In the last few years, Pakistan has gone through some extremely turbulent times and these shockwaves have been felt around the globe. The unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecy finally came true and the monster created by the Pakistani establishment to extend its ‘national interest’ has now turned around and bit the hands that once nurtured it. The Taliban of Afghanistan were once a pride for the ruling elite with several politicians and military officials boasting about their role in the rearing them. The birth pangs are being felt quite late but they are still painful. Feeble voices of sanity, as they are today, ignored and rational detractors were mocked as ‘foreign’ agents and cowards.
After almost over a decade of backlash and witnessing dreadful consequences one would have expected a certain change in the mindset of the people of this country. But depressingly, that is not the case. Even after picking up several dozens of human carcasses, cleaning streets of human blood, dousing fires from houses and hearing of deafening shrieks of pain and cries after every single suicide bomb the mindset of an average Pakistani has not altered a bit. This is the saddest part of this sordid tale.
Majority of the citizens still remain in the state of denial with most of them turning into apologist. Heralded by various news anchors, media pundits and conspiracy theorists it is being widely popularized that the terrorists involved in all the attacks on the soil of Pakistan (and the neighboring countries) is a work of some ‘mysterious’ foreign agent whose sole purpose is to defame Islam, the religion of peace. The idea would have been laughable only if I had not seen the suffering of gullible but innocent individuals.
A NGO based in Pakistan by the name of ‘Ye Hum Nahin’ started a campaign of the same name (which can be translated as, ‘This Is Not Us’) in around the end of 2007. The ‘us’ of course means Muslims. Even though the NGO does admit that the miscreants are from amongst ‘us’; a few rotten eggs who have been brain washed into being radicals, its agendas include “to reinforce the point that Islam is a peaceful faith that promotes tolerance and harmony” and “to show the positive impact of Pakistan and Muslims around the world”. Objectives as feeble and ridiculous are bound to fall flat on its face. After all the ‘radicals’ are using the exact same sacred text to translate their actions. So far this NGO in my opinion has only been able to produce a music video with some leading Pakistani musicians and a couple of TV commercial, such as this one:
I have failed to grasp the point of such commercials, since such images can be viewed instantly on one of the many 24 hours private news channels within a few minutes of a bomb being detonated, which are real and more heartbreaking. Also, the message conveyed in these commercials remain somewhat dubious; “This Is Not Us”. If it is not ‘us’, then who are these mystery slaughterers and more importantly what is the agenda that they are following?
We are still far away from the truth and sadly so. We do not need to create another schism in a century old desert law to fix the problem, because no matter what they label themselves (reformists, moderate, liberal, or modern) at the heart of it will always remain an ideology bulging to be revived to its nascent state. The apologists are in no way any different from the radicals as both are using the same ideological stance (albeit with their own interpretations) to sell an idea that is based on sham concept. It seems that these self-proclaimed ‘liberal’ defenders are simply trying to pimp Islam by dressing it in a cheap tacky dress in order to sell it more conveniently to the West. For such a campaign essentially serves no other purpose, most of all it offers no substantial and workable solution or cure to the menace.
The fantasy of reconciling Islam with the West and modern liberal values is one of the long-standing dreams of some section of apologists. They are merely fence sitters in my opinion or even worse; petty opportunists. Unwilling or unable to truly realize and comprehend the fallacy of Islam and hence reject it they are also not completely willing to forgo benefits that liberalism brings with it. Thus their battle to reconcile Islamic form of government with democracy, injecting Islamic values in the economic system or futilely attempt to draw parallels between Quran and science. Such childish endeavors however remain fruitless; on the contrary it continues to be a source of encouragement for the hard line fanatics.