One of the most remarkable commandments of religion is not to question the divinity. While it makes perfect sense to protect and safeguard the sanctity of the divine ideas, it is probably the greatest insult to the human mind.
One of the worst by products of the has been the selective mass desensitization toward holy crimes, for a nation that has a hyperactive moral compass. The reason for that is simple. Either it is to avoid trouble, or because the sacred entities shall not be questioned.
Time and again, we have seen atrocious incidents occur purely for religious reasons and no other, and as always the result is looking the other way. Not facing the problem. The problem of religious influences on law and the constitution.
It can only horrify you to imagine that someone would even come up with the idea of establishing a religious constitution.
People, for all their gullibility, have been deceived to believe that the Islamic system of society and law is much superior to any other. While human drafted constitutions most certainly have their flaws and limitations, they are designed to minimize conflict of interest among members and groups of societies by offering an equally acceptable social contract.
The absence of such solutions, aided by certain beliefs known for their violence, ensure the occurrences such as the murder of Sajjad and Shama, a Christian laborer couple in Kala Shah Kaku, Kasur, for allegedly desecrating the Koran. The angry mob (here we go again) burned them to death in a brick kiln.
How appropriate. Probably this is the punishment by fire that the faith warns about.
What makes the incident more tragic is that the woman was said to be pregnant. For someone cynical like me, the child probably was better off dying than becoming a member of such a hostile society. Blessing in disguise.
However, the parents were not so lucky, and went through probably the most horrifying trauma before suffering the most excruciating death. It’s remarkable such horrifying torture could occur in this day and age.
But at the same time, this event does offer a little hope to the marginalized minority religious groups in the country. There was at least some major reaction this time. 50 odd people were arrested. The Prime Minister condemned it, the Chief Minister visited the parents and the opposition parties condemned the incident too. Some progress.
Ironically, even the Emir of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami paid a sympathy visit to the grieving family. Some nerve.
Perhaps he has changed his stance about the Shariah law.
But still, the lynching doesn’t count as a tragedy in the eyes of most Muslim Pakistanis. Just an inconvenient piece of news that should not be paid attention to. For others, rough justice rightly done.
After all, Allah has taken the responsibility of safeguarding the Holy Book.
In any event, this incident is importance because it busts the myth offered by apologetic liberal Muslims that all blasphemy lynch mobs commit such acts due to “property disputes.”
Another remarkable murder was committed a day after the Ashura. A person charged with blasphemy, most probably a Shia religious narrator, was arrested in Gujrat. Before that person would even find the opportunity to explain himself, he was butchered, quite literally, by the ASI at the police station.
Now I don’t want to blame religious laws for this completely random occurrence, but would just like to point out one problem here for the proponents of theocratic law.
A lot of not-so-fundamentalist defenders of the blasphemy law claim that it helps prevent vigilante killing. Another apology for the religious extremism, while encouraging parallel narrative for glorifying heroes such as Ghazi Ilm Deen, who was coincidentally defended in the court by the father of the nation.
However, the claim that blasphemy law protects offenders from vigilante violence is clearly in jeopardy here. As a matter of fact, statistical evidence points quite to the contrary. More blasphemy killings have taken place ever since the law came into place than before.
Due to the newly found encouragement offered by the state, people have been encouraged to commit more blasphemy murders than before the introduction of its recent sub clauses. The blasphemy law is the legacy of the British, but Pakistanis have surely taken it to the next level.
From their colonial masters, they have successfully inherited the value of suppressing free speech and rewarding fundamentalist violence.
But the fact remains that religious violence has been deliberately ignored, in terms of considering it an atrocity, even evil, and for assessing whether it is something worthy of outrage and protest.
The simple fact is that while religious faith has completely killed the moral conscience of the most devoted, it has terrorized the majority of followers into silence. And the fear of the sacred has ensured mass desensitization toward the holy crimes. How could it be even possible, you would say.
If you think religion is nonsense, you are sadly mistaken.
It is the most powerful political tool, as primitive as it is.
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