Last Friday the City of Love, Paris, was targeted by the ISIS, which claimed the lives of 127 people going about their everyday routines. Reports revealed that eight of these militants died while carrying out these suicide attacks and the other seven were taken into custody by the French authorities.

While the Western world observed a minute silence for those departed and injured the social media again exploded with a misplaced controversy over the embossment of a French flag on the Facebook users’ display pictures. While it is true that petty issues are constructed to become exaggerated debates on social media, there is truth in the fact that the Beirut and Iraq bombings on the same day went unnoticed. There was outrage. People wanted a fair share of remorse for the loss of civilians in these areas and others victimized by this wave of terror that is affecting more South Asian and Middle Eastern countries than the West. One must never forget that when we’re talking about humanity, the notion entails the idea that all innocent lives matter.

Few academics, to my dismay, have even labeled the Paris attacks as the French ‘asking for it’. I was disappointed at this. Sure countries like France are the ones fueling war in Syria and boiling down the Middle Eastern countries one by one, but the people can never be blamed for what the authorities and the policy makers are doing. Because if this stands true then one might also argue that the tens of thousands of lives we have lost in Pakistan following the 9/11 attacks was very well deserved because of our continuous involvement in Afghanistan, even before the hijacked plane hit the twin towers. We will not take this gruesome blame of course and proclaim that the preceding authorities are to be blamed, because we were also victimized in the process.  And by the same logic, the victims of the Peshawar Attack – our little martyrs – could be labeled as the ‘Pakistanis asking for it’. But no, we wouldn’t want that because our involvement in Afghanistan for more than three decades – the proxy wars and the drug smuggling – has been a strategic move vested for the preservation and advancement of our national interests. Our authorities were made puppets by the United States (because slavery is inherent to us) to serve the need for the continuation of the World Order in exchange for the spoils of war that could benefit our unlicensed weapon industry.

We wouldn’t want these names attached to us because Pakistan is a resilient nation, probably the most resilient. We fight terrorism, sacrificing our people for decisions that were never ours, but of those who did not hold our lives much dear. We thrive for development even when we do not have many means and we empathize with the victims of these militants because we go through this every day. And then we are still ridiculed for being Muslims and labeled as terrorists. But we know we aren’t and this is where we need to stop our selective mourning. There is no greater dishonor than when an innocent life is lost and a religion which only talks about bringing peace and harmony is erroneously presented as the religion of terrorism.

As people of the Book we pride ourselves with the wisdom of the human rights which can never be properly covered under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. But we lose that when we don’t condemn or mourn for the lives lost in Paris. The Western world may not care for the lives of us Muslims in different parts of the world, but by labeling the deaths at Paris as rightfully deserved is not what we our taught. If we continue to believe this then we are engendering a generation where the belief of a girl wearing a short skirt rightfully deserves to be raped stands because ‘she asked for it’.

What’s wrong is wrong no matter what. An innocent life lost – no matter if it’s a Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or an atheist – is a loss to humanity. It isn’t within us to decide whether it was deserved or not and how it would be dealt with by God.

As humans we need to make this world a better place, a safer place now that the world is becoming the most dangerous it has ever been. We have global forces at large and our authorities have their own ulterior motives. What we need to do is to stand united and fight this together because if we stand divided and debate on which life to mourn for, and for which life not to, we are actually playing to the tunes of forces like ISIS that are continuously striving to divide people.

When the world turns into ashes one doesn’t find a suitable victim to cater to. You find a human that deserves to live.

Therefore, I am a Muslim, Pakistani, Kashmiri, Bihari, Pashtoon, Kurdish, Syrian, Lebanese, Libyan, Egyptian, Tunisian, Iraqi, Palestinian, Yemeni, Somalian, Nigerian, Sudanese, Malian, Myanmese…