Silencing hatred

Published: February 6, 2011
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Senate passes bill to curb misuse of loudspeakers and amplifiers

Senate passes bill to curb misuse of loudspeakers and amplifiers

The bill passed by the Senate imposing restrictions on the misuse of loudspeakers and amplifiers in the federal capital to spread sectarian hatred is a welcome step. The use of such means to disseminate highly inflammatory messages is well known to all of us. We hear them in all our towns and cities. While attempts have been made in the past to crack down on the spread of such messages, they have not proved effective for very long. One reason for this is the lack of commitment of authorities to ensure that the laws are properly implemented by mosque imams and also by others who have sometimes relayed highly objectionable messages from functions arranged within their homes. In some cases, complaints to police have brought no results at all.

The step taken by the Upper House is a good one. But there is more that needs to be done. Similar measures need to go into force in all the provinces and some mechanism devised to ensure that the laws are enforced. The issue goes beyond that of sectarianism. Living with constant noise is hazardous to one’s physical and mental well-being, and this means that the noise pollution created by loudspeakers needs to be curbed as far as is practicable. Administrations across the country need to ensure that, this time round, the laws do not remain simply a part of written documents stowed away in files, but are actually brought into force.

While the Senate’s desire to deal with sectarianism is a positive move to deal with a menace which threatens to tear apart harmony within communities, it is insufficient to tackle the menace that has reared up over our society. The ban on the use of loudspeakers must be combined with the implementation of other laws, including a crackdown on widely available CDs and tape cassettes that incite hatred, sometimes handed out at mosques and madrassas. Their impact is disturbing. We must do everything possible to remove such material from the public realm and, by doing so, rebuild the lost harmony that is so urgently required in our country.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Talha
    Feb 6, 2011 - 10:47PM

    How about a bill silencing the Mullahs?Recommend

  • Malik
    Feb 7, 2011 - 1:13AM

    The bill passed by the Senate imposing
    restrictions on the misuse of
    loudspeakers and amplifiers in the
    federal capital to spread sectarian
    hatred is a welcome step.

    Just in federal capital? Has government given up on the rest of the country?Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Feb 7, 2011 - 4:37AM

    hate this illustration, yeh Baja maloom nahin kahan se mila hai tribune ko, they put it everywhere.Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Feb 7, 2011 - 10:31AM

    No one can stop them by using those methods which falls in the category of “Misusing”. A call for morning prayers through speakers is immediately followed by certain persons moving around with hand held and battery operated loud speakers to wake up people with full volume not withstanding whether some one is sick or belongs to some other sects. Certainly area police is aware but too scared to take any action. A government which can not give protection to its prosecutor in late governor’s murder or lynching minorities through different tactic how can they get this law implemented in letter and spirit???Recommend

  • chitposh
    Feb 7, 2011 - 7:44PM

    this law cannot be implementedRecommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Feb 9, 2011 - 10:36PM

    A good and positive step but more important is its implementation. I agree with the editorial that hate spreading CD’s, tapes and even books should also be banned all over Pakistan. I would like to add that school and college books curriculam containing hatred, religious intolerance and distorted history needs to be removed since it is giving rise to violence and frustration in Pakistan. Recommend

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