I put this interesting status update and the comments on it to show how much poison has been instilled in the brains of multiple generations in Pakistan by General Zia’s and subsequent Islamisation process in Pakistan.
Disclaimer: It is important to note that in no-way this status depicts here that Shazia Nawaz and/or the commentators on this status have any bad intentions or wilful hatred against Khurram Zaki. It is also important to note that the status and comments shown here are world-viewable and this screenshot contains only world-viewable comments.
Each sentence of this update and following comments depict mentality that has no cure. The context of this conversation is the murder of a social media activist Khurram Zaki, who was an active campaigner against Shia genocide in Pakistan and was a editor of a progressive blog “Let Us Build Pakistan”. Dr. Shazia Nawaz is a prominent blogger who writes on taboo topics in Pakistani society. Her liberal credentials are very impressive and she has written aggressively on several topics which are considered out-of-bounds by many Muslim liberal writers. She has also been a contributor on LUBP.
With the above context, let me dissect this. Murder of Khurram Zaki is an ample proof that in Pakistan like in many other Muslim majority countries a blogger or social media activist takes a huge risk if he or she writes with his/her real name. Fake ids in such situations are an important security measure. There is no doubt that several “Liberal” and even “Atheist” activists write without any fear on facebook and twitter. But one must understand that the risk of life is not same for everyone even though if one writes same things as another liberal writer. Murder of Khurram Zaki is a strong proof of this. For example there are several prominent social media activists including celebrities like Marvi Sirmid, Raza Rumi etc. Who can not only write and campaign on the religious and political/military issues. The risk of life is not only directly proportional to these topics but is also inversely proportional if the writer come from a certain religious background (deobandi/wahabi) and whether he/she has right contacts in the Deobandi/Wahabi/Military mafia. The odds of attack on a religious Shia activist are much greater than those of an Liberal/Atheist activist coming from a deobandi/wahabi background. It is important to note that Khurram Zaki did not use fake id, he was one of those comrades who in the words of Faiz:
کرو کچ جبیں پر سر کفن میرے قاتلوں کو گماں نہ ھو کہ غرور عشق کا بانکپن پس مرگ ھم نہ بھلا دیا
The comments on the status then highlight the Shia identity of Khurram Zaki as if that was his major sin. In order to understand the context of these comments one must understand the environment in which a whole generation of Pakistan grew up. If you call someone Shia or Ahmadi it usually by default implies that person in question is a bad person. The sentence “Was he that Shia guy from Lubp who kept speaking against takifiri deobandi”, encapsulates the full essence of the hatred instilled in the generation who grew up in 80’s , 90’s in Pakistan. Again it is important to note that Khurram Zaki despite being Shia wrote on several topics, his activism was not limited to Shia Genocide, he wrote against the genocide of Ahmadis, Christians and Hindus in Pakistan. He also spoke against the victimisation of MQM and PPP. In fact his last status update was in the support of first Muslim mayor of Pakistan a non-Shia Pakistan origin Sadiq Khan.