Language seems to be taking one by the nerve, not just through communication medium, but by the rhetoric ensuing one’s emotional dictum. Hate speech is the most subtle form of acceptance when we have internalised our judgemental fervour against a specific person/group or ideology that doesn’t fundamentally conform to the mainstream unless, of course, it is unnaturally subject to forced evolution through timid, cautious and calculated expressions. What is more painful, is that in our routine language, many things often slip by without ourselves even realising that it has all the attributes of aggressive bigotry, and even, suggestive violence. To explain it in clear terms, the subsequent denial of calling it bigotry is just plain tragic.

The dilemma has been whether language is taking shape through behaviourism or if attitudes are instilled and reinforced through language? It is strange to see how the successive years have transformed our language, and how over the years has Urdu become more authoritarian. With the advent of modern technology, gadgetry and fast communication tools, we have also witnessed how quickly a message is spread about something in a mixture of short words that have overtaken the rich verbal utility of poetry that was once used in routine. We have lost the soft side. We have become hard-borne in language, and try to keep it as simple as we can less diplomatically. This has been taken by a craze, especially among the urban youth here in Pakistan that have grown up in disdainful educational discourse that has hardly taught anything productive over the years, apart from permeating discrimination within a society that has marked the communities as “kafirs” and “Muslims”. (Read Tariq Rehman’s paper on Education Policy)

With the mindset that has become prevalent in our youth (including myself before my first incident of religious hate-speech abroad). In my daily work routine, I happen to come across several text messages meant to demean persons belonging to marginalised communities, listen to casual comments praising and justifying jihad, even remaining either indifferent or approving the attacks on Religious Minorities. All this happening in a typical office in Punjab, fairly considered a religiously moderate institution.

If an attempt is made to reason out with them,you feel intimidated by their reaction. As an example, must I add how I once observed the word Sahib deliberately omitted from Nankana Sahib, because Sahib attributes respect here to the person of Hazrat Guru Nanak, a reverend figure founding the principles of Sikhism. In another instance, I noticed how a colleague flaunted a joke about “filthy” lifestyles of Hindus. All this, which they refuse to accept hate speech unless told and pointed out otherwise. Because majority belong to the powerful and socially safe mainstream, they are not fully exposed to the discrimination our vulnerable communities are faced with. They lack a sense of relativity to their plight, while they stand vehemently against the citizenship rights of minorities of Pakistan.

Criticism of this status quo always generates interesting verbosity of abuse and bad English. I wrote this long ago after a long, tedious year of talking about hate speech and how it destroys ourselves. On line forums are the primary source of capturing the very essence of how it all goes generally

Enjoy and relate this to your own experience.

A very normal discussion in a chatroom

hotsexy4u: To be united, you cant all be a Punjabi or a Sindhi or a Balochi or a Pakhtun, but we can all be united as Muslims, So lets do it 🙂

pakiidrunkpunk: Well said, Mashallah!

zeeburkini: sorry, but i find this comment rude and thoughtless. If there’s anything that we really need, then it’s trying to be be good citizens of this godamned country. Imagine the irony a non-muslim pakistani citizen faces after reading such calls for “unity”? would you like the same too if state declared that you cannot be a part of it unless you’re a buddhist? imagine what a christian 5th grader actually has to go through here when made to learn the Muslim Kalima which is subliminally humiliating for his faith? Can we even relate to that, being in the majority?

Hawtrockz: did u readed ALL about Islam? you would not be writing diz. Islam is completed for itself and for da hole humanity. STOP BASHING OUR RELIGION. it already teaches us humanity. no need for your agenda here!

pakiidrunkpunk: Hawtrockz, i’m completely agreed wid u. Jazakaullah!

Hawtrockz: Oh TRUST me! I know dese western wannabes very well. Dey’re the ones responsible 4 deztroying our youth.

peacetrain: I jus wanna kill diz BASTARD! and ANYONE WHO SAYS DA BAAD THINGS AGAINST ISLAM!!!!

pakiidrunkpunk: very brave brother! M wid u. TEACH WHAT ISLAM REALLY MEANS! PEACE PLZ! only u can do it!

hotsexy4u: SHAME ON YOU zeeburqini. say sorry!

hawtrockz: yeah, say it. U *(* Harami #4%6 &* %%68 *&&%#$ kay (**&%^^%*!!!!!! and BURN IN HELL!

pakiidrunkpunk: M completely agreed wid u sister hotsexy. Say sorry zeeburqini!

“zeeburqini has left the room”



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