More than a hundred innocent children were killed by the Taliban today in Pakistan’s Peshawar. Many were injured. Teachers were burnt alive. All in the name of religion.
Nurturing a cruel thought in your mind implies you are cruel. I remember having read something to that effect long ago in Dag Hammarskjold’s little classical diary, Markings.
How cruel must one be in order to line up innocent children and fire bullets into their hearts? And they call that religion!
Like most religious fundamentalist organisations, the Taliban was born out of a conflicting mix of passions: hatred towards certain sections of people and a childish longing for an ideal world.
Mullah Omar was a barely literate jihadi who had lost his right eye fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. In 1994 he witnessed a local warlord eliminating an entire family, not before raping every girl in it. The incident put the fire in the romantic soul of Mullah Omar. He vowed to restore the true sharia in Afghanistan. He went from madrassah to madrassah enlisting volunteers for his ‘noble’ cause. Soon the Taliban was born. It recognised no Islam but their own. It imposed its will on the people. It became the law.
True to the spirit of such romantic dreams, it elected Omar Amir-ul-Momineen, Commander of the Faithful, in 1996. In no time, the Mullah became the successor of the Prophet himself and declared jihad on anyone who opposed the Taliban.
Thousands of people have been killed all over the world by this organisation which grew out of an infantile dream and much hatred. People like Osama bin Laden, “idealist and romantic, dreamer of past future glories and perhaps even harbouring apocalyptic visions of martyrdom” (as described by Charles Allen in his book, God’s Terrorists) and the learned Dr Ayman al-Zawahri lent their support to the Taliban dreams. Pakistan’s ISI used the organisation for its political purposes. And today, there it strides all over the world like the Frankenstein monster.
How do we save ourselves from such monsters who come donning the garb of the Messiah?
We, the ordinary people, are quite helpless. We can question them. We can refuse to support them. We can speak against them, write against them, teach against them. What more can we do?
We are the hapless children of Peshawar.
Politicians use such monsters for their own nefarious objectives. Politicians create them too.
Ignorance is the root cause of such diabolical forces which masquerade as holy outfits, custodians of public morality and guardians of gods.
They have existed throughout human history in one form or another. When will mankind be redeemed from these redeemers?