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Sialkot mob lynching

Col (r) Ikram Ullah Khan

The recent heart-rending incident involving lynching of a Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, a factory manager, in Sialkot has not only lowered the image of the country in the eyes of international community but has also brought infamy and shame to the entire nation.

PDM's power show in Faisalabad a repeat of previous jalsasThe incident has shell-shocked the people across the country. The ghastly incident has elicited widespread condemnation from the government including civil and military leadership, religious scholars belonging to different schools of thought and common citizens alike.

Amidst such a dreadful environment, it’s, however, heartening to see Ulama and Mashaykh belonging to all religious schools of thought, Pakistan Ulama Council and Interfaith Harmony Council unanimously condemning the lynching terming it a clear violation of the teachings of the Holy Qura’n and Sunnah.

This unanimity of views among the religious scholars belonging to different schools of thought on the outrageous incident has enkindled the hopes in the people.

Islam clearly disapproves an act of violence and killing of a human being. In the Holy Qura’n, killing of an innocent soul is considered as killing of the whole mankind. The Holy Qura’n says:
“He who slays a soul unless it be (in punishment) for murder or for spreading mischief (fasaad) on earth shall be (deemed) as if he had slain all mankind; and he who saves a soul shall be (deemed) as if he had saved all mankind.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah verse 32)

The entire nation feels outraged and grieved at the horrific and shameful vigilantism and lynching of Sri Lankan factory manager. The unfortunate incident is a clear manifestation of intolerance and bigotry displayed by unscrupulous and extremist elements bearing sick mentality who believe in taking the law into their hands. Anarchy and lawlessness spread in society by such extremist elements in the name of religion has portrayed a negative image of the country at international level.

The elements involved in the current horrific lynching have misused the name of Islam justifying it on grounds of blasphemy. They have a scant realization that in any civilized society no one is allowed to take law Into his hand. Ordinarily, it so happens that in order to settle personal vendettas, people accuse the victim of blasphemy and after killing the victim take shelter behind blasphemy law. Lynching of university student Mashaal Khan from Charsadda in April 2017 may be cited as one such example.

The incident has triggered a huge outrage in social media and people from all walks of life are found expressing their disgust and outrage at the barbarism condemning the culprits. Reportedly, the workers of the factory attacked the manager and burnt his body after killing him.

According to media reports, the tragic incident took place following rumours spread in the factory that the manager had torn down a religious poster pasted on the wall and thrown it in the dustbin. Let’s presume for a moment that it happened as reported; even then the law of the land doesn’t permit mob lynching which amounts to extra-judicial killing.

This ghastly Sialkot lynching of the foreigner is indicative of the morbid mindset which is fast spreading its tentacles in the country and is being fostered by those who are devoid of human dimension and believe in lawlessness. The extremist thinking promoted by such evil forces is being used as an instrument for fulfilling their own nefarious designs and has nothing to do with Islam that has been gifted to humanity as a religion of peace and love.

Sialkot mob lynching is a poignant reminder of human insensitivity, stark savagery and naked barbarism so brazenly exhibited by the extremist forces and zealots who have committed this heinous crime in the name of Islam.

But who will make them understand that by such horrific act they have not only tarnished the image of Islam which has been gifted to humanity to dole out peace and love among the people regardless of creed, caste, colour and language but have also discredited our country?

This is not the first incident of brutal killing and mob lynching that has occurred; similar incidents have happened in the past too, but every time the perpetrators of such crimes went scot-free thus emboldening the criminals to repeat such crimes with complete impunity. Such outrageous incidents would keep on happening in the absence of deterrence in the shape of severe punishment. Had exemplary punishment handed down to the criminals in the past, the current gruesome incident of Sialkot would have been averted.

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