Review on Islamic University suicide attacks
Striking Islamic University in Islamabad
Islamabad, Oct 22: On the fourth day of the South Waziristan offensive by the Pakistan
Army, the terrorist suicide-bombers decided to strike at the
International Islamic University in Islamabad, killing six, out of whom
three were girls. Heeding the message, the federal government and the
provinces have closed down all educational institutions for five days,
after which some decisive developments are expected.
on the university reveals the changing temperament of the
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its increasing desperation. The
University is a centre of the study of sharia and is staffed in such a
way that a worldwide perspective on the Islamic way of life becomes
available to Pakistani students. It has featured renowned foreign
scholars on its faculty and is highly regarded in the Islamic world.
the TTP signature is crying out to be noticed. The girls, most of them
observing hijab, have been targeted. In this sense, the attack is of a
piece with the attacks on girls' schools elsewhere in the country by
the Taliban. From a recorded past of approval, the terrorists have
moved to disapproval of the University. Since it is funded by
Pakistan's friendly Arab states and is located right next to the
Saudi-built Faisal Mosque, the attack also contains a message from Al
Qaeda. All bets, it appears, are off.
The students of the
Islamic University expressed their view of the government by pelting
stones at the car of the interior minister, Mr Rehman Malik, as he
arrived to review the scene of bombing. This was a leftover from the
settled understanding they had of the government. It might change in
the coming days as they review their opinion of the TTP and Al Qaeda.
But the question to be asked here - and in other universities - is:
will the campuses undergo a change of mind?
When the Islamic
University was set up, one teacher sent by Saudi Arabia to teach here
was Professor Abdullah Azzam, a renowned Palestinian scholar who also
ran the famous Saudi humanitarian organisation Rabita al-Alam
al-Islami, which had an office in Islamabad. Mr Azzam also laid the
foundation of Al Qaeda in Peshawar, not as a terrorist organisation but
as an Islamic response to the Soviet incursion in Afghanistan. He was
killed in Peshawar but his legacy has remained a part of Al Qaeda.
is significant that a TTP group of terrorists that killed a number of
khassadars, or local levies, during the month of Ramazan in Khyber
called itself the Abdullah Azzam Brigade. Is it a lapse of memory on
the part of the terrorists that they have attacked a university where
Prof Azzam taught once and to whom the leaders of such organisations as
Harkatul Mujahideen and various Lashkars owe allegiance? One can only
put it down to an act of desperation. And it must cost the TTP a lot of
Those who have held exchanges of views with the Islamic
University will remember that its students did not share the generally
liberal outlook that characterises Pakistani society. In this they are
in tune with views held in most universities of Pakistan where
religious parties have almost a permanent influence. In Pakistan's
education system, the madrassas and the universities are close in their
worldview. In the middle, among the schools and colleges, is where the
typical middle-of-road Pakistani view - backed by our non-religious
political parties - is still prevalent.
The TTP may be about to
lose the support at campuses where most students tended to look at them
positively and were in favour of "talks" with the Taliban, adhering to
the stance adopted by Jama'at-e Islami and Tehreek-e-Insaf. A glimpse
of this was offered by the Punjab University where the vice-chancellor
led a march of protesting boys and girls against Tuesday's outrage at
the Islamabad Islamic University. Daily times
Post your comments
Bombing at male, female campuses of Islamic university
Islamabad: Several months ago, I was invited to speak at a seminar at the
women's campus of the International Islamic University (IIU). It was,
to say at the least, a memorable experience. I came to the unfortunate
realisation that I too was a prejudiced individual after I compared my
expectations to what I saw there.
expected a strict, stifling academic atmosphere that would be pervading
the air in a sea of burqas. It was none of those things; the only
cliché present was my pre-conceived notion, sadly with what could be
called new neo-colonial mindset of the modernist Muslim despite his/her
good intentions. The female students there were animated, gutsy and
held intellectual discourse with vigour.
Most striking was the
plurality of the female campus of the IIU; the girls there chose their
own identities and wore what they liked (with even the occasional
moderate western wear). The segregation hadn't created an artificial
environment; the students were free to be their own selves without the
social mores that come into play when the genders mix.
heard of the bombing at both the male and female campuses of the IIU, I
was deeply saddened. I continue to wonder how urban apologists for the
Taliban will spin this one. In all likelihood they won't, they will
pretend it never happened. Rehman Malik is already at the blame game,
claiming the problem was a lapse in university security. Since when
have universities become experts in counter-terrorism is beyond me. He
chose to ignore the obvious, which is that his ministry miscalculated
when it thought schools were under threat and advised to shut them down
instead of including universities on the list as well.
the PPP maybe an abject failure in governing this nation, our only
alternative is proving to be a duplicitous man preaching a hollow
holier-than-thou tirade. Nawaz Sharif won't answer questions about the
Taliban, nor will he back the army into a war it has been slow to
After the IIU bombing, what else is it that the
Taliban can do to prove to Nawaz Sharif that they are entirely Godless?
The left will quote Chomsky, Pilger and others to explain the social
conditions that lead to movements like the Taliban, in effect
intellectually justifying their methods. There is no denying the areas
that have spawned this collective deserved better. But then, frankly,
what are the redeeming features of the Taliban, if any? Explaining
their background cannot, and does not, mitigate their callousness or
Muted defenses of the Taliban always argue that
one should not attempt to wipe them out because they are Muslims, 'well
intentioned' but deviant. But what is odd that it seems the Taliban
have no such qualms, having relegated everyone but themselves into the
pit of infidels.
For a long time now, there has been no room
left for understanding and compassion. It is time to demonise them.
General discourse and the media need to paint them as the new infidels.
The kid gloves need to come off; the right wing of this country has to
treat them with the same disdain and suggestions of all-encompassing
evil that they reserve for USA, India and Israel.
To be a
member of the Taliban should be an unequivocal slur, it needs to have
shame. In the battle for minds, maybe the same misdirected and
spontaneous anger that creates mobs in streets against people (usually
religious minorities) for alleged blasphemy should be aimed at people
who collaborate with these murderers. It's no less a grave blasphemy to
kill and maim innocent girls in an overtly Islamic university in the
name of the Prophet (PBUH).
But no, we have one standard for
the Taliban and another for people who mark their heads with red dots
and adorn their necks with crosses. This is the crux of our problem,
not military might against the hordes of barbarians inside our gates. -Fasi Zaka, email@example.com (The news)
Post your comments
Staff's bravery saved scores of lives at varsity
Islamabad: The courage shown by two unsung heroes, including
one who lost his life during the two suicide bombings in the
International Islamic University (IIU), saved lives of hundreds of girl
students in the institution's cafeteria on Tuesday.
Masih, a 40-year-old Christian worker, saved scores of lives at the
double-storey cafeteria, where around 400 female students were present
at the time of the attack.
"There would have been dozens of
deaths had the suicide bomber not been blocked by Pervez Masih," said
Saifur Rehman, a senior security official of the IIU.
other hero, Mohammad Shaukat, survived the attack but he is fighting
for his life on a bed in the surgical ward of Pakistan Institute of
Medical Sciences, as a shot fired by the suicide bomber hit him in
Narrating the scene of the suicide attack on
the cafeteria for women, Shaukat said that: "The attacker clad in
a black burka was heading towards the cafeteria for female students at
a time when they were having their lunch. I felt something wrong as no
girl student, even one who observes veil, wears a head-to-toe burka on
the women campus. I intercepted the bomber, who shot me, and I fell
down but Pervez, who witnessed the scene, understood the designs of
suicide bomber and held him at the entrance of the dining hall where
the blast took place."
Organs and flesh of the suicide bomber
littered the entrance area and Pervez was thrown at the wall on the
other side of the dining hall, said another eye-witness.
Pervez Masih, who leaves behind a three-year-old daughter and a widow,
had joined the IIU on October 5. He was not only the sole breadwinner
of his family, who live with him in a rented house in Dhoke Kala Khan,
"He was very simple and, by nature, he was quite
different from others workers in the university," said Amjad, the
contractor (employer) who inducted Pervez Masih in his workforce on
Two suicide attacks took place in two separate
blocks of the IIU on Tuesday, killing seven people. Three girl students
and the Christian worker died in the cafeteria, while three people,
including two male students, died in the main block for men.
The university administration announced that it would extend monetary
assistance to the bereaved family of Pervez Masih and injured Shaukat
for the courage they showed in the tragic events in the international
IIU President Dr Anwar Hussain
Siddiqui in a press conference said there was no prior threat to the
university and even then "best available" security had been provided. Dawn
Post your comments
IIUI to observe 'Yaum-e-Tahafuz-e-Pakistan'
Islamabad: International Islamic University Islamabad (IIU) will
observe 'Yaum-e-Tahafuz-e-Pakistan' on October 26 to pay homage to
those killed in suicide attacks in the university.
staff will hold a rally on the occasion while flower
wreaths would be laid on the two places which were attacked.
President Dr Anwar Hussain Siddiqui announced this on Wednesday during
a press conference. He said the university would also hold Qura'an
Khawani on Friday at Faisal Mosque for the departed souls. app
Post your comments
IIUI blasts FIR registered
Islamabad: Sabzi Mandi police have registered a case against unknown
suicide attackers and terrorists for carrying out two blasts at
International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI). A police
official said that the FIR was lodged under sections 302, 324, 427,
109 PPC and 7 ATA (Anti-Terrorist Act) on the behalf of SHO Muhammad
Post your comments
Breakthrough in IIUI bombing probe
Islamabad: Inspector General of Police (IGP) Syed Kaleem Imam on
Wednesday claimed that investigators had made breakthrough in
investigation of two suicide attacks on International Islamic
University Islamabad (IIUI).
Talking to journalists at Police
Lines after passing out parade of anti-terrorist squad, the IGP said
investigators had got some crucial clues about the suicide blasts. "The
blasts were carried out in a patron similar to terrorist activities in
near past," he said.
Imam said suicide bombers aged from 18 to
20. Security of the capital would be enhanced and more pickets would be
set up, he said. Daily times
Post your comments