Loading
Bin Laden's death brings momentary relief in Pakistan, deeper problems remain
By Benjamin Mann
Newspapers in Pakistan reported the death of Bin Laden / Photo Credit: Globovision
Newspapers in Pakistan reported the death of Bin Laden / Photo Credit: Globovision

.- Responding to the death of Osama bin Laden, advocates of human rights and religious freedom in Pakistan say the real work of rooting out terrorism remains to be done.

“It is a moment of relief for many human rights activists,” said Peter Jacob, executive secretary of Pakistan's National Commission for Justice and Peace.

“There is a sense of satisfaction, too, that someone who believed in the death of others is no longer there.”

But Jacob and other Pakistani Christians worry that Bin Laden's followers “will still try to whip up hate campaigns for political gain.”

He said Bin Laden's discovery and death in the urban area of Abottabad should be a wake-up call to authorities. “Coming out of a state of denial is in everybody's interest,” he told CNA on May 2. “Extremism in Pakistan is not territory-specific, nor is the military response sufficient. The civilian leadership has to chalk out a road map to legal, economic and educational reforms.”

Jacob, whose commission promotes human rights on behalf of Pakistan's Catholic bishops, was initially skeptical about the news reports of Bin Laden's death.

“I was sitting in my office reading the newspaper, sipping tea. The newspaper did not have this news as this operation was carried out early in the morning,” he recalled.
 
“A colleague of mine, who had been sitting in front of the TV, entered my room and told me Osama was killed. 'Once again?' I questioned back, as I suspected that he was alive, because I had read stories claiming he was dead already.”

But the Al-Qaeda leader's May 1 death at the hands of U.S. special forces was no false alarm. Instead, it was a moment of cautious optimism.  

“I think the incident will accelerate the process of rethinking among the Muslims that will marginalize rigid and violent theories in the end,” Jacob reflected. At the same time, “it is also feared that extremists will target high-profile people – as they have made it clear through a message this morning –  and wage attacks.”

“The Christians in Pakistan, because they face violence in the name of religion, are cautious about their reaction for existential reasons,” he observed.

He said that the Vatican's carefully-measured message, holding Bin Laden “gravely responsible” for killing innocent people, but refusing to “rejoice” in his death, was “timely and helpful.” Jacob also hopes that the White House's message, explaining that its war on terrorism is not a fight against the religion of Islam itself, will be translated into local languages and be understood among the public.

“These is local or folk wisdom that people of Pakistan can benefit from also,” Jacob pointed out, quoting the words of the 19th century Sufi Muslim poet Mian Mohammad Bakhsh:

“Do not rejoice on the death of an enemy,
Because friends will die too one day.
Every dawn is doomed to submerge in dusk,
And don't let glee or gloom take the best of you away.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

New book 'The Vatican unknown'
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Aug
2

Liturgical Calendar

August 2, 2014

Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 14:1-12

Gospel
Date
08/02/14
08/01/14
07/31/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 26: 11-16, 24
Gospel:: Mt 14: 1-12

Homily of the Day

Mt 14:1-12

Homily
Date
08/02/14
07/31/14
07/30/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: