Published: September 19, 2011
How often is it that after a terrorist attack in Pakistan, you hear the following statement on TV or from people around you? Aik Musalman Musalman ko nahi maar sakta (A Muslim won’t kill another Muslim). Every time I hear this statement or a similar one, I want to bang my head against a wall. While having a conversation with my driver, regarding the Eid bombings of a Shia mosque in Quetta he said, “The Taliban couldn’t be responsible for the attack, since a Muslim would never attack people in a mosque.” Even after thousands of people have been killed in suicide bombings by religious extremists, a large number of Pakistanis still have misplaced sympathies for extremists or fail to hold them accountable. This mindset needs to be challenged and the myth that “Muslims don’t kill other Muslims” needs to be debunked once and for all. Otherwise, if this attitude of denying the problem and deflecting the blame on RAW, CIA, BLA, Mossad, etc continues, there is no plausible way that an effective counter extremist movement can be conceived in Pakistan.
It is a sad fact, but Muslims have been killing Muslims from the early days of Islam. Out of the first four caliphs, three had Muslims involved in their murder, two of them were killed in a mosque and one was murdered while offering his prayers. The first Islamic Civil War, also called the first Fitna, started in 656, just 14 years after the Prophet Mohammad’s (pbuh) death and lasted for 5 years. A number of battles were fought during this period, in which scores of Muslims were killed by other Muslims. Unfortunately, there is precedent for Muslims killing Muslim in Islamic history.