Please Excuse the Minorities

on 27, Aug 2012 | 4 Comments | in Category: Insight

Aisha Ghumman

Aisha Ghumman

Pakistan

Yet another episode of violence towards minorities and still more cries demanding blood, both from the extreme right and left. Pakistani society is witnessing a continued decline in its social mores, values and ethics which is fast reaching precipice that, if not arrested, will lead to total collapse and anarchy.

 
In recent years Pakistan has neither failed nor disappointed to make headlines globally for everything that is negative and wrong with the country. The recent incarceration of an 11-year-old Christian girl alleged to have desecrated pages of the Holy Quran is concatenation in a series of similar episodes. It seems like we want to be the laughing stock or the center of hatred in a world that already has its share of bigotry and religious prejudice without us adding more to the cauldron. A recent survey showed that a majority of our Chinese and Turkish brethren and compatriots think of us unfavorably due to burgeoning extremism in our society.

 
The most worrisome point in this whole affair is lack of balanced discourse in the aftermath of such odiously shocking and horrid events. Both the extreme right constituting the rabid religious zealots with their anachronistic and dogmatic approach, and the extreme left constituting the liberal, secular, and westernized completely removed from subcontinent’s historical and cultural values present distorted visions. The right demands blood without ascertaining the veracity of claims of sacrilege while the left demands state to separate itself from religion and repeal blasphemy law.

 
Instead of adopting a civilized and constructive approach that would give a future direction to eliminate noxious elements from our society and close the growing chasm between the two far wings, the ensuing extreme discourse further alienates people stoking yet more dogmatic feelings with each side strongly holding on its own version of ‘truth’.

 
The need is for saner and moderate elements to mediate and set the stage for a debate that is productive and invokes the desire to connect to the lost values of humanity, sympathy and compassion toward others.

 
Both liberals and conservative elements need to understand that we cannot remove ourselves from religious values inherent in Pakistani society. The need of the hour is for progressive scholars to replace shyster molvis who have turned their area mosques’ pulpits into private property, preaching jihadist propaganda and instigating violence at the helm of affairs. The role of mosque cannot be denied in our society as it still occupies the centre stage and so it is an added responsibility of these scholars to reprogram the thought process of public at large and inculcate values of tolerance, peace and unity in a society that is spewing hatred, aggression and barbarism – characteristics in direct conflict with our Islamic values.

 
Moreover, government needs to play its role more actively. There is an urgent need for the government to take eminent and erudite scholars into confidence and revisit blasphemy law and policies regarding law and order under situations where mob control is required. Also, curriculum taught in schools and madressahs need to take into consideration the evolving requirements of society and help to shape future minds that are removed from parochialism and zealotry.

 
The growing number of people being indicted under the blasphemy law should be a cause of concern for government authorities as majority of the people tend to exploit and abuse it for personal gains and motives. No clear mechanism has been adopted to transparently investigate cases registered under blasphemy law and in most of the cases vigilante justice is met which makes headlines for sometime but is soon forgotten until replaced with yet another atrocious incident.

 

 

This attitude not only deserves censure and strong rebuke but is unsustainable. Pakistan is already lacking on political, economic, social and security fronts, and if our cultural values are also supplanted and hijacked by imported, custom designed versions: Taliban for the right and West for the left then the repercussions will leave a future generation facing an identity crisis and lost in a discourse of extremes not dissimilar to the post-Zia era.



You might also like:

  • Lalaa

    It is obvious that religion has been hijacked by those who shout on the loudspeakers from the mosques and the peers. The whole Pakistani nation mentions and gives examples from the hadith of our prophet p.b.u.h but infact they themselves live very far away from it. From the top person in the country to the mear daily wage labourer, non practices what Islam teaches. Some do not even do one prayer a day let aside five and yet they burst into flames on occasions such as this case.
    There exists a law and if it is flouted then the state must do its duty and apply this law and bring people to justice. It is the general breackdown of law and order in the country whichj leads to action like that demonstrated by the so called defenders of Islam. The government is much to blame. The whole nation has become lawless.
    It is also true to some extent that there are elements, especially in the west and within Pakistan who dislike the Pakistani blasphemy law as Islam can not be abused within Pakistan as it sometimes is in the west. To this affect many Pakistani christions who have enjoyed the Pakistani citizenship and educated themselves academically or eclesiastically and managed to come overseas, play a very aggressive role in instilling hatred in the minds of christiians. Same as the right wing muslims do to the some what uneducated muslims.
    No one in the time of our prophet p.b.u.h was meted out any punishment untill one was proven guilty. In this case not only the girl but many other people bore the brunt of ignorance.
    The reason for this very unfortunate incidence and more so what is happenning in the whole country, SUCH AS CORRUPTION IN BAITULMAL, HAJJ, ALL GOVERMENT RUN CORPORATIONS AND DEPARTMENT INCLUDING THE POLICE, IN COMMERCE AND SHEAR LAWLESSNESS OF ROBBRIES, MURDERS, KIDNAPPINGS, BOMBONG OF PEOPLE, MOSQUES, FUNERALS, ARMY AND EVEDN THELAY WALAS AND THE REST……………………..IS ONLY ONE….
    AND THAT REASON IS THAT THE MUSLIMS IN PAKISTAN AND 99% OF THEM HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT ALLAH SUBHANA TA ALAA HAS SAID IN THE HOLY QURAAN AND WHAT RASULE AKRAM SAL LALLA HU ALIHI WA SALLAM TAUGHT HIS UMMAH AND IS WITH US AS HADITH.

    • rohail

      Beautiful written article..hats off to the writer…but Aisha…the message that you are trying to covey….is not for the class of Pakistanis that read English news :) …most of the ignorant and uncivilised…. don’t read English news articles…but again its still a good start….so thumbs up for you…rohail_alam@yahoo.com

  • NASAH (USA)

    Pakistan has a Hindu Kush mountain — now entire Pakistan’s should be renamed “Aqliat Kush” mountain — or for that matter — an “Aqliat Kush” desert.

    A proud place for tormenting the numerically weak. Shame on you Pakistan — except for the Pakistanis like the writer who wrote this courageous piece.

  • Crusader

    @ naeeem you are justifying the action? so she should be killed?

Recent Bloggers

Ashraf ChohanAshraf Chohan
The writer is a former Punjab Assembly MPA, Labour activist and businessman....
Talaal BurnyTalaal Burny
Co-founder of 404 Solutions - a tech start incubated at Plan9. Currently, enroll...
Madiha MasoodMadiha Masood
The author is an anchor with Geo Tez....
Madiha ModiMadiha Modi
Journalist, writer and avid reader associated with The News/Geo web team....
Abdul HafeezAbdul Hafeez
A sub-editor on the Online Editorial desk of The News/Geo and an avid reader on ...

Polls

Do you think peace talks with Taliban would be of any use?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Most...

Archives