Social media has been devastated over the recent attack on a Sri Lankan factory manager who was beaten to death and set on fire by a mob, in an incident that was reportedly linked to alleged blasphemy. The incident took place in Sialkot on Friday.
The incident marks a day of repentance in the history of Pakistan, calling to attention the need to rid ourselves of regressive ideas about religion and flawed concepts about Islam- that have led towards communal hatred instead of peace, kindness and love- which are some of the basic tenets of our religion. We find numerous instances of the religious tolerance enjoined upon believers in the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Some examples are as follows:
- ‘There is no compulsion in religion’: Sura al-Baqarah verse 256
- The Constitution of Medina included a clause recognizing the fact that the Jews have a distinct-and legitimate-religion of their own, ‘the Jews have their religion and the believers have theirs’ , clearly accepting the existence of religions other than Islam in Arabia.
Reacting to the horrendous incident, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he will personally oversee the investigation into ‘the horrific vigilante attack’.
PM @ImranKhanPTI condemns horrific vigilante attack on factory & the burning alive of Sri Lankan manager in #Sialkot.
Announcing that he is overseeing the investigations, the PM says that arrests are in process & all those responsible shall be punished with full severity of law. pic.twitter.com/3yX1KcayzU
— Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) December 3, 2021
Cricketing Star Shahid Afridi rightfully wrote “Whosoever kills a person … it shall be as if he has killed all mankind.”
“Whosoever kills a person … it shall be as if he has killed all mankind”
-Al Quran [5:32] #Sialkot
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) December 3, 2021
Activist Muhammad Jibran Nasir also condemned the horrific act of violence pointing out the fact that it is incidents like these that contribute towards the propagation of terrorists.
With every lynching new “Heroes” are born, boys become Ghazis, those who can’t find jobs get mureeds, legal teams, rallies & Mazar after death. Why must police intervene & risk life when State stands with lynchers. Embracing TLP will become Imran & Faiz’s only legacy #Sialkot pic.twitter.com/SDmS2jUOIi
— M. Jibran Nasir 🇵🇸 (@MJibranNasir) December 3, 2021
However, this is not an isolated incident and has been one of the many violent incidents leading up from correct or incorrect charges leveled against individuals on the accord of ‘blaspheme’, calling for a pressing need for us as a society to revise our understandings of what exactly ‘blaspheme’ really is, what the idea truly applies, and once established that it has been committed- to what extent can we take matters into our on hands and commit an act as sinful as the murder of another human being!