Following the accusations of blasphemy making headlines, I couldnt resist asking what exactly qualifies to be a blasphemy these days. The dictionary tells me its something that hurts religious sentiments, but whos going to decide what might hurt somebodys religious sentiments? And are religious sentiments exclusive to only us Muslims in the land of pure?
With rapists roaming free and murderers and terrorists honored, it is obvious that humanity has gone down the drain and all we have left are religious sentiments. Since these blasphemy laws seem to be of the very few laws our security personnel and the ambassadors of justice seem to be taking seriously, lets analyze what they have been negligibly missing.
In schools we teach our children that the prophet (pbuh) was sent as a mercy to humankind and forgiveness was one of his prolific traits. The Prophet (pbuh) repeatedly emphasized that religious institutions should not be harmed in many letters he sent to his emissaries. He (pbuh) said: Who hurts a non-Muslim minority is like hurting me. He (pbuh) promoted religious tolerance by selecting a non-Muslim, Amr bin Umaiyah, as an ambassador to be sent to Ethiopia. The Quran itself outlines its message of religious tolerance in Surah Al-Kafirun.
Now I ask how are these dehumanized creatures who claim to be Ashiq e Rasool (lovers of the prophet (pbuh)) and yet exploit and abuse the message he (pbuh) brought not blasphemers. Why is there no stir in our religious sentiments on cases of child molestation in the homes of God? How are the clerics who so fearlessly disrespect their position and pervert their religious responsibility not blasphemers? How the way our minorities are treated is not deemed a blasphemy? How is forcing somebody to convert to Islam not blasphemy? All in all, I dont see how are these elements whove insulted Islam by tormenting its conventional image more than anybody weve ever accused of blasphemy still not blasphemers.
Observing the growing trend of accusations of blasphemy, I wonder if qawwali singers like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and poets like Bulleh Shah, Sachal Sarmast and Ghani Khan were blasphemers. We as a society terribly confuse the notions of blasphemy and so were strangling the space for free and critical thinking, freedom of expression, creativity and art because of our confusions.
The lack of sense of responsibility in the present media war is proving to be a mockery of journalism. This is not the first time religious sentiments have been exploited to settle scores, but this surely seems to be paving the way towards intolerance, extremism and utter disregard for human life.
Its time we realize who are actually insulting Islam instead of just getting along with conspiracy theories, promotion of prejudice and fanaticism.
Only if we had a bit of conscience and empathy left along our religious sentiments, we would have been noticeably better at identifying blasphemies and justifying our reasons for it.
The author is a student,a daydreamer and a pseudo-revolutionary.He tweets @@IamDanishNazeer
Disclaimer : The views expressed by the author and the comments that follow do not necessarily reflect the views of Very Bad Apple