There has been a lot of talk regarding the attack on Junaid Jamshed at the Islamabad Airport on Saturday. People took to social media, expressing their sympathies while some showed their anger and hatred towards the singer turn evangelist. Where there are a lot of positives about social media platforms, unfortunately, they are a part of a bigger problem that includes radicalising religious sentiments within people and also widening the gap between the religious and non-religious segment of the society. On these platforms, people have the freedom to read and write almost anything. Also, there are a lot of groups that people mingle in and the content suddenly becomes controversial and things get out of control. However, the social media networks are monitored, but only to a certain extend, and a quick fix is always a difficult task.
The minute-long video of Junaid Jamshed showed the preacher of Islam getting a beating from a group of men believed to be from the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jama’at. They were angry on Junaid because of his talk involving Hazrat Ayesha (R.A) back in 2014. He narrated a story involving the Prophet (P.B.U.H) and his wife in a casual manner. Also, his speech undermined women and was disrespectful by all counts. This is not a first time he came under fire. After his video made rounds on Facebook in 2014, he went into hiding as threats poured in from every corner. He without wasting any time apologised for his remarks but from Saturday’s incident, it is clear that apology has not been accepted.
While Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar and others have condemned the attack and indeed such behavior is shameful, but let us not forget that Junaid Jamshed is also part of the problem. One can not just belittle women and minorities while preaching a largely intolerant version of Islam, which in reality takes away the real essence of the true religion. Junaid should be ever ready to face something more drastic than the Saturday’s beating because his talks even on prime time television lack research and know how. If he is teaching Islam to his liking, then he can simply not expect it not to come back to him.