In the land of “mentally unstable” – by D. Asghar

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When the news reached the Twitterverse that a man was burnt alive in Bahawalpur, it just created a cycle of shock and disbelief. Very regretfully, this scribe was not shocked one bit. Knowing full well, what we are capable of and how low we have stooped in the past, this was just part of the ongoing continuum.

The irony of the matter is, that a person who was supposedly and reportedly, mentally unstable was found desecrating the pages of Holy Quran. I am no religious scholar, but from what little I know about my faith, such individuals are exempt from all religious obligations, such as prayer, fasting, alms etc. The basis of course is, that these people are not able to decipher between the right and wrong due to their state of mind. Similarly, even the sane people are prohibited from praying, if they are under the influence of any substance, as it mirrors an unstable mind. Hence to expect discretion from such a person is absolutely futile.

The irony of the matter is, that otherwise sane people who perhaps lead normal lives, were unable to differentiate between a deranged and a normal person. When the deranged individual allegedly desecrated the Holy Book, people were upset beyond belief. The basis of every religion is Good. Good teaches us to maintain sanity at all times and have an unyielding faith in our Creator. Let’s assume for a minute that this allegedly blasphemous act was done by a sane person. What would be the appropriate redress for such an act. Definitely not disobeying the law and threatening police and ultimately burn the person to death.

A society that is so upset with its own shortcomings, failures and internal fissures, tends to lean towards such barbaric acts. This is in a way all the bottled up frustrations of self humiliation, which erupt in such an inhumane manner on the most vulnerable elements and members of the society.

But wait why was I not surprised or impacted, as I said earlier. A society that accepts people blown into pieces at places of worship so regularly, where women parade without clothes as a punishment, where rape and sodomy are protected to salvage the family honor, where murderers are garlanded by those who are supposed to advocate law and order and where religion is used and misused to silence dissent must be truly INSANE. So in a land of mentally unstable, if one more person was burnt alive why mourn this loss. Its not the first time that this incident occurred and trust me, it would not be the last either. Expecting sanity from an insane society is insanity, isn’t it?

ASWJ (SSP-LeJ), JuD (LeT) and JI: Three key sources of religious extremism in Pakistan



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