There are hashtags on twitter, facebook posts, comments, basically there has been an outrage on social media against the heinous terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan. These words that have been floating in the blogosphere tell us what happened there, how saddening it is but none of them can exactly precisely describe the amount of tragedy that took place in Peshawar on 16-12-2014.
Taliban has done the unspeakable, the unthinkable. They, as a group, have detached themselves from the rest of the humanity. It is not as if they were one of us but now, they cannot redeem themselves. It has gone too far. There have been moderates in Islam who have been protesting for radicals saying things like ‘They are fighting a just cause with unjust means’ or that ‘sacrifice is the order of God’ but what happened yesterday was not ordered by any Allah or God, it was an act of pure evil.
The moderate voices in Islam which somehow end up validating terror need to either shut up or take a stand against it. Islam cannot stand on its own, it needs the support of its followers. It can’t be the fault of a religion or God that humanity is going haywire. It is just humans. Humans who kept quite when hate mongers conducted rallies, humans who glorified terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, humans who trained others to carry and use guns; those are our real culprits. I hope this news brings shame to all those humans who sat in Chai stalls, nukkads, barber shops and although they didn’t plan any suicide attacks, they justified some killings, they supported the rallies, they raised slogans in the name of Allah. All those heads must hang in shame now.
This is of course not a time to shame Pakistan. I am not pointing at a nation. I am pointing at a specific group of people. They exist in UK, US, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, they are everywhere. They happen to be Muslims and the time has come when we stop protecting or blaming Islam. All those Muslims do not represent Islam. Islam doesn’t need representation. It is a much larger religion than one can imagine and its followers are everywhere. If you target the religion, you miss the point and you end up helping the radicals.
They killed 132 students and burnt their teachers alive. How do you measure such a tragedy in numbers? How do you measure the number of toasts that were made in the morning by the loving mothers who sent their kids to study? How do you measure the hopes of parents, their dreams that they had for their kids? How do you measure the effect on the survivors’ minds? How do you measure the cost that humanity will have to pay now that it will be 132 students short in its mission to eliminate ignorance and barbarism?
Even one death would have been painful enough. It would have put to rest a million dreams, a million possibilities. And we have 132 deaths! Keep counting the dead dreams and begin the arrangements for their funeral too.