By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Dec 17, 2014
On December 16, 2014 a barbaric incident occurred in Peshawar. Seven terrorists of Tehrik-e-Taliban launched an attack on the Army Public School. The militants were clad in the uniform of the Frontier Corps and entered the school from the rear. They stormed the premises and held it in a nine-hour siege. During this time they moved from classroom to classroom, killing about 141 people, 132 of them students, and injuring hundreds.
This is undoubtedly an inhuman act. Killing innocent children is a crime so heinous that there is no word in the human dictionary to express its barbarity. What was the reason behind this attack? The TTP spokesperson said: “We took this extreme step as revenge. We will target every institution linked to the army unless they stop operations and extra-judicial killings of our detainees.” However, this is no justification for such attacks. It is like justifying a wrong by committing another wrong.
Revenge may be permissible, but strictly on one condition, that is, one should take revenge only from the person who has caused harm. Killing somebody else with the plea of taking revenge is the worst human crime. Both reason and religion completely disown this act.
One of the survivors of the attack narrated a very strange aspect of the incident. He said, “The militants first asked us to read the Kalima and then started firing indiscriminately.” By doing this, the perpetrators became witness against their own act. There is a very relevant verse in the Quran in this regard. It says: “If anyone kills a believer deliberately, his reward shall be eternal Hell.” (4:93)
According to this verse, anyone who intentionally kills a believer will certainly go to Hell. The above report tells us that the militants killed those children knowing that they were believers. Thus, they confirmed that they were perpetrating an act which is without doubt punishable. The incident proves that these people have nothing to do with Islam.
This bloody incident has given a chance to Muslims, especially of this area, to reconsider the whole matter. Only one more event of this kind has been reported in the past. It was also carried out by Islamist terrorists in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia in 2004. Muslims must think why such events take place in the Muslim world, while these have never occurred in the non-Muslim world.
It is a fact that both Pakistan and the Taliban in Afghanistan were formed in the name of Islam. But, the result was counterproductive as both became centres of un-Islamic activities. The reason is that both Pakistan and the Taliban were products of negative reactions, and not products of Islam in the true sense of the word. The saying, ‘As you sow, so shall you reap’, holds true for both. Reaction can never lead to a positive result. Anything that comes into existence as a result of hate culture can only lead to further hate and violence. This is what is happening in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Condemnation of this incident is not enough. It requires reassessment. The event sends out only one message to Pakistan and Afghanistan: both the Pakistan ideology and the Taliban ideology have proved to be wrong. They must accept this fact and correct their way of thinking. People of this area should bring about reform in their culture and foster the culture of love. They should adopt the way of peace and abandon the path of violence.
The right message for both Pakistan and the Taliban is: Forget the past and rebuild the future.