29.9.10

Jamaatis vs. Peroxide Blondes

Not a huge fan of a ‘balanced picture’ nor of teetering on the side of achingly forced ‘logic’, quite by default I have ended up rubbing the jamaati proponents and the peroxide blonde supporters the wrong way. This would make me balanced.

I don’t see it this way. There are areas that need to be explored beyond what is available to us.

Reproduced here is an excerpt from a letter…I have withheld certain details for the individual may not wish to make known his profession or location and has not posted at the website:

I am referring your article Untouchable Aafia

It is excellent. But I am surprised about your comment ‘The Jamaatis who would want their women in purdah and left uneducated, barefoot, pregnant and most certainly not in the lab’, I don’t know is it because of ignorance or bias?

We worked in a flood relief mission of a Jamaat e Islami affiliated body. It has a women wing as well with well educated medical professionals including Medical College professors. They work in flood affected areas where secular NGOs are largely absent.

We are surprised to see their professionalism as well as commitment. Their affiliated bodies have opened large number of girls schools in rural areas.

I am a keen observer of Pakistani English press. Unfortunately large number of its columnist write to satisfy their ego rather than deal with facts. They talk to themselves and their colleagues. I see a difference in your writing, but partially.

May be you are ignorant of what really Jamaatis are.

I cannot claim expert knowledge and I am aware of their work during the earthquake and floods, but where an individual case is concerned I am wary about religious groups getting into the picture and furthering a stereotype, however faulty it be. Why religious, I would say the same about certain vested interest activist groups.

I have already mentioned in my reply to Yvonne Ridley at the site my intention:

As one who has written about the Jamia Hafsa women as legitimate protestors, I would not tar any organisation with one brush. It is important for me to reiterate that I was positing two extreme stereotypes to drive home a point.

You are right about the ‘peroxide blondes’ earlier enthusiasm; Aafia is their discomfort zone right now. I am afraid that the half-hearted liberal support is full of ‘ifs and buts’. The JI may be in the forefront, but as I stated, I think they will force or be pinned to the Islamophobia tag, which helps no one.

This brings us to the completely weird support of the peroxide blondes. I wish there was some understanding of the deliberate ‘characterisation’ I was indulging in.

Here is one example posted at the site:

These peroxide blondes (your disgust and bias is obvious) have just come off the movement of restoring of judiciary expressing on everyone of us to respect judiciary. How can they now go against it and tell us not to respect decision of judiciary? You expect double standard from them? Damned if they do damned if they don’t.

Wow! Forget my bias, this is precious. They restored the judiciary? And what is the chief justice’s standing as of now? What is the Pakistani judicial system doing, really? And these people are going to sit and respect a decision when they are not one bit affected and we are expected to see them as holding a stable stand on the matter? Please. This is sheer bunkum. Respecting the judiciary does not mean blindly accepting any and every verdict, but understanding that the victim has recourse to legal aid and justice.

The onus is not on the victim to prove she is innocent but on the courts to prove she is guilty. And guilty in clear terms of the guilt and not the possibility of guilt. That is what courts are for. And then these people want facts of innocence.

Someone even wants to know why I wrote in Aafia’s favour despite knowing about her guilt. Did I? Where did I state it? Of course, the person has an analysis, and it makes for some chuckles as to my motives for writing this column:

There could be two possible reasons. 1. to collect few extra claps from Mullahs and Mullies who are a obvious majority in Pakistan. 2. the usual infection the Muslims are prone to; the rediscovery. In males the symptoms are instant growth of beard and in females, the sudden or gradual disappearance of a woman beneath the burqa.

I am discarding the second possibility as I don’t see your fresh photograph wrapped in scarf with this article. If the first reason is true then that would be outrageous. As you are well aware of the fact that a few brave men and women in Pakistan are busy waging war against loony mullahs and their wretched self exploding followers.

You may call these brave people peroxide blonds, but they are the only hope left for Pakistan. They are the ones who are fighting to keep the sanity alive in the land of the nuts. It take a lot of courage to challenge herds of lunatics while living amidst them. Even people of great stature such as Mr. Kamran Shafi are not spared.

Instead of extending a moral support, you ended up handing over more ammo to the Jihadis by writing this foolish article.

Since the Jamaatis have questioned me, the first option too is out. What I find amusing is that many of these people have never been to Pakistan, do not know any real Pakistanis outside of the internet world and the media, and suddenly they see these neo-concerned women and their bravery captured on TV channels. They have no clue about the real work being done by real people – men and women – for years before these people tried to bring ‘sanity’. Their sanity is a specific limited version that helps them keep their lawns mowed and in fine fettle. They have not had to battle the government and its policies on the ground, they have not been hounded, and they are most certainly not the only hope. If they are the hope that the outside world sees, then it is much like the India Shining flag that flies full mast way above the poverty line, which is more than half our population.

Pakistan has its own problems and its hope lies among different sections of people doing different things. There are women in the villages, women in the NWFP. There cannot be one group taking over and being the media mouthpieces.

These people will take up a case only when it suits them at a given time. I don’t have the time or the inclination to extend them moral support. Especially, not anything moral, which really gets them to do a little gig because it imbues them with a halo.

8 comments:

  1. FV
    Jammaties are not Muslims, they are altered egos of Saudis living in Pakistan and trying to implement forcefully typical Saudi culture on Pakistanis with obvious Indian cultural genes.Saudis can be anything, Muslims. Jammaties have their own hypocrisies and they do not help poor Pakis in times of need, all they do is to preach and force their Saudi culture to shove down the throats of common ignorant Pakis who don't know any better than that.
    Jamaties are not that honest as well, they play these games in the name of Saudi trade marked Islam.

    As for as Pakistani peroxide blondies are they are fake dumb blonds who have limited mental capacity to absorb anything, but, to dye their hair blonde with peroxide to make 'em feel like white women. Pakistani elite class is 100% peroxide dumb blond.

    circle

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  2. Hi Farzana
    Sorry for posting a comment which is not related to this post.
    I have been visiting your blog quite a few times today to see if you have posted anything
    on the Ayodhya verdict. Don't know if you are thinking of ignoring it altogether (given the absurd nature of it),
    but still I would like to request you to write on it, as it gives us an opportunity to express our views also, which we don't want to get drowned in the comment space of TOI.

    RBaruah

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  3. when i look at circle, at first, i am enchanted by the symmetry, its well defined form allures me, it appears to be all encompassing. but the more i stare at it, i begin to notice the hollowness, whatever is in its inner sanctum, cannot come out - what lies outside can't enter it's impregnable circular perimeter. It is an isolating figure. The points that lie on it, go round and round beating on themselves, like the logic named after it ... circulus in probando ... a rephrased conclusion that appears to be different then the premise, but in fact is the same. And so it goes, round and round like the rodent on the Ferris wheel.

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  4. Hi Farzana,

    Perhaps your thoughts on the "solomonic" Ayodha judgement are already ascertainable in the above? Just a thought. :)

    >>Not a huge fan of a ‘balanced picture’ nor of teetering on the side of achingly forced ‘logic’, quite by default I have ended up rubbing the jamaati proponents and the peroxide blonde supporters the wrong way. This would make me balanced.<<

    Well, yes, the expression "rock and a hard place" does come to mind when considering the sampling of both public and private feedback you've gotten on "Untouchable Aafia." With "Jamaatis vs. Peroxide Blondes" it becomes clearer that there's more than one way to interpret "untouchable" -- untouchable either in the sense of something by which one can become defiled or in the sense of something pure, but which can itself be defiled (save by sanctified hands).

    >>I don’t see it this way. There are areas that need to be explored beyond what is available to us.<<

    What is, perhaps, not so clear (if, by "available," you mean "as presented by" these two apparent extremes) is how to get "beyond" them -- much less, if there is, as you say, that need. Might one also consider such pressures as are brought to bear by these two extremes as being deliberate -- a sort of squeezing . . . out?

    Mark

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  5. Circle:

    People of religion have always influenced the public, and in every part of the world some sort of belief system does seep into the political arena. It affects society. I would be more worried if the jamaatis managed to 'convert' people to their way of thinking (assuming it is the worst) while trying to help. The same standards apply to any ideology.

    Anon:

    Is this an ode to 'circle' here? Or are you holding forth on circles of thought? If it is the latter, then let me assure you that if a circle is impregnable then squares and rectangles and triangles have sharp edges; it does not mean they step out of their angles.

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  6. RBaruah:

    I was quite taken aback by the verdict and yet...

    Have posted something finally...would love to hear your views. And thank you or seeing this space as a place to share.

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  7. Mstaab:

    Hi Mark...

    Perhaps your thoughts on the "solomonic" Ayodha judgement are already ascertainable in the above? Just a thought. :)

    Let us just say they are both not mutually-exclusive.


    Well, yes, the expression "rock and a hard place" does come to mind when considering the sampling of both public and private feedback you've gotten on "Untouchable Aafia."

    A rock can be an anchor, so I'd go with pebbles and sand.

    With "Jamaatis vs. Peroxide Blondes" it becomes clearer that there's more than one way to interpret "untouchable" -- untouchable either in the sense of something by which one can become defiled or in the sense of something pure, but which can itself be defiled (save by sanctified hands).

    Becoming defiled does allude to one's perception to one's own purity, real or imagined. The 'active' untouchable could again mean being too pure to be defiled. Of course, these are just other ways of seeing.


    >>I don’t see it this way. There are areas that need to be explored beyond what is available to us.<<

    What is, perhaps, not so clear (if, by "available," you mean "as presented by" these two apparent extremes) is how to get "beyond" them -- much less, if there is, as you say, that need. Might one also consider such pressures as are brought to bear by these two extremes as being deliberate -- a sort of squeezing . . . out?


    Again, available to us is the reality, the perception of it, the projection of it and the in-betweens. "As presented by" whom, would also be a moot point because the extremes work on the principle of isolation. That gives them a certain 'deliberation'. Squeezing out of closing in?

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  8. Sure, closing in works, as well.

    Here's a passage from Melville's Moby-Dick, chapter entitled "The Pulpit." Father Mapple is a preacher reknowned among seamen. Ishmael has just watched him ascend into his steeply elevated pulpit using a ship's side ladder rather than stairs -- a ladder he pulls up after him once aboard(!):

    . . . I pondered some time without fully comprehending the reason for this. Father Mapple enjoyed such a wide reputation for sincerity and sanctity, that I could not suspect him of courting notoriety by any mere tricks of the stage. No, thought I, there must be some sober reason for this thing; futhermore, it must symbolize something unseen. Can it be, then, that by that act of physical isolation, he signifies his spiritual withdrawal for the time, from all outward worldly ties and connexions? Yes, for replenished with the meat and wine of the word, to the faithful man of God, this pulpit, I see, is a self-contained stronghold--a lofty Ehrenbreitstein, with a perennial well of water within the walls.

    Yet another way to see it. :)

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