A BIGOTED MINDSET BREEDS A BIGOTED MEDIA – THE CASE OF MASTER QUDOOS
Let’s get one thing straight. The torture that subsequently leads to the death of any citizen, irrespective of his religious/ethnic affiliations, at the hands of the state police is a very serious act, one that must be brought to light by the entire media of that state as well as those responsible citizens who have the good fortune of having a voice that penetrates to the highest levels. I think we can all agree with that. Now, let’s go on to observe in utter and complete shock the tragic tale of Master Qudoos.
I’m quite sure that those of you not on Twitter have no clue as to who the above-named person is/was. And I certainly don’t blame you, for the mainstream media (save Express Tribune) has taken a vow of silence on this issue. So let me fill you in. Master Qadoos, a school-teacher of 43, was taken in by the police on the 10th of Feb for questioning over the murder of a stamp-paper seller. In spite of the fact that not a trace of evidence suggested his involvement in the murder, and that no charges were ever filed against him, he was relentlessly tortured by the police during his questioning, so much so that he succumbed to the fatal internal injuries resulting from the torture and died in hospital last week.
In a country where police brutality is hounded by the media, not one word was uttered regarding this incident in any of the mainstream channels. The million dollar question is: why?
Because Master Qadoos was an Ahmadi from Rabwah.
There you have it.
The sad fact is that in the Islamic Republic of Pure-istan, all those deemed impure are automatically second-class citizens, if citizens at all. And the media apparently isn’t bothered enough about the plight of those citizens to report it in their otherwise horror-laden depiction of Pakistan, from gang-rapes to acid-suicides to political ranting, which, of course, must all be reported, for that is the very purpose of the media to begin with. However, this biased criterion for reporting news must be done away with. A human life is, all said and done, a human life, before it is a Muslim life.
Let me add that the Tribune was the first, and to my knowledge, only newspaper to report the story the very next day, March 31st. Also, a mention for Pak Tea House, a brilliant blog that ran a most enlightening piece about the tragedy.
Master Qudoos was above all a human being, and his death falls under the realm of Human Rights. Religion has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. Or who are we kidding? The striking lack of media interest in this story points to a glaring truth: in Pakistan, humanity is second to religion. And the ‘powerful, free’ media that we all harp on about is, at the end of the day, not free from this bias.
In 1974 a bunch of politicians and Mullahs took it upon themselves to play God and declared an entire sect Kaafir, a sect that had fought wars and shed blood for this homeland of ours. And this is how we repay their blood, by lusting for more?
To those of you who believe that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam, do you even know what that vision entailed? Here is an excerpt from the Quaid’s broadcast talk to the people of the United States of America on Pakistan, recorded February, 1948.
“Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody. .. Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims –Hindus, Christians, and Parsis –but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.”
That is the Islam that Pakistan was created in the name of, one that teaches “equality of man, justice and fairplay”. Not the xenophobic version being largely practiced today with a selective morality that puts Muslims at the top of the food chain and all others down below as fodder.
I’ve not been a tweeter for long enough to fully appreciate its merits and criticise its faults. However, I will say this much, it’s a complete disappointment. The selective morality evident in the media reigns highest even on this social platform. For two days now, #justiceforqudoos has been trending at the number two spot, and yet the messiahs and leaders who tweet about everything from what movie they’re going to see to who sent them friend requests on Facebook, have nothing to say about this vile breach of Human Rights in their country? Why so, I ask them? Surely, you have the time, you have the means, and you have enough followers to make a massive impact should you so choose.
I was heartened by the way these twitter gods all joined hands together to promote the #justiceforfakhra cause, and am as saddened by their lack of heart for Qudoos. Was his life in any way less worthy? Was his pain not significant enough? Was his end any less tragic?
These are questions every Pakistani must ask him/herself. There may not be justice in the cards for Qudoos, who’s to say. But the absence of coverage renders the Pakistani media, including the much-hyped about Twitter, quite dogmatic, at least in my humble opinion.
Posted on April 3, 2012, in Ahmadi, liberal, Pakistan, Pakistani media, Quaid e Azam presidential address, Racism, Tolerance, youth and tagged humanity, justice, Master Qudoos, Pakistani media. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.