sins and earthquakes
Sunday, November 02, 2008

For a few days now, mullahs and others like them will pontificate on why earthquakes happen. “It’s because people sin a lot”, says one. “They violate the laws of Allah by watching TV programmes”, says a watchman in the building I live in. This man also doubles as a mullah in his spare time. Then there’s the aged driver of my neighbour who says soberly (running his fingers through his heavy beard), “Earthquakes happen when men shave their faces, and women don’t wear black burqas”.

Sinning a lot? Watching TV? Men being clean-shaven, or women not wearing black burqas? Just look at the people affected by the recent quake in Ziarat. All the men are bearded, all the women are in black burqas, and as for TV, the poor people don’t even have electricity, so they can’t even think of owning TV sets. They struggle from morning till night, and earn barely enough to survive.

So the question arises: why are always the poor people in Pakistan punished when natural calamities like earthquakes and floods strike the country? If these events are supposed to punish anyone, they should occur in countries where most women are promiscuous and live with men to whom they’re not married. So why are poor Pakistanis always punished? Any answers?

Shakir Lakhani