Step into the future. Here is a chip that you can place at the top of your spine in the base of your head and it will record, and perhaps even publish, your thoughts and your beliefs. The world would self-destruct. Civilisation would only exist if everyone could self-sufficiently live in their own silos. Undoubtedly, each belief and its manifestation of thoughts in various combinations would offend and infuriate others. Violence would be inevitable because no two thoughts would be exactly the same.
Maulana Tahirul Ashrafi thinks that future is already here. He is certainly behaving like it. He is policing the crime of thinking an alternate belief to his personalised version of Islam even before it happens. Sadly, in a sane world, it would be no crime even after. Still, we live in the reality of our present situation and in it he goes around creating a sense of exaggerated hype around the possibility of members of the Ahmedi sect committing blasphemy. The Ahmedi community’s published works, the Maulana professed in a Naseem Zehra show (July 26, 2014), no self-respecting Muslim can tolerate. He clearly stated that the very beliefs the Ahmedis hold, to whom he derogatorily referred as “Qadyanis”, are utterly contradictory to Islam. He yelled that they should not dare mark their graves with Quranic verses. The act itself is punishable and, according to him, this black law is a step towards protecting his Islam. His tone and his word choice were pointing towards a clear demarcation of the blessed from those who, according to him, invite God’s wrath. His confidence was seemingly of someone who would in the proceeding minutes perform something miraculous on television. No miracle took place on that show, just commercials.
Last I checked, almost all religions, with the exception of mainstream Islam, are in contradiction to Islam. Either that or they do not acknowledge the version this religion professes. Even worse, if you ask me. How then can there be any concept of the Internet, a place that converges and diversifies ideas at the same time, ideas that can co-exist with those who believe that only theirs is the right version? Everyone else is a blasphemer as and when they publish their beliefs under the freedom of speech the civilised world so cherishes.
A Facebook post by a resident of Gujranwala that was apparently blasphemous created enough of a stir that the house of the accused was torched by a mob, injuring several people. Notice that this happened only days after Maulana Tahirul Ashrafi’s diatribe against the Ahmedi community. Correction: hate speech, not diatribe. Among the victims of this Gujranwala, Punjab incident were a woman, her two minor granddaughters and an unborn child. There is a reason why minorities like the Ahmedis are facing the wrath of the vilest members of society. It is because it is entertaining. It has become a national sport to hunt them, flay them, maim them or even shrapnel them. Like all violent sport, more gore eventually becomes boring and you need extreme gore. The media, instead of blocking the violence and expounding on the shame, has decided to sharpen the violence and block the shame.
For a country that has tattooed the name of God everywhere, there is no fear of God in the hearts of those who live in it. Ahmedis, Shias, Christians and other minority groups are over 30 million strong in the country yet we do not associate them with a face or a group of distinct faces. Many who are distinguishable have to fight for their lives. Tragic then that the face of the thunderous rotundity of Maulana Tahirul Ashrafi has more association and cause than 25 million other faces that have perished due to the violence cast upon them by extremists or those that live under their perpetual threat.
Step into the past. Here is a sword. Fight in the name of what your forefathers told you to fight for. Blindly. Perish. Quran 49:13, Surah Al-Hujurat: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other not that ye may despise each other.”