The sinners of GojraBy Arun R. Zaheeruddin • Aug 19th, 2009 • Category: Politics • 6 Comments
If one were asked to define the Pakistani people in a breath, the word uttered can only be “gullible”. We, Pakistanis, live the lives of robots or zombies. Our thought processes are a fermented product of conspiracy theories that the media gives air to and the vile perceptions of the mullahs. And such stark are our minds that we find truth in everything that anyone has to say. None of us ever questions our own selves as to the viability and practicability of a statement. A few days ago, a single speech took the lives of 7 men and women, and a child. About 15 to 20 people were seriously injured; a 100 or so houses were robbed while 25 houses were burnt to ashes.
A person spoke through megaphones atop the minarets of a mosque wrongly accusing a person, of Christian faith, of desecrating the Quran. The speech ended with an appeal to the people of the small township of Gojra to take up arms against each and every Christian for the wrong-doing of one – a call for jihad against the infidel. Within a few minutes, the Muslims of Gojra gathered to put the small Christian basti ablaze. Three thousands against a handful, these people marched towards the Christian locality and set fire to each and every house in the area. This was their jihad against the infidels that sinned in the highest order by desecrating the Quran.
My question here is pretty simple – who is the greater sinner? The person who never desecrated the Quran (it has not yet been proven if the allegation was true or not), or are the people of Gojra the true sinners. Who murdered the eight and robbed a hundred? Who is the real sinner here? Ignorance is a sin itself in Islam – one is asked to question the validity of something before embarking upon bearing its flag.
If someone asks you to murder a person and you do the task. Who is to blame? It’s not the person that asked you to do it that needs to be blamed. You were the one who committed the sin, so you are the one to be blamed for the deed. Who cares who the person presenting the aelan at the mosque was; it is the people of Gojra that are to be blamed. How ignorant can they be? How stupid and foolish can the Muslims of Gojra be?
Then came the strings of conspiracy theories tied in with the incident. If there is one thing that the people of Pakistan cannot do – it is to blame their own selves for something. So, when asked who was to blame, the Pakistanis pointed fingers at the Taliban – like that was even remotely possible. A Taliban came all the way from Swat and marched into Gojra and proclaimed jihad upon Christians. When people started finding doubts in this theory, others started saying it was an Indian extremist from across the border. Arson is symbolic to Hindu extremism, some said. All this is complete and utter nonsense. Muslim factions have set fires to Christian villages and colonies over the past forty years, almost regularly – research 1997 atrocities against Christians in Shanti Nagar. Just because these incidents never found their way into headlines doesn’t mean that Muslims are incapable of arson attacks.
In fact, if one is to really look into this particular incident, they would soon realise that the fuel used in these attacks is the same as was used in Okara atrocities, Shanti Nagar arson attacks against Christians (both 1997 and 2007), Shangla Hill riots and the two Churches in Koriyan near Gojra. Was the Taliban or Indian threat even present in 1997? How is it possible that the same fuel be used over a period of a decade to do the same misdeed? No, I say, it’s not the Taliban or the Indians; it’s the local Punjabi fanatic Islamists that have always targeted Christians in Central Punjab.
We would be lying to our selves, if we say that these attacks were not Islamist, or that it was the Taliban or the Indians that did so. I say, it’s the local Islamist factions in Central Punjab that are to blame for these atrocities and only them. Where Blasphemy Laws were enough to kill a Christian in broad daylight, blaming the deed on Taliban seems to be the new trend. What next?