By Syed Kaswar Gardezi
09 October 2017
One man took away the light of many families in a short span of time in the Las Vegas shooting. This deplorable and daunting act of violence by paddock cannot be explained or put into words. No number of condolences can fill the void this man created in the hearts of many. With a few swift strokes of his finger, he decimated a large number of unarmed peaceful individuals. Had he been after any one individual and the rest would have been collateral damage, then it would have been easier to rule out an act of terrorism and label this as an isolated incident. However, this doesn’t seems to be the case. This ‘white’ individual, for reasons best known to himself, opened fire on a crowd of people and, resultantly, created an aura of terror and despair amongst the people present. If this wasn’t an act of terror then nothing else in the world deserves to be labelled so.
An act of terrorism, be it in any part of the world, is highly despicable and is worthy of the strongest and forceful condemnations. Our western friends are quick to react and upon finding out the attacker to be a white individual, immediately, rule out terrorism and continue investigating on the pretext of mental illnesses amongst others. Let me remind you, any person committing an act of terrorism resulting in the deaths of other individuals is already mentally ill on some account. A sane person cannot strap his body with explosives and dive into a bunch of innocent people killing them instantaneously. So separating terrorism from mental incapacity is a mistake we already make.
Secondly, the future generations of the West are being taught to differentiate only one sort of terrorism i.e. Islamic terrorism. As long as violence is committed by a Muslim, it has to have some sort of connection with terrorism. This in itself sounds ignorant and idiotic. Our western friends have very conveniently connected religion with terrorism despite the fact that the highest number of terror victims in the world consists of Muslims themselves.
If Muslims had a soft corner for terrorists, as alleged by the western world, then why on earth would they target their own people in brutal acts of terrorism. Let me remind you it was a school full of ‘Muslim’ kids in Peshawar when a handful of faithless barbarians barged in and turned the kid’s playground into a pool of blood. The hearts of Pakistanis bleed till date on remembrance of that loathsome incident. It ripples fear and anger amongst the Muslims. Butchering children is not only miles apart from religion it is the absence of humanity as well.
It needs to be understood by our white friends that as soon as a person takes one step towards any sort of terrorism he, automatically, falls out of the folds of Islam as reiterated by dozens of Islamic scholars time and again. There has never been and will never be a connection between Islam and terrorism. Islam is a religion of peace which teaches humanity and above all tolerance. If any individual attempts to associate Islamic literature to acts of terrorism and violence then only God alone can help him. The killing of any one individual is considered the death of mankind according to Islamic teachings and principles. Please do not add salt to the wounds of the Muslims already devastated by terrorism in their motherlands.
The elimination of any one individual terrorist isn’t going to win this battle in the long run. We must along with our western friends learn to consider all acts of terrorism as having no nexus with any religion and tackle the same accordingly. There is immense need to objectify all forms of terrorism irrespective of religious backgrounds. Adolf Hitler wasn’t a Muslim, yet he massacred millions and successfully instilled terror in the hearts of the people at the time. He has been labelled as a ruthless and vicious dictator but we are yet to hear him being called a terrorist.
Creating a racial paranoia which leads hundreds of thousands of westerners to believe that all Muslims have something to do with terrorists isn’t going to rid this world of all evil. In fact hatred can never be the key, only peace and love can work to eradicate violence from the hearts and minds of those who look up to it. By enkindling hatred in the hearts of people it becomes even more difficult to find a long lasting solution. A fearful, insecure and mistrustful mind is only vulnerable to making the wrong choices. An example would be the Mosque attacker in Canada who also, ironically, wasn’t considered a terrorist. How could he be since the terrorists themselves were his target?
This hypocritical attitude of many westerners is only going to add fuel to the fire rather than extinguishing it. The simple definition of terror according to US law is “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”. Bare reading of this is sufficient to designate Stephen Paddock as a terrorist and the Mandala Bay shooting as an act of terrorism. It needs to be acknowledged that there terror elements can be present with the absence of Islamic radicalisation.
A terrorist is a terrorist irrespective of race, colour or religion. Stephen Paddock was a terrorist and the only way forward in the war against terror can only be by acknowledging the same. There can be no such thing as subjective terrorism. A terrorist and a violent individual cannot be separated at the will of the west. There can be terrorism in this world without the word Islam present and our western friends need to realise that.