Then they came for Barelvis – by Imran Qadir Bhatt

Deobandi Mullahs of the Wafaqul Madaris

Picture source: Daily Times

Let us be honest with one another. We are a nation who has been taught distorted histories. We have been inculcated with absurd notions of religious pride. For us the source of honour and pride is not based upon once contribution towards humanity but how religious one can be.

Everything we see around the world we see it with religious angle and more often we see a plot and conspiracy against our religion. In our social values we attribute great value to so called family pride. In our social values we hardly debate why there is complete lack of sanctity of human life in our society? We kill our daughters and sons in order to save our family pride. We destroy public and private business to protect our religious pride. We protest vehemently against foreign invasion and killing at the hands of foreign solidiers but keep a criminal silence when we kill our own people. Whole country protested angrily at the killing at Data Darbar but there was deafening silence at brutal murder of 95 Ahmedis at Ahmedi Mosque in Lahore.

Let us be honest there is ‘something’ within us which robbed sense of fair play and honesty in us. That ‘something’ has reduced us to mere hypocrites. This ‘something’ has deformed our thinking faculties and we strive and act only to protect this foreign ‘something’ in us.

Over the years this ‘something’ has grown bigger and bigger and its appetite for human blood is now insatiable. Unless we recognise this evil within us this madness and bloodshed will never ever be stopped. This evil is religious extremism. This extremism so pervasive, it crept into our ordinary life. It forced us to change how we value our fellow citizens, how to greet them, how to share our sorrows and happiness with them. We forgot to help the fallen one in the time of their needs all because those fallen ones happened to be Ahmedi Muslims.

We fail to register our anger when Christian villages were being torched and people were being burnt alive. We turned away when Imam Barghas were being bombed and mourners of Hazrat Imam Hussain were being slaughtered in broad day light. Now this extremism turned Data Nagri in to valley of death and still we are unable to locate the problem. We point fingers towards outsiders sometimes calling them ‘Pakistan ke dushmin’ and sometime labelling them ‘Islam dushmin’.

Let us be honest for our own survival and accept categorically that this problem exist inside ourselves. We are the problem and only we can solve it. Unless we change ourselves we cannot change anything. First and foremost thing that we have to do is accept the notion that all Pakistanis are equal. Honour is only for those who contribute towards the scientific, economical or social well being of fellow Pakistanis. From now on sanctity of human life will be given prime importance in our society. We will never entertain any kind of violence legal or illegal in our society. Pakistan as country is for Pakistanis not only for Muslims. State of Pakistan should be renamed into Democratic Republic of Pakistan and religion must be a personal matter.

If we could do this then I can see a ray of light at the end of tunnel. On the other hand I dread the day when we will be telling this story . First they came for secular and rationalists I did not object because I was not a secular or rationalist. Then they came for Hindu it did not bother me as I was not a Hindu. Then they came for Christians I kept my quiet because I was not a Christian but an ordinary Pakistani. After sometime they came for Shias. I did not stop them as I was an ordinary Pakistani not a shia. Recently they came for Brelvis. I did not do anything because I was not a Brelivi. Then they came for ordinary Pakistanis and when I looked around there was no one to defend me.

Tere azaar ka chara nahin nishtar ke siwa
Aur ye saffaak maseeha mere qabze mein nahin
Is jahan ke kisi zi rooh ke qabze mein nahin
Haan magar tere siwa tere siwa tere siwa.



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