24 September 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PORTLAND/VANCOUVER – Arif Humayun, Co-Founder of the Circle of Peace and author of “Connivance by Silence”, released the following statement on behalf of the Circle of Peace.
The heinous attack on peaceful and innocent churchgoers in Pakistan took 83 lives, including thirty four women and seven children. Additionally seventeen of the 120 injured worshipers are reported to be in critical condition. The Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has shamelessly accepted responsibility for this despicable brutality. This coordinated, twin suicide bombing inside the church premises not only shows the audacity of the perpetrators, it also shows the government’s total inability to check this growing and destructive trend. The high profile attacks on the military’s GHQ, Naval and Air Bases, recent killing with an IED in Upper Dir of a two star general, and the several hundred attacks that have killed thousands of innocent people have either failed to highlight the magnitude of this threat or its realization has intimidated them. Either way, this doctrine of mass destruction continues to grow unchecked. The world must unite to support Pakistan in taking all necessary steps to stop radicalism and terrorism under the guise of Islam.
The Circle of Peace condemns this vicious savagery in the strongest possible terms. Even more appalling is the fact that no “religious” leader in Pakistan has had the moral courage to identify and condemn this barbarism and have instead called it an act of conspiracy to derail the planned negotiations with the Taliban. Despite the TTP claiming responsibility for repeated attacks on places of worship belonging to Shias, Ahmadis, Christians,, Hindus, etc., the Pakistani religious and secular political leadership has chosen to embolden the terrorists by maintaining silence, not naming the criminals, and not identifying the root causes of this brutal mindset. Most importantly, they are failing to immediately point to the fact that the actions of such groups are contrary to the teachings of Islam. The sad and disturbing irony is that the root causes were identified in 1953 by the Munir Commission Report which cautioned the government that the exploitation of religion for political purposes was an explosive blend; it identified the infamous Objectives Resolution, which has now become an integral part of the Pakistani Constitution, as the main cause of the intellectual and legislative paralysis and prohibits legislators from enacting effective legislation to deal with such monstrosities in the name of Islam in Pakistan. Additionally, the notorious Islamization ordinances – Hadood, Blasphemy and Apostasy legislations – promulgated by General Zia ul Haq and later confirmed by the parliament, complement the flawed Objectives Resolution and together form the root causes behind the senseless atrocities that the government and the society is unable or unwilling to control.
It is high time that Pakistan acts as a responsible country and controls the genie of radicalism that it unleashed by appeasing the radicals. Nothing short of repealing the referenced flawed legislation, followed by an educational program to deflate the myths of Islamic State, Sharia, and Jihad will free the world of the affliction of radicalism and terrorism. Failure to do so may come back to haunt future generations when these barbarians may be in a position to blackmail the world.
About the Circle of Peace:
Circle of Peace is a grassroots, worldwide initiative of individuals representing a diversity of beliefs. Circle of Peace brings together people across religious, ethnic, and cultural divides to strengthen the common bond of humanity by providing a unifying platform for people of many faiths who aspire to a more peaceful world. Please visit www.CircleOfPeaceOnline.org for additional information and publications.