Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Don't speak for Muslims

by Saeed Naqvi from The Times of India

Receiving the runners-up trophy at the end of the T20 final at the Wanderers cricket ground in Johannesburg, South Africa, Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said, "I want to thank you back home (in) Pakistan and where the Muslim lives all over the world". The Pakistani captain was perhaps projecting the defeat as demoralising for the entire umma. Why did he have to burden his shoulders with the weight of the Muslim world, in the face of a cricketing reversal? Which Muslim world was he talking about?... General Zia-ul-Haq introduced Nizam-e-Mustafa, the first Pakistani effort at a Shariah state. Thereafter, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the US combined to create a powerful Wahabi entity in Afghanistan with twin targets — Soviet Union and Shia Iran. Wahhabism tears Pakistani Islam away from the Sufi driven, tolerant Islam of the subcontinent. Meant to impart a more West Asian identity to Pakistan it failed because the common languages of the region are Urdu, Punjabi, English, not Arabic. These twists and turns have created a confused Pakistani society. When Malik tries to speak for the Muslim world, he is only reflecting this confusion.

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