Sun. Nov 27th, 2022

Intolerance and brutality

 Akhtar Ali

Intolerance, dogmatism, bigotry, religionism, fanaticism, and brutality are the soul cancers, which have deeply rooted in our society.  Recent brutal lynch of Marshal Khan at Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan is worst form of this vicious. None other than its own adherents maltreat Islam. Its real features have been ignored and are presented in dystopian form. Perhaps it is the result of state’s approved narrative that has long been formulated our foreign policy and is interpreted by illiterate, ignoramus, and analphabetic molvis in every streets of the country.

The savage murder of Mashal Khan is not surprising as we have already seen much more like over the same case. Many people have deprived from their lives unmercifully. Many have languished in jails for many years without any trial because no lawyer has courage to defend them. Still lots people have sustained injures and been paralyzed for lifetime in the hand of individuals for their alleged accused of sacrileges.

Islam is the religion of peace, compassionate and merciful. No religion in the world stresses on social justice what the Islam does. Islam ensures the protection of lives of every citizen irrespective of their creed, caste, language etc. It believes on human dignity, equality and social justice. It constitutes on logic, reasoning, encourage questioning and disown illusion. It is founded by the figure whose life is dominated by superior morality, outstanding character and spirituality, good habits, noble and gentle feeling. It teaches the application of clemency, moderation, chastity, hope, fear, generosity and compassionate on the lives of every Muslim. But the Pakistani version of Islam portrays very ugly form perverting from its very spirits.

Pakistan may claims to be an Islamic state but its citizens seldom get any social justice. Justice is being provided in the streets by the mobs. Punishments are being awarded publicly in the form of burning lives, shooting, and stoning. Faith is being approved by so-called illiterate molvis at every mosque. Certificates for the heaven are being distributed at madrassah in retaliation to lynch the sacrilegious without taking it into court. These are shown because of the apathy and the failure of state’s institution. Article 9 [II] of the 1973 constitution ensures the protection of life and liberty of every citizen. It states “No shall be deprived of life and liberty save accordance in law”. Is this implemented in its actual spirit? The answer is no, absolutely no. Implementation of constitution ensures the end of persecution. Its implementation would guarantee the end of extra judicial killing. The implementation of constitution ensures the punishment of apprehend in court rather than in street by individuals.  Had it enforced Marshal Khan would not been persecuted publicly by mob. Had it implemented Governor Taseer would not been shoot down by his guard. Had it functioned Shahzad and Mashal would not have been burned alive in break kiln. Thus, we see that even though our basic rights have been given to us by the constitution, implementation of law is faulty and biased. Only selective parts of constitution are implemented that what suit to the power elites. Protection of citizen, provision of justice, and maintenance of equality among the masses are inviolable obligation of state. Failure to perform these responsibilities lead to the formation of lawlessness in society result is brutality, anarchy, barbarianism, savagery, and inequality.

Religion has long been played very pivotal role to formulate our foreign policy. Military in 1980s and subsequent so-called civilian rulers have used it for their political purposes. For the sake of strengthening their political base, some strict laws have been added in the constitution which stifle the society and it is deathblow even to talk about it. Different religious groups have been strengthened providing massive funds, encouraging and accepting even their unlawful and controversial actions regardless what actual teaching of Islam says. These religious based groups are still strong and maintained their sanctuaries even in more urban regions of the country although some bad (in view of state) are being dislodged. Many so-called religious leaders are still burnished their politics and are acted the ambassadors of Islam nevertheless their actual lives contradict the values of this religion.

The knee jerk decision of state has put society at stake where it must be stopped through the proper planning. Recent war on terrorism is desperate attempt to crash it, but it cannot be defeated without meaningful narrative. Ideology cannot be defeated through the gun it needs comprehensive counter-narrative which depends on the sincerity of state. We have reached on decisive point where state must determine its direction. Any attempt based on insincerity, irrationality and miscalculation will lead to the disastrous that history will never forgive. And we all must play our parts to evade the nightmare forever.

Writer is a researcher at Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations Quaid I Azam University Islamabad. Email.

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