How can this
Happen in a city of this

(The attack on the police training school at Manawan in Lahore took place on the last and final day of the Mela Chiraghan)

27 Comments so far

  1. aamna on March 31st, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

    Let me put your question in perspective here, rhetorical though it might be. You are basically trying to imply that in a city where people celebrate the mela chiragan, such an act cannot take place? Why? or why not?
    I’m not implying anything, I just want to know your logic…is this festival a harbinger of peace, or does this festival solve the problems that people have, or does this festival bring so many blessings on a city that nothing atrocious can take place here?
    I really would like to know the reasoning, I’m not being sarcastic or trying to put any blame on anyone who practises their religon differently from mine. So please do give an answer.

  2. Rafay (ralam) on March 31st, 2009 @ 12:59 pm

    Fair question, Aamna and I’ll answer is as best I can in the spirit you asked.
    For sure, the attack yesterday adds to the growing sense of unease all of us in Lahore and Pakistani feel.
    The Mela Chiraghan is a festival of the Sufi Path. The Sufi way is non-violent and peaceful.
    I found it ironic that such a terrible thing happened during the festival which, after Basant, is the largest cultural festival celebrated in the Punjab. I’m reminded how, during the ancient Olympic games, warring cities and tribes would declare truce for the duration of the games so as not to offend the spirit of that celebration.
    My post had nothing to do with religion.

  3. dcruncher4 on March 31st, 2009 @ 6:40 pm


  4. Rafay (ralam) on March 31st, 2009 @ 6:50 pm


    What next?

  5. dcruncher4 on April 1st, 2009 @ 12:18 am

    Until and unless we recognize the inherent violence in Islam (euphemistically called as jihad), there can never be peace
    in Pakistan. Islam is a complete failure and sooner we
    recognize it, the better.

  6. aamna on April 1st, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

    for dcruncher4: Do you understand the concept of jihad? Literally, it means to struggle. To struggle for your own betterment, and for your own striving to get close to God. Jihad does not mean violence and not the horrific thjings that people do in the name of jihad. A mother that gets high on drugs and ties up her child in a closet is not ‘doing it for his own good’, whatever she might claim to be doing. Islam itself means that you acheive peace through surrender to God, and God does not allow Muslims to kill innocent people in His name. The people who do so, for they have been given free will, have essentially failed Islam. Recognize this first, instead of blaming "Islam" as a whole. Until we recognize how far away we are from Islam,yes, there can never be peace in Pakistan.

    @rafay: Ok, I got it. Still have some problems with the concept that you generally apply as Sufism though, but yes, in the dominant application of the word, I get your linkages. Btw, are you the TA for Foundations of Liberal Arts?

  7. Rafay (ralam) on April 1st, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

    Aamna: We’ll agree to disagree then ;)

    And no, I’m not a TA for Foundations for Liberal Arts. Would like to be. Sounds interesting. What is it?

  8. dcruncher on April 1st, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

    yet another sugary syrupy definition of jihad for the consumption of west and some educated muslims who would like to fool themselves to believe that jihad is very benign.
    For one such definition of yours, there are equally violent definition (IMO the true meaning) of jihad and that is what is quoted by jihadist when they unleash terror. Is it any surprise that today muslims have near 100% monopoly in the world when it comes to terrorism. Mubarak ho. Aap ko to fakr hoga.

  9. aamna on April 2nd, 2009 @ 8:59 am

    What can I say? They quote them using a completely warped context. I’m relying on the classical and scholarly interpretation and practise of jihad, not the popularized version of it.
    And yes, as far as what is labelled terrorism by the west is almost 100% declared Muslim, whether they are actually Muslim in the definition of Islam or not. What about the terrorism of the Americans then? The drones launched in our own country? Afghanistan? Iraq? Call it a war on terror, but it’s terrorism too, although some may buy the story of WMDs hidden all over the Muslim world.

    @rafay: Sorry…you and my TA have the same name, was just wondering. It’s this course I’m taking this quarter; it’s extremely interesting so far. Only been two sessions though. Ever want to know keh West kya dandiyaan maarta hai, do audit this course. You’ll get to know many, many loopholes in the so-called ‘liberal’ discourses of the world.

  10. dcruncher on April 2nd, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

    "What can I say? They quote them using a completely warped context. I’m relying on the classical and scholarly interpretation and practise of jihad, not the popularized version of it."

    the same can be said about your interpretation too, by *them*.
    In fact they claim to be true muslims.

    "And yes, as far as what is labelled terrorism by the west is almost 100% declared Muslim, whether they are actually Muslim in the definition of Islam or not."

    this does not make any sense. Are you saying that terrorism seen today in the world is merely a matter of labeling, otherwise everything is fine. So I guess 9/11, London 7/7, Madrid, Bali, Beslan School, Mumbai 11/26 and countless others all happened in movies only.

    We muslims have no one else to blame except ourselves for the hard earned reputation we have earned in the world as barbaric violent people with whom we (aka rest of the world) should have as few a contact as possible.

    Do you remember our TV channels after the Mumbai attack. Everyone was in denial mode. Few like Asma Jehangir, Pervez Hoodhboy were abused and insulted. Eventually we ended up looking fools when our govt had to admit that it was done by pakistanis and was hatched in Pakistan.
    I sincerely hope one day all thinking muslims realize that we were most unfortunate to be born into a religion we are doomed for.

  11. Rafay (ralam) on April 2nd, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

    @dcruncher: Don’t be a hater. You point out aamna’s definition as subjective. True. But what about yours.

    When will you learn i) that religion is politics; and ii) there is a difference between culture and religion. There are more things in heaven in earth than are dreamed, I am afraid, in your universe.

  12. Hasan Mubarak (hasanmubarak) on April 2nd, 2009 @ 9:13 pm

    @drcruncher: Your attitude of hatred is as dangerous as that of those fanatics. Learn to respect people for how good they are rather than judging only through their religious following. We are Muslims, do we look anything like believers in extremist ideologies??

    Get a life and stop blaming Religion for human instincts of crossing limits.

  13. dcruncher4 on April 2nd, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

    "Learn to respect people for how good they are rather than judging only through their religious following. "

    Am I missing something?

    whom do you want me to respect??? The muslims who do the killing in the name of jihad/allah.

  14. mullahknoxcollege on April 3rd, 2009 @ 12:48 am

    dcruncher4 dude for quite some time I havent posted anything and neither have I bothered to correct/rectify people’s underdstanding and opinions. But after reading your posts I believe you are a reasonable and sane person. So dude correct me If I am wrong who gave the world the concept of charity and Zakat? Who gave the world the concept of scoiety, brotherhood and punishment? You take out religion from scoiety and you are left with nothing. Who told us to love the neighbour. The west took hundreds of years to understand the concepts of brotherhood, peace, harmony and punishment which were given by islam 1400 years ago. The problem with west is that they view religion as only a part time activity whereas for us religion is a code of life. We live our life by the religion, our lives are dictated by the religion. Ultimately we all come to the same path. It is just a matter of looking from one’s angle. Islam tells us that people who do wrong should be punished and your so called westen civilized society also says the same. Now dont tell me that you dont have racists in the western society. Similary we also have racists and lunatics in our society.
    And why are these "terrorists" killing us. We are the ones who created these terrorists to fight the russians,and when we started killing these terrorists and their families, they have started killing us. We can deny that we are not the creators of these terrorists but who helped the mujahideens during the afghan was. It was us and our intelligence agenices. Previously these people were called mujahideens but when they turned against U.S. we started calling these mujahideens terrosists. If you want to view the facts you should go to the Northern Areas and see how many innocent civilians have been killed by our shelling.

  15. dcruncher4 on April 3rd, 2009 @ 2:27 am

    "So dude correct me If I am wrong who gave the world the concept of charity and Zakat? "

    the same religion which also gave the concept of Jaziya, the back breaking tax charged to kaafirs so that they are allowed to live.

    Dude can we get off the past. Hello, this is 21st century, not the times
    of Akbar or Lodhi.

    "You take out religion from scoiety and you are left with nothing."

    Perhaps I was not clear. I am nothing against people practicing religion. I am against religion made a public affair. Why should
    religion tresspass public life. E.g. I hate keeping roza during
    ramzaan. You know what. I can’t eat outside in Pakistan. If I do,
    there is a very good possibility of being beaten. Why is that?

    You shove religion in the society like islamic countries do, you
    are left with a country with no present or future. Open your eyes and take a look at the islamic world. Barring very few, most of them are in a pitiable state. Education – poor, economy – nothing except oil, terrorism – world class.

    I want to leave Islam. I have already left it. Now I want to leave
    publicly. Guess what? I can’t do it publicly. This freedom is not
    given. If I want to convert to other religion – well I better
    have my last wish fulfilled first.

    Is this a society you are proud about.

    Is there one muslim in any islamic country who has left Islam publicly and was let go peacefully. All the muslims who have left islam live in west, where superior western society gives them the freedom.

    Not choosing or following a religion is a fundamental right of every human being. No one should be forced to follow a religion, specially
    when he/she did not chose it by choice, rather got it from their parents.
    Why is that Islam allows anyone to convert to Islam but does not give freedom to convert out of islam.

    What has islamic society to show for to non islamic societies for me to believe that a islamic society is equal to non islamic, let alone better.

    Please read the book "The world is flat" by Thomas Friedman. It was an international best seller. He talks about Indians and Chinese giving tough competition to the best brains in the west. he also mentions how islamic country is miserable in science and education. I firmly believe that almost all of the problems of islamic society is because of the religion we follow. A religion which teaches us to hate all things non islamic. A religion which tells us that life in earth is a test for our after life in Jannat (has anyone ever given a serious thought to this).
    When Singapore premier came to Pakistan few weeks back he went back saying "I have nothing to say to citizens of pakistan. most of them are worried about life after death". sums it up.

  16. dcruncher4 on April 3rd, 2009 @ 2:57 am

    also take a look at the world. All the developed countries, both in economic terms and in societical terms , not one of them is islamic.
    Europe, North America. Even Asian giants like Japan, Korea and China.
    Even our neighbor with whom we always like to compare has surged far ahead of us in intellectual capability.

    You may deem it as irrelevant, I don’t think it is a coincidence that not one the countries mentioned above is islamic.

  17. azface on April 4th, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

    I tend to agree with some views you made in your last two posts. There is link between religion and successful governance, increased literacy and law based on a globally accepted human/moral values. The reason the west was able to break free from centuries of fanatical religious pratice calvinism, Catholicism etc. was through a separation of state and religion. Power is the life line of the mullah and nothing will render them more power than for the people to vote to take religion off the public domain into their private lives.

    The state can then focus on implementing laws based on a human rights moral code (as followed by many countries) based on principles such as the Geneva convention and the like – the ultimate value of human life. Once the government recognizes the ultimate priority is nurturing and enriching the lives of it’s people (not appeasing God), then we can start to hope for some better healthcare, education and infrastructure to take shape.

    I firmly believe this is our only choice as a nation – let our faith remain a tool in the public domain thatis frequently employed by fanatics and corrupt government for their own benefit or carve out a permanent separation between state and religion and give people the choice to connect with their God however they wish to choose (Wahhabi, Sufi, ahmedi….). I am afraid this might be an ambitious ask given the current state of the country. It will probably take decades if not centuries.

    I can sense from your thoughts that you live (or have lived) in the west and can’t help compare the progress (in human and wordly terms) there to the general decline in Pakistan and across the muslim world. I feel the same way…

    However, I felt your condescending and aggressive manner will only fuel hatred and further confusion. We have to appreciate that people in Pakistan are deeply respectful of their faith. We have to accept that whether we like it or not. None of our views will ever be exactly the same, but it should still be possible to find common principles that we can connect through.

    In my view, those common values should be:

  18. skypilot on April 5th, 2009 @ 2:08 am

    Please pardon my input but I have a fond affection for Lahore. I have visited Lahore twice (2004 and 2007) and plan on visited again this year. The recent violence is indeed distressing but I doubt that it is specific to any one religion. Violence is specific to the human condition. Religion can offer an "excuse" to violence or even an channel for that violence but is not the root cause of violence. I suspect that greed is the root cause…if there be just one. The Hebrew prophet Jeremiah was correct when he stated that:

    “The human mind is the most deceitful of all things. It is incurable.
    No one can understand how deceitful it is.
    I, the LORD, search minds and test hearts.
    I will reward each person for what he has done.
    I will reward him for the results of his actions. (Jeremiah 17)

    I am not a muslim but I respect any who desire morality and purity before God. I happen to be an American who cares about the future of Pakistan. One writer above believes that Americans have a part-time kind of faith. Many do….but not all. I suspect part-time faith is a universal problem….even among those of Islam.

    Why so common? Perhaps we have not considered that all of us will be personally tested by the LORD…and that is a fearful prospect if we are guilty of violence against those whom He loves….and I believe He is universal in His love.

    I will pray that peace will come to Pakistan and Lahore. I will pray also that the Rule of Law will abide.

  19. dcruncher on April 5th, 2009 @ 5:13 am


    "We have to appreciate that people in Pakistan are deeply respectful of their faith. We have to accept that whether we like it or not."

    sure. like the beating of 17yr old girl in Swat yesterday.
    Why is everyone saying that the lashing of the 17 yr old is unislamic. On the contrary it is 100% unadulterated islam.

    Mufti Muniber Rehman, a leaving islamic scholar in a televised debate said “how can we call it unislamic. this is the punishment that is written in holy quran”.

    let us all respect ‘their’ islam.

    There can not be any progress in islamic society unless and until the religion is decoupled from public life. I wish I live long enough to see that day when restaraunts remain open during ramzaan roza so that those
    who don’t want to keep roza can eat. I wish I live long enough to see that day when TV news channel break the breaking news that Shoaib Akhtar has left islam and has converted to Christianity and nothing happens to him.

  20. aamna on April 5th, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

    yep, dcruncher, you’re completely whacked. Leave Islam if you don’t understand its concepts, it’s a private thing, why the heck do you want to leave it publicly? And while you’re at it, get some counselling.

    Go to some country where the state religion is Christianity, the religon you seem to like, and try to deny the Holocaust, or criticize the extent to which it is propogated. See what happens to you. (Disclaimer: I do not have anything against Christianity or Judaism, at least not anything that I want to voice ‘publicly’. Just wanted to make a point.)

  21. dcruncher on April 5th, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

    aamna, why get angry? because truth hurts. Why can’t you answer my questions. When islam accepts people from other religions publicly, why can’t islam allow people to voice their opinion as to why they left. if islam is strong for you and others, someone voicing his opinion must make
    no difference, right? But muslims are so insecure about their religion that not only they disallow anyone leaving, but talking about it invites death penalty.

    denying holocaust is against law only in Germany and one/two more countries. Don’t generalize it as in all christian countries. Germans are so ashamed as to what happened during WW2 and what was done by their forefathers to jews that they are leaving no stones unturned in their history text books. this is called intellectual honesty. to admit that you were once wrong in your actions.

    anyhow Pakistan is getting 100% sharia islam now. so you must be happy.

  22. dcruncher on April 5th, 2009 @ 5:07 pm

    Compare Germany’s attitude vs Pakistan’s attitude. We killed 3 million Bengalis in 1971 and to date the perpetrators were (are) not punished. Nothing is taught in our school books as to how we treated our bengali brothers from 1947 to 1971 and why the country was split. Did I say intellectual honesty.

  23. dcruncher on April 5th, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

    congrats. Hamid Karzai has interpreted quran and islam correctly. Afghanistan is bringing a law in which husband can rape wife.
    He is only following islam correctly. see below.

    "Allah declares: "Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them" — Koran 4:34.

    Muhammad said: "If a husband calls his wife to his bed [i.e. to have sexual relation] and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning." — Bukhari 4.54.460.

    Muhammad says: "By him in Whose Hand lies my life, a woman can not carry out the right of her Lord, till she carries out the right of her husband. And if he asks her to surrender herself [to him for sexual intercourse] she should not refuse him even if she is on a camel’s saddle." — Ibn Majah 1854 ."

  24. dcruncher on April 5th, 2009 @ 7:01 pm

    another display of love by our islamists brothers towards shias.

    A simple calculation will tell that more number of shias have been killed than muslims in India by kaafir hindus. why doesn’t anyone talk about that.

    Fact is, islam has divided people more than its claims of uniting people.

    shias vs sunnis
    shia/sunni vs Qadianis
    all vs kurds

    all ready to kill each other.

  25. Hasan Mubarak (hasanmubarak) on April 6th, 2009 @ 12:19 am

    Islam hasn’t, some Muslims have. Wake up my friend, talk mature!

  26. dcruncher on April 6th, 2009 @ 4:49 am

    wake up hasan. get out of denial mode. the whipping of 17 yr old in swat few days back was declared as 100% quranic.
    "Mufti Muniber Rehman, a leaving islamic scholar in a televised debate said “how can we call it unislamic. this is the punishment that is written in holy quran”."

    You know muslims can’t think when it comes to Quran. I and my murtad friend once were pulling the leg of a aashiqu-e-rasool type muslim.
    very nice person. my friend and he had the following conversation

    my murtad friend: "so you think it is appropriate to stone someone to death for adultry".
    the other friend: No No. I can’t agree to that. it is not islamic.
    my murtad friend: so you disagree with quran.
    the other friend: no, i never said that. why are u putting words in my mouth.
    my murtad friend: so you want stoning as a punishment for adultry.
    the other friend: no. didn’t you hear me. I already said no.
    my murtad friend: so you disagree with quran.
    it went on. I was having a tough time controlling my laughter. One one had the humanity in the other friend prevented him from agreeing to stoning as a punishment for adultery. However his blind adherence to quran and islam refused him to question and disagree with quran. This
    is what islam reduces people to. Blind zombies.

    for the last many years (since 9/11), opinion polls in pakistan suggest that majority of pakistanis want pakistan to be governed more by islamic rule. they want islam more in pakistan. they want sharia in pakistan. hello, what is happening in swat is that only. so now why pakistanis are crying about swat. this is the jannat they wanted. now they are getting it.

  27. Rafay (ralam) on April 6th, 2009 @ 2:21 pm

    Not that I ascribe to its contents, I wanted to share an email I got today.

    A German View on Islam

    This is by far the best explanation of the Muslim terrorist situation I
    have ever read. His references to past history are accurate and clear. Not long, easy to understand, and well worth the read.

    The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a well known and well
    respected psychiatrist.

    A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a
    number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people
    were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward
    fanaticism. ‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen.

    Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the
    end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a
    concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.

    We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant.

    It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to
    somehow diminish the spectra of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

    The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is
    the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

    The hard quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent
    majority,’ is cowed and extraneous.

    Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in
    peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.

    China ‘s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists
    managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

    The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war
    mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

    And who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?

    History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our
    powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:
    Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.
    Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

    Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs,
    Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians and many
    others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak u p until it
    was too late.

    As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

    Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is not serious and just deletes
    this email without sending it on is contributing to the passiveness that
    allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on
    and on and on!

    Let us hope that thousands, world wide, read this and think about it, and
    send it on before it’s too late.

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