Hate Virus in Our Society

Obaidullah Khan

Ours is a diseased society and anyone who has any sanity left in oneself would hardly differ with it. Many a times a single disease causes multiple symptoms in a body. A deep study of our diseased society may reveal that there is a virus of Hate in our society causing many deteriorating symptoms. Our society as a whole is suffering very badly with the effects of Hate whether be it individually, socially, politically and most important of all religiously. Anyone can understand that hate is the opposite feeling of Love which is a positive emotion in a human body and a very essential in building positive and constructive tendencies in the human character.  But in contrast to that we as a nation espouse hate, causing a downfall in our individual and national character as a whole. The outcomes of this are obvious in the form of Apathy, self righteousness, Narcism, Nostalgia, paranoia etc. As we hate others, in return we jump to the conclusion that everyone else hates us as well. This conclusion further brings forth the propensity of mind to be entangled in multiple type of conspiracy theories, for example most of the world especially the West, US and India etc. are against Islam and the very existence of Pakistan. Resultantly an individual’s mind, if not able to construct conspiracy theories on its own, yet it becomes a fertile ground to be inspired by these, but at the expense of its own fertility in positivity. Utter confusion is an obvious outcome, making things really worse for further progress.

On religious grounds, hate has come up with many dangerous offspring like sectarianism and intolerance and most importantly religion based terrorism and a terrorist mindset, whose minimal degree is an apologetic attitude for the vicious terrorists. Moreover if we study the philosophy of terrorism in Muslims we will find hate as a major cause and a lifeline for the nourishment of terrorist mindset. The poignant question arises here why our society has become a victim of this hate virus. For answer we have to study history of Pakistani society and doing so it can be assess that our downfall started in 70’s and provided a major boost in 80’s. These were the times when Mullaism was imposed on Pakistani society. Islam presented and introduced by Sufi’s and other spiritual personalities was based on love and affection against which Mulla’s version of Islam brought hate and divisions amongst the society. Indeed all the infrastructure of sectarianism is based on hate with each other resulting intolerance. Difference of opinion is a healthy and progressive sign in a society, but in our case it is exploited to spread hate by using it as a tool to divide and rule in religion to gain vested interests. Being a religious society as a whole, this moral set back with the seal of religion has evolved into an overall national character ready to accept everything with hate as far as it is coated with the name of Islam and patriotism. Consequently love and affection are ebbing out of our society individually and collectively. The atmosphere of love and affection amongst the society plays a pivotal role for peace and harmony in society which results as integration and cohesiveness amongst different sections of society. In contrast to that our society, nurtured with hate, has been disintegrated in the name of religion, ethnicity and language. Other consequences of this fragmentation that have set in our society are in the form of selfishness and apathy. Though corruption is not a direct consequence of hate, yet it has worked as a catalyst in prospering it by decaying the overall moral character of our nation.

Majority of our society has tolerated so called jehadi culture and terrorism, yet there is not enough tolerance towards differences. Many of us would call it lack of education, however education is far less in Africa and most parts of India too but these territories have no signs of terrorism presented with religious coatings. Although terrorism is not a new term peculiar to Islam or any religion. But in modern era we are unique in labeling terrorism with religion. Some other forms of religious terrorism can be observed elsewhere in India and in some other countries as well, but we are the initiators and they are followers. So one has to admit that there is something else that has been inculcated in our society by which it has become the fertile land for terrorism and intolerant culture. In my opinion the prime cause is hate and we love to hate. We have been taught to hate infidels; we are taught everyone who differs with your interpretation of Islam is infidel. Then we are taught to hate our neighbours, then US is another victim of our extreme hate. Policies of US and our neighbours are not my immediate subject being right or wrong but I am only discussing prevailing Pakistani mindset. Even two-nation theory (tailored in early 70’s and definitely not was the basis of the creation of Pakistan and with that it was, in fact, for the first time when our military and mullah intimacies got consummated) itself derived on the basis of hate as we could not live with other groups of society and yet we are proud of this theory. In High school course our young and immature minds are instilled with the concepts that the requirement of a separate country was  established by the first Muslim entered in the subcontinent as if Muslims are such a nation who cannot live in harmony with any other, regardless of the fact how this ideology can harm muslims and Pakistanis outside Pakistan. We are not ready to admit our own misdeeds and internal weaknesses but are going blindly blaming everyone else but ourselves, for failure in every field of development. Our mindset has become entangled in conspiracy theories like a person who is suffering from many diseases but does not ready to find the causes that lie in him and avoids its treatment, but complains against the healthy ones as if they are responsible to take away his part of health for themselves. Due to the lack of immunity against such diseases, he, instead of curing and strengthening his immune system, keeps blaming the disease and his fellows as if it is injected in him by them.

Now comes the burning question how to deal with the problem? The simplest one would be to preach love and against hate. Unless we are not taking measures to address the issue of hate, treatment and healing is next to impossible. Furthermore media can play a very strong role to promote a culture of love and affection.

We have to reject every form of hate in our society be it social, political or religious. On the other hand we should promote interfaith dialogues emphasizing on common grounds of beliefs and discourage difference and hate.

The present day situation cannot be undone just by taking aforementioned measures and require an immediate ban on spreading hate. This ban must have some sanctioning force of penal law behind it. Our legislature must enact some law to stop the hate preaching especially in religious matters. While preparing a law, following points may be considered,

a) No one is allowed to preach hate in the matters of faith and religion against any denomination.

b) No one is allowed to criticize any other’s faith or religion or call anyone infidel or giving fatwa’s against anyone in order to declare someone out of the pale of Islam or calling anyone heretic.

c) One can, in public, only allowed to preach and highlight the constructive and peaceful teaching or other distinguishing characteristics of one’s own faith rather to criticize others.

If we succeed in eradicating only religious hatred from our society rest of the problems are not far from solution.

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