The Udaipur beheading has sent shockwaves across India and now reports of protests and unrest are emerging out of Pakistan, which are proof that the country is responsible for creating unrests by turning anything into blasphemy. Karachi is reeling under violent protests after dozens of Islamists belonging to extremist Barelvi organisation Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) wreaked havoc in the country's capital after rumours of alleged blasphemy.
Several videos of Islamists destroying billboards of Samsung Mobile in Karachi's mobile market have gone viral on social media. The protestors are alleging that the smartphone company has committed blasphemy against Islam. Billboards of the mobile brand were demounted and destroyed in many locations across the city.
What sparked rumours?
The unrest started after rumours circulated alleging Samsung introduced a QR code on its devices, which is blasphemous. When there was no evidence of so-called blasphemous QR code, another string of rumours started stating an employee of Samsung Mobile had given a Wi-Fi network a blasphemous name.
The violent protests on such a large scale were based on baseless rumours and no one knew what was blasphemous, either committed by the company or its employee. But the lack of such a foundation didn't stop TLP extremists from causing mayhem on the streets of Karachi.
Creating blasphemy out of thin air
While the Barelvi incident may seem unusual, it is not new to Pakistan. Last year, a similar incident was reported involving the American beverage behemoth Pepsi, where allegations of blasphemy was levelled against the corporation. A video was widely circulated, wherein a Pakistani man was seen scanning through a barcode on a soft drink bottle and showing a part of it which looked like the name of Prophet Mohammed in Arabic. The man in the video, who identified himself as Mulla, insisted that the QR code is the name of Prophet Mohammed and threatened to burn the truck if the company didn't remove the logo.
Lack of awareness. I spotted this Ashiq e Rasool he was threatening this poor truck driver on University Road and the Mob was gathering and threatening to burn the truck. The truck belongs to a well known Beverage brand I tried to explain to him that this is a QR code 1/2 pic.twitter.com/RnLS71Bf3M— Imran Noshad Khan (@ImranNoshad) December 31, 2021
Although no untoward incident took place at the time, it goes on to show how Pakistani extremists create charges of blasphemy against Islam out of thin air. In fact, the country has been hit by widespread communal violence and riots over perceived blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed. The extremists in the country have frequently used blasphemy as a reason to commit violence and riots, targeting non-Muslims.