Terrorised again: Welcome to my world

Published: October 8, 2010

Two blast occurred at the entrance of the shrine of Sufi saint Abdullah Shah Ghazi on Thursday PHOTO: AFP

It’s been a while since I wrote about my country’s current state of affairs or the multiple attacks that continue to make me believe I’m a soldier living in a war-zone.

On any given panic-holiday, I meet my friends for brunch and talk about how good it feels to finally have a day off – you will never find us complaining about some extra hours of sleep. You see, we Karachiites are completely desensitized to disgustingly worrying levels of poverty, bomb threats and suicide attacks. Living in Karachi, you grow up and you learn to toughen up and just deal with things.

We pretend nothing is wrong.

We learn to joke about the most degrading and appalling of situations.

I am a Muslim by birth. I don’t usually pray five times a day and sometimes I do doubt God when things get hard. I may not be the nicest person you know. I may not always fast every year. But I do know that Islam is a religion of peace. The predominant theme in our Holy Book is that of forgiveness; we start every act declaring that ‘Allah is merciful and forgiving’.

I have no idea what is going on. How can people misinterpret something so clear?

I am being very reasonable when I admit I believe that human conflict is perhaps inevitable, but there must be a sense of morality. We have descended into monstrosity.

Of course, we hate international political interference. We will have a fit of rage when members of our families die because of non-stop senseless drone attacks and we will get angry when the Americans try to bully us and buy us with money. We will get peeved when they mess our country over and find stupid reasons to attack it and believe terrorists dwell in it but we must always remember that the nobility of a cause is forever tainted when stained with the blood of innocent people.

Suicide bombers in Pakistan and Afghanistan now kill thousands of Muslims a year… innocent people going to pray or shop in the marketplace, their only crime being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When will mankind believe that Islam really does represent what its name stands for: Peace.

The constant fear, lack of security and the ease with which lives are lost or taken, is nothing short of the norm in this great Islamic republic.

Welcome to my world.

The world of hate, hope and suicide attacks.


Anushka Jatoi

A psychology graduate who is interested in literature and current affairs.

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

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/143/taha-kerar/ Taha Kehar

    I admire the realism inherent in your post. Recommend

  • gem

    Love the first half of your blogpost, Anushka.I really wish that you had continued and asserted how we have become desensitised. You started by saying that you can do brunch w/ your friends w/o thinking about this mess but then ended w/ ‘constant fear’. I am a bit confused :)
    That being said, keep writing. You really had me glued for most of it. Recommend

  • Hina..

    com on yr..!!..if a psychology graduate is comng up wid thz attitude, with sch intense level of pessimism thn wat r u xpectng..!!
    world of hate..!!..words blasting the image of ur world..=\Recommend

  • Zara Khan

    well said anushka!! as an Indian for whom it was love at first sight with Khi, I feel thoroughly disgusted and saddened by this senseless internecine violence!!Recommend

  • Anushka Jatoi

    Thank you for your comments.

    The end bit is more about how bad the situation has become overall- it isn’t linked to the part about how we have become desensitized enough to be going for brunches when the city is on red alert.

    I hope that clarifies it :)Recommend

  • Yousuf Ahmad

    “I have no idea what is going on. How can people misinterpret something so clear?”

    I used to ask myself the same questions. I found my answers in history, psychology, philosophy, and, perhaps most importantly, in the Qur’an.

    “When will mankind believe that Islam really does represent what its name stands for: Peace.”

    The word ‘Islam’, in Arabic, stands for ‘submission’, not peace. Submission to the will of God.

    I believe Islam is in fact the religion of justice. Peace does not appear out of thin air; it is but one of the byproducts of the implementation of social justice. The concept of justice is based on fundamental rights and codes of moral conduct. The Creator has outlined these rights and codes quite clearly (through his Messengers and Books over the centuries). It is up to the ‘created’ to be informed and to live by these codes.Recommend

  • sadya

    i really like the way in which the mis-conception about islam is clarified. Recommend

  • rahim

    like the post but

    “When will mankind believe that Islam really does represent what its name stands for: Peace”

    im not sure, i dont think islam stands for peace, i think it stands for submission, complete submission to the will of God.Recommend

  • parvez

    Very well written and the issues you raise are all complex and not simple.
    If one has no or very little control over what is happening then I feel that your response as you have laid out above is quite natural. What are you expected to do ?
    I am convinced of one thing and that is these acts should not be discussed in a religeous context these are politically motivated criminal acts and should be seen as such.Recommend

  • Ali

    Well put.
    One of those rare posts when i got the feeling of the words and the emotion that materialized them. Recommend

  • Amna

    Totally agree with you- keep writing!Recommend

  • Tilsim

    @ Rahim

    ” i think it stands for submission, complete submission to the will of God.”

    And what is the will of God? For me it’s about selflessness towards fellow humans and the pursuit of a higher ethical and moral plain and a constant reminder to be humble and merciful.

    To others it may mean something quite different as exemplified by the blowing up of the shrine.Recommend

  • Neeraj, India

    Many a millennia ago, man was living in caves rather peacefully. But, once he became conscious about his surroundings, everything changed. He saw in awe and admiration, the ferocity of fire spitting volcanoes, sky high mountains, devastating earthquakes, roaring winds&rains playing havoc with both flora and fauna, and of course mighty animals dominating the jungles. That was when the first little gods were born.
    By worshiping and paying his respect to these awfully powerful entities he saught protection and prosperity for himself. But, strangely, whenever there were epidemics, famine and other miseries befell on him, he cried for the help and deities failed him time and again. Yet, he could not muster enough courage to question the validity of their power. What is so outrageous is, he blamed himself for displeasing the gods who, therefore, were justified in bringing the calamity!!
    The curse and madness continues till today. We are no different form the cavemen of the day. When someone fights and argues over the supremacy of his god over the gods of other sects/religions, it make me sick and inadvertently reminds me of the cavemen fighting over the greatness of their volcano god or wind god. Whenever these religious killing do occur all I could do is to laugh at the despicable cruelty committed in the name of the God, the merciful!
    Region has no place in affairs of the state. It is absolutely a private matter and should be confined to one’s own life. Why don’t you people take a cue from Bangladesh, a country which was part of Pakistan till the other day. Government and the judiciary of Bangladesh, quite courageously, declared the country as a secular state and banished the orthodox mullah parties such as jamait islami
    Somebody needs do the same in Pakistan, but, I don’t see this happening anywhere near soon, because, contrary to Bangladesh, in Pakistan, political parties and even army are vying with each other to make the country more islamic than before. That is very sad. Recommend

  • Maira

    Anushka, I like how honest your article is, especially the part about desensitization.
    I also appreciate the casual style of language that you have used despite writing on such a serious topic. It’s so refreshing! Recommend