Aatish Taseer, ‘liberal intellectual’ who offers his sermons through the New York Times, took to Twitter on Monday and aired some extremely problematic views. He appeared to suggest that ‘Ordinary Muslims’ should abandon peace and ‘need to organize’. He said that ‘Ordinary Muslims’ shouldn’t be caught off-guard.
I have to say: I don’t agree. I don’t care one iota about the Prophet, or Ram for that matter. But this is not about the Prophet; it is about intimidating ordinary Muslims. And when that happens, what you need is not peace: you need to organise. Do not be be caught off guard. https://t.co/EpWOyXFhlf
— Aatish Taseer (@AatishTaseer) October 21, 2019
It is significant to note that Taseer has emphasized his apostasy in the concerned tweet but that does not stop him from urging ‘Ordinary Muslims’ to abandon peace. What happens when ‘Ordinary Muslims’ organize with not peace as an objective? Radical Islamic Terrorism is the first thing that comes to mind.
Taseer doesn’t appear to realize that Kamlesh Tiwari’s death was a consequence of ‘Ordinary Muslims’ organizing themselves. Lakhs and Lakhs of them marched through the streets, rioted and damaged public property, attacked Hindus and called for his death for his alleged act of blasphemy. It is precisely this organization of ‘Ordinary Muslims’ that led to Kamlesh Tiwari’s murder.
One would have expected sensible people to realize this fact. However, comprehending such simple matters is beyond the capabilities of the ‘intellectual’. If they were capable of understanding such things, they wouldn’t be so pompous on social media as they always seem to be. More importantly, urging ‘Ordinary Muslims’ to organize not in pursuit of peace doesn’t appear to be a very wise idea given the circumstances we are living in.
Or, it could be that Taseer is aware of this and yet, advocates for ‘Ordinary Muslims’ to organize anyway. If indeed this is the case, then these are pretty worrying signs. One tends to believe at this point that Taseer could not recover from the tragedies of his past and understandably so.
Aatish Taseer’s father, Salman Taseer was a Pakistani politician who was assassinated by a Radical Muslim, his bodyguard, for opposing Pakistan’s blasphemy law. More specifically, the senior Taseer opposed the death penalty for Asia Bibi who was sentenced to death for an alleged act of blasphemy. Ironically enough, Kamlesh Tiwari was murdered for blasphemy, something Aatish Taseer’s father was assassinated for defending in the case of Asia Bibi. It appears Aatish Taseer hasn’t quite gotten over the fact.
Aatish Taseer suggested that ‘Ordinary Muslims’ should organize not in pursuit of peace in response to people blaspheming about the prophet of Islam on social media. Despite his father being murdered by Jihadis, Taseer appears to think hashtags on Twitter are the real problem here.
One aspect of his tweet that has gone unnoticed is the fact that Aatish Taseer emphasized on his apostasy as well while asking ‘Ordinary Muslims’ to organize. It is an interesting phenomenon that a ‘Murtad’ (apostate) is toeing the Jihadist line despite the fact that he faces the greatest threat not from the ‘Hindutva brigade’ but from Jihadists themselves. Wide sections of the Muslim population believes that a ‘Murtad’ deserves to die for his apostasy.
In addition to being a ‘Murtad’, Aatish Taseer is also married to a man. Therefore, he is on very thin ground. In numerous Islamic countries, the punishment for homosexuality is death or incurs other very severe punishment. Therefore, if some people interpreted the tweet as the insurance policy of a ‘Murtad’, they couldn’t be blamed. It is natural if people conclude that the tweet is a pathetic plea by ‘Murtad’ Aatish Taseer begging the followers of Radical Islam, ‘I may be a Murtad but please don’t kill me! I am on your side!’
Two days after Kamlesh Tiwari’s murder, ‘communist atheist’ Umar Khalid, too, prostrated meekly before the prophet of Islam. Khalid’s publicizing his reverence for the prophet was particularly intriguing as the media had used his ‘communist atheist’ credentials to rubbish speculations about him being an Islamist.
Thus, a seemingly unintended consequence of Kamlesh Tiwari’s murder by Jihadis appears to be that people like Umar Khalid and Aatish Taseer who would be labelled ‘Murtad’ by the Radical Islamic crowd are legitimately terrified and toeing the latter’s line as an insurance policy against adverse consequences. If indeed this is the case, then it does really say a lot about the prevailing atmosphere.
The other possibility is that even a ‘Murtad’ has so much entrenched hatred against Hinduism in his heart that he would much rather side with the Radical Islamic crowd rather than make peace with Hindus who are angry at the moment and justifiably so. Even in the case of a ‘Murtad’, the urge to defend the Radical Islamic bunch and perpetuate anti-Hindu bigotry is almost instinctive. That within two days, two people have toed the Radical Islamic line is indeed a cause for massive concern.