The phenomenon of celebrating Qadri continues to be confusion in the heads of us Pakistanis. May you argue by your delusional optimism that majority of the people in Pakistan condemn the assassination of Salman Taseer, yet the factual figure would remain unchanged. The truth, though bitter, is that most of the Pakistanis, instead of condemning the heinous act of a murderer, condemn the verdict of the court which proclaims the capital punishment of Qadri. The processions that are carried out across the country in the favour of Qadri demanding his acquittal are a clear sign of what an average Pakistani believes in. Such processions apart, the thousands of campaigns running throughout the country to give tribute to Qadri are not out of sight. How do you see the huge posters of Qadri, decked with Quranic verses and beautiful roses, flowing across the country and yet there is no one to remove such aberrations? Do you not think that the forces behind such elements are committing the ‘contempt of court’?
Talking of the reason for this queer phenomenon, everyone is yelling about the illiteracy of the people as if saying that being illiterate is a sin. Having said so, I do not mean to support the illiteracy of the nation but to illume the more genuine reason behind this stark muddle.
Illiteracy cannot only be blamed for such happenings. How would you blame illiteracy rate of Pakistan when you see a lawyer caressing Qadri on the way to his court proceedings for his ‘lofty deeds’? To me, illiteracy would seem a blessing when compared with the display of such lunacy by this literate lawyer.
I still remember one of my classmates denying my stretched-out-hand for hand shake for the fact that I was an Ahmadi. The place was Islamabad, the literacy rate of which is above 80 per cent, and the course which we (me non-Muslim declared by the state and my honourable Muslim friend) took on was Masters in English Literature. Can the studies of literature, added by English, ever be considered as a harbinger to such narrow-mindedness when one thinks of himself as ‘paleed’ (filthy) after shaking hands with someone of a different opinion? Is this illiteracy? I do not think so!
What about the people who set the blasphemy laws against which the governor raised his voice? Do you deem these people as a bunch of illiterates? Nay, they knew the Holy Books, they were ‘blessed’ with eloquence, and so did they know the language of Kafirs (English). They were indeed the most ‘reverend scholars’.
Going further back in the history of Pakistan, when you find the amalgamation of Islam with Pakistan, do you think those who did so were illiterate people? Were those who designedly wasted the speeches of Quadi-e-Azam, as Raza Ali Abdi (a famous journalist associated with BBC URDU) tells us in one of his interview, were illiterate? I do not think so!
In short, the mention of such happenings is ad nauseam.
The real cause, therefore, does not seem to be the illiteracy of the people, but it is indeed the coercion of misinterpreted version of Islam into the minds of the people by the Mullah-cult. Let me reproduce the arguments for Qadri’s defence;
“My client issued a 40-page written statement, which refers to 11 verses of the Koran, the Sunnah, and 28 citations of prominent Muslim jurists. If Qadri had not carried it out, someone else would have”.
The lawyer thinks that Salman Taseer’s death was inevitable in the light of Qura’n and Islamic Jurisprudence. Another reputable paper reads;
“By punishing one Mumtaz Qadri, you will produce a thousand Mumtaz Qadris!” one man shouted through a megaphone outside the jail.
So all of those, whose only focus is at the hasty execution of the court verdict, should bear in mind that sending Qadri to the gallows is not going to bear any fruit except for a miniscule contentment which Taseer’s family might gain out of his death. The real crook is not Mumtaz Qadri, but those who made him think that beheading someone is not a crime but a gateway to Jannah. The real culprits are those who indoctrinated Mumtaz Qadri and heaps alike by misinterpreting the above 11 verses of Qura’n and Sunna. The very criminals are those Muslim jurists who had issued 28 citations inciting someone to take somebody’s life. The death of Qadri shall only be bereavement for many, but will never remedy the rampant lunacy which overrules everything in the country.
Mumtaz Qadri will go, but we would still be left with thousands of Qadris roaming across the country like drunkards who drink themselves into oblivion. It’s a reality: if you do not believe this then you must really question your intellect.
Note: The same article was published in Express Tribune with slight modifications.