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Monday, December 06, 2021


by Hafsa Mumtaz

Up to 120 people have been arrested in Pakistan after a Sri Lankan factory manager was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob [in Sialkot, Pakistan] who accused him of blasphemy, officials said on Saturday. The vigilante attack has caused outrage, with Prime Minister Imran Khan calling it a "day of shame for Pakistan". Few issues are as galvanising in Pakistan as blasphemy, and even the slightest suggestion of an insult to Islam can supercharge protests and incite lynchings. The incident took place on Friday in Sialkot, a district in central Punjab province, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) southeast of the capital Islamabad. Police on Saturday said that the manager was killed after it was rumoured that "the manager has committed blasphemy". —AFP, December 4, 2021.  Photo: Police officers stand guard at the site where a Sri Lankan citizen was lynched by a Muslim mob outside a factory in Sialkot, Pakistan [Shahid Akram/AP Photo via Aljazeera]

amidst the stampede of melancholy and rage,
i write to seek an answer, i write to inject some
sense into the disciples of schadenfreude, i write
to vent out my grief, i write to know why are
we (the Muslims) becoming what our religion
refrains us from, and that too in the name of religion.
i remember writing about the filigree-tender
baroque mesh in the gossamer, i remember writing
about sweet moments of childhood, i remember
writing about bibliophilia, i remember writing
about solace i'd seek from a genuine smile on
my parents' faces, and i remember how the
world was delicate and pleasing like candy floss
until i never stepped into the traumatizing gulf of
news. i remember my Islamic Studies teachers telling
me forgiveness is more appreciated by Allah S.W.T.,
than vengeance. i invite all Muslims to this rant poetry
about what my vigilante fellows did in Sialkot to the
factory manager who was accused of blasphemy.
why are we turning into beasts when our
Beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) forgave the
woman who threw trash on Him (S.A.W.W.) everyday,
and rather went to see if she was okay the day she
didn't. He (S.A.W.W.) even looked after her for she was
sick the day she didn't throw trash on Him (S.A.W.W.).
i implore answers. are we, our Prophet's Ummah, more
noble than Him that we dared to lynch a man to death
who was accused of blasphemy? are we truly
His (S.A.W.W.) Ummah when we publicize our virtues
and justify our sins by twisting the reality, by
wrongly quoting Islamic injunctions on purpose to
our benefit? are we actually worthy of calling ourselves
"Muslims" when all that we do stands in strict
contradiction to Islam? do we not know that we should
have left the matter to the law for we do not live in
a jungle? do we not know if we think that blasphemy
would be taken for granted, we can leave the matter to
Allah's (S.W.T.) court for He is the ultimate Adil (Just)?
do we not believe that Allah (S.W.T.) will deal with it
Justly on the Day of Judgement? do we not understand
what is a genuine faith? Islam is the name of love, 
of patience, of the greater good, of peace,
of wisdom, of forgiveness, of humanity, of generosity,
and all the good that ever existed or will ever exist.

Author's Glosses:
S.A.W.W. - Sallallahu Alayhi WaAalehi Sallam (May Allah's prayers and peace be with him).
S.W.T. -  Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala (The most Glorified, the most High) 
Ummah - the whole community of Muslims bound together by ties of religion.

Hafsa Mumtaz, aged 22, is an emerging Muslim writer from Pakistan, with a bachelor in English Language and Literature. Her poetry has been published in Visual Verse, The Rising Phoenix Review, Women’s Spiritual Poetry, The New Verse News, Poetry Potion, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Terror House Magazine, Ravi Magazine, The Sandy River Review, and has appeared or is forthcoming in Couplet Poetry, and Corvus Review. Her short story "Vulture" is available on Reedsy Prompts.