Beheading Islam in Peshawar
by Dr. Shah Alam Khan
The news of beheading of two Sikh youth in the Peshawar region of Pakistan has not come as a surprise to the world. What more can we expect from a rabid race of Talibanis, born and brought up on the fodder of hate and violence. The news in fact brings to light the hollow rhetoric of the Pakistani establishment when they claim to have contained the menace of the Taliban.
What surprises me is the eerie silence of the Muslim ulema in the subcontinent (particularly in India) in their condemnation of this cowardly act of appalling brutality. Where are those who leave no opportunity to condemn what is inconvenient to them, no matter how comfortable it might be to Islam in general and Muslims in particular? What happens to all those voices which grow louder at times of trivial issues which they think place Islam in danger? What more danger can await a religion than accusation of the kind which we see after such heinous atrocities? When can the Islamic ulemas realize that acts such as these are the ones which actually put Islam in danger.
The blood of innocents in Palestine is mourned. The brutalities of Narender Modi’s pogrom in Gujarat were mercilessly damned. Then what happens when it’s time to condemn the most bigoted and rabid of Muslims? By being mum to the brutalities of Taliban the Muslim ulemas are giving voice to those who perpetrate violence. What justification can we give to the condemnation of the likes of Modi and Sharon in future? What message is passed on to those who stand and fight for the cause of underprivileged and minorities in this country? Shouldn’t this usual tale of the ‘victim becoming the perpetrator’ be put to rest once and for all?
The threat from Taliban is not confined to Sikhs, Jews or Hindus. They are running amok with a real danger to the spirit of Islam. Non Muslims across the globe can secure themselves against any Talibani attack. They can build fences, walls and iron shields. But what happens to the global Muslim community? What fence can stop the condemnation of Islam in global drawing rooms? What wall can prevent the filtration of pure hate against Islam and its proponents amongst Sikhs? Where do we buy an iron shield to repel the cutting suspicious look against a bearded Muslim at an airport?
There are many who argue that Taliban does not represent true Islam. Definitely yes, they do not represent the common Muslim of the subcontinent. But unfortunately they have been made to appear as the face of real Islam in this polarized world. They are the ones who get the media attention and most unfortunately they are the ones who think that THEY represent Islam in their own brutal way. How much we may argue, for an innocent Westerner, Taliban is the face of Islam.
There is a war between moderation and fanaticism, between love and hate. The esoteric Islam of the subcontinent faces a monster in the new, cruel definition of the religion. It’s time we realize this danger before the monster grows too large to restrain. The means to contain this ogre are many. Physical force, debate, condemnation, every weapon in the armamentarium should be used. We are already fighting a losing battle. The tacit support of the Pakistani and American establishment at one time has fed the Taliban strong. It requires real commitment of the moderate Muslim forces in the region to come out and take the bull by its horns.
My heart aches for Jaspal Singh, who was murdered by a group of thugs who are the so called torch bearers of Islam. Can we imagine his pain and fear as he would have been finally dragged to the altar amidst a sea of drolly dressed men chanting “ Allah-o-Akbar”? What all might have gone through his head in his final moments? How detestable he would have been to Islam and its followers? His pain, his trepidation, his final gasps for breath, all for perpetrating the cause of Islam? I am sure that day, it wasn’t Jaspal Singh who was beheaded, it was Islam beheaded in Peshawar and we all should mourn this death.
Dr. Shah Alam Khan
Department of Orthopaedics
All India Institute of Medical Sciences
Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, INDIA
Read My Blog: http://www.indiaandbharat.blogspot com/.
Maulana Badruddin Ajmal condemns inhuman killing of Sikhs in Pakistan http://twocircles.net/2010feb24/maul_badruddin_ajmal_condemns_inhuman_killing_sikhs_pakistan.html
World Sikh News reports that “Sardar Sham Singh -the president of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandak Committee, former chairman of the PSGPC –Sardar Bishan Singh and Manmohan Singh –the chairman of the World Muslim Sikh Federation in a press conference here have said that the killing of Jaspal Singh was a clear case of kidnapping and ransom and there is no truth in the stories about forcible conversion to Islam.” http://worldsikhnews.com/24%20February%202010/Sikh%20killing%20in%20Peshawar.htm
New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has strongly condemned the gruesome murder of a person belonging to the Sikh community in Pakistan. Rajasthan Jamaat Islami President Engineer Muhammad Saleem termed the act as totally against Islam and seemingly carried out by the enemies of Islam and Muslims to malign their image and intensify enmity between the neighboring countries. http://twocircles.net/2010feb23/india_s_jamaat_islami_condemns_killing_sikhs_pakistan.html
Lucknow, Feb 23 (PTI) Terming the beheading of two Sikhs by Taliban in Pakistan as “shameful for the entire humanity”, eminent maulanas and the UP Sikh Pratinidhi Sabha here said the incident is “unislamic”. Addressing a press conference here, the maulanas condemned the incident and termed it as unislamic. Maulana Syed Ali Asharfi of Kichaucha Sharif said those indulging in such acts have no religion and the attacks carried out by them only earn a bad name for their respective religion. Principal of Nadvatul Ulema, Maulana Saeed-ur-Rehman Azmi Nadvi said even suicide is against the tenets of Islam and so those killing people in the name of jehad cannot be Muslims as no religion gives freedom to take the life of another human being. Imam-e-juma, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad Naqvi said such incidents are unislamic. http://www.ptinews.com/news/533166_Sikh-killings-in-Pak-unislamic—say-maulanas
New Delhi: February 22, 2010. (PCP) The South Asian Council for Minorities SCAM in a statement said that Muslim notables condemn brutal killing of Sikhs by Talibans. “We strongly condemn the brutal beheading of two innocent Sikhs by the Talibans in Pakistan“ said Navaid Hamid. The inhuman and un-Islamic act of killing innocent civilians has once again exposed the true face of the terrorists whose only aim is to use the name of Islam, the religion of peace and mercy, for their nefarious designs, ulterior motives and worldly pleasures. These are the people who denigrate the name of Islam and bring disrepute to all Muslims of the World. No civilized Muslim would accept the logic of killing innocents in the name of religion. Safeguarding the lives of its minorities from lawlessness, mayhem and protecting their lives and property is the paramount duty of an Islamic State. The continuous pressure on the Sikh community in Pakistan is alarming and demands urgent attention of civil society, religious leadership and the establishment in Pakistan. We appeal to the Government of Pakistan to immediately take strong steps against all those forces which are hell-bent on terrorizing minorities in the name of religion and ensure their safety and security. The statement is signed by Shaikh Ali Muhyuddin Al-Quradaghi, World Council of Muslim Scholars (Qatar), Hannan Mollah, former member of Parliament, India, Moosa Raza, Chairman, Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians (MOEMIN), Navaid Hamid, Secretary, South Asian Council for Minorities (SACM), Niaz Farooqui, Secretary, Jamiat Ulama e Hind, Nusrat Ali, Secretay General, Jamaat i Islami Hind, Shahid Lateef, Editor, Daily Inquilab, Mumbai, Shahid Siddiqui, Editor, Nai Duniya, New Delhi and Dr. Zafrul Islam Khan, Editor, The Milli Gazette, New Delhi http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/headlinenewsd.php?hnewsid=1766
New Delhi, Feb (PTI) Condemning the beheading of two Sikhs in Pakistan’s tribal belt, an umbrella body of Indian Imams today asked the Taliban “not to distort the image of Muslims in the name of Allah”. “We strongly condemn the beheading of the two kidnapped Sikhs in Pakistan. It’s very brutal and against Quran,” said Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, President, All India Organisation of Imams of Mosques, which claims to represent half a million Imams of India. http://www.ptinews.com/news/532320_Imams—Org-condemns-beheading-of-Pak-Sikhs