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?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: