Thoughts on anti-vulgarism day: Dear Diary…

Published: April 27, 2012
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Today I spent time reading Maulana Minty's pamphlets instead of my homework; it is important to remove bad things. DESIGN: MADIHA SAEED

Dear diary,

Today I came back from school after having an interesting day in my class. We, the fourth graders, learned about science, math and geography. We also had one man come to our class. He reminded me of Santa Claus but he wasn’t as nice. He was very strict. He told me that I can no longer sit with my best friend Mariam because it is wrong. I’m very sad about that. He said I don’t look at her in a nice way. I don’t know what he means but he’s older and everyone said he is very religious so he must be right. But I miss Mariam.

Amir

Dear diary,

Today I came to know Santa Claus’ name – it’s Maulana Minty. Today he told us that all those girls who used to sit with us are now in a separate school and that we are safe. I’m not sure from what, but I think I will pay attention and learn. He also got rid of Mrs Samina from the school. She was my favourite teacher and very kind too. But Maulana said her teaching us was a sin.

Dear diary,

Maulana Minty told us how all the films we watch and cartoons we love are evil. That is sad. I love watching films. But he says I will “search for bad things” if I watch movies. My cousin was telling me that it has something to do with a fake piece of news about Pakistanis searching for wrong things on Google. Today Maulana Minty said he knows this news is true, even though everyone says it is false.  So maybe we are bad people searching for bad things. I’m confused.

Dear diary,

I learned that vulgarity is causing all the problems in my life and my country. I love Pakistan. I will start working hard to remove vulgarity so everyone can lead a better life. Today I spent time reading Maulana Minty’s pamphlets instead of my homework; it is important to get rid of bad things.

Dear diary,

Did you know that Pakistan will collapse because of posters of women? I’m so worried. I met Mariam outside school today and told her this. I also told her that she should cover herself. She is causing problems for all of us. I was angry at her. Maybe my favorite Xbox game stopped working because of her.

Dear diary,

Maulana told us that naked girls are a bad thing. It is okay for men to wear shorts but not women. In the summer I like wearing shorts because it is so hot you know and sometimes there is no electricity. But I understand now that girls shouldn’t do this.  When I think about it, girls must not be completely human like us men. Maybe they are sent into the world to cause problems. So it is okay for me to cover them up? I think I can only stop looking if we lock up women in homes. If they are everywhere, how will I be a good Muslim?

Also, I will call you kitab from now on so I don’t use western terms.

Dear kitab,

We are going to celebrate April 27 as aunty vulgarism’s day. I’m not sure if she is my khala or phuppi.

Dear kitab,

Anti-vulgarism day! So silly of me. You know, I noticed today that all those films I watch have all these girls and I can see their arms and legs. Maulana Minty has told us this is a big sin and boys are being influenced by the devil because of this. I don’t want the devil to control me so I stopped looking at girls. It makes watching movies very hard. But sometimes I like looking so I take a peek. Then I do tauba (repentance).

Dear kitab,

Today is anti-vulgarity day. I told my mother and sister to stop going out without niqab. They are evil. My mother became upset. I also slapped my sister to make her do it. I bet the electricity at our house will go off because they are not listening to me. I also took all the magazines at home and used a black marker on the women in the pictures. I really enjoyed doing that. I got to see all the girls but I also destroyed the pictures. Tomorrow I will buy more magazines so I can colour them.  I like removing vulgarity from my country. I hope there is a lot of vulgarity I can remove tomorrow. It excites me.

Dear kitab,

I’m at the rally and brought you along.  There is a lot of smoke from all the magazines and posters being burned. My lungs are hurting a bit.

It’s very loud here. There are lots of people with banners too. I wonder why everyone is so mad and angry here. I should probably be getting angry also. I will try harder. I’m trying to scowl now.

I’m sure today’s rally will fix all those problems and improve our image. I’m so happy. I think I’ll go use my black marker some more.

Amir

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Salman Qureshi

A Masters graduate in International Business from the University of Wollongong Dubai. He is a standup and Improv comedian based in Dubai with an intense interest in reviving and supporting arts in Pakistan. He blogs at: salmanzq.blogspot.com/

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