The state’s untimely obsession with ‘social media blasphemers’ will undo many counter-terror achievements of the recent past

When the country is experiencing a spate of terror, pushing the state machinery against SJWs is no less than a distraction from the real issues

2017-03-11T17:59:08+05:00 Khadija Khan

The capital punishment of Mumtaz Qadri for assassinating Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer had strengthened the hope for a strong judicial system; one that would curb the massive abuse of people on the pretext of blasphemy.

Barring hardliner religious organizations from staging rallies for honoring Mumtaz Qadri was also a blow to their extremist practices in the country. Thus, this news was also being regarded as a landmark in combating such lunacy in the name of religious beliefs.

We also saw Pakistanis celebrated the victory at Gaddafi Stadium by defeating the terrorism.

But recent developments, such as judges themselves accusing online bloggers and activists of committing blasphemy, and seeking government’s wrath against them, have brought the nation back to square one.

It seems pretty clear that extremists would continue to enjoy the status of untouchables while committing horrific crimes of lynching, attacking or persecuting people mostly from the minority groups of Pakistanis, under the auspices of a system where they would find their acts heroic and affirmed by those who are supposed to provide justice without discrimination.

A few weeks back, we also witnessed terrorists committing blood bath of innocent citizens, while our judiciary was busy curtailing Valentine’s Day celebrations by engaging the law enforcement agencies to run after the love birds instead of the terrorists.

From TV channels to Parliament and judiciary, everyone seemed more disturbed over the growing ‘profanity’ across the country instead of focusing on real issues such as terrorism, which has taken tens of thousands of precious lives during the past decade.

When the whole country is experiencing terror caused by recent spate of bomb blasts, which has a profound impact on law and order situation in the country, pushing the whole state machinery against SJWs, and declaring then a bigger threat as compared to terrorists, is no less than a distraction from the real cause.

The hope of eradicating terrorism appears to be flickering when the judiciary starts belittling the public welfare over petty discords, such as booking lovers or silencing criticism on the establishment.

How could a country survive by ignoring the elephant in the room, which is the fatwas coming from places like Lal Masjid of overthrowing the state, supporting ISIS and its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Not to mention incitement towards massacring people and vows to impose a perverted version of Sharia.

The whole nation seemed paralyzed by grief, following a spell of terror through suicide bombing across the country committed by the same extremist organizations. It has left people moaning for years to come. But we are still far from accepting this reality of religious extremism, which is pulverizing our country. 

We are all aware of the enemy who is trying to strangulate us, yet we are so scared – or dumb – to call it out. Glorifying murderers, and encouraging vigilantism, that too coming from the honorable benches of judiciary, would only sink Pakistan deeper into the quagmire of rampant violence and intellectual infertility.

Every sensible person is very much aware of the fact that the violent ideology we pretend to be insulated from, is still around to haunt us.

We should not forget that terrorists from ISIS-like organizations, who butchered scores in Sehwan, Lahore or Quetta last month, are still at work and they will take over the whole country if given the opportunity.

It is ridiculous to see our law enforcement agencies chasing ISIS-like terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan while supporters of these terrorists and their mindset are busy agitating in the heart of Islamabad – unnoticed and untouched.

The reality is pandering the false notions beneath our fragile perception of what we see as terrorism. It may take a few more weeks to forget about what we went through, but what never fades away is our obstinate attitude towards the issues which have a huge impact on our lives and on the lives of our generations to come.

Terrorists are not a bunch of youths gone astray, but a result of a deep ideology which is sprouting fear and confusions in the name of religion, while exploiting our commonly held beliefs. A cultural war disguised as ‘true Islam’ has been waged upon the peaceful natives of the religion, yet apologists for these terrorists in the media and mosques are busy diverting our attention to the farthest threats instead of the ones we are facing up front.

Some pseudo scholars grown in the nursery of extremism are busy sitting in well-furnished studios trying to convince people that our real enemies are those who are running online pages criticizing our Army, government, establishment or even the sects, whereas the broad daylight slaughtering of innocent citizens is merely a common phenomenon committed by our invisible enemies.

Our judicial system should also help us singling out these demons and their supporters among politicians, journalists, judges or generals instead of using their judicial benches as tiny thrones of isolated kingdoms existing in Utopian spheres.

It is time for all of us, including the state, to realize the clear and present threat and start crushing the terrorists and their infrastructure, which provides moral grounds and means for these barbarians to exist on our soil. We have to pinpoint the extremist seminaries and those preaching violence before the society falls prey to their filthy design.

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