A week ago a tragedy took place that took innocent lives of New Zealand civilians. Their crime was simple: their religion. Brenton Harrison Tarrant single-handedly ruined countless lives because he was blinded by his hate for Muslims. Inspired by the works of extremist groups operating in Islamic nations that were wiping out their own people, Tarrant wanted to carry out this idea of ethnic cleansing by getting rid of Muslims from “Christian lands.”
Everyone was grieving but what shook the world was how New Zealand responded to this tragedy. The outpour of love and support from the entire nation deeply moved everyone all over the world.
Nine Pakistanis also lost their lives to his brutal act in the name of white supremacy. Sohail Shahid, Syed Jahandad Ali, Syed Areeb Ahmed, Mahboob Haroon, Naeem Rashid and his son Talha Naeem, Mr. Zeeshan Raza, Mr. Ghulam Hussain and Ms. Karam were announced dead.
Amidst all of this, something that was greatly applauded by everyone, here in Pakistan as well, was the efforts of Jacinda Arden, the New Zealand’s Prime Minister. She held the community together and took steps to ensure that the Muslims felt safe. She grieved with their families and adorned a headscarf to show solidarity.
She became a hero.
Pakistani’s were complimenting how the Muslim’s were being treated. There was one such post that caused a spark. I stumbled across this post on my Facebook as well where it was shared by women.
The post said:
“Do Muslims and Pakistanis know that their latest heroine Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is a liberal, secular, feminist, socialist and agnostic? She supports the rights of LGBTQ just as she supports religious/ethnic minorities. Besides, she is in favor of abortion as well. To top it all, she has a kid out of wedlock.
If she was a Pakistani, she would have participated in ‘Bay-Haya’ Aurat Marches and would have been a vocal member of the ‘Mom Bati’ Mafia. Suffice it to say, she would have been stoned to death in our free Islamic cultures….”
This was clearly a jab at all the people who were butthurt by Aurat March but, unfortunately, many people missed the point by miles. This was also said as an attempt to highlight the hypocrisy of our nation which doesn’t let anyone with different beliefs hold office.
People seemed to have forgotten what her beliefs were, whether she was a liberal, agnostic, secular, feminist, it didn’t matter to them. People did not want to drag her “personal beliefs” as it was a private matter. However, this freedom falls short when it comes to our homeland. The same tolerance seems to vanish when people with different beliefs are appointed in official posts.
Apart, from the hypocrisy, what appalled us more was that no man seemed to care about whether she was a feminist or not. In a place where women were insulted and mocked for standing up for their rights, no man seemed to bat an eye on the fact that Jacinda believed in the same school of thought as those girls did.
If this same woman was to be born here, she would have been killed for her ideological beliefs, because us Pakistani’s have a tunnel vision when it comes to our minorities.
We would demand equal rights in foreign lands but fail to deliver the same justice to the minorities back at home. Right now none of this seems to matter because fortunately enough, she is not one of us. She wasn’t born on this land because if she were, she would have participated in the march, she would have fought for her rights, she would have advocated ferociously for the minorities that right now she is protecting in her country. Because it really doesn’t matter what the person believes in as long as they are good at heart.
Only if we could have the same sentiment when it comes to OUR minorities.