Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Of Religious Extremism in Pakistan

Written By: Saniya Ahmad

Today, on 13th May 2015, approximately 43 were killed (of which 16 were women) and 13 others were injured near Safoora Chowk in Karachi, when 7 armed assailants opened fire inside a bus full of members of the Ismaili community. No children were reported to have been murdered.

It seems like another daily dose of sectarian violence. Another day in Pakistan. Another minority, another sect, another community murdered. Another group of people shot over their beliefs. Another massacre of the people of Pakistan. Another planned attack. Another daily dose, another day.

I do not know what is more upsetting: that people are being killed brutally just over a difference of religion, or that people are defending the terrorists and calling the victims Kafir and claiming that the attack was “well-deserved”. Truly, I have never seen a nation as united as Pakistan when it comes to cricket and hating India, and as divided as Pakistan when it comes to Islam. A minor difference of opinion between one sect and another, and the sects declare each other Kafir. A difference over how one sect offers their prayers, and they are declared Kafir. A difference over how one sect offers they yearly pilgrimage, and they are declared Kafir. One little difference is all it takes for the leaders of one sect to rise to the status of God and declare all the other sects Kafir.

Not only are the illiterates trying to sit in the place of God and declaring who deserves to live and who doesn’t, even the literates aren’t far behind. They will be liberal in every single aspect of life, but when it comes to Islam, their conservative opinions state that anyone with a slightly different belief is nothing short of a Kafir. Not only do I blame the terrorists and the conservative mullahs for the ruins that this country is in now, I blame the literates as well for their claims of only themselves being Muslims enough and no one else rising up to their standards of Islam; that Islam of whose principles they might not even be aware of.

The cities of Pakistan are weeping blood, the roads have become red rivers. Every part of Pakistan’s earth has absorbed the blood of innocent “Kafirs”. Schools and colleges are bleedings. Mosques, temples and churches are bleeding. And now, the streets and roads are bleeding too. No one is safe because according to these barbarians, we are all not Muslims. We are all infidels in the eyes of the terrorists. We are all wajib-ul-qatal in the minds of the conservatives. And we will be, till these terrorists are wiped out.

On the other hand are our “brave” and “courageous” politicians, our leaders, who stand up in front a few journalists, with a hundred bodyguards behind them, condemning the attack and declaring a war against terrorists and declaring that justice will be served. An approximate of Rs. 5 lakhs will also be donated to the affected families, as if that is the price of the life of their loved one. When the press conference ends, they’ll walk back to their respective limousines and drive back to their well-protected mansions and forget about it within minutes. No justice will be served. No culprit will be caught. Life will move on until another attack takes place.

I don’t demand for justice anymore. I don’t demand for equality anymore. I don’t demand for anything anymore, except for the right to live. Every citizen of Pakistan from the poor to the rich, from Sunnis to Shias to Ahmadis to Christians to Hindus to atheists, from children to elders, from males to females to transgender, every human should be given the right to live. That is all I ask from my leaders now. That is all I expect of them. Nothing more. Everything less.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Today is the first day I've come across this blog, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Your views on this rising insecurity give me hope that there still are those who accept diversity. You've very accurately summed up the dangers of difference in opinion in today's world. I'm looking forward to your future posts, and will start reading your old ones. :)