How America occupied Kashmir
The extremist clergymen around the city need to be reigned in before the next Lal Masjid.
The ‘Defy’ Pakistan rally in Islamabad last month was like a breath of fresh air, as long as you change the definition of fresh to cancerous.
A few thousand rightwingers, the type that give good, tolerant, religious people a bad name, collected at Aabpara Chowk to go on a tirade about how everyone and their uncle is out to get Pakistan, with gems such as “America wants to break Pakistan into pieces”, and “Our protest is against the possible resumption of Nato supplies, US and Indian occupation” coming from the mouth of Samiul Haq, the father of the Taliban.
Now if memory serves, we are very much capable of doing the former on our own (just google East Pakistan from 1947-1971), and as for the latter, I am yet to see a single Indian or American soldier patrolling the streets of Islamabad to impose a curfew. Also, isn’t it strange that the head of a place referred to by Haq himself as the University of Jihad, a place where a plethora of terrorists and true traitors (the kind that kill, or order the killing of innocent Pakistanis in mosques) were ‘educated’, has the gall to call anyone a traitor?
It was saddening to see a number of children at the protest, especially during school hours.
Of the self-identified madrassa students at the rally, all were unanimous in saying that they hated America and loved cricket. Most were going to play after the rally, and many a friend had been tempted to tag along with promises of post-rally cricket matches.
While kids who love cricket, and hate America are a dime a dozen here, at least they should know why they hate America. Instead, not one even knew why America is the ‘bad guy’. All but one said it was simply because they’re supposed to. However, the one kid who had a reason came up with a jaw-dropping answer.
“America is the country that has occupied Kashmir and is killing people there.”
How I wish the reporter had asked him what his opinions on India are.
Given, the 12 year-old was too young to explain the intricacies of Pakistan’s relationship with the US or India, but if you must teach hate, at least be thorough about it. Yes, there are things the US has done which Pakistanis should take strong offence to, like supporting each military dictator and bombing with the accuracy of what can only be Darra-quality Predator drones.
But then hate speech needs no logical backing, especially when coming from religious leaders, who are apparently not answerable to anyone in the country. They continue to freely indoctrinate children with hateful rants, even though only four of the almost 300 madrassas in town were actually authorised.
The rest, including the 150-odd that were retroactively registered, were all built on encroached land and as per religious law (which they claim to be experts on), should be torn down. Instead they continue functioning due to either the spinelessness, or worse, the connivance of the authorities.
Perhaps the government should worry about keeping an eye on these madrassas before they turn to private schools (some of which no doubt need to be monitored). The same goes for a number of mosques. Unfortunately, when Musharraf tried to tear down one as per the law, the clerics, as usual, forgot to refer to the law and raised a hue and cry.
The extremist clergymen around the city need to be reigned in before the next Lal Masjid. Even now, there are multiple mosques around the city from which sentiments encouraging sectarian violence emerge. When will the city administration pay attention to these people and take action against them. Some city bosses have been plastering their faces around town for making Islamabad a model city. Really?
I may be alone on this, but my definition of a model city doesn’t have free-to-roam clerics encouraging murder.