New Age Islam
Mon Sep 21 2020, 05:44 AM

Islam and Politics ( 8 Oct 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Does Saudi Arabia Support The ISIS?: New Age Islam’s Selection From Pakistan Press, 9 October 2015

New Age Islam Edit Bureau

9 October 2015

Does Saudi Arabia Support The ISIS?

By Faiq Lodhi

To Those Polluting Twitter With #Iammumtazqadri: Stop

By Khurram Zia Khan

The Tiny Monsters

By Mehr Tarar

Misogyny And Sleaze — How JPNA Heralds A 'Naya' Pakistan

By MARIA KARI

 

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Does Saudi Arabia support the ISIS?

By Faiq Lodhi

October 8, 2015

For almost four years now, Syrians have been perpetually facing their worst nightmare; five million of them have fled the country while another 7.5 million have been displaced, close to 310,000 made up the death toll until April 2015, and only God knows how many more have been killed past that.

But none of this was enough to trigger Saudi Arabia (KSA) – the strongest country in the region and a major player for regional cooperation – to intervene in this crisis. What did trigger the country (or certain fractions of it) was the imminent presence of countries like Russia and Iran in the region. For those who are unaware, Russia and Iran recently decided to directly intervene in the Syrian civil war after the threat of ISIS and the Syrian radicals became too strong not to. And now people in KSA want to fight these two countries. In fact, according to RT, 55 clerics have signed a joint online statement urging all “true Muslims” to “give all moral, material, political and military” support to the fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army as well as Iranian and Russian forces.

What disturbs me is that these people had absolutely no issues when the Sunni-majority rebels were killing innocent people in their fight against the Shiite regime; for them, people suffering in Syria is not an issue, as long as non-Arabic countries don’t enter the region. It makes one wonder what the general perception of a local Saudi is towards citizens of other countries.

And this leads to another question, by fighting Russia and Iran, are these fractions – consisting of clerics and smaller religious groups in KSA – showing their open support for ISIS (which follows the Wahabi school of thought) and the rebels? Can Saudi Arabia try not to be biased against other sects of Islam? I mean, this is war for crying-out-loud; when will the division and side-taking stop? And if they are taking a side, then come out with it. Say it loud and clear for the world to hear, say you support the ISIS.

While the government of KSA has not mentioned anything related to this matter, the fact that the people in Saudi Arabia are so against the Bashar al-Assad regime is disturbing. This news reflects negatively on KSA, a country which has often been accused to sponsoring proxy wars and pulling the strings of many a country – Pakistan being one of them.

Now, before you argue that the KSA government has no stance in this, and decide to burn me at the stake for speaking out against the protectors of Makkah and Madina, hear me out. The clerics, who have signed the online petition asking for the Syrian rebels to fight against Russia and Iran and shown their support to their cause, are all prominent Saudi leaders who oppose the kingdom’s rule. These individuals have huge followings, all 55 of them, and this makes for a considerable population. In such a case, if these people genuinely believe that killing of innocent people is better than having non-Arabic countries enter the Arabian Peninsula, then they really need to get their priorities straight.

I am not saying that Russia and Iran are saintly and doing this for the benefit of humanity either. It is well-known that Russia is only interested in this region because of the growing ISIS threat and that Iran is just giving shape to the proxy war it has been funding against the Sunni uprising. But if their intervention will mean peace in Syria, then why not give it a try? Why jeopardise an operation before it has even been formulated properly?

According to the petition,

“The Western-Russian coalition with the Safavids (Iran) and the Nusairis (Alawites) are making a real war against the Sunni people and their countries.”

This statement ignores the fact that Syria has been led by the al-Assad regime for the past 30 years.

For all these years, the Sunni majority population was accepting of the regime because they did not see the government’s sect, only its performance. So when did it all become about sectarian representation?

While both the Syrian government and the rebels have stated that this is not a sectarian issue, the foreign stakeholders that are meddling in Syria’s internal issues seem to give a different picture. People in KSA need to understand that just because they have power over the Muslim world and money by virtue of their oil, this does not give them the right to interfere in a war where they are only doing more harm than good.

If they have issues with the al-Assad regime being dictatorial in nature, then they need to take a good, hard look upon their own monarchy and oppressive government and try to change that first before venturing into someone else’s war. The Syrian people have lived without their support so far and they can continue live on without their interference.

http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/29746/does-saudi-arabia-support-the-isis/

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To those polluting Twitter with #IamMumtazQadri: Stop

By Khurram Zia Khan

October 8, 2015

The Supreme Court of Pakistan, in a landmark decision, maintained the death sentence awarded to Mumtaz Qadri, the man who murdered Governor Punjab, Salman Taseer. The judgment today must have led to a sigh of relief from the family of Mr Salman Taseer. They will finally get the justice they have been battling for an arduous four years.

This is a bold decision by the Supreme Court, which has upheld the institution of justice in the country. It clearly indicates that the country’s highest court has distanced itself from the likes of Maulvi Mushtaq.

Justice might have knocked on the doors of the Taseer family but this conviction will do little to change the prevailing environment of religious intolerance in the country.

This case should have been an easy, open-and-shut case. The verdict should’ve been at the tips of our fingers. Fingers should have been snapped and people should have affirmed in unison,

“He’s guilty, of course!”

But the horrific reality of the situation is painted across all our Twitter pages.

Qadri has become a symbol of faith and bravery for a large percentage of people in Pakistan who still advocate that he was ordained by a divine power to assassinate Taseer. They say that he was a soldier of God.

A murderer has been placed on a pedestal made of misguided religious opinions and beliefs. It is alarming that his execution will take place on that pedestal and immortalise him forever. Despite the ultimate victory for justice in Pakistan, it is a sad day for its history books. The reaction of the people is going to taint Pakistan’s legal legacy forever.

Qadri, for many, is going to die a martyr. Soon enough, the misguided section of society will prop up another caricature on that pedestal and the madness will continue.

Sunni Tehreek (ST) a religious organisation has decided to file a review petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. It asserts that,

“The death penalty awarded to Mumtaz Qadri is against Shariah and the Constitution of Pakistan.”

Religious groups are not the only ones rallying behind him. Lawyers of this country gave their unabashed support to Qadri in the early days of his trial. Ninety esteemed lawyers reached the court to defend him. Senior lawyers jumped onto his defence council. That fateful day saw the complete and utter breakdown of our rationality. Reason was defeated, education left abandoned. Even the educated elite faltered and fell into the rhetoric of religious intolerance.

Khawaja Muhammad Sharif, during the hearing in the Supreme Court tried to compare Qadri’s case with that of Ghazi Ilm Din, which I think speaks volumes of the thought processes of a senior lawyer who once was also the chief justice of the Lahore High Court.

He said,

“Educated people lack courage to take an action like Qadri.”

No, Sir. What Qadri did does not require courage. It requires a strong sense of depravity, a misguided sense of justice, a complete violation of Islamic teachings and ignorance so deeply entrenched that it translates into barbarism.

Moreover, do not insinuate that the ‘educated people’ of Pakistan are cowards. It took real courage for Salman Taseer to stand up to the mindless hordes of hate-mongers and speak up against the blasphemy law. That’s what heroism is.

A society which supports murder is not only regressive, it is diseased. People are being killed in the name of religion, honour and tradition. There is no united front against such inhumanity. Our voices are scattered. We’re letting ourselves be swallowed by white noise. Within this static, certain voices need to get louder and be heard. They need to reverberate through every corner of this country and drag all of us in the right direction.

It’s a shame that some of us need to be explained what the right thing is. It’s a shame that good sense needs to be spelt out for many of us. It’s a shame but it is our sordid reality.

So here is the truth about the Salman Taseer case:

Qadri was a murderer. He is no hero. In fact, he is the anti-hero who deserves to be shunned to the gallows.

Salman Taseer did not commit blasphemy. I repeat, he did not commit blasphemy.

And even if he did, which he didn’t, his murder does not make Qadri a heroic vigilante. He is still a murderer, who foolishly considered himself the hand of God and delivered ‘justice’.

If we are to embody the victims of injustice, we should not be embodying him. He is the injustice in our society. If things are to trend on Twitter, they should be in the name of the individuals who were lynched by a mob in Kot Radha Kishan.

Pakistan has a very important lesson to learn in the wake of this development. Difference in opinion should be celebrated, not riddled with bullets. Debate is good, it is necessary for our legal sense to flourish. However, discourse needs intelligent articulation, not mindless rhetoric on social media. Pakistani society is heavily polarised, but that does not have to translate into violence and chaos. We’re lucky that Pakistan has so many opinions. That presents us with a unique opportunity; we can engage with subjects in a rigorous and wholesome manner.

However, we have to guard ourselves against prejudice. We have to arm ourselves with rationality, not guns. We have to embody a sense of justice that is not touched by misguided religious beliefs, a stunted idea of tradition and a foolish sense of honour.

Therefore, I urge everyone to think about what they are saying and who they are supporting. Those who are polluting the Twitter-verse with #IamMumtazQadri:

Stop.

God forbid such evil should befall you.

The writer is the media manager of Asiatic Public Relations and tweets @KhurramZiaKhan (twitter.com/KhurramZiaKhan)

http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/29743/to-those-polluting-twitter-with-iammumtazqadri-stop/

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The Tiny Monsters

By Mehr Tarar

October 8, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, as I settled down in a comfortable chair in a friend’s cosy, chic, well-run salon — of the beauty type — pondering over the process of ageing, looking at my fading highlights, I sighed and decided to just relax. To think not too much about greying hair, and weakening grey cells, and enjoy the once-in-a-while bliss of having a salon treatment. Being a self-avowed couch potato and introvert, self-pampering is the big adventure of my supremely lazy month.

As I closed my eyes for a second or two, myriad strong-smelling things in my hair, I was jolted back to reality when a scream rang loud in the salon. Startled, I looked up, and like a deer caught in the glare of headlights, my nearsighted eyes found the source of the non-stop, very screechy, very jarring din. It was a boy, maybe three- or four-years-old, standing next to his mother who was getting her hair styled. For some reason, the child thought his mother was in the clutches of some big, bad monster, being tortured to give up her magical wings. The curly-haired, chubby, totally adorable child — the kind you see in ads about children being brought up on packaged milk — bawled as if his favourite toy had been snatched by his cruel sibling. What surprised and irked me was the mother’s total nonchalance to the screams of the child. Instead of taking out a couple of minutes from her hairstyling, she merely smiled indulgently as the child shrieked louder than two dozen magpies on a hunger strike.

That reminds of me of the quiet breakfast I had one Sunday afternoon at a coffee shop in DHA, Lahore. Breakfast at lunch is an indulgence, and pancakes sheer bliss. Make that scrumptious, freshly-made blueberry pancakes with a tall, caramel latte to go with ‘em. Ah. But before I could fork one huge chunk into my half-open mouth, he screamed again. Yes, another tiny creature, another painful experience. One of those phenomena where we all merely tsk-tsk among ourselves, indulge in kids-will-be-kids head-shaking, and ask the cafe manager to tell the boy to zip it.

Seated in a corner was a nice-looking couple, in their late twenties-early thirties perhaps, with a friend/cousin/colleague. You know one of those we-are-equal husband-wife, both educated, both career-oriented, both sharing responsibilities of child-rearing and, on good nights, dish-washing. Come to think of it, that only happens in Indian ads, and Mehreen Jabbar’s long plays. From time to time, the dad did his best to soothe the bawling banshee, sorry boy, but to no avail. The crying and shouting continued. In no particular order. And I watched, scowled and counted backward from 100 to control my inner headmistress who wanted to shout: control your child or leave!

Watching Bajrangi Bhaijaan past midnight in the nearby theatre, going gaga over the mute girl uniting wordlessly hostile Pakistan and India, suddenly there was a shriek. No, it wasn’t Munni finding her voice miraculously; it was another child from hell screaming while grown-ups were happily busy seeing the similarities between Pakistanis and Indians. Why a child under the age of four was brought to the cinema past midnight is a mystery bigger than the inability of Pakistan and India to attain maturity of thought and initiate dialogue with one another. And while Munni remained on mute throughout the film, the noisy child in the cinema punctuated the silence intermittently, making easily-startled women like me almost choke on caramel popcorn when the scream was louder than Bajrangi singing the chicken song.

The moral of these stories: if your children are beyond your control, leave them at home with the overpaid nanny, or the adoring grandmother who’d plant the child in front of the TV with a remote control to throw at domestic staff. Your child is your responsibility, and that is not limited to enrollment in the best pre-school, or the cuteness quotient measured in the latest Gap Kid clothes. Your awww-how-naughty doesn’t cut it. It’s simply a manifestation of your I-don’t-give-a-damn-about-anyone’s-peace-of-mind. And before you label me a child-hating feminist, let me belabour the truth: I love, love and love children, and motherhood means more to me than anything else in the world. But crying children in public places… O the horror of that is unquantifiable. The only place that is permissible in is the paediatrician’s room. Yep. Or the play areas of fast food joints.

Children are the joy of my life right from the time I was a child myself. Ergo, I write in concern. To the parents of ALL bratty children. No, bratty-ness is never cute, and it’s totally on you. Do not let your child reach the limit where the sign on every salon, restaurant, cinema would read: children and cats are not allowed. The former empties the place and the latter causes allergies.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/969692/the-tiny-monsters/

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Misogyny and sleaze — how JPNA heralds a 'naya' Pakistan

By MARIA KARI

October 9th, 2015

Since its release, Jawani Phir Nahi Aani (JPNA) has broken several box office records. Momentarily disengaging from intellectualising; isn’t it nice that a Pakistani film came out, and South Asians from all across the planet are loving it?

Men, women, filmmakers, filmgoers, Lollywood, Bollywood – just positivity all around with just a bit of the usual controversy. It’s just nice to know that can still happen.

Now, with that out of the way, on to the intellectualising bit.

It’s 2015. It’s not unheard of for women to have careers, be the sole breadwinners, stay out all night partying, or choose a one-night stand over commitment.

Before you come at me wielding pitchforks, hear me out.

Pakistanis are one of Bollywood’s largest consumer markets. And what does our mass audience want? Looking at the films from across the border that have done well at our box offices, it seems that Pakistanis are okay with and routinely watch sexually charged rom-coms, laden with onscreen chemistry and item numbers, which Bollywood so notoriously is able to churn out on an annual, grand scale.

So control your pitchforks, fatwas, and moral grandstanding and accept that films like JPNA are the 'naya Pakistan'.

But, if you must, like the average Pakistani consumer, find something to be outraged over, then join me in redirecting your frustrations towards something that is far more subversive and damaging to our film industry than a Lollywood film that is ‘too liberal’.

The only real injustice the creators and cast of JPNA have committed upon us, the audience, is belittling our sensibilities by subjecting us to three hours of the overdone mantra of ‘sex sells’ and an overdrawn film plot premised on misogynistic practices.

I’m not offended because I’m having a kneejerk reaction to sexism and misogyny. I’m offended because that dynamic is so tired.

And, no, you no longer get a cop out with the rundown excuse of ‘this is what audiences expect’ because that is simply and demonstrably untrue.

Women like Aisha Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Sarwat Gillani, Uzma Khan and Sohai Ali are talented forces of nature and powerhouses in their own right

Pigeonholing these women, who act as role models and inspiration for women like me nationwide, into the ‘dressed up in designer wear, dull, dissatisfying and distracted wife’ trope not only second guesses their abilities as talented, veteran actresses of the industry, but unapologetically erodes at an already fragile state of womanhood in a society that remains shamefully patriarchal.

JPNA’s misogyny does not build a narrative. Nor does it make the male cast interesting. It’s just there because it’s so normalised.

This whole ‘guy gets girl, gets bored of girl, has to roam the world with many other girls to remember the good he has in the first girl’ is a pervasive issue, as old as cinema itself.

Too often, films rely on a character arc in which the male lead gets to disrespect, disown and demean women yet walk away with both his dignity and romantic relationships intact.

Pretty much every film industry is guilty of this. Think Tony Stark of Ironman fame.

It only took a three-film franchise for Stark to stop womanising (always followed by forgetting the name of aforementioned woman the next morning). Stark’s reward for growing up? The smoking hot, conveniently ever-present, and forever loyal personal assistant.

Girls like me grew up watching Aisha Khan and Sarwat Gillani play strong female characters on screen. Unfortunately, JPNA will not be remembered as one of those moments.

The JPNA female cast had all the ability to dominate the screen in a way that would have been brave and impossible not to care about (i.e. Sarwat Gillani’s ‘Pashto-gun-toting biwi’ role and Aisha Khan’s ‘financially, intellectually confident’ character).

Yet, unfortunately, they all fail the test for one reason or another by failing to be independent characters in their own right; instead, the women of JPNA are relegated to a footnote in the film designed only to interact with and support their men.

Initially, the audience hopes the women are going to promote some form of groundbreaking gender performance when the jilted wives show up in Thailand to break up the boys’ boozy, bikini fest.

But, alas, the female cast succumbs to the (surely, male) scriptwriter’s pen.

Sarwat Gillani opts to put her gun down and take back her clueless, philandering husband because, hey, there’s a second kid coming, and how on earth could a woman possibly parent alone, right?

Uzma Khan finally comes to her senses and realises that, oops, of course, it was her fault all along that her husband fled to Bangkok for physical affection in the form of ‘Thai massages’.

Despite initially being portrayed as an independent, modern-day Pakistani living abroad, Mehwish Hayat turns into a wedding-crazed, daddy-issues toting lost cause because of one rather mediocre encounter with Humayun Saeed.

And perhaps, most appalling of all the female cast’s story arcs is that of Ayesha Khan, whom I had faith in till the very last scene, in which she – the in-control, financially secure, confident leader of the pack – experiences a rare form of courtroom-induced amnesia that leads to her forgiving her cheating, lying husband.

In fact, nearly every woman we come across in JPNA is a prop – either used as a sexual object or depicted as emotionally unhinged.

The whole process is desperately sexist and misogynistic and, ironically, the only female character that does not completely annoy and let down the audience is Sohai Ali’s character whose only role in the film is to satisfy the male cast’s dream of a scantily clad, dumb, rich, and young (very young) selfie-obsessed queen.

Absurdly enough, only she gets a choice at the end. The rest of the women fulfill their prophecies by becoming the worst of cinematic tropes; given to men as rewards for growing the hell up, sending yet another reminder to our already chauvinistic society that they deserve beautiful women as a prize, no matter how flawed they are as long as they are able to succeed in the slightest, most mediocre of accomplishments (i.e. no longer cheating on your wife).

JPNA ends with a Fahad Mustafa cameo hinting at a sequel. Here's a pro tip to the future male cast of JPNA 2, on behalf of Pakistani women everywhere:

We’ll laugh at your admittedly terrific comedy and we’ll even happily watch you partying with Russian women and boozing on-screen – so long as you promise to make the next round of drinks shaken, not stirred, and with a side of gender equality.

Since its release, Jawani Phir Nahi Aani (JPNA) has broken several box office records. Momentarily disengaging from intellectualising; isn’t it nice that a Pakistani film came out, and South Asians from all across the planet are loving it?

Men, women, filmmakers, filmgoers, Lollywood, Bollywood – just positivity all around with just a bit of the usual controversy. It’s just nice to know that can still happen.

Now, with that out of the way, on to the intellectualising bit.

It’s 2015. It’s not unheard of for women to have careers, be the sole breadwinners, stay out all night partying, or choose a one-night stand over commitment.

Before you come at me wielding pitchforks, hear me out.

Pakistanis are one of Bollywood’s largest consumer markets. And what does our mass audience want? Looking at the films from across the border that have done well at our box offices, it seems that Pakistanis are okay with and routinely watch sexually charged rom-coms, laden with onscreen chemistry and item numbers, which Bollywood so notoriously is able to churn out on an annual, grand scale.

So control your pitchforks, fatwas, and moral grandstanding and accept that films like JPNA are the 'naya Pakistan'.

But, if you must, like the average Pakistani consumer, find something to be outraged over, then join me in redirecting your frustrations towards something that is far more subversive and damaging to our film industry than a Lollywood film that is ‘too liberal’.

The only real injustice the creators and cast of JPNA have committed upon us, the audience, is belittling our sensibilities by subjecting us to three hours of the overdone mantra of ‘sex sells’ and an overdrawn film plot premised on misogynistic practices.

I’m not offended because I’m having a kneejerk reaction to sexism and misogyny. I’m offended because that dynamic is so tired.

And, no, you no longer get a cop out with the rundown excuse of ‘this is what audiences expect’ because that is simply and demonstrably untrue.

Women like Aisha Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Sarwat Gillani, Uzma Khan and Sohai Ali are talented forces of nature and powerhouses in their own right

Pigeonholing these women, who act as role models and inspiration for women like me nationwide, into the ‘dressed up in designer wear, dull, dissatisfying and distracted wife’ trope not only second guesses their abilities as talented, veteran actresses of the industry, but unapologetically erodes at an already fragile state of womanhood in a society that remains shamefully patriarchal.

JPNA’s misogyny does not build a narrative. Nor does it make the male cast interesting. It’s just there because it’s so normalised.

This whole ‘guy gets girl, gets bored of girl, has to roam the world with many other girls to remember the good he has in the first girl’ is a pervasive issue, as old as cinema itself.

Too often, films rely on a character arc in which the male lead gets to disrespect, disown and demean women yet walk away with both his dignity and romantic relationships intact.

Pretty much every film industry is guilty of this. Think Tony Stark of Ironman fame.

It only took a three-film franchise for Stark to stop womanising (always followed by forgetting the name of aforementioned woman the next morning). Stark’s reward for growing up? The smoking hot, conveniently ever-present, and forever loyal personal assistant.

Girls like me grew up watching Aisha Khan and Sarwat Gillani play strong female characters on screen. Unfortunately, JPNA will not be remembered as one of those moments.

The JPNA female cast had all the ability to dominate the screen in a way that would have been brave and impossible not to care about (i.e. Sarwat Gillani’s ‘Pashto-gun-toting biwi’ role and Aisha Khan’s ‘financially, intellectually confident’ character).

Yet, unfortunately, they all fail the test for one reason or another by failing to be independent characters in their own right; instead, the women of JPNA are relegated to a footnote in the film designed only to interact with and support their men.

Initially, the audience hopes the women are going to promote some form of groundbreaking gender performance when the jilted wives show up in Thailand to break up the boys’ boozy, bikini fest.

But, alas, the female cast succumbs to the (surely, male) scriptwriter’s pen.

Sarwat Gillani opts to put her gun down and take back her clueless, philandering husband because, hey, there’s a second kid coming, and how on earth could a woman possibly parent alone, right?

Uzma Khan finally comes to her senses and realises that, oops, of course, it was her fault all along that her husband fled to Bangkok for physical affection in the form of ‘Thai massages’.

Despite initially being portrayed as an independent, modern-day Pakistani living abroad, Mehwish Hayat turns into a wedding-crazed, daddy-issues toting lost cause because of one rather mediocre encounter with Humayun Saeed.

And perhaps, most appalling of all the female cast’s story arcs is that of Ayesha Khan, whom I had faith in till the very last scene, in which she – the in-control, financially secure, confident leader of the pack – experiences a rare form of courtroom-induced amnesia that leads to her forgiving her cheating, lying husband.

In fact, nearly every woman we come across in JPNA is a prop – either used as a sexual object or depicted as emotionally unhinged.

The whole process is desperately sexist and misogynistic and, ironically, the only female character that does not completely annoy and let down the audience is Sohai Ali’s character whose only role in the film is to satisfy the male cast’s dream of a scantily clad, dumb, rich, and young (very young) selfie-obsessed queen.

Absurdly enough, only she gets a choice at the end. The rest of the women fulfill their prophecies by becoming the worst of cinematic tropes; given to men as rewards for growing the hell up, sending yet another reminder to our already chauvinistic society that they deserve beautiful women as a prize, no matter how flawed they are as long as they are able to succeed in the slightest, most mediocre of accomplishments (i.e. no longer cheating on your wife).

JPNA ends with a Fahad Mustafa cameo hinting at a sequel. Here's a pro tip to the future male cast of JPNA 2, on behalf of Pakistani women everywhere:

We’ll laugh at your admittedly terrific comedy and we’ll even happily watch you partying with Russian women and boozing on-screen – so long as you promise to make the next round of drinks shaken, not stirred, and with a side of gender equality.

I turned my head away for merely a second and that was enough for a woman to sneak in front of me at the Immigration Counter at the Islamabad Airport. "Welcome to Pakistan," I whispered.

Her brazen disregard for discipline and order was surprising. Only a few hours ago, she had diligently lined up at the security desk at the Pearson Airport in Toronto.

She generously exchanged smiles and pleasantries with the gora security staff. She sipped Tim Horton's coffee and munched on donuts as she kept swiping her face with napkins ensuring crumbs were not stuck to the corners of her mouth.

But, that was Toronto, this is Pindi. All bets and fake veils of courtesy are off.

At 46, I am wise enough to know not to remind a woman of her civic responsibilities in public, especially after she had deliberately jumped the queue. But the British-born young man of Pakistani heritage standing right behind me was less forgiving.

"WTF!", he exclaimed loudly.

The woman ignored the protesting young man. Her teenager daughter, who had also appeared from nowhere, turned around and gave us a dirty look. For a second, I felt it was our fault, and being a middle-aged married man, I was ready to apologise. But the young British behind me was relentless. He preempted me from apologising and officiating the transgressions by the mother-and-daughter team.

The woman official, sitting across the counter, witnessed the commotion, but still chose to entertain the mother and daughter, who produced their green passports for inspection. That mistake, my young British friend was not willing to ignore.

"This counter is for those travelling on foreign passports, you can't take their green passports," he screamed at the immigration official, who only then – and very reluctantly I must add – asked the mother and daughter to relocate to the next counter.

I moved ahead triumphantly. I had, thanks to the Bradford-born and Mirpur-bred young man, prevailed in the war of nerves and preserved the dignity of a queue in Pakistan.

Pakistanis of all creeds, castes, and political persuasions are unified in their disdain for queues. Airports, banks, bus stops, hospitals, Nadra outposts...Pakistanis do not hesitate to jump queues at any of these places.

But this grassroots movement manifests itself even in the highest echelons of power, when parliamentarians start agitating against the incumbents within months of a fresh election. Waiting for their turn in opposition has been too onerous.

How is it possible that children in Pakistan are able to clear the primary grades without learning to form a queue? It is not something you learn at a university. In fact, if you have not learnt the art of waiting for your turn and sharing in the kindergarten, you have probably missed the opportunity to learn a life skill.

While Pakistanis burden their children with ideology-laced curriculum from a very young age, they ignore teaching them how to be good citizens.

In Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, my children learn the basic lessons in civility at school. Their teachers are not consumed by a two, or three, or a four-nation theory trying to explain how Canadians are different from Americans. Instead, the children are taught to walk in a line as the four-year olds trek around the school.

When they visit a farm or a library, they are taught to be quiet, observant and patient, as they take turns reading a favourite book or observing a favourite animal. By the time the children in North America and Europe graduate from high schools, they have already mastered the very art of waiting for their turn.

No wonder, even on the congestion-ridden arterials in the developed world, we witness long lines, but not chaos.

It might look simple, but it will require a concerted effort by the ordinary folks at the ticket counters, and the politicians in the Parliament, to get in line with civility and wait for their turns.

Murtaza Haider is a Toronto-based academic and the director of Regionomics.com.

He tweets @regionomics.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1211508/queue-me-not-why-cant-pakistanis-wait-their-turn

URL: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-politics/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/does-saudi-arabia-support-the-isis?--new-age-islam%E2%80%99s-selection-from-pakistan-press,-9-october-2015/d/104853

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