This heavenly orgy fantasy ….
…. was brought to you by a maulana near you.
Being a woman, I was never subjected to a Friday sermon (women don’t go to masjids in South Asians countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh). I have heard many a tales about the kind of hate mongering, violent and misogynist sermons that do rounds in mosques across the country every Friday, but four days back, a friend emailed me the link of one such discourse with the subject line “WTF speech of the millennium” and then I was inundated with the same link on facebook and my inbox.
This video titled, Jannat ki Hoor (heavenly creatures provided as companions for pious Muslim men – sorry, no hooris for non-Muslim man, no matter how virtuous you are), is an interesting commentary on our society. For starters, the maulana, who goes by the name Mairaj Rabbani and is part of Ahl-e-hadees group, thinks all women are low level dirty whores (his exact words are dirty, filthy, worthless and prostitute) and they are only good for providing men with a few seconds of pleasure. He thinks that good Muslim men should not waste themselves on earthly creatures such as women as all of them are soiled bitches. They should wait to get into heaven where they will get multiple partners who will wear see through clothes and entice and then satisfy their lust like there is no tomorrow. Technically it is wrong as there would be an endless stream of tomorrows in the eternity, but I digress.
This maulana wants to make sure that his congregation “gets” it, so he elaborates in great detail that Muslim men will not only get to kiss and cuddle them, they will actually get to experience hardcore action that goes on and on and on … for forever. When they will be done with one Hoor, another one, even more beautiful and voluptuous than the first one, would come and demand some action. Raise your hand if you too think it is taken from one of the millions of porn movies where hot women go after ugly men and say that want more and more and more! Maulana sahib’s porn fantasies are filled with heavenly playmates with awful taste in men.
Maulana sahib is actually quite smart. He knows that he has captive audience as long as he turns the sermon into a soft porn delight. In a deeply segregated society like Pakistan, such misogynist perversions actually form the basis of inter gender relationships. What we take from this video is: all men are supreme beings, women are filthy and not worth the time, piety is only good to get you laid in the afterlife and repeated use of the word istemal indicates that women will continue to being used as commodities in the paradise. If maulana sahib is ever in the market for a change of employment, he will be the toast of the desi adult film industry.
|An India Pakistan game can make Service Cheetah go all witty|
|Arrrggghhh! enough with the lecture already…|
|Somebody get me out of here|
|Orange is the new black|
|bach ke jayega tu kahan|
|To borrow a line from Ali Azmat, bum bum phatta|
|Audition for High School Musical 4?|
|Byoz offering prayers, the only one missing is good ol’ Shoiab Akhtar 🙂|
|Poster boy for liposuction!|
In Pakistan too, after the Lawyers’ Movement of 2007, a new generation of urban youth has become enamored with the idea of revolutionary change. For them the closest thing to a homegrown, feelgood, postmodern iconoclast is the Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. The man and his poetry have become one big symbol of the underdog, the idealist, as well as the man or woman who is willing to suffer for a cause.
On the occasion of Faiz’s 100th birthday, many events were organized across the country to celebrate and commemorate his life and work. I was quite pleasantly surprised to see so many young people turning up at different venues to celebrate someone who consistently supported causes that were dangerous then and are passé now, and who wrote in a language that is no longer considered fashionable.
But my delight experienced an early demise after a series of unfortunate events that have led me to believe that Faiz is celebrated – just like Che – as a symbol rather than for what he actually believed or practiced. I have by now met too many wannabe revolutionaries who print out Faiz’s avant-garde anthem ‘Hum dekhain gay’ in the Roman alphabet and call themselves Faiz aficionados. Reading Faiz, or for that matter any great Urdu poet, in the Roman script alone is a sacrilege, but for such people to claim to be an authority on his very vast repertoire of outstanding work, when they have only a chorus in mind, is both hilarious and infuriating.
I recently met one such specimen of a Faiz fan at a Faiz fest (fittingly, if you’ll forgive all the effing). The interaction, though it was mercifully brief, convinced me that Pakistanis can trivialize just about anything. What follows is an excerpt from our conversation.
Boy: Isn’t Faiz awesome?
Me: I believe he is.
The Boy: Isn’t his revolutionary work great.
Me: I am not sure what you mean by revolutionary work but I assume you are referring to his poetry against tyranny.
Boy: Yeah. So what do you think about his work.
Me: I have not read a lot of Urdu poetry and cannot compare his work with others but I truly admire Faiz’s ability to relate his internal, subjective world to the larger world and the fact that his empathy for people transcended geographical boundaries…
The Boy: That’s cool. He wrote for people from other parts of the world?
Me: Yeah, he wrote for the Palestinians and the colonized Africans and he showed compassion for Bangladeshi people when no one dared to do so. Haven’t you read Aye Arz-e-Falasteen?
The Boy: I can’t read Urdu. My family recently moved back from England.
Me: How have you read Faiz if you can’t read Urdu?
Boy: Oh I haven’t read him. I only know the revolutionary bits like “Bol ke lub azad hain teray” and “Hum dekhain gay.” You know we sang them during the long march and all! They are freakin’ awesome.
Me: Errr… but you do realize that Faiz is a lot more than those two “revolutionary bits” as you have called them…?
Boy: Yeah but those are the ones that matter …
That boy is not alone. During my stint as a teacher of undergraduates, I came across many students who were filled with a similar zeal and wanted to change the world through Faiz’s poetry. It’s quite interesting that for such Pakistani students Faiz is the only symbol of liberation from oppression and exploitation. They are not familiar with other poets of the time, such as Josh Malihabadi, Noon Meem Rashid or Habib Jalib, to name a few. In fact, during my class on popular social movements, Jalib was referred to as the “dude who wrote songs for the Band Laal.” Jalib must have been somersaulting in his grave after that.
Most young people who claim to be impressed by Faiz’s poetry are familiar only with his famous poems; and they don’t even understand those. During one of our discussions, I asked my students about their views on Faiz’s employment of the Arabic term Ana-al-haq (or ‘I am the Truth’), attributed to the martyred Sufi Mansur Hallaj. I was looking for a response about the political struggle, about how Faiz may have tried to relate it to the personal quest for self-actuation. But it drew a blank from all my students except one. When I pointed out that Ana-al-haq has been used in one of the most popular anthems of our times – none other than their “favourite” Faiz poem, that’s right, you got it, the one that goes ‘Hum dekhain gay’ – I was bombarded with excuses that ranged from “Urdu is very difficult to understand” to “the poetry was against people like Musharraf and Zardari and not about religion.”The sad reality of our times is that Faiz – the revolutionary is expropriated by everyone and anyone who thinks Faiz’s words can serve their purpose, especially by people against whom most revolutions are targeted. From right wing politicians to rich kids who are sent to liberal arts colleges abroad on money their parents made by running sweat shops, Faiz is the poet everyone loves to recite to lend credence to their rhetoric. In 21st century revolution loving Pakistan, Faiz’s popularity among a certain section of society represents ignorant kitsch which should not be taken seriously. During a recent protest, some of such Faiz lovers who espouse revolutionary ideas expressed displeasure at marching with trade union activists because they did not smell good.
A slightly edited version of this post has been published in The Friday Times
If you happen to be/live in Islamabad, you will see banners thanking PM Yousuf Raza Gillani for retaining Senator Babar Awan (of Monticello University fame) as a federal minister.
A couple of days later, you see more banners thanking the PM for retaining Aapa Firdous as a minister and these banners are from PPP, Islamabad.
But if these are banners from PPP Islamabad, why are they just favouring the two Awans and not other PPP stalwarts?
PS: Reading the word “Sher Jawan” with Senator Babar Awan’s name makes one wary of both the “shers” and “jawani”.
|View of Islamabad from Peer Sohawa|
|Rainy roads of Islamabad|
|Film hoardings at the cinema in Saddar makes Karachi all the more rangeen|
|The regular rallies in front of Karachi Press Club|
|The most awesome rickshaws dot the streets of Karachi|
Originally published in The Friday Times.
This screen shot of the page is duly provided by Abid Hussain of The Friday Times
Constantly shivering, the 17-year-old student accused of writing objectionable comments in his first-year examination papers speaks in a very low voice.
“I was mentally disturbed. I was unaware of what I was doing. It was all unintentional.”Tears well up in his eyes and he looks down on the floor, thinking of what would happen if he was ever to leave the juvenile jail — his current home.
“I don’t feel safe here either. I have been isolated from the rest of the inmates and I’m scared to tell them about the charges against me. They still don’t know why I’m here. Outside, I know it would be much worse. I would have to change my name, and maybe my identity.”
The student was sent to the juvenile prison on judicial remand till February 11 for allegedly writing blasphemous remarks in the answer-sheets on the complaint of the Board of Intermediate Education (BIEK). He was arrested on January 28 and presented before the court next day.
But what he did, he claims, is greatly linked to some past incidents. His father’s death devastated his life and his cousins influenced his religious beliefs. These and other happenings, the boy says, misled him into writing the offending remarks.
The lean-framed teenager repeats: “I was under severe mental stress, and whatever I did was unintentional. I did not mean it, and I deeply regret what I did.”
“In 2008, my father who was working in the air force passed away. I was traumatized. Being the eldest of my siblings, I felt a huge responsibility on my shoulders to support the family,” he wipes the sweat off his brow.
The family went into financial straits, surviving on the pension of the deceased.
“I wanted to get good grades and a good job to earn a living for my family. When I got 69 percent marks in Matric, I was very upset. Since my father’s death, I’ve been under so much stress. I can’t stop shivering since then.”
When Sami’s cousins from Norway paid him a visit, they worsened his mental condition. “I used to pray five times a day and recite the Holy Quran. But when my cousins came, they influenced my beliefs and discouraged me from following the religion.”It was a hard phase, Sami believes. A fight was taking place inside him — between good and bad, right and wrong.
“I was double minded and confused about a lot of things. Whether what my cousins are saying is true, or what I’ve been practicing all my life. During my first-year exam last year, I did not know what I was writing in the paper. It was unintentional.”
When the pre-engineering results were announced in November, Sami Ullah’s result had been withheld. He knew there was something wrong. After 10 months, in January this year, the Intermediate Board broke its silence and issued him a show-cause notice, followed by a visit by the controller examinations and his colleagues. They asked the boy to write an apology.
“They told me to write an apology and asked me to confess to my crime. I thought that after my apology, they would understand my mental status and would forgive me. I was wrong. They rather filed an FIR at the Shahra-e-Noor Jahan police station.”
On January 28, he was arrested, thrashed and beaten up the whole night at the police station, before being brought to the jail. My family says that they are not being threatened, but I know things will become difficult for them soon. For the time being, my neighbours are supporting my family.”
It was the boy’s neck or mine
Commenting on the case of Sami Ullah, Chairman Intermediate Board of Karachi Anwar Ahmed Zai admitted that he was aware of the severe repercussions of the case.
“It was the boy’s neck or mine. I was aware of the harsh consequences which the boy and his family would have to go through, but we could not do anything. Our legal adviser advised us to take action against the boy, or else we would be in hot water. The professor who checked the papers had sent reports about the incident to other places. My hands were tied.”
When Controller of Examinations BIEK Agha Akber Mirza, also the complainant in the case, was asked as to why the board decided to take action 10 months after the incident, he said that the papers were checked in September and then an Unfair Means Committee investigated the matter to verify Sami Ullah’s writing.
He said that the boy had apologised, but still they had to highlight the case due to its sensitive nature. “The crime is severe.”
Need for psychiatric evaluation
Human rights activists and psychologists have called for a psychiatric evaluation of the accused boy, saying Sami seems to be suffering from a mental disorder.
Prominent psychiatrist Prof S Haroon Ahmed told The News the boy might be suffering from Obsessive Compulsion Disorder, in which an idea against the person’s belief system keeps recurring in his mind. Such extreme thoughts can torture him with guilt and depression.
“Such thoughts could also be against one’s religion. The person is fearful of disclosing such thoughts in public, and due to the fear and guilt, is compelled to divulge them. In this case, the boy wrote them down. I suggest that a psychiatric evaluation of the boy is carried out.”
Representatives of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), who have also visited the boy, called for establishing a medical examination board to assess the boy’s mental status. “Sami Ullah is mentally disturbed. We demand that a board should be set up, and he be examined thoroughly.”
My heart goes out for this boy who has a dark and dangerous future ahead of him. What kind of a sick and twisted society we are that we get high by maligning and physically beating a teenage boy. What kind of cruelty compels us to go all vigilantes on poor unsuspecting victims? We are a nation of flesh eating vultures who are just waiting for someone to commit a folly (which in this case is holding an opinion which is different from the majority) so that they can torn apart. The way things are going; soon there would no room for compassion and camaraderie among human beings. There will be just tormentors and sufferers. If you are vindictive and malicious, you are quite at home but if you are empathetic and considerate, there is no room for you. The message is clear: get cruel or get out.
|Lala is not at home in test kit|
Lala ki sawariyan
|Lala is awesome in a car|
|But then Lala is just as awesome inside a plane|
|and no one can rock bus riding like Lala does|
Lala – the sartorial wonder
|Lala in a cap|
|Lala does wonders for chappals|
|Lala attempting Levity|
|All tied up and ready to go|
|on the right head, even namaz ki topi can be a fashion statement|
|Modeling for his own brand|
|Working a floral shirt|
Working desi formals – with ice cream parlor chor in the background
|Afridi with relief goods in Balochistan during 2007 floods|
|Afridi signed up for I-Own-Karachi campaign|
|Flood relief work in KPK|
|Flood relief work|
|Awww I got visited by Lala|
|Probably telling the mates how did he dance around the pitch and got banned|
|He models with mates when the occasion calls for it, sometimes even the crew joins in|
|Even Brett Lee is charmed by our Lala|
|But MoYo is more interested in Burger (Would Burger King be Halal enough for MoYo?)|
|Doing the kaptani duty|
|Convincing the coach that he indeed is a lucky bastard|
|With Rashid Lateef|
|Lala in groupie mode with Courtney Walsh|
|Younus loves him as much as we do|
|This kid is in seventh heaven|
|aray yaar camera tau hathao samnay se|
|Lala in the middle|
|Yes!!! got an autograph. My friends will be, like, so jealous.|
|demand for autograph is just as great among aunties..|
|and kids …|
|and gora people|
|the police walah is probably envied by his colleagues|
|Lala craze in unfazed|
|This girl is ecstatic but who can blame her,he is actually holding her hand|
Lala the family man
|playing with daughter|
|Come on Lala, keep your children away from Kakmal, he is bad influence|
|and he should also keep his girls away from Inzi and his towel clad gaddi nasheen son|
|With Aqsa and Ajwa|
|Lala in action|
|defying gravity with blond highlights|
|with gray hair at the temples|
|major lolz, Lala attempting to read ICC rulebook. Kakmal and Gullay are not even trying|
|Lets get that one|
|At times, Lala kills soft furry birds|
|but then he takes on a snake as well|
|Though he gets paid shitloads of money to peddle pepsi, he is not averse to other brands|
|Telling reporters to bow down to his awesomeness|
|Making prayers look cool (YK needs to shave though)|
|What??? Lala leading the prayers even when MoYo has a bigger beard and spend far more money on beard hair dye!!!|
|Under pressure, he can mistake the ball for an apple|
|If only I had food available, I would not have eaten that ball|
|Inzi bhai tau road pe lay aye hain yaar|
|that’s why I sell that shampoo|
|is that a hint of a paunch? the fans really don’t care|
|Lala can also work a pole without stripping|
|Self love much? ghar ke har kamray main apni hi photo|
|o ja bhai, rasta pakar|
|SRK wants a piece of Lala|
|Lala is so beyond cool that even Ashton Kutcher copied his look|
|With arms wide open|
|and still open|
|oh the arms|
|and that’s how it became the signature style|
|and here I am … again|
|I get escorts, but not the right kind|
|Come on man, you gotta listen to me..|
|yes, cheer me on|
|yar bhaji, you dont crack Patha jokes and I wont crack sardar jokes|
|Lala is so nice, he even takes care of the crying babies|
|Need some breathing space please|
|A towel over shorts!!! I think Lala is trying to hide the fact that there is less fab and more flab around the waist|
|An ass-tastic view|
PS: this is perhaps the most time consuming post ever
PPS: I initially posted some 85 odd pictures but then decided to go for a century, so added a few more.