Shamim Mehmood

ISLAMABAD: Various cities in the upper parts of Pakistan were jolts by earthquake tremors on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. I heard one of my friend saying that God is angry with us and thus there are earthquakes and other natural disasters etc.  It is common practice in Pakistani society; especially Muslim prayer leader decry in Friday prayer sermon counting the possible reasons why God is angry and reasons of natural disasters. The major reasons quoted are: selling alcohol, committing adultery especially during Ramanza, Women going out for shopping in the markets, co-education system and youth using mobile phones and latest technology. These are botched up priorities and it is very painful to see the priority list of do’s and don’ts of the Moulana’s.

Looking analytically, what is agonizing is when mentioning sins, the sin of telling lie, cheating, hypocrisy, bribery, killing poor and innocent people, injustice from bottom to top, child abuse even in Madrisas (seminaries), adulteration of foodstuff and medicines are conveniently overlooked by the religious leadership and elders of the society. I am not supporter to those mentioned above but we can realize that selling wine would be one or few persons rest are teetotalers. Fornication would an individual act so how comes so grave a sin in the whole society. These could be sins but major sins are overlooked and moulana sahib straight away jumps to mention drinking, dancing, modern dressing and using cell phones etc etc.

For those who believe, actually God is unhappy because of our botched up priorities. Bribery is now accepted as norm, people give false testimony in sensitive legal cases like blasphemy and then proudly mention it to others. (It is pertain to mention that for giving testimony usually oath is taken on Religious books) Telling lies has become a regular affair and being truthful and righteous is considered a weakness. Discrimination and in-equality against special segment of the society. And thus God is unhappy and keeps warning us to sort out our priorities.

Superiority complex and force imposition have made this world hell. There is no peace, stability, security and equality in the society. Freedom of speech is merely seen in papers but claimed all over. The poor is becoming poorer and rich is more rich. Thus poor especially religious minorities are at risk. Hundreds of individuals have been falsely accused because of property disputes or personal vengeance. Blasphemy laws put Christians and other religious minorities at risk. Discriminatory laws restricted minorities’ representatives to grow in all avenues of life. Touching Quran or any other book of Islam, expressing or publishing atheistic opinions and preaching of other religion are consider as crime in Pakistan. Christians are often falsely accused of participating in these activities, but in and of themselves these laws are unjust constraints on religious freedom.

Christians and other religious minorities should be free to exercise their religion without fear of unjust persecution. This has to end, we must not rest until there is peace, security and equality for Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. This creates a stigma which condemns religious minorities to live under the permanent threat of death. The lives of poor hang on a very thin thread.