Recently, in Afghanistan a young girl by the name of Farkhunda was burnt alive by a mother who believed that she had torn the pages of the Quran in a holy place. No one checked the facts and the young girl was kicked, punched and burnt alive by a momb. How long will we allow this insanity to overpower our commitment to God?
Imagine how she was surrounded by a group of male shouting Allah o Akbar kicking, punching, hurling fists at her. Imagine how she was trying to shield herself and making her sure that her hair and face are not exposed to her attackers because that is how she was raised to live her Islam. Imagine her shirt is torn and her trousers pierced into pieces by the surging crowd. Imagine a weak, harmless, innocent girl surrounded by the so called vigilantes hurling stones and determined to kill her.
This is not a figment of imagination. This happened in Afghanistan, the place that once boasted of having several Islamic school run by Muslim women. This happened in Afghanistan, where Taliban are claiming to have established an Islamic Emirate. This happened in a community whose members begin everything in the name of Allah, the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate. It happened in March, 2015, the month the world observes as a month of women.
This happened to a daughter of Islam under a false accusation. The fathers, and the brothers could not stop the crowd, rather they joined it and did what they believed was God’s work. None from the local masajid, those who claim to be spokespersons of God came to her rescue. They were, rather, among those who were inciting the crowd and serving their creator. No one asked: Is the accusation against her false or true? No one gave her a chance to speak. No one bothered to have a merciful glance at her. After all, they were the ones serving the most merciful and mercy giving.
The heavens did not tremble. The mercy of the one who created her was not there to save her. He watched her burnt alive. He watched her suffer because he has prepared a reward for her in the world yet to come. This is not new. Throughout history, people are killed in his name and He prefers not to intervene for reasons he alone knows. But as a weak human beings who finds it hard to stop his tears at the brutality meted out to fellow human beings in the name of the one he submits, there are questions. Even at the peril of being ostracized, these questions must be raised because that is the only way to seek guidance and find a way out.
What kind of creator He is, who let His creation suffer and die in his name for no crimes of their own. What kind of creator he is who, while asking to sing his glory, let His innocent creation be humiliated and destroyed without even any move to protect them, especially, when those who are committing horrible crimes are committing in His name and using his scriptures to justify their action?
His silence is unexplained.
Why would He let the powerless and voiceless suffer in His name. Is this burning of the real martyr an isolated incident. This is not an isolated incident. Violence in the name of God is a reality in the Muslim world. In some countries we stone fornicators and adulterers to death. In others, we kill people of different sects, in others we blew mosques and religious sites with people praying.
We, who claim ourselves to be Muslims, then use religious justification to kill, rape, destroy and bring unspeakable harm to none other than Muslims. We occasionally in the name of resistance throw a few missiles at enemies that do not cause any harm, yet result in retaliation leading to the murder of hundreds of innocent.
We attribute all this to God giving comfort to our masses that we are doing this in the name of God, in the name of the most merciful.
In the name of Shia-Sunni doctrine we have killed many. In the name of hijab and non-Hijab, we have killed many. In the name of beard and non-beard, we have killed many. In the name of nationalism and ethnicity we have killed many.
We the ones who claim that we are the most blessed nation ever created; We, the ones who claim that we are the best people ever raised for humanity; We the ones who claim that we are the recipient of the last message of the divine; We, the ones, who claim that our prophet is the prophet of mercy and compassion; We, the ones, who never feel tired of lecturing the world, how wrong others are and how right we are; We, the ones’ who keep on reminding ourselves how pious and holy we are because we pray so much and fast so much and perform pilgrimage so much, yet when it comes to defending human life including the ones we have differences with, we remain confined in the apathy of our ideas., We have become so insensitive to human sufferings in the name of God, that nothing moves us. We always try to justify the violence by putting blame on this or that. We say others are engineering it in our community and our country.
We have become a nation that is bent to destroy ourselves. If we are not committing physical violence, we are committing verbal violence against each other. We are character assassinating each other, we are backbiting each other, we are cheating each other, we are speaking hatred against each other. We are destroying each other under the influence of greed. We have become so much obsessed with gender issues that we are willing to do anything to maintain male superiority.
Yet, in our masajid, a game of hypocrisy is played out. With holier than thou attitude, we try to convince ourselves that we are the best.
It is time to critically examine ourselves, I mean our attitude, our understanding of faith and our commitment to the divine. It is time to look at our families and see how we have been raising our younger generation. It is time that we look at the way we run our organizations and masajid. But more important, it is time we create a community of those who truly believe in compassion, love, kindness and mercy. If we have to live our faith, we have to turn our hearts into the places of prostration to the divine, we have to create our families as the new masajid and we have to move away from the crowd controlled by the gatekeepers of Islam who are quick to turn the mercy of God into the fury of His creation.
We create this community on the basis of values that make us behave humans with rights and respect for all. This community can be created only those who truly are conscious of the real divine message, the message of oneness of humans and mercy and kindness to all with no hatred towards anyone. These are trying times and they require our serious commitment to our faith. If we remain silent at this juncture, more Farkhundas will be burned alive and brutality and violence reign supreme in the name of God.