Let me explain:
In Algeria Of The 1990s
In 1998 (January) I wrote regarding terrorism, both state sponsored and cult sponsored. During the period preceding the article and after the article, Algeria, or more properly elements of the Algerian government weighed in as a heavyweight for human rights violations. But, their tally for death and disappearance of dissidents and other Algerian citizens paled in comparison to one of the terrorist groups which operated in Algeria with deadly precision.
When the Algerian government overturned or stayed the results of elections held in 1992 ( elections which saw a majority of parliament positions being won by the Islamic Salvation Group [FIS]; the Armed Islamic Group [GIA] started on their methodical path toward the deaths of an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 Algerians and foriegn citizens unfortunate enough to find themselves in the path of GIA. The GIA chose many methods for death and mayhem, including murder and maiming of women and children along with adult males. Their actual methods of murder and mayhem included slamming infants and young children against the walls of buildings, disembowelment, disembodiment, rape and other methods of murder. Many of the victims of the GIA included Algerian politicians, police officers, security force members and journalists; however, the majority of their victims were innocent and ordinary men, women and children.
Comes The Modern Day Banquets of Hate
I first authored a version of the following piece in August of 1998. One would think, given the sixteen years plus, which have since passed, human relations and our general treatment of one another would have improved. Lest we become complacent, I would urge all of us not to think such … much less believe those areas of our lives have improved.
The world’s three great monotheistic religions — Judaism, Islam and Christianity — have a common tenet. The salvation of all humanity. In addition, the Judaic Gehenna, the Islamic Jahannam and the Christian Hell are promised places of eternal punishment for sins unrepented. Each of these three religions provide for the care of the poor and downtrodden, and for the understanding tolerance of one’s fellow man and other religions, or so they are characterized.
The above mentioned religions share a common patriarchal lineage and each have experienced war and upheaval through the ages. With the foregoing tenets, lineage and stated tolerance and understanding in common; how is it so much misery has resulted from the hearts, hand and minds of some of the followers of each religion. Not only as Muslim against Jew, Jew against Muslim, Christian against Jew, Muslim against Christian and all possible combinations among the three; but also Sunni against Shite, Catholic against Protestant, Orthrodox Jew against reform Jew, or any other sect or sects of the three against another.
How About Those Dishes
Do the doctrines or other teachings (perhaps dishes in other words) set forth in the Christian Bible, the Islamic Koran or Sunna, the Judaic Torah or Talmud of these religions grant room for hate and maltreatment. While I know adherents of each religion can find severe argument and criticism of the other, I’d like to believe such was not the intent, “in the beginning.” In other words, do any of the religions find room for religious hate or demagoguery? Given the assertion of each religion’s performance of good works and good words during the over two thousand years since the acclaimed establishment of each — that time when their shared patriarch walked the land — how can the present state of hate exist.
The Palates Edure Hate
Look to the charlatans, so-called modern day prophets, plain lazy leaders and ordinary demagogues inside each religion’s inner-sanctum. Those always failing to offer timely condemnation of killing and hate in Ireland, Africa, Asia, the United States and other locations around this world. Look for the fringe-elements of each religion where self-described preachers, errant priests, rabid rabbis, imaginary imams and others similarly situated call for the slaying of innocent men, women and children; call for for the establishment of an, “Aryan,” all-white nation; ask for an all-black nation as so-called partial reparation; advocate for the killing of Protestant or Catholic; or how about the expulsion of Jews and Asians from the inner-city.
Finally Through Looking
Perhaps we really aren’t through examining the aspects of hate. Let us grab our personal hand-mirror and look at the personage peering or perhaps glaring back. Do we know that man or woman peering out from the glass. If he or she winks or frowns, maybe, just maybe … we’ve found someone with severe indigestion toward God’s world.
May God bless each of you with pure judgment and the ability to love and forgive.