Sympathisers and facilitators of Islamic extremist forces in the Pakistani mainstream media, representatives of clerical bodies and even some politicians of mainstream political parties, have long held that massacres, be they suicide bombings indiscriminately aimed at men, women and children in a Bazaar, or literal slaughter of security personnel of the country, or outright sectarian attacks on mosques or other places of worship, cannot be the work of Muslims. With this mantra they continue to misguide the very young, and the semi-literate of the country. Unfortunately for Pakistan, these two groups, the very young and the semi-literate, make up the vast majority of the population of Pakistan at this time.

These Gurus of equivocation and strife have long held all but Muslims responsible for the daily butchery of innocents ongoing in Pakistan – pointing here toward Hindus, there toward Jews and then toward Americans of any cast, creed or religion. The one group they remain focused on protecting are the very people who actually commit these crimes against humanity; the people who even claim responsibility for these acts publicly in pulpits and press conferences.

It must be acknowledged here that the fiends managing public confusion are anything but ignorant, young or uneducated themselves. Many quote the Quran and Sunnah to further their own ends. It is high time, therefore, that their aims, objectives and proclamations come under public scrutiny, and high time they be confronted every time they come up with this unfounded assertion to divert attention away from actual perpetrators to traditional enemies like India, Israel and the United States.

What can possibly be the objective of anyone attempting to mislead the public in this fashion? One shudders at the thought that these people are indeed knowingly advancing the agenda of extremists who seek to annihilate Pakistan as we know it. However, that is the only logical conclusion given their deliberate obfuscation of facts.

To take only one most recent example, popular television anchor Mubashar Luqman declared only a couple of days ago his “believe” that no Muslim could have instigated or perpetrated the Rawalpindi killings on the 10th of Moharram, darkly hinting at foreign hands. May one ask him, and all others of his ilk who chorus with one voice every time there is a Taliban or Al Qaeda attack on innocent Pakistanis, why he holds this belief. Is it that the media Taliban and their fellow miscreants deny facts of almost 1400 years of recorded history, or is it that they are arrogating to themselves the right to expel killers from the fold of Islam, in an attempt to facilitate a takeover of the state of Pakistan by the Taliban and Al Qaeda?

Each one who has ever publicly stated that the acts of terror and unbridled brutality Pakistan has seen in recent years, perpetrated in the name of religion on its hapless victims, were not committed by Muslims is hereby invited to answer a few questions.

Notwithstanding that none of those vying to impose their interpretation of religion on others today may be compared in any way, shape or form to deeply respected figures from early Islamic history, the questions of whether Muslims kill Muslims must be answered.

Which army in the Battle of the Camel, the one led by Hazrat Ali (Peace Be Upon Him), the fourth righteous Caliph, cousin, adopted son and son-in-law of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammed (PBUH),or the one led by Hazrat Aisha (Peace Be Upon her), favourite wife of Hazrat Mohammed, Mother of the Faithful, do they not consider Muslim? Either both armies were Muslim and killed each the other in acts of war, or one of them was non-Muslim (Naoozobillah), according to these charlatans. Would the present day Media and Political Moguls care to clarify?

Were Talha and Zubayr, Hazrat Aisha’s brothers-in-law, and two of the candidates nominated to the list of possible Caliphs by Hazrat Omar (Peace Be Upon Him), the second rightful Caliph, non-Muslim (Naoozobillah), or their assassins from within Hazrat Aisha’s (PBUH) army non-Muslim? Would their Holinesses, the sages of the religio-political parties and the media of present day Pakistan like to sit in judgment?

Was Hazrat Ali (PBUH) assassinated by a non-Muslim? Like the Taliban and Al Qaeda who have declared war on Pakistan, the Khawarjis who killed him considered themselves purer Muslims than Ali (PBUH). Will the shrieking hyenas anointing and de-robing Muslims give a verdict please?

Was Hazrat Othman (Peace Be Upon Him), the third rightful Caliph, or Mohammad Abu Bakr, the son of Hazrat Abu Bakr (Peace Be Upon Him), the first rightful Caliph, not Muslim? Or did Mohammed Abu Bakr not lead the assassination of Hazrat Othman (PBUH)? Who splattered Hazrat Othman’s blood on the walls and on the pages of the Quran, defiling it? Non-Muslims? Who severed his wife Naila’s, a Muslima, hand while she bent over him to save his corpse from further mutilation? Would these Saints care to clarify?

Muawiyya, the fifth Caliph, the fountainhead of the Islamic Umayyid Dynasty, cousin and brother-in-law of Hazrat Mohammed (PBUH), fought a three day battle at Siffin against Hazrat Ali (PBUH), right through the Night of Shrieking known for its “unearthly howls of men in mortal agony”. Muawiyya’s army was all but wiped out in the most gory of hand to hand battles known to history. Who do these men of the Book, bent upon leading astray unsuspecting masses into the arms of the Taliban and their kind, declare non-Muslim? Would they dare clarify?

It is best to leave it here, for there is much more in history alone to disprove the lies put about by those intent on obfuscating true but tragic facts. Suffice it to say that Taliban and Al Qaeda, very much Muslims, are at war with ordinary Muslims of Pakistan. Whether they employ conventional bombs, suicide bombers, or other terror tactics of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat and Sipah-e-Sahaba, will not change the fact that it’s a war they are fighting for territory and power. Pakistan army and the ‘armies’ of the extremists are all Muslim armies. Innocents sacrificed in this war are also Muslim.

However, in their efforts to shield the enemy, the deceptions deployed by the extremist lobby within mainstream society in Pakistan imply a most heinous dishonor to some of the most revered religious personalities for Muslims. Still, they do not desist from such antics in their aims, which are anything but innocent. These are the front men and women of the extremists within us – hoping to deliver Pakistan into the hands of the Taliban and Al Qaeda through the use of their golden tongues.

The writer is a human rights worker and freelance columnist.

gulnbukhari@gmail.com

 @gulbukhari