Pakistanis are by far the most tolerant nation on earth.
They are easily the most tolerant considering how much shit they put up with. I am not even sure why are they accused of intolerance in the society, considering their loving, forgiving nature.
Want to try it? Ask the person sitting next to you about the possible hanging of Asia Bibi. Or even the YouTube ban, which is so embarrassing, that it makes you wonder if you should ever say that you are proud to be a Pakistani.
But enough of the elitist first world digital age problems.
Just look at all the tolerance that has been going on all this time. We have been tolerating and forgiving every single atrocity. From the Gojra riots to the Joseph Colony arson, and from the murder of Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan to the Gulberg Park bombing, all is in the natural order of things.
The recent episode has been the condemnation of the entire community of Christians in Mandi Bahauddin in the name of the honor of the Prophet. We have had such cases several times, in which a person’s loose tongue has warranted the collective punishment of a community. Won’t be the last because we are too tolerant to be moved by such horrors.
Perhaps the only way to survive is to convert to Islam once and for all. Because somehow that makes the rioting majority love the “janitors” all of a sudden. Though think about it, who would remain a janitor if everyone converted to Islam? Perhaps that thought could ignite some intolerance among the forgiving majority.
I must say, these Christians and Hindus in Pakistan are either too brave or too moronic. And don’t even mention the Ahmedis. They are a special, incurable breed of crazy.
Things like that usually do not happen in most countries, and when they do, it is usually a big deal. But no, it’s just business as usual for Pakistan. Just shut up, look the other way. Hey, harmony and inner peace are important. At least, that’s what my shrink tells me.
We can still question considered outrageous in a parallel universe called Planet Earth, and ask our fellow citizens for their reaction. Only to be met by a silence, by looking the other way.
We privately do question these atrocities, but would seldom do it in public. With the exception of a few nutcases such as Sabeen Mahmud, Jibran Nasir, Taimur Rehman and Farzana Bari, who are so passionate in their activism that it honestly makes me nauseate and feel ashamed at the same time. That is why they remain constantly under the attacks of extremists and nationalist conservatives.
And I wonder if they make a hypocrite like me feel ashamed, what about folks with much higher moral standards? At least to not look the other way.
But do these handful really represent the majority of our society? While they are acting on the logic of the attendance of the Islamic funeral alright, but is their tiny participation enough to make a difference? Perhaps not, because these drivers-of-foreign-agenda are far outnumbered by more tolerant, more patriotic, nicer people.
The tolerance of our moralist political commentators on the television is particularly praiseworthy, who would constantly babble sermons against financial corruption day in and day out. While their passion for mourning the stolen wealth of the nation is exemplary, they would also look the other way when atrocities against non-Muslims, or even the peasants of Renala Khurd, are brought up.
Perhaps, it is time that the educated, civilized Pakistan become a little intolerant in order to discourage, if not put an end to, atrocities against the cornered. Too much to ask?
But then again, it’s probably propaganda funded by foreign NGOs anyway, for which I have thanked these mysterious organizations several times before.
It is probably wise not to care for the sheep and steer clear of the shearer. Because that appears to be in the self-interest of those who have not gotten to the position of the vulnerable yet. Besides, it’s safe.
Granted, but should we be doing that and claim moral superiority for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its great, true national faith? Because God knows that claim is true.
That still raises some serious moral questions of a population pious enough to go to great lengths not to miss a fast on even a single day in the scorching, dehydrating heat of June.
Too bad God only cares about those who really believe in him and those who fast during the month of Ramadan.
A version of the post was originally published in The Nation blogs.
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