Monday, March 9, 2009

Psst -- Hi, People are DYING in Swat, Bajaur, and Waziristan!

Since late summer 2007, Pashtuns – an ethnic group of some 40 million people who live in Pakistan and Afghanistan – have been suffering in the hands of Taliban along with the Pakistani army (this time, in my beloved Swat). Fazlullah and his followers raised funds in order to create their FM radio show through which they claimed they were going to preach the real Islam to Pashtuns. Because the leader had a long beard and acted all holy and divine, it was not a challenge for him to attract any followers or to receive funds and other donations from any Pashtun. Many women went so far as to donate him their jewelry items in hopes that they will be rewarded for this generous act in the hereafter, just for supporting someone who wanted to bring the “true” Islam to the people.

Now, I'm sure we all know that Taliban are known for their extremism, which has led them and their followers to value and defend their barbaric beliefs such as forbidding education upon females, beating any adult female who is outside of her home without her husband (they even made it a law for couples to carry their nikaah naama / marriage contract with them wherever they went!), throwing acid upon any female whose face wasn’t covered, forbidding the taking of pictures upon everyone; enforcing men to grow beards; forcing everyone to stop listening to music, hence causing them to burn their televisions and radios (oh wait! Nothing's wrong with having radios as long as ALL they do on it is listen to Fazlullah's "preaching" of Islam); and so on.
THIS is their version of the “true Islam."

Over time, anyone who didn’t agree with this and didn’t follow these teachings was threatened and killed. Clinics that treated female patients were destroyed (but keep in mind that they believe girls are not to be sent to school!!! HOW do they think we are to live healthy lives if male doctors aren’t allowed to treat us, and we ourselves aren’t allowed to go to school??? I am confuuuuuused!!), hospitals were destroyed, hundreds of schools have been burnt to pieces, ... and the list goes on. Oh, let’s not forget all of this has been happening WHILE the “security forces”/army watches it all and does nothing!

However, most of the world has remained pretty ignorant of this misery. Why?
I think it may be because we are not being killed by any outsiders but rather by our own people, either the Pakistani army or then the Taliban. We’re being killed by Muslims; as much as we’d like to deny them the title of Muslim, we know they’re Muslim nonetheless. They’re cruel, and they’ve gone against Islam in every way possible, but they’re still Muslims. And they’re Taliban in conjunction with the Pakistani army.

When something bad happens to the Palestinians, the WHOLE world hears of it INSTANTLY, and Muslims all over the world start to protest. Yet ... my Pashtuns have been dying for so long now, and HOW MANY Muslims have stood up on our behalf? Why this prejudice towards Pashtuns – who are MUSLIMS, mind you? Oh, I see ... we have to suffer for decades (though we HAVE been suffering for the last three decades; isn't that ENOUGH A TIME for the world to recognize our pain???!) or centuries and beyond in order to have the international community acknowledge our pain. Good God, this world is CRUEL! We won't consider someone in pain unless he/she (or they, in case of a whole ethnic group) have been in hell for a time that *this world* decides, suffering in ways that *this world* decides, eh? ... (Not to get totally off point here, but, ummm, like, Sudanese have been going through a genocide as well; and they, too, just like Pashtuns, are being killed by Muslims ... and Sudanese are largely Muslim. I wonder how many Muslims internationally have stood up for them, have fought for them, have protested for them. None that I know of so far. Wait, the right question wold be: how many Muslims KNOW that Sudanese are burning as well? :S I'm picking on Muslims just because they always talk of UNITY, but in crises like this, they disappear. Though, to be perfectly honest, I think ALL humans -- regardless of belies and color and race -- should care for humanity and should fight to save as many humans from suffering as they can.)

Anyways ... you see, we have some sick Pashtuns talking about how we need to help Palestine, but, ummm HELLO?!? We are dying, too! How dare this world expect us to help others when we are in pain ourselves? I'm as sorry for the Palestinians (and the Sudanese) as I am for Pashtuns, but I think it's far too impractical and unfair of anyone to think that we should help others when we ourselves are burning in hell. We're trying to raise awareness of our own miseries so we can get some help, but we're expected to ignore our own situation and help other victims of oppression? I don't know who in their right mind expects me to understand that.

So I’m really sick of Muslims right now. Just because they have given their utmost attention and time to other victims of oppression but NONE to the Pashtuns. Most of ‘em don’t even know we exist, for God’s sake! And we're DYING and needing help DESPERATELY!

And then they talk about UNITY?! Oh, wow. How united we Muslims are! Our unity impresses me ~boiling with anger~

Here's a clip from a documentary called "Class Dismissed in Swat Valley"; just thought I'd share it with y'all.

P.S. I just realized I need to stop focusing on Swat so much, though that's my homeland; many, MANY Pashtuns are dying in other Pashtun regions as well (Waziristan and Bajaur, for instance), and I need to start giving them some attention as well. It's juts not fair to them that just because I'm from Swat myself, I focus *entirely* on Swat. All Pashtuns are equal, and just because I'm from Swat doesn't make Swatis better or more worthy of attention than the others... in fact, the ones in Waziristan have been suffering MUCH longer, and for them, being bombed constantly has become an every-day thing. I have a friend from Waziristan who currently lives in the UK but went back home to get married, and he came back to say, "Other than the bombs on my wedding day, all went well. But that was nothing new; we're used to it now."

But I'm going to dedicate a separate blog/post to these other Pashtun victims. This tiny place isn't enough for what I have to say for them.

Peace be upon this world and ALL of its citizens!!

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