By Farman Nawaz (Pakistan Christian Post)
Pakistani minorities, already living under the yoke of Blasphemy Law, also face the wrath of Muslim majority whenever any irresponsible westerner exercises the right of freedom of expression to make fun of sacred entities of Islam.
In the western world people may have dozens of rights to satisfy their conscience but here in Pakistan people don’t have any right of contentment. Only their religious beliefs are the sources of hope here in this world and the world after it. Any contempt of their beliefs means an attack on the satisfaction of the people. Subsequently ‘sense of satisfaction’ of the Eastern people does not understand the right of ‘freedom of expression’ of the Western people especially when some fanatics use it irresponsibly.
An angry mob, accompanied by fanatics of banned religious groups, cannot judge that a local Church and the local Christians are not guilty. The behavior of the mob on 21st September can be easily compared with the behavior of angry Americans after the sad incidence of 9/11.
I am not justify the ‘tit for tat’ but rather my logic is that here the poor Christians living in slums are paying the price of the freedom of expression of the Western Christians. For the last nine years I am working in a Christian educational missionary institute. Not only religiously but socially too they are deeply disheartened. Even they cannot publically discuss their religious views. During general discussion because of fear of contempt of religion these poor Christians make use of proverbs form the Muslims culture to strengthen their arguments.
Last week when there was a wave of protests all over of Pakistan, our principal called me early in the morning to confirm any procession in the locality. I could easily feel his anxiety on the telephone. I have seen them on many occasions praying for the safety of their families, institutions and Churches. It’s a moment of embarrassment for us that they are frightened of their own countrymen. Instead of considering the minorities an ‘entrustment’, despite the fact that this word irritates the local Christians, we attack the homes and Churches of our own countrymen.
Last week I have seen the minorities protesting against the film ‘innocence of Muslims’. I have not heard of this type of protest by the American Christians. Do these Pakistani Christians and Hindus really feel sorry for this movie or it is just a sign of sense of insecurity from the Muslim majority? I think their this gesture is their desire to inform the Muslim majority of their innocence.
‘Innocence of Muslims’ has made the local Christians standing on the gibbon / gallows and waiting for the time when hangman will push the lever. Despite the fact that freedom of expression is the basic right of freemen but this aspect of Western freedom will only ruin the life and limited freedom of the local Christians.
It’s my request to all the Christians and Jews living in the west that if someone has any objections about Islamic history then kindly bring it to any serious discussion platform. The Holy Quran says that if someone is truthful then he must come along with arguments. The Holy Quran also gives us freedom of expression. But making joke of revered people and events will only annoy the Muslims. How can then our people open their hearts to the American statements of bringing peace to the region if it cannot just prevent some fanatics from playing with the religious sentiments of the ‘innocent Muslims’. US must put side by side the consequences of freedom of expression and the fragile peace in the region.