Recently, an online petition to rename Pakistan’s National Capital Islamabad has begun doing the rounds of the internet.
The said petition was created by one Canada-based Bangladeshi national named Ayham Abrar and was directed to the Pakistani PM Imran Khan. The campaign sought to change the name of ‘Islama-bad’ to ‘Islama-good.’ Although the petition was started about 7 months ago, it got traction on social media in the last few days.
In his petition, Ayham claimed, “Islam is good. Pakistan love Islam. Why IslamaBAD? Love from Bangladesh.” After the campaign went viral on social media, it drew about 384 signatures by Monday morning. It must be mentioned that the petitioner had set a target of 500 signatures.
Netizens crack jokes at the expense of the online campaign
One Haider Ali claimed that the name Islamabad was somehow Islamophobic. He wrote, “There’s a petition to change Islamabad’s name to Islamagood because IslamaBad sounds Islamophobic.” Another user (@raisvhhh) took potshots at the petitioner. She said, “Why is islamaBAD? should be islamaGOOD…love from bangladesh”
There’s a petition to change Islamabad’s name to Islamagood because IslamaBad sounds Islamophobic. pic.twitter.com/IvOf4k9FlL— Haider Ali (@Jaded_Wanderer) February 19, 2021
why is islamaBAD? should be islamaGOOD 💯 love from bangladesh— raisa (@raisvhhh) February 17, 2021
Another Twitter user wrote, “People who signed petition to change the name from IslamaBAD to IslamaGOOD. Guys, file another petition, it should be Pakistan ZindaGOOD, not ZindaBAD.”
People who signed petition to change the name from IslamaBAD to IslamaGOOD. Guys, file another petition, it should be Pakistan ZindaGOOD, not ZindaBAD.— Alina (@AlinaManiar) February 20, 2021
Parody account Gobi Faizi tweeted, “Petition to change Bangladesh’s name to Promotegladesh. We muslim brothers should stand up for each other.”
IU Amir tweeted that those who understand Urdu know the meaning of ‘Abad’. “Who is the Urdu teacher of such people?,” he pointed out.
Some people on social media start a campaign to change the name ‘Islamabad’ to ‘Islamagood’— I.U.Amir (@IUAmir1) February 21, 2021
The people who know the meaning of ‘Abad’ pic.twitter.com/jreqSe8zLV
Petitioner posts updates on the campaign
While posting updates on his petition, Ayham Abrar informed, “Hi all, Ayham here, I just wanted to reach out to let you know we’ve just passed 113 signatures on our petition! Thank you so much for your support! Will you help me to get more support by sharing this petition with ten other people?” He emphasised, “If enough of us sign we can’t be ignored.”
The name ‘Islamabad’ actually stands for the ‘City of Islam’. Unlike what Ayham had suggested, the name is a combination of two words ‘Islam’ and ‘Abad’ and not ‘Bad’.