The Sindh Police have reportedly formulated a team of officers to conduct an investigation on the case of Noreen Laghari, a former student of Liaquat University of Medical Health and Sciences (LUMHS). She abandoned her home and education to pursue a much more dangerous path in life – joining DAESH.

Noreen was one of those arrested by the security agencies in an interception to prevent the terrorist attacks planned during Easter celebrations. Her role in all this, has deeply shattered the people of Sindh. They were unable to accept that an extremist women had emerged from within their society. Souls of great Sufi’s in Sindh, especially Hamal Faqeer (who’s teachings are common in the area she belonged too) would have been devastated to learn his message of love and affection had been corrupted by violent extremist ideologies. She rather choose to listen to them.

While the Sindh police taking up the case is an appreciative gesture, they should be aware that it’s not complicated. There is no scientific reason which proves why she chose to abandon her family, her studies and her promising future to join a terrorist organisation. The case is very clear but we are hesitant and rather unwilling to understand. It’s hard to believe she choose to join these forces out of her own freewill, not fear. There is another way besides force in dealing with terrorists.

Following the birth of Islam it spread quickly and smoothly, compared to other religions – including Christianity. No other religion could attain such acceptance amongst mankind, even thousand years later. In the first few hundred years after its birth, Islam spread as far as to Africa and the America’s. People choose to accept it not because of force but due to them being appealed to what it teaches. The teachings by Muhammad (PBUH) were of peace and tranquillity, and opposed violence. Hence they were happily accepted. The last prophet of Allah dedicated his life to teach other’s the proper way to live. He was tolerant and accepting of all human beings including his enemies. He (Muhammad, Peace Be upon Him) was a subject to extreme form of persecution by the people of Makkah, yet he forgave them. One of the last lessons taught by the messenger of Allah to mankind (in ambiguous words) was, - “to live with peace and not violate each other’s right as life and property of one Muslim is sacred for other”.

Another saying of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) reflects Islam’s disapproval of violence, - “Faith is a restraint against all violence, let no Man commit violence”. One of Hadiths states, on an occasion someone said to the Prophet, ‘Pray to God against the infidels and curse them.’ The Prophet replied, ‘I have been sent to show mercy and have not been sent to curse.’ These are all examples of what Islam really teaches.

As times changed, we so called educated people have started to forget the messages of Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) related to the peace and forbearance. We have left the positions of the mosque to be occupied by someone not worthy of it and we have let them exploit the place for their vested interests. We take none or very little interest in attaining the research and knowledge on our religion. In the words of Dr. Israr Ahmad ‘We do believe the religion as some ritual to be essentially performed through a Moulvi so we could remain a faithful’. These actions are all letting the once very peaceful and tolerant religion to be exploited by elements of intolerance and fanaticism. It is our own fault as we have allowed the rise of violent ideologies, which have taken over the mind-set of people.

It has allowed the followers of ‘doom and gloom’, the liberty to spread their ideology. They now have achieved the formidable power of eliminating any one on the pretext of being enemy from the ‘right path’- their own version of Islam. Though the people on the other front are an overwhelming majority, they are still fearful for the safety of their wellbeing. Their money, the lives of their children, their properties will be threatened. The only way to prevent the influence of these ideologies, is if we as individuals spread the message. The true messages of Allah would be able to trump the ideology of violence and destruction. This should be done to save the lives of the future generations.

When extremist have the liberty to dictate the terms to innocent people, the latter cannot do much to stop the former from committing sinful behaviour. Hence we must be ready to see more situations similar to Noreen’s. There will be many others amongst us who are innocent by birth, but are secretly getting influenced and corrupted by extremist teachings. As there is no one among us willing to the youth real virtues of Islam and the proper teachings of the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) out of fear, these incidents are bound to happen.


Karachi, June 24.