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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Not In Anger

Two days spent with my head hung in shame. I cannot even begin to grapple with the senseless death of so many beautiful children. I have a boy and a girl who I send off to school every morning with complete conviction that they will return to me in the afternoon, safe and sound. I cannot imagine what it would be like, not to be able to wrap them in my arms or kiss the top of their heads, while they try to get away from me.
Normally, I don’t bother so much with Facebook posts, the size of Kim Kardashian’s behind does not interest me, nor am I interested in who owns what handbag, or which party some friend attended, but for the past two days I have been reading the posts. I have read things that made sense, a piece written by Bina Shah posted by a friend, rang true, as did an email by a Princeton Professor, but I am dismayed at other posts.
It seems that many of us are determined to turn this into our 9/11 and copy America’s response; a call to arms. I am no Taliban or Al-Qaeda sympathizer, far from it, but justice cannot be vengeful.
It is obvious that some among us harbor these groups. These men have neighbours, friends, and families who do not turn them in. We have to turn them in. But once they are caught, the answer is not to hang them, or “teach them a lesson’’ by brutalizing them. We have to have fair trials and allow justice to be served.  But even that, in our country, leads us into a maze because of a justice system that does not function even at the best of times.
There is so much that has to be fixed, so many systems that require overhauling. To imagine that simply hanging a bunch of men at the town square will make Pakistan a better country or a safer country for its children, equates to chopping hands for theft while people starve.
When push comes to shove, the first thing left out to dry, cannot be our humanity. Our first response should not be to roll up our sleeves and get down to the dirty business of “punishing these bastards.”  When emotions run high, the first response should always be to sit back and reflect. Once the moment has passed, and logic has returned, then that is the time to chart a course of action and remain steadfast.
I am not religious but many of you calling for violence in response to violence are, so in the name of the religion I was born to, and the religion you profess to, sit back and let the anger pass- for that is what your religion teaches you to do. Sit back, count to 10, and recite a prayer so that your first response is not in anger.

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