04 January, 2007
By Ahmer Muzammil
We whine and we moan about how oppressed Muslims are all over the world. We blame Jews and Christians for wreaking havoc in our lives. How true is that notion? To some degree I think it might be accurate so some whining and some moaning might be justified but I am always amazed at the silence of Muslim masses and more alarmingly the "intelligentsia" for not raising hell when the culprits of our misery are from within.
If Pakistan doesn't have a welfare system for the poor, if the chaudhry of your pind abducts the innocent girl for his pleasure while the administration sits idly by, if public health care system is a sham, if numerous school systems are running in parallel out of which only one is capable of producing "winners" hence too expensive & out of reach of about the 90% populous, if the laws of the country are only enforced on you if your uncle isn't a brigadier in the army; if your imam sahib asks you to go blow yourself up in the mosque down the road so you can be on the fast route to the promise-land, then aren't our-own savior's rather than jews and Christians, to blame for most of these inadequacies? People that govern our lives in Muslim countries feed this frenzy that everything wrong in our lives is due to the scheming and evil planning in the quarters of Washington D.C and Tel-Aviv just so we remain in this state of hallucination and don't start looking towards GHQ
which in my estimation is the source of most of our headaches. Our masters feed us dung and kudos to us for eating it all up with the hot sauce!
Its mind numbing that the morons who come out in hordes to protest huddood ordinance or lack of it never once ask their leaders "how come we never protest the fact that you all keep getting prosperous while my life remains a living hell?". No hunger strikes when electricity bills are sky rocketing, no processions when innocent human beings and their self respect is dragged in the streets at the hands of law-enforcement agencies, not a whimper from neither the "enlightened" nor the "righteous" when innocent women are raped and or killed in the name of honor. How disgusting are we? How morally bankrupt and what a sorry state of numbness! Where is the outrage people? I swear this freeing the media phenomenon seems to have done more harm than good to our collective psyche. Because when Zia was at the helm of affairs, everything was bottled up and at least people would get mad and there was a hope that the tipping point might be near. In recent times every Joe blow and his uncle appear on the television, curse out the authorities and that's that. Sometimes extreme oppression leads to jolting the masses which hopefully can be translated in to absolute freedom, although it never really happened for us even after extreme coercion.
My blood boils when I see that at the end of "Capital Talk" the minister and the opposition member walk off the stage hand-in-hand, smiling, hugging each other like all the outrage that was on display about 5 minutes ago was all just good television. Turn the damn cameras off when these thugs are making out with each other, we know that " sabb aykk hii thallii kay chatayy bathayy hein" but please don't add insult to injury.
When will the people realize that the real issues that affect our daily lives are never addressed by neither opposition nor the government? Instead we are enamored with non-issues like huddod ordinance, attire of mushy, Kashmir, women's face on hoardings, music in public buses and other crap like that. Who the hell cares? First make sure that your constituency has clean drinking water, access to a hospital is available, affordable and meaningful educational institutions are obtainable to all, justice is accessible regardless of class, creed, religion or financial status and then get all riled up about hudood ordinance. Opposition is not able to rally the masses because they look just as insincere and alien as the government.
Speaking of insincerity, why is that the love of democracy and sense of care only dawns on Army officers and bureaucrats once they have retired and some how not offered a juicy position by the sitting General? Where is this authenticity and courage when they are in office and are actually engineering elections and formulating IJI's and MMA's? Oh no, the Army discipline must be maintained, who cares if the country is being looted and raped in broad day-light. They make sure that they have collected the pension and secured the lucrative real-estate worth millions of dollars that the people of Pakistan "force" them to take for providing exceptional service in their tenure to ensure the annihilation of civil society and total dominance of Pakistan army in every facet of civil life by hook or crook. Once that noble goal is achieved then they come out of the wood-works to carry the torch of democracy.
Every single day in Iraq hundreds of innocent Muslims are dying, majority of them at the hands of other so called Muslims. We in Pakistan use to be champions in this shia-sunni fiasco; the mantle has been passed to Iraqis now (that doesn't mean that we are not still in contention). In Palestine, they are being bombarded by the Israelis and when there is a moment of calm, hamas and fatah are at each other's throat; Israel isn't devastating enough for you anymore that you had to start killing each other now? I mean am I the only one who is just awe-struck with the stupidity all over the Muslim world. It's an open secret that the west and Zionist lobbies are supporting Mehmood Abbas to over throw the democratically elected government of Hamas. But my feeling is that a good chunk of the Palestinian civil society is also responsible for this in-fighting. By nature most of us don't respect the concept of majority being right, given that it's not always the case but this is the essence of democracy and even though majority might not always be correct but odds are definitely in favor, besides it can't be any worse than what we have now.
The fact that almost all the dictators and kings in the Muslim world are mere employees of Washington D.C is no revelation either, but my contention is that a section in these societies who are supposedly indigenous; genuinely feels that all these tin-pot dictators some how are able to benefit our collective cause. This is a text book example of suffering from Stockholm syndrome. This negative mind-set more than anything else is the most depressing aspect of our society. We in the Muslim world still hasn't completely reached this universal conclusion that democracy in this day and age maybe the worst form of government but it's best amongst the worst that are available. I don't blame the political prostitutes and yellow journalists who are ready to sell their allegiances for meaningless ministries and some petty cash; after all that's what they do to put food on the table, but the onus is squarely on the voters to reject these jokers in future. Pakistan civil society must
recognize that they have to stop hoping against hope that there savior is a knight in a shining armor. If Bangladeshis and Indians have recognized this reality that the remedy to the ills of the society are democratic institutions rather than personalities; than how come we are not getting it? It's worth contemplating that regardless of the ultimate and unquestionable leadership that Prophet (PBUH) enjoyed while he was alive and his followers would have never questioned his decision if he would have appointed his successor; he hinted but still he left the actual decision to the people. But some how these obvious wisdoms escape us instead we choose to focus on how high or low our pants should be. If humility escapes us and we remain cocky and rude despite our shalwar being above our ankles, I am afraid we have dodged the point. I am not knocking a sunnah of the prophet (PBUH) but the spirit rather than just the action itself should be emulated. Bottom line is this, we gained independence in 1947 and it's been more than 50 years. Army has ruled over us for 30 years directly in khaki uniform and the rest by proxy in sherwani. If Pakistan is a failure as a welfare state for it's people and it surly is, then let's give the next 50 years to the people of Pakistan to govern there own lives and if they just manage to keep the current geography of Pakistan intact(still more than what Army was able to do in there tenure) then we'll call it a success, although my utmost submission is that it will be a far greater success story than that.