How depressing it is to read of the constant rain of atrocities that seem to envelop the world. From Mosul to London, and so many other scars on our communities we are almost becoming immune to shock, though never immune to grief.
Most of us think the perpetrators of these evils are mad. Why else would you murder indiscriminately men, women, and children? The Extremists will tell you they are fighting for a cause whether that’s for the so called Daesh Caliphate (whatever that means) or the unification of Ireland. Murder is a weapon that is legitimate, they say.
Mad! However the madness seems almost universal, ninety folks every day die in the USA from gun shots, that’s about 29% of the 300 gunshot victims every day! This is meant to be the centre of the civilised world for goodness sake. But these ‘little’ hate crimes, one person on another, are just the same – hate. Pull the trigger and be damned or glorified depending on your motivation. But it’s hate just the same.
So what to do? Governments concentrate on security and defense, but that is clearly not enough. The liberal societies that tolerate the freedom of speech, even to the extent of allowing extreme preachers of hatred, are tussling with the dilemma of the issues of curtailing freedom. Surely freedom is what we are fighting for – the question is are we free to hate?
Shall we be free to hate, to kill and maim in a cause we believe to be true? Is any cause worth the life of a fellow human being? Is institutional hate where people (usually black and poor) are executed by the state, are these views and actions tenable?
Preaching love seems out of fashion, Christianity, Judaism and mainstream Islam in their modern guises seem platforms that have lost ground to the extremer manifestations of religious fervour. All in the promise of a guaranteed here-after.
These are the weighty questions that the world tussles with, let us hope that a movement that is motivated by charity can eventually cure the madness.