ARTICLE – Pakistan: When Gujranwala became Gaza
*Article written by Mahrukh Arif, Head of the English Editorial Board
As ramadan comes to an end, the people of Pakistan were seeing shopping at various places to celebrate eid after a month of fasting. After a long time, one could see joy on the faces of the citizen of a country in a political, social and economical chaos. Nonetheless, since the past weeks, Pakistan has been part of the countries standing up against injustice and inhumanity by fiercely giving their support to the people of Gaza. Whether it is public protests or the large condemnations by political and religious leaders, Pakistan have been present at every front to raise its voice as a state against the oppression of the people of Palestine creating somehow a social harmony on a common cause.
Nonetheless, upon a closer examination, one can clearly notice, as Bina Shah wrote in her very well written article for Dawn that their « eyes are shut at home ». This same country who is supporting Gaza at every front, sharing pictures of Palestinian children, women, bombed hospitals and houses on social medias, have never shown any indignation to what has been happening in their country with minorities. Whether they are Christians, Hindus, Shias or Ahmadis, the gouvernment of Pakistan has never took any serious action against their on going persecutions.
Last night, Pakistan reached heights of absurdity and hypocrisy when in Gujranwala, a mob of about 300 people looted several shops, burned about 8 houses and killed 4 innoncent ahmadis. An unborn child, one woman, one 7 year old girl along with her 8th months old sister were burnt to death while nine others are left with serious injuries. After this, the crowd was seeing dancing of their death as a sign of victory and great accomplishement. As per the reports, the police stood there watching, doing absolutely nothing.
This is not an singular incident, Ahmadi Muslims are constantly targeted, tortured and killed without any mercy in the name and for the sake of Allah and His beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The behaviour of the police was the same in may 2010 when two Ahmadis mosques were under a terrorist attack. No one has ever been arrested, no serious actions have ever been taken against the culprits. All this bigotry is even state sponsored as the Constitution of the country has declared ahmadis as non muslim since 1974 and the ordonnance XX of 1984 criminalizes Ahmadi Muslims from « posing as Muslims ». Yet, nobody can speak up against their persecution. A complete political, social and religious apartheid is maintained when its comes to them. If someone happends to do so, he is either snobbed or becomes a target too – Salman Taseer’s example is in that case quite relevent. As a matter of fact, the attitude of all of Pakistani media last night illustrated the on going apartheid as instead of saying houses of ahmadis have been targeted, they called it a clash between two groups. Thus, the media by remaining silent on a situation of oppression chose the side of the oppressor.
No suffering can be compared but last night, Gujranwala clearly became a reflect of Gaza. The only difference is that here it wasn’t Isrealis killing Palestinians, but Pakistanis killing Pakistanis, Muslims killing Muslims on the last day of the blessed month of ramadan, one day before Eid. The mob of 300 people adopted the position of the oppressor it has widely condemned and fought against. Such hypocrisy and double-standards cannot be tolerated from a country who shows compassion for the people of Gaza while closing their eyes on the killings of their own people in Gujranwala.
Standing up for Gaza does not make you a hero when you are unable to do justice in your own country Pakistan. Wake up and look at what you’ve done. Last night, you became everything you have fought and stood up against for the past weeks. By killing 4 people you became a murderer, by dancing upon their death you killed the whole of humanity left in you.
Last night, Gujranwala became Gaza.
* After three years of Classes Preparatoires Litteraires and having graduated in English, Mahrukh Arif is now getting into Masters covering Religious Sciences. She is a regular contributor in other online medias, such as MENA Post or Youth ki Awaaz. She is one on the founding members of Cultures & Croyances and the Head of the English Editorial Board.
Mahrukh can be contacted by email : firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter : @AMahrukh
Mahrukh Arif, « Pakistan: When Gujranwala became Gaza” », in : www.cultures-et-croyances.com, Folder : English Side – Article, July 2014.