While the worshippers were getting ready to offer their prayers, a demon of hatred was busy preparing his deadly weapons with a most despicable plan in his mind to unleash his terror onto those innocent worshippers who were least aware of what horrifying fate was about to pounce on them. Driving his car in a very joyous mood the monster headed towards his target – a Muslim Mosque. Getting off at his destination, he pulled up his gun and began walking towards the mosque live streaming his walk-by firings at the innocent people. After playing the deadly game at one mosque, he invaded another one and performed the same unholy rituals there too. Within half an hour, 50 persons had lost their lives and many others were wounded because of a faith and skin colour not akin to the murderer. The city of Christchurch, a place hitherto unknown of such crime, got its image tarnished because of this detestable incident. As reported, the number of people killed in one day was more than the number of people killed in one year in the whole country. Undeniably, the precious human lives lost in this carnage are irretrievable, but the government and the people of New Zealand deserve appreciation for the unprecedented care and attention they paid to the victims and their families. It must have helped them come out of this traumatic shock with some ease. People from different religions, nationalities, and ethnicities showed their solidarity with the victims and their families and many of them even attended funeral prayer of the victims without feeling for a moment that such an act could be construed as a breach of the sanctity of their own religion. It was exactly opposite to what we had observed in Pakistan during the funerals of Salman Taseer (former Governor of Punjab) and Shia Hazara community (frequent targets of terror attacks) when many religious scholars had preferred to stay away from them because of their religious differences. What New Zealanders have done is, in fact, a guiding example for all those who oppose terrorism verbally but fail miserably to take effective measures against it. A new sense of realisation is emerging in the West that is now ready to recognise its past mistakes and redefine them in the light of the Christchurch rampageAmid these nice gestures of sympathy and empathy there were questions raised by the columnists and think tanks on the lack of actions against the constantly growing trend of Islamophobia in the Western world. Attending a UN conference, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi said, “The deadly terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand was another grim reminder of the Islamophobia sweeping the world.” For others it was more than that. A Jewish writer and a member of the Tree of Life synagogue, Molly Pascal, made a very moving remark on this incident. Reminiscing a similar attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018 that left 11 members of the synagogue dead, she narrated a story of a memorial service that was organized in honour of the victims of the attack. “We listened to the speeches, with their impassioned messages of support. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto spoke, as did various clergy, representative of many different faiths. At one point, the clergy leaders – Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, Presbyterian, Hindu – crowded on the stage together. It was a powerful sight of unity,” Molly Pascal wrote in the Washington Post.If the menace of Islamophobia is sweeping the world as envisaged by Maleeha Lodhi, then the situation is too alarming for Muslims and in need of a thorough analysis of all those possible causes that might have played their roles in bringing the world to this conclusion. One positive aspect of the Christchurch attack is the awakening of the Western world to a menace that had been ignored earlier as isolated case of psychopaths. Barring a few exceptions, there is an overwhelmingly condemnation of this act of terror and the one in the past that was carried out by Anders Breivik in Norway who happens to be the idol of Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the suspect of Christchurch mosque massacre. A British scholar and analyst, H.A. Hellyer, described the mosque attacks in these words, “The kind of Islamophobia that appears to have driven these killings goes far beyond some radicalized individuals. It’s a threat that runs throughout the west – and we must confront it, now. The themes of that manifesto – that Muslims are invaders, intent on replacing the white majority in Europe and the west – are indelibly linked to others on the far right, such as Anders Breivik, who went on his own murderous rampage in 2011 in Norway.” Witnessing the reaction of the world to the New Zealand carnage, one can see that the world is still not as much infected of Islamophobia as is feared by many. Of course, a trend is on the move in this direction and there are reasons whose trail goes from non-Muslim world to the Muslim world as well. A new sense of realisation is emerging in the West that is now ready to recognise its past mistakes and redefine them in the light of the Christchurch rampage. Would these corrective steps of the West encourage the Muslim world to set new examples by taking an honest view of all those past and present incidents of violence that had any inkling of hatred and go after them as decisively as did the highly acclaimed Prime Minister of the New Zealand?In the last four years (2015-18), nearly 450 people were killed and almost 1150 were wounded in western countries like France, Belgium, Spain, Holland, Finland, Russia, Sweden, UK, USA, Canada and Australia because of terror attacks that were carried out by the immigrants or home-grown Muslims. As many as 85 attacks were reported during this period and 14 of them were linked with the Islamic State. Driving vehicles into crowded places or self-explosion of suicide bombers were the methods used in these crimes that left scores of people dead and injured causing shock on massive scale and generating long lasting images in the memory of the affected families. While the perpetrators justified their actions as revenge against “crusaders,” the victims called these attacks as an act of terrorism. The ultimate beneficiaries of these attacks were the ultra-right extremists of the west who built their hate-mongering ideologies on the basis of these terrorist attacks and managed to allure others into their influence. To avert any future attack of the ultra-right extremists against Muslims, Islamic countries have to come forward and take measures to restrain the religious extremists from fanning hatred against non-Muslim countries using their jihadi philosophy. It has brought nothing to Muslim countries other than miseries and tragedies that were emanated from colossal losses of human lives and destruction of properties. Choices are there but the decision has to come from the Muslim countries whether to turn the incident of the New Zealand into a beginning of a new era of peaceful coexistence or let the Jihadists continue their policy of extremism and invite retaliation similar to the one that was experienced in the New Zealand.The writer is a freelance journalist and Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Research and Security Studies Published in Daily Times, March 24th 2019.