Misconceptions about the Jamaat
KARACHI: This is with reference to the article “Misconceptions about the Jamaat” (April 17). I was once a supporter of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), but when I saw its activists disrupting musical functions and beating up male and female students seated together on benches in Karachi University, I became disillusioned with the party. From what I have observed, the only intelligent head of this party was the late Qazi Hussain Ahmed.
Once, during an hour-long chat with him, he told me that an Islamic society is permitted to punish only those who are guilty of theft, murder and illicit sex. There is no punishment in Islam for ‘sins’ like being clean-shaven. He also said that there is no punishment (neither in this world or the Hereafter) for a woman who does not observe purdah. Compare this with former JI chief Syed Munawwar Hassan’s fatwa about rape victims or his statement that soldiers who were killed by the Taliban cannot be called martyrs. Because of such radical elements in the party, it is very likely that if the JI ever gets a two-thirds majority in Parliament (in coalition with other religious parties) it will immediately ban all forms of entertainment (like movies, theatre and television).

Shakir Lakhani
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2014.