Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Unresponsive Reformist Muslim #131,938

I recently had a very familiar experience, where I asked a Muslim who mans a blog ostensibly reformist in tone a clear and direct question, and the Muslim responded with a non-answer based on a sophistical quibble. Compounding this, my subsequent follow-up question has been ignored for over 48 hours there.

The blog in question is called Cafe Pyala, mainly dealing with issues about Pakistan (which, of course, tend to revolve around, but never quite pinpoint, Islam). The gist one gets from breezing through its pages is that it is reformist in tone and the bloggers there think of themselves as culturally insouciant, free-thinking, modernist Pakistanis who for some strange reason seem unable to tackle their Islam head-on.

At any rate, a recent entry there was titled "The Original Sin". It was prompted by the latest in a long line of thousands of atrocities that Muslims have perpetrated in that lovely region of the world over the decades (let alone centuries -- but let's stick with Pakistan itself, which was created in 1949). This latest atrocity was the massacre (including suicide-bombings) of 70 to 80 men and women who belong to the Ahmadi sect at two of their places of worship in Lahore, Pakistan.

About this, the blogger at Cafe Pyala, one "XYZ", wrote:

I have to admit that all I really wanted to say or post today was vile swearing. At the pea-brained 'jihadis' with their pubic hair beards, at their bastard 'teachers' and Wahabbi funders, at the ass-wipe Pakistani establishment nee military that nurtured both of them, at the narrow-minded fat-assed bigoted mullahs who protect them and the moronic and blind politicians and bureaucrats that continue to mollycoddle them. There are really no civilized words to react to what has happened today in Lahore. 80+ innocent people, children included, gunned down while praying in their 'places of worship', places we are not even allowed to call mosques! And for what? Because 'they' don't fit in with 'our' puritannical idea of 'our' religion.

While one might feel encouraged by XYZ's outrage, those of us who have learned too much about Islam over the years cannot but help to have become impatient with the curious, and all-too-common lacuna that always attends such condemnations of terrorism -- that lacuna being the absence of any mention of the primary motivating problem here: Islam. Read the rest of XYZ's article: you will find nothing about Islam, though you will, as usual, find tangential toe-dipping nods in that general vicinity.

Which brings me to the main point of my post today. In the course of trying to locate his "Original Sin" -- i.e., the cause for all these atrocities in his society -- XYZ hits on the magic date of 1974:

... the 1974 act of a democratic parliament, led by the secular and socialist Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, that declared Ahmedis as non-Muslims.

Elsewhere, he adverts to "Objectives Resolution" of 1949 -- an adumbration of principles by which the new state of Pakistan was to be guided; but, of course, XYZ avoids the implications there, for those principles erect Islam and Islamic Shariah as the beacon and lodestone for the new state of Pakistan, and to locate the "Original Sin" there would be to tread dangerously on the hallowed ground of blaming Islam itself.

I now reproduce my question to XYZ which I posted in the comments thread at his blog, followed by his unresponsive response to me, followed by my response back to him:

XYZ, You mentioned the Objectives Resolution of 1949 and implied that the "original sin" does not go back that far (for perhaps that would begin to open the way to pushing the "original sin" back to Islam itself). I have two questions: The third objective of that Resolution states:

"3. The principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed."

a) for starters, could you articulate for me what exactly "equality" would mean for a nation like Pakistan "as enunciated by Islam"?

b) closely related to (a), could you substantiate your articulation with actual sources in the Koran, Sunnah and any one or more of the relevant schools of Islamic law?


May 31, 2010 1:50 AM

Blogger XYZ said...

@Hesperado: You write: "You mentioned the Objectives Resolution of 1949 and implied that the "original sin" does not go back that far (for perhaps that would begin to open the way to pushing the "original sin" back to Islam itself)..."

Your understanding of my point is fallacious to begin with.

With regards to your questions:
a)It means exactly the same as anywhere else. and therefore: b)is irrelevant.

May 31, 2010 2:51 AM

Blogger Hesperado said...


In answer to my question as to what is meant by "equality" "as enunciated by Islam" for a nation like Pakistan, you answered that it would mean the same thing as it would mean anywhere else. Okay. The question becomes: What does it mean anywhere else?

Meanwhile, I don't see how the universality of (a) makes (b) irrelevant. The function of (b) in my question is simply to make sure you back up your description of (a) with actual sources.

Over 48 hours went by with no answer from XYZ, and so I posted this valedictory retort:

XYZ compounds his initial arrogant reply to me that tries to defend a non-answer with a sophistical quibble, by ignoring my follow-up question, which I posted over 48 hours ago as of this point. And "moderates" (or "reformists" or "anti-Wahhabites" or whatever the hell they call themselves to distinguish themselves from the metastasizing disease of Islam around the globe) like XYZ wonder why people are slowly getting tired of trying to have dialogue with Muslims they heretofore thought might show a glimmer of hope for a way out of the deadly problem of Islam.

Perhaps I should thank my lucky stars that XYZ did not further engage my questions, for had he done so, it is likely he would have wasted my time with typical Islam-Apologist tap-dancing evasions and obfuscations.


Sleeping Giant said...

Dear Hesperado

Pakistan gained independence in 1947 NOT 1949 you idiot! First get your facts straight.

randian said...

XYZ's final response to you was indeed evasive. He deemed this blog racist and xenophobic, implied you are ignorant about Islam, and said that you have a closed mind so he had no obligation to respond to your points. XYZ also said that his blog "isn't about Islam", which I took to mean that postulating Islam as the source of Pakistan's problems is not permitted.

Hesperado said...

Sleeping Giant,

You fixate on a quibble and ignore my main points, to which a correct date of Pakistan's independence is irrelevant.


Thanks for that info. I didn't even bother checking back there, and what you report is unsurprising.

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Nobody said...


I know that talking to him would have been like talking to a brick wall, but one question you could have asked him is that if equality means the same as everywhere else, why did his statement say

"3. The principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed."

He could have just dropped that bolded phrase, and then the question of whether Islam advocates equality wouldn't have arisen.

Of course, given that Pakistan is to Islam what East Germany was, or North Korea is, to Communism, I think it's expecting too much to expect Pakistanis to distance themselves from Islam w/o invoking the question of why they, as a country, exist.

Hesperado said...


That wasn't XYZ's phrase, it's from a guideline formulated in 1949 for the new Pakistan nation to follow. XYZ tried to argue that today's pathology of terrorism afflicting Pakistan does not have its roots in the Islam that guided the formation of Pakistan. So I found that passage from 1949 and simply asked him a simple question (which was basically your question). And he didn't answer.