25 October, 2020

Soul Suicide

Alas, the fragrant Sufi core of Sunniism is drying up

Illustration by Sorit
Soul Suicide

The pogrom-like atmosphere gathering apace vis-a-vis its minorities in Pakistan is a far graver threat to society than is commonly realised. Sunnis, the majority community, do not appear to perceive that what is at stake is not an ‘altruistic’ concern for some weak, insignificant others. The larger framework of our lives—capitalism, and its partner in the abomination of our collective existence, nationalism—works to make us think and act as if ethical action towards others is reserved for exceptional moments of ‘altruism’, rather than being the everyday condition of a decent life. This destitute conception of ethics has come to pervade more and more of our lives, including our ‘religion’, which increasingly appears as a domain distinct from its own heart: ethics. Like everything around us, our ethics and religion too are fast becoming content-free.

What is at stake is the character, meaning and quality of life as such, inclusive, above all, of Sunniism and the integrity of its own nature and traditions. It is one of the key...



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