Dec 17, 2014
By Jane Brown
A three day official mourning period is underway in Pakistan for the victims of yesterday’s school massacre by the Taliban. Most of the 148 victims were children.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is voicing what’s being said around the world. He says it’s beyond comprehension why anyone would attack innocent children and as a father, an attack like this breaks his heart.
Prayers were held for the victims at a mosque in Vaughan last night. Safwan Choudhary with the Ahmadiya Muslim Jamaata tells CP24, no religion in the world permits killing or violence, let alone of or against children.
“Islam means peace,” Choudhary explained, “The Ahmadiya community is heavily persecuted in Pakistan. The same group that attacked these children, just a few years back, attacked a mosque full of worshipers in Lahore, Pakistan where almost a hundred Ahmadiya Muslims were killed. So this type of violence is not new to us. When you see it happen to children in the name of faith, it is very disheartening and this is our response, which is prayer.”
The victims of the Pakistani school massacre are being honoured in various areas of the GTA. Schools in Peel region have lowered their flags and the Pakistani Consul General says a book of condolence will be set up at a location in Vaughan, so people can offer their sympathies.
Army commandos fought a day-long battle until the school in Peshawar was cleared and the Taliban attackers were dead. Terrorism expert Mubin Shaikh told the New AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back, this could be only the beginning.
“In Pakistan right now, there are calls to completely eliminate this group and completely wipe them out,” Shaikh revealed, “and I think the military has the full support of the public at this time. That is for certain.”
The Pakistani Taliban said the attack was revenge for a military offensive against their safe havens in the area.