Islam’s dilemma in today’s world is that it is tainted by terrorists that are known as ‘non-state-actors’ in some countries including Pakistan.
Ours is a strange world where zealots are portrayed as pastors, and enemy of past have become good enemies turned friends. Moulvi Khadim Rizvi reminded all of us of a character from old Punjabi movies which fashioned ‘Gandasa’ culture but Rizvi took it to the next level, breaking all barriers of profanity. The majority of TV Channels and Social Media in Pakistan broadcasted this obnoxious episode of vulgarity.
Islam’s dilemma in today’s world is that it is tainted by terrorists that were known as ‘non-state-actors’ in some countries including Pakistan. They link Islam and Jihad to justify brutal attacks on innocent people. Rizvi and his followers use and promoted this new form of Islam to fulfil their objectives. Surely, they were successful in damaging the peaceful image of a religion practiced by billions across the world. As expected, this brand of Islam was also well accepted by street hooligans and illiterate followers of this so-called cleric.
Gone are the days when the world believed this ‘non-state-actors’ term. This demonstration of the state’s helplessness and logistic support from imperceptible hands led the world to believe that there is also a term called ‘state-actors’ who get paid when a job is done well. Some call it a litmus test, a calm before the real storm. I believe the same.
Let’s rewind the tape and go back to when the main character, Rizvi had not surfaced. The Theatrical Production ‘Company’ had a few actors in mind who can play such roles quite effectively according to the job description. The script required a candidate who had a title of Mullah, Aalim, Allama or Moulvi. Secondly, the person needed to be capable of handling successful sit-ins and deliver fiery speeches on an hourly basis. I wonder who this might be.
Gone are the days of the proverbial ‘non-state-actors’. The formal state’s helplessness and logistic support of invisible hands from inside the corridors of power has led many to just use the term ‘state-actors’ for rabble-rousers who get paid when a job is done well. Some call it a litmus test, a calm before the real storm
Far, far away near Antarctica, a cleric lived in a country known as Canada. His name is Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, he didn’t bother to apply for the job and didn’t seem to be interested in it, but it was worth giving it a shot, so a contact was established through Pakistan Awami League Chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed who is well known for his presence in daily talk shows. Sheikh Rasheed suddenly appears at Toronto Pearson International Airport, decides to drop in for a quick lunch with Qadri. Results of his efforts were obvious and he wasn’t able to sign up Tahir-ul-Qadri, for this new act of the Theatrical stage play.
Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed’s visit to Toronto was well facilitated. It involved a large community gathering and a so-called press briefing, where he met with businesses community members with deep pockets, shook hands, took selfies, had dinner and according to some sources did some private fund raising for his political party and allies.
Ahmed is well known for his links with fanatics and does not hesitate to display his open support for religious extremists or for the sake of the ‘vote bank’. Anyone, he is also known as strong supporter of the establishment and some call him a ‘loud speaker’ for his master’s voice. For the same reasons, he faced challenges getting into Canada in the past during the tenure of a conservative Government in Canada.
Well, meeting with Dr Qadri didn’t go well, mission not accomplishment according to the task Sheikh Rasheed was handed in so he returned home with empty hands where he finds another Gem Khadim Rizvi, though not up to the standards of the assignment but was good enough to carry out the task with some ‘help’.
Speaking of help, it not only came in physical form, but monetary support was generously provided, one must not question about the sources of such grants, few categories of national reserves cannot be questioned by public or audited by AGP for rare bizarre reasons. However, it is enough to know for the ordinary Joe Blow, that it’s at the cost of tax payers of country for their own ‘protection’ in the name of National interest.
And that’s all folks!! We really live in a strange world, don’t we?
The writer has been writing op-eds from North America on current affairs for the past 25 years. He also conducts TV Shows in Canada and enjoys poetry
Published in Daily Times, December 5th 2017.