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Hanging My Head in Shame

May 29, 2010

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.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2010 12:45 pm

    Genuine post.

  2. Akhtar Hussain permalink
    May 29, 2010 12:57 pm

    Its matter of shame indeed, time to think and introspect. Time to stand up against all sort of hate against any group, sect or community for what good Muslims are we if we cease to remain a good human beings.

  3. Ugly Shoelace permalink
    May 29, 2010 2:40 pm

    Shameful indeed. Words are just not enough.

  4. May 29, 2010 3:36 pm

    What an act. What kind of horror. And yet the majority sits back and laughs over it … Unbelievable!

  5. Marvi permalink
    May 29, 2010 4:16 pm

    very well written. i truly hope this can atleast be a very costly eye-opener to the ignorant people of pakistan.

  6. Shahyan permalink
    May 29, 2010 6:12 pm

    I’ve posted this elsewhere. But I feel it is relevant here too:

    I appreciate your sentiment. But what are you going to do to change things? Will you refuse to sign NIC or passport forms in the future? Will you speak up regularly in defense of the community? It is easy to get swept up in the emotion of such events. It has happened before, and then the masses quickly retreat into their state of blissful ignorance and don’t even acknowledge that there is a problem, because they are “simple” Muslims and this doesn’t concern them.

    As I said before, I appreciate your sentiment. But will you be this outraged a year from now? Three months from now? Even a week from now?

  7. May 29, 2010 10:08 pm

    I am ashamed too. And I feel helpless.

  8. May 29, 2010 10:24 pm

    We are ashamed of the Lahore massacre indeed, but ashamed as Pakistani’s who cannot do much to sort out its political leaders and set them straight. We will not meet your gaze because we have hung our heads out of the burden caste upon us by terrorists who are pretending to be Muslims. We are mortified to have to defend our religion because of the acts of brutal brainwashed zombies. We are embarrassed because of the men leading our country and activist groups do not act upon the guidelines set not just by Islam, but sheer humanity.
    Don’t judge me because of my country’s leaders. Don’t place me amongst the same ranks.
    Don’t hate for who I am, but for what I do to you.

  9. May 30, 2010 5:09 am

    All those who signed the form against Ahmadis when renewing their Pakistani passports should hang their heads in shame at the blood that is on their hands. It is now time to act in protest and end the extermists’ hold upon the government to ransom. Otherwise, tomorrow it will be other groups that will suffer. Don’t let all those lives go to waste, let’s do something about it.

  10. sasha permalink
    June 13, 2010 7:57 pm

    i think the fundamental problem with ahmadi muslims goes beyond pakistan in general, if we look at the root of it all, the real reason perhaps would be the islam’s and muslims allergic reaction to the later monotheistic religions that came up after islam was well established because while islam could dismiss jewish and Christian faith as brother faiths which had strayed from god’s true path and it could also dismiss all eastern philosophies as being raving polytheists and ancestor worshipers and if u see the kind of torture the early sikh gurus had to endure in mughal india or the exile of bahiullah and the treatment of bahais in iran and the treatment of ahmadis in pakistan they all have the same commonality all monotheistic faiths, the reasons sikhs somehow escape the persecution now although they still would be persecuted for being non muslims, is because they do not dispute or claim to dispute the finality of mohammed like the bahai or mirza ghulam ahmed therefore these two faiths are looked upon with more suspicion, as muslim majority nations find it difficult to classify as to where to put them, whether to call them muslims or non muslims, therefore the solution to the problem is not going to be from pakistan alone but from all the nations where muslims are in a significant majority that faith is a personal issue and need not be brought into the public sphere , and if someone does not agree with ur path well then to each his own, if he/she will burn in hellfire to their opinion then they will burn, atleast you dont make them burn while they are alive.

  11. Ammar permalink
    June 23, 2010 2:37 pm

    This is weird ,I’ve been using the alias kalakawa for the last 10 years. Never knew someone else was using it too.
    I was really pissed at first, then I read your work.

    Its briliant.

    • June 23, 2010 2:55 pm

      Thank you, sir.

      Also, no copyright infringement intended. haha.

  12. yakoo permalink
    June 27, 2010 1:48 pm

    Hello kala kawa,

    Really nice to read your post, i was going throgh many pakistani blogs and hearing zaid hamid and in my mind i had almost concluded that most pakistanis are fanatic and religiously retard…..but people like you give me hope that everything is not lost with pakistan. I have few pakistani friends and they are well educated and polite and when this lahore attack happened somehow they were justifying it ….. i couldn’t understand means they were willing to go out for movie and have a lunch with kafir hindu, like me, but were willing to write off whole community which was atleast following what you guys are preaching……

    Its good to read few liberal post…..

  13. July 8, 2010 2:42 am

    Well expressed. I stand with you in all these prayers. May Allah give every muslim .. every pakistani the same level of tolerance and patience thats been expected of us from Hadhrat Muhammad SAWW .. ameen.

  14. sunny permalink
    July 8, 2010 4:50 am

    Zaid Hamid is a special case but yes people like you do give me hope and I know for a fact that in Islam killing one man is killing all mankind. Hats Off!


  1. Our collective shame. « The World Has Stopped Spinning.
  2. Pakistan and Ahmadis « Do You Know How To Waltz?
  3. On the Massacre « N, Inc.
  4. Pakistan’s shame. « The Zeitgeist Politics
  5. From the BlogBucket: “Ahmadis Attacked” « CrossPak

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