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War on Terror ( 25 March 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Terror is Terror


By Zahid Fayaz

25 March, 2015

Churches were attacked in Lahore a few days back. Everyone condemned that inhuman act. Not only that but people also condemned those who claimed responsibility for this act. Islam at no point allows attacking innocent people just because they don't belong to your religion or ideology.

But on that very day, two innocent Muslims were burnt alive by an angry mob in Lahore after this incident (whichever community the mob belonged to). But instead of calling it terrorism, people (here it means most of the media outlets and self claimed civil society groups) called it reaction of an angry mob against the inhuman act. Not only this, one international media outlet even pronounced judgement against those two innocent people. The headline they ran was...."Angry mob burnt alive two extremists". And a day later we came to know that they were no terrorists or extremists but two poor fellows who were out to earn bread and butter for their families.

This is the real problem. When you knowingly identify terrorism with a particular religion, you polarise the society. Unfortunately a campaign has been launched against Islam all around the world, by the powers who feel "threatened" by its ideology, particularly by its political set up. For almost five decades, they were in tussle with an "enemy" in the form of communism and fought tooth and nail against it (at that time, Islamists were no less than comrades and no less than Mujahedeen). But once Soviet Union disintegrated in early 1990's, West found itself enemy less. They did need enemy so that aggressions which they launch from time to time, could be justified. And the new enemy were one time friends.....Islamists. And now every attempt is being made to demonize political ideology propagated by Islamists. And every violent act done is put in their bag (even though mainstream Islamists have never been in favour of violence and condemned it every time).

Even for the sake of argument if we agree that every act of violence done in Muslim world is the handwork of Islamists, we have no problem in calling this terrorism. But problem is that when Christian mob kills two innocents, instead of calling it terrorism, it's named reaction. When Maoists attack state (majority of them belong to Hindu religion) , its called reaction because of the genuine grievances. When Buddhists murder innocent Muslims, its called act of misguided elements. When militant outfits in Nagaland (who belong to Christian faith and invoke their faith on and off) do violent acts, its called reaction against the historical injustice done against them. But when it comes to Muslims, no word less than `terrorist' or `terrorism' is fired at us.

Unfortunately a sensational campaign has been launched to demonise Islam and Islamists. From writing books like Clash of civilizations to producing movies which project Muslims in bad shade, attempts have been made to show as if Muslims consider all the other humans as combatants and hence worthy of fighting against. An attempt is being made unfortunately to show that Muslims instead of accommodate believe in confrontation (in such cases, activities of organisations like ISIS are being put forth. Even though a large majority within Muslim society itself questions the credentials of this organisation and consider it no less than a shadow front of those powers who have always tried to destabilise Muslim world.). All this lead to nothing but destruction. May be by this certain sections might achieve their selfish ends. But at what cost? Unfortunately at the cost of injured humanity.... Sad to say the least!

P.S. If burning alive of a pilot by ISIS extremists is a terrorist act, so is the burning of two people by Christian mob in Pakistan. Terrorism is terrorism and has no religion. Let's stop being selective. Let's have the courage to call spade a spade.

Zahid Fayaz is a student of history having special interest in revivalist movements working in the Muslim World