March 11, 2010
To whom it may concern,
On March 10, you killed my friend Ahmed. You killed him, and you killed 5 others. You came into our office, our office, decorated with the happy colors of a kindergarten, and defiled it with the dark colors of your trade.
What was it that sparked your rage? Was it the thousands of children that now go to school because of Ahmed’s work? Maybe it was the trees that he and our friends in the community planted on that hillside? Or was it the health clinic we helped rebuild?
All egregious acts, no doubt.
Ah, or maybe it was the women. It’s always the women for you, isn’t it? Maybe it was the thousands of women that Ahmed and others helped to register to vote. Maybe it wasn’t enough that we backed the registration van flush with the door of each woman’s hut so she wouldn’t be seen by any of those darned nefarious eyes.
Or maybe it was the fact that 600 women attended the seminar that Ahmed and his female coworkers organized for International Women’s Day on Monday? Yes, that’s the one, the ceremony where half a dozen leading imams spoke? Yes, of course, I can see how 600 women, carefully covered in cloth from head to toe, with nothing but their eyes visible, would send an erotic tingle down your spine that would send you into a fit of fury, so respectful are you of their pristine nature. And was it respect that you felt when you shot those two women dead yesterday?
I suppose we’ll never know what was going through your small mind as you crept down from your little cave up there in Kala Dhaka, strong with the righteous power of your delusional faith.
But there are some things I do know. I know the answer to the question you have posed.
According to the newspapers you screamed, “Why are you doing this job?” to Ahmed and others before orphaning his children. You asked them all, didn’t you?
I know the answer.
People like Ahmed work tirelessly in places like Oghi to provide an alternative to the disgusting violence you offer. Where you sow hate, he helps needy children; where you sow violence, he plants the seeds of a more prosperous community, and where you sow intolerance, he nurtures respect for human life and dignity.
And there are millions more just like him.
And we will win.
(This moving text was written by my colleague Jeff Hall, in the heat of the news on the attack against the World Vision office in Oghi, Pakistan.)