lmana Fasih’s backhanded and vague apology, while duly noted for the record, barely addresses the most pressing concerns. This was never about demanding an apology.
This issue is much more. It is about exercising free speech by the subaltern – in this case the targeted Sunni and Shia communities who are facing genocidal violence at the hands of Deobandi terrorists. Just as Ilmana was exercising her right to freedom of speech by slandering Imam Ali and his parents, the aggrieved community has the right to call out her bigotry and hate speech.
This issue is not just about Ilmana’s vile, racist and misogynist slander against Imam Ali and his parents – it is the pain and outrage felt when a targeted community’s icons are simultaneously being degraded by the supporters, apologists and cheerleaders of ISIS, Al Qaeda and ASWJ. This issue is about the right to protest against those bigots and hatemongers who are enabling genocide by being party to Nasibi andTakfeeri tactics.
(For Background on this issue, refer to https://lubpak.net/archives/338164 and https://lubpak.net/archives/319096)
This issue is just not about ISIS and Al Qaeda cheerleaders like Ilmana Fasih – it is also about the blackmail, censorship and obfuscation tactics of the opportunist and self-serving lobbies that support and back Ilmana. Ilmana is simply an ignorant pawn whose ill-informed bigotry is the perfect foil for her Aman Ki Asha partner, Beena Sarwar.
This issue is not just about pawns like ISIS and Al Qaeda cheerleader Ilmana Fasih – it is about her powerful backers like Beena Sarwar of the JANG/GEO group that also provides a platform to ASWJ-LeJ leaders like Tahir Ashrafi and Ludhyanvi.
On 14 June 2015, Aman Ki Asha’s Beena Sarwar’s Assistant Ilmana Fasih Deobandi issued a statement on Facebook in which she apologized on her offensive statement:
“Dear everyone, I did not mean to hurt any sentiments or offend anyone. But if anyone has been offended my remarks in a jest and whose context is not clear in the limited screenshots of limited comments, I APOLOGIZE with open heart. I say again, I AM SORRY !!! I also know there was one more person obvious in the screen shot who made comments in jest, and he has been CLEANLY bailed out without anyone being hurt by him. That is fine too. He is a good person and would also never hurt anyone delibrately. I also want to say my Beena Sarwar, who I have met only twice, was bullied horribly without reason. I cannot force anyone to apologize for that. But i will reserve that hisaab on yaum-e-aakhir .InshaAllah. Allah will give justice, humans cannot. May Pakistan prosper and may all its citizens of every faith, ethnicity, belief and ideology make it a safe heaven. May the truth prevail. Ilmana.”
While the apology appears to be deficient on many accounts, we nevertheless exercise tolerance and generosity in accepting it. We will add this note to the previous posts published on this matter. We, however, also express and identify some reservations below, in particular the unforgivable role by Ilmana Deobandi’s mentor and promoter, Beena Sarwar of Jang Group’s Aman Ki Asha, in this entire episode.
Overall, Ilmana Deobandi’s apology is very back-handed. We note that she has not apologized for her comments, she has apologized for having unintentionally hurt people and that too with an ‘if’. This shows that she still does not accept that her comments were abusive and offensive. Indeed, other than legitimate protesting statements, nobody bullied her or her promoter Beena Sarwar. On the contrary, it is Beena Sarwar who has acted as a bully. She used her influential Jang Group / elitist civil society / Aman Ki Asha networks to try to silence and censor all the voices protesting the abuses to Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Fatima by Ilmana Faish Deobandi. Beena tried to resort to censorship when her bigot friend and assistant was exposed. She is also the one who routinely places the rats and snitches in liberal Pakistani forums and groups to promote and safeguard interests of the Sethi-Sherry-Ashrafi club and the Aman Ki Asha type dubious projects.
Ilmana never abuses the personalities revered by Deobandis. So she is not an athiest as she proclaims to be be but just a typical Deobandi bigot. She has a pattern for reserving her abuses and slander for Shias and Sunnis and for her racist view of Syeds (the descendants of the Holy Prophet). Her selective abuse are a concerted attempt to create a clear sectarian fissure by pitching the holy personalities of Sunni against those of the Shias.
Instead of such back handed apology, with dubious ifs and buts, Ilmana should have sincerely accepted that what she did was bigotry, enabling genocide of targeted communities and being a disgusting cheer leader for the likes of ISIS, TTP and ASWJ. She has also hidden her virtual meetings and contacts with Beena on a regular basis.
In principle, we are against all forms of violence and the misuse of the blasphemy laws. In order to avoid provocation and anger against Ilamna despite what she said, we accept the formality of the apology.
However, more than Ilmana Fasih Deobandi, it is her mentor and promoter Beena Sarwar and her elitist comrades who must apologize for deliberately distorting the protest against abuse. The aggrieved Sunnis and Shias who were protesting the vicious racist and misogynist slander against Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Fatima were simply protesting against abuse at the time of genocide – which is their right to free speech.
We are very distrubed to note that not once did Beeen Sarwar, who is otherwise very active on social media, condemn the abusive statement by Ilmana Faish Deobandi. Instead Beena continued to justify and defend it and tried to muffle the protesting voices.
Thus, the biggest problem in this whole episode is the attempted cover up of the abusive statement by Beena Sarwar whose constant badgering of activists to remove facebook statuses and posts with implied promises of media exposure and benefits, articles in The Friday Times, invitations to literature festivals and think-tanks, trips to the US and India etc. Who is she to play God and control information? Why does she always want to co-opt activists to promote her own and her club’s interests?
Making false moral equivalences, making obfuscations, misrepresenting Shia Genocide in ethnic terms, hiding the Deobandi identity of the perpetrators and the Sunni Sufi and Shia identity of victims, promoting Deobandi hate clerics eg Tahir Ashrafi, Ludhyanvi and Mufti Naeem by Sethi, Hamid Mir, Jang Group etc. We feel sorry for Ilmana Fasih at some level because she is just a pawn for the Beena-Sethi-Ashrafi-brand of elitist liberals.
To Beena Sarwar, the Pakistani collaborator of Ilmana Deobandi, and her elitist information control club:
Stop this bullying and censorship of Shia and Sunni Sufis activists. Stop undermining their activism for their rights. Stop using rats and snitches to blackmail independent bloggers, liberals and rights activists. Stop with the lies, stop with the misrepresentations. Stop promoting blatant ShiaPhobes and SunniSufiPhobes such as Ilmana Fasih, Tahir Ashrafi, Javed Ghamidi and others. Stop promoting those who justify, rationalize or enable the genocide of Shia and Sunni Sufis at the hands of Deobandi terrorists. The blood of 45,000 Sunni Sufis and 23,500 Shias is on your hands!