Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The decision of Lahore High Court to ban Facebook, because of a group created to draw pictures of the Prophet, reminds us that we are still far from being a civilized nation. We simply cannot tolerate anything that is not usual. We cannot even tolerate our own people asking perfectly logical questions about Islam and religions in general.

I am not really into drawing cartoons of the Prophet but I am not against it either; I am just indifferent. I simply don't care. I think being into it would be stupid and like signing my own death warrant, and being against it would be against free speech.
Everybody around me gets furious at the mentioning of "Free Speech." I won't blame them. All of our lives we are told to obey: in childhood we are not allowed to speak and question parents, in college we are not allowed talk about unfair policies and incompetent teachers + management, at work we are not to question all the bullshit people higher up in food chain throw at us, and when we grow old and have our kids we don't allow them to question anything. There's a reason that why free speech is still an alien phrase for us. People generally accept that free speech means abusing and misbehaving about something. While it's not true. Even a room full of graduates from reputed institutions (2 to 3 % of total population at best) turns into a room full of coarse and uncivilized social animals merely at the mentioning of this phrase. So, I take an opportunity here to illustrate the difference between free speech and hate speech (which we naturally think are the same).

Free speech: Religions, all over the world, have been the cause of more deaths than anything else. Men died while trying to eliminate the other religion or fighting for their own. All that for a set of unreasonable and unquestionable believes. I can't believe that people actually believe that.

Hate speech: Fuck religions.

Above example should succeeded at clarifying this. Free speech is a criticism that makes sense while hate speech is an irrational aspersion. Since we are not used to hear anything negative about generally followed rules, we are swift in mingling free speech with hate speech. How to tell if that's an "authentic" hate, you ask? Hate is generally judged from the intension of doer. A case in court takes a sharp turn just because of the intention of accused. Another example.

It's a cricket match between Pakistan and India. Shoaib Akhtar is bowling to Sachin Tendulkar. Shoaib thinks that it is perfect time to throw a bouncer. Sachin on the other hand is not wearing helmet, for example's sake. Shoaib throws a bouncer. Ball hit's Sachin's head and he dies at the spot. Now, Sachin is dead and he died because Shoaib threw a 100km per hour ball to his head. But the intention of Shoaib was not to kill Sachin but make play. Shoaib wouldn't even be charged with a murder.

All those people from Scandinavian countries, who at first, drew cartoon's of the Prophet didn't think it was offensive. They just drew like they would draw Bush. Boy, did we take that seriously. Now, if a kid from his parent's basement somewhere in Europe or America creates a group on Facebook, it affects 160+ million people. Know why? Because we have shown to the world that we are such a vulnerable people that even a kid can instigate violence in the whole billion and half of us. Why on Allah Subh'an-a-Ta'la's blue and green earth can't we just ignore that? Why do we have to act like kids in return? Are we that goddam easy to offend? Seriously?

Last. Remember those stories in Islamiat that we studies for 16 years? Those times when Kuffaar threw stones at the Prophet and some old woman would throw garbage regularly? Did the Prophet or any of the Prophet's follower killed those stone or garbage throwers? Now compare shoes full of blood and clothes ruined by filth to a picture on paper.

  • Anonymous JAK said...
    May 24, 2010 at 5:32 PM
    Free speech - does not it demand some common sense?
  • Blogger Vaqas said...
    May 24, 2010 at 6:12 PM
    I am sure I have been asked this question before, just "common sense" replaced by "decency".

    Like I tried to explain: we have a culture of repression. I believe this is more of a cultural gap than religious mockery. Those guys would talk about anything. Even Holocaust, just that some of those countries have *laws* against denying it. How those were made? Because Jews are part of that community, we are not. Don't think there's a law to stop bashing any religion or religious figure. You should see what they do to Jesus and Bhudda with Photoshop.

    Plus I think it's a little too hypocrite for a religion to stop people from saying anything that does not go in same direction. Because religion itself was born like that: talking and spreading what was against generally heard believes of that time.

    Just to teach a lesson to us, what if they start painting Prophet's cartoons on vaccines, cars, computers, food, mobile phones, foreign aid, among many many many more items we consume daily to survive?

    You act like kid you get treated like kid.
  • Anonymous JAK said...
    May 28, 2010 at 2:50 PM
    Agreed! All religions, all creeds, all cultures, all human beings are equally respectable. People just lack tolerance and common sense and i cannot imagine free speech without these two vitals.


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