Religious intolerance and inacceptability has done damage to Pakistan that clearly extends beyond words. Islam, that changed the dynamics of human rights by being inclusive of people with different beliefs, has been used as a tool to manipulate and justify people’s horrible actions that are pursued purely in personal interest.
The religion that has explicitly declared rights of even animals, has only preached kindness and love towards humanity. Whereas altering its true spirit, fanatics have repeatedly used it to cover their corrupt intentions.
We, as a society, submitted to the violence by either justifying it, being a part of it or by simply keeping quiet. In all three cases, we facilitated the brutality that not only violated all the definitions of humanity and morality but Islamic teachings as well. The result was daunting – an endless series of inhumane events that saw 14-year old Rimsha Masih, APS Peshawar’s kids, burnt alive Shama and Shehzad, and ultimately Mashal Khan.
The day when our ignorance & hypocrisy was most clear to me
was #MashalKhan's Chehlum. On my right sat his father Iqbal Lala whom we were all promising that his son's loss wont go in vain & on my left was Fazal Khan, APS victim's father, whom we had promised the same 2.5 yrs ago pic.twitter.com/3Tb7aUeHV3
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) December 16, 2017
Mashal Khan’s case wasn’t the first of its nature – where a group of people accused an individual, declared him guilty and punished him, all by themselves without any concrete evidence – but the echo definitely resonated like never before. The incident itself was horrifying enough to upheaval our silence, but it also brought us to a point where we knew we needed some soul searching – how did we get here?
What is happening inside our educational institutions? How did the sacred places that were supposed to teach tolerance, discipline, and acceptability, end up creating violent mobs?
There is no doubt that Mashal Khan’s incident has affected us all deeply, which justifies the sentiments people had when he was voted as the person who influenced most during past year.
The Herald's annual issue is about to hit the stands soon. Get a copy to revisit the year that was. pic.twitter.com/KMlbXWCHOc
— The Herald (@HeraldPakistan) January 2, 2018
— Daily Times (@dailytimespak) January 2, 2018
— Syedih (@SyedIHusain) December 31, 2017
Pakistan has voted for #MashalKhan as Person of the Year. With similar spirit, we all will fight against religious intolerance, violence, and war. We as a nation will ensure that Mashal, Iqbal Lala,and their family get justice, and similar incidents aren’t repeated. pic.twitter.com/7mkeORRspg
— Sajjad Khan (@sajjadbasir) December 31, 2017
— Aftab Alam (@aftabalam_77) December 31, 2017
— zafar shah (@VoiceOfBilawal) December 31, 2017
— Ali Sher Rahman (@Baahirezaman) December 31, 2017
Every time I speak to #mashalkhan father or here him speak I am in awe of his wisdom, strength and resolve. If I were in his place I would have broken long ago. What a man. What a son he must have raised. What a loss for the rest of us.
— Zarrar Khuhro (@ZarrarKhuhro) December 31, 2017
Thanking all friends media who voted for #mashalkhan shaheed @HeraldPakistan Our struggle will continue until we get #JusticeforMashal @Imamofpeace @ImtiazAlamSAFMA @MJibranNasir @AWGoraya @A_ProudCivilian @tanvirarain @salmanhydr pic.twitter.com/eIsAjciypw
— Bashir Sherani (@BSheranii) December 30, 2017
“After being shot #MashalKhan tendered mercy appeal & recited Kalima e Shahadat to hostel warden for medical evacuation to no avail”.
—Joint Investigation Team
⚖️“Justice delayed is justice denied, welcome to #Pakistan” pic.twitter.com/JxaG41MqXo
— Ibrahim Qazi (@miqazi) December 31, 2017
Well done @HeraldPakistan you got the right person to epitomise Pakistan’s greatest and good in times of recurring darkness and strife. #MashalKhan is the ray of light in this barrel. https://t.co/EVJb4eULr4
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) January 1, 2018
Pakistan choosing Mashal Khan as Herald’s Person Of The Year 2017 reflects that we, as a nation, are slowly rejecting the religious extremism and want to say no more to it. Or maybe it is just our apology to how we contributed to what happened to him in our own capacities.
For now, we can only make assumptions to kill time, as we still wait for justice.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section below.