So Is The Mashal Khan Killing Really Down to Religious Fanaticism Or Our Society’s General Intolerance?

Imagine you’re sitting in your university dorm, passing time, and you hear a mob of 50 angry young men charging towards you to try and beat the hell out of you? There is nothing much you can do but wonder why that is happening. Mashal Khan was a Wali Khan University student, killed for allegedly promoting the ‘Ahmadi’ narrative on his Facebook page. Did anyone ask him what he meant by his abstract Facebook posts? Why wait for an answer when you can beat the life out of him!

Source: Mashal Khan - Facebook

Source: Mashal Khan – Facebook

When Mashal posted his views up on Facebook, word spread around his university of his alleged blasphemous opinions. In an area where religious controversy has less tolerance than some of the other regions of the country, this was apparently unacceptable. Organizers of the brutality gathered a group of almost 50 angry young men, who charged towards Mashal Khan and his friend Abdullah, in the university dorms, chanting “Allah Hu Akbar” at the top of their voices. Despite the security guard’s best efforts to restrict them, the mob broke through the gate, and confronted Abdullah, asking him to recite verses of the Quran, to assure them of his faith. That didn’t stop them from beating him, though. The mob them stormed Mashal’s hostel room, beat him, with one of the members of the mob shooting at him. Succumbing to the wound, Mashal died right there, on the spot.

Law of the jungle cannot prevail – Imran Khan, Chairman PTI.

The ‘fanatic’ killing of the young university student irked debates on social media and news channel talk shows countrywide. The DIG Mardan, Alam Shinwari, informed media that after realizing Mashal had died, the mob wanted to burn his body, but the Police intervened and prevented any such thing from happening. Since the incident, almost 40 individuals from the university have been identified as the guilty, and 8 arrested so far, with firm action expected to be taken on the issue.

Ever since the incident took place, several theories have sprung out regarding the causes of the Mashal’s killing. Was he really of blasphemous ideology or did his remarks prove intolerable enough for someone to make fake accounts of him over on social media and try to frame him? Regardless, the incident is of great concern to all of us. Since almost all of us are active participants in the world of social media, will our opinions and views also be received in the same manner? Forget freedom of speech; is this what our educational institutes are instilling in their students, to take law into their own hands in the name of religion? Blasphemous content or not, the guilty must be brought to justice!

About the author

Saad Gilani

Engineer. Writer. Red Devil for life.