Wednesday August 17, 2022

Minorities at risk

December 05, 2021

This week, two brutal incidents, inspired by religious extremism, have shocked people across the country. On November 28, a mob set fire to a police station in Charsadda, ostensibly enraged by alleged blasphemy by an individual said to be of unsound mind. Then on December 3, a factory manager from Sri Lanka was lynched in Sialkot by a mob on allegations of blasphemy.

There are a plethora of factors contributing to this increasing religious zeal across the country. First, there is an increasing involvement of religion at the state level by dignitaries. This creates a self-righteous population swayed by religion. Second, religious parties exploit social media to propagate their agendas which further deteriorates the situation. One fears that if things continue as they are, religious fanaticism will prevail in society and will not stop until all minority groups are stripped of their legal and civil rights. To counter this threat, the Single National Curriculum (SNC) designed for madrassahs should be implemented as soon as possible. Moreover, it is important to regulate social media platforms to stop the spread of false information. Last, there is a need for awareness campaigns at grassroots levels, to encourage people to let go of bigotry and fanaticism so the country can prosper.

Syed Haris Nawaz