By Shamila Ghyas
Pakistan has never been safe for Hindus, Christians, Shias, Ahmadis, skeptics, and pretty much anyone who can walk by themselves on their own two feet. Scratch that, make it ‘everyone’ – the ones who can’t walk, who can’t see, can’t talk, little girls, babies; Pakistan is not safe for anyone.
A Christian simply walking happily outside a mosque is enough for him to be booked for blasphemy. An Ahmadi referring to himself as a Muslim is asking for a major beating by a dozen men at the very least. This could expand to a zealous mob burning his whole house down and smashing a washing machine screaming ecstatically “Yaaayyy” (this happened!) And as we all know, even a mock wedding on TV with a religious song playing in the background is enough to make everyone involved “wajibul qatal.”
The list is endless. Murder happy nation, we are.
Now, the one group of people, it had still been somewhat safe for had been the ‘debonair’ scholars that routinely came on TV to brainwash everyone. The likes of Amir Liaqat, Maulana Tariq Jameel, Hafiz Saeed, Junaid Jamshed and others.
Amir Liaqat has enticed people to kill, poked fun at his callers, given babies away like cellphones in his shows, fed mango to a poor victim like he was waterboarding him, and has acted like a complete buffoon (I am being polite here). Hafiz Saeed, considered a terrorist everywhere except in Pakistan, gets the best microphone and seat in the house when he is around. His Twitter account where he likes to rant (terrorists are so tech savvy these days) has been suspended but I am fairly certain, Pakistan had nothing to do with that. Terrorists are allowed to have a voice here, you see.
Junaid Jamshed, singer/heartthrob turned fashion designer/religious scholar also routinely came on TV preaching religion, singing naats, as well as stating his personal misogynistic views for all to watch, learn and follow.
No one had any issue. Not when he said women should not drive. Not when he said secular laws of the West are a curse.
No one also had any issues when he, along with the other scholars, did not speak up for people who had been accused (wrongly) of blasphemy. When they were brutally killed by the ‘crazed vigilante savage squads.’ When people were hacked, burnt and murdered. When a poor woman who was thrown into jail even after repeatedly apologizing for something she had not even done. None of them spoke up.
Not even when a Christian couple was thrown into a brick kiln. Shahzad Masih and Shama Bibi both had their legs broken by the mob so they could not run; they were dragged by a tractor, then thrown into the brick kiln. When the four-month pregnant woman did not burn properly, she was pulled out and wrapped in a cotton cloth before being thrown back in so she would burn faster – all this in front of their two children.
Continue reading Then they came for me…