“Men of Faith” Syndrome


Right after the Peshawar Attack on Army Public school that shook not just Pakistan but the world, social media went quite almost abruptly before it started crying out in pain and anger. Indeed, it is a tragedy we shall never forget, ever!!! Our innocent children slaughtered by the butchers suffering from an acute case of Men of Faith syndrome.

A complex syndrome at that, faith itself is a debate in Pakistan. For any average Pakistani making it through the daily routine amidst the different versions of faith is a battle enough but situations that turn their social media walls into a war room of faith is a whole other level. Men of Faith kamikazes hell-bent to “fight” the “infidel” sect – in their respective understanding – wage these mindless wars even in the face of tragedies such as Peshawar attack. Nevermore, shall they maneuver us through provocative messages, for we are rising as a nation.

In the early hours after the incidents, social media went quite only to be flooded with messages carrying #PeshawarAttack in the later few hours. It started becoming a divine emblem used by the men of faith to define their agendas and callings in their own understanding. These messages laden with subtle religious sentiments would have been deadlier than the attack itself if not for nation wide protests against Taliban terror and Civil Society taking up Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid – a known Taliban apologist and supporter.

Civil Society vigil and protests; currently taking shape in other cities after Islamabad, successfully curbed the sectarian issues through statements and a joint protest with Naib Khateeb Lal Masjid Maulana Amir Siddique and Wafaqul Madaris al Arabia. Meanwhile social media kamikazes have been busy fueling the sectarian slants on the issue. One after another memes and post are piling in, mostly inclined on sectarian issues than on the subject matter. Through these memes, social media kamikazes are “answering their opposing infidel sects” in the name of faith.

Pakistan has seen enough bloodshed on behest of divine interventions imposed by anger driven actions without any fact check or trial. As a nation, we are largely surrounded by people who let anger and manipulation get the best of them while they give in to “men of faith” syndrome. From minorities to lawmakers and from children to law enforcers everyone bled in the name of faith.

Vigils and protests against Maulana Abdul Aziz in the current situation is not all there is to be done against Taliban. In the course of action, pending strategic actions such as Madarsa registration program and conglomerating conspiracy theories quickly materializing with time are diluting the matter. Perhaps a more comprehensive charter of demands would address the issue in its entirety.

Understanding the slippery slop, actions fueling sectarian, political and ethnic biases amidst the rising must be vigilantly monitored and curbed. This situation calls for immediate yet surgical action against the culprits. While protesting in solidarity against Taliban terror, let there be no room for another Hazara Town, Army Public School or heck even Lal Masjid incident for that matter. Enough innocent lives lost already and innocent blood spilled, for once let’s stay united to let sanity prevail.

About the author

Saad B Murtaza

Saad B. Murtaza is a journalist and creative writer based in Karachi. He has been working as an Investigative/Diplomat Reporter since 2010 and as a Creative Writer since 2008.

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