Remember this image, O’holy Muslim brethren?

Published: June 1, 2016
SHARES
Email

On March 9, a mob of over 3,000 people set ablaze more than 150 houses of Christians in the Joseph Colony over alleged blasphemous remarks against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by Sawan Masih, a 28-year-old Christian sanitation worker. PHOTO: ABID NAWAZ

Does anyone remember this image? It’s not that old. But I suppose it has been forgotten.

Let me remind you. This image is less than three-years-old. This is March 2013, Lahore. Triumphant and probably feeling much closer to God, this man stands before a burning heap of what was once a Christian colony.

In November, three years before that, a Christian woman named Asia Bibi was charged with accusations of blasphemy and she sits in jail to this date.

In March 2015, two churches were attacked in Lahore and 14 people were killed.

The same year, just a month or two later, a Christian couple, Shama and Shehzad were killed mercilessly.

These dates, these minorities, these methods of persecution mean something. They mean that there is a significant problem in the Muslim community and that problem is called intolerance.

And it isn’t just Pakistan, where Muslim majorities have decided that they would take out their anger and frustration with the world on the weak and outnumbered. A Muslim mob in Egypt stripped naked a 70-year-old woman after rumours that her son had an affair with a Muslim woman.

It’s as if all this fighting amongst themselves is not enough to quench their thirst for violence and chaos. All the ‘rebellion’ and ‘protest’ that seems to have gathered enough media hype was not enough to make them realise the value of peace – they had to go out and target the minorities as well.

What is it about self-righteous mobs that make them forget a sense of self? What is it about the kind of ideologies that are preached by hate-mongers in the pulpits that makes everyone grab their pitchforks to kill everyone who dares disagree with them?

What is it with majority groups that somehow end up bullying the minority groups? War or peace, when human beings become majority stakeholders of any space, they want to take over it, they don’t want anyone else to share the power with them. And one of the many ways they try to bully the weak into submission is to lynch them. These groups can use anything: religion, finances, ethnicity – anything. Anything that is the defining characteristic of the majority is a tool and a reason for them to attack and make the weak capitulate.

Muslims are victims of Islamophobia in the very same way. There are powerful groups that categorise every Muslim as a terrorist or a threat. This is why those in power attempt to send messages of tolerance (Obama’s speech to an Islamic gathering in Baltimore, Pope Francis’ speech about how Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters) – in order to create an impact within the masses.

Post December 2014’s attack on Pakistani children, the parliamentarians and the ruling establishment came up with the National Action Plan in which no hate speech or no hateful act against minorities would be tolerated. However, we see day in and day out that there is hate speech against Christians, Shias, Ahmadis and anyone else who doesn’t subscribe to the mainstream Pakistani religious denominations. People are labelled as ‘kafirs’ and ‘yahudi’ agents and simply killed for having a difference of opinion. Be it Rashid Rehman, Parveen Rehman, Shahbaz Bhatti, Salman Taseer, Sabeen Mahmud, Khurram Zaki or any of these voices that wanted to stand against discrimination were silenced brutally – it’s just how the way Pakistani society works. There is intolerance amongst the chief heads of parties, there is ample misogyny in their attitudes and there is plentiful ignorance shown by seemingly educated and powerful elite of Pakistan.

From the small speeches aired from the Friday prayers that ask for death to Jews and Shias and Ahmadis and basically everyone who isn’t them – to the bigoted thoughts we have against those whose beliefs do not fall exactly in line with ours.

Mahwash.Badar.

Mahwash Badar

The author is a clinical psychologist, a mum to two boys and permanently in a state of flux. She tweets @mahwashajaz_ (twitter.com/mahwashajaz_)

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

  • Jayman

    The ideology is going through the throes of confusion and is in search of its identity in the modern world. There is always excess before real change comes.Recommend

  • Raghu

    The writer maybe blinded and could not see the same treatment done to Palestinians.Recommend

  • Ray

    This is a shame on us.Recommend

  • Fawad

    “It’s as if all this fighting amongst themselves is not enough to quench their thirst for violence and chaos. ” this is the fact in one line.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Since inception of Islam, converted are searching for identity. Only difference is that in medieval time they were powerful. No real change will come as that requires prolong wars.Recommend

  • wb

    Muslims have done that for the last 1400 years incessantly. There has never been peace with Muslims involved in the history of universe. So, why is this even special?

    During Muslim invasion and rule of India, an estimated 100 million Indians were killed. Muslims have never lived in peace with others, more importantly among themselves.

    And the first thing you say…”Islam is a religion of peace”. The biggest trick the devil pulled was to make the world believe that it didn’t exist.Recommend

  • Shehryar Khan

    That picture is a dramatization. The person in front is an actor. You should have known that much before using it.

    If you want to see real ones, what is being done to Muslims and Islamic Civilization around the World, let me know. I live and travel in the real world.Recommend

  • siesmann

    WHat has that to do with how Pakistanis treat their minorities?Recommend

  • indiandude

    There are powerful groups that categorise every Muslim as a terrorist or a threat.

    That is very unfortunate and unfair to many good muslims. Only pakistanis are violent and pose terrorist threat.Recommend

  • João Manuel Gomes

    “Clean your house first before declaring somebody else’s home dirty”Recommend

  • NKAli

    I was abstaining from reading this article because of the pain it causes. History is full of many incidences of such horror, maybe even worse.
    Not a word of condemnation by the mullahs. Not only horrifying but it can be made into a Hollywood film. That is why I remain ever grateful to my late parents who taught me never to distinguish between humans. Ameen. Salams
    Recommend

  • Jayman

    They’re not powerful anymore and that’s the reason why every single Islamic nation is in a state of turmoil. All the machinations notwithstanding, the change will have to come from within.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Mostly Muslims doing that to other Muslims.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Mullahs concentrate only on women,and how best to suppress them.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ghayur

    If iam not wrong Mehwish Baddar is the same writer few months ago want to discuss periods. Dear writer I can expect from you only these sort of articles which highlights only those incidents which are countable on dates and that against muslims. why u didnt write anything on ppl of Mayanmar Palestine Syria Meat ban and death by the mobs in India if you felt so much pain for this worldRecommend

  • Duaa

    This article speaks of Muslims as though all of them are intolerant. That in itself is ignorance on the part of the writer. And it has opened gates to such comments as wb’s, who goes to criticize Islam itself.

    Think. Before you write. There may be a better way to convey your point. Recommend

  • Milind A

    Probably you didn’t read the news about a Christian woman being stripped naked and paraded on the streets of Egypt..Recommend

  • Milind A

    Your statement proves that Muslims lack logic besides civility and thirst for peace.Recommend

  • Milind A

    They were in a state of turmoil, when they were powerful as well. The Mughal empires, Caliphates.. none were peaceful..Recommend

  • Miyagi Jr.

    The biggest trick the devil still trying to pull is to make the world believe that “Islam is not a religion of peace”.
    And I know you won’t stop trying.Recommend

  • human

    no humanity left – savage country we live inRecommend

  • Vishwaroopam

    get out denial and see what followers of Islam are doing through out the world.All terrorists are muslims and muslims are either terrorists or potential terrorists. But I haven’t see any muslim criticizing islamic terrorists because terrorist activities by muslims are their religious duties and there is nothing wrong in performing religious dutiesRecommend

  • Looking EYES

    No, you don’t! You live and travel in lala land!! What is happening to the minorities in the Muslim world in general and in PK in particular is shameful.Recommend

  • Vishwaroopam

    right on spotRecommend

  • Vishwaroopam

    exactlyRecommend

  • Khan

    I wish a day will come when you also write about Palestinian children killed on a daily basis, innocent afghans, pushtuns, Iraqis, Syrians killed as ‘collateral damage’ by the ‘civilized’ countries. I wish a day will come when you write about the attacks in london, birmingham, newyork, and other western cities on hijab clad women and bearded men. I wish such a days comes and then I would be able to say that you are an impartial person and honest writer…Recommend

  • Khan

    Muslims have been the victims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Kashmir, Myanmar, Gujrat, etc and muslims today are killed on a daily basis by non muslim soldiers…The only difference in the past was when the non muslim armies tired to fight the muslims, the muslim armies gave a befitting response and crushed their enemies…Recommend

  • wb

    True…True…so true. But what made Muslims kill Muslims on the day your prophet died…even before his body was not buried? RAW? CIA? MOSSAD? MI6? India? Israel? America?
    Recommend

  • wb

    Oh man…you ruin the fun of rhetoric, metaphor and pun…because you are extremely extremely dull!!!!Recommend

  • maz3tt

    Wonder why many writers like our very own writer don’t write something like pathan shot a pathan or a punjabi shot a punjabi, or a sindhi shot a sindhi. yes their are many many problems in Pakistani, but many things are overplayed as well in media as well as blog post . yes offcourse(Black sheeps are present everywhere) there are some incidents regarding minorities ,which i personally condemned and deeply sad about like(saffora goth comes to mind). but they are much less then our neighbourhood India ,but i un-apologetically say that it is not the problem in Pakistan. We work, play and live side by side in cities and villages. so stop overplaying it.

    Secondly Wow so much nonsensical theories by our Indian brethren. Wonder what they will comment if i or someone write blog post about atrocities of minorities in India. Mind your business or something like that. that it doesn’t exist there. Coming to mind is muslim was forcefully forced to break fast in India, Gujrat Incident.Recommend

  • Shehryar Khan
  • Shehryar Khan

    Not really, not true.Recommend

  • Bibloo

    Well, we can always talk about Hindia. A Christian Cathedral set ablaze
    by Shiv Sena/RSS thugs in Maharashtra. 18 Churches burned and vandalized
    in Delhi last year.. Muslims hung from the nearest tree because
    they were suspected of eating beef. [it was mutton, lab analysis proved]
    Three different truck drivers and their crew/helpers shot dead in Hindian
    Occupied Kashmir. Because they were transporting beef from one farm to another. They were accused of smuggling beef to be slaughtered, in secret,
    surreptitiously. Rampaging hindu mobs hunting for Muslims, ..
    [any Muslim, man woman or child] in Poona. Muslim man stripped naked and tied to lamppost, because he gave a ride home, to a hindu girl, his coworker.
    Basically, it’s hindu taking revenge for 1200 years of Muslim Rule. Pathetic.
    Just as in Serbia/Yugoslavia, serbs were taking revenge on Muslim minority because of 500 years of Turkish Rule.
    Get a life. You hindus simply don’t have it. YOU belong to a ‘minion race’Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    “The only difference in the past was when the non muslim armies tired to fight the muslims, the muslim armies gave a befitting response and crushed their enemies…”

    Then why did they invade India? They had no business being here.Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    The youngster celebrating is not responsible for this carnage.Paksitani society should take responsibility for this. Paksitani establishment has been teaching their kids that minorities are bad and need to be eliminated. Even the text books this youngster must have read may have encouraged him to do this violent acts. No use of blaming these kids and others who were responsible.Recommend

  • SuperNeo™

    Very well said !!!Recommend

  • maz3tt

    Director General of India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) Sharad Kumar on Thursday said there is no evidence of Pakistan government’s involvement in the attack on Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.

    Point is why blame Pakistan in every ill in your country. We don’t do that. There are many base attacks here. We didn’t point blame upon you. Many moments are going on there. Why not clean your house then come and blame others. why fabricate phone calls? Why one the first hour of the attack start blaming Pakistan.Recommend

  • maz3tt

    keep dreaming!!Recommend

  • Sane

    Did you also cry on this? See the link and plz give answer. You invite Muslims haters, but remain mum on sufferings of Muslims in Palestine, Iraq, India, Kashmir, Mayanmar and other parts of the world.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/bosnia-war-crimes-the-rapes-went-on-day-and-night-robert-fisk-in-mostar-gathers-detailed-evidence-of-1471656.htmlRecommend

  • Sane

    Would you also shed some light on planned Muslims massacre by the Hindu fanatics supported and assisted by provincial govt. of Indian Gujarat. The current PM of India Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat then. Would you? Would you dare to condemn all atrocities and mass killing of Muslims in all parts of the world. The incident you are mentioning was out of rage and definitely not to be praised or supported by any way. But, federal or provincial govt. was not involved or planned. Now show your writing power telling people that you also condemn atrocities and injustice against humanity, but you must not talk about rampant injustice, killing and atrocities against Muslims.Recommend

  • Khan

    Its off the topic but get to get your facts straight, within a decade of the prophet (saw) departing this world, muslims had already become a world power, had defeated the polytheist empires in Iran/Iraq and the Roman army in the west. Within a 100 years of the prophet (saw) the muslims had already established rule in Spain, Turkey and much of North Africa and the Caspian regions which lasted for over 800 years…The muslim downfall only began 200 or 300 years ago as they started diverting from the true teachings of Islam and became disunited amongst themselves. As one friend puts it, muslims today are a sleeping Lion which when awaken will rule the globe…Recommend

  • Sane

    In Indian Gujarat also?Recommend

  • Sane

    The writer has a plan and that what she tows.Recommend

  • Sane

    Islam is a religion of peace, without any doubt. You must read neutral history about Islam, not those written by your ‘scholars’, you will come to know. Just read about Makkah Conquer by Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Please do not malign Muslims or talk otherwise about Islam, before you have complete knowledge.Recommend

  • Sane
  • Sane

    All those incidents in which India blames Pakistan were planned and executed by Indian security agencies to gather sympathy from other countries. Even Bombay incident were their plan. These are staged dramas directed by Indian govt.Recommend

  • LS

    So the establishment of caliphate and senseless murder following teaching of their leader you call that power? That was the worst period of violent crimes that killed people more than all the wars combined and was a humanitarian disaster for natives of Byzantine, Persia, Egypt and from Portugal to Indian subcontinent. Its funny how Muslims would be quick to denounce World war I or II or Slavery but have committed all those dastardly crimes and call it their golden period.. or Muslim Power… While knowing well that they themselves were the victim of same crimesRecommend

  • LS

    Says a convert after his fore-fathers cowed down and accepted the might of the sword? Abrahamic religions were barbaric and one of them continues to be barbaric… with their Proselytizing agenda… Self preservation is every ones right.. but a convert cannot understand that because he was subdued and asked to praise the masters and forget the history of the land as well as themselves… They never had it in them.. who-ever came your way ruled over you whether it was syrians, greeks, arabs, turks, central asians, maratha, sikh, gupta, maurya.. british just walk in the park and rule over what is pakistan today. there is not a single evidence of resistance (a little might have come from Sindh) but largely a coward community that could not fight a single invader let alone stop them.. Poor folks did not even fight for independence… there is hardly any Muslim freedom fighter of note coming from both Bangladesh or what is Pakistan today… (Khan A Gaffar Khan was Afghan)..

    It is also funny that a military that has been fighting terrorism since last 40 years sees no end to it… incompetent bunchRecommend

  • wb

    It’s very pertinent to the topic. But, you’re afraid to accept that Muslims were violent from Day 1.

    You clearly don’t know the meaning of a world power. A world power influences the world through art, science, education, technology, progress, human rights, justice, sports etc etc.

    Conquering Arabia on horse and camel backs through Ghazi’s sheer brutality techniques is just the opposite of being a world power.

    What’s the deal about conquering spain? You conquered spain and ruined a beautiful country, like you guys ruined Pakistan. It’s not an accomplishment, it’s a tragedy.

    What is the contribution of Muslims to world peace and progress? Let me guess…Algebra and nothing else since the last 1400 years.Recommend

  • wb

    Would you call Sahih al Bukhari as neutral? Or is he my scholar?Recommend

  • siesmann

    If a non-Muslim is killing 1 Muslim,a Muslims is killing 100 Muslims today.So it is really Muslims killing Muslims.Recommend

  • siesmann

    They didn’t have any business anywhere.Iran,Spain ,India and others didn’t attack Muslims.Muslims came down killing and converting them.Still they have the bravado to say that Muslims fight only in self-defence.(pure Taqqiya)Recommend

  • siesmann

    And yet your Mullahs teach and you believe that muslims fight only in self-defence.Muslim history is one of aggression and violence.And Muslims never were and never will be united.As Hasan Nisar says-you can’t live with each other in one street ,and you talk of Ummah.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Only recently many people were convicted by Indian courts for what happened in Gujrat(many other have been before,and cases are still in courts against others).How many were convicted in Pakistan for the Lahore massacre.?Yet you have the audacity to say Govt is not involved.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Ah,you learn your history from Lal Topi and company.When have Muslims ever accepted responsibilty for their crimes against humanity?Recommend

  • siesmann

    Doesn’t mean Pakistani terrorists were not involved. And your school books teach hatred against Hindus and other minorities.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Wow ! Look in your text-books ,and look around you,with open eyes.Recommend

  • siesmann

    What about Jihadists attacks on the cities you mention.No hijab clad woman and bearded man have been killed ,but Jihadists kill and maim thousands.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Over 100 people have been convicted and punished for Gujrat by Indian courts.You kill any judge or make him run for his life,if ever a case is brought against a terrorist.Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    Argue all you like , but we are arguing because Muslims conquered you,influenced you and you are trying to downplay it.
    You would not need to downplay it , if it didn’t influence you or had nothing to do with you.
    So yes your very argument and knowledge about Islam proves that we were successful.
    After all, have you ever heard of the many many religions practiced in Africa.
    So here we are.Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    At that time , Muslims were way ahead of any other nation.
    Don’t believe me see the rise of Islam after a hundred years of the prophets(PBUH) passing.
    By the way have you folks ever heard of
    Genghis Khan
    Roman Brutality.
    White brutality on Blacks.Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    In India they teach you how to fly and rape women.Recommend

  • maz3tt

    Ha yes I agree. Ajmal kasab was himself a jegta jagta evidence as he was an Indian. Wonder why Indians didn’t select any person with a Pakistani accent to stage this drama. Pakistan repeatedly asked about his access but was not given access to Pakistan, and was hanged hurriedly opened lot of question.Recommend

  • maz3tt

    And they say that Pakistan don’t cooperate. wonder whyRecommend

  • Looking EYES

    Neither! What Christian invaders and where did you get your figures from? In any case that doesn’t give free pass to Muslims to treat minorities badly in their countries!!Recommend

  • Sane

    He is not neutral rather puppet of Indian govt.Recommend

  • LS

    You cannot begin to claim any equality to Romans.. Yes they were also corrupt but they also had scientific and philosophical temper unlike Genghis khan, the culture less ghoul. Islamic marauding is many times more than Crusades or While brutality on Blacks… Jihad started in 630AD Crusades started in response to muslim Jihad after 1032 AD a good 400 years after the fact. Not that I am favoring one barbarian against another both Christianity and Islam were barbarians of the time.. and to an extent Islam is still barbarian.. more so than Christianity.Recommend

  • LS

    When was Islam classified as religion of Peace? Name a country where Islam came and there was NO violence. Just name ONE country where there is Islamic rule and they don’t have barbaric Sharia rules and don’t have worst humanitarian record. You listen to too much Mullah records.Recommend

  • wb

    Actually, everything you write is true and I agree, so why are you countering me?

    That’s my point that Muslims never lived in peace with themselves or with others. Do you get simple things or you’re autistic?Recommend

  • wb

    In India, they also teach us how to marry a 6 year old and rape her when she’s 9.Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    Wrong .
    You are writing this because your ancestors were not forced to become Muslims.
    They were given a chance to live their own lives.
    Even in Mughal era they were not persecuted.
    After all, if Muslims had taken the example of Genghis Khan’s book and decided to erase all Hindu life from India,you would not be here.
    So thank the Muslims for your freedom and the fact that you are here.
    So every word you write is a testament to the Muslim generosity.Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    You are correct .

    Romans had emporers like Caligula who married his sister and gave many important posts to his pets.

    Romans gave the world orgies,bestality,necrophilia,incest,pedophilia and mass rape of enemies.

    Thats just the icing on the cake.

    You are correct we can not and never will be able to live upto Romans.

    Indians, however, are on the fast track to become closer to them.Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    An exception not the rule, the same can not be said for rapes in India.
    So much so they they are now giving anti rape classes to women.
    I think there is even a button on Indian phones to connect immediately to rape prevention helpline or something along those lines.
    Add all the buttons that you like , it wont change a thing.
    The mental mindset of this nation will need to be changed which is not being done anythime soon.Recommend

  • LS

    Absolutely correct… people seek like minded attributes in a culture. You sought what you wrote, while I talked about Philosophers, Thinkers, Mathematicians, Architects… people choose the attributes according to their ability.Recommend

  • Miyagi Jr.

    Oh please, take your nonsense elsewhere, I don’t need to get your ignorant rhetoric.Recommend

  • Miyagi Jr.

    Short answer to your question is, There is NOT ONE country in the world.
    If you have a problem with Mullah, so do I. True Islam gives freedom of speech and expression. Peace in any society is because of Justice, not because of lack of religion. Religion is personal, and should always be separated from statecraft.Recommend

  • mazharuddin

    RSS and SHIV sena would have Killed that much of Muslims in 100 years that Muslims Killed their fellow Muslim in a single day. Just check statistics of suicide bombing in Pakistan and Afghanisthan alone.
    Not a single Local convert Muslim ever ruled this subcontinent.They were Turks Irani Arabs Mongol Afghani. It is like that offspring of Yazidi slave of IsIs would do hail the Glory of stupendous caliphate of Bagdadi.Recommend

  • mazharuddin

    Algebra is not a contribution of Islam. It was contribution of those who happened to live territory occupied by Muslim.Recommend

  • RS

    he is not talking about Shahi Imam Bukhair. He is talking about the Hadis Sahih al Bukhari, Read it and then comment.Recommend

  • LS

    Well said Sir!Recommend

  • wb

    You’re such a dull and boring person.Recommend

  • wb

    True Islam started with the prophet of Islam and he waged 64 battles, as agreed and appreciated by Muslim scholars.

    Would you call that a period of peace?Recommend

  • wb

    So, young girls and boys are not being raped in Pakistan, more than else where?Recommend

  • Xyz

    So it means that none of the Islamic societies want to practice Islam?! Then what’s the point? Why is Islam supposed to be the way of life when Muslims do not themselves want to adopt that way of life? Recommend

  • Xyz

    On sufferings in Kashmir…. where was the suffering when these same muslims massacred kashmiri pundits, abducted their daughters and made them leave the land of their ancestors? So they killed the people.who are the original children of the land and then claim it as their own? Recommend

  • Miyagi Jr.

    I am not here to entertain you.Recommend

  • Miyagi Jr.

    Look, you can twist it left or right, but you and I both know that is not what i said. I am for separation of mosque/church-state, freedom of religion and expression, all traits of early Islamic societies. If things have gone wrong, then not because of religion, but corruption in religion.
    Have a nice day.Recommend

  • Miyagi Jr.

    Wars were waged ON Muslims after they were persecuted for more then 13 years. We see chaos in the Islamic world.
    Have a nice day.Recommend

  • bmniac

    Please read about Muslim slavery in wikipedia unless you have closed your mind to facts!Recommend

  • Agha

    And a man was beaten for eating in Ramazan (yes this very latest one). How are we different. It seems we are united in hatred and intolerance and bigotry. And you mention the event in india as from a moral high ground? Why? We are no better. Religious intolerance is not a one off or an exception. It is systemic and a norm in our society. Get off your high horse.Recommend