This is the most unfortunate thing that we now live in this world to see death alone—a normal phenomenon. Used to seeing arson, people burned to death, killed brutally by terrorists, and butchered in the name of religion and race, numbness has anesthetized our senses—“as of hemlock we have drunk”.
Humanity is so little left on this planet of humans that these images hardly shake our conscience. But the haunting image of a baby’s feeder bottle covered in (probably his own) blood left me traumatized. I’m quite able to take a lot of sad images but I found it difficult to move on with this one.
Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine is certainly not the first and already not the last, but like so many of my friends, this tragedy just took a more personal feel than it already was. Mainly because just after the blast a certain group of people, who have no regard for a human life, started blaming the victims and justifying the tragedy. They seemed to be less bothered by the fact that a suicide bomber killed hundreds of people and all they could talk about was their issues with the Dhamal – A Sufi practice where Sufi Muslims dance and listen to Sufi music to meditate and connect to God.
According to these people, since the Sufi Muslims were practicing a wrong version of Islam, their massacre was justified or not to be mourned in the least. They tweet like robots with no compassion or empathy. Their priorities are all messed up and their rigid self-righteousness always trumps humanity.
Then, there is another group of people who love to “condemn terrorism” with a lots of “ifs and buts”. They are the worst kind of hypocrites I’ve ever came across in my life. Throughout the year they’ll continue to call others infidel and wajib-ul-qatal (one who must be killed) and when someone (sharing their thoughts and beliefs) will kill them, they’ll start tweeting their condemnations to act like some ambassador of peace. They can’t and won’t even wait for the families of deceased to process their grief/loss and will start calling them (the victims) infidels again.
It’s hard to pull myself up after a tragedy like today’s. It’s even harder when public responses to such tragedies are so misguided and insensitive. It’s time we critically examined some of our knee-jerk reactions for what they actually imply, and especially how they would sound to those directly affected by such tragedy.
Apart from this one particular group that shares the ideology of the terrorists and thus always blame the victims, the others have equally misguided opinions. Some shrug off responsibility by saying ‘No Muslim can do this’ while the others thank God as ‘damage could have been more’. This rhetoric needs to change — even one life lost is one too many, and we’re talking about hundreds here. Lastly, the patriots love to blame India (even when Pakistani Taliban claims the responsibility).
Being Pakistanis, we don’t have to look far to be reminded of the evil that exist in our society, and at times, it threatens to consume us. And yet, as we mourn, I am reminded of some other important truths. Though it feels that the evil is winning, we still hope for a different end of this story. Because we still rest easy in the knowledge that there are some sane voices out there. Though weak and less in number, but seeing people standing against the terrorist’s ideology is a hope.