Why Us Children?
What Wrong Have I Done?
I ask them desperately time and again-why have you lined me up in the classroom with my other friends and hold a gun in front of me? Why do you shoot us down randomly at school just to make your point? Why do you need to kill us at Columbine, Dunblane, Erfurt, Newton or at Red Lake in Minnesota? If you have a problem, that's not ours. We are still happily unaware of what problems really are for we haven't gone that far in our lives. We still dream-of a world held together in peace, love and respect and admiration of what surrounds us.
What do we know of radicalism or purism of a religion? What have we got to do with the religious affiliations of our parents or the work that they have to do to feed us and send us to school? What do we know of your problems and your inner turmoils? What have we got to do with them anyway?
Why Beslan, why Peshawar, why Nigeria, why Kenya, why my schools? Why do you need to kill 125 of us at Peshawar to drive home a point? What wrong have we done and how have we disturbed your beliefs to shoot that gun you hold in front of us? Why do you have to retaliate and kill us for something that the world has seemingly done to you?
In Beslan, we were simply celebrating the first day of school year when you walked in and held nearly a thousand of my friends, teachers and parents hostage. You killed 300 of us for something that we were not aware of. You again walked into my school at Peshawar in army uniforms. We ran to you for inspiration and hope, aspiring to be something like you some day. Instead, you mined our school, our playground, and the walls surrounding the school. You lined us up in our classrooms and segregated us by our age and the work that our fathers did. If we were above sixteen and our father was working for the army, you simply shot us down without blinking an eyelid. You killed nearly 150 of us-for something that we are still not aware of. Why? In the name of which God?
Why did Nurpashi Kulaev, the only surviving terrorist from the group that attacked the school in Beslan 10 years ago have no regrets and said that he didn't feel guilty for the massacre of children and women? What harm did we do to his beliefs or his friends? Why did the Taliban in Pakistan have to massacre us to drive home a point, and later justify their action that this was a befitting retribution for the army targeting their families? Why did Muhammad Umar Khorasani from the Pakistan Taliban proclaim proudly to the world that their suicide bombers had been instructed not to harm children who had yet to attain puberty, yet randomly kill children beyond the age of sixteen since they were legitimate targets of the attack? What world has the sixteen-year-old seen to be gunned down so brutally? Does he not sound hauntingly similar to the perpetrators of the Beslan massacre in Russia some 10 years ago? Or why did you have to walk in my school at Newton, Adam Lanza, and shoot 20 of us children down and also kill six of our favorite teachers? What harm did we ever do to you?
We play-sometimes soccer, sometimes cricket, sometimes just jump at the joy of being alive and unaffected by the world around us. We run, we learn, we chase, we laugh, we pray not knowing who we are praying to, we study to aspire, we aspire to change the world one day. What do we do to you to hate us so? Does killing us make you any braver? Why? Why is there so much hatred in you?
Why do you do this to yourself? Why?