A very common saying in Pakistan is that if someone wants to take the biggest revenge on someone, does not need to kill him, but simply turn him into a drug addict.

Drugs will keep killing him every day and night, and therefore it will not ruin him alone but also his family and dear ones.

I take it one step further and say that if you would like to ruin any nation, simply trigger off violence, aggression and brutality into society. This cancer of intolerance and lack of decency will ruin the entire fabric of the nation.

The speech of Malala Yousafzai to the United Nations was a wonderful reflection of the philosophy of tolerance and harmony, and the dangerous repercussions of aggression and violence. The tragedy this girl suffered and the trauma she went through in recent months alone can determine that, for our betterment and prosperity, violence and aggression must be uprooted from our societies once and for all.

In her speech, she emphasised the importance of education and tolerance; the rejection of arms and guns. During her speech she mentioned a number of remarkable personalities in human history who taught peace-loving and non-violent philosophy, including the prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ, who were a simple example of compassion, mercy and forgiveness.

The Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ were an example of compassion and mercy

She also mentioned Martin Luther, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who all fought for their nation’s rights through dialogue and persuasion, the pen, the book.

She said that the legacy she has inherited from such noble personalities will be her guiding principle to promote education and peace for all; and her struggle against violence and aggression.

The Taliban issued a statement after Malala’s speech claiming they attacked her for good reason and if she returned to Pakistan will be attacked again. They said they are carrying out this jihad for the sake of Islam and God. I fail to understand their logic of shooting young girls aged 14 and 15 in the name of God.

Let me briefly say what God commands us to do. The Holy Koran highlights the service to fellow humans at numerous occasions, “Slacken not in serving your fellow beings.” (4:105). “Indeed, Allah is with those who are righteous and those who serve others.” (16:129) Again, “Surely, the mercy of Allah is near those who do good to others.” (7:57)

St John tells us so concisely, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, how can he love God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, ‘that he who loves God must love his brother also.’” (1 John 4:20-21)

Over a century ago the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat declared that the concept of bloodthirsty jihad is not a lawful jihad at all; and that time requires the abstention from religious wars involving armed combat, killing and bloodshed.

Those who do not refrain from spilling blood and giving such sermons is therefore unacceptable, because human sympathy is its first casualty in adopting such barbaric methods.

He raised his voice against every kind of barbarism, aggression and intolerance and emphasised sympathy of humanity, and said: “Refrain from evil and be truly compassionate towards mankind. Cleanse your hearts of malice and spite, for you will become like angels through this habit. It is a filthy and unholy religion that is devoid of sympathy for humanity, and polluted is the path riddled with thorns of a rancourbased on selfish desires... Be compassionate towards all for the sake of God so that you may be shown mercy in the heavens.”

He went on saying that: “jihad with the sword has ended from this time forward, but the jihad of purifying your souls must continue.”

When one ponders over his words, one can easily analyse that the situation of the last century and more importantly the last few decades bear witness to this testimony that his words ring true and every word had a deep wisdom behind it. Countries which adopted violence saw their society being shattered.

The situation of Pakistan, Afghanistan and some Arab countries bear witness to this very fact that violence and aggression should not have any place in any society because they alone can ruin the peace and security of the entire society.

Malala said that terrorists attacked her and her friends too, and “they thought that the bullet would silence us, but they failed”.

I certainly believe in the philosophy of love for all, hatred for none. And I truly believe Mirza Tahir Ahmad’s quote: “Swords can win territories, but not hearts; force can bend heads, but not minds.’’


Laiq Ahmed Atif is the President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta.

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