Of tattoos and 'foreign hands'
We frequently lend ears to a clichéd line by government representatives every few days - it starts with ‘we condemn the incident’ and ends with ‘a foreign hand’.
In a recent incident that killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 46 in Peshawar, it seemed that the only object of interest was the ‘un-Islamic’ tattoo of the Uzbek suicide bomber. A tattoo that was alien to ‘Muslim’ identity.
While every newspaper showed pictures of the attacker’s dead body bearing the Boris Vallejo sorcery character image, the government seemed strangely relieved. It was perhaps satisfied that for once it won’t be blamed for deteriorating law and order, because hey, a satanic tattoo and an Uzbek….this was clearly way out of their control.
Besides, the explanation of ‘a foreign hand’ did not seem out of place here. The incident spoke for itself.
According to religious scholars, having tattoos on the human body is against the teachings of Islam, and so, as ‘our’ militants are so pious, it couldn’t have been them. So what if Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claims responsibility, they are too generous about claiming responsibilities anyway, aren’t they?
The victims’ families will suffer of course, but the government’s ‘condemning’ of the incident will resolve that. Problem solved. Everyone can now sit back and see how ‘foreign hands’ take down the country.
What our rulers fail to understand, or are perhaps denying, is that whether it’s a ‘foreign (tattoo-clad) hand’, or a shalwar kameez wearing militant, it is our country that is suffering, our people who are dying and our economy that is deteriorating. The fact that these militants were trying to break into Peshawar’s airport is far more disturbing than what their identity.
Why were they doing it? What did they plan to do if they got in? Answers to these questions might just amount to our worst nightmare.
Follow Farah on Twitter @batool_farah