An Open Letter to Hamza Ali Abbasi

An Open Letter to Hamza Ali Abbasi

I am writing this because people keep sharing that video with me of Hamza Ali Abbasi. Actually, I don't see a problem with PEMRA banning the show that the great Abbasi was going to conduct on Ahmadis.

It is reflective of prudence, and has little to do with a conservative policy. We shouldn't expect the slaughter of a bunch of Ahmadis on the day of EID, because a national egomaniac, who is also extremely convoluted on many other social/political matters, took a very serious issue in his hands, and angered some loose vigilante. As for freedom of speech goes (which concerns ALL Pakistanis and not just one oppressed group by the way), it is a process that strengthens plurality, and such one night affairs always end in STDs (Short Term Discomforts) with no real direction. Blasphemy laws also impacted and continue to impact people who are Muslims under the law, and shouldn't be discussed "on the last day of Ramzan" only in relation to the "Ahmadiyya Problem", as if the two are contextually synonymous. Such discussion should take place everyday without fear of being punished, and THAT would be freedom of speech. Blasphemy laws ought to be repealed not because Ahmadis are suffering, but because the laws are inherently unjust. [The former position, which Abbasi is taking, is of pathologizing and hermitizing a group of people; the latter is a proactive position that strengthens dissent of which Abbasi knows little.]

At the end of the day, we have to ask: what loss have we suffered if a certain Abbasi didn't "start" the conversation on the status of Ahmadis? No loss. He needs his head (cough), and the Ahmadis need nobody but themselves to show up to rally for self-determination (as per the prescription that Stokely Carmichael left behind that clearly outlines that emancipation is in lifting oneself with one's own might). Until then, Abbasi can keep admiring the image he was born with, and stay away from dogmatizing everything that moves under the sun.

Sana Janjua

Sana Janjua

Sana Janjua is a poet, playwright, actor and director who was born in Lahore, and moved to Canada in 2002. She is a Kathak dance student. She is also the Initiator, a Founding Member, and the President of Surrey Muse."


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