‘In suicide attacks we trust’

Published: October 25, 2010

We need to stop justifying these attacks and take action against terrorism.

Within hours of every terror attack that strikes the heart of a Pakistani city, you hear the holy warriors of TTP claiming responsibility for their “remarkable valour.”

It is unclear why the law enforcement agencies have not yet tackled these murderers head on.

These cowardly acts are marketed as a fitting response to the US drone strikes.

In other words, these are God-fearing mujahideen waging a war against the ‘infidels’. The term ‘infidel’ has lost its real meaning. Any and everybody can be declared an infidel at a moment’s notice by these fighters. After that conclusive declaration, no further justification for any action is required.

The sad part is that a number of the general population is sympathetic towards these beasts, because the Taliban use religion as a shield for their 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 sentiments still be in line with their modus operandi?

Religion as a weapon

In any war, strategy dominates the game. In this case, the TTP, or the Taliban in general, have brilliantly used religion to cover up their barbaric acts. There are educated people, in and outside Pakistan, who not only buy into all of this, but justify suicide bombings as an act of struggle against “imperial forces.” If you engage those individuals in any sane discussions, the counter-argument is always that Americans stage invasions and these acts are the repercussion.

Afghanistan, prior to the much-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 the Muslim Ummah. Many would dismiss all of this as being Western propaganda, but facts from the independent and non-partisan media show volumes of incriminating evidence against these brutes.

The case in Pakistan is no different, as we have a hypersensitive religious society in action at all times. We can attract people’s attention within minutes if we use the name of religion, for better or for worse. The hardcore religious parties always have a soft corner for these beasts, as ideologically, they find common ground with the TTP and LJ and their likes.

Is Islam really in danger?

The common theme or slogan which is raised repeatedly is “Islam is in peril”. For 1,400 years or so, Islam has withstood all tests, challenges and dangers. This is an obvious fact. It should define every living and breathing Muslim’s faith. Nothing has, nor will anything ever, 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. The media voices its condemnation after every such incident, but it appears that all its pleas fall on deaf ears.

Time to unite

It is high time that all Muslim sects and their religious leaders collectively form an alliance to eradicate this evil. We try to follow the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in our appearance and argue with one another about minute details of how to perform salah. But do we really care about what the Holy 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? Islam is not about the length of our beards and the colour of our turbans, but about how a human being submits to the will of God.

All mosques should be mandated to teach the followers the difference between the act of suicide, which is forbidden in the faith, and the true struggle in the path of the Almighty. Schools, colleges and all learning institutions should have mandatory education about this subject, so that myths can be eliminated.

Law enforcement agencies should be held to task by elected leaders to combat this menace effectively. Investigations should be transparent and must have targeted deadlines, so that future catastrophes can be averted. Prosecution and sentencing should be exemplary, so that people can get a clear and unified message of zero tolerance.

Enforcing good laws

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  many-headed monster, yet chopping or knocking few of its heads 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. The perpetrators will always find some issue to exercise their illogical agenda.

Law makers are you listening? If not, please do, before the Pakistan we know goes up in flames.


D. Asghar

A mortgage-banker by profession who also loves to write.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Dr Babar Khan

    Very well said. May sanity prevail!Recommend

  • Fahad Hashmat

    But D. Asgar, do you really think religion or Islam is behind all this? Do you think people are killing in the name of Islam. I do not think so. I think the term Islam is being used as a cover-card – to protect or hide the real story and the motivation behind this.

    They are not killing because of unislamic actions but they are killing out of lust and to fulfil their interest i.e. to destroy the emerging State. We have anti-elements operating against us and unfortunately some are part of our governing system as well. Do think about it. Terming it a religious fight further damages the name of Islam – Do not attach Islam to any terrorist act. A terrorist is a terrorist and (s)he does not act to serve any religion. TTP claiming the attacks does not mean that a religious or Islamic force is deriving this – they are not muslims. I feel, people who kill first, change their clothes and come out to protest, in turn kill again and eventually damage the peace.Recommend

  • Amaar

    Good analysis.Recommend

  • Tehreem Iftikhar

    i don’t think so that in our country these terrorist are considered as mujaheddin ,they are not even considered as Muslims .I really admire your thoughts about mandatory education over this subject..now its time that we should get out of our shells and be a one nation. Recommend

  • http://deleted vikas ranjan

    @Fahad Hashmat

    * they are not muslims.I feel, people who kill first, change their clothes and come out to protest, in turn kill again*

    WOW, Just add one more step, people who kill, and play dead, change their clothes and come out in porotest, in turn kill again.Now it is a well rounded fully circular conspiracy of non-muslims killing,dying,changing clothes, protesting , killing, dying……..Recommend

  • Humanity

    After failing to stop the creation o Pakistan, the deceitful, shameless mullahs and their herd sneaked in to make Pakistan their homeland, but only to obliterate from within. The hate mongers moved their platform of hatred and ignorance to Pakistan. They started a crusade for spreading intolerance and hatred to gain legitimacy and power. The outcome is evident and clear as a day in front of every one’s eye.

    Ladies and gentleman, see for yourself how the mullah has used religion to change the dream of a promised land into hellish nightmare. While the people suffer and the country disintegrates, the supporters and sympathizers of the ghairat brigade can follow the hypocrites into their make believe heaven filled with virgins. All others can watch the country destroy itself in the name of religion.Recommend

  • Humanity

    @Fahad Hashmat “– Do not attach Islam to any terrorist act. A terrorist is a terrorist and (s)he does not act to serve any religion. TTP claiming the attacks does not mean that a religious or Islamic force is deriving this – they are not muslims.”

    People are not absolved of the responsibility simply by declaring the brained washed who carry out the acts of terror they are not muslims. How many raise their voices when online aalims and fake degree holder mullahs incite for murder through their wajb-ul-qatal fatwas. People through their non-action and indifference condone and collude with the murderers and terrorists.

    Are such people worthy of calling themselves Muslims?

    And BTW, enough of pushing the blame else where. there is no invisible hand. People need to get a grip of the reality and simply look at the hands attached to the ends of their arms. These are the hands that hold swords soaked in innocent blood.
    “If I myself can’t change, how can I expect others to change?” – Nelson Mendella

    The ‘true islam” that every you seek is right under the nose in your heart, provided you cleanse your heart of hatred and bigotry and allow compassion and tolerance to settle in. Shun the mullah and his holier than thou mantra. Allah will judge who is or is not a Muslims. Put the power seeking mullah out of business. Teach the mullah a thing or two about Islam. He will not be your proxy or advocate on the day of judgment. You will stand there by yourself to answer what you did with the free will that God granted you out of His boundless mercy.

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.
    — William Ernest HenlyRecommend

  • D. Asghar

    Thank you all. I pointed out in the article as well. The religion is being misused for the “evil agenda.” If you follow the news, the American Al Qaeda, Californian Adam Gadhan, has requested American and European Muslims to attack the “Non Believers”, especially the “softer targets.”

    In the old days, when there was a declared war, we all know that women, children, sick and disabled were spared. When Prophet PBUH entered Mecca, after its fall, he granted asylum to people who surrendered and this was regardless of their faith.

    In the Pre 09/11 America, the “Fidayeens” of Palestine were glorified in Friday prayers. I took exception to this phenomenon with my friends, back then as well. To me harming an innocent person is evil, regardless of their faith or belief system. No matter how cruel our enemy may be, we are taught to demonstrate our patience and perseverance and advised not to stoop to their level. ALLAH is with Sabireen.

    My point is that there is so much emphasis on DYING. When the religion stresses and teaches us how to LIVE. Our goal should be to make the LIVES of human beings better so they can LIVE and rather LIVE in dignity and not resort to DYING like animals. I am not a religious scholar, but try to think things logically. To me all of this does not make sense and in my humble opinion, the worst example that we can set for our children.Recommend

  • Humanity

    @ D Asghar

    Thank you for rallying for sanity! I pray this message will resonate loud and clear.

    We were taught in the kindergarten to not hit others, to share, to be respectful towards others, to …. History tells us that violence begets violence. All scriptures teach us that peace can only be achieved through compassion and benevolence.

    The nation, as a whole needs to undertake a massive rally to rise above intolerance and hatred. Heal My Soul campaigns must be initiated through actions of kindness towards fellow beings. Evil has always been subdued with good. People need to change themselves, before expecting others to change. The movement to become a kind, gentle nation, once started, is guaranteed to be highly contagious. Thrones have been over turned through non-violent movements. This is the afzal jihad and the only jihad that will save this nation from total destruction.

    A couple of quotations from “A Beautiful Mind” on the power of love and benevolence that we all can use for some character building and inspiration.

    ” Nash: What truly is logic? Who decides reason? My quest has taken me to the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional, and back. I have made the most important discovery of my career – the most important discovery of my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reason can be found.

    Nash: In competitive behavior someone always loses.
    Charles: Well, my niece knows that, John, and she’s about this high.
    Nash: See if I derive an equilibrium where prevalence is a non-singular event where nobody loses, can you imagine the effect that would have on conflict scenarios, arm negotiations…

    Nash: Perhaps it is good to have a beautiful mind, but an even greater gift is to discover a beautiful heart.”

    To be worthy of calling ourselves humans, we must value and cherish humanity. That is the message of Islam. This is the true islam that Muslims are searching for in the darkness of ignorance.Recommend

  • Shemrez Nauman Afzal

    I am in complete agreement. The time for society at large to unite is now or never; whether than constitutes Pakistanis – who are Muslim as well as non-Muslim – or the Ummah at large. Islam is neither a religion nor an institution; it is a way of life and hence can never be “threatened” or “under attack” as long as human life exists on this earth. Recommend

  • hashaam

    This might be a good analysis of the visible part of what ever is going on. But i tell you my dear writter this country is full of nasty ugly conspiracies. I hardly believe anything now in this country atleast. History speaks for such covert operations in the world. This time! the shield is the religion. Recommend

  • kumar

    Dear Sirs,

    First you came for the infidel Jews.Then you came for the infidel Christians.
    Then you came for infidel Hindus & Buddhists. After you disposed of them you came for the shias & then ahmedis.Thereafter you went for the communist (atheists).
    After dispensing of them you wanted a new enemy so you went for Sufism.
    The list is endless.This is the history of Islamic Terrorism.

    If you say all of this is un-Islamic then why from the pulpits there is open call to enforce shariah all over the world and impose islam by force. surely there is no smoke without fire.Recommend

  • hopeless

    @ Fahad Hashmat are u feeling alright????????Recommend