You know things have truly gone down the drain when local politics in Pakistan is unnecessarily taken out of context, literally, and used as a sorry excuse to spread hatred, ignorance, violence and blatant sexism. In the most recent case of embarrassing and shameful events, supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) went ahead and created complete havoc at Masjid-e-Nabawi without thinking twice about the historical and religious importance of the very ground they stood on.
In case they forgot, here is a quick reminder: Masjid-e-Nabawi is one of the most sacred places in Medina for Muslims. Considering Pakistanis have self-appointed themselves as the sole protectors of Islam for so long by protecting and defending blasphemy laws in the hope of punishing (even if wrongly) those who apparently disrespect Islam, this very act in Medina has proved that nothing – not even a place of worship during one of the holiest months for Muslims – can stop these devils from showing their true colours.
There is a nasty video being circulated on social media showing a bunch of men chanting slogans of “chor, chor” (thieves) at some members of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s delegation in Medina. Not only that, it is clearly visible and audible the highly disrespectful and profane language and slogans being hurled at the current Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb. Using disrespectful and disconcerting sexist slogans against women is so outdated but, since a patriarchal induced understanding of gender and culture plagues this country so deeply, this is hardly a surprise. Degrading and violating women has long been used as a tool and indicator of victory in wars, and this, it seems, is no different – especially since Imran Khan keeps comparing this whole political escapade to the battle of Karbala.
The harassment faced by various members of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) while performing their religious duties has raised eyebrows across the globe as Pakistanis are yet again being highlighted for their deranged actions. The sanctity of the holy mosque has been spoiled and there is no justification for carrying out dirty political agendas on holy sites.
As if the political garbage that we’re witnessing first-hand in Pakistan wasn’t enough, we are now a mere laughing spectacle for those nations whom we have tried to convince otherwise in the hopes of building amicable relations. As if our perceived association with terrorism wasn’t enough, this has added another feather to our embarrassment cap. If Imran set out to create a Riasat-e-Medina in Pakistan, perhaps he should give sermons to his followers on how to effectively follow the rules of Medina in Medina at the very least. It’s obvious that pre-planning this stunt did not go the way he wished. Sadly, and evidently, this cult mentality has brought politically blinded citizens to a point where they see nothing wrong with what they did. Many have not even bothered to condemn this awful incident, and the rest are still finding ways to justify it.
Yes, every citizen of a country should be well-aware and critical of the politics of their country and should be able to question their leaders whenever they see irregularities, injustices and/or discrimination taking place. But to be politically charged to this extent is very dangerous since some Pakistanis will export their violent and extremist attitudes to the countries which have allowed them in, further causing global isolation. These actions are mostly perpetuated by men, and usually women have to pay the price. But alas, when a so-called leader openly supports sexual harassers and believes in victim-shaming, one can hardly expect any wise, well-thought out and grounded decision-making.
I am amazed at how effortlessly all of this has been planned and implemented. This particular incident reeks of misogyny and hypocrisy at all levels. It is obvious that this will destabilise and polarise the nation further, and will make violence an acceptable form of ‘protest’. The common saying “politics can be dirty” is an understatement in the case of Pakistan. Our politics is not only ours, it’s for the entire world to find entertainment in. But, more importantly, it is a disgrace to the religion we hold so dear.