Some time ago, at the end of my regular Friday class, I was having lunch with my friends when they brought up a presentation I’d given that morning. In that presentation, I’d mistakenly referred to a painting of the Aghakhani leader as that of a Chinese dignitary. (The website said it was the Chinese dignitary okay!)

From there, the conversation progressed further. A friend asked about the difference between Ismailis and Ahmedis, and you can only imagine how downhill the discussion went at that point. I was sitting with two other friends, and one fundo who btw, has also blogged on ET about how she was oh so enlightened after working on an interfaith project and understood other faiths so much better now. Here’s what they all had to say;

  1. Ismailis don’t really count as Muslims because they make humans their prophets.
  2. The government should do to them what they did to Ahmedis.
  3. Its okay to treat Ahmedis the way we do because they try to propagate their religion and corrupt Islam.
  4. Islam btw, is corrupted because apparently, its not strong enough to survive the honeyed propaganda of its enemies.
  5. More importantly, the girl whose figure even I’ve admired in her skinny jeans and the tshirt clinging in all the right places and barely covering her ass pointed out that as Ismailis say one should be comfortable with their bodies and wear mini-skirts as well, they can’t be Muslims.
  6. We need to have more laws like the anti-Ahmedi laws because this is the Islamic republic of Pakistan.
  7. Interestingly enough, the fundo happens to be of a sect of Islam that many people declare a deviation/corruption; in fact, that sect even cuts down namaz to only 4 prayers a day, but even she was too small-minded toΒ  support a sect that was persecuted just like she was. (Then again she’s a fundo so who’s surprised?)

After that conversation, I was seriously so depressed, I didn’t talk to those girls for a couple of weeks. Aside from the fundo, who everyone hates, the others are good friends of mine and I adore them, but it was absolutely heartbreaking to hear this kind of BS from them. What depressed me further was that this is the mentality a vast majority in Pakistan. We all know this, but it still tends to shock me when I come face to face with this mentality.

What’s saddening is that two of our seniors are Ismailis as well. They wish me Nauroz Mubarak, I wish them a happy Eid and Christmas. One is drop-dead gorgeous, and I constantly bitch at her for being so pretty. Another is really sweet and kind-hearted, and put up with my inane babbling so many times without a word of complaint. That’s what I see when I look at them. But this incident had me wondering what my friends saw when they looked at them. Non-Muslims? Kafirs? Evil enemies of Islam? Whores that wore mini-skirts while pretending to be Muslims? I personally know a lot of Muslim girls that wear mini-skirts, and the girls in question dress pretty moderately.

What do my friends see when they look at me? I’m a foul-mouthed, self proclaimed heretic, anti-religion, irreligious, anti-marriage, pretty much everything that’s against the traditional definition of a Pakistani woman. So what do they see when they look at me? The hyper chick who’s constantly talking? The friend that brings home-made food for everyone when we have 08:00-05:00 classes? The cat-lover who constantly gets into one pet mishap after the other?

Or, more likely, they see the kafir that has no business living in the Islamic republic and would be better off in a non-Muslim country, where my kind are welcome?

I try to be hopeful. I try to tell myself that with enough effort, this kind of thinking will change and be a thing of the past. But its honestly very difficult to imagine such a thing, specially when reality shoves itself in my face. It is increasingly difficult not to despair. How on earth can such extremist mentality ever change?

I just hope that despite such sickening instances of hate and bigotry, I don’t lose my naive, youthful ideals of a change being possible.

  1. Do you know, I’ve been having similar feelings of sickness ever since I read The bigotry on it in the comment section is amazing and it breaks my heart that my people would feel this way.

    It also makes me both scared and worried for myself, with my open views. Sometimes I really do wonder if the people around me, finding out about my atheism, would still view me the same way, or would I suddenly become a monster in their eyes, or at the very least someone deserving of pity.

    Its upsetting, this deeply rooted bigotry. Plus Ismailis are really nice.

    • Ghausia says:

      Knowing that this kind of mentality prevails in our society is one thing, but coming face to face is heartwrenching. one of the reasons I stay so quiet about politics and religion online is exactly for that reason, I’m all over the Internet man I don’t need some psycho coming after me. What’s worse is that for me, my social circle is sadly composed of mostly conservative (read bigoted) people so its even more worrisome.

      People don’t even have to be Ismailis to be nice yaar. My computer teacher in school was a perv, but he also happened to be an Ismaili, doesn’t mean all Ismailis are pervs. Its so horrible. 😦

      • same here, I’m not exactly hard to trace up for a persistent stalker, so I’m thinking to shut up for some time. And yet how? When you see something that you think is grossly wrong how can you not comment? But religion should be a no-no as far as discussion goes, I guess *sigh*. Sometimes I want to run away.

        How do you get along in a circle like that man?

        • Ghausia says:

          I keep wanting to shut up, I succeed in politics but religion is more risky and I can’t avoid that, though I try. 😦

          My defense mechanism is to be extremely cruel and belittling. They’re my friends so they don’t mind, they just accept it as me being well, me. I keep telling them, “oh that’s because you’re stupid” or “well, if you were smart, you’d get it but…” because its like sort of a reminder to myself, when the frustration builds up inside, I say it to remind myself that this is why they’re like this.

          Two of my bestest friends are more like me though, and I seek refuge in them too. The fundo, I don’t really talk to much, she’s the same fundo I posted about before btw and a total cunt.

  2. z33laf says:

    An ‘Intrafaith’ project might be helpful after doing an interfaith one… People mostly hold such views because they dont know or understand others any better within the same religion.

    • Ghausia says:

      These girls have actually explored this concept, and like i said, the fundo who btw, is a ginormous hypocrite I could fill up pages with her bigotry, also blogged about how she understands different faiths blabbity blah, all a carefully designed attempt to get attention on ET blogs. She fancies herself a future journalist. God help us. Well if we can deal with Ansar Abbasi now, we can deal with her in the future.

  3. Should I add my bigoted views?

    • Ghausia says:

      Eh I know you’re fundo too, so I expect the same from you. πŸ˜›

      • You only paint me as fundoo despite knowing that I am not, but then again your Ghausia and you are suppose to be that way πŸ˜›

        Anyway, here’s what I have to say:
        – You have dumb friends
        – I don’t know the details about Ismailis or Ahmedis so that’s why can’t say much but there has been at least one clear difference. Ismailis have, largely, kept to themselves and not interfered with other people. The same cannot be said about Ahmedis because there are accounts that they tried to propagate their views a lot more aggressively and thus creating the inevitable rift that led to eventual law against them.
        – They see you as Ghausia, therefor Ghausia is Ghausia and that’s that. They don’t have to think about you being foul-mouthed cupcake lover … all because you are Ghausia !! πŸ™‚
        – And before you add in LGBT, let me assure you that I support the right to be Gay but I do not support Gay Rights.
        – We have all these sectarianism problems simply because we no longer have a figurehead. We used to have a Khalifa who could step in to quell problems and bring some sort of stability but that is no longer possible since the last Khalifa was killed by his own general at the end of Ottomon Empire. Pope does the same work for Christians, that is why despite having all these different sects that even profess Blasphemy, the Christian communities do not get violent like we do.
        – And lastly, Islam is not limited to Pakistan. Islam is not weak or bad, it is us Pakistanis that has made it look weak and bad. If you go out of country and other Islamic nations, notably Malaysia, Arab countries and even meet African Muslims, there is a stark difference to how they follow Islam and how we follow.

        • Ghausia says:

          Well you’re Wasio, ergo, you be a fundo. πŸ˜›

          Yes they are dumb. They’re hot though, if it helps. πŸ˜€

          Is there any documented evidence to prove that Ahmedis have propagated their religion in evil ways? And don’t Muslim propagate their religion as well? Personally, I consider any person telling me to pray a.k.a Sir Basravi as an agressively evil person.

          The fact that you think rights for any community, regardless of their caste, colour, creed or sexuality, lumps you in the fundo category.

          The desire for a Khalifa makes you one too.

          The Islam practiced in, say Turkey, would have you weeping my friend, other Muslim countries practice liberal Islam. πŸ˜›

          And you owe me cupcakes.

  4. Hamza Javaid says:

    Exactly my views. Unfortunately we are too narrow minded and believe that the best way to salvage our religion and prove our mettle to the world is to shed the blood of people who dare disagree with us. Sadly such hideous views are shared by majority of our countrymen. And i don’t see it changing for the better any sooner. More dark days lie ahead :(.
    First it is against the non muslims and then the various sects within Islam follow.

    • Ghausia says:

      Its unsurprising that Muslims can’t seem to do anything anymore, when they’re not united within their own sects, how can they possibly unite for any other cause? Plus, the fact that they have a bloody history doesn’t help either. PS: Which Hamza are you? πŸ˜€ Lurker Hamza that never comments, or the other one? πŸ˜›

    • Ghausia says:

      Ohh wait never mind, I think you’re lurker Hamza. πŸ˜€

      • Hamza Javaid says:

        I comment when i feel like ( which is hardly the case). I’m more contended in laying back and read than to comment on every issue. Though i do remember replying in one of your earlier blogs aswell πŸ™‚

        • Ghausia says:

          Oh that comment was when I was looking for lurker Hamza as well. πŸ˜€

          Tsk tsk. Such laziness is only characteristic of the typical Pakistani and you don’t want THAT do you? Do yoooou?!

  5. Sara says:

    i’ve been following your blog for a while now, i like what it see so keep the good stuff coming πŸ™‚
    just have one little question, what sect did your fundo friend belong to? just wondering

    • Ghausia says:

      Thank you, that’s high praise indeed. πŸ™‚

      I’d rather not say. πŸ™‚ I know you only ask because I mentioned the namaz thing, but I don’t really feel confortable disclosing that, I mentioned the namaz thing to make a point and I feel that point would be lost among sectarian strife. By me definition, she’s a Muslim, a hypocritical one true, but a Muslim nonetheless who belongs to a particular sect in Islam. πŸ™‚

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