Nizami, Ayaz, AyazNizami,

My Recent Correspondence with ‘Ayaz Nizami’ – #FreeAyazNizami

In early March, I sent an email to a Pakistani blogger, ex-Muslim, and atheist, and vice president of the Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan. One week ago, he replied to me. The original email was for an interview for this Progressive online news platform, Conatus News.

The Pakistani blogger is Ayaz Nizami (an alias name). I sent a questionnaire five days ago. I did not receive a response. Usually, people have lives, roles and responsibilities, needs for random vacations, and time with family and friends, and for recreation. More on this in a bit, but…

Who is Ayaz, though? He is a religious scholar and ex-Muslim. He pursued religious training after standard, mainstream education. He was admitted to an Islamic studies school. He began to doubt the authenticity of the claims of his faith at the time.

I suspect that not being an easy thing to undergo or endure, especially being part of an orthodox religious family. Even with the doubts, he accomplished accreditation in the Islamic studies. He was not only a religious scholar in general, but an Islamic scholar in particular.

As described by the Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan, Mr. Nizami has expertise, based on the Islamic training, in “Tafseer, Principles of Tafseer, Hadith, Principles of Hdith, Fiqh. Principles of fiqh, Arabic language (grammar, vocabulary, and literature), philosophy & logic.”

It is the breadth of a philosophical and theological education with an emphasis on Islamic theology. He claims that the study of Islam, at near the highest level one can safely assume, in addition to the other Abrahamic faiths, led to an interesting conclusion.

That they are not divine, “a mere creation of the human brain and are a bi-product of culture and civilisations in the world especially the Middle East,” Mr. Nizami said.

Upon this realisation, he set out to “educate and enlighten his fellow countrymen and share his findings with them” with a mission to further truth and knowledge without reward. 2012 was an important year for him. He assisted in founding the Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan.

…So I thought little of the delay. Earlier yesterday morning, in Pacific Standard Time, I saw an update via social media about an Ayaz Nizami, a blogger, or writer, jailed for blasphemy and placed into custody in an anti-terrorism cell. What is the criminal charge? Did Mr. Nizami murder someone? Did Mr. Nizami rape someone?

It seemed suspicious. The common knowledge in the educated secular community is bloggers with critiques of religion or religious patriarchs, or practices, can be killed, given lashings, or stigmatised and ostracised in their communities.

So the answer to the latter two questions: no, and no. Answer to the former query: as far as I can tell, he existed as a non-believer, especially an ex-Muslim, with self-confidence rather than acculturated diffidence and spoke out on religion and Islam, and with highly educated, scholarly authority in the relevant subject matter. It was taken as terrorism and blasphemy.

Whether or not the statements are true or not, and whether or not you’re religious or not – and especially if you’re religious take the parable of the hypocrite and the Golden Rule into account, ask, “Should someone be imprisoned on blasphemy or terrorism charges – even threatened with a hashtag hanging campaign (#HangAyazNizami) based on belief, in particular non-belief, in the public arena?”

ayaznizami, blogger, apostasy,

 

 

 

 

 
ayaznizami, blogger, apostasy,

 

At root, some subset of Pakistani Muslims are offended, and some non-Muslims. But does this justify the sentiments and the very real consequences on the life of Mr. Nizami?  No, and take the footnote about the hypocrite and the Golden Rule into account, I get it.

But if in his situation, if something you did was that offensive, would others be justified in imprisoning or threatening to hang you? I feel offence at the offence around Mr. Nizami. Does this justify blasphemy charges and imprisonment, and public threats of hanging? No, and I would not condone it, as I do not condone the same for the offence – which from that perspective, I can feel sympathy for – felt by some Pakistani Muslims, and others.

All I can say further is what has been expressed before: #FreeAyazNizami – and let us finish that darn interview.

About Scott Jacobsen

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Scott is the founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing

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15 comments

  1. What can we do to help him?

  2. when a person deliberately do the acts of blasphemy about the SACRED PERSONALITIES and GOD living in the country named after the specific relegion.. so no one can bear such atitude .. because bit hurts their believes so he should be hanged becuse we can’t bear this stupidity .. ok .

    • Asking to kill on blasphemy is true islam. That is what Ayaz Nizami was writing that Mohammad was a barbarian so as islam and muslims. Mohammad killed just because not believing him a messenger.

      • You need to study Islam with open mind . In our religion blasphemy is not allowed for any religion n respect for other religions n believes is the teachings of Islam. But it doesn’t mean we will allow any one to say any thing wrong about our religion just in the name of ” freedom”

  3. freedom of speech doesnt mean to say anything that hurt million of muslims around the world, if a person dont know what he is saying let him hanged.

    • You are showing true face of barbaric Islam as Ayaz was trying to teach

    • Freedom for Speech allows an individual or group of to criticize whatever they please, without the worry of being persecuted for their statements. No one should have to cater to the feelings of others, so if millions of muslims are angered, they should grow up and realize that having their feelings hurt, is a small price to pay for freedom to express oneself.

  4. i am not sure what he said , but whatever may be it , he does not deserve death penalty , just because he spoke something which a community does not like, there were many during Prophets time who continuously abused him in mecca , did he or his companions kill any one? he suffered a lot in mecca and this teachs us nothing but patience , all this call to kill hang is tarnishing the name of islam just what ISIS is doing

  5. Well millions of Muslims say something (in their prayers) every day that is hurtful to millions of Christians and Jews.

    Should they all be hanged too?

    See how it works when you apply it the other way around.

  6. Just to clarify Muslims dont say anything that is hurtful to Christians and Jews in the prayers. I urge you to read more about the religion before you declare a crusade. Just for the sake of showing you how it works this is the translation of something that we recite in every prayer and tell me where you get hurt? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Fatiha)

    In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
    [All] praise is [due] to Allah , Lord of the worlds –
    The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,
    Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.
    It is You we worship and You we ask for help.
    Guide us to the straight path –
    The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.

    Also, you wont believe it mate but Quran talks to all the people more and therefore it does not really concentrate in offending or hurting any religion.

  7. Is that really the main reason you want this? Your feelings are so frail that someone like him is just too much for you, and therefor must be killed? Are you afraid that he will change people’s minds about God? You must not be very strong believers if this stuff threatens your very faith.

  8. I have read quite a lot of the Quaran, and while it does not seem to discuss faith itself, it very explicitly mentions the jewish and christian people in a threatening light. As well as all non-believers/followers of Islam. I doubt it means to “offend” a faith, and even if it did that would hardly be the issue. The problem comes from the amount of control, aggression and hatred for out group peoples, who do not deserve to be afraid, nor shamed for being afraid.

    It has many of the same traits other unreformed religious doctrines have, which have proven to be incompatible with the human species as a whole.

    It is simply the trouble of having an old-world tailored ideology in a new, rapidly changing world.

  9. Sura 2 of the Quran is one long, tiresome diatribe against unbelievers. You need to start studying your own scriptures fellow.

  10. With an open mind? You are asking folks to have an open mind regarding killing people for blasphemy? No! Fuck no!

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