Life is something extremely precious and not to be treated with contempt and disregard. Every one of us loves our dear life and likes to see our kith and kin grow old with us. None of us are just there to be birth and death statistics. We all as humans living in an advanced day and age are there to live and let live.
In this day and age, no one should be condemned for blasphemy. Only in an immensely backward, demonic culture a person would be condemned to death for such a trivial offence in average person’s eye. However, unfortunately, that seems to be the fate awaiting Asia Bibi, a Punjabi woman of Christian faith, deemed guilty of insulting Prophet Muhammad. Death is what hardliner clerics in Pakistan want for her. How can a peace-loving religion ever allow such an inhuman crime? Has she hurt at least one of her fellow Muslim villagers let alone killing them? Just saying a few words, if she at all uttered something sinister in the spurr of the moment, never should warrant a call for her life.
This is not the first instance. A few years ago, Salman Rushdie’s head was sought on the charge of blasphemy. Apart from deaths and death threats, many people are being subjected to hardships and are killed for having differing views. The innocent lives taken by Islamic terrorists in the US, UK, Iraq, India, Pakistan etc are some cruel reminders to innocent lives lost. Without shame, the cultural sites like Bamiyan were destroyed. This is not a denial of similar acts committed by the believers of other faiths; but the incidents involving other religions are rare and far apart as the majority including their religious leaders condemn such acts. One cannot bring up the Palestinian Israeli conflict as an excuse for everything. It is a moot point to make Israel and Judaism one and the same. Islam for its own long term survival should rise above being the victim of the lame excuse of existence of Israel. This is not a denial of the suffering of Palestinian people in the hand of Israel.
Many moderate Muslims say that the word Islam itself was derived from the Arabic word, salaam, meaning ‘peace ‘. They ask the rest of the world not to consider Islam as a non-peace loving religion. However much the world want to agree with them, harder the hardcore Islamic believers devoid of human hearts shatter the rest of the world’s goodwill. This may be due to the ingrained deficiencies in the practice of Islamic faith. Islam is a religion which is so paranoid about the purity of its form and practice. It has two ingrained ideas which the moderates should consider with heavy hearts;
-not having a dialogue about the philosophical core and
-Interpretation of Jihad
It is sincerely hoped that Asia Bibi’s life will be spared.
We with the moderate Muslims should plead the radical, fundamentalist brethren to be more compromising, be tolerant of others and be humane. There would be no one more pleased than Allah to witness a more forgiving, accommodating Islamic community. For Him, as the creator, all humanity should be one and the same. It is true that the colonizers in the wake of European colonization used the sword and then showed the Bible. But times are changing and the world may never go back to the days of the past. Thus, the Islamic community hopefully will look to the future and rise above the current state of the affairs.
If the cruel things like Asia Bibi’s case happen in the name of religion, people arguing for the demise of religion will see their day sooner. The acts of violence in the name of religion are not the way to promote religious beliefs. When carried out by Islamic community, they undermine the hopes and aspirations of multitude of Moderate Muslims.