I wasn’t going to write about this, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt the need to express my views, only because the whole situation is just so ridiculously ironic that one doesn’t even know what to think or make of it. I wish I could say something like, “Oh no, poor Junaid!” But, instead I saw myself roll my eyes, shake my head, and mutter, “Yeah, well, what did you expect, Mr. Islam-loves-me-so-much-that-no-matter-what-I-say-about-it-no-one-can-touch-me. Well, touch they will all right. And that too until they squeeze the last breath out of you.”
I know I sound utterly blunt, and perhaps even insensitive, but think about this for a second: Here is a guy who pretty much transformed his whole life, his whole essence, for a religion — a system — that he felt had become a part of his being. He seems to have found his calling when he decided to quit music (which sucks big-time, because he was actually quite good, and I was obsessed with his song “Na Tu Aageye” for the longest time; I still love that song, because it brings back wonderful memories from my youth), so that he can join the tableeghi jamaat and become a ‘holy’ man — still famous, mind you, because that is something he won’t give up, but holy. From his whole outlook to his whole perception of the world around him; he became a manifestation of everything that signified his deen. And that’s fine and very dandy. No one’s complaining, because every and each one of us go through phases and transformations to give some sort of purpose and meaning to our lives. We never truly know what our actual purpose is, but we make efforts to make it as meaningful as possible. So, the fact that Mr. Jamshed decided to dedicate his life to his deen is not a bad thing, nor should he have to be criticized for it. After all, to each her or his own, right? (Except that Mr. Jamshed’s attempt at ‘holyness’ isn’t very holy, neither is he modest or humble. And he’s definitely not someone worthy of respect. It seems like his love for religion is only for the sole purpose of furthering his own personal agenda; it’s basically used as a tool to exploit, which is not surprising because he’s an example of a typical, corrupt “mullah.”)
However, that aside, I now want to turn my readers’ attention to what’s going on with him these days. Apparently, he has joined the ranks of all the infidels, non-Muslims, (liberal/moderate) Muslims, atheists and ex-Muslims who have ever been accused of blasphemy in the Islamic Republic of the holy land, also known as Pakistan. Shocking, isn’t it? I mean he, of all people in this vast universe, should be the last person accused of such a thing. But, nope, the news is all too real, and tragically our former musician turned “holy man” is now a blasphemer, threatened with the death sentence. As a matter of fact, the threat and accusations were so serious that he has now taken refuge abroad, in London, and has no plans of going back to Pakistan any time soon.
So, what did he exactly say that triggered all these accusations and death threats against him? Well, this is where it gets interesting, dear readers. Very, very interesting. I am sure we are all well aware by now that Mr. Jamshed is quite the little misogynist, and for some hormonal reason has a thing against women. While he got away with saying things like women shouldn’t be allowed to drive, his poking fun at one of the prophet’s wives (Ayesha), on the other hand, didn’t go down too swell. In a video posted a few days ago, he went on to blatantly state that all women are raging “attention-seekers” and that the prophet’s wife, Ayesha, was no different, as she, too, constantly sought attention from her husband each time he ignored her. In the video, he describes a situation where Ayesha is faking an illness, just so that the prophet would take care of her and shower his attention on her. The point — as obtuse and weak as it sounds — that he was trying to make was that Ayesha’s story proves that there is no such as a perfect woman, as they are all the same, typical “drama queens.” Really, Mr. Jamshed? :: slow claps :: You sure took the cake on that one, didn’t you? Except, your painting of all women as “useless, typical drama queen attention-seekers” didn’t go down so well, and has now cost you your very life. Gee, I wonder who’s laughing now, eh? It’s certainly not you.
The thing about this blasphemy law in Pakistan is that it is applied to anyone who insults, pokes fun, ridicules, denies, etc. both God and the prophet (Muhammed). No matter how much one apologizes and repents, there is simply no pardoning or remorse. Talk ill about God/prophet and you die. A horrible, horrible death. (And Mr. Jamshed did actually create another YouTube video, literally begging for forgiveness and for ridiculing/making fun of Ayesha. The video can be viewed here.) But, of course, who knows if he’ll ever be forgiven. Most probably not.
Jamshed’s case is interesting and quite unique because he didn’t insult nor poke ridicule at the prophet per se, but rather it was at his wife — a woman! This is probably the first time in the history of blasphemizing (is that even a word? Ah well, now it is!) that the blasphemy law has been applied in the mere insult of a woman, and even though it’s terrible because the blasphemy law, in itself, is just unfair and nonsensical, I couldn’t help smiling a little at the fact that a man was going to be killed for belittling and demeaning a woman, and that too in a country like Pakistan, where women are treated as third class citizens. Ah, if only all men were given death sentences like this each time they abused/harmed a woman. Imagine what a great world that’d be, eh? Some day. Perhaps. I’m hopeful.
As for the man himself, what with his long beard, fake Arabic accent, and Mullah-like persona, it seems like that didn’t really matter — like at all — when the Sunni Tehreek decided to accuse him of blasphemy. It didn’t matter that he gave up music, and pretty much everything else, to transform and dedicate his life to Islam — a system — where he felt the most confident and the most at peace. Nothing mattered anymore, except for that fact that the system for which he had readily and willingly gave his life to has now turned against him — and that too with a vengeance — to, this time, taking his life and that too by force and cruelty. What started out as a love story has now become a story of woes. And the irony? Heck, it’s all ironic! Mr. Jamshed is the author of his own doom. He carved this life out for himself, thinking that he, with all his wealth and fame, will become untouchable — immortal even, perhaps. But, looks like reality finally decided to bite him where it hurts the most.
I guess this is exactly what happens to people who use religions as a tool to establish control, instil fear, and simply to further their own inhumane and misogynistic agendas. It turns against them and does the exact same thing back, only a lot more worse.
I guess it’s true what they say, eh? Karma is indeed a bitch.