One of the least examined problems of our Islamic society is sex, or the lack of it. As Qandeel puts it: “We keep our mouths shut; we’re good at pretense, all for the sake of social propriety”. Without open discussion or education, it is expected to take care of itself; it is ‘natural’, so why the need to speak about it?
In countries where religion, culture and tradition are the most influential construction of the social system, sex is like the apple from the Garden of Eden – forbidden fruit. It is important to understand how the social dynamics and sex as a subject operates in Pakistan and why sex, with all its ramifications, is never discussed. Fetishes, perversions, homosexuality are hidden from view although they do exist; reliable sources say there are villages in Pakistan where you can buy sex with a cow. Also sheep, goats, dogs, donkeys, etc., others prefer their mammals more aquatic.
Statistics show a very miserable picture in the search trends of Google for Pakistan and highlight not only the use but the abuse of the internet in their desire for sex fantasies. Pakistan has a top ranking for Google Search “Porn”, but when examined closely, there is a standard of morality way below just that.
Liberalism, the dreaded ‘L’ word, was mentioned by the present PM Nawaz Sharif at a mass meeting and the word itself is enough to send the clergy into paroxysms of moral and religious indignation. The moment Sharif uttered the word during a speech, in the context of modernising Pakistan, clerics and many other conservative people pounced on him; even though the majority of them have little real idea of what it means. This typifies a kind of morality in which elders or Mosque Mullahs are always correct and everyone else, young or different, are always wrong.
The awful result of this enforced morality and silence is that no one stands up for those poor girls and women who are brutally raped, injured, disfigured or murdered. Such cases are all too frequent, like the one in Islamabad at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) last Saturday night. A 22-year-old female patient who was disabled, allegedly raped whilst lying in the surgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital. The horrific serial child abuse case in Kasur rocked the country but these terrible crimes keep happening; in Karachi a teenage boy was sexually assaulted by police in 2003 and subsequently committed suicide; a 15-year-old college student was abducted and raped, allegedly by a rickshaw driver, last Friday and many more.
The reasoning behind the suicide bombers can perhaps be understood, but in a country where 78% of Pakistani Muslims want Sharia law (Pew Research Center Report), it is infamous and diabolical to rape.
Let’s take a closer look at the methodology and practice in the country below.
If it’s agreed that 78% of the people demand Sharia law in country, the government of Pakistan could make a policy, according to Sharia, that every young person between the ages of 16 to 18 would be obligated to get married, the country would face the problems of overpopulation, economic depression, food supply, social welfare deficiencies, death in childbirth and more, because teenagers are immature and unable to handle such issues as birth rate and contraception; the government itself cannot and as they saying goes “Marriage is like life in that it is a field of battle and not a bed of roses”. The situation at present already has these issues
Legal centres of prostitution would not be possible or even be thought of in a country like Pakistan.
The dark face of this society, in which sex is a taboo, points to a time bomb on which we all sit. These trends are showing their effects in the increasing number of rapes and sex crimes all around the country. Enforced celibacy and silence entails sexual frustration and it is reaching a dangerous level. Economic deprivation, social delinquencies, the weakening of domestic bonds and a lack of healthy activities are channeling peoples’ energies, especially those of the young, towards dreadful addictions. It’s time that our leaders and elders “actually” start thinking about this nation before there is no nation left to talk about.
By Ayoub Khan
The writer is a student of M.A. Political Science at Government College University Lahore.
THE PASHTUN TIMES