Walk the Talk
Source: Daily Times
By Syed Kamran Hashmi, who is a US-based freelance columnist. He tweets at @KaamranHashmi and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
As long as we stay in the current system of semi-democratic rule — which more likely than not, we will — the ultimate Western ideal of separation of church from the state cannot be implemented
Once again, a debate on religion has erupted on social media. Again, the debate is about the role of the Ahmadi community in Pakistan, the constant evaluation of their rights, their contributions being scrutinised and their ability to serve in the government being questioned. Once more, people of the ‘right faith’, which include all the major branches of Sunni Islam, are marginalising the minorities. And again, the government is posing to prove its pro-minority credentials both locally and internationally. Nothing has changed insofar as I can see, everything being done the same way in Naya Pakistan as it was done in the past.
Expectedly so, as the news breaks out, heated arguments and finger pointing have polluted the atmosphere. Harsh words are being exchanged, invectives hurled and allegations brought forward to the point that no constructive conclusions can be drawn. One side is fixed on the idea of blasphemy, the other on the western ideal of separation of church from state.
Truth to be told: as long as we are sub-continental Muslims and as long as we stay in the current system of semi-democratic rule — which more likely than not, we will — the ultimate Western ideal of separation of the church from the state cannot be implemented. And again, as long as we follow the same system of regular election cycles as we have been following previously, Shariah will never be upheld as the sole law of the land. For one side to win over the other, something more dramatic has to happen.