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RIZ KHAN
The battle for the soul of Pakistan
Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir discusses the crisis in her country.
Last Modified: 13 May 2009 07:28 GMT

Watch part two 

When Pakistan was founded in 1947, it was dubbed "the Islamic state experiment".

In Urdu, Pakistan means "land of the pure".

Now, more than 60 years later, the country is locked in a battle to define what brand of Islam it will follow, and just how "pure" Pakistan should be.

Whether in Pakistan or Afghanistan, questions like should people be free to listen to music, shave their beard, or not wear a headscarf, can deeply divide the country.

Moderates are defending women's right to go to school and work, and arguing that society should not interfere in personal matters.

Social conservatives, such as the pro-Taliban forces, take issue with all of that, and want to impose the death penalty for adultery, rape, blasphemy, and lashes for fornicators and drunks.

Many see it as a battle between the rural majority and urban minority, the rich and the poor, the commoners and the elites.

Either way, it is tearing the region apart, and becoming bloodier day by day.

On Tuesday, Riz speaks with veteran Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir on the battle for the soul of Pakistan.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired on Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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