Religion is belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, a personal God or gods and the associated details that embody it as instruction.
In that definition, it does not say that religion is a good or bad thing. It does not say that one is better than another.
Clerics are religious leaders who impart the instructions. They help define what is right and wrong in the context of their particular set of beliefs.
Clearly from today’s experience, some religions are more tolerant than others. Some are more aligned with modern humanity than others. Some are outright out of step with some governments, especially those advocating individual freedom and liberty.
The Taliban tribe who say they embrace Islam cannot find it in themselves to condemn a bunch of their kind who attempted to murder a young girl for speaking her mind. She was on the way home from school and was gunned down and “clerics” cannot bring it to themselves to declare that the perpetrators were dead wrong.
So, what is the world to do?
It is reasonable and just to conclude that there is no difference between the perpetrators and the clerics. There is no difference between their religion and the terrorist criminals that committed this brutal act.
Therefore, humanity may well conclude that within Islam, there are sects of Muslims who are criminals who have twisted religion to shroud their despicable behavior into a corrupted club that does not earn the label of religion anymore.
They have proven that religion can become a bastard of human invention.
“Pakistani girl still unconscious after surgery; clerics mostly silent on shooting
View Photo Gallery — Taliban says it shot 14-year-old ‘infidel’ who spoke for girls: A 14-year-old Pakistani activist who won international acclaim for speaking out for girls denied education under the Taliban was shot and seriously wounded in Pakistan on her way home from school, authorities said.
By Richard Leiby and Michele Langevine Leiby, Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 12:57 PM
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Doctors have removed a bullet lodged near the spine of Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl gunned down on her school bus by the Taliban, officials said Wednesday. Yousafzai’s chances of survival improved after the surgery, but she remained unconscious and in critical condition.
Police said they had identified a shooting suspect but had not yet apprehended him. Akbar Khan Hoti, chief of police for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where Yousafzai lives, told a TV news channel that the attacker had traveled from eastern Afghanistan.
The provincial administration, meanwhile, announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s capture.
As schoolchildren throughout the nation held prayer vigils for the teenage education activist, many Pakistani political leaders and international figures expressed revulsion over the assassination attempt in the volatile Swat Valley region.
But religious parties and mosque leaders were largely silent, highlighting the grip that right-wing clerics hold on this increasingly conservative, majority-Muslim country. Religious leaders here rarely denounce suicide bombings or sectarian attacks for fear of provoking the Taliban.
“These religious parties have strong ideological links to the Taliban. Conceptually, there is not much difference between them. They want to control the state and take up jihad against the West,” said Ijaz Khattak, a professor at the University of Peshawar who knows Yousafzai and her father, an educator and a member of Swat’s peace jirga, or tribal council.
The Pakistani Taliban said it had dispatched a gunman to kill Yousafzai, a ninth-grader, because the militant group considered her a pro-Western symbol of “infidels and obscenity.” If she survives, a spokesman for the group said Tuesday, it will try to kill her again.
But mainstream Pakistanis view Yousafzai, whose advocacy of girls’ education won global recognition, as a symbol of hope in a country long beset by violence and despair.
Pakistan’s top military official, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, visited Yousafzai on Wednesday morning at the military hospital in Peshawar where she is being treated for gunshot wounds to the head and neck. Kayani, arguably Pakistan’s most powerful man, called the shooting a “heinous act of terrorism.”
“The cowards who attacked Malala and her fellow students have shown time and again how little regard they have for human life and how low they can fall in their cruel ambition to impose their twisted ideology,” Kayani said, according to a news releaseissued by the military’s information office. “. . . They have no respect even for the golden words of the prophet . . . that ‘the one who is not kind to children, is not amongst us.’ ”
Pakistan’s army has lost thousands of soldiers and officers in its war against the Taliban, which has stepped up its attacks in the western tribal areas and frequently beheads captured troops. In his statement, Kayani sought to draw a sharp line between Islam and the Taliban, saying that “Islam guarantees each individual — male or female — equal and inalienable rights to life, property and human dignity.”