It seems that in the aftermath of Peshawar Massacre, now that the hate-mongering mullahs and their followers are facing the wrath of the Pakistani public, the mullahs and their follower have now started blaming and scapegoating the minorities. It is no surprise then that, once gain, the Ahmadiyya community, the most peaceful and patriotic “minoritized” group in Pakistan, is once gain being scapegoated.
In a TV show on December 22, the Geo TV host, Aamir Liaquat, invited three “scholars” to his show who went on to suggest that instead of the Taliban, the Ahamdis were a threat to Pakistan. This is wrong on so many levels, least of all under the normal journalistic ethic.
This kind of hate speech about already marginalized communities has gone on for too long and we as a nation are all to be blamed for not coming to the semiotic and material aid of these targeted communities. Not only have we as a nation minoritized the Ahmadiyya community through a constitutional amendment, we have also, having declared them a minority, often failed to protect their rights of citizenship as Pakistanis.
And now when it has suddenly become clear that our actual enemies are right in the open, killing our children and taking credit for it and even offering us bizzare religious justifications for the murders, we are being told by prominent media figures, and pseudo intellectuals, that it is, somehow, the fault of the Ahmadiyya community. This deplorable act of misrepresentation has already started claiming its victims, as a young Ahmadi man named Luqman Ahmad Shazad was gunned down days after the show.
It is salutary to see that the civil community in Pakistan is growing stronger after the Peshawar massacre, and these propagandist deflections and misrepresentations are a panicked response from those who have held sway in maintaining and perpetuating the hateful national narrative of exclusions and intolerance. We should be cognizant of these reactionary responses and challenge all kinds of hate speech and scapegoating by these so-called ulama.
As a nation, besides fighting the terrorists, we are also at a crossroads: we must decide as to what kind of nation we ought to be! Will we be a nation that tolerates difference and accepts all Pakistanis as equals or will we be a nation in which only certain groups claim the rights and privileges of full citizenship. In my humble opinion an exclusivist model of citizenship is irreconcilable with the times in which we live. We are led to belive that some kind of spiritual purity would solve all our problems, but such purity is a myth. And purity is always achieved through gross and monumental acts of exclusions. We are a diverse nation and only a diverse and tolerant approach to public life would assure us a future, or else we will become one of those nations where might rules and the weak and the different perish at the hands of an intolerant majority.
People like Aamir Liaquat and his ilk would have us belive that the Taliban atrocities are, somehow, not attributable to the Taliban themselves. That is why they are now trying to embroil the Ahmadiyya community in a conflict that belongs clearly to the Taliban and their salafi, wahabi sympathizers. We as people of Pakistan need to stand up and take the narrative back: we need to continuously insist that not only will we keep our eyes on the real enemies–Taliban and Taliban sympathizers–but also that we will not let anyone in the media, in politics, or in the public sphere deflect the balme on to peaceful and patriotic minority citizens of Pakistan.
With these thoughts in mind, I strongly condemn the actions of Aamir Liaquat and his supporters. Concerned Pakistanis have also started a petition against Aamir Liaquat’s show and I urge the readers to kindly follow the link below and add their voices against scapegoating of Ahmadiyya community.