Stop the ‘weaponization’ of religion in Pakistani politics

Jul 26, 2018

By Johnnie Moore and Gayle Manchin

(RNS) — This week, as hundreds of religious leaders, nonprofit heads and government officials gather in Washington for the State Department’s first-ever ministerial on religious freedom, an election about to take place in Pakistan shows why the cause of religious freedom is as important as it has ever been in modern history.

For Pakistan’s Christians and minority Ahmadi Muslims, the run-up to Wednesday’s (July 25) vote has been terrifying. New hard-line Islamist political parties, such as the Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, have risen, focusing on denigrating the Ahmadis.

Last November, the TLP organized a violent protest that called for Ahmadi Muslims to be removed from high positions in Pakistani society, and demanded that a list be created of all Ahmadi Muslims working in the government. Ahmadis have long been subject to targeted killings, bomb attacks and vigilante violence, and the prospect of being publicly identified cast an even darker shadow over the community’s future.

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6 comments on “Stop the ‘weaponization’ of religion in Pakistani politics

  • @OP – Last November, the TLP organized a violent protest that called for Ahmadi Muslims to be removed from high positions in Pakistani society, and demanded that a list be created of all Ahmadi Muslims working in the government.

    It’s not just in Pakistan!
    Once these members of religious cults/denominations, gain political positions, their bigoted attacks on critics and non-members manifest themselves!

    In the UK we have Baroness Warsi shrieking about alleged “Islamophobia” in the Tory Party, – whose pandering and tokenism, was previously foolish enough to appoint her “Minister of State for Faith and Communities” and promote her to the Upper House to facilitate this!,_Baroness_Warsi

    Warsi grew up in a family of Pakistani Muslim immigrants living in West Yorkshire.

    In 2005 Warsi came under intense controversy after campaigning to ban teachings about homosexuality in schools fearing it might “promote same-sex relationships.”[3] She also claimed that Labour lowering the age of consent from 18 to 16 left teenagers vulnerable to being “propositioned for homosexual relations.”[4] These comments led Britain’s leading gay rights group, Stonewall, to denounce her as being homophobic.[5]

    After being raised to the peerage in 2007, Warsi served as Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and Social Action.
    The first female Muslim to attend Cabinet, Lady Warsi came to further prominence when, at her first meeting in Downing Street, she wore a traditional South Asian shalwar kameez.

    Meanwhile Jewish MP. Margaret Hodge is screaming “anti-Semitism” at Labour Party critics of Zionism and the abuses of Orthodox Judaism!

    Hodge is even so deeply bigoted as to demand that the Labour Party makes criticism of the Israeli government and abuses of Palestinians, a disciplinary offence requiring action such as the farcical attacks on, and suspension of, Ken Livingstone, for quoting from historical records of Israel’s murky history!

    The bigoted Zionist press has come out in full support of her, but many press comments omit the details of their attempts to redefine anti-Zionism as anti-Semitic bigotry, and simply make vague unsubstantiated claims about (alleged) “anti-Semitism” in the Labour Party – (having redefined the term “anti-Semitism” as religious semantic shuffle-arguments frequently do! !)

    The IHRA’s “working [re-]definition” of anti-Semitism and lists behaviours likely to be regarded as anti-Semitic – including four examples provided by the IHRA definition:

    Accusing Jewish people of being more loyal to Israel
    than their home country

    Claiming that Israel's existence as a state is a racist endeavour

    Requiring higher standards of behaviour from Israel
    than other nations

    Comparing contemporary Israeli policies to those of the Nazis

    Clearly these are issues for objective debates about real-world politics, and to try to make raising them a disciplinary offence, is simply trying to use the Labour Party as an uncritical tool of Zionism, or the Tory Party the tool of Sharia, while hiding behind the badge of religion!
    Unfortunately some politically correct muppets have invited this attack on their fellow party members, by their stupid uncritical pandering to fanatical religion!

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  • Meanwhile I see the Israeli government continues to expand its illegal settlements on Palestinians Arabs’ lands!

    More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
    The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

    There are also some 100 outposts – small settlements built without the government’s authorisation.

    Israel’s defence minister says the best way to stop more attacks on Israeli citizens in the occupied West Bank is to expand its settlements.

    Avigdor Lieberman announced 400 new homes would be built in Adam, near Ramallah, where a Palestinian fatally stabbed an Israeli man on Thursday.

    The Israeli army also said it is “reinforcing the defence” in the settlement of Adam, but Mr Lieberman suggested a longer-term strategy was needed.

    “The best answer to terror is a settlement expansion in the West Bank,” he tweeted [in Hebrew].

    So: – Translating this into English, it is a prime example of bigoted theistic thinking:-
    The best way to prevent reprisal attacks on armed land thieves, is to steal more land”! (with military backing)

    Dozens of Israelis have been killed in nearly three years of mainly lone-wolf attacks.

    Some 300 Palestinians – most of them assailants, Israel says – have also been killed in that period, according to news agencies. Others have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops.

    When we look at the figures, the Jewish Israeli casualties are tiny in comparison to those of the Palestinian Israeli Arabs!

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  • Yep – projecting bigotry on to critics while screaming (redefined) “anti-Semitism”

    @#1 – Claiming that Israel’s existence as a state is a racist endeavour

    An Israeli Arab politician has resigned in opposition to a controversial new law which declares Israel to be the nation state of the Jewish people.

    Zouheir Bahloul, 67, branded parliament “racist” and “destructive” for passing the law, which also revokes the status of Arabic as an official language.

    “[The law] removes the Arab population from the path of equality in Israel,” he told Israeli TV network Reshet.

    The bill passed on 19 July, provoking anger from Israel’s Arab minority.

    Arab members of the Knesset tore up copies of the bill and shouted their disgust, before some were thrown out of the chamber.

    After the bill was passed, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised it as a “defining moment” in the country’s history.

    “A hundred and twenty-two years after [the founder of modern Zionism Theodore] Herzl made his vision known, with this law we determined the founding principle of our existence,” he said.

    Don’t delusional bigoted liars love double-talk and “newspeak”!

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  • Corbyn continues to act the pandering Zionist stooge idiot, surrounded by sycophants and impervious to evidence based observations!

    Hajo Meyer’s House of Commons talk was entitled ‘The Misuse of the Holocaust for Political Purposes’.

    Labour MP Louise Ellman told BBC Newsnight she was “absolutely appalled” to hear about Mr Corbyn’s involvement.

    Poor diddums, perhaps was too bigoted, to get the message about abuses of Palestinians from a well informed source!

    The Labour leader’s apology comes after one of his supporters in the party’s National Executive Committee suggested that Jewish “Trump fanatics” were behind accusations of anti-Semitism in Labour ranks.

    Peter Willsman has apologised and said not all his remarks were accurately reported.

    At the event, which happened on Holocaust Memorial Day 2010, Jewish Auschwitz survivor and anti-Zionist Hajo Meyer, who died in 2014 aged 90, compared Israeli policy to the Nazi regime.

    Yep! The Zionist apologists knee jerk screams of anti-Semitism are even directed a critics who are fellow Jews and holocaust survivors!

    The Commons meeting came during a tour by Mr Meyer entitled ‘Never again for anyone – Auschwitz to Gaza’.

    The Times said that Palestinian activist Haidar Eid also addressed the meeting, saying: “The world was absolutely wrong to think that Nazism was defeated in 1945.

    “Nazism has won because it has finally managed to Nazify the consciousness of its own victims.”

    Mr Corbyn said views were expressed which he did not “accept or condone”.

    He added: “In the past, in pursuit of justice for the Palestinian people and peace in Israel/Palestine, I have on occasion appeared on platforms with people whose views I completely reject.

    Exclusive debates with sycophants?

    “I apologise for the concerns and anxiety that this has caused.”

    OOOOooo dear! – Causing “concerns and anxiety” to those poor little Zionist apologists, by those who have genuine “concerns and anxiety” about abuse, theft of land, and killing of Palestinians!
    What a pandering politically correct spineless hypocrite!

    Don’t those aggressive Zionist apologists, love to swap their political campaign badges, or Israeli agent badges, for the badges of the deeply offended martyred religious, whenever they find it convenient, or wish to duck awkward questions!

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  • So we have the likes of Mann full of wild allegations and emotive rhetoric, without ever asking the key question – “internationally accepted by whom? (see #1)

    The Labour MP John Mann said it was “extraordinary” for an MP to have hosted such an event. “It breaches any form of normal decency. I am not sure how he got himself into that situation but I am pleased he apologised,” he said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

    So “common decency” includes ignoring facts, witness statements, and history and embracing Zionism? Spot the IHRA example @#1 which describes this Zionist MP hiding behind his smokescreen of claims of anti-Semitism!

    Talking about the broader issue of antisemitism, Mann said Labour under Corbyn should now adopt in full the definition of antisemitism accepted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

    Debate in the party has focused on the party’s new code of conduct on antisemitism and the fact it features the internationally accepted definition but does not replicate in full a list of examples of antisemitism published by the IHRA alongside its definition.**

    There are of course many other Jewish critics of Zionist atrocities!

    Perhaps if those in blinkered denial, who are exercising their emotions when being asked to look at those “offensive inconvenient facts”, studied history, instead of screaming “anti-semitism” in denial of it, we might get some practical solutions to Middle-East problems!

    The truth is that far from being the poor victim it likes to portray itself as, Israel is in fact the most aggressive and belligerent nation in the region, having invaded pretty much everyone it shares a border with.

    The following maps show just who is wiping who off of the map!

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  • Alan4discussion #4
    Aug 1, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Corbyn continues to act the pandering Zionist stooge idiot, surrounded by sycophants and impervious to evidence based observations!

    I see that predictably Corbyn’s chickens have come home to roost!

    Having pandered to Zionist supporters of racist abuse of Palestinians, screaming “racist anti-Semitism” from the headlines of the gutter press, he has discovered that they will be satisfied with no less than a100% support for Israeli illegal settlements, while those critics of Israeli abuse of Palestinians are annoyed at frivolous propagandist allegations of emotively charged “anti-Semitism” against them are being given credibility!

    A lose-lose situation for the Labour Party, with Corbyn shooting himself in the foot, as he promotes the “investigation” into fake claims of redefined anti Semitism in his party, (see the examples list @#1) giving credibility to the bigoted Zionist accusers, hiding their political agendas behind a religious martyr badge! !

    Jeremy Corbyn has defended comments he made about British Zionists having “no sense of English irony” – but says he is more careful with his language now.

    A 2013 clip was published online by the Daily Mail as the Labour leader works to tackle anti-Semitism in his party.

    Luciana Berger, a Jewish Labour MP, had said hearing Mr Corbyn’s speech made her feel “unwelcome” in the party.

    Perhaps she should stand as a Zionist MP, if she cannot accept that support for Zionist racism and apartheid is unwelcome in the Labour Party!

    Mr Corbyn said he used the term Zionist in an “accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people”.

    Zionism refers to the movement to create a Jewish state in the Middle East, roughly corresponding to the historical land of Israel, and thus support for the modern state of Israel.

    In the speech – made at an event at the Palestinian Return Centre – Mr Corbyn recalled a disagreement between some Zionists and the Palestinian representative to the UK, Manuel Hassassian, following a speech Mr Hassassian had made in Parliament.

    So let’s see what all the fuss is about!

    He said: “This [Hassassian’s speech] was dutifully recorded by the thankfully silent Zionists who were in the audience on that occasion, and then came up and berated him afterwards for what he’d said.”

    Mr Corbyn, who was a backbench MP at the time, went on to claim that the people concerned “clearly have two problems“.

    “One is they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.”

    I think we could agree, that it is indeed irony, when Zionists who support racist abuse of Palestinians and theft of their land, accuse others of bigoted racism!

    As the geneticists have established that both native Jews and native Palestinians are genetically the same race, the claim of Zionists suffering “racism” is both ironic and absurd!

    What he should have done is refuse to be drawn on the pro-Israel “anti-Semitism” allegations, and stated that a party policy of non-tolerance of the refusal to rationally discuss political issues on the basis of evidence and history, followed by bigoted discriminatory, or racist/ religious personal attacks on critics!

    When challenged on the Israeli abuses outlined in numerous UN resolutions, a Zionist diversionary response or “anti-Semitism”, is unacceptable, just as when challenged about the UN comments on Saudi killing of children by air-strikes in Somalia, the reply of “Islamophobia”, is unacceptable!

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