Sad that identity, not the magnitude of violence determines response


imagesBy Dr Javed Jamil,

The news of more than one hundred children having been massacred in Pakistan was immensely shocked me like any other normal human being who would listen and watch the sheer brutality and the magnitude of the crime. I was not shocked because it was committed in a neighbouring Muslim country. I was also not shocked because the victims were children of my own religious identity, nor because the killers spoke Arabic and were widely believed to be the members of Taliban, an organization that tries to give religious colour to its actions. I was shocked because the human beings had killed other human beings in big numbers. I was even more shocked a few months back when similar number of people including children was being killed on a daily basis for several weeks in Gaza. 2000 innocents including more than 400 children and more than double the women had lost their lives then in the Israeli bombardments. Even then I was shocked not because the killers were Israeli Jews and the killed were Palestinian Muslims. Similarly, in the past I have felt shocked when Muslims were massacred in Gujarat, Twin Tower attack left 3000 Americans killed, America killed millions in Iraq, there were widespread deaths in Syria, Tamils kiulled tens of thousands in Sri Lanka, thousands of Sikhs were killed in Delhi, or a Kasab killed hundreds in a Mumbai hotel. My outrage was in proportion again not to the identity of the killers or the killed but to the magnitude of the destruction.

The Book of God which I am committed to teaches me to revere every single human life. The whole Islamic System of Halal and Haram is based on the survival of life and the quality of life. It promotes everything that saves life and strengthens health and it bans everything that vanquishes life and threatens health. The overwhelming majority of my fellow community members do also believe in the same ideology. This is why that each time a major attack occurs anywhere they do not fail to condemn, and they condemn much more if such an attack is carried out by their own community members. But sad it is that the responses of the systems that prevail in the world today are not that serene. Their definitions of life and health, and their measures for and against healthiness, are guided not by the positives or negatives in terms of life and health but by political and economic considerations. In social matters, their permissions, promotions and prohibitions are guided by their economics, and in political matters they are guided by the identity of the perpetrators and the identity of the victims.

The response to crimes is determined not just by the religious identity of the culprits and victims but also by the national and political identity. The response is therefore either absent or extremely harsh. And more often than not it is totally unjustified ultimately resulting in bigger death and destruction than the original crime, and this destruction more often than not hits the innocents rather than the culprits or their masterminds. If the killings are by “us” they may at most qualify as “collateral damage” even if is in thousands or thousands of thousands. If it is by “them” it becomes ‘brutal” worthy of immediate and harshest response even if it is much less.

When the Twin Towers were attacked, the killers perished along with the victims. The alleged masterminds lived somewhere in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Had they lived in Egypt or Saudi Arabia or England, the response would have been different. Instead of specifically trying to get hold of the “masterminds” through pressures on the government and through localized actions, it was used as the opportunity to terrorise the Muslim World. Taliban government was attacked and removed, and a full-fledged war against Afghanistan was launched with the result that more than 40000 innocent civilians lost their lives. These 40000 did not include the “masterminds”. They were killed about a decade later in another country, which had supported the US in its “War on Terror”. What a justice! Justice of the Superpower of the World! But the conscience of the country and its supporters did not rise to the occasion. There was no media to capture the dead children and women in Afghanistan, and to show the devastation in their families. That war, coupled with the recurrent Israeli aggression against Palestinians generated a permanent slur in Muslim psyche. But it was never addressed. The role of West was never discussed. The media discussed only, and is still in the same mode, the role of Islam and Muslims. The violence caused by Muslim “terrorists” is being counted daily but nobody counts the violence caused to them by West, Israel, Myanmar or certain Indian elements. And Muslims are asked daily to condemn each killing by a “Muslim” but they are not allowed even to question West or Israel. The result is for all to see: devastation and turmoil everywhere, not just in Muslim World. This is what is bound to happen when innocents are devastated for the crimes of the devils; when certain devils are not even recognized as devils.

If the world ahs to become peaceful, we will have to revisit the criteria of violence and the response to it. W4e have to resolve that every act of violence and innocent death, whoever is the victim, whoever the culprit, wherever the place, whatever the time, whatever the method and whatever the motive should be condemned by the whole world. West will have to recognize the fact that the genesis of terrorism has several factors, and one major factor is the role of West in Muslim countries, their support to brutal regimes in the region, and the deaths caused by Western forces in the Islamic world. Unless every single factor in the genesis of any problem is addressed, the problem cannot be solved. Let’s safeguard life through every possible effort: Legal prohibitions, moral teachings, social pressures and scientific facts.

If the world does not act NOW, it will be too late. If it continues with its present selfish approach, they must rest assured, it will boomerang on them.  Moreover, I cannot buy the argument that the violence committed in the name of a certain religion or ideology is more worthy of condemnation than that committed in the name of any other ideology.

I will repeat: Let’s learn to understand violence without bias, and let’s try to eradicate every single category of violence, with the emphasis and efforts being proportional to the magnitude of each kind of violence!


·         Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Quranic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”. Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”. He can be contacted at or 91-8130340339. For his shayri visit


  1. Monsters who had killed the children . I pray to Allah this kind of brutality should not occur again anywhere . No human should be killed in this way .My condolences to the families .may Allah give them strength .Ya Allah fill the hearts of ur creation with love n peace .Ameen

  2. Dear Javed Jamil Sahab

    Assalamualaykum warhamatullahi wabarakatuhu

    Good article. A killing is a killing; u kill by drone, cluster bombs or kill by a gun. Killing without justice is criminal, irrespective of who does it.

    • Mr. Javed Jamil,

      There’s a section in the muslim community who are admirers and supporters of terrorists and their organisations like Taliban, Al Qaeda, SIMI and IM.
      Give them as much support as you all can but still they cannot escape the law.
      Your extremists views and misleading the muslims might give you cheap publicity but that’s very transitory. May Allah guide you and show you the right path.

  3. it appears that Jafar is speaking on behalf of Mr Khwaja. Otherwise, Javed Sahab has highly balanced views and he condemns every single act of violence, whoever the killer and whoever the victim. I have never seen Javed Sb supporting any act of violence. Mr Jafar and Mr Khwaja on the other hand are ready to condemn only Muslim killers and give clean chit to Western killers. People like these are used by the West to spread their propaganda of hatred. You people speak against him because you believe in glorifying West.

  4. It is very unfortunate that four people on a simple subject like killing of humans, especially innocent children, can’t agree that “killing” is a criminal, cowardly act, when it is committed without declaration and not in self defense. “Vigilantism” is not and must not be tolerated, condoned. To conclude, such killing, away from the battle field, and that, too, of innocent children must be strongly condemned, individually, organizationally, collectively. I do so. This is insane and heinous crime. May God bring them to senses. Ameen!

  5. I am happy that at least there are some people who are following Quran in totality, without taking much notice of the reactions. Brand them terrorists, taliban, monsters or anything but they are carrying out Allah’s word.

    • Azmat I like your frankness. Jamilbhai expressed no horror when the Yazdis were massacared. Listen to this:
      As a Yezidi I am used to genocides. Presently we are undergoing our 74th genocide by the Islamic extremists ISIS. Yet this one was different in every way. During this ongoing Genocide which started on August 3,2014, the ISIS attacked the Kurdish controlled town of Sinjar (Shingal) and the so-called Kurdish security forces (Peshmarga) escaped from the city, more than five hours before ISIS attack begun, leaving the Yezidis unarmed in ISIS’ hands. ISIS then took over the city of Sinjar, without facing any resistance from Peshmarga. They executed more than five thousand men, took seven thousand women and girls, who were then sold into sex slavery . UN had estimated that twelve thousand Yezidis are still under siege by ISIS on Sinjar Mountain without water, food ,and medical supplies which led to the death of many children and women , who died of dehydration according to eyewitnesses. ISIS then threatened to destroy our holiest place Lalish, which has survived many a storm, thus threatening to wipe out the 7000 yr old civilization forever. We looked down the barrel at the mother of all genocides, abandoned by the world because of our unique faith. – by Haji Hamika


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here