The Many Faces of Violence

Afghanistan Kandahar Massacre: A rogue soldier killed 16 and wounded at least 9 villagers civilians, men, women and children -March 11, 2012

Oslo Bombings and Utoya Attack, Norway: 77 people were killed in a bombing of a government building in Oslo and a shooting rampage at a youth camp on an island near the capital committed by Anders Behring Breivik -July 22, 2011.

Fort Hood Shooting: 13 people killed and nearly 30 wounded at Fort Hood Texas committed by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist, one of the worst mass shootings ever on an American military base -November 5, 2009

Marriott Hotel Attacks Islamabad, Pakistan: 53 people killed and at least 266 wounded by a suicide bombing on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, one of the worst acts of terrorism in the history of Pakistan. -September 20, 2008.

Virginia Tech Massacre:  Student Cho Seung-Hui killed 32 people and wounded 25 after two shooting attacks before committing suicide at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, the deadliest shooting rampage in American history -April 16, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated: As a result of gunfire and a suicide blast at a political rally, Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan and the first woman Prime Minister of a Muslim country, was assassinated, 20 others killed and 50 wounded-December 27,2007

Columbine Massacre: 12 students and 1 teacher were killed and 21 students injured by two school shooters who also committed suicide at Columbine High School -April 20, 1999

Oklahoma City Bombing: 168 people killed, including 19 children under age 6, and over 680 injured in a terrorist bomb attack at Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building committed by Timothy McVeigh -April 19, 1995

And

 And….

What have all these faces in common?              The victims are all innocent people.

What else is common?

It’s disturbed and confused minds unable to think rationally committing such horrendous acts.

Media, special interests and extremists everywhere and anywhere can and will continue to say whatever just to help support their special interests and agendas.

But think about it, does it represent a race, religion or a nation?

The media should have the responsibility to maintain a sense of rationality and honesty because the world peace depends on it.

Let us not be misled. Let us think clearly. Let us be responsible and try to understand so that we do not play in the hands of those who want to create rifts and conflicts. Let us understand so that we can fulfill our roles to make this world a safe and a happy place for all, because we are in it together, one world and one life to live.

-Myra Chaudhary, USA


March 16, 2012 at 11:46 pm 4 comments

The Message

Iqra”, READ. This is the first word of the Quran Surah Al-Alaq 96:1 .

“Seek knowledge by even going to China, for seeking knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim” Jalal al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al-Suyuti, al-Jami al-Saghir min Hadith al-Bashir al-Nadhir(Damascus: Maktabat al-Habuni, n.d.), 1:43                                          ( In those times  travel was extremely hard and going to China was not easy. The Prophet Muhammad used this example to emphasize the importance of learning and literacy.)

“Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.” Quran 5:32

“You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion” Quran 109:6.

***

And what have Al Qaeda and Taliban been doing?      Burning schools and killing innocent people.

To the misled, the self-proclaimed guardians of faith, no, no this was not the message.

The message was and is very clear, spread the light of knowledge, peace and tolerance.

To the true followers of the faith and of all faiths, the victims of hatred by the ignorant and the misled: Seek knowledge, let there be no confusion and no misunderstandings and understand the enemy. These are the enemies of all faiths and all people including the Muslims, yes the Muslims. In fact these are the real enemies of Muslims. Look around, it is the Muslims they are killing every day in the dozens and hundreds.

You are all in it together. Do not let the enemy divide you. Be united to fight your common enemy. And do it with a sincere and clear goal to protect and preserve life and peace TOGETHER so that no single innocent has to suffer or lose life again, because every life is precious.

Moving back to 1947, quotes from Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan:

“Pakistan needs America. America needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs America…Pakistan is the pivot of the world, as we are placed…(on) the frontier on which the future position of the world revolves”  ~ Muhammad Ali Jinnah , interview with Bourke White, Life Magazine 1947

“Our object should be peace within, and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial friendly relations with our immediate neighbors and with the world at large”. ~Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Moving to present times, quotes from Senator John Kerry, Chairman US Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

 “The road to peace was never going to be easy. The past year has been especially trying for the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. Despite our many frustrations and setbacks, both sides must remember what is at stake here and that we have more to gain by finding common ground. We have to take a collective deep breath” ~Senator John Kerry NY Times 2011

“Ultimately, the only way to move the ball forward is to focus on areas where our interests align and where we can really make progress. Our two countries need each other.” ~Senator John Kerry NY Times 2011

The visionaries of the past and present remind us just how important it is to work together  and with real understanding, mutual respect and cooperation. We cannot afford to err on this because the cost of doing so will be too much.

Myra Chaudhary, USA

December 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm 2 comments

LET US STAY UNITED, THAT IS HOW WE HAVE DONE IT AND THAT IS ONLY HOW WE CAN DO IT

The mastermind and symbol of hatred ,death and destruction,  the murderer of thousands of peace loving people from all faiths, nationalities and races has been eliminated.

Yes, it is a big achievement and the closure of a big and an important chapter but it is just a chapter in a long and a very difficult book that we must finish.

All this could not have been possible without determination , a lot of collaboration and cooperation. It is with the same spirit of unity, faith, discipline and cooperation across the world that we need to move forward.

And I quote President Barak Obama:

It’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.”

We need to understand and remember always that Osama Bin Laden was a friend of no one. He wanted to divide the world and wanted the world  to believe that he was a Muslim, yet a vast majority of his victims were Muslims all over the world. It is a day of some satisfaction for everyone everywhere in the world, but particularly it should be more so for Muslims all over the world because he was truly their enemy number one.

And I quote President Barak Obama:

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

And I quote Secretary of State Hilary Clinton:

“First, I want to offer my thoughts and prayers to the thousands of families whose loved ones were killed in Usama bin Ladin’s campaign of terror and violence, from the embassy bombings in Africa, to the strike on the U.S.S. Cole, to the attacks of September 11, 2001, and so many more. These were not just attacks against Americans, although we suffered grievous losses; these were attacks against the whole world. In London and Madrid, Bali, Istanbul, and many other places, innocent people – most of them Muslims – were targeted in markets and mosques, in subway stations, and on airplanes, each attack motivated by a violent ideology that holds no value for human life or regard for human dignity. I know that nothing can make up for the loss of the victims or fill the voids they left, but I hope their families can now find some comfort in the fact that justice has been served.”

It will serve us a lot of good if we are mindful of the fact that the breeding grounds need our attention. It will be very helpful if we have long term strategies to address the pressing need for reformed education and provision of basic human opportunities for the very vulnerable in the impoverished areas especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

We Americans have every reason to feel proud as a nation. Let us pledge that we will always stand united as one peace loving nation without regard to race, religion or color.

-Myra Chaudhary, USA

May 3, 2011 at 1:57 am Leave a comment

LET US STAY UNITED, THAT IS HOW WE HAVE DONE IT AND THAT IS ONLY HOW WE CAN DO IT

The mastermind and symbol of hatred ,death and destruction, the murderer of thousands of peace loving people from all faiths, nationalities and races has been eliminated.

Yes, it is a big achievement and the closure of a big and an important chapter but it is just a chapter in a long and a very difficult book that we must finish.

All this could not have been possible without determination , a lot of collaboration and cooperation. It is with the same spirit of unity, faith, discipline and cooperation across the world that we need to move forward.

And I quote President Barack Obama:

It’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.”

We need to understand and remember always that Osama Bin Laden was a friend of no one. He wanted to divide the world and wanted the world  to believe that he is a Muslim, yet a vast majority of his victims were Muslims all over the world. It is a day of some satisfaction for everyone everywhere in the world, but particularly it should be more so for Muslims all over the world because he was truly their enemy number one.

And I quote President Barack Obama:

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

And I quote Sectary of State Hilary Clinton:

“First, I want to offer my thoughts and prayers to the thousands of families whose loved ones were killed in Usama bin Ladin’s campaign of terror and violence, from the embassy bombings in Africa, to the strike on the U.S.S. Cole, to the attacks of September 11, 2001, and so many more. These were not just attacks against Americans, although we suffered grievous losses; these were attacks against the whole world. In London and Madrid, Bali, Istanbul, and many other places, innocent people – most of them Muslims – were targeted in markets and mosques, in subway stations, and on airplanes, each attack motivated by a violent ideology that holds no value for human life or regard for human dignity. I know that nothing can make up for the loss of the victims or fill the voids they left, but I hope their families can now find some comfort in the fact that justice has been served.”

It will serve us a lot of good if we are mindful of the fact that the breeding grounds need our attention. It will be very helpful if we have long term strategies to address the pressing need for reformed education and provision of basic human opportunities for the very vulnerable in the impoverished areas especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

We Americans have every reason to feel proud as a nation. Let us pledge that we will always stand united as one peace loving nation without regard to race, religion or color.

-Myra Chaudhary, USA

May 2, 2011 at 12:58 am 1 comment

It is a Test of Our Wisdom

The last article I wrote about Pakistan was “Pakistan Deluged”. Then it was the rain and floods.This time it is a political storm.

Let us not underestimate the dangers here. The whole region is volatile and the situation there is very unstable. Also let us not forget that we are allies. And let us remember we have come a long way and need very much to continue working together as allies in this common struggle against extremism and terrorism.

It is a very unfortunate incident. Let us be very careful and not stir anything. The extremists are looking and waiting for an opportunity. Let the wisdom prevail, otherwise there could be a tsunami. We cannot afford to repeat history when the Shah of Iran was replaced by Khomeini. That was pretty bad but this would be worse because it is a nuclear state.

Any issues that have to be dealt with and resolved need to be done with calm and cool diplomacy outside the eyes of the camera and without rushing or pushing too much.

If we do not the only beneficiaries and winners in this scenario are going to be the extremists,  and everybody else including the government of Pakistan, the people of Pakistan, the United States of America and the world at large will be at a big loss.

Let us all cool down and think how to handle this. It should be possible to find ways to resolve all issues by working together.

-Myra Chaudhary, USA

February 18, 2011 at 11:28 pm 1 comment

Religious Intolernance is the Biggest Threat

Governor Taseer’s murder is yet another proof that Pakistan has an increasing group of religiously intolerant people. The society will have to stand up if the justice system and the government does no take a stand

January 12, 2011 at 2:42 am 1 comment

Pakistan Deluged

As if they had not had enough, now 20 million people are victims of very severe floods in Pakistan. This is the worst monsoon season the country has had in over 80 years and a lot of it is where it has not happened before.

WE CANNOT IGNORE THIS. Millions have been displaced and thousands have died. A very sad and a serious humanitarian crisis. It is not just that, most of the floods are in the northern areas, the frontlines that have been suffering at the hands of terrorists. The challenges in these areas were enormous to begin with. The devastation of the floods has multiplied it many times over. It has huge geopolitical and security implications. This is the frontline of our fight against extremism and terrorism. It is important to deal with it promptly and help the people in the affected areas and ensure that they get settled back in their lives and are not left at the mercy of extremists. We need to remember history and not repeat the same mistakes that we made when we ignored Afghanistan and we can see we continue to suffer till this day.

There is another very important lesson to be learnt here and it should not take the IQ of a genius. Look and you will see the so called guardians of faith are attacking and killing the innocent people trapped in the waters. Yes the terrorists are killing people and these are Muslims being killed every where. Let us think for a moment. When we use a broad brush and paint a picture of Islamic terrorists we are not only doing injustice but committing a huge strategic blunder. Our statements, our media and our approach has helped no one but the terrorists. Let us try to understand, the victims of terrorism really are the hundreds and hundreds of millions of Muslims who are the targets of extremists everywhere. They actually are on our side and need our support. It is no wisdom to put them on the wrong side and weaken our own ranks. So let us use a little wisdom and stop doing what the terrorists wish and want us to do.

It will take too much to detail the list of destruction, suffice to say devastation is on a major scale. All kinds of help and money is essential at this time. Nothing can be done without it. The UN High Commissioner has reported that as much as $150 million to $200 million or more may be needed. There are immediate needs and longer term needs and issues. What will also be needed is good planning, honesty and management to ensure that help gets where it is needed.

Someone will have to do something. Don’t wait for the politicians though because it is not going to be them. They are too busy and yes they won’t have any time left–all their time and energy will be spent finger pointing and just fighting with each other. Can some one tell them, this is not going to stop the floods or feed the hungry and the homeless now. There is a better way to stand out from the crowd and it is by offering real solutions. Any one who tries that is really really going to stand out, and this would actually be a better way to get into the high office also which they are all after. People are really suffering and desperately need help. Could everybody please get back to real work?

It is not enough to hang that picture in the big offices. It will help more to remember and follow the words of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah: “My message to you all is of hope, courage, and confidence. Let us mobilize all our resources in a systematic and organized way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worth of a great nation” Failure was a word that was unknown to Jinnah. For the sake of humanity and global security we cannot afford to fail.

Let us do what we can and let us give what we can. It will all add up and make a difference.

-Myra Chaudhary

BBC VIDEOS: Hillary Clinton: We Will Stand With Pakistan

UN Secretary General: Pakistan Floods A Global Disaster.

See a BBC map of the intensity of the flood devastation and other ways to help raise money and learn more below: Let us not be silent. Let us work together and make this world a better place. Let us bring up the important issues, share ideas and comments.

Text S-W-A-T to 50555 for a $10 contribution to the UN High Commission for Refugees for tents, cloths, food, clean water, medicine, and other relief assistance. Text “Flood” to UNICEF and see how to help UNICEF here. For other information see the State Department, US Agency for International Development (USAID),  United Nations. , PakPac Links: US, International,& Pakistani Charities, World Health Organization, World Bank

The State Department Pakistan Relief Fund.

Some pictures of the terrible devastation caused by the floods:

Boston Globe Big Picture Severe Flooding in Pakistan

Boston Globe Continuing Pakistani Floods

BBC Picture Gallery

Please Comment & Share Ideas Here

August 14, 2010 at 2:13 am 8 comments

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