Andaleeb Rizvi


I wrote a long time ago that our threshold of feelings- good-bad, happy-sad, elated-depressed- for everything just keeps increasing. One smoked half a joint and moved on to two joints a day, as half lost its kick after some time. There were days when a single bomb blast with no deaths depressed us for days. Then came a time when we continued with our life even after a series of bombs and several deaths.

We saw the deaths of hundreds of Shia hazaras, Barelvis, dhammalis, Christians, Ahmedis, their children, women, elderly, but none of it was gruesome enough for us. When Taliban shot Malala, we called her a drama queen, stating that the situation is not as bad as is being portrayed. Deaths of 100 Ahmedis were attributed to blasphemy. When Hazaras demonstrated in Quetta with 100 dead bodies, we said, well, why do the Shias take out processions, why don’t they stay home. When Abbas Town was attacked and more than 40 people died inside their homes, we said Shias are being attacked because of their own actions. They are kafir. They indulge in tabarra. Humans are strange creatures.

See More: The Real Culprits

Our reaction is proportional to the amount of violence. A murder is not gruesome on its own for us. It has to be differentiated on the basis of gruesomeness. Rape victims if alive probably staged their rape to get a foreign visa in our land of the pure. In short, our threshold for atrocities is also increasing with time.

We were outraged when a minor Rimsha Masih was accused of blasphemy, but since she was not burnt to death like the Christian couple, our reaction was limited to some demonstrations, Facebook status updates, and a few petitions. The religious person who accused Rimsha and burnt the pages of the Quran still roams free, we were not as outraged I guess.

Forget that obscure maulana who accused Rimsha, what about Maulana Abdul Aziz? He instigated terrorism. He is responsible for getting many children killed, maimed, and mutilated both physically and mentally. He refuses to condemn the murder of the 132 children in Peshawar. How many went to protest against him? How many demanded the law to be used against the known terrorist? A mere 100 of the 182 million people.

Why? Because we are not humans. We are a mixture of sectarian binaries that shape us into being shia-sunni, deobandi-barelvi, wahabi-shia, shia-barelvi (and before LUBP gets into another article. Yes it exists, and I live it), barelvi-wahabi, etc, etc.

See More: An appeal to Pakistanis

So the death of 132 children is not shocking. It is just what we will grow accustomed to with time too. The number will have to be higher next time, or perhaps the murders more gruesome.

More from Andaleeb Rizvi: Sunni militants, their friends versus Sunni Sufis