By Sr. Kanwal Malik

On December 16, 2014, like any other morning I opened up my Facebook page to read daily hadith and other interesting things going on with family and friends. Much to my horror, many of my friends had similar posts expressing their grief about “the Peshawar incident”. What had happened? What had happened now? With a racing heart and a confused mind, I read on and found details.

The Taliban had attacked The Army Public School, a military institution in Peshawar, Pakistan. Children and family members of the Pakistani military had been targeted and slaughtered. This was the direct result of military operations against the Taliban by the Pakistani military.

In response to air strikes against their women and children, the Taliban had sliced a knife through the heart of the Pakistani military, by killing children primarily. Social media sites were replete with posts and tweets depicting sorrow, grief and anger against the Taliban. I also thought about posting something to express my shock and disgust on Facebook and Twitter.

As I started to post, no words came- nothing eloquent- nothing sorrowful, no words came to me- I sat empty, with nothing to offer. Words seemed insufficient, thoughts seemed incoherent. My emotions could not be translated into mere words. How do you sum up the senselessness of a tragedy beyond the realms of humanity? How do you come up with words that can assuage a mother’s worst night mare? Are there any words to express your anguish over the holocaust? Can 9/11 ever be translated into actual writing?

 As tears ran across my cheeks, I questioned myself and the entire Muslim Ummah- when will it end? Can the cycle of vengeance against your own come to an end? How can anyone claim to be a Muslim and be so heartless! Peace is the universal message of Islam as the Quran states clearly “theirs shall be an abode of peace with their Sustainer; and He shall be near unto them in result of what they have been doing," Quran 6:127 and explains "And [know that] God invites [man] unto the abode of peace, and guides him that wills [to be guided] onto a straight way, Quran 10:25”.

If we are Muslims, if we all believe in one path, one creed, then why the hatred? It is high time we trained and taught ourselves and the coming generations that forgiveness is the only path to salvation. Continuing the cycle of savagery and treachery will lead us nowhere - but to our demise. It is time to show the world that we really are the Ummah of a peace loving Prophet PBUH. It is time to take this black cycle of vengeance and terrorism and replace it with peace, unity and harmony, after all- HAVEN’T WE HAD ENOUGH?