“I WISH I hadn’t brought my daughter to the park today (but) … This is the only recreation we can afford for her. What is her fault?”
Thus, a distraught working-class father lamented when, on March 27, his little girl became one of the casualties in the suicide bombing at a funfair in a popular public park in Lahore, Pakistan, which supposedly targeted Christians celebrating the Easter Sunday. Over 70 people were killed, many women and children, and mostly in fact were Muslims, and more than 300 others injured.
The dead and maimed now belong to a long and growing list of innocent, helpless and noncombatant victims of senseless and horrific terrorism spawned by religious extremism of Al-Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s neighbor, which have reared their ugly heads also in the form of their equally sadistic counterpart, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which continues its killing and destruction spree in its occupied territories and has recently unleashed its orgy of bombings and shooting in France and Belgium.
The Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa strongly denounces the Lahore carnage, a merciless and indiscriminate murder of ordinary working-class families who have nothing to do with the dubious and double-faced US-led global “war on terror” and who were only strolling in the park and letting the kids play on the rides and swings. This reprehensible slaughter shattered the happy scene of bonding between poor parents and their children as well as the relatively peaceful coexistence of the majority Muslims and minority Christians in Lahore.
Sentro expresses its fervent opposition to any form of extremism and fundamentalism that use and propagate twisted and self-serving interpretation of Islam and jihad that let loose intolerance, mayhem and brutality; as we fervently oppose distorted and egocentric versions of Christianity – and all religions for that matter – that set off racism, bigotry and many types of violence, including the rule of the few rich over the overwhelming poor majority, which are personified by Aryan or White supremacists, a variety of Christian fundamentalist sects and even other fringe groups or apologists like Donald Trump.
This cycle of violence and counter-violence will never end as long as the great inequality in wealth and opportunities continue – as this great inequality creates and worsens poverty, muzzles our voices, and ensures the dominance of prejudices and the tyrannical rule of the few. These are the social inequalities and injustices that the trade unions and the entire social movements are fighting. Indeed, our thoroughgoing fight for justice is also a thoroughgoing fight for a lasting peace.