We, as a nation, are experts at crying about human rights abuses in other countries. In Palestine, we aid those trying to retain their own homeland. In Myanmar, we raise our voices at the mistreatment of the Rohingya. When mosques are vandalized in Europe or US, we are quick to cry ‘hate speech’. And it’s not just the countrymen, it’s those in power who have for a long time voiced their opinions on the politics of other countries.
But then hypocrisy seeps in, as the senate unanimously approved an Ehtram-e-Ramazan bill which states people who smoke or eat openly during Ramazan will be fined and jailed. A round of applause for the hypocrisy that is Pakistani politics. When human rights are being abused in our own country, we think it’s our ‘right’ to do so. Those quick to cry foul when India bans meat and Trump bans Muslims are now banning people from eating openly in Ramazan because apparently we think it hurts our sentiments.
And this is not the first time. When Ahmedis are shot in daylight, when Shias are killed by mobs we do not bat an eye. But when a mosque is vandalized in Florida, our news-feeds will be flooded with people talking about acceptance. When we, in our own country don’t respect rights of minorities, why do we expect countries where Muslims are a minority to be inclusive?
Not only is this law stepping on the rights of minorities, the ill, the old and those who simply choose not to fast, it also creates a mob mentality, allowing the public to take the law in their own hands. Just last year, a Hindu man was beaten up by a police constable and his brother for eating in public during Ramzan. And this law will only invite other incidents of the same calibre.
We still remember tragedy of Gokal Das for eating in Ramazan last year. Ths Ehtram-e-Ramzan bill is like a license to kill sum1 on ur wish. pic.twitter.com/zZKshnyA8p
— Abdullah Dayo (@AbdullahDayo) May 14, 2017
On Twitter, people were quick to criticize the bill (and rightly so)
Pakistan, forever the global leader in how to do religion all wrong. https://t.co/KpE0gsWToD
— Ammar Rashid (@AmmarRashidT) May 11, 2017
As this man puts it, “this is bullying and wrong”
This is bullying. This is wrong. WTF Pakistan!! https://t.co/gKC2TcJrBr
— Abdullah Sameer (@abdullahadam) May 11, 2017
Might as well take the white out of our flag…
— Pakistan News (@pakistaninews) May 14, 2017
Even Bakhtawar Bhutto criticized the law
https://t.co/eiY7UamIfp people r going 2 die from heat stroke &dehydration with this ridiculous law. Not every1 is able. This is not Islam.
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) May 11, 2017