This post isn’t about aunties for a change. Oh no. This one is about mullahs, which are another kind of monster in these here parts. Or maybe all over the world. They are a virulent disease (much like aunties) and yes, I don’t like them very much. All that said and done, I might as well get on with it.

A very good friend of mine told me about his encounter with a mullah-type today. He was buying shoes for his 3 year old neice (my friend, that is) and he noticed this bearded, shalwar up to his neck (you get the picture) kinda guy staring at him. Now my friend is hardly an innocent but he believed it was a shop attendant attending. So he asked him very nicely: do you work here. The beard goes, uh no. So my friend politely apologized and moved on. But then the beard goes up to him and rudely says: you thought I was a shop attendant because I am not wearing those shorts like yourself. And he glared at his shorts. And then proceeded to say other rude (shorts related) things. This is harrassment people. And it’s ugly.

So, my friend spoke his mind to the beard. And no, he wasn’t polite. The best part was my friend telling him that since there is no sign in the shop that prohibits people to wear shorts, he can’t really make such a big fuss about it. And if the beard had problems with the shorts, maybe he should go convince the shop owner to put up a sign and really, if he still had issues, the beard could come outside and my friend could show him exactly how pissed off he was about the whole thing. Ofcourse the beard ran away. Like a scared little girl. Good work, my noble, honest friend. I am proud of you. And your shorts.

Now I realize I’m being completely intolerant here. I also realize I shouldn’t get so annoyed. Maybe I am going overboard with it. And I am politically incorrect, too. But you know what, I’ve had enough. I’m sick of their smug superiority and their self-righteousness. People have the right to live the way they want. If the beards and the burkas have this right, then so do the rest of us who wear shorts (among other sensible things).

It’s not just about clothes. It’s about what we believe. It’s about a lifestyle choice. I hear a lot of these stories. And they all piss me off. I rant about a need for tolerance when I have lost my ability to tolerate this disease. Shame on me. But I feel like I have no choice.

Isn’t this frightening? I feel we’re all turning into monsters.

24 responses to “Monster

  1. “Now I realize I’m being completely intolerant here. I also realize I shouldn’t get so annoyed”

    This is no rule necessitating tolerance for intolerance. No body walks up to them to berate them for ‘misinterpreting’ the Quran and wearing their shalwars above the ankles. If they can’t be as courteous, rebuking them might serve as a good reminder next time they see someone dupatta-less or sporting shorts (even if they are the awkwardly short ones pakistani children used to bullied into wearing by parents with a very misplaced sense of fashion)

    After your post, I am left wondering what possible “rude (shorts related) things” can be said. I have this image of the mullah humiliating your friend with clever “shorts related” one-liners

    • Haha I wish the mullah had used clever one-liners. If he had, then I would have made a point to post them. Unfortunately, it was the usual bullshit. Shorts are haram etc. Shorts show too much leg. Shorts are the work of satan. Satan himself wears shorts. Ok so I’m making some of that up. I have this theory – maybe the mullah got excited by the shorts and then got upset because its evil to get excited. Or something. Satan works in mysterious ways, Mackers.

      • Your Gaydar is probably spot on. And the mullah is quite right, shorts, along with the television and the internet, were invented by the evil nexus of the Jews, Hindus and ……Blackwater-to make us miss our prayers.

        Cellphones, cars and modern-weapons , whereas, were gifts from God.

      • Shalwars were also gifts from god sent from heaven. If you wear anything other than a shalwar tied up to your chest (to reveal hairy ankles) you must be a representative of the “evil west” and so you definitely miss your prayers.

        Hey, when people talk about the west, don’t they realize saudi arabia is also to our west? I mean, sure it could be the middle east, but its geographically to our west. Therefore, evil western attire could also include the hideous burkas sported by most of our ladies these days. Hmmm. Am I crossing a line?

  2. right word u used…Monster…will refer them with this term from now one. My salutes to your friends. I wish most of us are like your friend and stop taking BS from “born again” closet talebans.

  3. I think the last sentence was the most substantial part of the article. Tolerance or intolerance, correct or incorrect interpretation of religion, we are now as a nation so deep into a sea of complicated and twisted theories and attitudes that it has become impossible to decipher right from wrong, let alone distinguish b/w the perverted version of ‘right’ and the real version of right. Perhaps, if we were tolerant, we could have dug out of all our society’s theories something that was of value to us.

    • Or we could atleast figure out our own needs as far as values go. I agree with you that its difficult to identify right from wrong or good from bad. It all seems the same, doesn’t it. Perhaps if we relied on an instinctual morality instead of what somebody is stuffing into our faces, we’d be better judges of good and evil.

      • Instinctual morality is exactly what has become recently debatable for me, you know. I mean a few months back I thought something of that sort did exist. But is it really true that every human’s intuition is the same deep below? I’ve come to believe that a person born and brought up conservatively will have his intuition sincerely voting for his ideas just the same as a liberally trained one will honestly feel that his theory is crystal clear and based on common sense.

        From recent debates on religion and society, I have had my own intuition swinging about like a pendulum. The deeper you delve, you realize that even sense and logic – those absolute yardsticks you thought were perfect for judging the right – are biased according to how you want to use them deep down in your heart. That’s when its gets REALLY scary. And all this is true, not just pompous talk.

        I was brought up in a religious household with a dad who challenged the current dogmas of mullahs as wrong and twisted versions of the ‘real’ Islam. I considered myself lucky cos I cud sort of have the ‘best of both worlds’ and really expose everything that’s correct. To my intuition, the arguments against music were quite baseless and illogical, but recently, I unbelievably spun around to see the genius in them and how far-reaching the effects of prohibiting music could go. Then again, I read more literature and made another U-turn in favour music. My intuition has proven to be a sham. In the bigger picture, this means that the world and everything in it is meaningless rubbish!

        But anyway, this was all about how messy I feel about ideologies. Putting it aside, there IS a thing called manners, which can be found sadly anywhere but in the Pakistani public forums thanks to illiteracy. Yet, even though I’m wearing shorts right now and don’t consider them morally wrong, I will not hesitate to scold a man walking around naked on the streets cos I reckon it wrong. Yet, in some parts of the world it may be acceptable and even encouraged. Who’s right?

      • I think of it this way – can a naked man walking around seriously harm me? If yes, then I’d either scream and run away or politely ask him to put on some clothes. But if he cannot possibly harm me, then I’d just ignore him or ask him why he chooses to go around naked. Ofcourse this is very simplistic and almost naive. I don’t know about idealogies or even manners. Sometimes, I guess we just have to follow our gut-feelings and run away if a naked man walks down the street. Maybe it’s all about common sense. I really wonder about the purpose of religion. If it wasn’t twisted around (like it has been) then what? Would it be better? Ideally, yes maybe. We would all be tolerant and well-mannered and will not covet what does not belong to us. But really, is that even possible for human beings without a basic sense of right and wrong? I don’t know anything about anything either. But I’d rather find out from living and learning. Sometimes I guess you have to try things out to find out.

        I don’t understand the idea of somebody prohibiting anything. It just feels wrong. Perhaps if we had the right to choose, then it would all be ok. But then, maybe not. Maybe then everything will get worse. But can it get any worse? I really don’t know.

      • I just feel education would generally refine the texture of our society…at least we’d fight in a civilized manner..not going around imposing ourselves on others.

  4. The world needs more Pakistanis like you, I try to do my part. 🙂

  5. Yeah, gone too far. You won’t confuse the learned mullahs with semantical games. More Saudi hegemony is what we need. Here is the compelling logic: Arabic is the holy language, Saudis speak Arabic. Coincidence ?

  6. …nope u arent being unreasonable…one should be allowed to voice such inner annoyances every now and then….and this superiority selfrighteousness is too much to handle sometimes!….

  7. Um seriously- wasn’t your friend the one who generalized him (the other man) first? I don’t see anything wrong with saying what the other man said. Every person you see in shalwar kameez in a store can NOT be a shop worker… thats it. That was the other man’s point. I don’t think your friend had to bash up on him like that. He should have apologized. Seriously, if the man didn’t have a beard and WAS wearing shorts, would your friend have asked him that? I don’t think so. You fail to notice that the man was a victim of stereotyping and generalization. He did not interfere in your friend’s choice of wearing shorts. He was simply making his case clear. Your FRIEND pissed HIM off rather than vice versa. But you won’t see this, obviously. You have too much hatred filled in your heart towards men who like to wear their shalwar a little up (and you like calling them mullah. hey you mind if I call your friend ummm… Firangi because he dresses like them? Not that I have a problem with that but a little reciprocated generalization doesn’t hurt) and are too ignorant and intolerant because of it. Maybe the world will be a better place once EVERYONE starts accepting other people without labeling them. Including yourself.

    • Wow. You sound more pissed off than anyone else around here. Perhaps if you had read the post a bit carefully, you would have noticed that I mentioned my friend politely apologizing for his error. You would have also noticed why he made this error to begin with – the man was staring at him continously. You should read posts before jumping to conclusions.

  8. ..not so much here actualy:)…..not in your face at least:D…

  9. “I feel we’re all turning into monsters.”

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