The gruesome Lahore attack

Salman Latif (who also manages a personal blog) is a new PTH writer who is an assiduous commentator. We are posting his latest view on the tragedy that has hit our society. It is heartening to see the coming together of so many progressive, humanist voices on this platform. In such stressful and confusing times, these signs make one a little optimistic – perhaps all is not lost. (Raza Rumi)

We witness yet another saga of terrorism at Lahore where about 70 people were brutally murdered. The terrorists attacked mosques of Ahmedi community and sprayed those in the mosques with bullets and grenades. Eventually, some of them blew themselves up inflicting maximum damage.

What we are witnessing today is nothing surprising. In a yesterday’s Pakistan, Maulana Zia-ul-Haq’s regime had actively supported and funded not only the militant factions to be used in Afghanistan, but also those spewing sectarian violence. In fact, it’s quite interesting to note that event today, members of parties based entirely upon factual dissent and openly proclaiming hatred towards rival factions, not only are not confronted by law but rather make it to the parliament.

Ahmedis have long witnessed a discrimination throughout Pakistan. Despite the fact that some of our most notable personalities in history were Ahmedis, the general perception of the masses is based nearly entirely on the sermons by illiterate mullahs, actively instigating minds with hatred. One outcome was witnessed today as nearly eighty innocent lives were lost in a mad spree where the attackers supported beards and of course were convinced that they were doing God’s work. In recent times, listening to Zaid Hamid’s statements on India reminded me of the once-oft-quote statements about Ahmedis. It’s a shame we wish for a freedom of speech where none talks about our religious ideals when on the other hand, we use the same liberty to literally mud-sling the revered personalities of those we disagree with.

Intriguingly, nearly all the recent terrorist incidents eventually tend out to have religious undertones, reasserting the need for a modern reconstruction of Islam which is still, sadly, no where to be seen. The need of the day is that such interpretations be done explicitly and such resolves be taken by the eminent religious scholars which would clearly root out all forms of extremism. A sufi approach perhaps would be one of the ideal adaptations. Not only that, an intellectual revolution, of the same type that once pushed us towards a political Islam, is also needed. We witnessed in the last century the religious fervor of the proponents of political Islam, all because those who coined and defined the term were truly determined to look it to accomplishment. Maulana Moudoodi and Syed  Qutab are some of the many examples. My point here is that taking a rather passive take on things and religion, particularly, would change nothing at all. A lukewarm effort would barely yield results. We need determined, concentrated efforts towards achieving intellectual dissemination and rational interpretations within religious circles. Also, expecting a change within a few years would be a rather futile expectation. It’d surely take time. Nevertheless, that’s our only hope.

15 Comments

Filed under Al Qaeda, Taliban, Terrorism, violence, War On Terror

15 responses to “The gruesome Lahore attack

  1. Natasha

    ‘Maulana’ Zia ul haque – what was that?

  2. Natasha

    I strongly condemn whatever happened . The culprits are the same people who do not differentiate between bearded and non-bearded people before blowing them up.

    What on earth is this? >>> ” where the attackers supported beards ”

  3. Ron

    @Natasha

    Curious that Iqbal and Jinnah both did not have beards.

  4. Natasha

    Ron ,

    That is irrelevant.

    I would like to know why beard has been emphasised here. What about those bearded Sunnis and Shias thatve been killed by these very people. What about all those non-bearded terrorists that are being caught throughout the world.

  5. Natasha

    What has beard got to do with a person who does not ask you what sect/religion/race you belong to before blowing you up. He’s just out there to kill like a mad dog.

    What about the peaceful bearded majority?

  6. Natasha

    Ron,

    Zia ul Haque also had no beard. It is sickening how people try to judge a person’s mindset through his/her physical appearance.

  7. Shia Sunni riots not erupted in Zia’s regime but before him. Infact its an issue since creation of Pakistan.

    Secondly its indeed condemnable that Ahmedis were targeted today but we need look into this issue in broader perspective as Taliban have not restricted their ideology against specific sect or religion, they have been indiscriminately killing people to exhibit their power and to establish their writ in desired areas.

    They just want blood to achieve objectives, reason for killing Ahmedis is not because they hate Ahmedis and love moderate Sunnis or shias. They did it to gain losing support of a common Pakistani who hate Ahmedis in general. Now I can see lots of Pakistanis literally praising Taliban for this barbarianism.

    Although I agree with you that religious extremism exists in Pakistan however blaming Zia would be unfair here, if you remember it was Bhutto who turned Ahmedis into non Muslims.

    I don’t think religious fanaticism will ever end from this unfortunate country, people here are not even ready to talk on reconciliation, the only thing that might curb virus of religious fanaticism from this country is STRONG MODERATE government.

  8. Anwar

    Tanzeel, if I recall correctly, Shia-Sunni skirmishes were limited to Parachinar area and were not as widespread as they became during and after Zia’s time….

  9. Salman Latif

    @Natasha
    I asserted their beards because that indicates the fact that this act too was no blind mad-dog killing but an act of religious fanaticism, done on the promises of 72 virgins.

  10. Natasha

    As I said , these ‘bearded’ terrorists are into killing ‘bearded’ peaceful majority as well.

  11. nasir jan

    Pakistan or Mullahstan – this is the question we should be asking ourselves! – What would Jinnah have thought of this atrocity? – was this the Pakistan he strived for? Mullahs are allowed to call for the killing of ahmadis with no fear of prosocution. The popular Geo TV show – Alim on line last year justified the killing of Ahmadis because they are not true muslims – where is the justice in Pakistan

  12. shani

    Why do they have to kill? Regardless if your an Ahmadi, shia or sunni, no one has any right to kill one another, on top of that they are entering a place of worship , how barbaric of an act is this, people simply go to mosques churches temples to pray, not to be murdered, Pakistan has no laws for human rights even if they do , they are not in function, who are these people to get up and start shooting, if their faith in God is so strong then you should pray to God, since he is the one who will Judge, we are no one to Judge any religion, we all have our own opinions and our choices of what religion to follow, these extremists have no religion because a Muslim does NOT kill any human. These people just have lack of education, and really need to get a life.

  13. Khullat

    Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian says:

    “Baad az khuda ba ishq-e Muhammad mukhammaram
    Gar kufr een bawad bakhuda sakht kaafiram”

    Translation:

    ‘Next to God, it is the love of Muhammad that inebriates me.
    If this is kufr, then by God I am a firm kafir.’

  14. Tahir

    @Tanzeel
    “Although I agree with you that religious extremism exists in Pakistan however blaming Zia would be unfair here, if you remember it was Bhutto who turned Ahmedis into non Muslims”.

    Agreed that if was Bhutto who decleared Ahmadies as Non Muslim, but it was Zia who introduced his own “Shareeat” and made it an effence for Ahmadies to call mosque a mosque or to say Salam or Azaan, thus sowing the sead of heatred.