Who to hate?
A 23-year-old student of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan was killed and another seriously injured by a vigilante mob for “publishing blasphemous content online”, local police said Thursday.
Reports say there were thousands of people – too much for the police and it is this sensible police work that did not cause the needless death of police officers nor of the people in the mob. It was a huge mob with just the one initiative – and that of to kill and like any other mob, thought torture and murder was a legitimate response to blasphemy.
Criticism has poured in but mostly because we’ve been bored.
Two critical mindsets have saliently deemed the death of Mashal to be a tragedy. The distinctions, ofcourse, will blur and overlap but we must endeavor to differentiate, as intelligibly as possible, between the two mindsets here.
One believes that it was wrong of a couple thousand people to enjoy killing a student all by themselves. They believe this mob should have shared. Good citizens should report to the state authorities which should then discipline blasphemer in a fashion most of the country’s citizens may enjoy. This group of people have every right to feel offended. They plead that they have missed out. And they are in accord. A few videos wont satiate our need for oppression, they grieve. “We wanted it live, on tv!” was the crux of most comments on news statuses relating to Mashal’s case. Some tax payers rued being unable to secure a front seat view to the State administered punishment because there had been no State administered punishment. “Blasphemers are very evil people,” said the spokesperson for Group X, “and should be dealt with communally. Us vs them.” The mob is wrong because it has upset the people of mindset X, the mob has made them feel disrespected, and unincluded. Some of the group members even came forward with personal allusions and recalled the times they had themselves saw a blasphemer and abstained from beating them to death. Some of the morally praiseworthy individuals had experienced this a whopping 3, or sometimes even 4 times, in their lifetime. Group X is offended with the mob; because the mob has wronged group X.
Mindset Y: People who think it was okay that he was blasphemous. Who think that beating to death is not an appropriate response to a blasphemous person. That not even the State should have authority to take away the life of citizens it deemed blasphemous. These people are truly deplorable people. They rally that people running Facebook pages which publish blasphemous content are not to be taken too seriously, not even by the government of Pakistan. In fact, they think memes about religion are not justifiable grounds for involuntary detainment and torture of persons. What are these people talking about? This devious viewpoint believes that the mob was wrong because the mob wronged the blasphemer. This to be a grim state of affairs. What is even more alarming is that, as we speak, these filthy radicals are growing in number – and are actively propelling us into a future where they enforce a doctrine of the most heinous of crimes; to wit they let citizens say what they think.