Are religion and logic two poles apart? For some they are, and for others they aren’t. The freedom of thought and expression tinged with rationality and logic is (unrealistically or realistically) believed to be the propriety of ‘liberals’ only. Per contra, the peculiarities such as bigotry, fanaticism, narrow-mindedness, unreason et al are being considered to be the birthmark of religion. It is quite axiomatically believed that every churchgoing fellow is a zombie while those disinclined towards faith and religion are intellectuals. It may be unfounded, or may not be so.
One may cast doubts on a view that places religion and reason apart. Nevertheless, the Islamic-scholars (ulema) have provided much space to others to found their opinions about this intricate relationship of religion with reason.
Citations from contemporary scholars as well as their antecedents have been well recorded which persuade a group of people thinking religion a mean of hate and unreason. For instance, a number of Ulema have mutually consented to capital punishment for an apostate inferring it from the Holy Qura’an and Hadith. Oblivious of the consequences of their understating, they firmly believe in this dogma and preach it too. Some of them do not bind their belief with only preaching, rather go on hard-headed and turn their belief into practice. Subsequently, religion adapts to the eccentricities that certainly clash with reason and intellect. This is one of the examples.
As far as things stand in Pakistan, the enactment of Sharia Law is one of the notable points that owes to the contention between the religion-adhered stratum and the liberals of the country. And this controversy has sporadically been heating up.
The religious parties, owing to the religion of the majority in country, demand the enactment of Sharia law ensuring it as their basic right. To slake their thirst for imposing Sharia in the country, they often muddy the words of Quaid, so do they pull the strings of masses. Ever since Pakistan came into existence, the modus operandi of religious parties has been to render every law null and void which is a derivative of the western laws and in effect bring about the Sharia law. They have been partaking in the election campaigns with similar agendas. So have they been the tower of strength for the dictators. Unfortunately, they have held all the aces quite often and introduced laws which blemish moral values and stain the country. Yet they find such laws to be in accordance with Sharia. If one dares to question these laws, one is subjected to the life-threatening actions of such crusaders. Salman Taseer’s murder is only a drop in the bucket.
(No ifs, ands or buts, I believe the Holy Prophet (May peace and His blessings be on him) was merciful for all mankind, therefore no part of Sharia, until distorted enough to seek vested interests, can afford the laws which make the lives of the ordinary people miserable.)
You have no room to deny the existence of Sharia-law in Islam. But the questions arise when we see the possibility of transforming this Sharia-law into legislation for running a political government. Thus the weakest link appears when you find legislature collaborating with Islamic-scholars. If hypothetically assumed that the legislative-body of the country agrees upon the enactment of Sharia law, will the Islamic-scholars stand subordinate to the legislative-body or the other way around?
Moreover, there are a thousand and one sects, each interpreting Sharia in their own way of understanding. It is hard to find consensus between different schools of thoughts on the matters of Sharia law. For instance, although the Holy Quran forbids its followers to drink alcohol and condemns the deed, it does not prescribe any penalty for drinking. Thus, it remains controversial whether drinking is a punishable offence and if so what punishment has ever been agreed upon?
Pertaining to this, manifolds of Islamic groups ascribe to their own particular inference. We have as many forms of Sharia as the number of the sects goes in Islam. Even these groups are further split up into subsections with their own ideology while dissenting to others. Could there ever be a consensus on a single version of Sharia?
So if purportedly believed awhile, which Sharia would they bring into the Act? The Sharia which would allow you to subject Shias, Ahmadis, Hindus, Christian or other minorities to pogrom? Or the Sharia which would allow you to issue citations to behead the people which differ from you in views or the Sharia which would entitle you to the right to declare people non-Muslim? Or even the Sharia which will force people to abjure their beliefs and succumb to yours?
Hence, we feel pain when propensities of senselessness, absurdity and irrationality are accorded with Islam and we are berserk with grief when Islam is lampooned for such weirdness of thoughts.
Unless we stop perpetuating such unscrupulous practices, the image of Islam will continue to be distorted and so would remain abysmal stupidity our mark.