From ‘Young Dracula Association’ to ‘Yahoodi Doctors Association’ – our society’s standards have gone way down.

YDA ON ROADS AGAIN

When it comes to hate speeches, religious minorities are the second biggest target in Pakistan; Shias remaining the first, hands down. I woke up today to a picture of 2 year old Sana flooding my Facebook newsfeed. People were trying to show their concern for a human life by calling YDA (young doctors association) Yahoodi (Jews) doctors association. Two year old Sana was denied medical attention because young doctors were on strike. She died. Why were young doctors on strike? Were their demands a reason good enough to abandon their patients and ER is another debate. What made me write today is the way some of people tried to take it out – by calling the doctors Yahoodi. As if being a Jew is a matter of shame or being called a Jew is a curse or abuse of some kind.

SOCIAL RESPONSE – BUT WHO’S BEING TARGETED?

This display of hatred against a religious minority has become a cliché in our society. Hatred against individuals on the basis of religion is now taking various forms. Calling others Jew to shame them or disrespect them is just another form and the way this display of hatred is growing is alarming. Considering oneself superior to others because of race, sect, caste or religion is a legacy we Pakistanis are living with. And this legacy has now left us with a rather criminal mindset. This extremist mindset is the cause of hate towards religious minorities. And it’s just a matter of time when the hate turns into bias and eventually leads to attacks and terrorism.

RELIGIOUS HATRED AND BIAS

The nature and extent of attacks motivated by hate against religious minorities are influenced by a number of factors. They include society, brought-up, basic education (syllabus) and the status of religion/s in a given territory. In the past few years, hate crime reports in Pakistan have indicated that graffiti and vandalism against worship areas and killing people in the name of blasphemy are some of the most common types of crimes. Most of the time, these crimes are motivated by the preached hate and bias against members of other religions.

STOP TEACHING RELIGIOUS HATRED!

According to a report education experts believe that the textbooks used in Pakistani schools include factual errors. Our textbooks are filled with hate content against non-Muslims .The context fuels the increasing levels of religious extremism and intolerance towards people with different faith in the society. Such biased material not only negatively impacts the minds of the majority Muslim students, but also harms the education and growth of non-Muslim students.

For a very long time I used to believe that all Hindus are bad and cruel people and Muslims can never trust Jews and Christians because it’s in their blood to deceive and therefore no one but a Muslim can be my friend. After some sessions with my family I realized that I just have to write all this in my exams to score good grades but I don’t have to believe it as the reality is otherwise. Imagine the amount of stress it can cause to a school going child.

LET’S SAY A BIG NO TO HATE

In order to prevent our future generations from being a hypocrite or an extremist we need to contribute to a serious process of curriculum and textbook reform. We must help combat the growing levels of intolerance and violence towards religious minorities in our society. We have to do something to put a stop to this thinking before it is too late.

Sadaf Alvi

Sadaf Alvi is a final year medical student. She is a freelance writer, a blogger and a contributor to Raddi Paper. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @TheGrumpyDoctor or you can email her: sadafspost@gmail.com

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