was disater in which millions of people got effected how could these so called ‘philanthropic’ nations sit behind and loose such a great chance for giving out loans in the form of ‘AID’ you know that more than half of the pledges in the donnors conference are loans… which in my view is worst than an earth quake…we have fallen in to bottom less abyss of debts…our nation has a ‘leased life style’ … if they stop giving us aid i think we will be better off!

  16. as far as your view on OPEC are concerned…Ali those who consume more (the west)will be affected more no matter what … they have their own coffers brimming with stolen wealth and oil so why not give them a lil shake up in form of sanctions(which is possible if only the whole muslim world support such an action.. i know that is far fetched but .. why is it so?? because the policy of west in international politics is DIVIDE AND RULE! if u know what i am referring towards!

  17. If U.S.A & EUROPE can impose sanctions on any country they like why cant muslim impose a sanction on oil they export.If this is done i think and say that they would have to kneel down adn say sorry for the disrespect done from there side.BUT BEFORE THAT ALL MUSLIM COUNTRIES HAVE TO COME ON ONE PLATFORM WHICH IS VERY MUCH IMPOSSIBLE

  18. i want you guys to be realistic .. oil is the only MONEY thing in hands of muslim countries. without oil , muslims are nothing .agar oil nahin baichaingay to khaingay kahan say..
    besides the western countries have enough stored oil resources.
    canada , russia , venezuela, mexico and angola.
    similiarly some facts regarding US oil imports and the oil reserves of the world shows that
    only about 30% of the USA’s oil imports came from Arab countries in 2002. Since USA oil imports are about 55% of USA oil consumption, only about 15% of USA’s oil consumption is provided by Arab countries.
    and discoveries of 2003 and 2004 have vastly increased the oil reserves of both Canada and Australia. They both seem to harbor more oil than Iraq and both may be able to compete with Saudi Arabia.
    http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/oil.html

  19. even if the arab countries stop selling their oil to the west for a while, they have enough money in their reserves to survive. Let the ones surviving off the cheap arab oil live without it and see them come back to their senses in no time.

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