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.

Saba Khalid August 29, 2012
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.
Saba Khalid A blogger for Rolling Stone magazine, a contributor to Kulturaustauch and Musikexpres, Saba is an Institute for Foreign Affairs (IFA) Cross Culture scholar for the year 2012 who also teaches creative writing to young aspiring writers. She blogs at www.thecityalive.com and can be found on instagram as @thecityalive
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Hijab | 11 years ago | Reply Exactly how I feel! Yes, I am also one of the in-betweeners. You right very well and this is an excellent article! :)
Sufi | 11 years ago | Reply Excellent Article. Stay Blessed. :)
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ