There are some news stories that one can quickly forget the next day, however this one will always be remembered as this is one of the few I can hardly wrap my mind around to even try to comprehend. As there are now approximately 4 months left until the blessed month of Ramadan, I cannot help but think about what happened last Ramadan in Sialkot, Pakistan. Last year on August 15th, 2010, also the 4th day of Ramadan, two brothers; Mughees and Muneeb Butt were brutally murdered in a mob killing in Sialkot and then subsequently lynched. To make matters more sick, the killing was witnessed by a huge crowd of people, including policemen, who did not even try to stop the fighting. This entire scene was also recorded on several cell phones and was broadcast on TV News stations across the country.
At the time this occurred there were several different stories on why they were beaten to death but I don’t think the people who did this are even capable of being asked as to why they did this. Even if we were to take justice in our own hands, these two teen boys would have had to do something insanely cruel to have these ghastly results. After reading the very few updates to the criminal case and trial, I have been wanting to write on the story and to bring more awareness to the issues at hand.
The Day Humanity Died
Below is an excerpt on what I have read from a Newsline story in which TV Anchor Asma Shereezi reported and interviewed the young boys’ parents herself. I think it depicted a very good detail of what occurred that day and the background of the two boys. Here is the entire story if you would like to read it: http://www.newslinemagazine.com/2010/09/sialkot-killings-the-day-humanity-died/
“Hafiz Mughees, 18, and Muneeb, 15, came from a well-respected family of Haji Pura, they said. Their father, Sajjad Butt, runs a dispensary at his residence that provides free medical aid to the people of the locality, and both his sons would often lend him a helping hand. The neighbours were full of praise for both the boys: “They were really intelligent and down-to-earth.” Mughees, the elder son, was a Hafiz-e-Quran (One who memorized the entire Quran), a first year student and also a body-builder. Muneeb, the younger son, was studying in class nine and was a bright student. In the Board results, which were declared after his death, he secured 342 marks out of 480, and stood second in his school.
During the course of filming, we got to hear two versions of the story. One was that Mughees and Muneeb were great cricket buffs and would play a lot of cricket with their friends in Buttar Village. According to one source, the two brothers had had a quarrel earlier with some people in the village over cricket. On the morning of August 15, the brothers had sehri, following which Mughees, who was a Hafiz-e-Quran, recited some ayats from the Quran for his mother – something which he often did – and then both brothers took their motorcycle and left to play cricket. Around the same time there had been a dacoity in the Buttar area, leading to a firing incident in which two persons were injured. The dacoits successfully fled the area, leaving the brothers, who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, to bear the wrath of a violent mob. Possibly the people they had earlier had a fight with, accused them of being in cahoots with the dacoits out of vendetta.
Angered, the people of the area started to beat them up. Finally, the police arrived and took the boys into police custody. They kept them at the Rescue 1122 office but a mob, ostensibly tired of the robberies that had been taking place in the area regularly, started gathering in front of the police’s emergency force building. Meanwhile, reports of the death of Bilal, one of the persons injured in the firing, surfaced. That’s when the mob went berserk. They entered the 1122 office, grabbed the two brothers and then unfolded a gory spectacle, like never seen before. The mob, in the presence of more than a dozen policemen, started beating up the two brothers. They were then lynched from a water tank pipe adjacent to the 1122 office. The bodies of the brothers were then put on a trolley and paraded through the streets of Sialkot, escorted by a police mobile, passing by their own home – unknown to their parents.”
Throughout all of this, the police, the people who are supposed to protect the citizens of their country, just watched and didn’t feel the need to interfere with the mob taking justice into their own hands. The mob still believes that the two brothers are guilty of stealing and murdering a man. But no matter what happened, they have no right to be the judge of someone’s life. They have no right to think that they are valid for holding that much anger and violence to two boys with cricket supplies and not guns in their hands. Some may say that some people would have been killed if they went against the violent and overpowering mob, but I think that if you truly had some sense and even the ability to feel your gut instinct, you would try to do something to protect the two. People jump into homes that are stricken with fire, older women hit armed thieves with their purses, but these people can’t try to stop two innocent boys from getting killed so blatantly? From seeing parts of the video (which I do not advise) I wonder if the people there were scared to defend, then why would they be witnessing such a crime in the first place? Because everybody else is doing it? If people think that their judicial system is so incompetent that they have to resort to acts like this, there is a problem. Lawyers, policemen, and chief justices are basically getting handed money for sitting around doing nothing. And if the citizens are being so immoral as to commit such a heinous crime, one can only imagine how much more unlawful their justices, policemen, and government officials truly are.
In fact, just a few days ago the Lahore High Court granted bail to 4 policemen in this case. They were ordered to submit 100,000 Rupees each. The Deputy Police Officer (DPO) was also granted bail by the court. I am not the least bit shocked. If Raymond Davis can get out clean, then these police officers are no different regarding their status in the country.
This can happen in any part of the world and does indeed happen in many different countries and goes ignored at times. This isn’t a time to point any finger towards a specific nation, ethnicity, nor religion. Similar incidents happen and are still happening in many prominent countries, therefore, regardless of whether it’s the honorable military man or barbaric uneducated villager: it’s the same crime in the end. This is a time to reflect on how much hatred in the world you have to protect yourself from, for no matter how educated you can be, you can become instantly blinded if the force of a handful of people are with you. Sometimes society around you can become so demoralized that you forget to see that you might have to account for another human being’s life.
One can only imagine how the parents are grieving with such a filthy situation. With one final quote from the boys’ mother: “I’ve lost my whole world. My sons were publicly butchered, and I am surprised that neither did the earth explode nor did the skies fall. But I will not shed a single tear. My sons have been martyred and my eyes are turned to the heavens. I expect justice from God.”
So, please, keep these brothers and their families in their prayers.
“It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik said: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) climbed up Uhud, accompanied by Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman, and the mountain shook with them. He struck it with his foot and said: “Stand firm, O Uhud, for there is no one on you but a Prophet or a Siddeeq or two martyrs.” [Al-Bukhari 3483]
We know how the Caliphs `Umar and `Uthman were killed – unlawfully, for committing no crime; one of them by a mob of rioters. They were among the few companions who were given the glad tidings during their lives, of being admitted to Paradise in the Hereafter.
May Allah grant patience in its most superlative form, sabr jameel, to their grieving family. Ameen.