Posts Tagged ‘extremism’
An All Parties Conference [APC] (APC used to be a pill for headaches and pains or a war machine and these APCs are neither) was called, which constituted a committee to hurriedly take its time to come up with a National Action Plan (acronym NAP), which as the politicians keep dithering, keeps meeting endlessly.
Time wasted and opportunity lost and terrorism continues diverting attention from the task at hand.
Just another case of what was so cynically defined by Sir Barnett Cocks, a clerk in the UK’s House of Commons, as “a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.”
And in our context is this not just another case of the committee set up by a conference being caught NAP-ping!
As the much hyped government Taliban negotiations, make headline news, allegations, counter allegations, conditions and counter conditions, go on, the people are left in a state of disbelief, for talks and bombing, killing, goes on in parallel.
Do the dead and wounded and those who survive care for the outcome, or want as decisive an action as the extremists undertake?
take a breath
deep if you can
or even shallow
as you always do,
feel the pain
the scathing burning
acrid taste of burning
tearing down your throat
smell of flesh, clothes and wood
tinged with explosives
even as you look away
and cover your nose
the throat tells you, you have
just been exposed to
a bomb blast.
and as you run
you stumble and fall
shocked to see
beneath your feet
bleeding, torn, incinerated
and you stand in shock
and one thought
why us? rises
above all in your mind
and you wonder if the
negotiations touted as the
mother of all talks
will have any effect?
and even if they do
will the result of these
bring back the humanity
you just stepped on
back to life
being able to love
and you can see the
writing on the wall
seen by all
but those who matter
confused and unsure between
oblivious to the pain,
loss, suffering and feelings
for they have not suffered
hiding behind their high walls
long convoys in duplicates
moving along different routes
jammers, rerouting traffic
and all spent on the
alter of expediency, the
dead, maimed and wounded
unseen, unsung, unheard.
change, for the sake of your people
your mindset, and realize
and eye for an eye
was written for such as these!
February 13, 2014
i thought i had posted this here when i wrote it, and only today found i have not:
at fourteen she has
so much to live for
but surely not
a bullet in her head
to show the cowardice
of those who can not
stand up and face
a girl of fourteen
because her stand
in their face
makes them afraid
of an idea that she represents
and which may
cast doubts among
the professed guardians
of a religion to which belonged
aisha the wife, all of malala’s age
nasibah steadfast at ohad
fatima the daughter of muhammad (pbuh)
mother to hassan and hussain, wife of ali
zainab bint ali too among the names
umm e kulsum wife of usman
and a list of brave
learned, revered women
negated due to their deliberate desire
of ignoring history and narrative
of fourteen hundred years and more
taught, recounted and remembered
but they in their narrow interpretations
seeking to create a cult militant
ignorant, short on truth
long on hate of things that
go against their desire of leading
neither ijmah nor questioning
where the khalifa got the cloth
to make a full shirt
or having two lamp with oil
from the state and self
for work and leisure.
and all this threatened
by a girl of fourteen
wanting to be like
the women of Islam
taught to her by her teachers
ingrained in her mind by parents
practiced by her daily
seen happening in life
and a bullet to the head
to end the life at fourteen
hanging to life in a hospital
by a tenuous thread
are the perpetrators
so afraid now
that a fourteen year old
that too a girl
becomes a threat to their edifice
made like a house of cards
one voice of a girl
against all odds
October 10, 2012
yesterday July 01, 2013 i stood in the D Chowk Islamabad, to protest the bombings in Quetta and Peshawar, and the general terrorism related situation in Pakistan.
more than us who stood there, were the security and police in evidence, as if we were not there to protest the bombings but to carry out bombings!
we need a government effort, in earnest and in all dedication to rid the country of this menace!
we had a follow up on 29 Nov, to the 04 Oct, interaction with students at SIL.
well attended, and great interaction session, the students came prepared with the questions i had sent, and their search was in the right direction.
the questions answer session was intense and informative, and i found this group of youth to be fully aware of the ill’s of extremism, and active in “Saying No to Terrorism”
yesterday, sunday 14 october 2012, at 4 pm, i stood at the liberty market roundabout in Lahore, Pakistan, as part of the protest march in favor of Malala Yousafzai holding her picture and placards. the protest was the culminating event of the two day Khudi-Pakistan Festival of Ideas 2012 http://www.khudipakistan.com/
as i stood with the almost 200 other participants and looked at the cars driving past, slowing, looking, some smiling, some waving, some shaking their head at another protest and drive away. i could not help wonder if they (the people in the cars) really had a clue of the trauma, pain, suffering, nightmares, that people who like Malala’s family have had to face in this continuing “war of terror” in silence, and torment.
and i prayed to Allah to have the people of Pakistan, saved so far from this exposure to remain safe and never have to face this.
Talk at School of International Law
Thursday 04 October 2010. Tahir Wadood Malik, Founding Director Pakistan Terrorism Survivors Network
MY TALK “Pakistan, Terrorism/Violent Extremism and Us,” at the School of International Law, thanks to an earlier informal interaction with students arranged by Ms. Nida Tareen, the Director / Principal, attracted a good number of students despite the Semi-finals of the T20 Cricket World Cup between Pakistan and Sri Lanka later that evening.
I STARTED the talk with a reference to how we have become so immune to extremism that we ‘change the TV channel’ when this news comes on. I followed this with how Islam prohibits extremism, and suicide. Then highlighted that this narrative was obviously not working because a number of youth still get radicalized, and vulnerable youth were joining the ranks of the extremists. Which gives rise to the question whether this extremist movement is about religion, or some other cause like political, economic, personal etc., is the motivation? For this I reminded them of the recent ‘lone work terrorist’ and how they had operated in random incidents across the globe.
I GAVE the students the following possibilities/actions to ‘Say No to Terrorism”:
- Be watchfully alert for radicalized / at-risk / vulnerable youth.
- Be aware of radicalization trends in youth.
- Based on what they learn, craft a counter narrative which should include religion, politics, economic, or ideological parameters.
- As they surf the net, use online social media, or other media channels, be watchful for the media used by these groups and suggest counter media hints.
- If they learn of any survivor in their environs, connect them to us.
- Read up on PTSD and understand why some people in their surroundings behave as they and not because of any other (insane) factor!
- Be politically aware, find out about their legislative representatives and try to reach them through letters and other means to make them aware of the feelings and thoughts of the youth in their constituency.
- Make efforts to improve their physical strength and stamina so in case they are needed to assist in any area of terrorist action they can do so.
- Impressed upon them that leaving Pakistan is NOT the solution – even if they can and do, what about the kith and kin that will still remain in Pakistan?
- They should not fear death – because everybody is going to die one day, remove the fear of death from your heart.
WHAT CAN institutions do?
- Protect the students and the facility physically.
- Arrange trainings like first-aid (PRCS) and rescue operations (1122).
– Training for all – the old, the young, the youth, the ladies the disabled, even the peon, cook, driver and more!
- Inculcate responsibility about life in students so they:
– Are alert 24 hours a day.
– More alert when travelling through crowded places.
– Inform their family about their whereabouts. Also ask the family to inform you about theirs.
– Look out for & report suspicious objects, persons & bad elements in the surroundings.
FROM HERE we moved on to watch the Global Survivors Network video “Hear our Voices” which created an impact and many students were moved to tears.
A QUESTION/ANSWER/SHARING session followed, with students coming up with probing question, sharing experiences, and generally accepting that they did not care about this issue because it seemed so remote.
One of the students then narrated her story of losing her brother in a horrific incident over five years ago, and the trauma that they family had to undergo and still does, every day due to this. Her emotionally charged tearful narrative was straight from the heart, and even I had trouble remaining composed. She had a valid point to make about how some organizations play on the emotions of the survivors by raising funds through musical concerts and such activities which can hurt the emotions of survivors.
Another student remarked that while she felt emotionally involved but this feeling did not last long, and she had ups and down’s and she felt sullied for not doing anything about this due to her short feeling span.
Another student whose family is running a seminary, narrated the experience of how her husband went missing for a few months and returned to tell how he had been kidnapped by some extremist elements who wanted him to be a part of their network.
Other students talked about the role of the seminary system (madrassas), my response to this is that many actual perpetrators were educated city folks, like those in the audience, so putting the blame on seminaries was ‘scapegoating’ these. And this was supported by the lady mentioned in the previous paragraph.
The students were moved by these narratives and some came up to me and thanked me for giving them the chance to speak, and how it had shown the effects of extremism in their midst. Something they would not have known ever.
A SUGGESTED counter narrative was written by a student and given to me (attached).
FINALLY I told them the reason I addressed youth was:
- Because youth have unadulterated passion & belief in them, which is a weapon that no act of terror can stand up to
- This same unadulterated passion & belief is used by the extremists to recruit youth!
- We can no longer afford biased, orthodox ‘adults’ with no regard for new & unconventional ideas to lead the way, we can combat terrorism only if we welcome new ideas and allow the youth to voice their opinions
The students and management decided that we will have another interaction with the students in a months’ time to talk about taking the “Say No to Terrorism” further, and see what the students had done about what we discussed that day.
ENDING ON the Quranic verse, Surely, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change that which is in their hearts (Ch.13 – V 11),I am confident that at SIL we have laid the foundation of a group of young Pakistanis who will be in the forefront to “Say No to Terrorism.”
Pakistan Terrorism Survivors Network: http://www.paktsn.webs.com
My blog: http://www.gsntahir.wordpress.com
Global Survivors Network: http://www.globslsn.net
Against Violent Extremism: http://www.againstviolentextremism.org
Peace Direct: http://www.peacedirect.org/
Counter Narrative Comment Written by a Student
The person who is committing suicide – if he knows what is he doing, I think then he is to suffer in his afterlife. But, if the suicide bomber doesn’t know what will be the after effects of his action, in my point of view he is innocent. And only because of one reason that is – he is doing what someone else (that of sound mind and age) wanted him to do. That particular person brainwashing other innocent people to kill themselves and others, do it by getting hold of the emotions and sentimental values of those bombers and terrorists. Only if we get hold of a person’s emotional and sentimental side, we can direct the mind of any person at any point.
All we need to do is to build a bridge, have a heart and show others we have it. I think that is all that matters. This is the counter narrative I have.
Everyone needs help. Even the terrorists. Because the cycle has been going on – like you said, it has to be stopped. Terrorism comes in many forms … Silence is one of them.
taken in karachi company, markaz G 9
as the people mull over the terrorist connection in the two fire incidents in lahore and karachi on the same day, the moral brigade makes its slow but sure inroads in islamabad.