A policeman carries a wounded victim in Garhi Shahu Lahore (source: AFP)
I have to admit that all I really wanted to say or post today was vile swearing. At the pea-brained 'jihadis' with their pubic hair beards, at their bastard 'teachers' and Wahabbi funders, at the ass-wipe Pakistani establishment nee military that nurtured both of them, at the narrow-minded fat-assed bigoted mullahs who protect them and the moronic and blind politicians and bureaucrats that continue to mollycoddle them. There are really no civilized words to react to what has happened today in Lahore. 80+ innocent people, children included, gunned down while praying in their 'places of worship', places we are not even allowed to call mosques! And for what? Because 'they' don't fit in with 'our' puritannical idea of 'our' religion.
I keep coming back to the 'original sin' that did not begin this whole process of demonizing other sects and religions, but certainly sanctified it: the 1974 act of a democratic parliament, led by the secular and socialist Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, that declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims. Of course there had been anti-Ahmadi rabble rousing from much earlier - remember that the anti-Ahmadi Khatm-e-Nabuwat movement began in the early 1950s - but never before had the state officially sided with the mob. This act laid the basis, in my opinion, for the officially sanctified bigotry, persecution and oppression that followed under Mardood-e-Momin Ziaul Haq and continued under others, including the pointless declaration we must all append our names to, to get ID cards or passports. This original sin was not by the mullahs who had been braying for such a declaration for long and rioting in support of it, but by Pakistan's democrats, secularists, intelligentsia, leftists, liberals and other minorities such as the Shia who acquiesced to it. Truly, if ever there was short-sightedness among Pakistan's establishment (and there are plenty of examples of it) this was it. Hereafter, a seed had been sown in the collective psyche, that not only was it okay to declare as heretics others who did not adhere to one's version of religion, but that violence and mob rule could be used to achieve your goals. The nurturing of extremist thought during Ziaul Haq's (mis)rule and its repercussions in the shape of today's barbaric attacks (and earlier targeting of Shias, Hindus and Christians) are a logical continuation of the original sin.
I know what the critical reaction to my statement is going to be. From the right, it will almost surely consist of theological arguments against the Ahmadis. From the left, some may argue about whether the original sin may, in fact, be the 1949 Objectives Resolution - which brought Islam into the constitution contrary to everything Jinnah stood for and would have thought proper - or even the concept of a state founded in the name of religion. I really have no desire to enter into a pointless theological debate with the right, other than to question whether they consider themselves bigger arbiters than Allah Himself. As far as I am concerned, heresy is between the Creator and the subject, who am I to make judgements about others' religious convictions? The argument on the left as far as the Objectives Resolution is concerned may have merit. (I don't subscribe to the negation of the idea of Pakistan as a whole simply because even states not founded on the basis of religion, such as India e.g. have seen horrific episodes of violence based on religion.) However, in my humble opinion, whereas the misguided Objectives Resolution did not actively profess prejudice and discrimination (in fact, believed it was standing against it), the anti-Ahmadi act of 1974 actively enshrined prejudice and discrimination.
Oh, but look at what some of our moronic opinion-makers say in response to today's carnage. There's Brigadier Imtiaz Billa on Business Plus suggesting an American conspiracy to force the Pakistan army to conduct an operation in North Waziristan and Southern Punjab and to malign Islam and Pakistan. Here's Lahore Commissioner Khusro Pervaiz immediately pointing to Indian involvement because "the operation was conducted on the anniversary of Pakistan's nuclear tests." There's some other maulvi on Geo's Pachas Minute claiming that Ahmadis have never been targeted "like this" before in Pakistan and that this shows that this is "not sectarian violence but just terrorism." And of course there is the usual chorus, of "these are not Muslims since Muslims could never do something so heinous." Will Pakistanis ever learn to look inward? Or understand cause and effect?
Thankfully, here's the moronic Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah (half-heartedly) admitting the linkage between the attackers and some madrassahs and even the Tableeghi Jamaat at Raiwind. And here's a shaken Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif finally realizing that these extremists are not potential voters that deserve covert support, but barbarians who need to be eliminated. Ah, but isn't he saying the same thing as his arch-nemesis Musharraf now? And does he have the balls to do what really needs to be done: a repeal of all discriminatory laws and practices that promote the mentality he finds so abhorrent now?