Tuesday, September 25, 2012 -
From Print Edition
The Ishq-e-Rasool Day ended in violent rioting, loss of over a dozen human lives, burning of cinemas, banks, shops, police vans and private vehicles. Were the people at the helm thinking that the day would pass without any violence and killings? Once the people are on the roads, it is impossible to keep them away from violence. As a result of such protests, we only cause harm to ourselves in terms of killings and destruction of property. By causing harm to our own country and people, we actually are fulfilling the desire of those who cause such insinuations. Our reactions give life support to such lunatics and bigots.
What is the justification for killing dozens of innocent persons, burning American franchises, private and government vehicles, petrol pumps, banks and shops? There are other ways of launching protests, for example, submitting a million-signature paper protest, through the United Nations, to the governments of the countries where such lunatics live. We should pressure our government and the so-called religious leaders to condemn such violent protests which are not only un-Islamic but also grossly inhuman. Our government, in this instance, acted as a sponsor rather than a controller of violent demonstrations. We should also call upon the host governments of such bigots to give them hard punishments, which they deserve in view of the harm they are doing to the world social order, even though it may presumably be admissible under the ‘freedom of speech’ provisions. Possibly, the freedom of speech act is being stretched too far.
US Senator John Kerry has stated that his country has nothing to do with the blasphemous film and that he deeply condemns it. One wonders if this statement is enough to heal the wounds this film has caused to the billions of Muslims around the globe. Surely, a law could be found in America to prosecute the filmmaker and other instigators like that Florida pastor Terry Jones. That would partially soothe the agitated nerves of Muslims. But is America pushed? Back home, newspaper headlines scream that demonstrations around the globe have been held peacefully except for Pakistan where, shamefully, death and destruction reigned. What has become of this nation?
Almost a dozen persons have been killed and several injured. Banks, gas stations and buildings have been looted and torched. Is this the way we defend the dignity of our Holy Prophet who brought the message of peace and suffered in silence the aggression and abuse hurled at him by his opponents? Are we barbarians? This very unfortunate situation calls for deep introspection and enquiry. It is the responsibility of the state to hunt down and punish those who caused death, destruction and mayhem.
Hameed Akhtar Niazi
An office colleague narrated this incident which horrified me. One of her friends, an air hostess, was driving back to her home on the Islamabad Expressway when she was stopped by protesters. At first the protesters started hitting her car with sticks. She managed to drive away from that group of hooligans but then another group stopped her, forcefully took the car from her and then burnt it.
The rowdy protestors than deprived her of her mobile, money and other valuables. Why did this young lady have to suffer loss of her vehicle and valuables when she had nothing to do with the blasphemous movie? Is this how we show our respect for our beloved Prophet?
Syed Hussein El-Edroos
A church in Mardan was among the many buildings that were torched on the Ishq-e-Rasool Day. The Christians of Pakistan have nothing to do with the blasphemous film. Why then was their church destroyed and their holy books burnt? Would the Holy Prophet, who is believed to be Rehmat-ul-Alamin, have approved of such madness?