Goodbye seventh sky

Nadeem F. Paracha in Dawn:

Last Monday (June 12) in the National Assembly of Pakistan, a member of a breakaway Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI), Maulvi Asmatullah, suddenly rose from his seat andstarted to recite the azaan (Muslim call for prayer).

It didn’t matter to him that the muezzin of the assembly mosque had already sounded the call, and the fact that Asmatullah was not facing the qibla (Kabah) while reciting the azaan.

I am sure I would have burst out laughing had I been there, enough to burst the stitches I just got while playing football.

To me, this behaviour of Asmatullah is a classic example of what is called, ‘black comedy’ – a real life situation ripe with irony where something is done in all seriousness but ends up sounding or looking absurd.

I’m sure the self-righteous among my Muslim brethren (especially of the politico-religious kind),  just like the JUI man, actually think he did something stunningly pious.

But never mind the odd holy eccentric politico, I’ve always wondered how does one talk to a suicide bomber? No black comedy there, or is it?

With paradise on the suicide bomber’s mind, there is, of course, also that attractive matter of hoors awaiting him there – wide-eyed maidens pending for those who have done good deeds in this world.

How is one to reason with a person who exhibits the ultimate extreme of irrationality by willingly ready to blow himself up in public in the name of religion?

Read on

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