Today’s events in Lahore have shaken the entire country. The zealots and the bigots aside, an ordinary Pakistani is baffled at the scale and impunity of the violence. A terrorist has been captured – perhaps more as events unfold. But will they be punished or we will find more lame excuses that the Ahmedis by worshipping in their mosques were provoking the believers.
The Taliban want to eliminate all diversity and pluralism from Pakistan. The process alas started in the 1950s and Bhutto’s tragic actions and Zia years have planted bigotry and intolerance. Fundamentalism is now a cancer that has widely spread in the body politic. Yet, no one wants to tackle it. For the past two years, get Zardari debates have dominated Pakistan’s public discourse punctuated by the anti-Americanism of the Right.
I am even more surprised that Punjab’s officials named RAW: as if we had no problem here. I am sure tomorrow it will be Mossad and the day after the CIA. Indeed, there is an all out denial of the threat withing.
We have perhaps gone too far and pessimists are now saying that the process of destroying Pakistani society is irreversible. But we think that this is not the case. There is still hope that we shall overcome this menace if Pakistani public opinion is fashioned to look a little deeper inside and not find all sources of evil in Washington or Delhi.
The death of innocent civilians engaged in worship is a wake up call. Today it is the Ahmedis and tomorrow it will be another sect.
Where will this end?
The nightmare is not over.
We are grateful to Raza Habib Raja to have authored this post for PTH. Today’s horrific events demonstrate that the threat of terrorism and Talibanisation is real and not imagined. Raza Rumi
The Attack on Ahmedis Today
As I write these sentences, the details of the most shameful attack on the religious sites of Ahmedis in Lahore are unfolding. However, this is not new as Pakistan has been the victim of this brazen behavior repeatedly. The thirty years of state sponsored “true” Islam is showing its colors. In Pakistan all the minorities are constantly harassed and state’s protection has often proved completely ineffective when a serious attack occurs. Although the counterargument can also be made that state is not also able to protect even when Muslims are attacked.
In case of Ahmedis it is a well known fact that they have been victims of state induced discrimination also apart from being openly hated by the public. In fact even today as this most in human barbarity was unfolding I had the opportunity to actually hear people in my office saying that though terrorism is bad Ahmedis deserved it. Muslims are an extremely intolerant group and yet extremely sensitive when it comes to their own religious sensitivities. And when such minorities are under attack the state protection has often been particularly inadequate and public condemnation virtually absent. After all we all remember Gojra where the government was completely unable to provide protection to the Christians when attackers attacked their houses and literally burnt people alive. In that incidence, there was no “sudden’ attack but mob actually first assembled after being provoked by the religious clergy and then systematically executed the attack. But even much more horrific was the aftermath where instead of widespread condemnation, the public response was apologetic. That incidence was not a political failure alone. It was national shame and depicted weakness at every level of our society’s moral fabric. Continue reading
Once again the terrorists have hit Lahore. But this time they have chosen the favourite target of the fundamentalists – the Ahmedis who were declared as non-Muslims in 1974. Two places of worship have been attacked and innocent people have died. This is unacceptable and outrageous. It means that the state policy of exclusion has finally turned the country into a nightmare – a polity where freedom to worship, profess religious orientation and expression is not only curtailed by simply denied.
The resolve of the Government and the Army must be now strengthened after these tragedies. We condemn the state excesses and also the this heinous act of terrorism.
It is almost surreal to see what is happening in Lahore – there is no law and order, no law enforcement worth its name and hapless citizens witnessing the crumbling of a society. It is time to wake up – complacency will not do.
We have to fight terror and the enemy within and not blame the external forces time and again.
As I write these lines, I am petrified as a very dear friend’s father is trapped in the Model Town mosque. may God protect him.
Updated at: 1437 PST, Friday, May 28, 2010
LAHORE: Firing incidents have been reported at religious places of Ahmadi sect in Garhi Shahu and Model Town areas of Lahore on Friday.
Five people have been reported killed and 10 injured in the attack at Model Town mosque. Seven terrorists attacked Model Town mosque and police have arrested one of them.
TTP Punjab has claimed the responsibility for the attack, Geo News reported.
Filed under Al Qaeda, Islamism, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Pakistan, Politics, public policy, Punjab, Society, Taliban, Terrorism, violence, war, War On Terror
In this last hour the two main Muslim Ahmadiyya Islamic Mosques have been targetted by terrorists in Lahore. We all know the crimes for which the Ahmadis must pay:
1. They were actively involved in the creation of Pakistan.
2. They were actively involved in the development of Pakistan.
3. They won Pakistan its only Nobel Prize.
4. Ahmadi Muslims, despite the worst kind of persecution, routinely lay down their lives as soldiers in Pakistan Army.
For these four unpardonable crimes, extremists must kill, maim and blow up Ahmadi Muslims!
Meanwhile militants from Mansoora are found roaming in all corners of Pakistan. The same element who have stabbed Pakistan in the back every chance they’ve gotten.
I’ve always maintained the drone attacks are misdirected. If you really want progress, Drone attacks must take place on militant hideouts in mainstream Pakistan.
Reproduced from The New York Times
By ANTHONY SHADID
Published: May 21, 2010
BAGHDAD — Report No. 25, dated April 4 and written by Col. Qais Hussein, was clinical, the anonymous survey of an explosion in a city where explosions are ordinary.
“Material damage: significant,” it declared of the car bomb that was detonated last month near the Egyptian Embassy, killing 17 people. “The burning of 10 cars + the burning of a house, which was in front of the embassy, with moderate damage to 10 surrounding houses.”
Colonel Hussein’s report didn’t mention the hundreds of books, from plays of Chekhov to novels of the Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani, stored in bags, boxes and a stairwell. It didn’t speak of the paintings there of Shaker Hassan, one of Iraq’s greatest, or the sculptures of his compatriot, Mohammed Ghani Hikmat. There was no note of the stone brought from an exile’s birthplace in Bethlehem that helped build the house as a cosmopolitan refuge bridging West and East.
Nor did Colonel Hussein’s report mention that the home belonged to Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, a renowned Arab novelist, poet, painter, critic and translator who built it along the date palms and mulberry trees of Princesses’ Street nearly a half-century ago and lived there until his death in 1994.
This is not a story about an outpouring of grief over its destruction. There were no commemorations, few tributes. As Fadhil Thamer, a critic, said, “People here have seen too much.”