By D. Asghar
Every time there is an insane terror attack in the heart of Pakistani cities, within hours you see the holy warriors of TTP claiming the responsibility for such “remarkable valor.” It is unclear, why the law enforcement agencies have not tackled these murderers head on.
These cowardly acts are marketed as a fitting response to the US drone strikes. Or these are GOD fearing Mujahids waging a war against the infidels, so to speak. The term “infidel” has lost its real meaning. Any and everybody can be declared an infidel at a moment’s notice by any one. After that conclusive declaration, no further justification or reasoning for any action is warranted.
The sad part is that a significant number of general population is sympathetic towards these beasts, because the Taliban use religion as a shield to cover their dastardly deeds. Let’s assume that these “oppressed and valiant Taliban” were not Muslims and these were communist rebels, resisting American invasion (so to speak), would our attitudes and sentiments still be in line with their modus operandi.
In any war the strategy seems to dominate the game. In this case, TTP or Taliban in general have brilliantly used religion to cover up their heinous and barbaric acts. There are educated people, in and outside Pakistan, who not only buy into all of this, but justify these suicide bombings as an act of struggle against “Imperial forces.” If you engage those individuals in any sane discussions, the counter argument is always American invasion and these acts being its repercussions.
Afghanistan prior to the much touted and debated American invasion, was no symbol of peace and prosperity under the direct rule of these “self righteous and pious Muslims.” The sheer brutality and lack of human values were the hallmark of these “great visionary leaders” of Muslim Ummah. Many would dismiss all of this being Western propaganda, but facts from independent and non partisan media, show volumes of incriminating evidence against these brutes.
The case in Pakistan is no different as we have hyper sensitive religious society, in action at all times. We can attract people’s attention within minutes in the name of religion, for better or for worst. The hard core religious parties always have a soft corner for these beasts as ideologically they find a common ground with the TTP’s and LJ’s and their likes.
The common theme or slogan which is raised repeatedly is, “Islam is in peril.” For 1400 years or so, Islam has withstood all tests, challenges and dangers. This is in front of all the people around the world. This fact should be the hallmark of every living and breathing Muslim’s faith. Nothing has, nor it ever will diminish the religion as it is a divine message. On the other hand, it is incumbent upon Muslims, as the torch bearers of this divine message, to demonstrate the best of their character towards their fellow human beings.
In order to combat this menace, first and foremost the distinction between terrorism and holy war has to be established. Mostly media, paper and electronic, voices its condemnation after every such incident, but it appears that all its pleas fall on deaf ears.
It is high time that all Muslim sects of Pakistan and their religious leaders, collectively form an alliance to eradicate this evil. We make tall claims about the following of Prophet PBUH in attire and argue with one another about minute details of how to perform our Salah. But do we really care about, what Prophet PBUH would have done in this situation. What would have been his reaction to all of this? If he was the Messenger of Good, then where is our Goodness and Humility? Islam is not about the length of the beard and the color of the turban, but it is how a human being submits to the will of GOD.
All the Masajids of all sects should be mandated to teach the followers the difference between the act of suicide, which is beyond evil and forbidden in the faith, and the true struggle in the path of ALMIGHTY. The schools, colleges and all learning institutions should have mandatory education about this subject, so the myths can be eliminated.
The law enforcement agencies should be held to task by the elected leaders to combat this menace effectively. The investigations should be transparent and must have targeted deadlines, so the future catastrophes can be averted. The prosecution and sentencing should be exemplary so the people can get a clear and unified message of zero tolerance.
There is this widely held belief that terrorism cannot be eliminated completely. There is some truth to this debate, however terrorism cannot be tolerated in its present form either. It is undoubtedly a hydra headed monster, yet chopping or knocking few of its head will go a long way.
Those who vehemently relate this to the American presence in the region, should be cognizant of the fact that, even if the US troops were to leave today, this menace will still loom over everyone in and outside Pakistan. Because the perpetrators will find some other issue or internal strife to exercise their illogical agenda. Lawmakers are you listening….if not please do, before the Pakistan we know is completely up in flames.