A Prelude to Aafia Siddiqui’s Note.
This was a short facebook note that i wrote before the Aafia Siddiqui’s case.
The recent events of Marwa Sherbani’s shocking death in a German courtroom were quite tragic, unfortunate and mournful. The lady was actually killed brutally by a fanatic who racially abused her by calling her a terrorist based on the burqa she was wearing. This event is highly condemnable and thanks to the German authorities who took immediate actions for the swift trail of the culprit. Finally he was awarded life imprisonment recently.
This event invited protests, demonstrations, rage and criticism from all over the Muslim world and their communities. We have witnessed quite a few protests in Cairo, London and some parts of Pakistan. Also leaders like Mr. Anti Jew president of Iran; Ahmedenejad blamed the German government for the murder and called for international condemnation of Germany. This event was also reported well in the Pakistani media and it was further used by Pakistani Islamic scholars and TV anchors to consolidate the anti American, European sentiment and the cherished Zionist conspiracy culture.
However immediately after this deplorable event, Stephen Kramer the general secretary of German Jewish council visited Marwa sherbani’s husband to offer condolences. Also this was severely condemned by high level German Jews but nothing of that sort was reported by any media in the Muslim world. Instead the newspapers in Tehran and Karachi claimed that this was a Zionist conspiracy and a manifestation of their animosity against Islam.
My whole point of writing this short note is not only to condemn this racial abuse incident but it’s also to highlight a similar incident that went unnoticed in the Muslim world. Unfortunately this event somehow never ignited the protests and outrage that we have witnessed in the case of Marwa Sherbani. This incident is of Female Punjab (Pakistan) minister for Social welfare known as Zill-e-Huma.
Zill-e-Huma was killed by a fanatic so called Islamic scholar known as Moulvi Sarwar who killed her in front of her political party workers in a heavily guarded place in Punjab. The justification given by the fanatic was that according to him she was dressed “unislamic”. He further claimed that he will kill more women in future if they do not fully cover themselves from head to toe. This same person killed 6 women earlier based on the same justification but it was only after he killed an influential party member, the authorities decided to put him behind bars.
The point to be noted here is that this was a pure racially motivated crime just like the one that was committed in a German court room against Marwa Sherbani. The other similarities between both these crimes were the victims who were both women and belong to Islamic faith. Hence, the only differences between these two incidents were the responses and the level of intensity of the reaction from the Muslim world. This event unlike Marwa Sherbani’s one went almost unnoticed. We never saw any protests either from the religious parties in Pakistan or from any community of the Pakistani Diaspora. No Islamic scholar except few who have no guns took any initiative to criticize Molvi Sarwars’s actions; neither had we seen any condemnation from a leader of any Islamic country.
To summarize the facts, Marwa Sherbani was racially abused and subsequently killed for wearing an Islamic dress where as Zill-e-Huma was killed for not wearing an Islamic dress. If both these situations are exactly similar then why there was a drastic difference between the reactions of these two incidents? Why no condemnation came from Muslims on the brutal death of Zill-e-Huma? Why there was no pressure from Muslims for the swift trial of Molvi Sarwar?
Why is this so much publicity for Marwa Sherbani (no offence to her) as compare to the dead silence we have witnessed in the case of Zill-e-Huma?
The only answer to these straightforward questions is that the people who are getting so dramatically enthusiastic for Marwa Sherbani and remain silent on Zill-e-Huma have no interest in the killings of a Muslim woman in a German courtroom. They do not care how many Muslim women are killed, oppressed, abused or raped. This is because the issue here is not rape or killing but it is actually the abuse of an ideology that they possess. In other words the reason why Marwa Sherbani’s death invited a substantial response from the Muslim world was not because she was brutally stabbed by a fanatic but it was because she was killed for wearing a Burqa or the so called Islamic Dress.
Burqa today is quite a sensitive issue and this is actually a bone of contention between the Muslim and the western world. Although it’s quite ironic that a small percentage of Muslim women today wears this burqa (majority of women in some regions have to wear it due to explicit state laws (Iran, Saudia Arabia, Qatar, Somalia & Taliban rule 1996-2001) yet Zill-e-Huma’s brutal killings failed to get the intensity of publicity as compare to Marwa Sherbani’s case.
This shows the level of influence that this radical ideology have on the Muslim world that was dead silent on Zill-e-Huma’s killing just because she was killed for not wearing a burqa. The double standards and hypocrisy of these people was quite evident from this incident.
Similar hypocrisy is quite reflected when is comes to the issue of Israeli occupation of Palestine. As we have witnessed nine months ago the reaction of the Muslim world on Israeli operation in Gaza where 1300 people died as a result of Israeli’s brutal operations. We saw hundreds of groups on face book and other social networking website offering sympathies for the Palestinians, we witnessed massive violent protests on the streets of Europe, we saw many aid campaigns for the medical supplies for women and children, and we also witnessed the rant of Mr. George Galloway in the UK parliament.
If all the above is justified because of the Israeli aggression and terrorism then what happened to Muslims when it comes to the issue of Darfur where 500,000 Muslims are killed by a militant group known as Janjaweed (supported by Sudan and China)? What about the oppression of Muslims in the restive province of China known as Xinxiang province? What about the oppression that the Balochis in Pakistan have suffered? What about the Pakistan army’s operation searchlight that killed around 3 million Bengalis in 1971? Why there is no jihad and criticism against these oppressors?
This is how this ideological bias works…
Here it should not be assumed that we should stop supporting Palestinians but the main message is that we should not discriminate between our enemies. If we condemn and hate Israel on the basis of Palestinians then why do we overlook the oppression and killings of Muslims at the hands of Sudan, Taliban, China, Iran, Saddam, Yemen and Pakistan?
For zille huma’s murder news refer to http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=6000