Pray, what is this National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW)? Terrible the very fact that such a commission is functioning here to turn good Muslim women into monsters by giving them funny ideas. What makes it outrageous is its defence of Aasia Bibi, the Christian woman who blasphemed and has been, in our mercy, sentenced to death by hanging, which, arguably, is better than being lynched.
But no, they want to make a big thing out of it, like some people today talk ill about Henry VIII for getting rid of some of his wives. What’s a man supposed to do when wives become troublesome? He merely acted in good sport and did the routine, though slightly more imaginatively.
So, please, let’s get some perspective on these things. Now this NCSW, I am told, has strongly condemned the death sentence an additional sessions judge, in his infinite wisdom, has passed on Aasia Bibi. Worse, it is now talking about gross irregularities in the judicial process and questioning how an illiterate Christian woman could have cited Islamic textual and exegetical references to blaspheme against the Prophet (pbuh).
As if the prickly Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) was not bad enough. I ask you! How can technicalities be invoked to prevent the faithful from doing the right thing? Would we now have to subject the operation of our piety to such commissions?
But let me present a simpler argument. It’s a case of logistics. The best catch, I agree, is always an Ahmadi, preferable to a Christian, a Hindu or a Shia or even a shrine-worshipping Muslim. But it’s not every day that one can find an Ahmadi. Some we have allowed to escape to infidel lands. The remnants are breeding slower than the rate at which we can find and kill them. (There’s an argument here, in fact, that we should spare Ahmadis for a while so they can breed enough for our sport.) They are not always readily available, even though we have the ever-vigilant Khatm-e-Nabuwwat sniffing for them everywhere. So, what does one do on a bad, no-Ahmadi day? Right! One should get hold of whoever is available. And if it’s a Christian woman, so be it.
A sort of lagniappe, a Christian woman, but something is better than nothing. Also, my sense is that while killing a Christian is not going to get prime real estate in Paradise, even the shanty side of Paradise is likely to be pretty good.
But what does one do about wagging chins? People will always find something to talk about, like this NCSW crowd. On a side note, what the hell are they doing here anyway? I thought we had determined the status of women a long time ago. But I digress. Muslim women we can deal with later. They aren’t going anywhere.
What worries me now is the sleuthing the NCSW is doing. The press release says it has investigated the matter thoroughly and unearthed some startling facts. In addition to muddying the waters by arguing technicalities, it also alleges that the whole issue is mired in personal vendetta. Some landlord of the area has put Aasia Bibi in this nutcracker.
Clearly, the NCSW wants to save Aasia Bibi and is relying on the appeal process. But in reality it is only depriving the faithful of the blessings and comforts of afterlife. Not only that, but also Aasia Bibi, because if she is hanged to death at this point, she would be deemed cleansed on the other side of this life which can only be good for her.
Already, we have a very poor record of killing alleged blasphemers. We try hard to nail them in the lower courts only to see them released by the higher courts. This is shameful, an honest day’s work of a bunch of faithful making shipwreck on the rocks of modern sensibility and legal technicalities. We have just seen and suffered the floods for our collective sins. We need to wake up and stop preventing people from doing the right thing. This is what we have the blasphemy law for. Let’s make use of it and not waste it.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2010.