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World Loves to Have Fun at America’s Expense on Race and Police Excess

protest image from youtube screenshot
protest image from youtube screenshot

Keep going America!

I’ve recently observed how the world loves to have fun at America’s expense when it comes to race and police excesses.

They hide their wrongdoings and hardly if ever protest whereas Americans take to the street for the wrongs of their police or government.

Police excesses in Pakistan or India, if compared to American police would have American Officers get Angelic Badges. Not at all condoning the wrongdoings of American police as in Floyd’s or other cases.

All four of the Officers in the George Floyd case have been arrested and charged with murder as we speak, within 10 days of the incident.

Just putting things in a global perspective, Indian and Pakistani (or other nations, the list is long) police are famous for torture, arresting people without warrants, fake encounters where an enemy of a rich man or the state is executed on the pretext of being a criminal trying to run away.

In many places, police reports against rapists or influential rich people are either never registered or disappear after a lot of pressure. There are people rotting in jails for $5 crimes and politicians in our Senate or Assemblies who have $5 million corruption cases with proof against them.

Many times in these countries, murderers go Scot free too, if they can pay or influence their way out of it.

Ironically, whereas America guarantees her citizens the “First Amendment” which is, for those who are unaware, an integral part of their constitution and way of life ensuring freedom of speech to everyone – even if it is against the state or religion or whatever. In countries like Pakistan or India, this is not so.

In Pakistan there are laws based upon religion that discriminate, punish or even kill people based on religion.

The Hudood Ordinance, a globally decried law thanks to Gen Zia Ul Haq in the 80s can have you stoned to death with your partner for even consensual sex, as it is against the religion. The Blasphemy law can have you executed if you utter a word against religious figures revered by the majority. There is a specific minority who are not allowed to proclaim their faith as they believe so because the majority’s faith considers them “non Muslims” whilst they claim exactly the same thing against the majority!

In reality in these countries, the majority wins, and the human right to self-expression loses!

In India, there is a “Citizenship Law” that specifically targets Muslim minority groups and asks for “proof of citizenship” of people who have for centuries been living in India! In Kashmir, to suppress the Muslim majority, the Indian Government, Police, and Army have, for decades, against UN resolutions murdered, raped and subjected their residents to the worst form of torture and violence.

All of these evil things under a state umbrella. Floyd anyone? The same thing happens to millions in India, Pakistan, Africa, and other places the world over.

Religion Used As Excuse For Crime

Religion is used to condone crimes against some people. In India, if you eat beef, even store it in your house, an angry mob can lynch you to death, because a cow is revered as a Deity. In Gujarat, Kashmir, Delhi as of just a few months back, Muslim and Dalit (a lower Hindu caste) minorities have been mercilessly killed, raped and murdered.

The police support the majority. This is exactly the same as happens in Pakistan. The Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Muslims of India live in fear, so do their counterparts except majority Muslims in Pakistan.

Excuses To Murder Women

Interestingly both India and Pakistan have a practice where morality and a woman’s chastity is used as an excuse to kill a woman and her partner. All she has to do is marry of her own free will, or have an “affair” (which is common for Indian and Pakistani married or unmarried men) or even the illusion or suspicion that she is having an affair!

These things are enough to “enrage” the male members of the family to plot and kill an eloped daughter or sister and mercilessly murder her to “avenge” the honor of the family! Only in 2004 did Pakistan at least agree to have punishment for this as “a crime.”

While India has laws against this, in practical terms the society itself supports such practices. The irony of it all is that these people run away as asylum seekers to the West and in Germany, the UK and elsewhere, they carry out the same practice. There are many much-publicized cases of Afghans and Pakistani origin migrants in the West who murdered their daughters with the collusion of often father, mother, brothers for eloping with a man they loved, marrying a different caste or faith, having “affairs,” wearing immodest dresses and so on.

The Qandeel Baloch case was much publicized in Pakistan where a model was killed for bringing disrepute to the family and “immoral conduct” – she was a reality star, a young kid who just wanted to live life on her own terms. Her life was snatched from her by the man she must have played with as a child, her brother.

It breaks my heart to share the last case.

Asifa Bano, a beautiful 8-year-old Kashmiri girl was abducted and raped in a temple by a gang of police & government officers with civilians. Her crime, she was a Muslim! She was mercilessly raped by a gang of 4 for a week before her head was crushed with a stone. Even after the killers were caught there were protests in FAVOR of the killers! Even the witnesses were almost killed in lock up!

Taking To The Streets

How would readers feel, regardless of nationality, if people took to the streets with placards in favor of the policemen who killed George Floyd? This practice is commonplace in India, Pakistan, even in Africa and other nations where crimes are not only hidden but condoned by the masses, police, government. The legal system is often an accomplice in either condoning or acquitting criminals.

Massive protests over 10 days is what it took for the killer of Floyd to face the music. In many other parts of the world, it would take 10 years or maybe eternity.

Unbelievable as it may seem, two Ministers of the BJP government attended rallies in India in favor of the rapists and killers of the 8-year-old girl Asifa Bano! Pakistani Ministers are on record for inciting religious hate against minorities on multiple occasions. I’m sure the world has many examples.

But who talks about their police, legal system, governments or even people’s excesses? Hardly. It’s only “stupid Americans” as the world likes to call them, who take to the streets to fight for minorities and justice for the oppressed, like George Floyd.

Many Americans Stood Up Against Travel Ban

Early in his Presidency, Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on 8 countries, mostly Muslim, from entering the US or under enhanced restrictions, countries that were known not to be the best friends of America, some of their nationals overtly and covertly despised America and her “immorality” or so many reasons people find to “hate America.” Yet, for those nations, ordinary Americans took to the street so their nationals or immigrants stuck in JFK or other airports across the US could be reunited with their families.

The Americans who stood up for their rights didn’t read what these people think of America “back home” – what their press and government says about America. Out of pure love and innocence they stood up for justice, just as they did for George Floyd.

Among the protestors in America, there are also a number of miscreants and opportunists who changed relatively peaceful demonstrations into riots, looting and destruction. These miscreants appear to be paid subversive elements, who are not legitimate protestors. Their aim is mayhem, not human rights.

Unlike idealistic Americans, average people of India and Pakistan staunchly defend the excesses of their government, police, laws against the oppressed. Many will deny that ANY racism or religious intolerance even EXISTS in their countries despite globalized proof! They will go to the extent of blaming the victims to any extent.

In America, that would be the equivalent of blaming George Floyd for his own death. That’s just the norm in India, Pakistan and so many other places where laws, police, and religion are combined to further crime collectively by the people and governments, rather than deliver Utopian and idealistic justice which is the hallmark of America.

And on social media many from Asia and Africa, my “beloved” Pakistan (and India) would see cyber warriors, normal people like you and I, defending their country’s honor, they are NOT like an average American who stands up for what is RIGHT even if it brings ridicule to his police or country the world over. THAT my friends is the definition of CHARACTER.

It is something Americans have in greater measure than most of us out there.

Americans are not angels. Neither is the rest of the world. But it’s made to look that they are and the rest really don’t have a problem. Just that few, if any, talk about their problems in the way American public or media does, or even accept racism and excesses happen in the first place!

So my fellow American brothers and sisters, I may not be an American, but I vocally support your idealism and activism against injustice. Please don’t let the cheap world out there dampen your spirits, if they wish to live in or perpetuate the Dark Ages of their existence please let them. Compared to them, you were, are, and remain on higher moral ground, Floyd or not. Remember that.

God Bless America!

Imran Owais Kazmi is a an expat Pakistani vocal on change locally and globally through good governance and tolerance.

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