Toxic Islam

Sometime back, I came across a video clip of a Pakistani talk show in which two participants ended up having a heated argument. The argument turned into personal attacks and one of the participants ended up walking out of the studio. Later on, I found out that the participant who walked out of studio returned back and tried to physically assault the other participant. People in the TV studio had to intervene, security personnel were called and the assailant removed from the premises.

The assailant was Hafiz Hamdullah and the victim was Marvi Sirmed. This isn’t the first time Marvi Sirmed has gone at loggerheads with the religious fanatics in Pakistan. However, this is the first time, to the best of my knowledge, that her opponents have tried to physically assault her during a television recording.

The following tweet image by Marvi Sirmed herself describes what happened exactly:


The one sentence that is in Urdu in the above shared tweet image translates as follows:

I’ll take off your pants and your mother’s too!” 

The most ironic part of this entire traumatic episode was the Hafiz Hamdullah was fasting and this happened bang in the month of Ramadan. As I wrote in one of my previous post, the month of Ramadan is supposed to be a month of spiritual reflection in order to get closer to Allah. Surely, for Mullah Hamdullah, threatening to rape Marvi and her mom, live on TV, is what helps in establishing a genuine connection with God.

In February this year, I wrote a blog-post about how the religious clerics condemned Marvi when she showed her support for celebrating the Valentines Day. There have also been an assassination attempt on Marvi as she continues to fight the vile and vindictive version of Islam that is prevalent in Pakistan.

Hafiz Hamdullah typifies the scourge of Islam in Pakistan. He is what is wrong with Islam and Pakistan. The terrible news is that people like him are in power. He is a Senator and can approve religious laws. People like him want to take Pakistan to Prophet Muhammad’s time and with the way things are going, they seem to be winning.

In times like these, I am but reminded of the words of Christopher Hitchens:

The most toxic form that religion can take is the Islamic form.

I hope for the safety of Marvi Sirmed and salute her for taking these toxic Islamists head on. Well done!