“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Martin Luther King Jr.
It is with great sadness that we witness the loss of another Pakistani citizen at the hands of a violent, enraged mob.
Mashal Khan, aged 23 years, a Journalism student of Abdul Wali University, Mardan, Pakistan lost his life in horrific circumstances last week.
The reason he was targeted was because of allegations of posting blasphemous content online.
Thousands participated in the frenzied attack, which took place on the University site. Graphic videos of the assault were shared widely, shocking millions around the world.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said he is “shocked and saddened” by the killing. He says the state will not “tolerate” that citizens take the law “in their own hands”.
Blasphemy is the behaviour or language that disrespects any Prophet or religion. It leads to hurting the religious feelings of others and disturbs the peace and harmony of any society.
Islam doesn’t allow any religion to be maligned, it forbids blasphemy.
Many a times fabricated allegations of blasphemy lead to the swift formation of an enraged crowd. Unfortunately in many cases the mob acts as ‘Judge, jury and executioner’ there is little hope for justice for their target.
A total of 65 people have been murdered by vigilantes since 1990. Many of these allegations are unfounded and often triggered by personal disputes.
In modern times social media adds a further dimension to these allegations. The situation has become an area of confrontation for hardline religious clerics and liberal, secular thinkers.
Pakistan is at a turning point, what is the way ahead? How many more families will lose their son’s and daughter’s? How many more Mashal Khan’s will there be?
The Pakistan Government and it’s Justice department will have to take action to stop further lawless mobs taking the lives of innocents in the name of Islam.
Rest in peace Mashal Khan, humanity let you down, you did not deserve this.