Last week 86 worshipping Muslims were massacred in two mosques in Lahore, Pakistan. It was the bloodiest event in this country for many years.
In a world which is rocked every day by the news of Muslims killing Muslims in some far off part of the world, this one event may not immediately alarm us, and it may be forgotten quickly. But these particular were not Shi’ites or Sunis, the two groups that are at war in Iraq. The 86 that died were all members of the Ahmadiya movement, a preaching movement which explains that jihad refers to the internal spiritual struggle, and that true religion must be expressed as love and consideration for others.
The Ahmadiya movement is very active in interfaith initiatives, and seeks to preach a different kind of Islam. For that reason the group invited us Vaishnavas to come and meet them last year and learn a little of their teachings.
Any deaths in the name of a religious cause are regrettable, but particularly so when the people killed are trying to promote peace and understanding. In this case, it appears that once again, the power of religious rhetoric from charismatic preachers has spawned hatred, injury and death.
For more on this massacre, and the group involved click here.