In an incomprehensible attack, the Pakistani Taliban have targeted children and families in an amusement park today. This is the same group that attempted to murder Malala Yousafzai in 2012. during her bus ride home from school. She survived to become a champion for the right of girls to receive an education. But unlike Malala, many of today’s victims did not survive.
The majority of the victims are reported to be Christians, who constitute a minority of the population in Pakistan. Many were in the park to celebrate Easter with their families.
As you mourn these attacks, and feel the surge of outrage at such senseless deaths, please remember that the majority of victims of the Taliban are Muslim. The majority of the victims of ISIS are Muslim.
Your Muslim neighbors are not responsible. They should not be expected to apologize for these atrocities any more than you should be expected to apologize for atrocities committed by someone who shares your ethnicity or religion. If you are white, you probably do not feel that you need to apologize for the atrocities of the Ku Klux Klan. You are not called upon to answer for the actions of Dylann Storm Roof, who slaughtered innocent worshippers last year in a church in Charleston. If you are Christian, you probably don’t feel the need to apologize for the atrocities committed by the Spanish Inquisition, or explain the massacre at Jonestown or condemn David Koresh of the Branch Davidians.
We are scared and angry. And your Muslim neighbors are scared and angry too. But as they watch the barbarous acts committed by those who have twisted their religion into something evil, they should not also have to fear you and me on the street.
You can read NPR’s coverage of the attack here. [otw_shortcode_button href=”http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/27/472046234/explosion-at-park-in-lahore-kills-at-least-20″ size=”medium” icon_position=”left” shape=”square”]NPR on Lahore Attacks[/otw_shortcode_button]