I AM MEHER BOKHARI, HEAR ME YELL (About Things I Don’t Really Know Much About)
Do you guys know who MEHER BOKHARI is? In case you don’t, MEHER BOKHARI is an anchor on Samaa where she hosts a political talk show called News Beat. The defining feature of the show is her penchant for yelling. There really isn’t much more. So if you tune into Samaa when her show is on you’ll get an earful of MEHER BOKHARI yelling about the latest political controversy in the country. Sometimes with a child in her arms. Oh, she knows her drama.
Recently MEHER BOKHARI had Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer on her show to discuss the Aasia Bibi blasphemy case, and in particular his effort towards getting her pardoned by the President.
And MEHER BOKHARI was having none of it. Our feelings have been hurt. We demand blood. Here are some choice moments from the show:
As part of the opening monologue MEHER BOKHARI says:
“…and upon proving the occurrence of the crime the district judge handed down the death sentence to Aasia Bibi.”
Yes. Once the crime was proven. This obviously had nothing to do with the baying mob demanding that Aasia Bibi be hanged, and everything to do with proof. After all, the word of a Muslim is likely to be more valid than that of a Christian lady.
Angered by the Governor going directly to the President for clemency MEHER BOKHARI says:
“Aasia Bibi still had two forums where she could have appealed. The High Court and the Supreme Court. Why go directly to the President?”
Let her languish in prison for a crime she may not have committed and where she may be killed like previous people accused of blasphemy. Mercy isn’t something we should show without due process.
How dare the Governor put all of us at risk, she asks:
“Because of your actions, security at mosques and churches has had to be bumped up.”
Greater security at mosques and churches? What a horrific idea! It’s not like they’ve been attacked before.
But you declared Ahmadis Non-Muslims Governor:
“The founder of your party passed a law in the 1970s that declared Ahmadis Non-Muslims. What is your opinion of this law?”
Two wrongs! They DO make a right!
Certainly the Governor can have no response to the overwhelming evidence against Aasia Bibi:
“So, in your opinion, Governor, the confession given to the Panchaayat was false, the one and a half year long trial was wrong, the verdict was wrong, and the police investigation was inaccurate?”
I certainly have never heard of instances where a vocal group of extreme people has been able to force our courts and police to do their bidding. I’m going to assume MEHER BOKHARI hasn’t either. We both hate Wikipedia.
But Governor, she asks, what about us:
“Governor Sahib, shouldn’t humanity also be extended towards those whose feelings have been hurt? Of the Muslims?”
Life of a Christian woman is roughly equal to making me cry.
It’s all about being human though, she exclaims:
“But what’s the alternative Governor? Should we just allow a lynching of alleged blasphemers? Shouldn’t there be a state punishment to avoid such incidents?”
Let the state kill them. It’s SO much better than getting our own hands dirty.
You dumb fucking liberal extremists:
“These West worshipping or liberal individuals, or mentality, it often forces this debate, which then makes the country look bad.”
How dare anyone force us to look at our laws and have a debate on them? Only bad things come from debate. That’s why MEHER BOKHARI’s show is a bastion of rhetoric and bombast.
Debate. Nuance. Sab gunah.
How dare you call MEHER BOKHARI Western?
“I am not Western.”
But I do like their clothes:
“The Blasphemy law was created in 1992. This is not Zia-ul-Haq’s creation.”
‘Between 1988 and 2005, Pakistani authorities charged 647 people with offences under the blasphemy laws.’
Like I said, we hate Wikipedia.
By the way, Governor, the Ulema are pissed off:
“The Ulema have issued a fatwa against you saying that you are no longer a Muslim.”
A bunch of Ulema with an ideological agenda to defend the Blasphemy laws have declared you a Non-Muslim, Governor. Isn’t that surprising?
“According to the Constitution, a ‘Munafiq’ cannot hold a high ranking government position.”
Not only has the Fatwa from some Ulema been issued, but it is also the truth. You must resign immediately. MEHER BOKHARI caught you out Gov. You must go now.
Also, Governor, you just destroyed everything:
“Do you feel like your steps are fanning the flames of religious hatred?”
A Muslim man reaching out to help a Christian woman is the height of religious intolerance. We must all protest this wildly and set fire to a couple of fast food establishments.
And now MEHER BOKHARI reads a memo:
“There is a restricted and confidential notification of the Punjab government, which explicitly says this information should not be circulated.”
But I am MEHER BOKHARI and I will fucking read this live on national television.