An inspiring tale of ambition, activism and radio jihad
‘I am Fazlullah’ is the story of a brave young boy Fazal Hayat from Swat and his courageous fight that transformed his native town. It narrates the boy’s valiant journey from being Fazal Hayat to becoming Fazlullah and tells us about the global rude awakening that he conjured by taking a stand against Pakistan’s biggest militant organisation, Tehreek-e-Malala Pakistan (TMP). Fazlullah’s bravery meant that the world stood up and took notice of his noble fight for terrorism.
The book, co-authored by Christinullah Christina, begins with Fazlullah being born to Biladar Khan, “a Pukhtun of Babukarkhel clan of the Yusufzai tribe of the Swat District”. From an early age Fazlu aspired to be in the jihad business, and his first step in the right direction was marrying the daughter of TNSM head Sufi Muhammad – considered to be among the best career moves of all time in the jihad sector. And fittingly an entire chapter of the book is dedicated to narrating how young Fazlu kidnapped Sufi Muhammad’s daughter from his Madrassa.
Seeing Fazlu’s ambitions the then president Pervez Musharraf banned TNSM and had Sufi Muhammad arrested, which meant that Fazlullah began living his childhood dream of leading a banned terrorist organisation. Fazlu has led TNSM, collaborated with the TTP, established parallel governments, developed a $2.5 million Madrassa and enjoyed jihadi success in Afghanistan but his biggest achievements are in the field of activism and entertainment.
Fazlu’s passion for radio jockeying and social activism combined as he started his own FM channel broadcasted exclusively in the Swat Valley. Fazlullah won the Best Male RJ award in Annual Pakistan Media Awards for his exclusive coverage of assassinations and beheadings, and his shows “Midnight with Mullah”, “Maulana Mornings”, “Jihad Jockeys” and “Wajib-ul-Qatal Weekends” received soaring ratings as well as critical acclaim.
Just when one thought our pioneering RJ (radio jihadist) had found his niche, an epoch-making event changed not only Fazlu’s life but that of budding jihadists and terrorists in Swat and around the globe.
As TMP militants increased their stranglehold over the Swat Valley and started spreading the propaganda of education and tolerance, Fazlu protested peacefully by closing girls’ schools, burning CDs, DVDs and computers, killing female dancers, massacring polio workers (despite suffering from polio himself) and assassinating people refusing to pull their shalwars above the ankle. But when the TMP paid no heed to the protests, Fazlu bravely began audio blogging anonymously. His blogs were played on his FM channel and in almost every mosque in Swat.
However, when the TMP – blindfolded by the venom of education – had had enough of Fazlu’s “dramatics”, the brave young boy was attacked by the TMP militants. Miraculously Fazlu survived the enlightenment attempt, and the only wounds that were caused were merely inkblots and paper cuts. This led to Pakistani liberal fascists launching their propaganda on social media questioning how Fazlu wasn’t enlightened despite being attacked by education from such a small distance. Having been attacked by the educatory arsenal of books and pens from such close proximity, Fazlu had to be sent to the northwest of Afghanistan for proper treatment.
The enlightenment attempt sparked an international outpouring of support for Fazlullah. Fazlu’s story spread like fire as the world became aware of the menace of TMP and their perverted interpretation of education, and realised the struggle that a young boy has to face as he endeavours to become a terrorist.
Fittingly Fazlu was invited to speak at the UN, where he delivered an invigorating speech the most touching quote of which was: “Let us pick up our guns and bombs. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one terrorist, one suicide jacket and one detonator can change the world. Terrorism is the only solution.”
Also rather appropriately Fazlullah was also shortlisted for the Nobel Peace Prize, with the gamblers betting heavily on him. It was thought that since President Obama won the award while American troops wreaked havoc in Iraq and Afghanistan and EU won it when euro debt crisis plagued global economies in the recent past, Fazlullah was a shoo-in for the prize. But it was the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that eventually won the award for letting chemical weapons spiral out of control in the Middle East.
‘I am Fazlullah’ has received acclaim from all the proverbial corners of the world, despite some quarters criticising Christinullah Christina for failing to conceal the co-author’s well-known bias against education and tolerance. The book is a bestseller in Pakistan already, despite threats by TMP against its purchase.
Leading journalist Ansar Abbasi gave the book five stars out of five, solely for the number of times Fazlullah wrote PBUH in the book – 137 times, according to Abbasi’s count. Other leading journalists Talat Hussain and Orya Maqbool Jan praised the book for doing nothing but “depicting true Muslim sentiments”, which according to them was the sole purpose of writing a book. O.M.J. was particularly ecstatic about reading Fazlu’s opinion about Ahmadis and Salman Rushdie, which he confessed were the only two paragraphs he had read from the book, but insisted that they were enough to justify the 10/10 he gave ‘I am Fazlullah’.
Liberal fascist Pervez Hoodhbhoy however condemned the book for being pro-jihadists in an altercation with Abbasi and Orya Maqbool on a live television show.
After witnessing the warm reception that ‘I am Fazlullah’ got, All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association decided to make the book mandatory in private schools’ curricula. And not only did the book replace the Islamiyat books being taught at the schools, chapters from the book were also added in the science and social studies curricula to teach the children about the construction of suicide jackets and jihadist terrorism.
The chairman of the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation particularly praised the book for its clarity of thought that according to him would ensure that the children are no longer confused by the ideas of tolerance and secularism.
‘I am Fazlullah’ is a rousing tale of ambition, activism and radio jihad. It’s a story of bravado and struggle. Simultaneously it is also an ideological book and one that would help young professionals mould their budding careers into illustrious ones.
It can also be read as a marketing book about how one could brand products that influence the lives of millions of people. However, most importantly the book gives us all the insights that we need into the life of a brave, young boy who is destined to become the leader of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the very near future.
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid is a financial journalist and a cultural critic. Email: [email protected], Twitter: @khuldune.