Another chapter was added recently to our national encyclopedia of terrorism and brutal extremism by virtue of the attack on people belonging to the Ahmedi sect by the Taliban which resulted in the death of 93 of them. It is a horrendous incident which is condemnable beyond words. I am not here to give verdicts about whether they are Muslims or not or what the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan says about them. But in my view beyond everything they are “human beings” which gives them the right to live and be given protection for their fundamental rights according to the Human Rights act of 1998 (Sadly no one really pays heed to it).
The thing worth analyzing the most is the reaction of people to this tragedy. I am not going to discuss what religious scholars, politicians or the ‘High end’ people have to say here. The focal point of this article is the thinking of common people or if put in simple terms; the general “awam”. There were some people who condemned this incident from the get go without referring to scriptures or the likes, and there were some people I would like to put into categories:-
The ‘so-heartless’ or in straight words the “fanatics” or in more straighter words the “crackpots” think that having sympathy here with Ahmedis is “against the spirit of Islam” as they think that it is obligatory to do Jihad against them. I came across this hateful slogan today (by a teenager who wasn’t a fascist leader but was of the general public meaning “us”):-
“AHMEDION KA AIK HI ELAJ; AL-JEHAD! AL-JEHAD!”
So much for peace, harmony, respect for humanity and love for mankind I wonder. I have no qualms in admitting that the likes of such psychos must have been greatly inspired by the pamphlets distributed in mosques (before Musharraf’s regime banned hate literature and loud speakers in mosques) with this “golden” inscription:-
“AIK AHMEDI KO MARO AUR JANNAT MAIN GHAR BANAO”
No religion in the world promotes violence or such brutal terrorist activities for any human being belonging to any faith. How these people justify (and promote) the slaughter of people that too by the label of “in-the-name-of-religion” is out of my understanding and simply beyond my comprehension. Of all the categories, this group is most despised by me, so I won’t be wasting more words on them. Let’s move on to the next category.
This category covers the majority of the people. Essentially they are good and do have sympathy feelings for the Ahmedi victims but there is a certain complexity (as I say) in their behavior, which I find hard to understand. These are those people whose words of sympathy are followed by the following statement (in a very controlled, less conspicuous, ‘matter-of-fact’ tone) :-
“They are not Muslims though; their religious concepts put them out of the circle of Islam”
Now seriously, I don’t get what’s the point of this side comment? Does difference of religious views mean we say goodbye to humanity? The crux of the matter was the “violation of human rights” which has no relevance at all with this statement. Such people are different from fanatics because they actually do feel for the tragedy of Ahmedia community but it’s their confused religious ideas that come in the way.
Their minds are in a confused transition state, because they dwell in a society which stresses (rather OVER-stresses) that Ahmedis “pose a threat to our faith”. They are first given the lesson of ‘love for all’, then they are taught to keep the ‘blasphemous’ ahmedis isolated and don’t mingle with that ‘detestable’ community. Their minds are torn in ambivalence of feeling their pain as fellow human beings or else to keep their feelings in ‘check’ in case they commit “treason” to their faith. Many of them may reject this theory, but in my opinion this IS their subconscious fear. They brush away these uneasy thoughts and don’t think out the matter and the results are these half-hearted, hesitant (yet to some extent sincere) sympathies.
The “Zaid Hamid kids and grandkids”:-
As the name suggests, this category refers to those types whose heads are inflated with religious superiority complex combined with a mixture of spooky alien conspiracies. As the Ahmedi massacre brings the stain of “religious oppression” on Muslims, so these people by the virtue of their first quality combined with their fiction minds, banish away all charges in one sweep by declaring it to be the mere conspiracy of RAW, MOSSAD or the JEW agencies, so kindly DON’T blame The Taliban for their religious extremism as they are mere puppets in the hands of agencies (or perhaps the attackers were in actual goras with a fake beard wearing shalwar kameez ).The same old tactic to save their ‘image’ as Muslims (because no matter what we say about the Taliban not being Muslims, the world views it as a case of “Muslim terrorism”).So let’s put all the blame on outsiders. Even if there was some agency hand involved (which to me is unlikely), they must have obviously used the ‘hatred’ and ‘religious intolerance The Taliban have for the Ahmedies, also neither are talibs retarded people who don’t know what their actions mean. The ugly truth can’t be washed away, so the “Zaid-Hamid-Types” should stop trying to justify what cannot be done. The first group was most despised and this category is most intolerable, so no more comments on this category (my tolerance level has crossed the threshold).
Another important thing worth mentioning is the fact that first we sing songs that all Pakistanis (whether Muslims or not) should join hands to move Pakistan forward, but when Professor Dr Abdussalam wins the Physics Nobel prize, the achievement is hushed up as he is an ‘Ahmedi’ ( as if that has got to do anything with Physics). I never came across much literary stuff in appreciation for that brilliant scientist, a true asset to the nation but instead I once saw a book titled “Abdussalam, Mohsin-e-Qaum YA Ghaddar-e-Qaum”
Again we like to cook fusions where we adamantly bring difference of faith in contest with humanity, morality, practicality and rationality. Regardless of all the arguments, the fact is as simple as that, the Ahmedis deserve as much right to live peacefully as we do; the worth of human blood is priceless and can’t be bargained on religious conflicts.
Pictures of the Lahore attack taken from : – THE DAILY MAIL
Pictures of Dr Abdus Salam recieving the nobel prize taken from : – Abdul Azeems Blog