Pakistanis love myths. Whether it the myth of the Islamic Bomb or the myth of Pakistan as the saviour of the entire Ummah, we love to feel good about ourselves.
These myths allow us to live in a fantasy world, to ignore the true horror of our times. One such myth is that of the silent majority. The myth goes something like this:
The violence and intolerance in Pakistan is the undertaking of an organised minority and that most Pakistanis are, in fact, tolerant.
Indeed, that's a myth. You would have to be blind to not see the decades of state discrimination against Ahmadis, Hindus, and anyone who is accused of "blasphemy". In 1947, about 23% of the population of Pakistan was non-Muslim. Today, that has been cut down to roughly 3%.
I've met descendants of people who used to do business in Pakistan during the 1960s. For them, Pakistan was economically and socially better than India. That has completely changed since the late 1970s. India reduced its socialist policies to grow at a faster rate and Pakistan went into the toilet by going full-Islam. This is the country that created, supported, and acknowledged the Taliban. Later, it provided a safe haven for Osama bin Laden.
Finally, this guy is waking up:
This week it dawned on me that it was this fabled silent majority all along that had transformed the society into what it is today. The majority of this country is intolerant, and this is why they have remained silent in face of mounting social and cultural crisis. Their silence was tacit approval of the ugliness around us.
Just one more step towards recognizing the core of this ugliness ...