Six (of many other) ‘wrong numbers’ that Pakistan keeps dialling
Many in Pakistan have taken Aamir Khan’s PK as a lampoon only for Hindus and brushed it aside as just that blissfully ignoring the very blatant message the movie tried to give to followers of all religions. In my opinion, this movie was most relatable to our side of the border than any other place. The only real difference between what the film portrayed and what happens here is that when we bring up such questions we are killed. Simple.
But if you give the message in the movie a little more thought, you will realise that most of what happens in Pakistan is a ‘wrong number’.
Wrong number 1: Seminaries opposing modern knowledge
The prophet of Allah (swt), Muhammad (pbuh), admired the quest for knowledge and urged his followers to struggle and explore the universe. Seminaries here are too busy declaring modern studies non-religious to even pay heed to what religion itself says.
Wrong number 2: Honour killings
Prophet Shoaib’s (as) daughter once told him about a boy who helped her fetch water from a well. Later she was married to that boy – the boy was Prophet Musa (as). Today, she would have been killed for bringing shame to, and ‘dishonouring’, her family.
What I have not understood in all these years is, how on earth does killing their daughter or sister or mother bring honour to these men? Aren’t they, in turn, supposed to protect them from harm? I don’t know about you, but this is definitely a “wrong number” in my book.
Wrong number 3: Education is bad for women
We spend more on their weddings, for pomp and show, than on their education, just because it is feared that receiving an education will make them bad or “disobedient” wives. It is feared that education won’t let them focus on their house chores. It is believed that education will make them more flamboyant.
How can anyone not consider this a wrong number? Education makes women aware of their rights – rights that Allah (swt) has given them. So how is taking their right away acceptable?
Wrong number 4: Non-Muslims are always disrespectful towards Islam
The notion that non-Muslims are always contemptuous towards Islam is so strong that every time a non-Muslim is accused of blasphemy, he is presumed guilty (and in most cases killed) even before the trial takes place. The situation is so out of control now that even judges get pressurised to give a verdict against the minority group. On the other hand, “pious” Muslims can do whatever they want to do and no one can hold them accountable. The dichotomy is too blatant to ignore.
A few years back, in Islamabad, a minor and mentally challenged Christian girl was said to have desecrated the Holy Quran. When this news broke out, people were after her blood, but later she was found innocent. The local cleric – who had raised the allegations against her in the first place – was found to have burnt the sacred pages himself.
However, even after being acquitted of all charges, the girl and her family still lived in fear. The cleric, on the other hand, was never accounted for his crime.
Tring, tring. Wrong number.
Wrong number 5: Sectarian animosity
Did God create this sectarian divide? I don’t believe he did, so how dare we? Sectarian hatred has been created by opportunist, hate-mongers, who believe that God has given them the right to label whoever they want as infidels. This is a classic example of how religion can be used for personal gains.
Wrong number 6: During a regular conversation, “No, but the Quran says…”
Really? Are you 100% sure that is what the Quran says? Can you point out the exact verse instead of just saying you have read it or the so and so Imam at the so and so madrassa/mosque said in a so and so sermon.
Our society is on the verge of collapse. It is time that we stop dialling these wrong numbers and change our ways.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.