Roots of Religious Right

Secular Pakistan

Eqbal Ahmad

DAWN  – 24 January, 1999


THEY belong to differing, often contrasting religious systems-Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yet their ideas and behaviour patterns bear remarkable similarities. In India they have burned down churches and destroyed a historic mosque. In Palestine they describe themselves as ‘pioneers’, desecrate mosques and churches, and with state support dispossess the Muslim and Christian inhabitants of the ancient land. In Algeria they are engaged in savage warfare with a praetorian government. In Serbia, they attempted genocide and ran rape camps. In Pakistan, they have hit Christians, Ahmedis and Shi’a Muslims and also each other.

They wage holy wars, and commit atrocities sanctimoniously, yet nothing is truly sacred to them. They spill blood in bazaars, in homes and in courts, mosques and churches. They believe themselves to be God’s warriors, above man-made laws and the judgment of mankind.

They are the so-called ‘fundamentalists’, an epithet…

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