Identity Crisis

When Musharraf came to power and the whole 9/11 thing happened, major changes were seen in the political, social and economic scene in Pakistan. When the US said that, ” either you are with us, or against us”, it divided the people of Pakistan. Most of them supported Afghanistan and believed that the US operation was unjust. There were statistics that said that they supported Musharraf… whatever! Anyway, during this whole crisis, his think tanks derived a formula of “sab se pehle Pakistan”, there were songs, concerts, and what not to make sure that this message was embedded in the minds of people so that they would think “Pakistan First”! It was pretty effective as people have this nationalistic mentality in Pakistan where everyone’s either a Punjabi or a Pathan or a Sindhi, or a Balochi or a Muhajir or a Pakhtoon! Proof of it is that NWFP’s name has been changed to Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, the Siraikis want another province for themselves! And it is soo sad! So, back to where I was, Musharraf was pretty much successful in making people think with his media campaigns to think about being  a Pakistani first. And because it was the period when the US coalition attacked Afghanistan, this nationalistic thought overcame all the other provincial identities.

And why am I mentioning all this?! Because we fail to prioritize our identities! There’s been a video that a friend of mine posted on her wall on FB, and the title is, “yea kin logon ki basti hai aey Khuda” by some group called Jagoo Pakistan. The group though criticizes the media responsibilities towards Dr. Afia and too much publicity to Shoaib and Sania wedding and the attitude of the government towards Dr. Afia as compared to that towards Sania Mirza.  I’d agree to the part that yes, the media hasn’t done justice to Dr. Afia but we have to see where we can draw lines. Sania  Mirza maybe Indian but she is a Muslim first. So, when you call her  the “other” or dosre ki beti, you show and you prove that the Musharraf’s “sab se pehle Pakistan” was a success! I’m not saying that I’m not a Patriot or that I don’t love Pakistan, it’s just that if it wasn’t for Islam, there wouldn’t have been a Pakistan.

Pakistan was not made to divide Muslims, but it was made to protect them, to safeguard their rights but somehow the purpose seem to have lost! We fail to realize that we are first and foremost Muslims. When people starting converting to Islam more than 1430 years ago, the Kuffar of Makkah used to say that what kind of religion is this which has put enmity between blood ties and the reply to that is in Quran that Allah has developed love between them (the Muslims) which is far greater and far stronger than that of the blood ties! The Muslim brotherhood didn’t rely on the blood ties or worldly advantages, the brotherhood and the love between them was based on their love for Allah.  They were tied together because they loved Allah and they were Muslims. When we embrace Islam, or when one comes under the fold of Islam, he/she automatically becomes a part of the Muslim community in all parts of the world. That is the beauty of it!

So when we are Muslims first, the Sania Mirza issue shouldn’t be shown like this. The media is responsible for creating such a hype about it and that maybe because the agenda on which the media conglomerates wants the real issues to subside in front of such mundane ones. Always remember, “Nothing is what it seems” specially on television. This so-called free media (I’m calling it a so-called free media because the strings are held somewhere and I know it’s not as free as they project it to be) has undermined the value of Dr. Afia’s case soo much so that the people of Pakistan don’t even know what is happening except for a few! And if this is “awareness” that they are spreading, I wonder what’s the opposite of it!

Anyway, the only thing that I want to highlight here is think of being Muslims first! These national identities were gievn to us by Allah Ta’ala so that we could recognize one another. Not because we can divide and fight. Learn from Ansars from the occasion when they gave half of EVERYTHING to their brothers from Makkah! This is our tradition. Sania Mirza married Shoaib Malik, fine, it’s a marriage! Let it go! There are far more important issues at hand that should be looked into. There are far more difficult times ahead of us, which should be thought about! How to get out of the crises that we are facing as Muslims, as Pakistanis, inside our country and outside in the international community! Look beyond the mere walls of your houses. We are Muslims, and all Muslims all over the world are tied together. Look Muslims everywhere are suffering, and we as their brothers, what can we do??? Think outside the box! Think!

We are Muslims first! Can’t we make a small contribution to the Muslim world even if it is by praying for our Muslim brothers who are in pain! We are Muslims, we are tied together for our love for Allah and His Messenger(pbuh), so stop prioritizing your national identity! We are Muslims First!

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Accountability

There is a race in Pakistani media scene. Everyone wants to break the news first and channels go to the extent of claiming that it was them who broke the news first! Isn’t it strange that the media warfare has left the people of this country handicapped and mentally ill. Rather than making them more aware, they are more unaware of the situation even then consider themselves to be well informed! I’m talking about the “fake” Swat flogging video! I remember the day when the video was aired, it was Friday and since it was Friday and I had to pray after coming from university and then I went to sleep after lunch only to be awaken by an sms that said a lot of bad stuff about the flogging and the Swat administration and the people being inhumane who were doing that! Fortunately or unfortunately, I didn’t see the video till after sometime. Back at university, when N.A. and Salwa and I were sitting together, we were thinking the same thing, how can it be that no investigation had been done before the video was aired by all the TV channels. The video was repeated shown again and again and again! Anyhow, I remember posting something here regarding the video being fake! Now there are reports that it was actually fake!

Now have the tv channels, who aired the video soo much as to make the world believe that whatever that they are showing is true, repeatedly apologized to the people of this country again, and again and again for not verifying the video before airing it! “sach ki lagan”, “har khabar per nazar”, “geo aur geene do”, don’t they feel any accountability or responsibility of airing the video with so much rush as to avoid one of the most basic principles of media where one has to investigate and verify the authenticity of a news item before airing it! The leaders, political administrators and the military, everyone just jumped to conclusions without thinking for once if this is duly investigated! If there was such an incident or not?! This is what you call spreading AWARENESS or is this what you call brainwashing the people and running propaganda factories?

Propaganda factories are working yet effectively to dismantle the thinking abilities of the nation once again! Since the stupid Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik thing has been going on, all the news channels just show that, the ministers are talking about it, the youth is taking about it. Not having a TV, my husband watches news on internet and for two weeks all we heard was about Sania and Shoaib as if there has been no other news out there. Millions of people are suffering in Pakistan, operation Raah-e-Raast, drone attacks, suicide bombs and Dr. Afia’s upcoming hearing and the final verdict, and all this so-called awareness-spreading-media could highlight was two people getting married?

This is what we have come to! No one’s going to say anything to anyone, do whatever you do and you’d go free until or unless it is in the best interest of “some” agencies or “some” people and “some” countries.  This is just like Orwell’s 1984, the masses are fed so much of this propaganda that they seem to have lost their own insight into things and they believe whatever that media wants them to believe! hadd hai!

Are You Crazy?

Sitting with my husband and watching what he was doing on the computer, which is most of the time watching news and reading newspapers and of course fb, he came across a person whose status was that the Government of Pakistan has lost it’s marbles for spending millions of dollars on the lawyers of Dr. Afia when the majority of population is living under the poverty line!

Shocked?! Flabbergasted?! Want to hit your head on the wall?!!

I’d rather kill him for saying that!

He’s crazy! How can one even imagine that?! Selling these people off to the US state, disappearance of her children and the other two who are believed to be dead, doesn’t he feel anything? She had been harassed, raped, mentally tortured and we as Muslims and Pakistanis can just let it go because we don’t think the government should spend that much money on her?! Doesn’t he have a mother? Doesn’t he have a sister? Wont he have a wife or a daughter? What if something like that happens to them, God forbid, would he continue eating and drinking and wont feel anything for them, wont do anything for them?  Are you going to blame her for the starvation of the Pakistani people or are you going to blame the corrupt Pakistani Government for that? Is this what we have stooped to?? THIS?!!! Is it soo easy to sell your mother and daughters?!

So we should join the Musharraf and the Government of Pakistan and continue doing all the wrongs that we have been doing for soo many years and not raise our voices against the cruelty and the wrong done by these people and then maybe we will prosper??! The people of Pakistan won’t live below the poverty line? Have we stopped fearing Allah that He might send down punishments from Heaven on this very earth for siding with the wrong?! The very reason Pakistan is going through whatever that it’s been going through since a very long time is because we have stopped supporting what’s right, we have stopped raising our voices against the wrong, we have stopped caring about right and wrong as we don’t let ourselves be touched by the tragedies of our own people as our lives have been going on a smooth keel! We have stopped giving a damn about anything and everything. Will our actions go unnoticed?!

On the authority of Hudhaifah Ibn Al-Yamân (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) who reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “By Allah in whose Hand my soul is, you’d better enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong or Allah will descend upon you His severe punishment and then you supplicate Him but He will not answer your supplication” [Narrated by At-Tirmidhi, Hadith no.2169]