A secular Pakistan
SECULARISM in Pakistan' - a rather new and contentious topic, is gaining popularity at a rapid rate, notably with the youth of our nation. In today's digital age; information about any subject can be easily accessed with a quick google search, with ' secularism' being no exception. What are the reasons behind this change of thinking? Is a secular Pakistan achievable? Surprisingly, a vast majority of individuals do concur with the concept of secularism - somewhat due to the criminal and unethical acts carried out in the name of religion by members of society. These people then presume that the atrocities committed by the radicals are in line with Islamic teachings. This conviction is further reinforced when these people are exposed to western propaganda opposing Islam. This leads to a feeling of ambiguity and confusion. Religion may then be perceived as a negative facet of society which needs to be eradicated from all political and/or socioeconomic affairs. These people may then adopt a secular attitude.
Not to mention, a couple of individuals do indeed misuse Islamic Law in order to achieve their ulterior motives. For instance, one may desire taking vengeance from one's foe, this can be easily accomplished by filing a false police report for blasphemy under the ' Hudood Ordinance'. As a result, one's enemy could easily land in prison or be sentenced to capital punishment. Moreover, the anti-blasphemy law is very often misused and ends up endangering religious minorities of Pakistan.
Another significant reason for the secularization of today's Pakistani youth is the influence that the west has on them. In western cultures, religion is not deemed to be such an integral part of an individual's life as it is in Pakistani culture. With the advent of the internet, young people from Pakistan are able to communicate with those in other parts of the globe and views on a particular subject may be exchanged and developed.
The western education received by the youth also contributes to the rise of secularism. Also, young people may get influenced by westerners belonging to secular states and their culture, and develop the belief that western culture is superior and that a secular mindset is crucial for prosperity.
It is obvious that in some areas of Pakistan, the persecution of religious minorities is endemic. Islam grants non-Muslims the right to practice any religion of their choice and forbids Muslims from disrespecting their beliefs and/or interfering in their religious affairs. However, it is undeniable that some Muslims do not follow this teaching. Non-Muslims, therefore support the concept of secularism as they believe that the discrimination they face will be eliminated from society if secularism is implemented. It would also help protect people who do not hold any religious beliefs.