Terrorism in the name of Religion

In Pakistan, a number of people have been made victim in terrorism in the name of Religion. Islam is the Religion of Peace, and the terrorists used it as a cover for their barbaric crimes and termed themselves as “Mujahid”, “Ghazi”, or “True Muslim”.

Nation has suffered a lot due to the extremism grown gradually since General Zia-ul-Haq had brought Afghan War into Pakistan. Initially it evolved as Sectarian Clashes, later turned to Bomb Blasts or Suicide Attacks on Mosques, Shrines, Religious Gatherings etc. or Targeted Killings of Common People or High Profile Political or Religious Personalities. Besides hundreds of common man, some famous people assassinated in the acts of terrorism include:

– two times Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Chairperson of Pakistan People’s Party, Ms. Benazir Bhutto;
– MQM’s MPA Raza Haider;
– MQM’s Leader Dr. Imran Farooq (though he was assassinated in London);
– MQM’s Mustafa Rizvi;
– MQM’s MNA Dr. Nishat Malik;
– MQM’s MPA Khalid Bin Waleed;
– Famous Religious Scholar Moulana Muhammad Yousuf Ludhyanvi;
– Leader of Sunni Tehreek Saleem Qadri;
– Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai;
– Dr. Ghulam Murtaza Malik;
– And now Governor of Punjab and Leader of PPP Salman Taseer;

The list is too long, but these are a few examples of those people who were most of the time in security but it was Extremist, Non-tolerant and Anti-Islamic aggressive behavior of some misguided people who managed to assassinate them.

Pakistan is a country of 170 Million Muslims, deeply connected to the religion and practicing tradition almost similar to the Islamic Ideology. Extremists not only exploit their religious sentiments but also trap and use them for their ill-motives. Sometimes they are being used as an angry mob against Government or any specific Political or Religious Group declaring the issues as Islamic/Religious instead of Political, sometimes they are being used as Human Shield against any Armed Actions of authorities, sometimes they are being used as Suicide Attacker. The main reason, innocent people are being trapped easily by Extremists/Terrorists is Poverty, Illiteracy and their Emotional Attachment with Religion.

In majority cases, reason and the culprit remained un-identified, but in some cases killers appeared to be from opposite sectarian group. The assassination of Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, however, has a distinguished reason, i.e., Blasphemy! His Police Guard assassinated assuming him a Blasphemer. This all had started when he received a request of Pardon from Asia Bibi, a Christian, facing court proceedings in charge of Blasphemy. Pakistan has most strict laws which protect the Islamic Ideology and the Dignity of Religion, Holy Qur’aan, Holy Prophet (PBUH) and other Religious Personalities.

Governor Punjab Salman Taseer was of the view that the laws regarding blasphemy are human made, and there are chances of mistakes in it, therefore, it must be reviewed in order to make it balanced and error free. The cleric declared these views as Anti-Islamic and hence termed the Governor a Blasphemer, result; his own Police Guard killed him on 4th January 2011.

It is clear from the past records that this law has been used to take revenge or obtaining any benefits, therefore Governor’s demand for a complete review and amendments supported by different Political and Religious Personalities seems right (rest Allah knows better), but before that we need to eradicate this intolerant attitude from our society. It is not yet confirmed that Governor had committed or not any blasphemy by criticizing the weaknesses in Blasphemy Law of Pakistan, but it is at least confirmed that Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the killer has done a Great Sin by killing a Human Being!

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