VIEW: Complicit in cowardice —Dr Mahjabeen Islam - Wednesday, March 09, 2011

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Weaving convoluted conspiracy theories is a finely refined Muslim art. And all things horrid emanate from the Hunood-Yahood-Amrika (Hindus-Jews-America) trio. Just prior to his death, Shahbaz Bhatti recorded a video detailing the death threats he had been receiving

The last shred of possible Pakistani pride has left me. Incontrovertibly, we are a nation of cowards and conspiracy theorists, always copping out and shifting blame. Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated in broad daylight and immediately all police wirelesses came alive. The killers were not just on a quickly hidden and weary motorbike but a white car. Islamabad teems with police and it is astounding that a clearly described Mehran could not be apprehended. Perhaps it is this rampant enabling of such heinous crimes that engenders the conspiracy theories that the nation loves to employ when faced with tragedy. They conspire themselves and so everyone else, they figure, must do the same.

How does a car just vanish into thin air in a populated area overrun by police? And therein lies the issue. Pakistanis have become inured to blood and gore. Be they retired generals or the common man, the economy and the national code of greed make each man take the most profitable option. How do armed extremists just appear from nowhere and perpetuate attack after attack, especially since 2008? No one cares to find out who this out-of-towner that wants to rent their home is; their main concern is to get the maximum rent.

It is not possible that pockets of the population are not aware of their terrorist neighbours and acquaintances. Aided and abetted by the vitriol of the mullahs and their out-of-context and, at times, blatantly false interpretation of the Quran and hadith, Pakistanis have lost their sense of justice and are totally comfortable settling mullah-imagined scores with blood.

And the mullah-180 degree switch is mind-boggling. From Munibur Rahman to Liaquat Baloch and all in between, the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti is not related to his efforts to protect his community from the reaches of the blasphemy laws. Excuse me? According to Baloch, the religious parties have been very responsible in stemming passions and since the prime minister sent a letter saying that nothing would be done with the blasphemy laws, the issue was over! I want to do the drugs that Liaquat Baloch is on these days; what a lovely delusional state!

On the one hand, you have the Pakistan-plundering PPP in high office; the prime minister’s son importing his own bulletproof Land Cruiser and not paying a paisa in tax. On the other, Shahbaz Bhatti, though of the PPP and the recipient of multiple death threats for a protracted period of time but who did not get adequate security, leave alone a bulletproof car, and whose farewell words speak of dying for the sake of principle and protecting his community. Principles? What an un-Pakistani concept!

Weaving convoluted conspiracy theories is a finely refined Muslim art. And all things horrid emanate from the Hunood-Yahood-Amrika (Hindus-Jews-America) trio. Just prior to his death, Shahbaz Bhatti recorded a video detailing the death threats he had been receiving. Governor Salmaan Taseer’s murderer Mumtaz Qadri stated repeatedly that he had killed him because he felt he had disrespected the Prophet (PBUH). However, the mullahs believe that Shahbaz Bhatti’s killing is part of a deep conspiracy to destabilise Pakistan after the Raymond Davis affair.

They have condemned the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti quoting the “if you kill one innocent person it is like killing all of humanity” verse (5:32) of the Quran. Whatever had happened when Mumtaz Qadri killed Governor Salmaan Taseer? Should the murderers be showered with rose petals and given Valentine’s? That too by custodians of the law? How does questioning a man-made law indict you for blasphemy? Why did the mullahs hold the nation hostage, threatening anyone that blessed Taseer’s soul or read his funeral prayer as equally blasphemous?

Islam has the concept of individual and collective sin. Imams (leaders) and scholars will be called to account on the day of judgment for their own deed inventory and will also be held liable for the sins that they incited in their congregations or students. Pakistan’s poison-filled air has caused a flight of intellectual and spiritual capital as well. Jealousy and death threats have deprived Pakistan of the amazing persona and rational, evidence-based knowledge of spiritual greats like Javed Ahmad Ghamdi.

A war with India for decades would have been easier for Pakistan than the wild jungle that is its streets now. Why have journalist Wali Khan Babar’s killers not been apprehended? What was Governor Taseer’s security detail doing while Qadri changed the rifle magazine? Despite repeated requests and being on the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s hit-list, why was Shahbaz Bhatti not provided security?

Most importantly, what face will we show to that most magnificent of all men, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)? How will each Pakistani Muslim exonerate him/herself and prove convincingly that we had no part to play, by omission or commission, in the murders of thousands whom we felt were disrespecting him?

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once,” said Shakespeare. We are complicit in the murders of Governor Salmaan Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti and thousands of others for harbouring, enabling and protecting the fanatics that have overtaken Pakistan. Instead of pushing for the repeal of the blasphemy laws, Pakistan’s mullahs bullied the nation. And in their cowardice of threats and intimidation, they die, inside, every day.

The writer is an addictionist, family physician and columnist. She can be reached at

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