The Right To Be Wrong

Keep calm and let's agree to disagree

When I first started writing for this blog, I thought the hardest part was not finding topics to discuss but handling the abuse that came with giving an opinion. After receiving some particularly nasty emails, I told my father I was thinking of giving up writing. He could see I was clearly depressed about it because I truly enjoy writing and discussing important topics. Not because I think I have all the answers – no one does – but because I believe that it is in discussion and debate that we find them. Baba sat me down and said, ‘beta, before you make your decision, I want you to recite Al-Baqarah 256’. I paused. With a puzzled look I said, ‘There is no compulsion in religion? But what does this have to do with my problem?’ My father nodded his head and said, ‘Now tell me this: These pieces you write, are they about something more important than religion?’ I was still puzzled. ‘Of course not. They are important issues – politics, economics, foreign policy, etc etc – but not more important than religion’. My father nodded again. ‘If Qur’an teaches us that there is no compulsion in religion, how can there be compulsion in these issues that you are writing about which you yourself admit are of lesser importance?’ I didn’t know how to respond, so I just stared at him. He smiled and continued, ‘Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used reason, not compulsion, to spread Islam. Follow his example. Don’t let anyone bully you into silence, and don’t let them compel you to agree with them. Admit when you are wrong, and allow others the right to be wrong sometimes also.’

From that date I have continued to give my opinions on a variety of issues. Always I try to use facts and reason to explain myself, and yet I continue to receive abuses. Sometimes I have been wrong. That’s okay because I learned something from it. Too often, however, if someone disagrees with me, they do not give any facts or evidences why I’m wrong. Instead, they say I am paid agent of RAW or US or Ahmedis or someone else. I have been accused of being anti-Pakistan and a sell-out to Western masters. None of this is true, of course, but it doesn’t matter. The point is that it has become unacceptable to disagree with anyone in our country.

This problem is worse than trolls on Twitter and blogs, however. We can see it even in the highest levels of society. Imran Khan has used his spotlight to question people’s loyalty to their country. Mubasher Lucman is waging a media jihad against Geo, even going so far as to make his Twitter profile photo a version of the Geo logo with an Indian flag. And it’s not just Geo that is accused of being anti-Pakistan. Practically every media group is termed as ‘anti-Pakistan’ or ‘5th Columnist’. Since the past days Zaid Hamid has been even accusing Dunya TV of ‘promoting Hindu Zionists’.

And what does he use as a warning? The conspiracy to defame Geo…

This attitude is tearing our nation apart, literally. It is this attitude that says there can be no tolerance for disagreement that is fueling sectarianism and Taliban attacks on our own forces. It is this attitude of unwillingness to ‘agree to disagree’ that results in lawyers, the people who are supposed to be trained to value debate, showering roses for Salmaan Tasseer’s murderer. If we are going to stop the killing, stop the bloodshed, if we are going to save our very nation, we must, at an absolute minimum, accept that everyone has a fundamental right to be wrong.

3 thoughts on “The Right To Be Wrong

  1. Read also Surah AL- KAFARUN. Best reply to all,” Your religion is yours and mine religion is mine.” No dispute for anyone to create.

  2. Pingback: Ahmed Raza Kasuri’s shameful outburst | New Pakistan

  3. Mutee Ullah Jan Calls Mubashir Lucman ‘Tharki Journalist’
    مطیع اللہ جان: مبشر لقمان ہمیشہ مشرف کے حق میں پروگرام کرتے رہے ہیں۔ مبشر لقمان ٹھرکی صحافی ہیں، صرف اپنی ٹھرک پوری کرتے ہیں۔ حکومتی مزے لوٹ کر پھر صحافت شروع کردیتے ہیں۔
    مبشر لقمان: مطیع اللہ جان دو نمبر اور بلیک میلر صحافی ہیں۔
    آخر کیوں؟ ۔۔ نیوز ون۔

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1bys85_mutee-ullah-jan-calls-mubashir-lucman-tharki-journalist-in-return-mubashir-calls-him-do-numberi-blac_news

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