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Lessons from the Peshawar church attack: appeasing Islamism leads to more terrorism

Lessons from the Peshawar church attack: appeasing Islamism leads to more terrorism

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Date Published: 
Tuesday, 24 September, 2013
Summary: 

The attack also illustrates the folly of appeasing Islamism. Recently, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Islamist Pakistan Muslim League (N) announced plans to negotiate with the Pakistani Taliban. Immediately following the attack responsibility was claimed by elements of the Pakistani Taliban, an alliance of around 30 Islamist terrorist groups who are primarily based in Pakhtunkhwa Province and the neighbouring tribal region. The Pakistani Taliban justified the attack on Pakistani Christians stating: “They (i.e. Pakistani Christians) are the enemies of Islam, therefore we target them. We will continue our attacks on non-Muslims on Pakistani land.”

Viewed in this light the attack appears to be a clear signal from the Pakistani Taliban, that one of their demands in any negotiations with the Pakistani government will be the closure of Christian churches within Pakhtunkhwa Province, if not the removal of the entire Christian population from the province
 itself.

Judging by his comments in the local Frontier Post, Sharif himself saw all too clearly the connection between his offer to negotiate with the Taliban and the attack on the province’s oldest Christian church. In other words far from preventing terrorism, Sharif’s offer to negotiate with the Taliban has actually emboldened them to engage in even more deadly acts of terrorism that appear designed to drive the Christian minority out of Pakhtunkhwa Province itself.