Four nights ago I took a taxi home. The Pakistani driver told me he hasn’t been home in three years. Not because he doesn’t want to go. But because the Taliban, who control the area around his home, make it virtually impossible for him to do so.
He said they’ve blocked the routes leading to his village, torched convoys of much-needed food supplies and randomly killed members of his family. He told me one of their terror techniques is to give an innocent child a bag full of explosives, send them into a market or public place, then remotely detonate the explosives, thus killing the child, and anyone who happens to be nearby.
What kind of people do things like that?
Two nights ago another taxi driver told me he hasn’t been in contact with his family in Pakistan for three months. The last time he spoke with them, they told him not to come home, because they feared for his safety if he did. He hasn’t heard from them since, nor has he been able to reach them by phone. He doesn’t even know if they are still alive. Yet he continues to work, driving taxi in Dubai, hoping that soon he’ll get word that they’re okay.
What kind of world is this?
What kind of world is one in which:
- A man sexually abuses his daughter from the age of 11, imprisons her from the age of 19 (in a cellar for 24 years ), rapes her repeatedly and fathers her seven children?
- Thousands and thousands of women are murdered and raped each year?
- Murder is the number one cause of death of pregnant women in the United States?
- Over 5000 women and girls are killed every year by family members in so-called 'honour killings'?
- Every year, hundreds of women in India are burned to death by their husbands and/or their husbands’ families as a result of dowry disputes?
What kind of world is this? The kind where we must choose to live in such a way that we become a force for good, an instrument of positive change, a wellspring of compassion. There is no other choice in a world like this.