The killings of minorities in Pakistan

The world watched in horror of last week’s horrendous attacks by terrorists( which I do not want to define by their religion because terrorism has no religion and defining any act of terror with religion would be generalizing and oppressing the general peaceful followers of that religion, but that’s a discourse for another day) on a church in Lahore, Pakistan that killed 17 people and injured around 80.

However, right after the church attacks last Sunday, an angry mob attacked two men on the street and beat them to death because they were livid about the attacks that had just occurred. Bystanders watching by just took photos and videos whilst the two men were beaten to death.

This is very unfortunate because the atmosphere of fear and violence has left people in such a state of disruption and chaos. What the government and police are doing to prevent such attacks on minorities of Shia Muslims and Christians in Pakistan, is just another issue, because it does not look like much is being done.

Minorities have been a target in Pakistan for years now and unfortunately a lot of these attacks do not appear on mainstream media, when the victims are Shia Muslims, who are a minority within the religion of Islam as they make up roughly just about 20% of the total Muslim population which is predominantly Sunni.

Take for example the targeting in Balochistan of Shia Muslims with several thousand killed since 2008, including two bombings in Quetta in January and February 2013 that killed over 180 people. Or take the blast at the Shia mosque in Shikarpur earlier this year that killed over 40 Shia worshippers who were praying at the mosque. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, over 700 Shia were killed in 2013 alone.

It is important to be aware of such events occurring and to condemn all of them, and not just the ones that one relates to and has a common ground with. All attacks, whether on Muslims, Christians or atheists, need to be condemned equally and reported equally in the media. There needs to be a form of unity with all members of the society to come together and protest against such attacks.

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