Hanging My Head in Shame
I wanted to write something funny to possibly lighten the mood after what may have been Lahore’s worst terrorist attack. It turns out I don’t need to. A fairly large section of society’s mood has been greatly buoyed by the wanton murder of Pakistanis. I cannot think of anything more repugnant.
For the sin of holding beliefs different from that of the majority of the country, Ahmadis are considered “Wajib-ul-Qatal” by some – which loosely translates as people worthy of being murdered. Tazeen’s excellent post today starkly lays out the systemic discrimination of Ahmadis in Pakistan, and she expresses this better than I possible could.
Today, I’d just like to extend an apology for everything I represent, to the Ahmadi community.
For being a Pakistani, whose constitution enshrines laws that discriminate against you and encourage your persecution, I apologize.
For being a Punjabi, whose government did not provide you adequate security despite intelligence reports and your community’s repeated insistence on the danger you face, I apologize.
For being a Lahori, whose commissioner has facetiously declared the attacks on your mosques as a RAW plot within two hours of the incident, I apologize.
For being a consumer of Pakistani media, which has bent over backwards to call your mosques “places of worship”, and has decided to exclude you from the one-size-fits-all tag of “Shaheed”, I apologize.
Most of all, for being a bystander who has not spoken more loudly against the persecution you face from the state, from the state’s allies, and from fascist religious groups, I apologize.
Apologies, I realize, are worth nothing today. Years of systemic discrimination have culminated in this incident. We callously declared you a minority, and then failed to provide you with the security we promise our minorities in our constitution.
I hang my head in shame today. As should every other Pakistani.