It’s been 31 days since the deadly attack in APS and we are already caught up with other problems. On the 16th of January, the day the marked the completion of one month since the massacre that took place in Army Public School, Peshawar, it weren’t the demonstrations against terrorism and memorial services held for the young martyrs that made headlines. It was the violence that took place outside French embassy in Karachi after JI students marched towards it to protest against the provocative caricatures published in a French magazine. A magazine that is published in a language majority of Pakistanis don’t even understand.
This is, of course not to say that people forgot the Peshawar incident completely. Candle vigils, memorial services were held throughout the country. And it wasn’t like they weren’t of importance for mainstream media. But the havoc wreaked due to the protest overshadowed their value.
Every Muslim feels angry over the publication of the cartoons published in the name of freedom of speech. There have been numerous arguments about it already so I won’t indulge in them again. But it really bugs me when people of our country, and our country alone, live up to their expectations and react violently so all of us our branded as extremists. The sane voices that condemn the duplicity of rules when it comes to freedom of speech are drowned in all the noise.
I don’t even feel the need to defend Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH). He is above the ridiculous cartoons which reflect the sick imagination of a few so-called artists. Preaching violence in his name is not what is required or expected of his followers.
Such violent reaction is an insult to the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). If we claim to be Muslims, we need to follow his teachings. He brought to us the message of peace, mercy and love. Anger is haram (forbidden) in Islam. How can anything justify the destruction caused, supposedly, in his name? These fanatics should question themselves: would he be happy with them for behaving like this?
Didn’t people of Mecca insult him? How did he react? He prayed for the people of Taif after they stoned him and his shoes were filled with his blood. He signed a peace contract, known as Sulah-e-Hudaibya, with the people of Mecca after they stopped him from performing pilgrimage. He bought medicine and took care of the woman who threw rubbish at him.
It seemed that the protesters forgot the little children we lost a month ago to this extremism. This antagonism is what the civil society is rallying against and it’s what we need to get rid of. What good do these protests do to us anyway? Damage our property? Risk our lives? Is this what the ‘true Muslims’ are aiming for?
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