Shaheed Bhai Jaspal Singh

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Beautiful in Death as in Life

We never think of death as beautiful but when looking at the face of deceased martyr Jaspal Singh who refused to abandon his Sikh faith when threatened with death, I'm struck by the serenity of his beautiful countenance. The face of the deceased carries the same expression that it bore in life. Taliban terrorists severed the head of Jaspal singh from his body after holding him captive for 41 days. They stole his life but could not steal his inner peace or his steadfast conviction. I am reminded of the words I heard spoken by the late Yogi Bhajan, "It is better to die as Khalsa than to live as anything else." Not everyone understands such a sentiment. In fact it is impossible to comprehend for one who does not live as Khalsa. Life is precious. No one gives it up easily. But for a true Khalsa there is no other possible life, no other choice. Jaspal refused forcible conversion. It might be argued true conversion can only be voluntary. Subjection to tyranny is not conversion; it is oppression of the weak by the strong. It is not just the Sikhs of Peshawar who are endangered or who have suffered at the hands of Taliban militants. Thousands of Muslims throughout Pakistan suffer daily. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced. Muslim men and women have also been beheaded by the Taliban.

Reference: Sikh Philosophy Network www.sikhphilosophy.net

United Sikhs has a presence in Pakistan and have been working towards helping re-establish families who have lost everything to Taliban militants. Negotiations are underway with Pakistani authorities to provide protection and relief for displaced families in Peshawar. Bhai Joga Singh Gurdwara has been a haven for uprooted families. The cowardly Taliban who carried out the heinous act of beheading still hold two other Sikhs captive and have demanded 20 million Pakistani Rupees ($235,000 USD) Jizia Tax for their release. Will this tax money go towards bettering lives of people in Pakistan? Will it provide hospitals or perhaps schools? Unlikely when the Taliban has already threatened villagers with bodily harm and abducted students and bombed schools which allow females. Will it provide weapons for tyrannical Taliban militants? Draw your own conclusions.

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