Hello, any moderates out there?
Religious extremists, will not call me their own because my hair is uncovered and my mehram is not speaking for me.
After reading the Reuters report on dance parties in Pakistan and watching the daily shenanigans of the religious extremists on television, I’m starting to feel lonelier and lonelier in this extremely dichotomous and polarised society. I do not know how it happened but it certainly happened sometime in the last few years when practically all Pakistanis chose their sides.
Today, a person is either the ‘I’m-better-and-smarter-than-all-of-you’ type of liberal or he or she is a ‘we’ll-blow-your-head-off-if-you-ask-for-any-rights’ type of religious fundamentalist. So now, the debate is always on miniskirts versus the hijab and on dance parties or dars.
In their liberal or religious extremist heads, it is impossible to live in a world where both ideologies can be practised and tolerated. You have to give up on one to take up the other fully.
It’s either black or white — no greys.
It’s a matter of: ‘You’re either with us, or against us’.
Liberals hate us ‘in-betweeners’ because we talk against US foreign policy and blame the Americans for creating these religious extremists in the first place. Religious extremists, even if they agree with me, will not call me their own because my hair is uncovered and my mehram is not speaking all of this for me.
But really, what about all of those people who want to live in a world which gives them a little bit of both? What if they want both, religious values and freedom?
What about the poor, underrepresented in-betweeners? Who is representing us?
Which party, television channel or newspaper is giving us a voice? Which leader is giving us in-betweeners the hope to stay on the sidelines?
And no, it is not Imran Khan. Because it’s pretty clear which side he leans towards.
So, my question is, are there even any people still left on the sidelines?
Or, are there just two closed-minded sides that are verbally and physically attacking each other every day, spreading more hate for everyone around them?
Are there in-betweeners out there? Please come out if you can hear me. Is there anyone at all?
Read more by Saba here.