Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gul Makai in Timbaktu

Yesterday was a very bad day. Nothing happened to me but you never know. God forbid. Two reports that came out yesterday really hammered in hard the fact that Islam today is being eaten by a cancer and that it requires therapy on urgent basis.

Who, Where & Why - I

A 14 year old girl, Malala Yousafzai, was shot in Swat yesterday. Her shooters? Messers Taliban and Co. Why? because '"She was pro-West, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her ideal leader... She was young but she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas." Ehsanullah Ehsan, Taliban Spokesman, said by telephone from an undisclosed location. And people actually praise the Taliban? They shot an unarmed 'teen girl' just to settle the scores? That is an insult to religion, chivalry, Pushtun culture and humanity and everything in between. Malala used to write a personal blog on BBC under the name of Gul Makai in which she described Taliban atrocities and lamented the lack of education facilities for girls under their rule.

She did that when she was only 11 years old and Taliban ruled the valley of Swat terrorizing its people and inflicting misery upon them through their strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law. In recognition of her courage, she was awarded the First National Peace Award by the Pakistani Govt. She was also nominated for International Children's Peace Prize in 2011. 

Who, Where & Why - II

The place is called Timbaktu. Its a city in the west african nation of Mali. Do you know it holds a special place in muslim civilization? Timbaktu became the London of Africa in 12th century when it was the trade route of salt, gold, ivory and slaves. It had the Sankore Madrassa which was the largest library of its time containing precious books. It could house 25,000 students. Timbaktu was the centre of knowledge and still has treasure trove of books dating back to 12th century which contain amongst others Arabic manuscripts, books ranging on topics from Islam, Philosophy, Maths and Astronomy.

Now Timbaktu is in the news because a local Islamic militia 'Ansar Dine' is exerting influence in Mali. They too have a strict interpretation of islamic shariah. They have recently been busy smashing the ancient tombs of Mali calling them idolatry. Deja Vu eh? Correct. Taliban did the same to the famous Bamiyan Buddha statue of Bamiyan, Afghanistan. The tombs are part of International Heritage.

The Who, Why and what the hell?

See the link? Malala Yousafzai and city of Timbaktu are threatened by whom? The same set of ideology. Call them Ansar Dine (Mali), Boko Haram (Nigeria), Shehab (Somalia) or Taliban - they all are of the same creed. They all believe in strict implementation of Islamic sharia law - and that too forcefully. For them, every other person, who does not conform to their point of view, is a non-muslim and hence 'deserves' to be punished. Women are the target of most scorn and education (western that is) will be eradicated as it is a handy work of satan. They will use all the legitimate grievances (lawlessness, crime, poverty, political instability etc) to further their vested interest of gaining power under the name of Islam. They are bunch of criminals and thugs and not the 'pure muslims' they portray themselves to be.

Call me bigoted, but I think the root cause of all them is Salafism. Salafists believe that the teachings at the time of Prophet, people associated with him and society of that time was the best model to be followed.  Every other thing is just heresy. People might argue that salafism is not the problem but Wahhabism is. Call it whatever, this brand of islam does not let the 'other' opinion and has gained militant form.  Let me rephrase - the ideology of salafism, though pure in nature, is currently being held hostage by people whose aim is just to gain power in the garb of Islamic shariah law. This is a cancer which needs to be treated. Islamic societies in general and especially of Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan and Mali need to reign in this strand of sunni islam.  Maldives is currently being threatened as well but they have not yet taken hold of it.

People of Pakistan have to rise up to this form of extremism that is creeping up and eating inside out the society of Pakistan. Today it was Malala Yousafzai, someone else's daughter,  Tomorrow it might be yours. Let Malala be the rallying cause for ordinary Pakistanis who want peace and nothing else. She is a special soul, may she be the guiding light of future generations of Pakistanis. May she be the force that changes the mindset of clergy and people who condone acts of Taliban unknowingly and totally being oblivious to the fact that they are committing murder.


Related Post
- Why Do I Hate The Taliban

1 comment:

Sophi said...

How unfortunate of us, we all know each bit of Harvard and oxford, how many of us know about sankore madrassah? I swear i heard it for the first time and felt ashamed when searched details about it.

And may Allah bless malala with healthy long life!!