It has been a sad week for Pakistan. The controversy surrounding the cheap and highly distasteful short film Innocence of Muslims has gotten out of hands and not just figuratively but literally. It started with protests over the internet from all over the world and then quickly translated to the physical world where street power was demonstrated in several countries. As a result, many people died during protests, most notable of them being the American Ambassador Chris Stevens who died in Libya.
In Pakistan, the protest that started from social media quickly translated to street power too and small-scale anti-American and anti-Jewish rallies were organized all over the country. Soon Youtube was blocked when movie and its trailer were not removed by Youtube. Pakistani government, in order to appease the sentiments of general public, declared September 21, 2012 as Ishq-E-Rasool (Love for the Prophet) day. The purpose was to honor the Prophet and counter the propaganda shown in the movie, only to see hell breaking loose all over the country.
At the time of writing this blog, the cellular networks in 21 cities of Pakistan have remain blocked for over 18 hours in order to break communication between hostile elements. The city of Karachi recently suffered as three bombs blasts shook one of its populace shopping areas and right now the whole country is under chaos.
-2 cinemas have been burned in Peshawar and 5 in Karachi
-Banks across the country have been broken into and robbed
-Press Club Hyderabad mobbed, trapping roughly 100 journalists inside
-2 policeman killed so far
-Rangers called in Lahore to control the protesters
-All entries and exits of Islamabad sealed to control protesters
-Dozens of people died as a result of clashes between people and with police
-Police beaten, their vehicles burned and their arms snatched in several parts of the country
-Shops and shopping malls vandalized
-Hundreds of vehicles damaged, burned and rendered useless
-Roads littered with burned tyres, American and Israel flags and effigies of prominent US personalities
-Business and industrial activity completely shut throughout the country
-News channels having a field day reporting gruesome details
-Cellular networks still down
-Angry protests and protesters near American consulate in Karachi
Pakistanis on TV and Social Media completely clueless regarding what is happening in the country. Tweets and Status Updates are all against the ongoing vandalism, many of which are also first-hand survivor stories who narrowly escaped being attacked by mobs. Some also stress the need for peaceful protest while others denounce all form of protest.
In my opinion, neither a nation-wide holiday was required to celebrate our love for our Prophet nor any reason was to be given to people to actually come on road in massive numbers because of religious reasons. It is common knowledge that several criminal elements in Pakistan have made rallies and protests their pillars for criminal activities. Under the guise of protesters, in most cases religious and sometimes ethnic, they join the rally, shout slogans and ultimately lead the protest to violence by breaking into shops, cars, malls, houses and destroy both public and private properties. Within hours properties worth billions of rupees were destroyed today and the destruction continues even now.
One major cause, apart from the inflamed religious sentiments, was the fragile emotional status of the masses. The current government has utterly failed in improving economy, education, security and all aspects of life that a government should focus upon. Instead, the government has promoted nepotism, corruption, favoritism, infighting between political groups, conflicts with judiciary and a long list of unfavorable decisions that have left people disheartened and angry. Announcing a day and that based on religious sentiments is akin to handing rocket in the hands of a child and that is exactly what has happened. The masses that came out on roads were not just religiously inflamed but also frustrated with the situation of the country, resulting which the protesters became organized mobs who are taking out their frustration all over the country while criminal elements vandalizing unopposed to satisfy their needs.
The mere fact that current government is trying its best to delay both elections and writing letter to Swiss authorities with regards to cases against current President Asif Ali Zardari (who has utterly failed in fulfilling the needs of his nation, including resolving the case of his wife’s murder) was enough to rile people up. With all that has happened in the past few years and how badly the economy has performed, the government effectively shot itself in the foot.
As for the rest of the people, they certainly proved that they own Pakistan and destroy it too.
Update: I am including some of the interesting status updates that have flooded my Facebook Home Page. I am not sharing the name of the person who shared the status though.
– Do you really think that the Holy Prophet’s honour, is directly proportional to the amount of public property you destroy?
– Because some ignorant idiots said something against my Beloved Prophet (P.B.U.H)….I took my revenge by burning down my brother’s house and making him beg for his life!
– After witnessing ‘Counter strike’ version of Karachi for an year or two, we can now see the GTA version!
– People who were suppose to be on Roads and Protest were protesting on Twitter and Facebook.
And people who should be behind bars or in mental hospital are on Roads.
– Busy event whole day.. got over …finally ..prize distribution and certificates ceremony will be followed soon to the protesters by Muftis ..first second prize will go the lover of Prophet who burned and destroyed most assets…
– Why burn cinemas? They are art! They are part of history! Americans don’t own them. I am in grief 😦
– I just want to ask Rehman Malik : “KIA GHANTA UKHAR LIA APNA MOBILE JAMMED KAR K??” (what the f**k have you achieved by jamming mobiles?)
– Its 3am and the mobile service is already closed !! P.s If you think protestors wont be able to contact eachother and reach in big numbers to kick govt ass !! Your wrong !! # lanat rehman malik
– Dear Government,
No holiday please. I am content while working in office.
Regards [with plea of peace],
Mehnat-kash nokri pesha mazdoor.
– Network phir bund.. ab her aik ghantay network aya karega.. network na hogaya electricity hogai.. (Network blocked again, now it will be resumed on hourly basis. Mobile Network is now practically same as the Electricity Network)
– Jitni ansoo gas humaray paas hai utna dengue spray hota toa bhi koi baat thi (It would have been a success story if we had as much anti-Dengue spray as we do Tear Gas). Although at the moment I’m tempted to condone the use of mustard gas.
– Any nitwit can churn up a mindless anti-Islam movie every month. Pakistan will eventually self-combust. Mission Accomplished,courtesy of our Jahil tareen awaam (uneducated masses)
– Man… These are just random young boys throwing stones at signals and breaking street lights and other things. These are just wanderers – awara Boys who are ruining our city for their enjoyment and fun. I hate them. Want to kill them for ruining the meaning behind celebrating this day. Shame on Us!
– Why not Blasphemy laws for those who are killing innocent people on the name of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)?
– I think ill permanently give up watching and reading news.
– I registered my protest against the blasphemy film by joining a PTI protest rally in Karachi today at Empress Market and the entire rally PEACEFULLY reached Karachi Press Club held a large demonstration and then disbursed. PTI had promised a peaceful protest and we ensured the same
– These looters and criminals destroying and looting the private and government properties, burning bank, vehicles, cinemas don’t look like Muslims.
– Never been such disappointed watching news even about Pakistan Politics. :S
– Has media covered any peaceful protest so far? There are many going on but no one bothers to give ’em coverage. They only cover violence and that’s what they all care about. *sigh*
– Who needs enemies when our own citizens are bloody idiots..Make a blasphemous video and watch how we tear our own country apart..Too bloody easy.
– Giving Respect to Holy prophet by damaging our own property and killing our brothers and sisters 🙂 what a sense !! bravo muslims…real bravo!!
– Hence proved . . . Pakistan is not an Islamic Nation else they know how Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) have taught us the way we should handle different situations . . .
– If protest means destroying your own economy then why we wait for some stupid movie?
– Most of them claiming #Ishq-e-Rasool and are violently protesting since namaz-e-Jumma, all of them forgot to offer Asar Prayers, Even Hazrat Mohammed Mustafa Sallahu alaihi wassalam never missed a single namaz either in war zone or peace times.
– Dear jahiloon, kya faida mila itna sub kuch kar k? (Dear idiots, what did you achieve by all this?)
Note: The pictures in this post were downloaded from the internet and social media sites and I don’t claim to own any of these.