Diagnostic tool to quantify extremism: The 5 factors that determine how bigoted a Pakistani is - Ahmadiyya Media Library

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Thursday, 2 June 2016

Diagnostic tool to quantify extremism: The 5 factors that determine how bigoted a Pakistani is

These five basic points can be food for thought for each one of us, living in Pakistan, and reveal where we stand on the spectrum of bigotry

The ultimate goal of a clinician is to treat patients. Treating patients, however, is a scrupulous, meticulous and a sophisticated process, which consists of certain steps, followed in particular order to get the desired results.
The most important of these steps is diagnosis. Diagnosis forms the cornerstone of the complete design of our whole treatment. If there is any inaccuracy in forming diagnosis then it will lead to a disastrous treatment.
I have created a diagnostic tool that may quantify the level of extremism that is present inside each one of us, especially we Pakistanis. Each one of us can gauge the level of bigotry that we possess which may lead us to introspection and improvement if we reflect.
We complain, we whine, we moan over many things that are taking place all over the world. We think that they are againstall the principles of good book like equality, justice, equity. We feel that we are discriminated in certain ways because of, may be, our religion, color and race worldwide especially in Western countries.
However, do we know how much racist we are? How bigoted we are? At how many levels in our daily lives we are discriminating people.
Let us take a deep breath, and go through the number of points stipulated below. For a moment, unfetter the judgement of ours from biases and decide for ourselves where we stand? There are some questions that we can ask ourselves and decide whether we stand on the side of extremist or on the side of victims of extremism.
AHMADIYYA PERSECUTION
Do we see Ahmadi persecution going on in Pakistan? We have seen number of attacks that took place on Ahmadi community of Pakistan. Just a few months ago, Punjab government, unusual to the existing norms, took a bold step and arrested couple of people for putting up anti-Ahmadiyya posters.
Police official removing anti-Ahmadiyya poster
However, surprisingly or should I say not surprisingly, what came after this was something extremely gross and horrible.
A mob blocked the road in front of Hafiz Center and protested against taking down of these anti-Ahmadi discriminatory posters. Yes, they were protesting against the government not for condemning the discrimination! Sigh!
Mob outside Hafeez Centre
After seeing this huge rally, I was expecting -- may be too naïve of me -- that there will be a bigger movement in response to this brazen support of discrimination because, as a whole, we are peaceful people, at least that`s what we tell world, that makes every effort to live in comity with other communities.
To my despair, there was nothing apart from some blogs, columns written by the fringes like me.
Why?
SHIA GENOCIDE
The 2012 Annual report published by Global Human Rights Defense on Pakistan stated that,
“So far in Pakistan more than 10,000 Shias have been killed (in direct attacks only). In Parachinar valley more than 4000 Shias were killed. People are pulled down from buses, their identity cards are checked, their names are different than the Sunni names [so they are easily identified] and they get killed and raped; women have been threatened and molested.”
This report came out in 2012. Now it is 2016 but there is not even a tinge of improvement rather the condition of Shias in Pakistan plummeted further. The year of 2015 started with the Shikarpur blast taking lives of 61 people and ended with the blast in Parachinar where 25 people died-these are not mere numbers, these are the numbers of human beings killed in just two blasts on Shia community.
I didn't see any clamor, as there was for not allowing us to discriminate in case of Ahmadis, over this recent attack in Parachinar on Shia community.
Pakistani Shia Muslims gather around the coffins of bomb attack victims as they demonstrate in Quetta on February 18, 2013
There are families – the men, women and children of these people killed in Parachinar attack – who watch in horror as the men of their family being buried in a deep pit inside ground, killed for the reason they are unaware of. And there was a certain lack of empathy by the fellow Pakistanis, this incident was not given a due coverage instead people were busy discussing whether an Indian movie Dilwale would be a hit or not.
Similarly, a month ago, a 25-year-old gold medalist in applied physics Hashim Rizvi was killed in Karachi for belonging to the Shia sect. He was the only son of his parents. His demise left his parents with no reason to live in this world as well. Again, the people of Pakistan were taking more interest in watching and discussing Tahir Shah`s ‘Angel’ than being cognizant of murder of this innocent person. Hashim`s killing was followed by the killing of a very vocal human rights activist Khurram Zaki, a few days ago. This spree of Shia killings is rampant yet unnoticed by authorities or Pakistanis, the fellow compatriots.
This is the community to which the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah belonged. This is the community to which Raja Sahab of Mehmodabad (the one who gave everything he had for weak juvenile economy of Pakistan in 1947) belonged, to whom Pakistan will always remain indebted. The community that has produced the most influential people of south Asia, actors, politicians, musicians etc. Poets like Ghalib, John Aelia, Mir Taqi Mir, Mohsin Naqvi, Kaifi Azmi, Raees Amrohi etc. 
This is the Shia community of Pakistan. The community that is shouting in dark and is forsaken by the authorities to the hands of terrorists.
Did you think, although it is evident, that Shia genocide is going on? If you don`t then why not? And if you do, then what, no matter how embryonic it may be, have you done so for stopping or resisting this oppression on your fellow Pakistanis?
LAL MASJID FIASCO
First, I will just cite some of the statements of Lal Masjid cleric Moulana Abdul Aziz. 
"We don't need the government's help for the enforcement of an Islamic system because we are capable enough to do it without its assistance," Aziz said in 2007.
Abdul Aziz
He came back in 2015 with the same frivolous chutzpah: "On November 8, Aziz told the media he would restart his activities. Since then, the administration has been trying to convince him to amicably drop the plan. Sources in the administration said Aziz had assured the administration he would not take any unlawful step. Aziz was not available to speak with The Express Tribune, but his personal secretary Abdul Qadir had said Aziz will give the Friday sermon. Nobody could stop Aziz as “it was his right,” he had said."
If this is not challenging the state of Pakistan, then it is what? 
Now if we flip the word Aziz with India then what would be our reaction?
Mr. Faisal Qureshi made a whole video, did all the shenanigans he learnt in media, mocking Saif Ali khan`s statement "ghar mein ghuss ke marein ge" but I don`t see a single video from Mr. Qureshi on this Mullah who is actually materializing the words of Saif Ali Khan for so many years now and in the real world.
What stance do we take on Lal Masjid? How much have you and I pressed our government to incarcerate the Mullah of Lal Masjid for challenging the government of Pakistan?
THE MALALA FACTOR
I was sitting in a very cozy coffee shop in the US with bunch of my Pakistani friends studying in the world`s best Universities, indulged in highly intellectual discussion, a common topic, on how can we make Pakistan progress with breakneck pace. Somehow, someone among us took the name of Malala, and all that intellectually scrumptious discussion converted in to unbridled jeering followed by outburst of swearing in ‘Punjabi’ sparing not even the close relatives of Malala, her father, mother and who-not. Remember, before Malala came in to discussion, these were highly educated Pakistanis studying in top American Universities sharing ideas for a progressive Pakistan.
She is a symbol of education of children all over the world. People, here in West know Pakistan because of Malala. Malala is the only topic of discussion we have in international gathering that makes us feel good when talking about Pakistan. Otherwise, the likes of Tashfeen Malik and Aafia Siddique did their best in maligning Pakistan in the worst of the possible ways.
Had somebody in America attacked Malala, we would have been criticizing her like this?
Only because she was Pakistani and was attacked by our own people and got noble prize for fighting against extremism we could not help ourselves from criticizing her.
Let me ask each one of us. What bad did Malala bring to our individual lives? Why so much hatred and animosity against her?
Which side we stand on? Either it is Malala`s or the side of the ones who came to kill her.
CHIRISTIANS OR CHOORAS?
I remember, I was a kid and we went to our relatives place. After playing with my cousins, I rushed towards the kitchen and grabbed a glass to drink water. As I was pouring water in to my glass, I heard a voice, a thundering voice, from background that leave this glass this is for our servant and he is a choora, a derogatory term that is used for the Christians sweepers living in Pakistan. In school, when kids got in to any scuffle they called each other ‘choora’ , the word used as a scornful remark to look down upon and swear.
If, rarely, there was a newcomer non-Muslim, Hindu/Christian/Sikh, kid admitted in school then he would be heckled by other kids and in quite a contemptuous tone will be bombarded by slew of questions on his faith.
This religious policing and interrogation was not the fault of those kids but of the parents and environment in which they were reared.
Sadly, this is the type of discrimination that is not even recognized by our conscious. There is de-sensitization when it comes to minorities. This is the extremism, which, perpetually, became part of our lives.
I think that these five basic points can be food for thought for each one of us, living in Pakistan, in telling us where we stand. I call this battery of five questions as extremist diagnostic test, which can help us to gauge the tendency we have towards extremist ideologies.
What stand we have taken on these issues so far? Did we remain silent on these issues?
Silence on all these problems will be taken as complicity, to the least, resulting in the facilitation of these extremist agendas. If one has never acknowledge the woes of Ahmadis persecuted around you, never shared the pain Shias go through, hated Malala without any cause, willfully ignored Lal Masjid cleric`s inflammatory remarks and disregarded discrimination against minorities, then,one may be, is getting infected with a syndrome of extremism and bigotry.

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