This man is a mental case and thinks himself only right and every one an idiot but in reality this many has gone mad and needs medical helpImran Khan a Puny politician
Nadeem F Paracha
Recently, Pakistani cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan boycotted an annual event in India in which controversial author Salman Rushdie was also invited to attend. As a Pakistani and a Muslim I can entirely understand Khan's stand in this respect, both as a matter of principle as well as a political move.
Rushdie, an accomplished author, faced the wrath of Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini after the publication of his satirical novel, Satanic Verses, in late 1988. There was a lot more to Khomeini's contentious 'fatwa' than the simple case of a sensitive Muslim going haywire about a perceived insult to his and his community's religious sentiments by an agonistic.
What gets missed in the recalling of the whole Khomeini vs. Rushdie episode is the fact that the Iranian regime was desperately looking for high-profile distractions that it could offer to its subjects squirming from the economic and political (as well as the psychological) affects of its prlonged war with Iraq.
As the regime's high command became increasingly fidgety, it went into overdrive 'cleansing the society of (the largely perceived) anti-Islam and anti-state' elements.
The fatwa against Rushdie came at a time (1988) when Khomeini unleashed the wrath of the state and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards' against a host of 'enemies' (both in and out of jail). Between the July and December 1988, Khomeini ordered the slaughtering of 4,482 members of leftist political groups and anti-Khomeini outfits who'd been loitering in the cramped jails of Iran. The state-sponsored extra-judicial executions became a worldwide human rights issue when Amnesty International raised the case. Conveniently, Khomeini responded to the criticism with the Rushdie fatwa.
Equally conveniently, most Muslims across the world remember (rather fondly) Khomeini's fatwa, but have forgotten the massacre of the thousands of Iranian dissidents ordered by a vicious regime in Iran. Also missing in their reaction is the fact that Khomeini's fatwa was nothing more than a shrewd political maneuver designed to steal the fire initially set by Amnesty International to the crooked woodworks of the Iranian regime.
Of course, one just cannot expect a man like Imran Khan to even bother considering to look at this particular aspect of history from the lens of a detached political observer. He's a reactionary.
I also seriously doubt he's even read Rushdie's book which, ironically, is one of his weakest works. I read it and disliked it. It just doesn't have the satirical punch and power Rushdie's other books are known for, especially Midnight's Children.
But was I offended by Verses as a Muslim? That was a question for me (and me alone) to answer; I didn't have to be told by a bigoted spiritual leader of a murderous regime about what constitutes blasphemy in my faith and what should be done to those who supposedly commit blasphemy.
Such are the decisions between the individual and whatever God or Gods he or she follows. I am a huge admirer of authors like Charles Darwin, Thomas Pine, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, but does that mean I've become an atheist?
Perhaps if my faith was weak, I would have. And I am convinced people from any faith who end up making such a hue and cry about their religion and then need to exhibit it loudly, their faith is puny and so are they.
And here is where I would like to put Imran as well. A fantastic sportsman, a passionate philanthropist, but a puny politician and man of faith. For more than 15 years this man has been hogging television screens, mouthing loud big nothings about how terrible Pakistani politicians are and how he has this magic formula to eradicate corruption. A fool fooling the foolish.
I've known a number of staunch and pious Muslims who instead of boycotting their 'enemies' have actually gone on to intellectually confront them in seminars, through TV debates, at conferences.
In fact, a sophisticated hate-monger and Islamic puritan like Zakir Naik has actually turned the above into a highly-lucrative business venture for himself in which he televises 'debates' between him and (an albeit handpicked) motley crue of Hindu, Christian and Jewish fanatics.
Many in Pakistan have been aware of Imran's dilemma of being both a charmingly and refreshingly naive Mr Clean as well as a man riddled with the reactionary drawing room urban middle-class biases that have become such a mainstay of a number of bourgeois men and women of central Punjab in Pakistan.
Imran isn't the first politician brimming with contradictions. But his contradictions are usually of a very blundering kind. And I say this as a frustrated long-time fan. The list of his political, ideological and moral contradictions is long, so let's just concentrate on the one his boycott exhibited.
And The Hypocrisy
This 'cornered tiger' (as his fans like to call him) and this bold 'tsunami' actually chickened out when during a recent interview he gave to a well-known TV anchor, he refused to say that his coming kingdom would tackle men like Hafiz Saeed - a volatile sectarian figure known for his not-very-peaceful thoughts about non-Muslims, Ahmadis and the Shia and the Barelvi Sunni sects.
The reason given was that 'in Pakistan it is not safe to take the name of certain very angry men and organisations'. So, it's okay to lambast and insult men like Zardari, Nawaz and Rushdie who may be offending, but are not killers, but not wise to take the names of men who actually bite back? How brave.
Once hailed as a super-duper hero in places like India and the West as the 'right kind of Pakistani leader', it is only now that these countries are discovering what a number of Pakistanis have always known: Khan, as a politician and an ideologue, is a charade. A good man gone wrong in his politics and moralistic dispositions. A man who is disastrously mixing up his Chomsky with Maududi.
(The writer is a Karachi-based columnist for Dawn. This article is exclusive to ET.)
Who's afraid of Salman Rushdie? Imran Khan a punny politician? - Economic Times
While i have little interest in pakistani Internal politics,I find this op-ed quite fit for PDF considering the number of Imran Khan fanbois here.