Why Oh Why?

tolerance_coexist

There is no escaping it! I tried, I honestly did … turning my face to the glorious spring sunshine this Sunday morning, blocking my thoughts from the various news channels, and Internet, and blogs, and papers. But turning my head to the other side did not work. I could not escape it. Just like I never could.

The talk, the stench, the cries of war … war dogs are getting out again.

And it bothers me. It bothers me because some 20 odd years ago those same dogs, using the same self-proclaimed and self-fulfilling righteous ideologies and iconographies, managed to enflame ethnic and religious fevers, set at the exactly right time and within the exactly right environment, amongst the collapse of communism in Europe, to stage blood baths and destroy the once beautiful country I called mine.

The wound deeply buried inside my chest stirred, nudged with the blade as old, and as sharp as humanity itself. The same humanity that has given birth to astonishingly beautiful art, breathtakingly complex technology, and inspiring science that saves life, and yet has never ceased to take those same lives away. Extinguishing them by hundreds and thousands in wars of every creed imaginable; ethnic, religious, imperial … and many others.

War and religion are two phenomenon as old, and as tenacious as humanity itself. They are interwoven into the very fabric of human existence. Although they seem to be at the opposite end from each other; one offering love, salvation and hope, while the other seeds death, decay and loss, they both ask for the one thing above all else; blind faith. Blind faith in one truth only, one right side, one winner … this is why, for many centuries, various religions provided different war machines with the ready-made justifications. Despite all our advancements, nothing but appearances seems to have changed.

This time around, the news is of some obscure individual, apparently convicted fraudster and small-time petty thief, assisted by even smaller time porn-movies maker and alike, who made an abysmal, low-budget, anti-Islam movie titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’ and posted it on YouTube.

Violent protests resulting in deaths are organized by those claiming to be rightfully offended to the extent that justifies violence and killings. Unsurprisingly, analogies have been quickly drawn with the Rushdie affair, the murder of Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh, the Danish cartoons controversy, and the banning of Dutch MP Geert Wilders from the UK because of his anti-Islamic film ‘Fitna’.

Equally unsurprisingly at the other end, there are those promoting the flick through their own, apparently faith-based networks, believing themselves called to denounce those  ‘hysteric  followers of Islam’ and dispense their own type of justice in the process. Examples of films that allegedly outraged Christians, Jews, and Mormons, such as; ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’, ‘The Passion of the Christ’, or the more recent ‘The Book of Mormon’ have been cited as controversies that did not result in loss of lives, or required call for any kind of ban or official apologies.

While at first glance such rhetoric’s might ring true, a closer look, especially when the timing of the film’s realise on YouTube is taken into consideration, together  with the current political events and the overall political climate in the USA and the world at large is considered, it soon becomes clear that the same old tactics are at play.

Extremists of all colours doing the only thing they know how to do; inflaming emotions, devising smoke-screens and manipulating already angry mobs into achieving their own agendas.

Agendas that have very little, if anything, to do with anyone’s true faith or system of believes, but everything to do with disguising the true purpose of the bigoted film’s release.

Because as long as the focus is kept on mass-hysteria, it is also kept away from the facts, such as terminology used in conjunction with the clip’s release; reference to an ‘Israeli’ director living in the USA, to a ‘100 Jewish donors’ who allegedly provided ‘5 million dollars’. Those, and other similar terms are used with the clear objective to anger, inflame and destabilize, stirring up the dangers tensions in the regions already unsettled, and of course at the convenient timing given the elections in the USA.

It matters little whether or not those references carry any factual truth, or that the sad excuse for the movie is so bad that is laughable … because angry mobs are already out and people are already dead.

As it matters very little that most of those protesting have very likely never seen the actual clip (the most violence comes from Yemen, country where people have the least access to computers and the internet).

Because those riots are not only about the movie, or about freedom of speech, or freedom of protest … those are just fuses used to ignite much bigger and much deeper rooted anguishes and animosities. Anguishes and animosities sown and cultivated by those in whose hands they are playing. To that end nothing works better than putting lit torches into hands of those already feeling desolate and making them believe that they have been further injured. Inevitably they will prove right those that portrayed them as ‘inhuman’ on the first place.

As always amongst mass outcry about ‘clashes and incompatibilities of cultures’, and ‘global threats’, voices of reason, peace and tolerance from either Muslims, or Christians, or Jews, or  Atheists, or Humanity at large are hardly, if at all heard.

And this is precisely the climate in which war dogs’ hunt. The mix is right; deeply entrenched, historical sorrows and anxieties, haves and have-nots on the opposing sites, global financial/economic crisis, widely spread unemployment, and feeling of hopelessness, mixed with religious, and cultural intolerances  … doesn’t it sound just a little bit too familiar?

Why Oh Why?

Why can’t we just remember that; ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’

Why can’t we just accept that there are no winners or losers in any war, just dead, injured, wounded, maimed and displaced? Christian corpse looks just as dead, as that of a Muslim, or any other for that matter … trust me, I have seen it!

Why can’t we finally understand that all any war machinery ever needed is wide-spread hatred and collective feeling of threat from ‘them’ whoever they might be? And who ‘they’ are depends on the political or financial agendas of those who appointed themselves as ‘our saviours.’

Why can’t we see that before anyone was thought to recognize self as either a Muslim, or a Christian, or an African or an Asian … before we have ever learnt of any such descriptors, each and every one of us was born as a human being?

Why?

 

 

Author: Daniela

Reader, Writer, Mother, Freethinker, Habitual Day Dreamer, Blogger - Sharing Ideas, Poetry, Prose, and Conversations on the Lantern Post!

75 thoughts on “Why Oh Why?”

  1. Why, indeed!!! “And, ye shall know me by the fruits the tree does bear.” Which supposed religion has not bred hatred and war. No one religion is better than the other….only the human condition’s need to be superior…and therein lies war….since the beginning of time. However, do you really think that these senseless uprisings have a twit to do with that stupid, disgraceful internet show? Not really. It was a very-well planned attack on a very pointed date – September 11th. Who would believe that because we took out Bin Laden, the terrorists would disband…then we took out the next in command, then we took out the next to the next in command. These uprisings have little to do with the flick. As you said, it is much much more involved–not the least of which is fear from our own upcoming election and the threats of hard line American leaders that may be elected to office. This country is extremely divided. “Divide and Conquer.” The hopefuls should take caution…but, that is IF they really had the country at heart and not their own self-serving interests….which have been evidenced even as our country’s security was being compromised and American’s had lost their lives. We do not need terrorists to bring us down….we are handing it to them on a silver platter. History repeating itself? Take note from the Fall of the Roman Empire.

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    1. Hi,
      Thank you very, very much for reading and commenting. No, I do not think that they will succeed on their own; however I do think that they are adding, and not a small amount either, further flames to the already burning fire of intolerance, hatred and divisions. You are right, timing was well scheduled and this is why I come to believe that the whole sorry saga has much deeper roots and potentially dangerous and tragic outcomes. As always time will only tell whether we, as humans irrespective of how we describe ourselves, are capable of overcoming divisions and adopting tolerance in this ever more diverse world.

      Best Wishes!
      Daniela

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      1. Thanx for taking the time to acknowledge my response message. I appreciate. I tend to get on top of my soap box with this topic and because of such have refrained, thus far, from any postings. However, when I mentioned The Fall of the Roman Empire it was not just an off-handed comparison; it happens to be very paralleled. After enjoying hundreds of years, the Roman Empire became greedy….(Money is power…and power corrupts…and absolute power corrupts abolutely)….The Roman echelon were not satisfied with wealth alone….They began hoarding it….The commoners were left with very little. The more the elite would gain, the more fearful of losing it they became. They were terrified of the heretics (similar to today’s terrorists) and spent inordinate wealth fighting scattered wars. All of this to protect their wealth. Interestingly, during this time period, there was a sharp decline in education. Greed and fear…a lethal combination for the downfall of an empire.

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      2. Hi my dear,
        No worries as we say in NZ; we all need our ‘soap boxes’ and this is just fine. I did not think you made an off –hand remark about the Roman Empire, it is a well-known fact that, just like many of ancient Empires before and some that followed, it became too thinly stretched, (so to speak), over vast geographical areas and far too much concerned with the inside power struggles and greed to survive.
        Kind Regards,
        Daniela

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    1. Thank you very much for reading and commenting!
      I often ponder the same … whether they do not look, or their views are so obscured that they simply cannot see it. As I just wrote above; I do believe that each and every one of us is capable of knowing and doing what is right, and just and decent … if we only will!
      Many thanks,
      Daniela

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  2. My younger sister joined the Christianity many years ago, some days ago, I asked her to bring my mom to the Buddhism temple so that she can make a wish to the God that she believes and feel comfortable with, and my younger sister had a intense refusal because of her religion. I told her, that is your mom, and she is dying, just help her to go the temple, and I am not asking her to worship the Buddhism god.

    Really, I can’t even solve the religious problem at home, I don’t know exactly how to solve this problem in the world. I am an atheist, and I like religions and cultures of the world.

    kc

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    1. Hi KC,
      I am truly sorry to hear about this … because all that was needed was to simply help your mum find some solace in the presence of those deities she feels comfortable with. I hope she was able to do that. I spend many years studying various ideologies and religions … today I do not subscribe to any organized religion, but neither do I classify myself as an atheist or agnostic. Why? Because, in my view, those are just descriptors, terms used to place us into ‘boxes’ so that we are easier to ‘deal with’ … my system of believes is very simple; I believe in love, freedom, justice and humanity. I simply believe that each and every one of us is capable of knowing and doing what is right, and just and decent … if we only choose to. Having said all that I do respect all worlds’ religions and their followers, as long as they do no harm to either each other’s or anybody else!

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      1. Dear Daniela,

        The famous Mother Teresa’s quote, if we cannot serve the people, how can we serve the God, shows the beauty of heart and mind of a religious person, and the quote contains so much truth and yet people are so blind with their eyes opened.

        I often bring my mom to the temple, that day I just thought about asking my sister for a little help and did not expect such a reaction, and I was really shocked. Sometime ago, I also brought my Iranian friend to the Indian and Chinese temple, and she is a muslim.

        Thanks Daniela for your kind reply.
        kc

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    2. KC, a story is told of an anon bishop who wanted to change the world, he tried first by being global until a point came when he realized he had to change himself if he wanted to see change in the world.
      I think your sister and those around you can change following your example.
      Sorry to hear about your mum and your sister’s reaction.

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      1. Dear Makagutu,
        All these years I came to know one thing through two of the most important women in my life, whom I have influenced for a stretch of 14 years, that is a person will change only when he or she is prepared, and comes within, and often, through one of the trauma event of their life. People often learn the lesson through the pain, and not happiness.

        I am still waiting another transformation of my sister, although she has made a great change already just before my father was passing away.

        Thank you for your encouragement and wisdom =)!
        kc

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  3. brilliant post thank you for writing this you have such a good way of putting things across, you give me a lot to think about; i never come across the news much as i am so busy all the time, even now i waiting to go and format my book and i sneaked on here quickly and read this post and it is profound and informative thank you, i hope your sunday is restful take care xx

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  4. Brilliant post Daniela🙂, you express sentiments that I could not express so eloquently. I read George Orwell’s 1984, the populace do not remember the people they are fighting now were once their allies and will soon be their enemies and Libya and Egypt are perfect examples. A few months ago, America was vocal in demanding regime change in Egypt and Libya and now they have turned against their ally! What incredulity, what madness!
    And as you say so aptly, everyone must take a moment to reflect that before they became whatever label they have chosen, they were born human beings, and all of us feel pain in almost in the same way and we all die. So why cause the death of an innocent bystander?

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    1. Oh thank you very, very much! I am indeed honoured to hear that you think so! I did read George Orwell as well, and spent years trying to understand various ideologies and religions … from Marxism, to Capitalism, from Catholicism to Hinduism … at this stage in my life, after seeing what I have seen, the only (if any) ‘label’ or ‘descriptor’ I would ever use is to say that I am a humanitarian. And guess what … on almost every occasion I said that, and irrespective of educational level of those present, I have been asked what do I mean by that? As it pains me to say it, but the answer to your question; ‘why cause the death of an innocent bystander’ lies within the same reasons people ask for explanation of what is meant by ‘humanitarian’ … for the record – the one who causes no harm.

      Best Wishes!
      Daniela

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  5. Beautifully written post on such a destructive topic. In my lifetime I have seem humanity go from bad to worse all in the names of religion, rights and those wanting to declare themselves, “King of the world”..If as a global community we do not have a shift in rationale and perception, we will kill ourselves as a human race..

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    1. Thank you very much my dear!

      Your words touched me and echoed my own feelings … we, as a global community, need this shift in our collective state of consciousness now more than ever!

      All the Best,
      Daniela

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  6. Wonderful post, Daniela. There has been so much emphasis placed on various forms and degrees of ‘freedoms’ on both sides that the most basic right, the right to life and to live a life free from harm, almost has no value. What a disgrace to humanity this event has been.

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  7. The irony of letting go of religion, of man-made descriptions, “truths” and rules, has allowed me, inspired me, to fall in love with the Divine. And finding in unconditional love, the obvious truth that we are equal.

    The blood-thirsty chants for justice feed the dark, no matter what language the voices.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of this beautiful day. Excellent post!

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  8. Thank you for such a well thought out and written post. I hope you don’t mind my reblogging it, but I read such a vile post yesterday (and reblogged that one to remark my distain), that I had to reblog yours to show by contrast what a constructive and humane post would look like and can be. Thank you for sharing your thoughts; this, too, bothers me greatly. I fear the human race is destined to destoy itself.

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  9. That’s the Barefoot Warrior I know! Well thought and well Said.
    Shame our own Govt seems to be fast learners, i.e. the closing of schools in CHCH under various suspect agenda and research, whilst also slowly and quietly cooking the Charter Schools doctrine.
    Conveniently several schools will be up for sale, just at the right time before next election, to take the overload of people wanting a decent education and not “caged pig farming” style programming that will be all state schools can deliver due to overcrowding run by unqualified “teachers”. Privatization of the NZ Education system complete!

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    1. Hi there my friend,
      Thank you very much for reading and commenting and especially the ‘Barefoot Worrier’ title, I still like it!The topic you mentioned is certainly on my radar I can see that it bothers you too! I am sad to hear that in our good, old city of Christchurch this is going on! I do hope that staunch Canterburians will see to it!
      Kind Regards,
      Daniela

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  10. Such a great post and full of truths. I am a follower of the Christian belief system and my faith teaches that God gave us freedom to choose, a free will. If God can offer us this freedom and permit us to turn away if we so wish, why can we not permit each other this freedom to choose who and how we follow. Just let go and let others be. I was horrified by the young man above’s story of his sister refusing to take her mother to worship as she chose…there is nothing in any Christian faith which says there is wrong in entering another place of worship, in fact the teachings would be to honour her Mother…Regards Leanne

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    1. Dear Leanne,

      Thank you very much for reading and commenting with such sincerity. While I no longer subscribe to any organized religion, I deeply respect world’s religions and faiths. This is not only because I understand and respect the need for solace and peace followers found within their faiths, but also because I am aware of the same need in myself. As humans we need hope and love to carry on living. If we can only remember that, while those needs are the same everyone, they are fulfilled via different paths in different parts of the world and in different cultures, hence kaleidoscope of faiths, our world will be indeed much more peaceful place.

      Best Wishes,
      Daniela

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  11. Dear Daniela,

    I loved the picture here. It says so much if you see. As always I adore your thought process here that raises concerns about prevailing situation in terms of Religionalism which disgusts me to the core of my being.

    Being a Hindu and born in a nation where the majority living population follows Hinduism, we see instances of violence in the name of Lord and Religion very often which shakes every layer of my skin. Its shameful that even today we witness acts of vehemence in our society. But your work here is really worth a thought. Keep more of them coming.

    Besides, To tell you how much I appreciate your writing, I award you The Liebster Award!
    Grab it from here http://ashaseth.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/my-second-one/

    Lots of Love!
    -AshaS

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    1. Dear Asha,
      Thank you so very, very much for your thoughtful and heart-felt comment! I am especially glad you commented on the picture as I have indeed chosen it for its ‘silent’ but powerful properties. Like you, I am always saddened by any acts of violence and intolerance, and especially those committed under the disguise of religion.
      All the Best,
      Daniela

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  12. Absolutely brilliant post, Daniela. One of the best I’ve read in a long time. I agree with your sentiment and do not understand why leaders think we need war. The media here in the United States is constantly showing us corpses lined up in the streets of Syria trying to prepare us for military action, trying to convince us that it would be the best thing to do without actually saying it.

    I’m already against the next war!

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    1. Hi Angie,
      Thank you very much for such a lovely comment! I am as worried as you are as signs are really not good either regionally or globally … I truly hope I am ‘reading’ them all wrong and that humanity will prevail!
      Kind Regards,
      Daniela

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    1. Hi Chris,
      I am glad you are back! I went to visit your blog yesterday as I have noticed your absence! With all my heart I do hope not … but signs are not good as you probably know too. Keep the watch on!
      Take Care,
      Daniela

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  13. Great heartfelt post Daniela. It seems that people never learn from their mistakes. It reminds me of a quote of Sting’s: “history will teach us nothing”. I have reblogged this article as I feel it is very timely.

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  14. Awesome words you wrote. No religion wants its followers to kill or harm innocent people even religions want us to protect little animals and birds and insects if they dont harm us then why religions would want us to kill each other. But its just evil and people dont understand it.

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