I want to rage over the Facebook ban. Either side of the debate, I don’t care anymore. I want to pound my keyboard with impassioned fingers as I type out post-literate statements on the sanctity of the freedom of speech, all in 140 characters. I want to hurl abuses at the PTA for displaying over-efficiency in its banning of all instances of blasphemy on the internet by overreacting with an overzealous enthusiasm. I want to laugh maniacally as I bypass the ban using a proxy my friend told me about and manage to log onto Facebook. I want to describe all who would disagree with me as fundo mullahs and cast myself as a true warrior for the rights of humanity while secretly it is only because I miss being able to “like” your pictures on Facebook.
Or I can protest the blasphemy itself. I can march shoulder to shoulder with my offended brethren, holding up banners and chanting angry slogans as I try to figure out how to fashion an effigy to represent a social networking site that I can then set on fire. I can stand outside the press club where those RAW-sanctioned-Jew-loving-CIA-funded “bloggers”, who are pretending to ask for a reasoned response to this whole mess but are actually pro-blasphemy, are gathered to speak. I can threaten them with death and torture and brutal beatings in lieu of active debate. I can fight my enemies and scream in anger at those who would assault my beliefs. I can claim a multitude of nations, each with their own laws and beliefs and ethnically different populations and unique languages, are a single anti-Islamic entity called “the west.” I can pull at my hair as I try to understand why when someone believes something is sacred and deeply personal, that automatically makes it the subject of pointed attacks, vitriolic criticism and potential ridicule.
These are the things I will rage about. I will devote time to them, be moved to action over them, prepare for shows of force against them. It doesn’t matter which side I pick, as long as I can focus all my passions and emotions onto the subject like a laser. Let the Facebook-saga consume me. Let it define me. Let it be the reason I rage. Because here I can make a difference. I can motivate the government into an uncharacteristic fit of efficiency by appealing to its inherent respect for religion and religious sanctity. Or I can motivate it into lifting the ban by helping it realise that information can no longer be policed and that reacting negatively is worse for our global image than not reacting at all. I can make a change and validate my efforts on this matter. And that makes my rage worth it.
Because when it comes to the raging over the rape of a 13-year-old girl by policemen, an assault that lasted for 21 days and has left her with a lifetime of trauma and suffering, I know my anger will be impotent. I know those policemen will enjoy the kind of leniency that their kind always receives in this country and it will make me want to scream until I cry. I can’t rage over her suffering because the absence of affect will be absolute. Nor can I rage over the corrupt ineptitude of our elected officials. Their sanctimonious selfishness and indignant immorality have exhausted my anger. I do not have the strength to yell at them for a continued failure to implement the removal of the NRO or the shameless sheltering behind immunity laws. They will rob and steal until their bellies are full and then rob and steal some more. My anger will do nothing to slow them so why waste it.
I want to rage. But I have little left to rage over.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 27th, 2010.
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