Destroying Pakistan

Khurram Zaki, a prominent activist from Karachi, Pakistan, was shot dead in Karachi, on May 7, 2016 late Saturday night local time.

Khurram Zaki was an outspoken of critic of and ‘campaigning against both religious extremism and the head cleric of a radical Sunni mosque.’

He was also the editor of the website and Facebook page Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP) with the stated aim to “spread liberal religious views and condemn extremism in all forms”.

Police are investigating his case and it’s too early to claim the reasons on which he was killed. However, it’s a no-brainer on why he was killed. Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, a close friend of the slain activist, told Al Jazeera that Zaki believed in “zoning in the nexus of the enablers of violence [and] spoke freely against the anti-Shia lobby”.

The extremist elements in Pakistan are out there to silence all progressive voices. Last year, in April 2015, Sabeen Mahmud was shot dead for organizing a talk on a politically sensitive subject. The situation isn’t any better today.

khurram-zaki

Anyone who speaks against mainstream Sunni Islam and shows support for religious minorities such as Shias, Ahmadis and Christians is not safe in Pakistan. There is no room for disagreement and liberal voices. Islam is time and again proving to be the source of violence and extremism. In a video I shared in a previous post, Christopher Hitchens said that Islam claims to be the last message from God. This itself is a straight away temptation to violence. The extremists are destroying Pakistan and sadly, the future looks bleak.

Islam is bullshit – Part 1

Islam is bullshit, according to the late Christopher Hitchens. In the following video, Hitchens discusses some of the reasons why he considers it so:

I couldn’t agree more. ‘The idea that God speaks to some illiterate merchant warlord in Arabia – and he’s able to write this down perfectly, and it contains the answers to all humans: don’t waste my time! It’s bullshit! Also, the arch-angel Gabriel speaks only Arabic: it’s crap!’

It just doesn’t stop there. For me, the whole six articles of faith, about which I had also blogged a long time back, make very little sense. As Hitchens put it, religions privilege faith over reason. One can live very comfortably without believing in any of the six articles of faith.

Islam espouses too many hypothetical, intangible concepts. Life might be a whole lot simpler if one takes a parsimonious approach and gets rid of many of these concepts. I am but reminded of Buddhism here. Buddhism can been seen as an atheistic religion, in which belief in God is not necessary. In fact, according to Buddha, believing in God/gods is not needed for those seeking enlightenment. In my own life, I have personally met two people who, although claimed to be atheists, said that Buddhism was one religion they had an affinity for.

It is true that historical Buddhism, as far as I know it, has a few metaphysical concepts such as those of rebirth and Nirvana. However, according to my limited knowledge, the number of metaphysical entities one needs to believe in Buddhism is far less than the number in Islam. If one is to use Occam’s razor to choose between Islam and Buddhism, one will definitely choose the latter.

Thangka_Depicting_Vajrabhairava,_ca._1740,_Sotheby's
Thangka depicting Vajrabhairava, c.1740 [Source:Wikipedia]

I’m not an expert in Buddhism and until today, have never written anything about it in public. Like Sam Harris, the world renowned atheist writer, I do, however, think that the world can benefit from Buddhism’s philosophy, insight and practices if it is stripped of ‘the “naive, petitionary, and superstitious” trappings of religion altogether’.

Anyway, coming back to main point of this post, Islam is clearly bullshit in many ways when compared to other, more parsimonious philosophies of life out there. I’m not sure how the world can benefit from Islam even if it is cleansed of its naive, petitionary and superstitious parts. I’ll write more on this later.