A comic book takes on the wearisome task of restraining the extremism against the Christians in Pakistan. The country’s Christians suffer intermittent persecution on religious grounds. However, it is not only the Christians who suffer but other religious minorities also facing the brunt of religious extremism.
A group of young Pakistani boys and girls have taken on the task of tackling social issues by means of their comic book. Team Muhafiz is comprised of male and female teenagers coming from diverse faith backgrounds who have joined hands to buckle down religious extremism and other social issues which are much rampant in the Pakistani society. Aside from religious extremism, issues like child marriage, drug mafias, polio, land-grabbing mafias, acid attacks, terrorism, domestic violence, human trafficking etc.
The comic book goes by the name Team Muhafiz depicts both genders along with assorted styles of dresses and on top of it several religious beliefs; which portrays a scenario of equally for all. The comic book has a character namely Zain- is a Christian whose church was burnt down. This fictional character is based around the incident of the twin church bombings in Lahore on March 15 in 2015 which killed 70 people were killed and dozens were injured.
The creator of Team Muhafiz- Imran Azhar said: “The idea was to promote co-existence, interfaith harmony and to counter the hate narratives which unfortunately we see not only in Pakistan but we are seeing globally taking momentum. Maybe it’s a cliche to say but I’ll say it again: it’s the very small vocal minority (who commit terror or persecute minorities). The silent majority is very moderate and it’s important to show the other side of the story.”
Imran Azhar while talking about his comic project said: “All our characters are based on true events or true people.So when we talk about multi-ethnic and multi-religious people working together there are thousands and thousands of examples in Karachi – which is supposed to be the most violent city right now.”
“Amazing things are happening, amazing people are doing some really awesome work on co-existence… This is the real Pakistan, this is the real youth – they just need a voice,” he added.