by Askia Wajd (Letters To The Editor, Crescent International Vol. 43, No. 2, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1435)
There are too many Sharifs in power in Pakistan. Is it good, asks reader Askia Wajd?
First it was the Sharifayn that ruled Pakistan. Almost like Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s characters in the novel, The Brothers Karamazov, brothers Nawaz and Shahbaz ruled the roost. True, there was also Hamza Sharif but he is a bit player. Then came Raheel Sharif, adding not only muscle to the equation but also turning it into the rule of Shurafa’.
The real boost, however, has come from Riyadh Sharif, the one in Saudi Arabia Sharif. So Pakistan is now not only a truly “Islamic” Republic but also ruled by the pious Shurafa’ with lots of blessings — in the form of $1.5 billion (that is billion with a “b”) — coming to the land of the pure Shurafa’. Milk and honey are bound to follow suit.
The Brothers Karamazov is a philosophical novel set in 19th-century Russia that delves into ethical debates about God, freewill and morality, essentially a spiritual drama of moral struggles. The Shurafa’, however, are not encumbered by such trifling issues as morality, faith or ethics, they are involved in much more weighty things like money and power and how to hang on to both.
The gravy train from Riyadh Sharif, however, comes loaded with a toxic ideology that has deeply poisoned the fabric of Pakistani society, as witnessed in the kind of sectarian violence gripping the country. The land of Sufi saints — it was they who brought Islam to this land — is being turned into a veritable hell-hole of obscurantist extremists.
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