Putting 'House In Order' Vs Setting House's Sofas On Fire

Putting 'House In Order' Vs Setting House's Sofas On Fire
Renowned physicist and activist Perevz Hoodbhoy has commented on Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz's act of setting sofas at his seminary on fire on the grounds that Islam forbids sitting on a couch. In his article in Dawn newspaper, Hoodhboy took the extremist cleric to the cleaners by pointing out his hypocrisy.

"While indeed there were no sofas in the previous millennium, the lack of historical precedence was taken a tad too far. The maulana must justify his use of a cellphone, travelling in an SUV with padded seats, equipping his bodyguards and others with AK-47s, as well as using amenities — electricity, gas, piped water — that had not existed in the seventh century. He must also explain his once-frequent presence on television which depicts human lifeforms and was condemned by almost every religious authority until lately. One notes the maulana’s lead role in the award-winning documentary film, Among the Believers, available on Netflix," he wrote.

Lal Masjid's attacks on Aurat March participants

After taking a jab at the Maulana, Hoodbhoy also mentioned the gravity of the issue of extremism.

"..with the decision on Pakistan’s possible removal from FATF’s grey list just three months away, now was scarcely the time to remind the world of a large complex in the heart of the nation’s capital which aims to produce what the world fears. Those trying to put Pakistan on the blacklist must feel encouraged by the additional evidence that the maulana has made available to them.

Although setting sofas on fire left the city’s peace unaffected, other actions inspired and encouraged by the maulana have not. Last year, hundreds of his students from the female madressah Jamia Hafsa launched projectiles at participants of the Aurat March near the Islamabad Press Club. While walking along with others, my wife and I were fortunate to have avoided a largish brick by a few inches," Hoodboy wrote.

'Killers of Pakistanis go scot-free'

The writer also pointed out that the perpetrators of the Lal Masjid violence remain uncaught.

"COAS Gen Qamar Bajwa recently suggested that Pakistan needs to put its house in order. He did not, of course, ask for the house’s sofas to be set on fire. But this particular episode has brought back to memory the deaths of our soldiers and policemen. Yet to this day no FIR has been lodged by the authorities against the maulana and his companions. Normal states do not let those who kill its citizens go scot-free, or allow them to head institutions that will create more killers. Fourteen years later, the great mystery of Islamabad remains unresolved," he concluded.