Cause and effect: Look at the big picture to understand terror

DEATH is never short of occasions. Whatever the reason for an end to life, whether solo or in hundreds, death brings untold sorrow to the living. No sympathy and no words of support can lessen the pain and misery of death.

By S. Qamar Hasan

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Published: Wed 22 Sep 2004, 9:09 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:00 AM

One cannot fathom the feelings of those who have lost their near and dear ones to death, which undoubtedly is the destiny of every soul that comes into this world.

Tonnes and tonnes of grief and sorrow for the thousands who died on September 11, 2001, in the Trade Center bombings and tonnes and tonnes of sympathy for those who lost their loved ones. Tonnes and tonnes of sympathy for the hapless, poor miserable Afghan men, women and children who were bombed in their mud homes and prayers halls, by the awesome American air force in retaliation for the September 11 attacks and for allegedly harbouring Al Qaeda men.

Another tonne of grief and pain for the thousands of Iraqi men, women and children, who have been killed when the Americans bombed their cities and town in the name of freedom and democracy, tonnes and tonnes of sympathy for those who are alive grieving the loss of their kith and kin. And tonnes of sympathy for the hapless fathers and mothers, wives and children of the innocent men, and women who have been kidnapped and beheaded by terrorists protesting the occupation of their country. Sympathy for the unfortunate parents who lost their dear children in Beslan to the mad and bestial whims of a handful fellow humans who have put all humanity to shame, for children — of any creed and country — are the only hope left in our world today.

Yes! Indeed from self-proclaimed promoters of global freedom and democracy, to turncoat politicians, to pliable fourth estate, have all shed tears at the tragic happenings that have gripped us all. Even the most peaceful places on the earth — where tranquility rules supreme — the places of worship like mosques, churches, synagogues, and temples have suffered terror.

Are our leaders, our politicians, our reformers, our press and above all countries that have the power, means and clout to end terrorism genuinely interested in ending terror? Those tears, those watery eyes, the emotions, are they really genuine? Are our leaders, editors and columnists really forthright in their condemnation of terror and terrorists? Is their sympathy, their grief really genuine?

One has to look deep into oneself for the right answers, for one cannot truly fathom the pain and grief of others unless one goes through pain and grief.

Here are a few posers to all those who preach from the high pedestal of morality; to those who look upon terrorists as beasts and animals fit to be smoked out and killed; to those who turn blind and deaf to pleas and cries of the helpless men, women and children who have been deprived of freedom and the right to live in their own land; to those who are building walls and uprooting trees, farms and homes calling freedom fighters terrorists; to those who preside over the genocide of men, women and children just because they do not belong to their faith:

Have you ever experienced the grief and pain of seeing your homes bulldozed in the middle of the night? Your wife, daughters and sisters humiliated? Your young sons, blindfolded, taken away in the dead of night never to return? Do you feel what it is to see one’s home, town and city bombed into ruins? Do you feel the grief and sorrow of becoming a widow in prime of youth and children becoming orphans?

When those who have the power to set things right and enforce justice, fail in their duty becoming a party to injustice and wrongs; when basic rights are denied and aspirations are trampled on by those in authority, then a revolutionary is born. And we call him a terrorist!

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