Today, Paris, we speak to you from Pakistan

We should be standing together, against the real and only enemy – terrorists and the annihilators of humanity.

Zeeshan Butt November 17, 2015
The words terrorism and fundamentalism are popularly associated with Islam. Fear of Islam and the rise in anti-Muslim sentiments is no longer a topic of debate, but an overwhelming state of reality for many Muslims. The recent attacks in Paris have aggravated the sentiments of Islamophobia, which is a win-win situation for the groups carrying out these attacks.

We were gutted by the brutal massacre that took place in Paris. First-hand accounts of the attacks are so chilling that it is impossible for us to sit back and not enter the conversation regarding terrorism and Islamophobia.

Pakistan’s voice is crucial in this entire discourse.

Therefore, Paris, we speak to you.

We feel your pain. The mindless violence that gripped you in its monstrous hold will go down in history as one of the lowest points of human existence.

The word ‘condemn’ has been employed by so many official forums, by so many ‘officials’ that it doesn’t feel substantial anymore. It does not convey how we feel. So we want to tell you how we really feel.

The fact is that the world that we inhabit is becoming increasingly polarised in this haze of terrorism and fear. It’s a vicious spectrum that involves violence, fear and hatred. This particular phenomenon is quickly setting itself up as our new world order. We are entering the era of fear.

It is imperative that we recognise where we are headed – the power of fear is pulling us in opposite directions, at the ends of two extremes, where we feel that the ‘other’ is the enemy.

We are here, speaking to you, to douse whatever would incite such hatred between us.

We are here to tell you the truth.

And the truth is that we ache for all the lives that have been taken from you. We agonise over all the bullets that tore through your flesh. Those bullets came from misguided misanthropes who have nothing to do with the ‘Islamic’ labels they carry. The truth is that Muslims all over the world have been misrepresented by those terrorists, the international media and Islamophobic people in general.

We feel sorry that the climate of fear, one that we are quite familiar with, seeped into your end of the world in the most harrowing way. The fact is, dear Paris, that we breathe in that haze of fear every day. It has seeped into our consciousness and has become our reality. It pains us deeply that the scars we bear have become etched on your skin as well.

The truth is that you and I should not be standing at the polar opposite ends of this world spectrum.

In fact, we should be standing together, against the real and only enemy – terrorists and the annihilators of humanity.

Dear, Paris, stay strong. We shall heal together.

This video was originally posted here.
Zeeshan Butt
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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