By Rabia Ahmed Pakistan Today
Although their cause is political and has nothing to do with religion, and even though the majority of Muslims reject their views and actions, the terrorists nevertheless called ‘Muslim’ maim and kill in the name of Islam.They have their clones.
On the 22nd of July 2011, Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb outside the prime minister’s office in Oslo, then drove to a nearby island where he deliberately picked off teenagers with his firearms at a youth camp organised by the Norwegian Labour party. Seventy seven people died as a result of these attacks, the youngest a fourteen year old. All these people, according to Breivik, ‘looked leftist’. The ones he thought ‘looked right wing’ and conservative were spared.
Muslim immigration into the country was the declared reason for Breivik’s anger against the political left. One man’s meat is obviously another man’s poison. Breivik held the Labour government responsible for opening Norway’s borders which, in his eyes constituted Labour’s betrayal of the Norwegian people and according to him justified his actions and affirms his sanity.
Clearly, ‘mujahideen’ everywhere are blind, and also to the suffering they cause, and the disrepute they bring to their cause whatever that cause may be.‘I acted in self defence,’ said Breivik in a statement, ‘on behalf of my people, my religion, my ethnicity, my city and my country,’ and he mentioned a song ‘My Rainbow Race,’ sung by Norwegian children the lyrics of which he said had influenced young Norwegian culture and softened the attitude of Norwegian youth towards immigration.
Last Thursday therefore around 40,000 Norwegians gathered in Oslo’s Youngstorget Square and sang that very same song in defiance and rejection of Breivik’s views. There were no hysterics and no violence.‘One blue sky above us,’ they sang, ‘One ocean tapping all our shore. One earth so green and round, who could ask for more?’ Such sentiments of human brotherhood and unity were obviously not appreciated in all quarters.
It is something of a custom in certain countries to protest by means of song. This is the other side of the coin to the one we in Pakistan perceive, because its flip side is the one that affects us most. When silent aircraft drone across our borders and kill our people and maim our children, their blood splashes across the pages in our hands as it should. It is difficult, when that happens to check emotion. And yet the Norwegians did so.
Pete Seeger an American who wrote the lyrics to this song is now ninety. Some of his other songs have been sung in support of various causes including in protest against the Vietnam War.The forty thousand Norwegians sang softly in the rain last week waving roses as they sang:‘And because I love you, I’ll give it one more try to show my rainbow race it’s too soon so die’An attack on a Shia parade on Ashura in Peshawar wounded twenty six persons and killed a two year old toddler.
‘Some folks want to be like an ostrich, bury their heads in the sand’A senior government spokesperson accused the media of sensationalising news because there were no target killings in Karachi (the previous day), and said the deaths that day were ‘natural’ and ‘due to personal enmities and accidents.
’‘Some hope that plastic dreams can unclench all those greedy hands’The ephedrine scam, regardless of who it involves, has led to a shortage of essential life saving drugs in the country; this shortage could become dire in the next few days leading to loss of life.
‘Poison, bombs, they think we need ‘em. Don’t you know you can’t kill all the unbelievers? There’s no shortcut to freedom.’Breivik admitted to killing seventy seven people in Norway. In other cases around the world responsibility for terrorism is proudly shouldered by various militant groups, whose manifestoes enshrine hatred towards someone else.
‘Go tell, go tell all the little children. Tell all the mothers and fathers too. Now’s our last chance to learn to share, what’s been given to me and you.’
And what has been given to us says:41:33, 34 - ‘And good and evil deeds are not alike. Repel evil with good. And he who is your enemy will become your dearest friend.’ The Quran.
It is our choice, whether we share our gifts with poison and more bombs, or gently, with firm actions and resolve. To expect our lot, poor, downtrodden, long suffering, to sing is too much to expect at present, but surely some sanity from above…?
Published in Pakistan Today 30 April 2012http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/?p=181430