I live in Peshawar. I shudder to watch television ever since 16 December 2014. I had the television on as I did household chores. At around noon time, there was breaking news.
I live in a country where on daily basis we get breaking news of bombs and bullets. I stopped my household work to listen to the breaking news.
I need not turn the volume up to know what was happening. On screen was the school of my son, my only son. The school had been attacked by Islamists. Children were being killed. Army was fighting them. There was too much detail and all I cared to know was whether my son was alive.
I ran out of my house. I ran, prayed; fell down on the ground thinking of any eventuality that I did not want to think of. I got up and ran hard. I got to the school. They would not let me go in.
Ambulances were running in and out of the school. They told me to go to the hospital. I had no strength to run to the hospital. So they put me in a van going to the hospital. In the hospital, I searched for my son among the living. I searched for hours. He could not leave me alone in this world. He had to be alive!
I was wrong. He had left me alone in this world. When I found his dead body, it was bullet ridden. They had shot him in the head, the head that I had kissed in the morning before he went to the school.
Ever since that day I do not watch the television but few days back, I had nothing to do and I switched on the television. It had scenes of shooting, of parents running here and there, of innocent blood splashed on the walls, of dreams ruined by devils. There were ambulances racing and people weeping.
It reminded me of 16 December 2014 and Peshawar! The scenes looked the same. The mourning mothers looked like me. Yet it was Kenya and not Pakistan.
As I saw parents burying their children in Kenya, reminded I was of the day when hundreds of parents in Peshawar had buried their children, their hopes and themselves too. Their lives would not be the same and they would always look for reasons. Many young people in Kenya were killed because they were not Muslims.
My child was a Muslim. He prayed five times a day, fasted 30 days a month and was a pious boy. He would have grown up to be a model follower of Islam yet he was killed in the name of Islam just like the children in Kenya were.
If religion was the reason for the deaths of your children, what was the fault of my son? I brought up my son to believe that Allah loves peace and HIs Messenger Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) spread Islam peacefully, as death would have come near to him, would he have believed me or the killers chanting the name of Allah.
I think he would have believed his mother and just like him, you have to believe a mother. The religion of the killers of your children could be death, devastation, disaster and all this has no place in Islam. My prayers are with your son and my son and all of you and all of us.