Rejoinder to those making False Moral Equivalence between Lahore Blasts on Easter Sunday vs Islamabad protests

We are disappointed but not surprised to see some typical false moral comparisons following our explicit, unequivocal and clear condemnation of the horrific Lahore blasts on Easter Sunday. Some people were taking the typical populist positions of equating the slapping of misogynist Tableeghi Jamaat preacher Junaid Jamshed with the massacre of 70 women and children in Lahore by the Taliban-affiliated terrorist group, Jamaat ul Ahrar.

For us at LUBP, the lives of 70 Pakistanis is more valuable than the pride of popstar evangelists.  We have often challenged the dubious narrative that conflates victims and perpetrators with sweeping generalisations and typical obfuscations.   We have supported the clear denunciation of the Taliban by prominent Sunni clerics like Tahir ul Qadri and we can clearly see that this contradicts the dubious narratives and fake binaries that are being peddled.

 

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For us, equating the throwing of slippers at helicopters, slapping serial misogynist and hypocrite preachers and making ludicrous demands does NOT equate with the bloodshed of dozens of women and children on Easter Sunday. To imply that we are in agreement with one group just because we do not condemn them with the same ferocity that we condemn mass murderers is intellectual dishonesty and a deliberate obfuscation of our position. To point out the specific faith identity of those who are behind more than 90% of 70,000 murdered Pakistani civilians, police and soldiers is not akin to “starting a war”.

On the contrary, make a false moral equivalence between the victims of terrorism and its perpetrators is the real problem. For some people, the very fact that we have highlighted the specific belief system of those who have a monopoly on terrorism and violence is unsettling.

Can we honestly say the one-sided massacres of Christains, Sunnis, Shias, Ahmadis, Sikhs and Hindus in Pakistan by interconnected groups like ASWJ-LeJ/Sipah Sahaba, Taliban, Jundullah, Jamaat ul Ahrar etc is “fuelling a war”

What war is this? Who are the participants on the other side?

Unfortunately these dishonest and insensitive False moral equivalencies are quite common for Mr. Jibran Nasir who has in the past equated defunct anti-Taliban vigilante groups with the same Taliban and Sipah Sahaba that has murdered close to 70,000 Pakistanis! Interestingly, Jibran’s confusing and conspiracy theory laden accusations are hardly original – we have faced similar accusations from Lashkar-e-Jhangvi/Sipah e Sahaba affiliated hate clerics like Tahir Ashrafi

 

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We will continue to cross post those voices that take a principled stance against Takfiri violence, including Jibran Nasir. That does not mean we agree with everything else in the narratives of those who condemn the Taliban – be they Jibran Nasir or Kaukab Noorani.

This is one of the other pictures (many of which we have included in this post) that has caused so much outrage to Mr. Jibran. It is a quote by Maulana Kaukab Noorani where he is highlighting that the damage to public property during the Islamabad protests was by Jamaat -e-Islami activists. These facts are only inconvenient to those who want to create the false binary between the Islamabad protests and Lahore massacre as well as those who want to white wash and dilute the role of groups like JI, JUI and ASWJ-LeJ/Sipah Sahaba in the current street protests in Pakistan.

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We will not bow down to the fascist dictates of those who feel that only their brand of commercially motivated and selective causes constitute the liberal pantheon in Pakistan.  This is not the first time we have come across confused and distorted representations of our position.

“The conclusive argument that commercial liberals are on the same page as the radical Takfiri Deobandi lobby is evidenced by the fact that Tahir Ashrafi, the Deobandi hate cleric known for hate speech against Ahmadis, Sunni Barelvis, Sufis and Shias, is the one who started calling LUBP Sectarian.

This shows that Commercial liberals are following Ashrafi. What they really want is LUBP to stop saying that Takfiri Deobandis (Tahir Ashrafi’s brothers in arms) are responsible for the murder of over 100,000 Pakistanis including Sunnis, Shias, Christians and other communities.” Is LUBP sectarian or its detractors?

It is interesting to see the striking similarity in responses to our nuanced positions from Tahir Ashrafi types on the one hand and the Jibrans on the other.

We agree in principle with Mr. Jibran that one should not be selective in condemning extremism => we still have never seen any specific criticism from him and the other liberal champions of Pakistan against the abuse, threats and sectarian attacks by controversial clerics like Mr. Tahir Ashrafi that are routinely made against LUBP and its editors.

We also feel that equating mass murder and genocide with the recent dissipated protests in Islamabad is not only dishonest but a red herring. It is a deliberate attempt in creating a false binary between two groups where such a binary does not exist.

Towards that end, we cannot understand why Mr. Jibran is upset at our highlight the fact thats the recent deplorable protests had elements from other groups. If some people find these facts uncomfortable and counterproductive to their manufactured binaries, then please don’t expect us to engage in the same Ostrich mentality.

I have met the editors of LUBP in person as well on many occassions and can safely say this form or narrative which they promote is not only biased but is fuelling the war further by pinning one school of thought against another. In doing so we end up maligning peaceful progressive and learned Ulemas/Clerics whether shia or sunni or barelvi or deobandi.” Jibran Nasir

This reflects a delusionary mindset!

Mr. Jibran, if you still see the murder of 70,000 Pakistanis by interconnected groups like ASWJ-LeJ/Sipah Sahaba, Taliban, Jundullah, Jaish e Mohammad and Jamaat ul Ahrar as a “war”, then you actually prove our point about False Moral Equivalence and fake binaries.

In this “war” it is the same set of judges whose cause you have also advocated that have freed confessed mass murderers like Malik Ishaq after standing up to receive him in court and feeding him tea and biscuits. We all remember your disgraceful comments in the aftermath of the security agencies finally eliminating Malik Ishaq. Pakistanis also remember how the Supreme Court of the disgraceful PCO judge, Iftikhar Chauhdary overturning standing convictions against Malik Ishaq who went to plot, plan and lead thousands of more murders of innocent Pakistanis.

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