The Taliban within

As the nation takes on terrorists, religious extremism is still on the rise



‘Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.

Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero’

A hundred years after Khalil Gibran wrote these words, we fit the profile of the doomed nation that he mourned. As if showering rose petals on killers was not enough, in a recent episode of depravity, a handful of ‘devout’ Muslims displayed their piousness like never before. They set on fire an Ahmedi family’s house in Gujranwala; killing three people including two minors on the allegations of blasphemy. Other than taking life of an eight month old, the incident also resulted in a miscarriage of a seven month old unborn child. To further boast their bravery, the crowd later gathered to celebrate their act with their hands up in the air accompanied by jubilant roars. We have become a nation that glorifies assassins and celebrates murders. Pity on us, indeed.

Today, Pakistan is marred by religious extremism, intolerance, bigotry and hate. To compound the irony, all these menaces, which are far from the true values any religion, are perpetuated in the name of Islam in our society. But how did we get here? Ofcourse, it did not happen overnight; our trajectory of moral decadence was steadily shaped both by the political elite and religious leadership. But one name specifically rings a bell. The name is Zia.

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