To ban or not to ban …Shezan juice

Published: February 12, 2012
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A couple of weeks back, the Jamaatud Dawa held a well-attended rally in Rawalpindi to remove an Ahmadi religious centre from Satellite Town.

Even though neighbours claimed to have no issues with its presence, the assault on this myopically-perceived menace seems far from over. Just take the little-reported effort to ban a local cell phone company due to its ‘questionable ownership’.

Although proven to be non-Ahmadi owned, the company still raises suspicion because it starts with the same letter that a derogatory term for Ahmadis does. Apparently, a flaw in their phones’ Urdu dictionary which made it impossible to type the name Muhammad is what fuelled the cause.

On Sunday, The Express Tribune reported on a monumental decision taken by the Lahore Bar Association. These lawyers, some of whom vocally supported convicted murderer and all-round crazy person Mumtaz Qadri (also a lawyers’ favourite in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, where garland of roses were placed around his ‘blessed’ neck and offers were placed for his ‘holy’ MP5 submachine gun), decided that a major food and beverage brand should be banned from all court premises because it is owned by every Pakistani bigot’s favourite punching bag, Ahmadis. This was followed up by a vow to “also…ban other products at a later stage”.

With this in mind, in the spirit of banning things based on who owns or manufactures them, I’ve come up with a short list of other items that should be banned.

Guns

Specifically the infamous Kalashnikov Ak-47 and AK-74 rifles which so many feel a religious duty to acquire. The guns carry the name of their inventor, Soviet weapons designer Lt General Mikhael Kalashnikov, an atheist. Of course the fact that he regretted his invention later, saying things like, “It is painful for me to see when criminal elements of all kinds fire from my weapon…I created this weapon primarily to safeguard our motherland” and, “I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawnmower.”

Alternatively, if they love their AK’s so much, wait for the AK-mower to hit the market. I’m sure the 92-year-old genius has one last design in him. They can help pass the time with one of the general’s less famed products, Kalashnikov Vodka

Clothes

Now clothing dates back past the coming of Islam, or any modern religion for that matter, but the problem is, how do you know who made the cloth for that fascinating non-Muslim, European-styled black on white combo you’re wearing? Was it an atheist in China? Was it a Christian in South America? Was it a Hindu in India? Was it a non-whatever-you-are in Pakistan? The only solution to assure compatibility is to make your own cloth and stitch it yourself. Or wear a box (as long as you’re sure it was made by people who share your ideology).

Cell phones

Invented by Christians and manufactured by atheists in China, it is high time to lay those Blackberrys, Nokias, iPhones, HTCs and Samsungs on top of a bonfire. Start with Android phones, since the technology’s father is a Jew.

Paper, printing, and ink

All three are Chinese inventions, if the lawyers are really committed, they will begin a movement to get rid of all written and printed material such as the Constitution of Pakistan. But wait, wouldn’t that mean having to dispose of all the written anti-minority laws? No problem. They can rely on oral histories. Who needs certified written records when any prime candidate for natural deselection can spout a cockamamie theory and present it as fact?

Logic

This may fall into a grey area, as the Greek invention was perfected in no small part by the likes of Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ghazali, and Ibn Rushd. Fortunately, a possible ban would be easy to comply with, as most Pakistanis rejected it years ago.

So in short, we need to ban cell phones, we need to ban clothing, we need to ban the internet, we need to ban paper and printing, and we need to ban logic. However, in the event that all this becomes untenable, we can take the easy way out. We can simply ban hate.

Read more by Vaqas here. Follow him @vasghar.

 

Vaqas Asghar

Vaqas Asghar

The author is a senior sub-editor on the Islamabad Desk and also reports on diplomatic events. He tweets as @vasghar (twitter.com/vasghar)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.