The Sacrificial Vs Scape Goats

Alhamdo-lillah Eid is over. By now most of the meat that was kept in freezers is also likely to be out, in and out. We the Muslims in Pakistan added over a hundred million more to the billions of goats who have gracefully offered sacrifices for Islam and us in the fort of Islam, in the last 70 years.


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Goats thus undoubtedly outnumber any other specie, including Muslim men, who have or claim to have offered sacrifices for Islam. Their sacrifices will certainly not be forgotten because we keep reminding ourselves of their sacrifices by continuously sacrificing them every Eid, and over 300 days a year too. Given that on Tuesdays the butchers are forced to observe Gosht ka nagha, we are unable to perform this noble act the entire year.

Although the sacrifices of these millions of goats have kept Muslims religiously healthy and nutritionally well fed, the purpose of this piece is not to eulogize the goats and their sacrifices. This piece attempts to praise, remember and give some credit to those metaphorical and political goats who were made to offer sacrifices for Pakistan, its security, the rule of law, and upholding Islam in Pakistan.

Most of you would agree that such sacrifices have kept politics in Pakistan interesting, and helped keep the system – whatever we have in the name of system – going.

As one has been continuously arguing and emphasising that Pakistan is the greatest and most unique country in the comity of nations and non-nations – which is not just because of our geo-strategic location and associated importance. It may be partly that. Mainly its because of us (read men), and our esteemed institutions (ignore the obvious and read ‘police and lower courts’), and above all, our conception of things and approach to key concepts.

Sacrifice is one of those key concepts whose interpretation and practice make us unique and stand head and shoulders above others on planet earth. The plain meaning of sacrifice elsewhere may be ‘act of giving up something valued’ or ‘parting with something dear for others’ benefit, protection and good’.

In Pakistan the concept of sacrifice is act of making someone else give up their life and possessions. Mostly those who offer sacrifices in Pakistan don’t have a choice, and at times, they even don’t have a knowledge that they offered a sacrifice!

Its only a press release (in recent years, a tweet) of the ISPR, or a breaking news on TV that tells us, and informs them that it was a sacrifice, which was also very essential for the country, Islam and the system.

That brings us to the second type of goats who offered many sacrifices for Pakistan. Some folks wrongly and maliciously call them scape-goats. Just like camels and bullocks are awarded seven units of sacrifice each, as compared to a regular goat, the scape-goats are counted for different units per situation.

If we recall and recount certain recent sacrifices for rule of law and national security, the sacrifice of PM Nawaz counted far more than that of PPP’s PM Gillani. But, conversely, the sacrifice of Hussain Haqqani, for his alleged role in Memo-Gate, is valued more highly (in terms of saving PPP and helping it complete the term) than that of Pervez Rasheed for his alleged role in Dawn Leaks.

This shows that inequities in Pakistan are just as incidental as they are pervasive and deep-rooted.

‘Upholding of Islam’ and ‘saving this great religion from blasphemers’ are two critical causes for which we made many thousands offer sacrifices. Most of them clearly did not know it was sacrifice; majority of them were dead when it was decided it was a sacrifice, so they would never know. But we know their sacrifices would not go to waste. If you are asking ‘how’, you are not only an ill-informed Pakistani, you also seem to have manifest doubts and embedded ill-will for Pakistan as the fort of Islam.

Once a fake Pakistani quipped that ‘upholding of Islam’ since the 1980s has been like a policeman would ‘up-hold’ a juvenile from his collar or scruff. The best reaction to such crap is to ignore; and see who can next be made to sacrifice.

I will conclude with a wish to all of us, and our saviours, that may we remain number one on the list of those who have, and would continue, to offer most sacrifices for Pakistan for one or another cause.

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Arshed Bhatti

Arshed Bhatti

Arshed Bhatti is a typical Pakistani who operates at very high level of confidence with extremely low level of knowledge. Being true Muslim he believes the real life is in the hereafter and urges countrymen to take it easy here, and enjoy the talk shows. He founded Civil Junction café, and now writes songs, satire and consultancy reports. He tweets @CivilJunction