David Warren describes how the spread of a more politicised and angry Islam has changed Lahore Pakistan since he lived there as a child.
Whereas the Lahore of the last few years -- I have seen and felt this at first hand -- is a different place, especially for Christians. They feel, and are made to feel, "the pinch" as one would say in Lahori English. Pakistani Christians I spoke with were haunted by fear of mobs, by fear of terror strikes against their homes or churches, by fear of sudden arrest on trumped-up charges of "blasphemy against Islam", from some anonymous neighbour bearing a grudge. I was myself stopped in the street several times, and asked rudely intrusive questions by official-looking persons who would not, in turn, identify themselves. This was once inconceivable.
And yet in another part of the city, within the ancient city walls, I felt back in the Lahore of my childhood, a place where strangers are not interrogated, where, for instance, women may shop without male "minders" and without covering themselves from head to toe in the subtropical heat. A place where the real traditions of the city were still alive, its native "atmosphere", and one felt free and secure in this.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 October 29 08:38 PM Civilizations Clash Of|