There is news of blasphemy and then there are the stories behind that news. If one gets embroiled in the hullaballoo of it all, it becomes easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Maybe that is why Sections 295-A, B and C of the Pakistan Penal Code are so instrumental and crucial to curbing the volcanic umbrage of the majority in the country. Maybe that is why the deaths of a few Ahmedis at the hands of a Deobandi mob in Gujranwala, on the eve of Eidul Fitr, are necessary to keep the king’s peace.

The only updates one has of the incident in Gujranwala, July 28 – chaand raat for most people – is through unnamed officials via unsourced channels. The day of the incident, no TV channel wanted to interrupt its costly Eid transmission to show a bunch of Ahmadi nobodies burning in their houses. That would’ve put a damper on everyone’s Eid and the chief minister would have had to issue a press release condemning the attack.

Thankfully, none of that happened. Eid passed, the entire week passed, the story of an elderly woman, two children and an unborn child dying in sanctified conflagration died with them. Three of the Ahmadis the mob killed weren’t even old enough to understand why they had to burn. Their deaths were celebrated far and wide in their hometown while the rest of the country sighed in relief, thankful, for not having been born Ahmadi.

According to the Peoples Colony Circle police, a Deobandi Muslim boy Sadam Hussain, resident of Arafat Colony, Gujranwala, the saintly creature who sparked the massacre, accused an Ahmadi boy of the area of posting something blasphemous on Facebook. Hussain claimed that he and some friends went to the boy’s house and he shot at them. This led to a series of fatwas issued from local mosques in the area and two mobs marched to take the matter into their hands. One mob went to the police station to demand a blasphemy case be registered against the boy while the other mob set fire to eight houses where Ahmadis lived. Two children and a 55-year-old woman died and a pregnant woman miscarried due to suffocation. The mobs rejoiced over saving Islam.

After all was said and done and the blasphemy case was registered, police began investigation in the case which revealed that the Ahmadi boy and Hussain had both commented ‘lanti’ on a Facebook post that appeared blasphemous. Hussain saw the Ahmadi boy’s comment and told his friends and family that he had in fact posted the picture. Police said that Hussain later confessed that he had lied about the incident. Charges against the Ahmadi boy were not dropped fearing more mob love, while Hussain confessed and walked scot free. There were no arrests. Not because the police couldn’t identify the culprits. They need only see this video to identify the culprits behind killing the unmerited murder of children.

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But this is not about dispensing justice because justice doesn’t work that way for minorities in Pakistan. What happened in Gujranwala is a form of collective justice dished out by the majority community of the area.

What followed this was not public outcry, not even hollow statements by politicians condemning the attack. There was silence. Not the horrified ‘stunned into silence’ silence, but pure apathy. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif couldn’t spare an ounce of sympathy for what can only be called brutal murder. PTI chief Imran Khan spared no time in informing the United Nations that Israel was a terrorist state and publicly condemned aggression in Gaza, but on the issue of Ahmadi massacre in Gujranwala, there was silence – no Mr Khan, a tweet does not count.

And neither does calling the event Muslim-Ahmadi clashes, which is what various media outlets have dubbed it as. Pakistan Ulema Council chairman Tahirul Ashrafi took to Twitter and raised concerns over why the incident took place – Qadianis (a derogatory term for Ahmadis) should have been careful in not hurting the sentiments of Muslims, he says. Oh the delicious sanctimony of it all.

But where was the nation? How is it that so many student organisations, NGOs and human rights organisations took to the streets every day while they were fasting to express solidarity with the people of Gaza while no one – not a single one of them – marched on Peoples Colony police station and demanded they drop blasphemy charges against the accused. Not a single student body held up placards and banners at Liberty Chowk, demanding justice for victims of Gujranwala. Why is our compassion so selective in that some humans get venerated as gods while others we burn like garbage?

In cases like these each and every citizen of Pakistan gets their share of the blame. By crying out for babies in Gaza while staying quiet over the murder of babies in Gujranwala, we have effectively proven that humanity is dead. What remains is the charred remains of human rights and rule of law. What the government has failed to uphold, the nation has trampled to the ground and migrated to Palestine.