I wonder what on earth is the criteria for a person to be appointed the "group editor" of an Urdu national daily newspaper? How ignorant or shortsighted one has to be to fit into that slot?
Abbas Ather of the daily Express has not only rattled sabers again in his column today by insisting on calling Salman Tasser 'shaheed' but has also claimed that he could not find any evidence of any desecration or disrespect of the Prophet Muhammad or of any Islamic norms in the last 1400 years until 1990 when Zia-ulHaq's law was enforced and blasphemy cases started appearing. To erroneously prove that blasphemy law is not an Islamic one he merely quotes how it has been misused.
Why the heck he wants to call his hero by an Islamic term anyway?
I don't want to waste the rest of my blog post by quoting his long-winded but absurd arguments. I will just show how wrong he is in saying that there was no incident of blasphemy in the last 1400 years until Blasphemy Laws of what he insists on calling Zia's 'Kala Qaanoon' made them appear in a cascade. I am quoting from the Time magazine of April 16, 1979 - the same issue that coincidentally had the story on Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's death printed in its pages:
"Early Christian polemicists against Islam used the Prophet's human person as their butt, accusing him of whoring, sedition, charlatanry. As writing about Islam and the Orient burgeoned—60,000 books between 1800 and 1950 — European powers occupied large swatches of "Islamic" territory, arguing that since Orientals knew nothing about democracy and were essentially passive, it was the "civilizing mission" of the Occident, expressed in the strict programs of despotic modernization, to finally transform the Orient into a nice replica of the West."
I am sure Thomas B. Macaulay, that supercilious English snob who was a member of the British Supreme Council in Indi, amust be smiling, from wherever the heck he is now, to see the products of the educational system he had proposed, who now proudly call themselves liberal, enlightened and secular. The term used for these people is Macaulay's Children who are born of Indian or Pakistani ancestry but adopt Western culture as a lifestyle, or display attitudes influenced by colonizers.
Macaulay was so disdainful and contemptuous to the Eastern culture and scholarship that he said: “The whole native literature of India and Arabia was worth but a single European library shelf." (Mind it he did not Arabic or any of the Indian languages.)
The passage to which the term, Macaulay's Children, refers to is from his Minutes on Indian Education, delivered in 1835. It says:
"It is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population."