Pope Francis would have done well to say that every act of violence and innocent death, whoever the victim, whoever the culprit, whatever the place, whatever the time, whatever the method and whatever the motive should be condemned by the whole world
by Dr Javed Jamil
According to the BBC, “Pope Francis has urged Muslim leaders around the world to condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam. Speaking on board a flight back to Rome, the Pope said that he understood the harm caused by the stereotype that linked Islam with terrorism.”
He said a “global condemnation” of the violence would help the majority of Muslims dispel this stereotype. Pope Francis was returning from a three-day visit to Turkey. The pontiff denounced people who say that “all Muslims are terrorists”. “As we cannot say that all Christians are fundamentalists,” he said.”
While I have no reasons to doubt the good intentions of the Pope, I have many reasons to question his knowledge and his selective appeal. It appears certain that Pope like most other residents of the current world is exposed to the continuous motivated propaganda carried out by West through international media, and he has never stopped to have a closer look at the propaganda. He seems to have become a victim of the common propaganda which can see only “terrorism” as the only condemnable category of violence and “Muslim Terrorism” as the only condemnable category of “terrorism”. Why can’t the people like him recognize the fact that violence committed in any name is bad, and our response to violence should be proportional to the magnitude of the violence rather than its denominations?
The Western media (and also the Indian media under the influence of both the West and the Hindutva propagandists) focuses only on a certain category of violence, which of course suits its designs and its ideological foundations.
For them, only beheadings are a condemnable form of violence and not the carnage through bombs; the former is the method of “them” (Muslim terrorists) and the latter is currently the method of “Us” (the West). It is another matter that the beheadings kill less than a dozen and bombs kill millions. Of course, bombs also become condemnable when bombs of lesser intensity are used by the al-Qaida and its allies which kill tens or hundreds unlike the thousands and tens of thousands that the American, Israeli and British bombs kill.
The Pope also ignores the fact that at the global level, violence as a whole is a predominantly Western monopoly and terrorism as a whole is also a more non-Muslim than Muslim monopoly. al-Qaida killed not more than 6000 innocent Westerners but America’s “war against terror” of al-Qaida killed more than 2 million innocent Muslims. ISIS is also a creation of West, which entered Iraq after its war against Syrian Government failed despite huge support of Western weaponry, which was later used in Iraq.
Terrorism in India, mainly by non-Muslims (believing or non-believing Hindus) has killed more than 40,000 people in the last 2 decades. Tamil Terrorism in Sri Lanka claimed more than 100,000 lives. America, France, Britain, China and Russia have been responsible, directly or indirectly, for the overwhelming majority of deaths in wars and civil wars in the last century.
And of course they are also the countries with maximum deaths in murders, suicides and induced abortions. More than 180 million people lost lives in wars in the last century and more than 1 billion children have been murdered through abortions in the last 20 years. The number of deaths by way of murders has also been more than 10 million.
But it is not the magnitude of violence but the type of violence that attracts the international attention. Any violence that can be linked to the West and their ideologies make no news. But as soon as there is violence somewhere which can be made to appear linked to the forces or the ideologies opposed to them, it is attacked with all their weapons.
The Pope would have done well to say that every act of violence and innocent death, whoever the victim, whoever the culprit, whatever the place, whatever the time, whatever the method and whatever the motive should be condemned by the whole world. He should have recognized the fact that the genesis of terrorism has several factors, and one major factor is the role of West in Muslim countries, their support to brutal regimes in the region, and the deaths caused by Western forces in the Islamic world. He should state that almost all the acts of violence are devilish, and while terrorist attacks are committed by lesser devils, the wars and aerial bombings are conducted by the bigger devils. It would have certainly sounded better if he had appealed to West to stop intervening in Muslim countries.
The Pope should also explain if the Middle Eastern acts of violence can be linked to Islam or Muslims, why Western violence cannot be linked to Christianity and Christians. My appeal to the Pope is the same as has been to the pontiffs and protagonists of all religions of the world: recognize the fact that the real threat to the world comes not from any religion but the forces of irreligion led by West. And I would like to inform Christian pontiffs that we Muslims differentiate between Westernism and Christianity despite the fact that Christianity is the dominant religion in the West.
Dr Javed Jamil is a New Delhi-based physician, poet and writer with over a dozen books to his credit including his latest, “Muslims Most Civilized, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Roadmap”.