Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Pakistan

February 3, 2016 • 8:00 am

The new Jesus and Mo was, the artist noted, inspired by an article by Maajid Nawaz in The Daily Beast, “How the Mullah Mafia is Destroying Pakistan,” an article I publicized on Twi**er (but didn’t discuss) last Sunday. It’s well worth reading, outlining the latest damages inflicted on that vibrant country by Islamic theology. These include the failure of the Pakistani legislature (after pressure by the Council of Islamic Ideology, or CII) to pass a bill outlawing child marriage, and the sad tale of a 15-year-old Pakistani boy who cut off his own hand after accidentally raising it in a mosque.

Nawaz is losing hope for Pakistan as it slowly creeps towards Islamism, but offers a bit of optimism, too:

But then I think of this boy. And I think of the child “brides,” and the acid victims, and all the brave voices—military and civilian—who have given their lives to fight this madness; and I think of the assassinated Governor Salman Taseer’s son, Shahbaz Taseer, and former Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani’s son, Ali Haider, both still missing after terrorists kidnapped them hoping to ransom them. And it wrenches at my gut.

When I see the protesters lighting candles at Liberty Chowk after every major terrorist attack, when I hear of brave new Pakistani voices boldly proclaiming their counter-extremist message from within, when I behold the slightly paralyzed left side of Malala’s face looking back at me in her photograph, I am forced to remind myself, amid all the depression: Pakistan Zindabad, Pakistan Lives.

Yes, that’s written by the man called a “Muslim validator and a “lapdog” by the odious Nathan Lean and a “house Muslim” by the even more odious C. J. W******n, and a “porch monkey” by one of Glenn Greenwald’s colleagues, Murtaza Husain (see link for proof). It seems that a moderate, anti-Islamist Muslim can’t catch a break these days. Is there any Muslim or ex-Muslim critic of extremist Islam who is still admired by most Lefists?

But I digress. Today’s strip is clearly about Muhammad’s sexual violation of his nine-year-old bride, as well as the statement by the head of the CII which blocked the child-marriage law: “Parliament cannot create legislation that is against the teachings of the Holy Quran or Sunnah,” he had said while backing his arguments with relevant laws and a few references from the Holy Quran and Hadith.”


If the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, were to see his country’s shenanigans, I’m sure he’d be appalled. Although he was a Muslim and a dubious character, he was not a theocrat. India and Pakistan were once a single nation, sundered in 1947 after Jinnah’s endless importuning of the British. Now, after 70 years, India and Pakistan have gone different routes. India, though loaded with problems, is a vibrant and largely secular democracy, although the ruling BJP is turning it a bit more Hindu-centric. Pakistan, in contrast, is on the road to a medieval theocracy, and I don’t share Nawaz’s optimism.

14 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Pakistan

  1. It difficult to have hope for such a country. The forces of evil seem to have the upper hand, and I don’t know how you turn that around without perhaps the domination of a military dictator. The drift toward theocracy seems to be almost inevitable once it gains momentum. All it’s proponents have to do is declare secularists to be against god. And who can survive that sentence to hell? Bangladesh is in a similar pickle.

    1. Military dictatorships have, if anything, exacerbated the problem. Zia Ul Haq was an Islamist and Musharraf, while taking on some Jihadists, actively funded others (mainly in Kashmir) and did nothing to stem the rush to theocracy.
      Avowedly secular politicians in Pakistan take their lives in their hands.

      1. From what I can tell it is worse than that – I understand there have been murders of members of prominent religious minorities (e.g., Christians and Hindus?) more generally.

  2. Muslims are smarter than christians, because they know one simple truth: Religious beliefs cannot stand on their own merit, they need fear to enforce them on others. Of course, christianity still uses fear (eternal damnation, shunning by friends and family, loss of livelihood, etc.), but that’s nothing compared to being hacked to death by an unruly mob. The immediacy of the punishment is what keeps islam relevant in today’s world.

    1. As you say, one religion may be worse than the other but both are flawed. For this reason I would have preferred to see the barmaid questioning Mo on this issue instead of Jesus. The strip, as it stands, pits Christianity against Islam rather than rationality against religion.

      1. I think that’s one of the endearing qualities of the strip. They both occasionally point out inconsistencies of the other’s religion, but can’t see the fallacies in their own beliefs…just like real live believers.

        1. Same here. Their interaction points out both characters’ hypocrisy and the cognitive dissonance they have to maintain, while the barmaid’s consistent voice of reason often contributes to their faux comradery.

  3. “India and Pakistan were once a single nation, sundered in 1947 after Jinnah’s endless importuning of the British.”

    I think one of the great political misjudgements of modern times was Gandhi and the Congress Committee’s “Quit India” campaign in 1942. By threatening to stab Britain in the back at the moment of its greatest vulnerability, they effectively created the political space for Jinnah’s Muslim League to position themselves as a loyalist party, whose loyalty the British were then honour-bound to repay after the war by the granting of an independent Muslim homeland.

  4. Even sadder, India and Pakistan have been fighting and killing each other on and off since then over who “owns” Kashmir, which lies between them. In 1999, in fact, they came very close to nuclear war, and aren’t really any closer to an agreement today than in 1947.

    1. “India and Pakistan have been fighting and killing each other on and off since then over who owns Kashmir”.

      This is the biggest myth out there…this tortured moral equivalence between these two nations which have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in common. This hyphenation is what Pakistan’s entire foreign policy machinery is geared towards. Since 1947 Pakistan’s only identity has been India. For all practical purposes it is the most blatant terrorist nation in the world. Iran and North Korea pale in comparison. Yet, as long as it can drag India down to its level of filth, it can claim to the world to be just scrapping with its giant neighbor…you know, nothing serious. This is how a country that is the equivalent of Somalia in Asia, which has never known true democracy, is overrun with the most violent terrorist organisations on earth, which is an Islamic theocratic state with the most brutal repression of women and minorities in the world, and regularly uses nuclear blackmail as a negotiating tool, suddenly becomes an equal player with the world’s largest and most vibrant democracy and one of the fastest growing economies of the world.

      Pakistan initiated and LOST 4 wars with India, one fought under the cloud of nuclear weapons, lost half of its country in the process in 1971,still continues to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy in Kashmir and Afghanistan. Yet it is “India and Pakistan have been fighting and killing each other”?? There is no comparison between the two nations and certainly no moral equivalence. This kind of juvenile hyphenation is offensive to Indians who have struggled for seven decades to pull their country out of mediocrity and poverty and are now finally on their way to fulfill their true potential and contribute to the global community. We do not want to be compared to a failed violent state which cannot see the future beyond religion.

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