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The Silence Of The Moderates

Malala Yousufzai

MALALA YOUSUFZAI, this name has come to represent, the voice of those millions of innocent girls like her, yearning for peace, freedom and education in the oppressed society governed by evil forces like the Taliban. It is  generally the weaker section of the society, that is the women, which bears the brunt of the male dominated chauvinist ideology. It was not surprising that the Taliban, the dangerous cult that dwells on the core principles of oppression, terrorism, ignorance and hatred imposed ban on the girls from going to school and studying, along with ban on anything that represents a secular free society. On Oct 9, 2012, Malala Yousufzai, the innocent girl, aspiring for education and freedom was attacked by a Taliban gunman in an attempt to assassinate her. Her crime? She was outspoken about the atrocities of the Taliban, She liked freedom, She wanted to go to school, She wanted peace in her loving home land. Ironically, the word “Taliban” means “Students” in Pashto language. What a shame, ones calling themselves “students” do not understand the importance of education. On the contrary, the Taliban claim that their act was justified. This was their statement released to the press in their own words “We did not attack her for raising voice for education. We targeted her for opposing mujahideen and their war. Sharia (Islamic law based on Quran) says that even a child can be killed if he is propagating against Islam.”

Pic courtesy: AP Photo / University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

The Taliban along with its fascist allies were at the forefront to criticize and call for beheading of the makers of the movie on the Prophet of Islam. What followed since the posting of the movie was widespread violent protests, killings, arson in many  parts of the Muslim world that lasted for more than a month. The so-called moderates were not far in criticizing and expressing their anger on the movie, pouring down in streets around the world. The supposedly moderate and secular government of Pakistan went to the extent of shutting down the whole country in protest of the movie. While there were widespread protests against a cheesy movie (which is not even worthy of mention) on the Prophet of Islam, the heinous act of the Taliban did not receive the same kind of criticism.

Protest in Pakistan against movie "Innocence of muslims"

Image courtesy: Reuters

Why are those moderate voices which roared on the streets to denounce the movie not heard now, when an innocent girl is struggling for her life? Why don’t those voices fill the streets to criticize the abominable acts of the Taliban? Where was the moderate government of Pakistan when the assassins were preparing to attack the poor girl? Except for some candle light vigils and a handful  demonstrations mostly by women activists, there has been no public criticism for this act of violence in Pakistan itself where this happened, let alone other parts of the world. Nor has there been an official criticism of the Taliban by the Pakistani government despite the fact that the Taliban has killed thousands of innocent people in the Swat valley and continues to do so to this day. Once again the Taliban has proved that it is their voice that reverberates stronger than the moderate voices.

Silence of the moderates could only mean, either the moderates agree with the ideology of the Taliban or they are too timid to speak against such ideology. It is the silence of the moderates that gives courage to the tiny minority such as Taliban to exert their ideology over the majority. It is the silence of the moderates that lets a handful fanatics to hijack the faith and use it to suit their evil agenda.When the moderates can come strongly to defend their faith if someone criticizes it, why can’t they come to denounce those who misuse the faith, if they think it is misused?. If the evil has to be eradicated, the moderate voices should resonate, resonate stronger and stronger.

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