#PeshawarAttack – the divine emblem


Working in the conflict zones comes with heavy responsibilities not every western journalist may do justice with but what exactly are we doing in the face of sheer tragedy as a nation and as a “patriot” demands us to stop and ponder over the fuel our wits and guts may provide to the causes that best be subsided. Subsided to rise above our long loved opinions as civilized citizens and more importantly as a civilized nation.

From ministers to actors – there is little difference anyway – and from social workers to journalists – there should be little difference – every Pakistani mourns over the heart wrenching tragedy and condemns yesterday’s heinous attack on children we seem quite united in the face of this tragedy. But are we?

Yes, the tragedy is of the most heinous and monstrous kind and mere words could not simply condemn this act of barbarism in the name of faith. Yes, the perpetrators and executors must be punished in the cruelest of ways. Does it, in anyway justify, fueling hatred, conflict, political agendas and social inequality? Are we giving a second thought to our shares and comments?

On social media, it seems that we are keen to resolve the issue by either Facebooking “terrorists” – anyone with opposing or different opinion than ours – to death and if not then we would not settle for anything less than mindless shaming. The social media kamikazes seem more bent on bringing “War” they are fighting to take shape in the real world. Existing extremism is just not enough!

We point fingers on those we deem “unworthy, uncivilized and somehow responsible for the attacks”, which may be everyone and anyone but the real cause. Even if the posts don’t make sense it’s perfectly alright; ”infidels” should be named and shamed today while hundreds of families mourn the demise of their loved ones.

Social media kamikaze mindset works along these lines; I have changed my picture to a solid black in mourning! I am fighting for the victims and their families! And I shall put this war to an end today, right here on the social media!

Isn’t army investigating the matter? “They don’t know anything about it! They are not competent enough if they were they would have stopped it before it happened #PeshawarAttack”.

But, it was army commandos who brought the terrorists down. “It’s a conspiracy to boast their name at the expense of our children #PeshawarAttack”.

Exactly how many children do you plan to save through a mindless social media war laden with all sorts of religious, political and historic references? “Only a traitor raises such objections, you should be CAPSLOCKED to death #PeshawarAttack”.

I am not an expert but I believe when it comes to social media we often fail to stick to the subject matter. It’s sick; how we are mixing this tragedy – almost mindlessly on social media – with our political, religious and social perspectives to aid agendas of our own choice and making.

We do it all in the name of “#PeshawarAttack” the divine emblem when used in a post converts it into an absolute truth, an undeniable fact only an infidel terrorist may dare question.

About the author

Saad B Murtaza

Saad B. Murtaza is a journalist and creative writer based in Karachi. He has been working as an Investigative/Diplomat Reporter since 2010 and as a Creative Writer since 2008.

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