A:     Well, the point is he shouldn’t have been preaching in the first place.
S:     That’s really not the debate here, Ameen. The point is that he was preaching, the point is that one can presume he has never spoken out against the blasphemy law himself, that he’s a misoginyst, that he practices a fundamentalist missionary religious ideology... and now he’s been booked under the same extremist brand of Islam he preaches. It’s ironic, and yes it’s dangerous, and yes there’s a strange poetic justice to it if I suspend my intellectual agencies.
A:     Well yes and no. I mean, all that comes later. If we were practicing proper rules, proper formalities that were fulfilled in line with the conditions of Islam when it comes to being able to preach, then we wouldn’t have any of these problems. Islam is really quite strict about who gets to talk about it. I mean, you can’t make the transition from pop-star to religious scholar in a matter of a few years. Would you let just a man without a degree carry out heart surgery on a man? No. You can’t do it without the proper knowledge, without the proper authority.
S:     Wait, so to you, the debate is not about whether or not he should have been booked for blasphemy, but whether or not he should have been teaching people in the first place?
A:     Yes.
S:     Well, wake up. How many such “scholars” will you regulate? They are scattered around the length and breadth of this country, in every sordid Madrassah, and nobody is there to check what they say or how they say it.
A:     And that, my friend, is the essential problem. The root of the problem is the quality of our scholars, our religious teachers. If we had better checks on our Islamic scholars, the blasphemy law would never be misused. It probably wouldn’t even exist. And Junaid Jamshed would never be allowed to sit in a room full of vulnerable people and talk about whatever he wanted, with such gay abandon. Focus on the root of the problem, Sadiq.