Pakistanis celebrating historic election of Muslim women in the US Congress

Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib and Somali-American Ilhan Omar became the first Muslim women elected to the United States (US) Congress today, a historic occasion in US political history.

This day has not only made a mark in history but also on the very role of women in various aspects of life. Powerful nations like the US, are finally experiencing the very change Pakistanis talk and dream about. Today is not only about the victory and success of women but of Muslim women, that came from nothing and have achieved something.

Ilhan, the Somali-American Muslim escaped from war-torn Somalia, grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp and migrated to Ameria empty-handed with her family.

Social media all over the world as well as in Pakistan was in a frenzy over the election of Muslim women in the US Congress, Pakistanis other than women have been celebrating the news, but would they welcome and allow such a change in their own country?

Here's a reality check, we welcome change based on gender, religion, color, and creed when it involves other countries/nations, not when it's within our own country, where we don't even have the spine to appoint an Ahmadi advisor.

Is our state ready for the change it blatantly claims??

Appointing a person from another religion and that too a woman in a society like ours is out of the question.  A country that recently experienced a country-wide protest by religious extremist parties over the Supreme Court's (SC) historic verdict on Asia Bibi's blasphemy case. Where innocent lives are lost to concocted cases, delayed justice and an institutional rivalry between the courts.

It is pertinent to understand here that cherishing over the progress of other countries and nations does not indicate our society's progress. We have fallen way back, and need years and decades to grow and prosper and a tolerant, mature, liberal and peaceful nation.

Muslim women coming to power and playing a major role in politics isn't new, a few names and faces pop up in our mind. But it would be a good time to think about how we have treated these women leaders. Fatimah Jinnah was called a traitor, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, Kulsoom Nawaz was alleged to be creating a drama over a made-up illness just so that Nawaz Sharif can escape the verdict of corruption references and finally Maryam Nawaz was jailed.

For now, all we can do is cherish and celebrate the election of Muslim women in the US Congress, only to shut our minds of any sane realizations and truths that can be extracted or learned from this historic occasion. For we are a nation that feeds on extremism, intolerance, violence and religious discrimination.


The author is an IR graduate and is an aspiring journalist.