It is not the tyrant, it is not even the individual despot, it is not the totalitarian, it is the collective attitude imbued with spirit of the 'wrath of Allah' to institute the license promoting good and stopping vice. This is the root of present confrontation of ideas and war of words, that freewill should be destroyed and pedestrianism given accepted as the legal tender. This is the reason that spring has died early and changed rapidly into an autumn of despair.
These whips depict us, these ugly demons are remnants of our dark obsessions. A tyrant supported by the intelligentsia of the society is no more a lone star of ignominy, but a collective reflection and curse of the society and its customs and political traditions. When conscience of the society dies and when people of the society decide to sleep through such inhuman treatment, terror and subjugation becomes a norm. Though Zia-ul-Haq's over-obsessive mentality was liable for bringing political Islam and Sharia punishments of whip as a part of Islamisation desire, it was the support of the rank and file and intelligentsia of the society that was directly responsible for these whips on the bodies of the mostly pitiable political workers. It is the majority that keeps quiet that ensues into anarchy of ideological puritanism.
“ hum say bara munafiq koi nahin, jo zulm tu sehta hain aur zalim ka saat bhee detay han per bagawat nahi kerta.''
Qateel- There is no bigger hypocrite than us, who bear the pain of a tyrant but never rebel.
To know the whips you need to know the narrative of the wicked iniquitous Mard-e-Momin Mard-e-Haq Ziaul Haq. These whips originated from the dark dungeons of General Zia's exclusive hand-picked legislative body 'Majlis-e-Shoora' in 1980. He replicated the scheme of intellectual- mullah-military alliance. His disgust for the politicians led the endorsement of experts as a strong counterweight to the politicians. The shame of Pakistan remains that all gifted and educated men, widely respected for 'integrity and impartial concern for the public good' were part of this draconian arrangement that descended Pakistan into an everlasting intellectual and social decline since. Zia, Saddam, Assad Sr, Gaddafi, Khomeini and Mursi epitomise the culture of a strong man, that is theologically encouraged since inception of Islam.
The constricted and blinkered vision of statecraft and today's political Islam is driven by the following Quranic injunctions intrinsically rooted in the notion of "al amr-bi'l maroof, wa nahi al an munkar." Bankruptcy of a nation: Ziaul Haq completely disbanded the idea of "Parliamentary democracy" banning all political eradicating the political infrastructure, he decided to set up a substitute system i.e. of Majlis-e-Shura, in 1980. Most of the members of the Shura were intellectuals, scholars, ulema, journalists, economists, and professionals in different fields. The Shura was to act as a board of advisers to the President. Zia replaced elected "Parliamentary democracy" with 284 members of the Shura nominated by the President.
The silence and support of the silent majority completes the circle that feeds on itself. They are akin to Plato's 'Uroborus' mythological entity, a circular serpent who eats its own tail. They feed like a demon on their own kin, all suicide bombings and Taliban killings are under the fatwa of Takfir. These are home grown products, we nurtured them and fed them.
Stopping of evil and promotion of goodness is the key; these injunctions run diametrically opposite to free mind and broad-minded view that contemporary society accepts as basis of reciprocal coexistence amongst the comity of nations.
"You are the best community that has been raised for mankind. You enjoin good and forbid evil and you believe in Allah." [Aal-e-Imran, 3:110]."
''The believers, men and women, are protectors of each other: they enjoin what is right and forbid what is evil."[Tauba, 9:71]
A hadith in Muslim reinforces these injunctions as the pillar of Islam:"Whoever amongst you sees an evil should change it with his hand. If he is unable to do that then with his tongue. If he is unable to do that, then with his heart, and that is the weakest level of Iman." [Muslim]
It is over zeal to prevent evil when Islamic enjoined Hudud physical, punishment like whipping, cutting of the hand, exile and death commences its murky play. This is the source from where Zia ul Haq drew its authority, influence and clout amongst the intelligentsia; nearly all the despots claim legitimacy of cruelty, wickedness, two-facedness and terror from this source of scriptures. Those who were part and parcel of the system were included physicist-turned diplomat Agha Shahi, jurist Sharifuddin Pirzada, corporate leader Nawaz Sharif, economist Dr. Mahbub ul Haq, Aftab Kazi, Roedad Khan, Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Mehmood Harron, Yusuf Haroon. These were just a few of the leading luminaries and leading figures in his military government that shored up the umbrella of legitimacy and helped sustain his callous ruthless rule. You lift the tail of any of these 'puppies' like Gilani, Javed Hashmi, Sharifs they all at one time or another were the lap dogs of this wicked Mard-e-Momin Mard-e-Haq. All dictators from time immemorial rely upon scriptural inquisitions and sources to deny basic human freedom of expression.
The moral policing of morally wrong: Legislation of morality is a primetime fascination of all ideological despots, this bordering maniacal intrusions in individual lives sustain the crumbling edifice of ideological monuments. Whips are the answer to this obsession of curbing immorality. Their obsession with areas below the naval cavity, and the fixation with eradication of immorality is the hallmark of all ideologues big or diminutive. This originates from the scriptural stimulation of curbing vice and promoting good. Extreme censorship hit the streets of Tehran last year when perverted minds under the shroud of “guardians of sanctity” and promoters of 'good' forbid the browsing eyes of innocent window shoppers to appreciate the feminine curves of mannequins! Tehrani moral police forced all the shops on the Mofateh Avenue to desexualize and deface their mannequins by axing their sculpted female form.
The rampant ascendancy toward ideological Puritanism of ideological tyrants is as dear to them as the Himalayan obsession with carnal legislative matters. It is a full time ministerial work, like Muttawas "morality police"in Saudi, and Basiji "morality police"in Iran. Wahabbis and Shiites may disagree on many issues of Islamic jurisprudence and theology, but in matters of enforcing morality both have equal zeal and enthusiasm.
Ironically Zia's rise to power was the result of butchery of meritocracy by Mr. Bhutto, he superseded seven other Generals to award him for a freak indent that happened while Zia was in charge of the Armoured strike Corps based in Multan. Zia invited Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Armoured Corps at Multan, asked his tailor to stitch a Blue Patrols of Mr. Bhutto's size then requested a civilian PM to target practice climbing in tank. Later Zia met Bhutto at Governor Punjab Sadiq Hussein Qureshi residence and took an oath of personal fealty and allegiance on the Qur'an: "You are the saviour of Pakistan and we owe it to you to be totally loyal to you."
The Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled under the 'Doctrine of Necessity' accorded legal protection and legitimacy to Zia's unconstitutional actions, they assented to his demand that Bhutto government be declared as justifiably removed on the grounds of necessity. The subsequent enforcement of Nizam-e-Mustafa culminated in the dark long night of terror. In an interview to British journalist Ian Stephens, Ziaul Haq reiterated his stance: It was what 99 percent of people wanted; the street violence against Bhutto reflected the people's desire of wanting, just as the campaign for Pakistan Movement. I am just giving the people what they want.
The zeal of imposition of a system that dates back 1400 years on a world that has moved in space age and the death of distance causes a dichotomy and a serious contradiction. Instead of scaling Moon or the Mars, the cave man used the fifth generation technology to take mankind to cave age life style. All ideologues and tyrants of political Islam have similar traits. Al-Maʿarri a freethinker and a known sceptic openly denounced superstition and dogma. His inveterate premise and thesis reason against the scriptural influence. Al-Maʿarri disapproved the tenets and creed that transformed desert heathen practices to a universal code for perpetuity. Al-Maʿarri was very lucid in stating that religion was a "tool of exploitation of the credulous masses. These are the tools that tyrants and political ideologues conduct themselves with. His religious cynicism are expressed in a poem which states:
"The inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts: those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains." Regrettably the ideological tyrants like Ziaul Haq, Assad and Gaddafi within polity of Islam were the latter kind not the former.
I will initiate here the words of Nizar Qabbani that are more potent than the entire despots of political Islam. Providentially his poetry fits the size of every ideological tyrant shoe. Qabbani's 1990 magnum opus ''Abu Jahl buys Fleet Street'' became a distinctive poem depicting the insolvency of Arab writing. This was in fact a witty inconspicuous attack and a plea to an unnamed traditional Arab sovereign. It fits well with authoritarian autocrat like Zia ul Haq too. I have used this as a call to Bashar al Assad, another tyrant, to stop shedding the blood of innocents Syrians.
O Sultan 'Assad!' Because I dare to approach your deaf walls, I was beaten with my shoes.
O long lived one,
We vow never to seek a share of your rule.
O long lived one,
We vow never even as to look at your throne,
O long lived one,
Go on lashing, as many of the people as you wish
And killing as many of your subjects as you wish,
And @!$%# as many of your slave girls as you wish,
We only have one wish: Spare us the words, and spare us the letters.
The "Sultan" a poem by Qabbani defines the present day 'Sultans' of Pakistan. 'Sultan' is an example of political verse that denotes tyrannical, corrupt rulers who suppress freedom of opinions. His poetry was given new life by singers like Abdel Halim Hafez, and Um Kulthoom, they turned the frozen beauty of his poetry to 'living lyrics.' The clarion call being that national and social liberation was meaningless without liberated, tolerant free minds.
It is quite obvious that most of the secular minded educated people liked his regime. These kind of inhuman treatments are not meted in a vacuum, it is the spitefulness of the society that exacts the revenge and raises like scum to the top. When people stand up , tyrants end up in holes. It was in Zia's reign that conservative agenda was supported by the tolerant and able minded people of the society, the conservatives rose to the top. Extremism, terrorism and obsession with Islamisation are the products of Ziaul Haq. Nizar Qabbani's dichotomy of character is mind-boggling, an enemy of 'tyranny' yet a great friend of despots. His writings against the decadent Arab imaginary 'Sultan' are classics and are comparable to our situation of Ziaul Haq; Our 'Sultans' like Ziaul Haq were no less tyrants. Qabbani's poems included a strong strain of anti-authoritarianism. Few couplets in particular are very pertinent :
"O Sultan, my master,
if my clothes are ripped and torn
it is because your dogs
with claws are allowed to tear me" --
As a true realist, renders a very effective portrayal of despots' defeat at the Israeli hands :
O my lord the Sultan!
If I were promised safety, if I could meet the Sultan
I would say to him: O my lord the Sultan!
my cloak has been torn by your ravenous dogs,
your spies are following me all the time.
Their eyes their noses their feet are chasing me like destiny, like fate
They interrogate my wife and write down all the names of my friends.
O Sultan! Because I dare to approach your deaf walls,
because I tried to reveal my sadness and tribulation,
I was beaten with my shoes
you have lost the war twice
because half our people has no tongue.
Who fiercely face student demonstrations,
And turn into ostriches when facing the enemy.
Ziaul Haq's most remembered and enduring legacy was his indirect involvement and military strategies, by proxy supporting the Mujahideen, against the USSR's war in Afghanistan. These suicide bombers that wreak havoc have not appeared overnight, they were trained, brainwashed and prepared for the job for over decades. The weapons into our society in the name of 'Jihad' were predominantly introduced so that 'Jihad' may result into global conquest of Islam. The dream of taking the border from Torkham to Oxus in the North and to the environs of Red Fort in the South was the force that propelled 'this ma'n misplaced hallucinations with an ideological rage and fierceness that was relentless. Exploitation of faith is a general custom of despots; Saddam - a Baathist secular leader inscribed Allah-o-Akbar in Iraq's flag, it was in Saddam Hussein's own handwriting instead of traditional Kufic script and adopted in January 1991, to garner universal Islamic support of his foolish invasion of fellow Muslim sister state of Kuwait.
Ziaul Haq in similar expediency to exploit the minds of man, made sure that the number of Deobandi Madrassas go up from 893 to 2,801, so that religious dogma and not scientific enquiry or reason becomes the bedrock of the state. Karma is a bitch, you reap what you sow. The bullet in the head of Malala is a direct result of nourishing such lunatic cave demons and demagogues. There is no instant gratification from the excesses of ritualistic dogma; in this day and age of connectivity either one changes to the tunes of times or perishes. There is reason why some societies are at the bottom rung of the mankind's UN based 'Human Development Index.' All at the bottom are ideological states, all frown upon education, free thinking and all legislate morality as the national hobby.
Dogma devours minds like a hungry hyenas gulp down dead leftovers. Pakistan practised its first state funding of these types of institutions. Roedad Khan's who loyally served Ziaul Haq as an Secretary of Internal Security, 1978–1988 had the lewdness after his death in "Pakistan- A Dream Went Sour", that ''He wanted to become an Amir, a ridicule concept which died centuries ago. If he had his way, he would have taken Pakistan back to the Middle Ages.'' It is quite rich coming out of a guy's mouth who served him for 10 years uninterruptedly, yet such is hypocrisy engrained deeply within the minds of the slaves of a despot. It is scripturally licensed under the concept of 'Taqiiya.' Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi! Alas 'The King is dead. Long live the King' is the innate fibre of puritan.
These whips and scars on our bodies, minds and body politics are the result of our repulsive actions and intrinsic love to see the triumphant victory of political Islam; let's not hold Ziaul Haq or Assad or Gaddafi responsible uniquely. These 'whips' invasions, destructive streaks are necessary ingredients of our shady folklore dogma and creed, most of the people sustain and uphold these illegitimate actions targeted at increasing good and decreasing vice.
These whips, these bullets, these cannons, this obfuscation of Springs and encouragement of permanent autumn are the signs of our collective engrained ugly nature and deeds; let's not hold 'them' responsible single-handedly. Those who were a part of this dark era one day would submit a huge apology. It is us, the enemy is within.