The whole world changed after the attacks on the World Trade Centre on 11th September 2001. We, here in Pakistan, were unaware of terms such as suicide bombing and bomb-planted jackets before 9/11. Post 9/11, the World has seen acts of terrorism which were unthinkable a decade ago. The number is increasing each year and terrorism has engulfed the sub-continent.
The term "Terrorist" refers to the people who blow themselves up and cause the death thousands of people each year and those who by the use of force challenge the writ of the government . I think it is time we redefine this term and identify the real terrorists.
Terrorism has its roots in oppression and frustration. Western Media critizes Islam for promoting terrorism in the form of Jihad. This is totally incorrect. Islam is against extremism. The Surah from the Quran below proves my point.
What forces people to become terrorists is oppression. You might point out that most terrorist are muslims, this is because it is the muslims who have been oppressed the most.
Starting from the establishment of British Rule in the subcontinent Muslims have been trodden upon many times. The way in which the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah II was overthrown is an example in itself. Before Shah's removal, the British killed all his family members infront of his eyes. This created hatred in the heart of the Muslims of the subcontinent who were in favour of Mughal Rule.
Then in 1949 the Western World helped Jews create an illegal state known as Israel. Palestine was divided and by usurping many parts of the Muslim land Israel grew bigger. Muslims were confined to West Bank and Gaza.
Then the more recent attack by Israel on Palestine serves as another example. More than 1000 innocent people were killed in the attacks. A hundred were shut into a house and the house was then blown up. And to augment the frustration and anger of the Muslims no sanctions were imposed on Israel. Institutions such as United Nations whose main purpose is to protect weak nations failed completely to stop Israel's attacks on Gaza.
These are only two example of the oppression on Muslims. There have been thousands such incidents but no one listened to our cries. It is in these conditions that people turn into Terrorists.
The children in Gaza, who helplessly saw their parents die while the World celebrated New Year, have no other option but to fall prey to terrorism. They now have no life to live. No goal to achieve. They have seen their houses being reduced to rubble. Their only motive is to seek revenge from killers of their families.
In 2007, Queen Elizabeth knighted Salman Rushdie. Rushdie wrote a defamatory book about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He has other books but they are not the literary masterpieces due to which someone should be knighted. Was Rushdie the only man in the world to be Knighted? I mean, I know about thousands of people from Britain who deserved the 'Sir' Prefix more than Rushdie. Muslims all over the world were raged by this act of the Queen.
Then there are the drones on Pakistan soil. They started in the year 2008 and about 40 drones have hit the tribal areas of Pakistan. And they are useless. American authorities claim that they have killed many Taliban through these attacks but the reality is that the main Taliban leaders are still at large. Mullah Umar is in Saudi Arabia, why doesnt the American Government demand his handover? Moreover hundreds of innocent civilians have died due to these drone attacks.
The parliament of Pakistan passed a motion asking America to stop the drone attacks but the Drones are still being fired. Its ironic that America supports democracy in the world but does not pay heed to motions in the Parliament of Pakistan.
The thing I want to say is that muslims have faced a lot of oppression. It seems that there is a different set of rules for muslims and a different one for the rest of the world. In these circumstances, when our voice is not being heard, you cannot blame Muslims for following the path of terrorism. Muslims are not terrorists. The people who oppress them can be termed as the real terrorists.