Murdering Our Own Children: The Deep Bigotry of Pakistan’s Sadness

Epigraph:

And We (Allah) have sent thee (Muhammad) not but as a mercy for all peoples. (Al Quran 21:108)

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Written for The Muslims Times by Dr. Abdul Alim, Editor for Islam

A nation that murders its own children has no right to mourn them. What happened in Peshawar on 16th December 2014 with hundreds of children dying at the hands of extremists is a terrible tragedy and a brutal reminder of this nation’s bigoted attitude but also a natural consequence of its own actions. The killers were one of us or were at least hosted by us. How did we end up here where we have become a nation that murders its own? It’s important to reflect on it while thousands mourn the innocent deaths and burial prayers are being offered.

Let me elaborate.

On 16 December 1971, culminated another, perhaps the saddest event in the history of this country when it was split into two. Hundreds of thousands of Bengalis lost their lives to the violence that resulted from an undemocratic decision of denying the Awami Leauge, the right to rule the country. An inquiry into the real causes of this in the form of Hamood-ur-Rahman Commission Report never saw the light of day. No burial prayers were offered for those who had died including women and children. Were Bengalis not humans? No tears were shed by people living in West Pakistan at the loss of those who were fellow citizens. No candles were lighted and till today there is no recognition of this cruel attitude that one part of Pakistan perpetrated against its own people.

Perhaps someone can say that we did not have as much media coverage as we do today so the extent of true grief could not have been known. Really, let us then turn to another tragic event much closer to our memories than 1971 which shows that if anything our bigotry as a nation has continued to grow to an appalling level.

On 28th May 2010, 86 Ahmadiyya Muslims citizens of Pakistan were massacred in Lahore by terrorists. This event unfolded over many hours. No Special Forces were deployed by the state or the provincial administration. The only reason why the massacre came to an end was because the terrorist had either ran out of ammunition or were caught by some brave members of the Ahmadiyya community. In fact when the injured were admitted to a hospital this information was again leaked to terrorists so even the injured were not safe in those hospitals. Until today no clear action has been taken against the offenders four years after the event.

Lest we forget, we need to recall whose Frankenstein product is Taliban? The same actors who claim to be now our saviours.

What is sad about these events is not how many have died and continue to die. The real tragedy of Pakistan is that its people have failed to learn, realize and to rise above their own bigotry. For a nation that prides itself on following a Prophet who is known to have stood up in respect at the passing casket of a Jew and to have led the burial prayers of those who ridiculed him (even though condemned in revelations), this level of bigotry is absolutely unfathomable. In fact what to say of respecting the dead, against all human decency, even burials of Ahmadiyya community members have been denied and their graves desecrated.

In Pakistan just as the living, all dead are not equal. Some are more equal than others. Whether alive or dead, a Christian, a Parsi, a Hindu or an Ahmadi Muslim, all are treated as less than humans. Those children who were killed were killed by ourselves and not by someone else. It is a consequence of our extreme bigotry and superficial piety that has led to the fragmentation of this nation and made us enemies of each other.

If Pakistan wants to be sad and to mourn its dead with some sense of integrity, it must first treat all of its citizens equally irrespective of their beliefs or political views. A wholesome sadness should start from accepting what was done to Bengalis and what is being done to minorities today across the country. We need to perform burials and prayers from the very beginning of our bigotry when we started down the path of dividing people on the basis of their beliefs and denying their humanity. Unless this happens the deaths of 132 children on 16 December will become a subject of another Commission report and the nation will continue on the path of self-destruction.

We have and continue to kill our own humanity systematically. These children are one more episode in this gradual loss and it cannot be reversed by mere burials, candle light vigils, political statements and all party’s conferences.

Additional Reading

The Muslim Times’ Collection on Islam’s Condemnation of Terrorism

8 replies

  1. Dr. Sahib: I wish your often repeated appeals to change the bigotry of Pakistani nation brings fruit. May Allah make your words fruitful. Amin

  2. Such singularities in the character of nations are part of a bigger whole.
    The nation has mixed the national goals with the religious extremism.
    Even the intellectual section of the society is not able to announce its secular viewpoint like the separation of mosque and state in Pakistan.

    In Pakistan every body has to accept that the Legislative cannot make a Law which is against Sharia- as announced in the Resolution of Objectives- it automatically gives a leverage to the religious leaders to preampt any move to make a law under the proncipal of separation of mosque and state. Thus the potential bill is killed before it reaches the floor of the house. Hence it is impossible to introduce a villainess at protecting minorities or creating a check on the hate based division among the sects a wrath against minorities.

    The weapon designed for Ahmadis is equally killing the other sects and minorities.

    I will stress that any solution when an if found in future will not start with Ahmadi issue. It will start from fighting against religious hatred and extremism as a whole in Pakistani society. May Allah bring that day soon by His mercy.

  3. In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious Ever Merciful
    Where as no words are strong enough to condemn the sad most incident of Peshawar School attack by Terrorist, it is a great loss to the Nation and sense of Grief for parents especially and public at large, on the other hand the article by Dr. Abdul Alim is well written and thought provoking, I not only fully endorse the article, but add further as under:-
    Although the Religion of Islam is secular in its approach to other Religion and safeguard the rights and property and lives of All its citizens as long as they are Lyell to the State and Qaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinah also announced equal rights for all the citizens of Pakistan, but what trend was developed after General Zia’s Islamisation in the country, its a terrible story:
    The State back Jihad-est mind set was promoted in the country
    There is least tolerance for Religious differences or opinion
    Blasphemy law which is not at all Islamic it has been formed and being used for interior motives,
    The State only safe guard the Rights of common lots so called Muslims as if only the Muslims have the rights to live in the country;
    The Hindus were forced to migrate to India;
    The Christians were attacked and their hoses were set on fire so much so a couple of Christen was burnt alive;
    There is a long list of atrocities committed against Ahmadi Muslims and the Most recent was sealing the Ahmadi Muslims Homes in Gujranwala and setting on fire and even no politician issue a note of sympathy for Ahmadi Muslims, simply because Ahmadi Muslims surrendered their Rights to cast their votes.
    Naturally the Nation has to reap the crops which it has sown.
    Zarif Ahmad

  4. The rot started when “religion” was mixed up with the “state” and the national psyche was permitted to weave around the so called “Islamic Ideology of Pakistan” and “Pakistan ka matlab kia, la ilaha illallah”, history was polluted, the “Land of Indus” was trampled upon by imported systems. In short “shirk” became the order of the day in the “Land of Pure”, from the ruling elite to the common man, by turning “Rab-ul-A’laameen” to “Rab-e-Muslemeen”, just like the earlier religions who by indulging in such an act of “arrogance” had invited the wrath of God.

    And now if there is God, the Jealous God, His anger would have no bounds for such arrogant and blasphemous people. There have been floods, there have been earth quakes, there have been mention of “Azab-e-Illahi” in the media, but nothing could move the ruling elite. Instead of taking heed from the Signs, their language kept on deteriorating, names calling became the order of the day, the “exposure” of every institution – Parliament, judiciary, media, civil society included, has been total.

    This Great Tragedy, when “Innocence” gets “slaughtered” must, must be a WAKE UP call for all Pakistanis- law makers and constitution experts, the liberal class and the ruling elite. Can you all not SEE that “Innocence” is not only limited to the children but look around how many innocent people, entire communities have been slaughtered and made invisible in this land in the name of “Islam” by the so called “champions of Islam”?

    What is this “mindset” that unless a thing is presented in the most crudest form – the physical act of the “slaughter of children” the mind refuses to register a message? This is that typical condition of “sum mun, bok mun” of a people.

    It is time to revisit the constitution of the land. And align it to the concept of “Rab-ul-Ala’ameen” where all citizens have a birth right to live as equal human beings, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. And the concept of “Jihad” which was promoted by the so called Ullemas of Islam, in total disregard to the teachings of the Reformer of the Age, be banned.

  5. Due to the bigotry of the system we see this incident today. All these politicians are corrupt and are on the payroll of these rogue outfits. I remember 2010 when so many innocent lives were lost in Lahore and there was no one to say anything. Even Khadim e aala did not give astatement because A** H*** was scared of these religious goups. As they say now there is no one to speak against and the deveil has come home to roost. This was bound to happen and even now if we do not get our belt tighten in Pakistan, we will see more attacks and even bigger one if we do not stop the bigotry and have selective law.

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