Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Humans without Humanity

After watching Sunday's events of the horrible bombing of the Christian church in Peshawar, where 81 people have been killed and over a hundred injured, seeing the protest rallies erupting, and the latest news of campaigns teaching Pakistanis that "Christians are Pakistanis too", it strikes me that Pakistan is in need of a massive public re-education campaign about how to be a good human being.

From the basics in good manners, civic sense and social responsibility, respect for self and for others, to love of animals and care towards the planet, to the value of education, and to the vital issues of tolerance, nonviolence, respect for human life, we Pakistanis seem to have thrown it all away in favor of a dog-eat-dog society where only money and power matters. And we twist our religion to suit ourselves, and disregard the parts of it that don't serve our selfish desires.

Clearly the myriad Islamic shows we have blaring on our television channels aren't working, because Pakistan is a country filled with humans who have no humanity - or insaan insaaniyat ke beghair as I would say in my poor Urdu. And, as someone has just added on Twitter, "Muslims without Islam".

This all taking place at the same time as terrorists are being acquitted for their alleged crimes, released from jails, and given clean chits to go about the country and keep spreading the destruction and death that is their wont. This as our little girls are getting gang-raped, sexually trafficked, prevented from going to school. This as our leaders stumble and prevaricate, come up with excuses for their inaction, justify the terrorists' actions, and blame each other and "outside forces" for all our problems, instead of looking deep within and owning our part in creating this mess.

I am not interested in people telling me "If only we followed Islam properly" or "If only we eliminated obscenity from society" that we would have a paradise instead of a hell on our hands. "If only the drone attacks would stop" is another one. "If only America would stop interfering", "If only India would back down on Kashmir", "If only we would talk to the Taliban" and a dozen other myths that serve as excuses for allowing the status quo to continue.

I'm tired of mythology. I want reality.

And the reality is that we Pakistanis have to re-learn the meaning of humanity. Get off our soapboxes about our superiority, because we have been proving our inferiority to the world for many years now. Learn some humility. Take some responsibility. Acknowledge our wrongdoing. Make amends for our misdeeds. Learn to factor in the consequences to our irresponsible actions.

I'm tired of being a human without humanity. Aren't you?

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