mob lynching

Mob Lynching and Mass Indictment in Pakistan, Again?

So what about mob lynching and mass indictment?

Isn’t it the norm of the day? Especially in Pakistan.

A tourist was accused of blasphemy in Madyan, Pakistan, on 20th June 2024. The man was accused of desecrating the Holy Quran and was taken into custody. An angry mob stormed the police station. The mob was infuriated because the police would not hand over the man to the crowd. They made loudspeaker announcements, causing the locals to come out of their homes, also leading to the police station building and vehicles being set on fire.

The mob forcibly took the accused man and brutally beat him to death. They set fire to his body. Regional police officers visited the Madyan Police Station. The RPO directed officials to identify the torched individuals and guarantee transparency in the investigation. This incident has sparked widespread outrage and calls for justice in Pakistan.

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The Peril of Mob Lynching

Mob lynching, the extrajudicial killing of individuals by a crowd, is a prevalent issue in Pakistan, often arising from accusations of blasphemy or other crimes. This violence often leads to severe consequences for victims, and perpetrators often escape punishment, instigating a cycle of barbarity. The social, religious, and political landscape in Pakistan contributes to this issue.

Socio-political incidents can have umpteen reasons behind them. Social marginalization and the tendency to scapegoat certain communities or individuals significantly contribute to mob lynching incidents, often rooted in deep-seated prejudices and societal divides, where the guilt lies with the victim in the perpetrator's eyes.

Political and religious motivations significantly contribute to mob violence, as extremist groups exploit religious sentiments and societal tensions to advance their agendas, often leading to violent mob actions across the country. The issue of mob lynching is intensified by the ineffectiveness of law enforcement and governance, leading to impunity. The state's inability to enforce laws and protect individuals from mob justice, misuse of blasphemy laws, and failure to control extremist groups further aggravate the problem.

To underscore the gravity of the problem, we have researched and found a report by an organization that focuses on global issues, providing in-depth coverage of topics such as human rights, environmental sustainability, social justice, and ethical living. They have quoted Amnesty International in this regard. It says that in the period 1987-2023, there have been cases where mobs have killed people under various provisions related to religion. The killings are as many as 494 Ahmadis (minority Muslim community), 633 Muslims, 187 Christians, and 21 Hindus.

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The Danger of Fanaticism

God, and those who propound the associated value system, call for loving one’s neighbor and fostering fraternity. So, if one is a God-fearing individual, it does not make sense to hurt another person. Let alone, kill.

Just as one would want to dress, eat, and go about his or her cultural activities, every other human has the right to do the same. Whether it is a different path one follows from another, the destination is the same. Ultimately, it is all about peace, love, and joy. Which human being doesn’t want it?

However much one set of universal values is propagated, there will always be some elements in ‌society who thrive on incidents such as the one that happened in Madyan. These are people who do not have clarity of mind and hence probably have been brainwashed. Their energies have been channelised in the wrong direction. Or... Are they hiding behind God to harm others? Do they believe that God will not take note of their atrocities?

Is this what Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) would have wanted? Ask oneself and the community.

Every patriotic Pakistani would want to hold his head high in the eyes of the world. Pakistan is undergoing deep economic turmoil. Adding to that are these kinds of unwarranted incidents. Do ‌these trouble-makers take pride? And pray, how does the Pakistan government react to such brutality? Are they game?

The sensible Pakistanis should show the way in whatever capacity they can. They could light the path to education and lead the misguided ones to reformed, civilized lives. There have to be collaboration efforts involving the judiciary, religious leaders, and civil society to prevent the monstrosity and promote tolerance.

It is our hope that in a globalised world, in the short lifespans, living in harmony is the best way that shows the path for future generations to conduct life. Or would the anti-social beings want their children to follow the unholy path of savagery and destruction?

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Usha Menon

With over 25 years of experience as an architect, urban designer, and green building consultant, Usha has been designing sustainable, and visionary spaces. She has published a book, has been actively blogging, and is on social media. Now, her journey is transitioning to full-time writing. Her words will continue to craft stories, not brick and mortar, but in the realm of ideas, fostering a better, more inspired world.

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