The display of feelings and manifestation of opinion through peaceful demonstration is one of the key traits of societies with democratic systems and freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest and assemblies. In Afghanistan, people have regularly exercised this right to wage demonstrations on various issues. But unfortunately in many cases these protests have been violent or turned violent after nonviolent start, showing the most superficial sentiments.
The anti-Quran burning protest in April in Mazar-e-Sharif, which turned violent and resulted in killing of many UN staff, was followed by a series of violent rallies in different provinces of the country that led to deaths and injuries.
The violent out-pouring of sentiments has been the hallmark of many demonstrations in our country in recent years. As in a latest instance, on Friday, August 05, 2011, four people, including a policeman, were killed and six others wounded when a demonstration turned violent in the southern province of Zabul.
The demonstrators claimed that they expressed their disapproval of the exhumation of bodies of two Taliban fighters who had been killed a day before. But police chief, Lt. Col. Abdul Nabi Elham, rejected the allegation as baseless, saying armed individuals among the demonstrators tried to provoke violence.
According to the accounts of demonstrators, three militants were killed by Afghan and foreign forces on Thursday and police disinterred two of the bodies after being buried. But the police chief has said the Taliban killed in Thursday's battle included a commander, named Sharifullah.
Police took the bodies, before they were buried, for a forensic examination. Unfortunately, over the last years, the government has not been able to work against the violent culture influenced by the extremist and totalitarian interpretation of religious teachings, which allows for no compromise even if it leads to killing of many human beings because in this interpretation, ideology is superior to the human lives.
That is why we see for one act, which is regarded against the ideology, many human beings are killed. Due to a crazy act of a pastor of Florida Church, which was against the belief, many human lives were taken. For a forensic examination, four people are killed. This is just an outpour of superficial sentiments.