27th March 2016, another gory day added to the history of Pakistan. This day saw the loss of several innocents. This day saw a series of unfortunate events from early hours till dawn. It showed that it is not just the terrorism, which is destroying this country. The fanaticism is also taking very strong hold in this society. The intolerance of people is increasing and getting hold of their minds, making their questionable actions justifiable to them.
Do you know: In 2016, almost 198 civilians and 98 security personals have lost their lives because of terrorism. (Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal)
The 27t March 2016, started with Junaid Jamshed, assaulted and verbally abused at Benazir Bhutto International Airport. In December 2014, Mr. Jamshed faced blasphemy accusations because of one of the sermons he gave on television. The Sunni Tehreek complained about his sermon, calling him blasphemous because he used derogatory language for one of the wives of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He issued a public apology but the recent attack on him clearly shows that his apology held no meaning for intolerant people. They abused a man in the name of the Prophet (PBUH), who was the most tolerant, kind, and loving person that ever walked this earth.
The second show of intolerance was directed towards the cricket team of Pakistan, which after performing poorly, returned home. They were greeted by an abusive crowd shouting insults at them. The mob welcoming the cricket team only showed the level of civility left in our society.
The day turned even worse as a suicide blast occurred in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, Lahore. Most of the innocent lives lost in Lahore blast were of women and children. It was Easter and most of the people, present in the park, belonged to the Christian community.
As if the loss of 60+ people was not enough for the day, there were people in Islamabad burning oil tankers and metro busses in the remembrance of Mumtaz Qadri, for a person who mercilessly murdered a governor of the state.
All of these took place in a single day. The attitude of the people, shown during this mournful day, raises very serious questions. Is our country going towards fanaticism? Pakistan has suffered a lot because of extremism, and one would think that we must have changed our thinking and become more tolerant but the recent events beg to differ.
The case of Mumtaz Qadri is enough to show the fanatic and extreme mentality of people. Islam says that killing one person is like killing whole humanity, but his devotees, claiming to be Muslims, think that he has claimed heaven by murdering a person. This is just one story among many other stories where innocent people are killed because people think they can take law in their hands and decide who dies and who lives.
E.M Foster, in one of his essays, said that people always say, in order to fix the world “love is what is needed”. People have tried to fix the world, by chanting this slogan again and again, but they have failed throughout the history. He says that in order to rebuild a civilization the key ingredient is not love, but “Tolerance”.
It is the lack of tolerance, we see in our society that is leading us to fanaticism. We have to teach our young generation to be tolerant. The world is always going to be full of people who are different from each other. You can either go for the “Nazi Solution”, kill them, segregate them, or tolerate them. As Foster said, “Tolerance is a very dull virtue”, but it may be the only foundation on which civilized future can be built. If Pakistan does not take the tolerant course, the Islamophobia will consume this nation, and innocent people will continue to suffer.
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