Children of a Lesser God
By Nadia Naeem
“Mankind is the family of God, and Allah loves him who treats His family good” [Hadith]
Note, this is a figurative Hadith and thereby I have made a figurative title. It does not mean that God has a spouse, siblings, or children.
She ran out of the house with a beating heart; a heart beating with premonition, beating with fear, beating with denial. Her child’s school had been attacked by terrorists. Was her son safe? She could not put the question to herself in any other way.
As the city of Peshawar witnessed a mad rush of parents, people and police towards the Army Public School, hearts sank, cries arose and the stench of blood and smoke filled the skies. There were wails. There were woes. There were cries. Had the Last Hour arrived?
There are no words to describe the horror of children under attack. There are no words to describe the trauma of the parents whose child has possibly been killed. There are no words to describe the tragedy of carrying out dead bodies of children. Some would have wished … lo the Last Hour had truly arrived, so that they would not have to face the reality of their dead children.
The atmosphere was electrified with shock, grief and a mad quest for revenge. Sadly, the revenge does nothing to avenge the grief but is the only natural way out for piqued anger. And a deterrent message for potential future culprits.
Messages of condolence started to arrive from all over the world to Pakistan, but the public of Pakistan did not want condolences. The public of Pakistan was brimming with an unmasked and unleashed desire for retribution. The attackers were already dead. Who to punish?
The organizations to which these terrorists belonged? Their leaders? Their other members already in the police custody as culprits? This seemed a good starting point. Hence, Pakistan started executing the death penalty on death-warranted criminals three days after the Peshawar School Massacre.
It was the first-aid upon the wounds of wounded parents and a wounded nation. However, suddenly, the international community arose to the defence and rights of terrorists. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, human rights organization Amnesty International and super power America spoke that the death penalty is against human rights!
America? Where itself the death penalty is carried out via gunshot, poisonous injection, electrocution and what not? America? Who hanged the Iraqi President Saddam Hussain on the morning of the Eid Festival of the Muslims? America? Who raced across half of the planet Earth on their jets and carpet bombed civilians, women and children of Afghanistan in their quest for Osama bin Laden after 9/11? America can award the death penalty to the entire nation of Afghanistan but the death penalty against individual terrorists of Pakistan is against human rights? And Israel can award the death penalty to all the Palestinians put together but the death penalty against individual terrorists of Pakistan is against human rights? And the witnessing world can award the death penalty to the helpless Bosnians but the death penalty against individual terrorists of Pakistan is against human rights?
It is not so, but because of the fact that we are children of a lesser god.
We are the third-world countries. I have read so in academics since childhood. But I always thought it meant in the economic and developmental sense. I did not know that human rights also have categories. It now seems that there are separate human rights for first-world countries and separate human rights for third-world countries.
But! Bangladesh is also a third-world country. They have recently hanged members of Jamat-e-Islami for their loyalty to Pakistan during the separatist war of 1971 between the then West Pakistan and East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. Why they were not condemned?
Hmmm, it seems that the differentiation factor is else. It is not the economy or the geography or the ethnicity but it is religion. That is why secular Bangladesh was given amnesty for hanging human beings while Pakistan is being condemned.
Ironically, Pakistan itself has doled out the same kind of injustice to its own people. As America went into a mad rage after 9/11, whence five thousand of its citizens were killed and its twin symbols of economy were brought down, it bullyed Pakistan into forming an alliance with America in its war-of-terror. As a result, fifty thousand plus of our people have died and our economy has depleted. Do you get the mathematics? More than ten times of our people have died to avenge the death of five thousand Americans and in response to their symbols of economy, our entire economy has fallen.
Who agreed to this mathematics? The government and policy-makers of Pakistan.
Sadly, instead of seeing light somewhere along the tunnel, we are adamantly floundering on with the blindfold of dollars on our eyes.
As the world bears down on us, pressurizing us not to punish our terrorists, they treat us like children of a lesser god. And as we bear down upon our own people; selling, expelling and killing them at the wand of America, we treat them like children of a lesser god who do not have the right to say ‘Ouch’.
I end by quoting two quotations.
First, for America,
“I tremble for my country when I reflect God is just; His justice cannot sleep forever.”
– Thomas Jefferson, American Founding Father
Last, for Pakistan,
“In the end, we will remember, not the actions of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.