To top it all off the whole incident was recorded for posterity. Apart from being extremely violent and highly distrubing the videos also highlight the indifference, the lack of response by the public. No one, I repeat, no one looks perturbed by what is happening in front of them. They are indifferent, enjoying this brutal spectacle, this "tamasha" and at times egg the attackers on. The crowd is dotted with the grey caps of Police officers, but no one steps in to stop this mass lynching. At one point, a young child steps in and participates.
|Image Credit: Cartoon Stock|
So much for Pakistan's "image deficit". From where I'm standing, it seems pretty well deserved.
Remember, when the Ahmadi mosques were attacked in Lahore earlier this year and everyone; the media, the politicians and the civil society blamed the Taliban and extremists.
|Image Credit: Pak Defense Forum|
Well, it was all a lie. To be more specific, we were lying to ourselves.
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You see by pushing the responsibility of the murder of 90 Ahamdis on the extremists, we absolved ourselves from any sins in this matter. Forget about the ostracism of Ahmadis on a national scale.
|Image Credit: The Persecution|
Forget about the calls for the removal of Ahamdis from public office.
|Image Credit: Ahmadiyya Times|
It wasn't us.
|Image Credit: Martin Kronicle|
|Image Credit: Parental Gleanings|
This is not to say that the prevalence of extremist ideology is not a problem, but that this ideology is not simply something thrust upon us by evil Saudi petrodollars. The prevalence of extremism in our society is a product of our gradual descent towards intolerance.
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As a society we do not tolerate dissent of thought and action from the accepted social norms. Anyone who engages in any behaviour deemed to be outside of these norms is ostracized and put down, often through violence. The blasphemy laws, the
The general reaction to this public lynching has been extremely predictable at least within the blogosphere. Many of my fellow bloggers are wondering how people could have stood by and watched, even participated in the murder of two human beings. In my opinion this outrage is entirely superfluous. After all in a society where dissent is not tolerated, where difference of opinion is not respected, where a group of flood victims were denied aid and governmental assistance because they were Ahamdis, would you expect anything else?
In several conversations, I have heard people refer to the individuals involved in this violence as harami. However, to paraphrase Thomas Moore if we are the ones who create these individuals/haramis in the first place and then we punish them, what does this say about us? Aren't we equally, if not more Harami?
Sidenote 1: Harami is a Urdu/Hindi profanity which can be interpreted as being equivalent to bastard X10.
Sidenote 2: One of the pioneers to develop the concept of Pakistanis as Haramis was my fellow blogger Karachi Khatmal, whom I hold in the highest regard.