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The Ideology Of Khadim Hussain Rizvi

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The Islamization of Zia had devastating repurcussions, too deep to have any other parallel in our history in terms of violent religiosity. The perverted ideology of Zia era misused and politicized Islam thereby eroding the whole fabric of our society. Disseminating the so-called religious beliefs became politically expedient and thus religious sentiments were exploited to achieve political goals. Firstly, in the name of Jihad, our military establishment in alliance with the US assembled, armed and trained the youth from across the Muslim world for sending them to Afghanistan to fight against ‘Godless’ communists. Secondly, religion was used as a tool to justify and legitimize the Zia dictatorship as he had to show off his soft image and dispel his impression as a dictator.

State patronised a particular sectarian thought which was imposed as state ideology under the garb of broader Islamization. Marginalization of other sects and minorities resulted into violent sectarianism. Controversial laws like Hudood (Zina) ordinance and blasphemy laws came to pass. State ceded space to extremist groups to flourish. Dissent was dealt with lashes and sticks while criticism of state was equivalent to undermining of religion. These unscrupulous practices degenerated our society. We had to face its ripple effects for decades even after the demise of Zia-ul-Haq in a plane crash.

Same like the Zia era, it seems like our society has again been hijacked by the firebrand Khadim Hussain Rizvi. He has been much more successful in penetrating his so-called extremist ideology in society. What is his ideology? In simple words, he doesn’t want to follow a sane approach. He always wants to take brutal action against the people who are critical about religion. Most dangerously, he urged people to act as a judge, jury and executioner. He openly undermined the writ of the state and tried his best to disseminate anarchy in the society.

As far as the domino effects of his ideology are concerned, many dangerous precedents have been set even in his lifetime. For instance, innocent people are being killed in the name of Islam. Under the charge of Blasphemy, people are waging even their personal vendettas. Recently a bank manager was killed by the guard, and he put the charge of Blasphemy on the manager. Several incidents like these have occurred since the rise of khadim Rizvi. Our minorities, especially the Ahmadis community, have been the prominent victim of this ideology. In 2014, three Ahmadis were killed in mob attack. Recently, an Ahmadi professor on Oct 5 and an elderly man aged 82 on Nov 8 were gunned down in Peshawar. Christians have also been targeted several times in the name of Blasphemy. A Christian couple was burnt alive in Kasur for alleged Blasphemy. In 2013 in Lahore, several thousand people attacked the Joseph colony and burnt 125 Christian houses over Blasphemy charges. Most importantly, the Asia Bibi case is a well-known example in this regard. She was charged with Blasphemy and later, went scot-free after being proven innocent in the court in Nov 2018.

In a nutshell, we can say the ideology of the khadim Rizvi has outrightly hijacked our society. After witnessing the large crown at the funeral prayer of Rizvi, it seems like more people are now condoning his doctrines. It might prove more dangerous if some timely action was not taken against the hardline extremists. In this regard, first of all, our political and military leadership must not allow the ceding space to the extremist groups. Secondly, we must reform our Blasphemy law in such a way that no one must be allowed to use it for personal revenge. Thirdly, there must be some counter and saner narrative to deal with extremist ideology.

Last but not the least, special protection must be provided to our minorities, especially Ahmadis. Pakistan has received a lot of appreciation from the world after treating our Sikh brothers cordially and safeguarding their heritage. Similar treatment should be extended to other religious minorities. And it is not impossible without treating the people like Khadim Rizvi and his ideology with iron hands.

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Naya Daur