Fasting is a choice; it’s not mandatory!!!

‘       People are going to die from heat stroke and dehydration with this ridiculous law. Not everyone is able. This is not Islam.’

       Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s daughter sharply criticized the hypocrisy of her country allowing terrorists to roam free but jailing people for eating during Ramzan.

       “This is not Islam” tweeted Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, one of Bhutto’s three children. Her brother Bilawal is chairman of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party.

       She termed ridiculous the Ethram-e-Ramadan ordinance by which those eating openly during Ramzan will be given a three month jail sentence. The senate standing committee on Religious affairs unanimously approved the Ethram-e-Ramadan bill, 2017 which seeks to punish hotel owners violating the law with fines ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 25,000.

        After receiving mixed reviews from the

social media platform, Bakhtawar elaborated her initial tweet on the bill saying that “we are more than capable of resisting temptation and keeping our fasts.”

       The oldest daughter of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto insisted the law was outrageous as it failed to consider that not everyone will be fasting in the month of Ramzan.

       “Not everyone in Pakistan will be fasting – children in school, the elderly, people with medical issues – Should we arrest them for drinking water?” Bakhtawar highlighted in her tweet.

       The Bhutto scion then pointed to the fact no one is jailed or punished for “being a terrorist” or “attempting to kill school girls like Malala,” but “drinking water during Ramzan” can get one thrown in jail.

       When every Muslim was greeting each other’s for the blessings of Ramadan, the minorities of Pakistan willing or unwillingly

has to fast with their fellowMuslims, means law of the country force everyone to go hungry during the month of Ramadan.

       Nearly every restaurant is closed from dawn to dusk, and shopkeeper can only sell take-away food items. And if you are hungry or thirsty the only place for you is home. At offices, public and private places are not allowed to eat.

       BasharatKhokher, the social activist, said that the law is inhuman and violates the fundamental human rights. Those who want to fast have the rightto do so, but those who don’t want to fast have equal rights. I am religious andrespect Ramadan, but it also is not intended to make you sick or put you in danger. Sometimes it’s so hot, that we can’t touch the metal poles on the scaffolding without gloves. A laborer cannot work in these conditions without water, he added.

       “We cannot allow the liberal people to secularize our country, our society,”said Omar Bhatti, a student of Islamic research. “The respect of Ramadan is mandatory for all citizens of Pakistan. There can’t be any compromise on it.”As for religious minorities; they live in an Islamic country and must have to obey its rules.”

       Those who do not fast should behave as if they are fasting, Qari Abdul Qadir, a cleric, said. “Non-Muslims and elderly or sick Muslims can eat but they should show respect for fasting Muslims and avoid eating or drinking openly,” he said.

       With the growth of Islamic outfits such as Taliban and it’s representation in the region, situation have become worse in the past years. Religious extremism and intolerance are on the rise in this region. Now even  hospital cafeterias and bus stands don’t serve food during Ramadan. And if someone found around eating or drinking 

might accuse of  blasphemy.

       The tiny liberal community in the country is not powerful enough to challenge the Islamic laws. Occasionally observed, it is not just involving Ramadan, fanatic Muslims have taken the law into their hands and had punished Christians and Hindus for a perceived lack of respect for Islam. In either case, minorities of Pakistan have to respect Ramadan.

       Shahzeb Siddiqui, a liberal Muslim in Karachi, says respect needs to be a two-way street. "If the religious people can't respect my rights, I am not ready to respect theirs. It is as simple as that."

       He was right. If you give respect then they will respect you back. Never force anyone for fasting because holy Quran never asked you to do so.

                      Even Quran says that;

       “… but whoever is sick or upon a journey, then (he shall fast)a (like) number of other days; Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire for you difficulty, and (He desires) that you should complete the number and that you should exalt the greatness of Allah for His having guided you and that you may give thanks.” -Quran- 2:185

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