LOST PRIDE. By Rabia Ather

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From last 9 years are struggling for our pride, fighting to remove the label of terrorist. Islam is considered to be the most dangerous religion in the world. Muslims are not even considered human these days. There are always some cruel intimates in a society but that doesn’t mean that the whole society is corrupt. Taliban have blemished the reputation of Muslim Ummah. The concept of Jihad is misunderstood by people. It is actually a holy war or striving in the way of Allah. It doesn’t mean to kill innocent people. It’s a war which can be against one’s own self i.e. Jihad an nafs (to fight against one’s own impulsive wishes).
The real meaning of Jihad is to save humanity and Islam. These Taliban are not Muslims. A Muslim is one who cannot take one’s life as it is highly condemned in Islam. As Allah says in Surah Furqan verse no. 68 “And those who do not call any other god along with Allah and do not take the life which Allah has declared unlawful.” Islam raises peace and harmony. Instead of wars, Allah and His prophet have always urged to go for a pact whenever a conflict occurs.
For centuries, various acts of terrorism are being carried out in different parts of the world by different groups for different purposes. Sometimes a communist organization, sometimes a fascist group, and sometimes radical and separatist factions assume responsibility for these acts. While countries like America often become the target of the attacks of racist and marginal terrorist groups, the European countries become the centre stage for violent acts carried out by terrorist groups. 17 November in Greece, RAF and Neo-Nazis in Germany, ETA in Spain, Red Brigades in Italy and many other organizations seek to make their voices heard through terror and violence by killing innocent and defenceless people heinously. Terrorism changes with the developing and changing world conditions and steps up its impact and power with the new means made possible by the developing technology. In particular, mass communication tools such as the Internet extend the scope and influence of the terrorist activities considerably.
The aggressors commit violence only with the intention of attacking religion itself. It may well be that they carried out this violence to present religion as evil in the eyes of people, to divorce people from religion and to generate hatred and reaction against pious people. Consequently, every attack made in the name of "religion" on innocent people is actually an attack made against religion.
We the Pakistanis ourselves are a victim of this terrorism. It shows clearly that we are not terrorist but some other group is doing it to blight the aura of Muslims especially Pakistanis. Pakistanis are neglected everywhere in the world. It seems that we are not human. All kind of nurturing opportunities are closed for us now. People avoid sharing that they are Pakistani because they won’t be able to survive in their desired unit.
“Islam loves peace and concord. God calls to the Abode of Peace and He guides whom He wills to a straight path” (Qur'an 10:25). The name or the identity of the triggerman is not important. If he can kill innocent people without blinking an eye, then he is a nonbeliever, not a believer. “Islamic terror” is an erroneous concept which contradicts the message of Islam. Love humanity because God loves those who love his fellowmen. Spread love and condemn terror.
We are divided into religious and regional groups today Shia, Sunni, Barelvi, Wahabi, Sindhi, Pathan, Punjabi etc that’s all we consider. Where is a Muslim? Who allowed us to discriminate when we know very clearly that Islam doesn’t allow discrimination? It is highly condemned. What do we expect from ALLAH that He will mercy on us? Why? Just because we are Muslims no, not at all, to be a Muslim is not an easy task, we must be aware of the responsibilities of a Muslim. Take a look and seek where we are wrong? Why we have come to this situation? Why are we fighting among ourselves? We are brothers to each other than who is the one who formulated the concept of bias? Who gave the wrong concept of emancipation of women? Does a Muslim women need to wear half naked clothes? Does fashion means to shorten your trousers and throw your shawls? No that’s not fashion it’s an ignominy of Muslim women. Think critically, who are we following? Kufars like Abu Sufiyan or true Muslims exemplars like Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Ali?
We need to assess ourselves otherwise the time is near when the whole world will be against us and on that time ALLAH won’t help us because God helps those who help themselves.
Let’s make a resolution to ourself today that we will take part in creating a good image of Islam and Pakistan. We will foster peace. We will work mutually with all our brothers to get back our lost dignity. We will judge a vogue before adopting it.

(Rabia Ather is with Mass Communication, University of Karachi)

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