Kafir Production: The skill we mastered through seven decades of independence
One of the most frequently heard word in the streets of Pakistan, saloons, pan shops and mostly in any kind of mosque is “kafir” (heretic). Pakistanis are so obsessed with the word that it has become part of our constitution. It is the word that has been hurled at me ever since the day I became conscious of the very illogical things happening around me in our society, the day I was declared an outcaste, an infidel ironically for not labeling someone heretic. As someone who is born in a Sunni Muslim family, it was a paradoxical experience, a hall of mirrors of a new level.
You are not asked whether your mental health is stable or not? You are not even asked to prove that you are not Hindu, Christian or Buddhist but in the form which we are filling for 35 years you are only asked to clarify that “I am not Ahamdi (Qadyani) and I do not belong to their Lahore sect as well since they are Kaafirs“
The death of Quaid-e-Azam is an enigmatic mystery still waiting to be unraveled but I still feel that if the ambulance of Quaid-e-Azam was to head from Quetta today, it would be stopped somewhere midway and Mohammad Ali Jinnah would be asked about his national identity card (NIC) and if the identity of the sect he belonged to got revealed, maybe he would not get out of their alive anyway. It has always been the rightist vs. leftist on “Quaid-e-Azam wanted theological or modernist model for Pakistan”. I do not know what type of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam wanted or envisioned but certainly we all can agree that it would not be something which the country has become now.
When you fill the form of your identity card, you are asked a question that no Muslim in any of the Muslim majority countries is asked. You are not asked whether your mental health is stable or not? You are not even asked to prove that you are not Hindu, Christian or Buddhist but in the form which we are filling for 35 years you are only asked to clarify that “I am not Ahamdi (Qadyani) and I do not belong to their Lahore sect as well since they are Kaafirs“.
The Constitution of Pakistan says:
“Any person of the Qadiani group or the Lahori group who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or by any other name who by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation-refers to, or names, or calls, his place of worship a “Masjid”; shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Any person of the Qadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or by any other name), who directly or indirectly, poses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to, his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.”
I remember an attack on Ahmadi mosque in Lahore years back and the attackers were young brainwashed kids and I believe that, as young they were, they wouldn’t be aware of the fact that the same people were constitutionally Muslims 35 years back.
Pakistan was always going to be a laboratory. When an experiment goes successful then the production spreads on macro level. When we nailed it on our first experiment of creating new kafirs, it all did not stop there. In the decades of 80s and 90s, every other mosque echoed with the Kaafir kaafir Shia kaafir slogans and the Shia doctors, teachers, intellectuals were picked and killed so viciously that even Ahmadis would have said ‘Thank God we are not Shias’. After all these years, now the business of creating kafirs has become so widespread that for anyone who calls himself a Muslim, there are at least two or more Muslims who consider him kafir.
When we sign the form of identity card and label someone kafir simultaneously, we open the door for a fatwa to be hurled to us as well, because the people who died in all the attacks on their mosques were ‘worst kafirs’ in our eyes. The prayers of resting their soul in peace is also an act of kufr but one can pray that “God saves the rest”.