Long beard, shalwar kameez (shalwar above ankles), black abaya, an ‘astaghfar!’ here, a ‘tauba tauba!’ there. What comes to your mind? EXTREMIST TALIBANI people, who disrespect women, keep them locked up like cattle, explode at opportune moments and are so conservative that they’ll soon categorize the iPhone as haram! Right?
Well I’m not going into that debate today. Instead, let me throw some more words at you and see what they bring to your mind:
Sleeveless, spaghetti string, tank tops, drain pipe jeans, nose in the air as if everyone else stinks, clothes so thin they leave little to the imagination, utter disrespect for parking laws (sometimes all laws), Urdu yuck! Dupatta huh? Cleavage YES! The other side of the bridge.
NOW what comes to mind? ‘Burger’ maybe? Well, I refer to this phenomenon as ‘Liberal Extremism’.
Everywhere you go these days in Pakistan you hear about the religious fanatics, but why doesn’t anyone care to talk about this liberal extremism? I personally think this segment of our society has taken to the other extreme.
It’s very easy to gang up on a person who won’t allow his wife or daughters to work and tells them to cover up, but what about the person who drinks alcohol, doesn’t know where his daughters (or wife) are, whether it’s morning or the middle of the night, and happens to have this very close female friend that his wife doesn’t know about. Isn’t this another extreme?
For our beloved elite, underground dance parties are the rage nowadays where drinking is the norm and the venue is marked with valet parking and bouncers.
Okay fine! I’ll stop with the one way traffic and give you the liberals’ perspective too: It’s our life! We can do whatever we want to do, and we don’t meddle in other people’s business….
Hmmm… Does anyone recall the Mehran being smashed on Sea View by a member of our humble elite? Or the party where a Bugti grandson was killed? What about the in-your- face, ‘thought provoking’, lawn adverts? Or the articles in a famous English daily about a lesbian and gay man coming out of their shell?
Aren’t these things just as influential and just as bad as the other extreme is perceived to be?
If we want to raise a finger against women’s oppression by religious extremists, shouldn’t we also raise our voices against women being exploited in the name of art and fashion? Do we choose to remain silent because it’s politically more expedient to do so?
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not someone who’s against women driving or shopping and I’m a huge supporter of education for women; but there should be a limit to everything. Yes… Even liberalism!
You have a gift Sameer, use it well Mashallah
Seems like an article written by a TTP supporter to settle the score against those who are against them.
LOVED…LOVED…LOVED your article!
I TOTALLY agree with you and I understand what you mean by limits to liberalism.
in my opinion religious extremism n extreme liberalism both should not be criticised.i personally appreciate this article because you have showed both sides of a coin but shouldnt have criticised others.
Being liberal equates to having the freedom to live your life as you think fit and letting other people d the same. It equates to respect for the intelligence and morality of other people. Being religious means, trying to make everyone else live life as you think they should. It is arrogant and disrespects the intelligence and morality of other people. I know which I prefer.
Your argument is flawed because of your generalizations and your lack of understanding of liberalism. Your writing style shows you are not capable of writing. Tut tut. Pata kuch hay nahi blog bana kay baithay huay hain.
By that logic, the notion of religious extremism is also flawed as it is based on generalizations as well. Accusers never go and understand the real soul of religion and instead brand extremism as “religious” just because of acts of selected people. Why these double standards!!
So you are generalizing that every liberal drinks, his wife and daughters roam around everywhere(are sluts) and he has a girlfriend? If you think you are able enough to write something, refrain from false generalizations. Shows that you aren’t capable of writing. Liberalism is not what you think it it. At least liberals don’t impose their behaviour. An extremist would impose his/her view on you. A burqa clad woman will try to force you to wear a burqa. An extremist guy would never lose an opportunity to lecture you or drag you to the mosque.
But a liberal will never force you. A liberal will never force you to change your dress. Then how come you are calling them extremists. First you need to understand what extremism is. It isn’t being on the extreme side. I have no problem with someone keeping a beard or wearing a burqa. Your personal choice. But i have a problem with you imposing your views on me. That makes you an extremist and a fascist. The fact is that those who are extremely religious and extremist have made it their business to impose their views and correct others. A liberal would never force you to do anything. If someone doesn’t cover herself, she’ll never force you not to cover herself. Liberals don’t do that. That is the essence of liberalism. Thus, liberal extremists don’t exist. Of course France is an exception. But then there are religious extremists from Saudi to Iran to Pakistan to evrewhere where religion is.
Liberal Extremism doesn’t kill anyone
Well appreciated work Sameer Khan, very seldom we come across articles that draws the bottom lines to both end instead of one sided propogation. But the air is so mistly bad these days that these lunatics don’t buy any arguements that points at their unending temptations. Instead they have many well sharped pencils to pin back at you because the truth is always bitter. Nice work. Keep it up and carry on.
I agree the writer fully, modern extremism is equally bad and its chain reaction from both side and become more aggressive on both side, for reference, see pakistani tv channels, almost anchors, participants are arguing against religion, ideology and creation of pakistan and advocating the modern way life as liberal. om the other side in same media, see their religious discussion, na’ats and qawallis, see the attir’s and the turbans, tyhe designer’s clothes represent another extremism, which have no place in our religion.
>> utter disrespect for parking laws (sometimes all laws)
you link that to burger kids?
>> nose in the air as if everyone else stinks,
wait, so the more religious arent judgemental of people who dont pray 5 times a day?
Having a very close female friend that your wife doesn’t know about? That is a shit move, if you have physical intentions for her, but that applies to both religious and non religious.
The difference between the two extremes is personal choice and freedom. Do not relate being forced to wear a burqa for fear of being ostracised, for a girl who chooses to dress like a slut. One is a choice, one isnt. Even if its a bad choice, it is an individuals choice to make.
If there should be a limit to everything, then there should be a limit to how much religious people complain about insignificant issues. How have the great muslim brothers helped literacy, poverty, lack of basic amenities? Oh wait, we will get to that later, its prayer time.
@asdf: I never said that there is no religious extremism. I preferred to however, discuss the other extreme in my post.
The debate that could fire up here is a never ending one, which I prefer not to get into. But one thing that I would like to ask you is, why does one automatically assume that it is NOT by choice that a woman wears a burqa?