The Lal Masjid fiasco has finally come to a bloody end, but it still had one last laugh. After promising to demolish this illegally constructed mosque, the govt. decided to refurbish it and painted it white. Whereupon a few louts took it amongst themselves to paint it red – and ended up with a pink mosque!
While on one had the govt. was busy rebuilding mosques, it was even busies demolishing the children’s library which had long stood near the formerly red, than white, and now pink mosque. The excuse given was that in the assualt on the Lal masjid a few bullets struck the library which made the structure unsafe. It’s not the lies so much, but the troubling reflection on Pakistani society when it’s considered unsafe to have children’s libraries near a mosque. There used to be a time when masjids were not just terrorism training centers, but places where fathers would take their children – not just to read namaz, but to mingle with other kids in the neighborhood, and in a utopian world which probably never existed, learn something from the sermons at the mosque. Today, not only is it a bad idea to take children to a mosque, it is a bad idea to take children *near* a mosque – hence the demolition of the children’s library near the mosque with the ever changing colours.
On the plus side, Islamabad has no more children’s libraries – it seems we are going to leapfrog over the age of libraries altogether and wait till we can beam books straight into children’s heads.