Murderous Righteousness: 70+ Killed in Two Attacks on Mosques in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

Posted on November 5, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice
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Adil Najam

Some 70 people are dead. Nearly a dozen of them were children. Most at a mosque in Darra Adem Khel as they assembled for Juma prayers. Others at a mosque in Sulaiman Khel during Isha prayers. According to Dawn, both were mosques frequented by anti-Taliban tribal elders in Northwest Pakistan.

The purveyors of hatred continue with their murderous spree. Their methods are extreme and extremely inhuman. But their pathology stems from the same pathology of righteousness that seems to thrive in a society where everyone seems to believe that we and we alone have a monopoly on truth and anyone who dares not agree, even in the slightest, with whatever we believe in should be crushed. The tactics of those who hate are the same everywhere. Assert your own righteousness. Hurt, not just to inflict pain, but to spread fear. Attack systemicly and systematically. Take no prisoners.

The institutionalization of righteousness and the instrumentalities of hate (grenades and a possible suicide jacket in this case) are killing us. And we need to confront the purveyors of hatred everywhere. As we have written so many times before, our first priority has to be to bring those committing these acts to justice, and visibly; but we need to be equally attentive to rejecting every other form of self-righteous hatred and loathing – because when we do not, then this is what hate leads to (I realize that these pictures are extremely graphic – which is why we have placed them after the break). Because hate breeds on itself. Small hate, left unchecked, becomes big hate. And this is what huge hate looks like.

16 responses to “Murderous Righteousness: 70+ Killed in Two Attacks on Mosques in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa”

  1. Gifts Pakistan says:

    It was really a tragic incident. I felt more grief and Sorrow for those innocent people when on Saturday I saw all Pakistani Channels were covering up the burial ceremony of a political leader in Karachi, but there was no coverage for those 70 people. Rehman Malik should have been there in Pakhtoon Kha on Saturday. Alaas. What kind of Nation we are, our hearts have become Stones. Pakistan Channels do not stop Dance and Music while giving these Sad News.

  2. Ahmed says:

    Lest we forget, the belief that “we alone have a monopoly on truth” is at the very root of our religion. The most fundamental belief is that Allah is the *only* God and Mohammed (PBUH) is the *only* prophet.

    That is very unlike eastern religions (such as Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Zen, Daoism etc) that believe that truth is not revealed but realised by introspection, with each individual following multiple paths. In this world view, these religions allow multiple realities and don’t generally proselytize.

    Now, there are people who take the “monopoly on truth” to the extreme. They are misguided and evil of course. But, they working within the basic framework of the religion.

    Ahmed

  3. Naan Haleem says:

    There is an interesting memory of my childhood which is disturbingly representative of the current happenings in Pakistan.

    It involves a short tempered widow living (with his college going son) across the street, some children of nearby houses and a fruit seller. The naughty school boys were fed up rather annoyed with the old woman as she would never return their balls falling in her house as a routine result of street cricket.

    The fruit seller used to bring his merchandise on the cart and, as a habit, would bang the door bells or knock at the doors of his usual customers to offer the day’s sale (a most common scene all around Asia).

    Once the widow had a heated argument with the cart-owner over the pricing and weight of fruit and she spit many harsh words to the man, who replied with comments on her stingy habits. The discourse ending with a loss of a customer to the fruit seller. The audience of this drama were the wicked schoolboys who immediately afterwards tried to snatch some oranges off the cart. The fruit seller responded with some small stones harmlessly hitting a couple of boys but enough to develop an animosity.

    The mischievous boys retaliated with a simple but two-edged activity. Every time the fruit seller appeared in the street (mostly in the afternoons), any of the boys would bang the door bell of the widow and run away instantly. The old women, emerging a moment later, would always take it that fruit seller has again banged the door bell either to sell the fruit or just to tease her in the middle of her nap.

    Every time this happened, there was a show and loud accusations and sarcastic comments became a common theme. The boys would swish past the cart at appropriate moment during the ordeal and grab a couple of fruits. Eventually the fruit seller had to change route and lose the customers in our streets.

    The same is happening in Pakistan. The residents of tribal region retaliated the drone attacks and army operation (almost always killing civilians) with attacks on military installations. They could do it only at a small scale and were instigated by individual revenge rather than organised activity. But anti-Pakistan forces (from the east of Pakistan and from the west of the world) found a window of opportunity in this new rivalry and developed a mercenary network codename Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

    TTP is totally different and separate from Afghan taliban as the later are resisting against American occupation and have no anti-Pakistan agenda (though they abhor and criticise Pakistan’s role in WAR OF TERROR).

    Poverty and illiteracy breeds ignorance which can be bought for only a couple of million rupees. TTP, funded by anti-Pakistan elements, is never short of money. Now, they are skill-fully playing the societal gap between the conservative and liberal sections of Pakistan. This year, they have taken a step further by attacking the mosques and shrines of saints all across Pakistan in order to create hatred among religious fractions (and they are successful).

    But with a single line statement of TTP accepting responsibility, all the guns are directed towards Islam and fundamentalist muslims. The fragile administration and elite class govt. (begging for money to run the economy or to embezzle) know everything but keep their mum just to maintain their rule.

    The agenda of so called TTP is to create fear, hatred, chaos and anti-islam sentiments across the society and to cripple the economy so much so that Pakistan could (if) survive only as per their desires. They wish to gain control of and destroy the nuclear defence system of Pakistan. At the same time, they need a strong base (possibly in Swat) to monitor and pressurize China.

    May I remind that the West used the term FUNDAMENTALISM as a threat towards them back in 80s and 90s. But had to rescind this term as a result of protests by several Muslim nations dubbing the drive as a new crusade. Later on, militancy and now terrorism are the new captions for the same philosophy.

    But, just like common Americans, we Pakistanis are also believing what we are being told on TV. When someone says “NO MUSLIM CAN DO IT”, has any of us tried to take this statement literally?

  4. sidhas says:

    We condemn these attacks but we need to identify and apprehend those who are behind these attacks. I think more and more of us stand behind condemning terrorism in all its shapes and form. Now it is time to take one step further and ask our government to do something about it.

    What can be done. That is the question. Many of us are all on board with ATP. The question now is what to do other than to condemn.

    Any thoughts.

  5. Wasif says:

    Why don’t we ever catch these people. I cannot imagine that any Pakistani supports them. These are all the cursed Taliban produced at Lal Masjid and other places and we shoudl really put an end to all these places.

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