You know lately there have been a few things popping up and making the rounds in the news that really gets the blood going. There was the entire Veena Malik exorcism episode (outrageous, pathetic and insulting for us as a nation to see that the show didn’t get cancelled at the stunt and it was something that the ‘audience’ wanted), then there are the incidents of intolerance and persecution towards minorities. These keep happening on frequent basis and is taking a toll as to what really is the ‘white’ representing in our flag. There were recent reports that almost 60 Hindu families have moved across the border under the guise of ‘pilgrimage’ but well they aren’t really returning. Then there are the more ‘run of the mill’ incidents of rape, gang rape, honor killing reports that crop up in the inside pages of newspapers in just about a small enough column to get the fleeting glance of a notice of the average reader. Then of course there is the sectarian violence. Shia’s were targeted two days after this nation celebrated it’s 65th Birthday. And now a christian girl (who is mentally not well) is locked up in Police Custody because she was found with burnt Islamic religious material in her possession. It is not known whether the girl burnt it herself or she just found it somewhere. The only thing she is saying is that she was taking it someplace safe. The police still have her in their custody which now unfortunately is a good thing because a lynch mob is making the noise and general displays of intolerant, non-understanding and pathetically narrow minded demands of the girl being handed over to them so that she may be burned for her ‘Blasphemy’.
Aah the word Blasphemy. We should all remember this well. One of the hall marks of the intolerant actions and behaviors of our ever ready lynch mob. This mob which has made itself into the symbol of narrow mindedness. Of intolerance. Of hostility towards anything which is beyond their realm of understanding or interpretation. The ‘Maulvi’ brigade. The fanatics. The extremists. The fundos. The ‘Blasphemy’ reason has been used for murder, vengeance against anyone who doesn’t follow their brand of religion and got in their bad books.
I mean it is sickening to the core that there are two various extremes at which our religion (which is supposed to be tolerant, understanding, peaceful and modest) is being displayed/used in media or being worn on the sleeves of outfits like Laskhar-e-Jhangvi and TTP. At one hand you have shows like Veena Malik’s astaghfar and characters like Amir Liaqat who have made a mockery of our faith. The commercialism is literally beaming in the man’s eyes. I have never been able to see him as genuine in anything. Then there was the entire viral video episode of his. Prior to that there was the degree scandal. I am sure there must have been other stuff too. I make it a point not to watch him or hear him speak. And then this Veena Malik episode was just …. I mean what the hell was that. That episode/video/viral whatever, was just plain wrong. It was unacceptable. It should never have been aired. It is quite clearly fake. The Maulvi makes our religion look like some hobo black magic (or eastern version of Red Necks with black magic). It was a pathetic excuse for a boost in ratings and viewership. Why is it that our government bodies like PEMRA and PTA are more concerned with what goes on in the personal and private text messages of people (reference the ‘List’ of banned words .. that thankfully didn’t happen) and not looking at the content of these floosy shows on regional and second string channels. This content should result in the Channel paying a heavy fine or something. But nothing like that will happen because it had something to do with religion and nobody will make huge noise about something which is ….well .. directly accusing the ‘Maulvi’-stic measure of our religion.
That’s the reason that Qadri wasn’t immediately given the required punishment for the murder of Salman Taseer. That’s the reason why nobody really gets on the case of people who make noise about how they weren’t allowed to pray in large open spaces in a restaurant even thou a mosque was actually close by and that same person was seen sipping coffee at the very restaurant during day time in the holy month of Ramadan. That’s the reason why we still have stupid, asinine and illogical laws like the Ramadan law which forbids anyone from eating in public during this month. Why are we so intolerant? Why are we so illogical? Why are we so narrow minded? Why do we use religion as means to suppress minorities or anyone who might think differently?
I mean its very very easy to blame Zia. But that’s a given. His regime did us a lot of harm. It destroyed the fabric of our society. It created the monsters in the north who are infiltrating the remaining parts of this country as well. It’s also easy to blame the Americans. Easy but unhealthy ( a completely separate topic but we as a nation like blaming external or past forces so much that it is not even funny).
How about taking responsibility of this country ourselves? I mean we are citizens of this nation as well and at some level, we should hold ourselves as individuals accountable. So we saw injustice happening in the form of a lynch mob around a police station to hand over a mentally ill girl to be burned. How much noise are we creating to ensure that nothing happens to that girl? Veena Malik’s show is making a mockery of our religion and our faith. How much protest are we showing to ensure that severe action is taken against that gimmick and stunt? A maulvi actually praised Qadri in one of the Friday sermons in a mosque after the assasination of Salman Taseer. Was that Maulvi then crucified socially for such… I don’t even know what to call it… and for the lack of anything else … myopic religious fundamental bullshit.
No we didn’t. We haven’t really taken a stand against the extremism or the commercialism or the intolerance. We haven’t really done anything beyond emotional drawing room banter and discussion. Sure some of us have written about it (ironic as that’s what I am doing as well) but that’s not going to be enough. Because 90% of this nation’s population isn’t reading what one writes online. Neither does it care. Why? Because it is busy listening to fools like Amir Liaquat on and off the tube.
I swear every time one of the above pops up I do feel like bashing in someone’s head. (well mostly one of the above mentioned idiot’s head only.. and mostly in my imagination… I really am a non-violent person).
*The comic strips are from ‘Jays Toons’ published on Facebook. I find them hilarious and agree with the … well… thought direction.