Things for which you will be (and have been) booked under blasphemy in Pakistan.
- For being an Ahmadi! Let’s face it.. .. it is sooo blasphemous to be an Ahmedi in Pakistan.. that even people with the surname Ahmad are eyed suspiciously. Usually with one eye ready to pop out of the socket and an eyebrow defying gravity and flying towards the ceiling.
(Ok, maybe not all the people surnamed Ahmad.. just the ones who stick up for Ahmadis)
- If you are a Christian and that too a woman (tsk tsk)- never be thirsty. No no NO! If you have to, store that saliva for an hour and then sip it ever so slowly…. because if your unholy lips touch the glass of a holier-than-thou muslim, you will be thrown in jail for blasphemy. However, if ‘they’ are in a good mood, they might not kill you right away and just let you rot in jail instead– forever.
See? They can play nice.
- Never ever EVER name your child after a person who has had a role to play in the history of Islam. If someone hears a mother scolding her son Umar for being an insufferable selfish little prat, she will be jailed for blasphemy. Thus, always name your child Iblis, Shaytan, Azazel or Satan. So that when you tell that little punk off, ‘they’ clap, do the bhangra and egg you on… “You go mama, show that child who goin’ to heaven!”
- Never ever tear calendars even if they are from the previous century. Why? Because dates are important. Duh! Someone significant may have been born on one of the months. And you dare rip that? How dare you! Off with your head! If you must throw away the calendar, cut around the important dates, like Ramadan, birthdays, death days, sad days, when people were slaughtered days, kill kaafir days, and save those in a scrapbook. Then you might go to heaven… uhm… unless you are an Ahmadi. Sorry, in Pakistan, the only place you will be going to is jail or hell if you’re lucky.
- If you are a teenager, don’t suffer from down syndrome. Just don’t. The neighborhood ‘debonair’ cleric will rip pages from the Quran, burn them and say you did it. Just so he can push the real estate value up.
You know.. cleanse the neighborhood of Christians… all muslim locale means ‘big moolah for the mullah!’ So, whatever you do, don’t have down syndrome.
- When you get married, or pretend marry, or tv marry, whatever marry it is, do not play qawali music in the background. Otherwise, Mubashir Luqman will showcase his acting skills and make a show out of it. He will play the blasphemous clip, (thus committing blasphemy himself) and then accuse you for… wait for it… *Drum roll* Da Da Daaaa….. blasphemy! He will go all Maya Khan on you, so beware!
So, if you are a muslim, play cheap songs. Never religious songs on your wedding.
In other countries it’s clothes and personal style that make a statement.. In Pakistan, keeping up with the Jones, means to accuse everyone with blasphemy. Something that everyone has the means to do.
And oh boy, they do!