Screens On The Streets

I live in Defense, Phase 4 so I’m in very close proximity to the Defense Imam-Bargah. This year for the first time I observed that they had put up large screens inside and OUTSIDE on the main road for observers and passerby(s) to see what was going on inside the Imam-Bargah. While doing maatam, people could see each other and surrender to the contagious emotions of the crowd, often abandoning personal identity. I also hear they have put up screens all over Karachi and have live maatam for viewing. I do not know what to make of it.
In other news, a cousin of mine in Hyderabad told me that they had live maatam screening on local cable channels yesterday and today. Does anybody else feel like this sort of media (live screens) fuels mob mentality? “Crowds exert a hypnotic influence over members who are shielded by the anonymity of the crowd”. What role do screens play in this?

Addendum: I just want to make clear that I was only referring to the screens and the potential harm they MAY carry. I’m no expert on human behavior, I am just wondering out loud what could be the purpose/logic behind it and what would eventually be the outcome. No religious connotations at all.

40 Comments so far

  1. MU (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

    Bayl, would you have bothered a post if they were Sunni instead of Shia?


  2. Bayl (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

    Yes because my post was not pro or anti Shiia/Sunni. Please pay attention. I was just referring to the screens and the potential harm they MAY carry. I’m no expert on human behavior, I am just wondering out loud what could be the purpose/logic behind it and what would eventually be the outcome.


  3. ash (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 11:10 pm

    bayl i think the idea is group emotion, its about self chastising not anger towards other people so i’d be shocked if this changed anything.


  4. Allama (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 11:39 pm

    The Bayl’s post is great.

    I am ex Sunni Muslim (now atheist). I could never understand this fanatic Shia stupidity. I had Shia friends who told me that they never went to any such matam (even though they were religous).


  5. New (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 1:03 am

    see they are just trying to market them self
    mohram is not about matam and crying who cry on shadat ( i m refering to real shaheds not those sucide bombers) before islam as well mohram used to be a month of peace war were stopped in this month lakin ajj kul just because of shia and the way they follow their ideology mohram ka mahina pakistan maay tention bun gaya hai


  6. MU (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 1:22 am

    @New: If Sunnis keep themselves locked inside 24/7, 365 days a year, Shias and everyone else would have no problem. Just because Sunnis are in majority you think it is ok for them to attack the minorities and minorities should submit?


  7. Lies (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 1:39 am

    Oh man, bring on the sect wars. A good post if it wasn’t done from a sectarian point of view (perhaps it should be clearer in the post?)

    I think both Shia and Sunni people are bloody crazy for their dogmatic religious practices. Not all Shias beat themselves silly in or Muharrum and not all Sunni’s run to join Al-Qaeda now do they.

    Just try to fucking co-exist, if nothing else. Oh yea, try to read the Quran (whatever it is that you get your guidance from) in a language you understand instead of repeating like parrots and getting your ethical and moral bearings from uneducated, scum mullahs or the television. Maybe then we all will be more tolerant or each other.

    Enough ranting.


  8. Lies (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 1:41 am

    P.s: I’m sorry, I didn’t read the Addendum clearly enough. The post clarifies in sufficient detail that it carries no religious connotations.

    However, sadly I’m pretty sure it still won’t be clear for some dense readers.


  9. Bayl (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 1:45 am

    Lies: Sigh. It was not my intention at all to bring sectarian debate into this. Unfortunately I guess we will never be able to get past that and it will always be about us vs them.


  10. yo yo (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 2:00 am

    I have never heard of screens setup for Matam.Would certainly like to know what made them do it this time?


  11. Imran (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 2:16 am

    Though live matam on TV/cable is nothing new, the screens for passerby(s) would be a new addition; both of which serve the following purpose (atleast in mind, as a non-shi’ite) …

    1. give passerby(s) an inside look & de-mystify a religious practice often criticized.
    2. teach us about diversity/ acceptance/ tolerance.
    3. teach us to co-exist. (already mentioned by someone above)

    I say bring it on! :) LONG LIVE DIVERSITY.


  12. Bayl (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 2:26 am

    I personally believe in the philosophy of COEXISTence and diversity (people who know me personally would concur) but somehow I don’t think that’s what Defense Housing Authority was trying to achieve.


  13. Karachiite (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 2:48 am

    Maybe it’s the DHA’s way of scaring the Zionists with the following message: you mess with us and we’ll unleash these people to chop you into teenie weenie pieces. In other words, psychological warfare.


  14. MB (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 7:34 am

    Guys,
    Did any one see GEO TV yesterday. they had a background screen over there behind the khateeb.

    And hey i was about to make a correction to @LIES “Shia and Sunni” into “extremist shia & sunni’s” but then he had explained it later.

    By the way he is very right in what he said. Stick your own faith & stop trying to impose it. Simple.

    By the way i am missing Adnan Siddiqui for a lecture here…..lolz


  15. Poo Poo head (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 8:42 am

    These screens could also help in security bombers against suicide bombers.


  16. fullstop (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 9:43 am

    come again…how are the screen supposed to a security concern? seriously wtf?? people seeing other during matam is supposed to incite them to kill others? you are definitely not an expert on human emotion! much less i don’t think you make any logical sense.


  17. mansoor (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 11:02 am

    screens are becoming part of many social events.. even conferences, meetings and sometimes even shadis. So no big deal..

    Screens shouldn’t be the ones bringing harm… shais have proved on more than one occasion they can get through the bloodiest of matams with no other violence, the ‘harm’ factor is more linked with the event itself, rather than screens or mob mentality.


  18. Sajid (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 11:38 am

    If Quaid-e-tehrik can give live audio video relays then whats the harm in having a screen for the religious purpose?


  19. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 11:42 am

    Maybe it’s digital era and they are taking advantage of new technologies?

    @MU: my friend if I suppose for a moment that you are right and sunnis kill minority shias then IMO no shia should have existed on Paki land by now? how come do they still exist, how come you’re still able to make lame comments here?take a deep breathe and enjoy life.


  20. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 11:54 am

    Hey why are you making KMB hub of secretarianism?? when islam is all about TOLERANCE


  21. khi_d (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 11:58 am

    those screens are for the purpose of majlis so ppl who dont get the place inside can also have a look at zakir, but these ppl are using screen for after majlis as well, and its not the first time these screen are used, in nishtar park big screens are used for last 8-10 yrs.


  22. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 12:07 pm

    @ Karachiite: Ha…ha..very funny indeed and yes, all the foreigners too, as I believe, most of them do live in D.H.A.

    And then the government wants them (foreigners) to come and invest in our country…I think now have another reason to stay away–far away from Pakistan.


  23. Mo (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 1:59 pm

    @Arsalaan Haleem, buddy self flagellation is not only in Shia Islam, its in Christianity, and in Judaism. So “foreigners” have seen it all. And for your information if you talk about this in “foreign” countries ull be suprised to know that ppl respect you for your beliefs.

    And Bayl I think Khi_D & Imran are both correct that these screens have been put up so that ppl can sit in their cars and can watch the Zakir esp since mosques have limited seating capacity. As well as it shows ppl about why shia’s do matam so that maybe they can go and learn a little bit about the religon.


  24. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 2:05 pm

    Bayl, these screens are installed so that people who sit outside Imam Bargah can see the Zakir. Shia’s are taking advantage of the digital age.

    There is a huge misconception about Shias. Some people are calling the sectarian voilence Shia/Sunni thing; when in fact, it is NOT.

    The Wahabi’s (Sipah-e-Sahaba) are the real culprits killing Shias and Sunnis both. They brain wash young uneducated people to blow themselves up and take JANNAT.


  25. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

    first you said:

    Shias. Some people are calling the sectarian voilence Shia/Sunni thing; when in fact, it is NOT

    and then you yourself saying:


    The Wahabi’s (Sipah-e-Sahaba) are the real culprits killing Shias and Sunnis both. They brain wash young uneducated people to blow themselves up and take JANNAT.

    Hypocrisy doesn’t work my friend. Extreemist elements are everywhere even in Shia community. There are various videos on Internet in which extreemist shia [scholars] abusing sunnis and related people.

    last but not least. Wahabis are also sunnis. This is something you have learnt today.


  26. BoZz (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

    Personally I think that the Shia sect should be banned and outlawed.

    Hold on now – so should the Sunni sect be, that is outlawed.

    Why you may ask – answer is simple – because there is no place in Islam for either.

    Now ask yourself this, was Islam completed at time of death of Prophet Muhammad or not? Both sects came into existence AD.

    So if your answer is Yes – ban both suckers*

    (*I deliberately used this word, as both sects are there like parasites sucking blood of poor in name of religion)

    If your answer is No – then you are free to invent what so ever your heart desires – go wild – but live and let live.


  27. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 3:10 pm

    Bozz & Adnan & all others like both of them – I am sorry to note that your knowledge is confined to internet where all the junkies put whatever they want just for the sake of posting. Yes there are other sites that provide good knowledge to people like you, who have limited knowledge but guess you haven’t visited those.

    What is Sunni and Wahabi and Shia? Can you explain me Adnan?

    And Bozz, yes Islam was complete because The Prophet had announced who is going to take over but…


  28. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 4:31 pm

    @Keep Walking: Internet is a media just like any other media[book,TV,Radio], you can’t claim that your source of knowledge which would be one of alternative mentioned above is AUTHENTIC, in short , anythink which we disagree appears unauthentic to us. A quick and brief intro is given here which is not anti-islamic and reflects the orignal version of Islam.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabi#Beliefs

    Wahabism which was nothing but a movement in Saudia is highly inspired of Hanbi Maslak which is actually a Sunni Maslak.

    In short Wahabism is all about a movement against all kind of Bidats[innovations in name of Islam] which is even highly cursed by the Prophet[SAW] himself. Stuff like visiting shrines,Partying in the name of Milad, Birthday Celebration of the Prophet[saw] are not part of Islam.

    Since you know something “authentic” and different, I would liek to know that you educate me about Wahabism.

    BTW, I am not a Wahabi and my entire family is Barelvi Sunni.


  29. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 4:39 pm

    Bozz, yes there was no sect at the time of Muhammad[saw]. I don’t know what head of Shia sect had thought while proposing Shiaism but all 4 sunni Imams[Abu Hanifa,Malik,Shaf’ai,Ahmad Hanbal] didn’t offend or reject each other and all of them clearly stated that if someone finds anything in their writing which is against Quran and Sunnah can reject it plainly without hesitation. If followers are misinterpretating their teachings then it’s not their fault.


  30. Kumail (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 12:13 am

    Isnt this classic Karachi – debating over sects (as I occasionaly like to joke, lets have safe sects everyone)
    On a more serious note, as someone had pointed out earlier, the screens have been put up for those individuals who are unable to make it inside. Now heres the problem, in prior years there werent security concerns and the entire DHA imambargah could accomodate most of the traffic within its boundaries. But with the rise in suicide bombings it became prohibtive to let the car in lest a trigger happy fundo decides to blow himself up in the middle of imambargah. Ergo, cars parked on the road and screens for the people in them.
    The sad part however remains to be that same uninformed people make up their own theories. Feel free to question but please dont be critical without knowing the reality.

    @Adnan Siddiqi – buddy, its a walk up the history to describe why the major schisms exist in our religion. It all started at demise of Mohammed (SAW) when some elements wanted to achieve political and religious supremacy against the will of the prophet. Thus, the people who looked up to Ali(AS) as the be all and end all of religious knowledge came to be known as shiayan-e-ali or friends of Ali and hence the modern day abbreviation Shia.
    The imamat for Shias thus follows a single blood line, their lineage being that of the prophet himself.
    This brings me to Bozz, yes the religion was completed before the demise of the prophet and the prophet himself nominated his wali or the spritual leader who would lead the ummah in matters of religion. The issue was unfortunately politicized.
    So there, I hope this puts the inhibtions you all have to rest. If there is anything that the Shias have stood for all across the history time is the Quran and the message of islam there is no question that one of us would harm that cause.
    So much for a simple question about the screen :D


  31. Saad Durrani (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 1:07 am

    “The people from Sipah-e-Sahaba are the real culprits killing Shias and Sunnis both. They brain wash young uneducated people to blow themselves up and take JANNAT.” (Edited)

    Whoever said the above know a bit more than we do. One of my college-mates went to this Sipah thing and he was a total freakazoid. He argued with the Islamiat professor about common beliefs. He never lost any moment to stir up a controversy.

    BTW, if those digital screens are placed for the Zikr, they can be turned off when the Zikr is over. It is not necessary to show people your religious processions. The digital screens are a new to do stuff. I don’t mind but try to use it in limits.

    By the way, I am a Sunni who spent his whole school life in a 2 Shia and 1 Bohra school. I am not in favor of any sect. All I want to say that try to use common ethics.


  32. BoZz (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 2:28 am

    Saad – I agree with you but would go further to say use common sense!

    Keep Walking – I noted that there was nothing to note in your bit. So either keep talking so we know what you are saying or as your name says keep walking…… :) no offense

    Adnan – I am aware of the background of the Imans. However I do not prescribe to any of them. They have no Godly validation.

    So as I said before, if it is a matter of who you want to believe in and whom you wish to follow, then by all means go ahead. Just do not align it with Islam.

    Cheers


  33. ash (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 10:47 am

    You know ordinarily this debate is kind of tame considering the stuff thats happened on this blog. But this is a very sensitive issue at present. I think the only things worth saying are things that are completely respectful to both sects.


  34. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 11:22 am

    @ Adnan – You said, quote “In short Wahabism is all about a movement against all kind of Bidats[innovations in name of Islam] which is even highly cursed by the Prophet[SAW] himself. Stuff like visiting shrines,Partying in the name of Milad, Birthday Celebration of the Prophet[saw] are not part of Islam” Unquote

    Exactly, they do not believe in above stuff and that is the reason they are killing both the sects Sunnis and Shias. They call Shias Kafir! Who gave them the right to kill any human being kafir or no-kafir…

    Kumail & Saad, could not agree more with you!

    Bozz, read Kumail’s reply..


  35. BoZz (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

    Keep Walking – What shall I read in Kumail’s reply. His reply does not and could not and will never prove that either of the sects were a part of true Islam.

    Both sects were created later (AD) for political self promoting reasons.

    That you have blind faith in them is your wish. Do not expect me to confine to your beliefs.


  36. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

    Bozz – You muslim or non-muslim? Well just asking before I further try to explain you in simple words.


  37. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2007 @ 1:10 am


    Exactly, they do not believe in above stuff and that is the reason they are killing both the sects Sunnis and Shias. They call Shias Kafir! Who gave them the right to kill any human being kafir or no-kafir.

    In your orignal post you cursed the Wahabism which according to you was “killing everyone” and when I showed you what actually is wahabism which is nothing but orignal islam then now you are going in other direction that they asks other to kill shias or sunnis and you tried to prove your point by giving the example of Sipah Sahaba which was nothing but a pakistani group. How come a small group can be used to blame entire wahabi community who exist all over the world? sounds stupid to me.

    I can reject you because there are wahabis in my own family and I might have more knowledge about their belief than you who might have “heard” by someone who would tired of practising the religion in its orignal form. Your reason that they are extreemist,there would be extreemist element in wahabis just like shias or any other sect. You can’t claim here that extreemists don’t exist in shia sects. As I mentioned that i have listend shias cursing sunnis and their belief in nasty words. Same goes with other sects and religions.

    You are following same logic which normally a non-muslim follows to offend Islam that is, they observe the practise of some lame muslims and them blame entire religion without making any attemp to learn orignal text. This is something which is nothing but ignorance. I could consider your statments credible if you would have cursed extremism in every sect without demonstrating any kind of baisness towards particular sect or group.


  38. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2007 @ 1:31 am

    bozz, i don’t know what is your knowledge about “Fiqh” and how much you know about mentioned imams so no comments :)


  39. Ali (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2007 @ 1:50 am

    Guys remmember this life is a test for your existance then! find the faith you have faith in. Look for answers within both sects, but not with the intention to collect dirt, but to understand the reasonings and logic behind it.

    Screens, loudspeakers, mataam are ways of expression, and when the matam of “zanjeer” on the open roads of NYC and London doesnt bother the locals there, then why would a resident of DHA4 stir up sucha long debate???

    Peace!


  40. BoZz (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2007 @ 3:14 am

    I am no scholar but I have done some back ground research. So to you both, Adnan and Keep Walking, I am all ears. Let me hear your version/s of Islamic history. (Keep Walking, my religion should have no bearing on your answer – so bring it on)



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