Daily Times; Yasser Latif Hamdani
Eating pork in Pakistan is not a criminal offence. Yet hardly anyone consumes swine flesh in Pakistan. Meanwhile, the use of alcohol by Muslims in Pakistan is a criminal offence and yet alcohol is freely available and its use is widespread in Pakistan. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just the elite that like a stiff drink in Pakistan. If an honest survey is undertaken, it will show usage transcending class boundaries like never before. Much like the great Mirza Ghalib, though not in creativity, most Pakistani Muslims are only half Muslim (that is if you do not count Ahmedis as Muslims, which by law you must not under any circumstances) with the notable exception of the country’s founding father. Read what you will into that.
Half Muslims or not, Pakistanis have embraced Islam over the last decades like never before or at least that is what we are told. Consider for example Islamic banking — the new in thing in Pakistan. You see Pakistan is a completely ‘interest-free’ society because we charge ‘mark-up’ instead. We have sale and buy back agreements — where loans are called ‘sale price’ and the sale price plus mark-up is called purchase price. Then we have several different Islamic sounding financial alternatives, i.e. the Ijarah, the Modariba, the Musharika and so on and so forth. It is a sort of a religious placebo effect that placates the true Muslim.