(by Qazi Shams Wardiwala, M.Tech from Supreme College of Islamabad)
I’ve seen a lot of Islamophobic comments around the fact that some faithful Pakistanis have peacefully protested against Samsung for coming up with a QR code that was blasphemous. I am shocked beyond belief that people are mocking what protesters are doing instead of discussing the root cause.
Earlier, equally faithful Pakistanis had equally peacefully protested against Pepsi for an equally blasphemous QR code. So there is a clear pattern where there is an attempt to provoke faithful Pakistanis, who have shown admirable restraint by protesting peacefully against such provocations.
Yet, people are blaming peaceful protests than the needless and offensive QR codes that are clearly the reason why protests have erupted.
Before we go to the root cause of these protests, let us remember that Islam means peace. Consequently, anything Islamic is peaceful, including such protests, whether in Pakistan, Kashmir or Udaipur. Thus any commentary calling the protests violet or lumpen or uncivilized reeks of Islamophobia. Commentators must control their tongues and use words carefully.
The fact of the matter is that QR codes are totally needless and unnecessary invention. Our civilized world already had URL shorteners that were working just fine. Modern phone cameras can read and interpret text after we point camera lenses to them, thus URL shorteners could have done the same job as QR codes are doing.
Furthermore, QR codes take much more space that URL shorteners. While a QR code takes up a big rectangular space for it to be displayed, a URL shortener needed just one line. All these facts go on to prove that QR codes are totally unnecessary and an example of loosely written codes.
These loosely written codes are single-handedly responsible for all that is happening in Pakistan today. Inflation, infighting, political instability, and many more issues have been created due to these QR codes. In post-Covid world, it was so necessary that businesses get back on track, but the QR codes have created a controversy that has needlessly created troubles and slowed down businesses.
Any technological invention should be a life saver. It should make our lives simpler and more meaningful. Imagine if the modern technology could create donkeys that could fly, the donkey-carts carrying Pepsi bottles and Samsung products in Pakistan could have reached various corners of the country quickly, and without consuming petrol.
That’s what I call a meaningful technology that would have helped businesses and made our life simpler. Not just business products, even human beings could have ridden on these donkeys with wings. Let us remember that our great nation Pakistan has a lot of donkeys. We export them to China, instead of inventing technologies that would make this natural resource more useful.
QR codes are not at all useful. They neither help businesses nor make our life simpler. In fact, they have proved to be a security threat to the entire nation. I can’t believe that some coders are still supporting this needless code when the civilized society should have come together to ban these codes for ever lasting peace in our great nation.
These coders should come live on Facebook and apologize to the whole nation. In fact, they should apologize to the entire humanity, because they have disturbed peace with their loose coding. I hope better sense prevails and we ban QR codes.