Let’s join the human race – by Imran Qadir Butt

If there is anything positive that has come out of current public debate on death penalty of Aasia Bibi on blasphemy charges, it ruptured the ostensibly thick and immutable veneer of rightist argument that there was unanimity among all sections of religious elements on death penalty of blasphemy.

Now a very sizable section of religious elements has come forward with challenging views on present state of blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Interestingly, all those who are opposed to any change or repealing of this inhuman and obnoxious act from the statue book belong to politico-religious parties. And those in favour of changes or repealing of this act have no vested interests or have little or no political stakes.

Apart from that Pakistani media especially electronic media with exceptions of few have been dominated by rightist views. People with orthodox, out-dated and oft-repeated views have been given more air time and have never been taken to task by asking strong probing questions.

It seems it is an exercise to strengthen the status quo and stifle any voice which prompts someone to think out of the box. If you want to win an argument it has been the most effective and common practice to quote some Hadith or Koranic verse in favour of your argument and nobody would dare to oppose you. It would normally not because he/she does not want to oppose you but only because of fear of his/her life. It is because rationality and religion are mutually exclusive. Or should I say sanity and religion do not mix very well.

I have always been of the view that if you bring something in public you must accept the public scrutiny. If you want to protect or preserve something then keep it safely away from public domain. Therefore if you bring your religion in to political or public sphere then you must have strong defence. Religion should be subject to same parameters that we normally use to dissect any other social phenomenon. Anywhere in the world when societies tried to stop the clock of evolution on religion after making it political it morphed into a source of great destruction.

Religion is a human experience and let it be this way. It was a great event in common history of human beings but clock did not stop there. It has moved on, we are evolutionary beings our economics, our science, our industry, our culture, our language in fact every facet of our life is evolutionary. There is nothing constant in this world and religion is no exception. Therefore let us embrace big wide world and become the part of human race that is our true identity. Let us preserve human race by preserving human life.