Religious Extremism and intolerance has spread widely in our society and especially among the new generation. Since last two decades things have gone bad to worse. It seems like the government machinery has failed drastically to combat and deter the fanaticism. In fact it is a menacing situation. The country has seen various spiels where innocent citizens, politicians, lawmakers and students were put to death by Angry Fanatic’s. Unfortunately we live in a hapless state where an Angry Mob can decide your fate. The recently conducted human development report indicates that almost half the young people didn’t want to have friendly relations with people from other religions. The patchy record of religious Extremism in our country speaks abhorrence and is shabby in its entirety. The slaying of Mashal khan by an Angry Mob in the premises of university, over allegations of posting blasphemous content on social media is where the misuse of Draconian blasphemy laws lead. Mashal khan is not the only victim of religious Fanaticism. In December 2019 last year a 33 years young professor Junaid was handed over a death sentence for defiling the name of prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h). After the death sentence was announced the prosecution lawyers handed sweets, celebrating the decision as a religious triumph. This act was condemned by the human rights groups. The list is long and the story of everyone accused of wrong allegations is heart wrenching. The case of a college student is also an example in this regard. A student in Bahawalpur stabbed his English professor to death. The student was angered by a farewell party that was organized by professor, believing it was an un Islamic act as women would attend it.
Why we are still unsuccessful in combating this curse? Despite having National Action plan (NAP) , the country has failed to eliminate extremism. Apparently NAP was designed with the consent of all political parties and the blessings of both civil and military leadership, to curb terrorism and militancy. The fact is that this utopianism is tampered by ground realities and the unwillingness of the people to accept the inter faith Harmony and pluralism. Thus the course of Pakistan in this regard remains unrealized, insufficient and incomplete. The recently approved rights for the Ahmadis is an issue that has outraged a Fanatic debate amongst the masses. It is indeed an uncovered truth that Ahmadis are treated ruthlessly and no one has showed mercy to them since the inception of Pakistan. They were persecuted and killed in the 1953 Lahore riots and the 1974 Ahmadiyya riots. The main concern of the masses regarding this issue is that since Ahmadis were declared Non-Muslim by the Constitution of Pakistan, how can they be allowed to preach their religion? And how can they be granted the right to participate in Elections? This is indeed a menacing situation for both the Ahmadis and especially those who Question the religious Fanatic’s, because they too can be the victims of Draconian and unjust laws of Angry Mobs. In gaining pelf these contractors ( Thaykadaar) of Islam brand an intellectual “ infidel” in no time. Pakistan is in a state of unrest as these religious Fanatic’s have become violent that ultimately leads to deception. The same Mobs while sitting on podium ( Member) don’t gets tired of preaching the lessons of brotherhood but when it comes to indoctrination of masses they stimulate irrationality and filth in their mind and make them inclined towards violence.
Furthermore the state of deprivation has made the people vulnerable to the aggravation and militant tendency promoting religious Extremism. Lack of education, awareness, sense of deprivation and acute poverty gave has paved the way for religious Extremism. The people hailing from Baluchistan, and Sindh are easily molded by a priest towards violence because of the lack of awareness and education. This policy has radicalized the rural areas and is now swiftly expanding to the rural areas.
Time certainly is right for initiating measures to rid Pakistan of religious Extremism. People are highly fatigued of this curse. We therefore must embark on a comprehensive DE radicalization and mainstreaming programme, because our religion teaches us to do good and it encourages the subject of pluralism and inter faith Harmony.