I am shocked at the number of people who are announcing how shocked they are at the killing of Dr. Afraasheem Ali, on social media and mainstream media and in various forums. I would say, those of us who are shocked must have been in a deep sleep.
This country has been on the road less traveled to anarchy and a virtual killing field for the past six years.
The singular responsibility for the state of the nation and the fear driven into the people has to be borne by the country’s legislative authority or the parliament which is also the circus for the political leadership of the nation. It is not only the fear that is driven into the general public, but the freedom, convenience and space created for those who are used as instruments to drive fear into the general public, that has been so evident during the past six years.
It isn’t shocking to know that an MP and a leading scholar is slain to death. It wouldn’t be shocking to be told that the Speaker of parliament, the Chief Justice, or a former president or the sitting president is slain to death. We have had calls for their death and we seem to be fine with it. That is democracy to us. A life has no value as long as it is not of your own. That is the reality of the nation that we live in today. So why do we say we are shocked?
The very people responsible for the state of our nation today, will take this opportunity to create more space for them in the limelight that this incident has created for their populist advantage. Most of those people are in the parliament of the nation, or control the comedian-like characters who act for them in parliament. They show that the way forward is one without respect to any other, without humility and without values. They also insist and have the show and their acrobatics televised live, so that they may dignify the new order in the minds of children and young people.
I am NOT shocked.
Dr. Afraasheem will be laid to rest, just five years from the day he returned to the country as a scholar. At the time, he said he had three things that he wished for – to continue to lead prayers, to spend time in preaching and to spend time in gaining more knowledge.
And the interesting thing is that today, the parliament found a good excuse in the incident to stay home and take rest.
Afraasheem: what a fantastic story