have been arguing repeatedly in the last few months, and will continue to do so till the world recognizes the simple logic that violence of all kinds is worth condemning, irrespective of the identity of the victims or the perpetrators, the place, the motive and the method, and that the condemnation and the efforts against violence must be proportional to the magnitude rather than the category of violence.
Unfortunately, the world continues to be selective in its condemnation, and in response, depending upon its likes and dislikes. Wars, moral, financial or weaponry support to rebels in any country for political aims, civil wars, terrorism, riots, day-to-day crimes like murders, rapes, planned violence like abortions, violence against self (suicides), indirect violence through dangerous practices like alcohol, uninhibited sex and smoking — all these need to be minimized if the world is to become truly peaceful, and all the factors related to each of them are to be simultaneously addressed instead of countering only a certain class of factors that suit the interests of the forces that rule the roost.
The Paris shootings were totally outrageous, as any extralegal shootings are. Even if the victims had committed a certain crime, such methods of vengeance and actions are unacceptable in a civilized society. But the truth remains that whatever the claims of different denominations of society, the society today remains barbaric, in selection of its choices, as well as in results of these choices.
While every effort should be made in nabbing the criminals and giving them the punishment they deserve under the law of the country, the incident must also focus on the factors that are responsible for terrorist attacks. It is due to extraordinary perseverance of the Muslim world that despite a long history of severest persecution and huge amount of loss of lives caused by West and its allies, Muslims have largely remained peaceful.
But if certain fringe elements are taking their anger to the point of launching such brutal attacks, it is also due to the fact that Muslim leadership – political, social as well as intellectual — has miserably failed to bring an end through genuine means to the unending brutalities of Western governments in Muslim lands and unending insults to Islam.
Why can they not ask America the question why it should be not held responsible for the death of 2 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq when the mastermind of the attacks was killed much later in Pakistan in an isolated attack? Why the West has continued to supply weapons in Muslim countries to the rebels fighting their governments?
Why couldn’t Muslim countries and intellectuals condemn in one voice the caricaturing of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and why could they not make it known to the French government in categorical terms that such insults are totally unacceptable to the Muslim world?
The “Freedom of Expression” is used and allowed only to target ideas which are inimical to West. If anyone raises voice against their way of life, he is hounded by the media and political circles. Let anyone talk against gays and alcohol, the votaries of the Freedom of Expression would not just limit themselves to countering his viewpoint, but will target him with choicest of abuse.
If you even question the Holocaust, you may be lodged in prison. And often the extralegal methods have been adopted to even kill the critics of certain ideologies. Helping rebels against the governments of their disliking is still going on in many Muslim countries. What can be said of a system where nudity is used for everything – for sale, for advertising, for caricaturing and for protests? But these nudists should know that they cannot be allowed to play with other cultures and their figureheads.
Hopefully, the Paris shootings will not lead to just another round of focus on Islam and Muslims, and West will pause to take a peep into their own actions and injustices. Hopefully, French would also ponder about its own history of occupation and brutalities in many Muslim countries and will count the dead there.
Hopefully, the Muslim political and intellectual world will learn to raise their voice against unjust international policies so that the fringe elements are not encouraged to resort to such extreme methods in expressing their anger. Hopefully again, they will also learn to ask questions rather than simply keeping answering the questions raised in Western media. Hopefully, they can ask — when the whole Muslim world unites in condemnation of violence perpetrated by Muslim, why do they not unite in condemnation of violence, which kills innocent Muslims in millions?