This Eid was painfully difficult to celebrate. Eid is supposed to be among the most joyous of festivals; a day of happiness and love. This Eid was anything but that. It was a sad reminder of how deranged and mental we have become as a nation, pondering over the most mindless of issues.
My Eid started off with the generic and fundamentalist Eid Khutba. The Imam Sahib (leader of the prayer) commanded the Muslims attending the congregation to listen to the words of the Prophet (s), completely out of context, and fight everybody till they were forced to accept the greatness of Islam. This followed a condemnation of the (surprise, surprise!) western and Hindu Civilizations by claiming that we’re in the mess that we’re in because we put dhagaa’s (strings) around our wrists and copy American/Indian hairstyles along with conducting candlelight vigils. We don’t want anyone burning themselves from candle wax, now do we. He then went on to say that textile owners are to blame for our moral decline because they paint the faces of women all over billboards, which can also lead to mullahs drooling and crashing their cars. Hence, in the interest of road safety, I suggest we take down these billboards…Nay! Why stop there? We stop women from driving! But it didn’t end there, you see. He then, laughably, went on to advocate the vision of the founding fathers. At this point I felt like standing up, going up to him and saying, “So, what do we do about these wretched Pathans, Muhajir, Balochi, Sindhi etc. because at one point Liaquat Ali Khan claimed that Pakistan was only meant for Indian Punjabis?” I didn’t because I wanted to return home safe and sound. There was more drivel on part of the Imam, but I feel like my point has been made.
I returned home dizzy and dazed, my head spinning over the nonsense I had just heard. It could only get better, I thought. I thought wrong because after a while I heard the news that an 11 year old girl suffering from Down’s syndrome had been arrested and jailed for allegedly burning a Noorani Qaida (Islamic text book teaching basic Arabic.) I was gutted. With not a single eye witness to testify that the girl had actually burnt the Qaida, how could they even accuse the girl of such a crime? More importantly, IT WAS AN 11 YEAR OLD MENTALLY CHALLENGED CHILD. It just goes to show that the God of the 500-600 people that arrived at the single-room home of this girl to beat her parents up is a very shallow, weak and vicious God. This God cannot stand any sort of rejection, not even in the form of an 11 year old child. All this God knows is to murder people who say something that offends him and these infidels and their whole community must be eradicated or burnt to death at once. I refuse to believe in any such God. It is nothing but the most vile of manifestations of human intolerance and hate. Valid to point out: only in Pakistan, folks. Only in Pakistan.
It gets more depressing. Apparently, police in Islamabad took down the name plate outside the house of Muhammad Ali because he was an Ahmedi. If being persecuted and humiliated wasn’t enough, Ahmedis are now being persecuted for their names. But why stop there? We should take down the name plates of Christians and Jews because they use names such as Moses and Jesus, right? It only makes sense since the precedent we’re setting is that people are not entitled to their names if they disagree with the ruling class. I say we make an amendment to the constitution stripping non-believers of their current names replacing them with names such as “Hell Bound” or “Satan’s Henchmen.” It only makes sense. After all, some Pakistanis love Hitler. We’re only following the footsteps of the most evil of men in history.
The God we’re worshiping is not a God, mind you. He’s, at best, an idol. The reason why Islam so vehemently condemns idol worshiping is because in the eyes of Muhammad (s), idols are nothing more than a manifestation of evil. They represent humans worshiping their own desires and wants and nothing more. Today, instead of Laat, Mannat and Hubal, we face the challenge of the idols of Hate, Intolerance and Hypocrisy. What makes them even more dangerous than their 7th century counterparts is that they’re intangible and entwined in human nature. To break them we must understand that everybody has a right to practice their faith the way they want, without violating the rights of others, and that the character of society cannot and should not be judged by the number of posters featuring women or the average grossing of BollyWood/HollyWood movies but rather it should be judged by the real virtues of society such as freedom, liberty, love, affection and tolerance. If we don’t, then you and I are as much an idol worshiper as any other idol worshiping Arab in pre-Islamic Arabia.