13 C
Lahore
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Search
Generic filters
Editorial‘Ashamed’ but business as usual?

‘Ashamed’ but business as usual?

It is rather ironic that in a country where people are still reeling from the shock of a foreign national being brutally lynched in Sialkot on alleged accusations of blasphemy, a few bakeries in Karachi have refused to write ‘Merry Christmas’ on a cake. On December 3, Sri Lankan manager Priyantha Kumara in a factory in Sialkot was lynched and his body set on fire by an angry mob. The civil and military leadership, along with ulemas from different sects, condemned the incident reiterating that Islam doesn’t allow for such heinous crimes in the name of religion. Renowned religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel also met with the Sri Lankan High Commissioner Mohan Wijewickrama in Islamabad on Wednesday and said that “we are shamed”. On the same day, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed also attended a ceremony organised by the Christian community as a chief guest and stated that the minority group was more loyal to the country than others. And perhaps they are because despite facing discrimination in some areas, they are active members of the society.

Within 20 days from the Sialkot tragedy, two prominent bakeries located in Karachi’s posh area had refused customers’ request to write ‘Merry Christmas’ on the cakes. The customers took to the social media to highlight these incidents of bigotry and said that the salespersons stated it was their company’s policy to not entertain such requests. Other social media users also highlighted similar incidents of requests for writing ‘Happy Easter’ being refused. To say that we are shocked would be a statement removed from reality because these incidents are just a few among many others that have plagued our society.

Minority groups in the country have time and again come forth with incidents of discrimination in some cities but no actions have been taken at government level to ensure these do not repeat. Following the incident reported on December 21, one of bakery’s management had assured strict action against the salesman, stating that it was not their company policy to discriminate. But we all know how that pans out. A lower tier staff would be sacked and then it is business as usual. The systematic oppression of minorities by making religious reading mandatory in some provinces has further deepened the divide. Years of ‘othering’ has only fanned such prejudice that today is prevalent in many areas. How else can one explain that a simple gesture of writing ‘Merry Christmas’ could be seen as a threat to one’s religion. The state must do more than mere condemnations because undoing years of extremist mindsets will take long.

Previous articlePTI’s delaying tactics
Next articleLooming terror

Subscribe Today

GET EXCLUSIVE FULL ACCESS TO PREMIUM CONTENT

SUPPORT NONPROFIT JOURNALISM

EXPERT ANALYSIS OF AND EMERGING TRENDS IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE

TOPICAL VIDEO WEBINARS

Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Top News

More articles