Browsing "Samina Khawar Hayat"
Sep 11, 2012 - rant, Samina Khawar Hayat    13 Comments

Defining obscenity and warped logic of one Ansar Abbasi

At the behest of country’s superior court, PEMRA has taken on the onerous task of defining what constitutes … wait for it … obscenity. I have previously written about the stupidity of defining obscenity because it is almost impossible to define it. It varies from one culture to another, from one class to another, from one ethnic group to another and from one member of the family to another. I personally think Borat was an obscene film and every time Borat asked a woman ‘How much?’ (That character believed that every woman in USA was for sale) I wanted to go and punch the living daylights out of him. My very religious cousin, on the other hand, thought Borat was hilarious, however he has issues with every girl who appears on local TV channels and TV commercials wearing fitted T shirts and wants to drown them – collectively – in the nearest ocean. I wonder whose version of obscenity would be acceptable to those who are defining what obscenity is. 
As expected and directed by the most August Chief Justice of Pakistan, the paragon of virtue, Qibla Mufti-e-Azam Hazrat Maulana Ansar Abbasi sahib has also been invited to the PEMRA deliberations on obscenity. Qibla Ansar Abbasi who is the upholder of morality of millions of his countrymen and women, the mainstay of the sanctity of the family values of misguided Pakistanis and the defender of the piety of all the citizens initially agreed to lend his very virtuous services for the great cause of defining morality but later refused to be part of the proceedings because some women who he think do not represent majority of women were also invited to be define obscenity. His recent abomination that tries to pass as an op-ed berates the inclusion of some women in the PEMRA discussions on obscenity and thinks that inviting liberal women who support Hindu culture (his words, not mine) is tantamount to a joke or a conspiracy (seriously, a journalist who uses the word joke and conspiracy interchangeably should be fired on spot for this offence alone). The women who he thinks do not represent the majority of women in Pakistan are Marvi Sirmed, Farzana Bari, Samina Peerzada, Atiqa Odho, Kishwar Naheed, and Sheema Kirmani among others. The reasons he cited for the unsuitability of their inclusion included their liberal and secular ideology and their preference for Western civilization. He also berated the fact that one of them is a dance teacher while another is the champion of the cause of LGBT people.
He then lists the women who should have been called to represent the women of Pakistan and includes names such as Bano Qudsia, right wing politicians such as Maryam Nawaz Sharif (who does not even tweet without daddy’s permission), Samiya Rahil Qazi of JI, Ghazala Saad Rafiq (whose claim to fame I believe is matrimony to one Khwaja Saad Rafiq), Samina Khawar Hayat (She once supported a bill which encouraged affluent men into polygamy), Justice Nasra Iqbal (CJP’s fangurl) and Dr Farhat Hashmi (who now resides in Mississauga and sports a Canadian passport). If Ansar Abbasi’s logic is followed, women who make a name for themselves by hard work in their respective fields for long cannot represent women of Pakistan and women who are famous because they are married or related to famous and powerful men should represent women of Pakistan. If his logic is followed, then people like Marvi Sirmed or Kishwar Naheed, taxpaying and law abiding citizens of the country cannot represent its women because of their ideological preferences but Dr Farhat Hashmi, a Canadian who lives in the state of Ontario, has every right to represent the women of Pakistan because she dons a burqa.
As if that was not all, he lists the criteria for the women who should represent Pakistan and it includes their views on Namoos-e-Risalat and their acceptance of Ahmadis as non Muslims. For starters, the whole exercise of defining obscenity is stupid, but if it is taking place and the government officials actually wanted some female representation then what has definition of obscenity got anything to do with either Namoos-e-Risalat or Ahmadis being non Muslims? I was quite livid at this idiocy but then I told myself to calm down. After all, it is a column published in Jang, written by Ansar Abbasi and it need neither be coherent nor is it required to make any sense at all. 
In the end he endorses Qazi Hussain Ahmed’s suggestion that Council of Islamic Ideology should define what constitute obscenity. I thought the council was supposed to work only on matters related to Islam. As obscenity, astagfirullah, is not at all Islamic, they should be spared the indignity of associating with something like obscenity and stick to things pure and gentle. 

PS: Those who want to read Ansar Abbasi in all his glory can read the original text in Urdu below. 

Subliminally ridiculous

A couple of years back, a Dutch friend left Pakistan after having lived here for a few years, when I asked him how does he find life back home, his answer was: boring and mundane. When I asked him to elaborate, he said that he missed the uncertainty of the not getting hot water in the middle of a shower because of gas load shedding, the random strikes for reasons that had nothing to with Pakistani people and the fickle cabbies of Lahore who can charge anything between Rs 150 to 750 for the same distance depending upon the skin color the customer, time of day and (night) and the state you are in (inebriated or sober).
Life in most other countries is humdrum and monotonous; if you are Icelandic, you know you are famous for feminist politicians and banking crisis. In Finland, you know that you export one brand of cell phones and multiple types of fish. Pakistanis have transcended beyond tangible goods and have now started exporting djinns to kill errant housewives. If you are from Swaziland your claim to fame could be the two dozen wives of your king and crushing poverty. But if you are a Pakistani, you have hundreds of parliamentarians who are polygamists. In a society where nothing is predictable, the only thing you can be sure about is that 265 days out of 365, shit is going to hit the fan, you get a hundred day respite because there is no electricity for the fan on those days.
Pakistan is at the top of all things ridiculous, so ridiculous that we can be called subliminally ridiculous. Every country – other than Iceland of course – has some misogynist politicians trying to tell women not to drive or have abortions, wear or not to wear burqa or contest elections, but Pakistan beats them all with the likes of Samina Khawar Hayat, a woman who is not only a misogynist politician but she also advocates and promotes polygamy by trying to make it mandatory for the well off men.
Reams of newsprint and hours upon hours of airtime were devoted to discuss the dent to Pakistani sovereignty (which is as mythical as fire breathing dragons) when US troops landed in Abbotabad to capture Bin Laden but no one barring an odd blogger or a piece in an English daily asked if Osama and his assorted wives living and procreating in Pakistan mocked the sovereignty of the country or not.
The latest entrant in the list – but certainly not the most ridiculous – is the 37 second long sentence handed out to the Prime Minister. While expert are calling it a symbolic sentence, most of us masses are stupefied at the ingenuity of the judges who came up with the sentences. Apart from a tv anchor or two who may suffer brain aneurysm while discussing this sentence, law journals across the world would be commissioning academic research on what could be entered in Guinness Book of world records as the shortest possible sentence, a record that can only be broken by something just as subliminally ridiculous happening in Pakistan. Of course no one will ask the esteemed court about the about the hundreds of thousands of rupees of tax payers money spent on a conviction that lasted less time than it took to write the sentence.
Other countries may be just as ludicrous as we are if not more, what tips the scale in our favour on the ridiculous meter is that we do not even try. To top it all, we do not even have the decency of being charming and quirky about it. 

Polygamy for the greater good



There is an ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” Whenever I read it, I always think that it must have been coined keeping Pakistan or Pakistan like situation in mind.
Last year with repeated shoe throwing incidents at Ghulam Arbab Rahim, former Chief Minister of Sind, I gave the verdict that Sind Assembly is the lamest legislation house in Pakistan where people indulge in brawling at no provocation. The image took a further nosedive when MQM MPAs in the assembly expressed grief by commemorating a moment of silence at the death of Michael Jackson. I mean we all loved good ol’ MJ and I am sure Mr. Faisal Sabzwari must have grooved to ‘Thriller’ in his younger days, but I was kinda lost and failed to make the connection between Sind Assembly and MJ. But of late, Punjab Assembly has dethroned Sind Assembly as the legislative body where all the moronic, dense and dim witted good for nothing publicity whores gather and talk nonsense at the tax payers’ expense.
A few weeks back, a PML – Q MPA, Ms. Samina Khawer Hayat has decided to straighten the youth of Pakistan by proposing a bill on putting a ban on all the late night cell phone packages across Punjab. According to her, the young boys and girls are wasting their time chatting and texting with each other which is not only bad for their academic grades but is also deemed un-Islamic. She blamed the cell phone companies for the moral degradation of youth by keeping the phone charges so affordable. The best way to deal with the issue was to keep the cell phone charges out of purchasing power of the younger Pakistanis. Needless to say, Ms. Hayat got prime time coverage and was interviewed by many news channels with nothing better on their agendas. A day before the bill was proposed, no one apart from Ms. Hayat’s three children knew or cared about her and all of a sudden, she became the woman who would affect not only millions of young and not so young Pakistanis who call their friends and family late at night, but also the profit margins of perhaps the only successful and commercially viable sector in Pakistan.
Now, Ms. Hayat had tasted blood and she was like this vampire who needed a constant fix to feed into her yearning for more fame, prime time TV spots and front page newspaper headlines. The next thing we knew, she totally hijacked the bill proposed by her colleague Sheikh Allauddin, when she came out and said that men can and should marry a second, a third and a fourth time without the consent of their first wife. While presenting her precious views in favour of polygamy, Ms. Hayat said:

“If there is no bar on them marrying again, all of men’s frustrations would be reduced, while women would be able to salvage their honour and lead secure lives.”

Now call me extremely thick , but if all these men are already married to super women like Ms. Hayat herself, then why in the God’s name are they still so bloody frustrated? Secondly, if there are so many single unmarried women around, why are they not frustrated? Is sexual frustration a male domain only? Are all unmarried women without honour which they can only salvage or reclaim after becoming someone’s second, third or fourth wife? What kind of society have we become where the only course of security for a single woman is to become someone‘s second, third or fourth wife. I guess in Ms. Hayat’s esteemed opinion, the state that has repeatedly failed to provide security to its female population can only go forward by promoting some seriously misogynist legislation.
Like I mentioned earlier, Punjab Assembly has managed to congregate all the idiots par excellence so most treasury members endorsed Hayat’s demand and appreciated her ‘bold’ stance on the issue. Sheikh Allaudin and Maulana Ilyas Chinnioti and Amina Buttar termed her suggestion “ideal”. I was not present there but I am sure that Maulana Chinioti must have been salivating when he said that Hayat had ‘voiced the wishes of Muslim women’.
While there are people who are hoping that Samina Khawar Hayat’s husband marry three more women without her permission ASAP and some are envious of her husband as she has so generously bestowed her husband with the permission to seek wife number 2, 3 & 4, I will only share her contact details.
Those of you who either want to praise Ms. Samina Khawar Hayat or call her names can do so by texting or calling at her cell number 0300-8030786. This is my public service of the day.

I don’t know about the others, but we are seriously living the Chinese curse.