February 22, 2006
Still stucked in Rawalpindi, waiting the departure with an NGO (Dannish Muslim Aid) to go to Muzaffarabad. The NGO itself bearing the name of Danmark, the most unfavorable country name in Muslim countries nowadays.
The situation in Pakistan, in many parts of the country, is in unrest condition. After the huge disorder in Lahore, the bigger destruction happened in Peshawar – understandably with more traditional society. In the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, many of educational institutions are closed until the 23rd. Last Monday, 19th, was the biggest day in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Most shops were closed, hartal. The main roads connecting the twin cities were blocked by police. There was call for demonstration, and the police worked hard to prevent the demonstrators to reach the capital, where the government institutions and embassies are located. Still, the demonstrators successfully reached the capital through the small alleys and paths used by villagers. And disorder, with firing and stone throwing, happened in Aabpara, Islamabad. The scale was not as big as in Lahore though.
These days, the situation is still not stable, in Rawalpindi. Many shops are closed, policemen are everywhere. Yesterday when I was in the bus I saw policemen beating school children near Rawalpindi. And there is a call for bigger demonstration tomorrow, Friday, 23rd of February.
I just cant understand, the productivity of this kind of demonstration and anger. Its kind of protesting the Europe, but demolishing its own economy. Someone gave me an illustration, like if you quarrel with your neighbour but you destroy your own kitchen. My country is also Muslim populated country, even has the biggest in the world, and of course, anger is unavoidable. But our leaders have tried to calm down the anger by saying that forgiveness (maaf) is the culture of Muslims, therefore Muslims have to give maaf to others, as the Prophet also gives maaf to other people.
But according to my discussion with some Pakistanis, they said that maaf can be given for everyone but they who blaspheme the Prophet.
Well, about this I wont put any comment. But yes, people are angry. But where this anger to be directed? Forcing all shops to close (due to security reason) is just slowing down the economy (which is already very slow here). Destroying National Bank of Pakistan buildings or Shezan restaurants (Pakistani owned) wont give any effects to Denmark or Europe. Is this the image of Muslim countries we are trying to show to the world? I am afraid that this way of showing anger is extremely contraproductive. The same as the FPI- Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defender Front – even the Pakistanis laughed on its name “how can these people defend Islam?”) in Indonesia, which attacked the embassy of USA. Where is the corelation? The anger now is not merely towards the cartoon, but directed towards everything and everybody. And the way of anger is more to be anarchist. One more question, does God really need this way of defence?