I woke up. I was happy. I turned on my phone. My heart started to sink as I read about what had just happened. Never had I ever felt this amount of sadness and grief in my life.

Reports said:

148 killed, 132 of them school children, in a deadly attack on the Army Public School in the city of Peshawar.

As a Muslim and a Pakistani, I am writing this article to try and clarify a few misconceptions that have risen since this incident, and also to express my own feelings and I’m sure, the feelings of millions of others who were born into this struggling nation.

First and foremost, I would like to point out that unlike the portrayal by the international media, these children were NOT in fact killed for going to school. They were, instead, martyred for being the sons of The Pakistan Army’s soldiers, as retaliation for the operation “Zarb-e-Azb” launched in the North-Waziristan area, in January this year.

And now for a bigger statement.

We refuse to accept the people behind this as our own, may it be on a national, or a religious level.

Our country Pakistan does NOT teach it’s youth to even have a speck of admiration for these sick-minded cowards who use our name, and that of our beautiful religion, for such murderous and insanely inhuman activities. Our schools, our institutes spread the message of peace and teach students to have respect for everyone, as they make their own way into the world.

As for our religion, it completely forbids the killing of children and women, even the ones of the enemy, when a Muslim army is at war. Thus, I would like for you to know that these savages are not, cannot be, Muslims. They have already brought about so much hatred toward us, from those who do not know our religion, that it makes it almost impossible for, say, a Christian or a Buddhist, to be open to us when we defend our religion and say, “They are far from the teachings of our Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him), and those of our Qur’an.”

So if you feel that way, and if you’re reading PLEASE let a proud Muslim and Pakistani, tell you that they do not represent us, and we do not represent them, in any way.

My heart breaks, along with the hearts of billions of others, Pakistani and Non-Pakistani, Muslim and Non-Muslim, every time I think about the children aged 8-18 who were brutally murdered, or were compelled to see their friends and teachers being brutally murdered in front of their eyes. I, and my fellow Pakistanis thank you for your support, and request you to remember those in your prayers, whose homes have become a little more lonely now, by the absence of a small spark, that used to be their light in the darkness.

A message to the culprits;

We are not, and will not be, scared of your desperate attempts at making us back down. We know you aren’t Pakistanis or Muslims, but at least try to be human.

We will continue to love and fight for our nation and religion, even if they kill us or make us bleed whist we’re at it, like our little soldiers who lost their lives on the 16th of December. WE WANT PEACE. WE WILL ALWAYS WANT PEACE. We haven’t lost hope in Allah, and we haven’t lost hope in our army, we stand united now, more than ever. May Allah bless Pakistan. Insha Allah one day, we shall indeed, “Rise and Shine”.