Source: The Malta Independent. Tuesday 6 January 2015. By: Laiq Ahmed Atif, President Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta, firstname.lastname@example.org
Inscrutable marks were left on the minds and memories of millions of people around the world on 16 December. The brutal, barbaric, heinous, cruelest, unimaginable, painful and inhuman attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, which left more than 140 people dead included 130 students, has shaken all people of conscience.
The attack was so horrible that one cannot find words to describe its intensity, agony and painfulness. Every room and wall of the attacked school tells a story of misery, hatred, killing and bloodshed. The floor became red with the sacred and pure blood of innocent children like flowers – which were not yet grown up fully to please the environment with their pleasant fragrance – were killed cold-bloodedly.
None of them had imagined on that cool morning when they were stepping towards their classes, with so many wonderful dreams in their eyes, that they will be attacked and their bodies will be left lifeless. Imagine their helplessness when terrorists attacked them, how they would have ran around the corners, how they would have screamed and begged for mercy, how they would have hid themselves under tables and desks where they used to put their books. Their innocent eyes and faces would have been asking questions such as why were they being attacked, what wrong did they do, and who can tell them their fault.
This incident exceeded all manner of barbarity. The large majority of victims martyred were innocent children some aged five, six and seven years and others ten, eleven and thirteen years. The younger ones would have probably had no idea of terrorism or extremism and perhaps did not know the difference between good and bad! Yet their lives were taken in a most brutal manner. It’s all painful. It’s unimaginable. It’s unbelievable.
What kind of Islam is this? What kind of Shariah is this? The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) had strictly forbidden the use of force against women and children of even non-Muslims, even during battle! When Prophet Muhammad engaged in an inevitable defensive battle, he clearly set principles and regulations of a war, and used to firmly order that: No woman be killed; no children be killed; the old not be impeded; no person be set on fire; no animal be killed; no tree be cut down; unlike your enemy, no person’s nose or ear be cut off.
And when he once questioned a Companion who had killed a Jew child in action, the Companion replied, O Prophet of God, he was only a Jew child killed by mistake, what does it matter? The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) replied, was he not an innocent child of man? Such was the standard of sanctity of humanity demonstrated to us by the blessed model of the Holy Founder of Islam, and look at the brutal actions perpetrated in the name of Islam now!
The Peshawar school tragedy is full of horrific stories. A student who was shot in both his legs recounted: “One of my teachers was crying as she was shot in the hand. She was crying in pain; one terrorist then walked up to her and started shooting her until she stopped making any sound. All around me my friends were lying injured and dead.”
One teacher said that when she heard firing she went out and saw that terrorists were firing indiscriminately on boys and girls, and children were falling down like dead leaves. One student said that he saw bodies of children who were fired on their heads and faces by terrorists. A female teacher, who very boldly stood in front of the attackers and asked them to stop killing the children, was set on fire and left in misery in front of children and died.
This brutality has left us all shaken. Like millions of people, my heart is also bleeding and I am extremely worried and upset. Terrorists have inflicted extreme pain and have injured the heart of mankind. So, I appeal that this incident should be taken as a point of no return against extremism. This should be a decisive moment for the entire world to unite with sincerity and fair will to curb this ever-increasing problem of extremism.
It is my fervent prayer that God soon rids the entire world of these vicious and wicked people. May Allah the Exalted cover all of the victims and those left bereaved with His mantle of Mercy and Love, and grant their parents patience and steadfastness. Amen