We, the Pakistanis, either like black or white, right or left, this extreme or that extreme. Gray, straight, balanced, middle way, don't exist for us, most of the times. As a matter of fact, we as a nation like the drama, action and heat which can only be found on the extremes.

I have always observed that whenever a crisis comes, or there is a tough situation, all of us take an extreme viewpoint, stick to it rigidly and make fox holes to attack the people sitting in the fox holes on the other extreme of the verbal war zone. We can go beyond any limits to prove our point and no extremist wants to listen to the other side of the story. Once you pick up a side, you start believing it is right regardless of how little knowledge you have. You just believe you are right and on that basis you start bashing the other side.

All of the above thoughts came to my mind when I heard the news of Mashal Khan who was brutally attacked and murdered by a mob in Wali Khan University on the accusation of blasphemy. I observed the reaction of the people from different school of thoughts. There is one side which is against the act and claims that it was insane to murder a person on an accusation of blasphemy and even if he did blasphemy, there is nothing wrong with that and everyone has a right to freedom of speech. This side also starts bashing religion as the individuals who did the brutal act made religion the basis and claimed to be acting according to the religion. Now coming to the other side, they are totally justifying the act by saying that the punishment of blasphemy is death so the blasphemer got what he deserved and also the way he was murdered brutally by some individuals was the best way for such a criminal to have experienced the last moments of his life.

Things are not always black or white, on the right or on the left. You have to analyze every action by also looking at the bigger picture and then form an opinion. Both of the above mentioned extremes sicken me. Personally, in my opinion, no matter what, the action of brutality by a mob can never be justified if you look at the teachings of the religion, the laws of the state or just think as a common human being. At the same time, how can hurting the sentiments of millions of people in the name of freedom of speech be right? You cannot start bashing religion or start pointing fingers on the laws of a beautiful religion only because the people who did something wrong claim to be acting as per the teachings of the religion. One wrong cannot make the other wrong right. As for the other side, even though blasphemy is a crime and nobody should be given a right to disrespect any person, any religion or anything to which one's sentiments are attached, and specially in the case where the level of love, sensitivity and attachment is too damn high by millions of people but no individual has the right to decide who is a sinner and who is a saint. No one has a right to take action themselves no matter what. Any such thing should be reported and handled by the state accordingly.

We should discourage the people taking laws in their own hands but we should also discourage those who, without having the knowledge, associate rubbish with religion. I wish we have tolerance and rule of law in our country one day. I also pray that we become a balanced nation as mentioned in the Holy Quran:

“And thus we made you a community of the middle way" (Surah Al-Baqarah Verse:143)