Freedom fight is not about killing children in schools
Fighting the violence in Chechnya with lives of innocent children is barbarism of the highest order. It depicts the ugly facade of those who try to equate callous and merciless actions as legitimate response to injustices committed. The blood orgy of ‘Ossetians,’ mostly ideological cousins of Russian 19 million-strong Muslim community, by a group claiming to be an offshoot of Al-Qaeda portrays the moral bankruptcy of their scheme. They are an Iranian-speaking people, who are mainly Sunni Muslims and descend from the medieval Alans.
A group loyal to Ayman al-Zawahiri, second-in-command to Al-Qaeda chief, Osama bin Laden, claimed responsibility for the assault in a statement posted on an Islamic Web site, Islamic Minbar. The authenticity of the statement cannot be verified. To kill and maim their own ‘ideological cousins,’ as other hard targets globally become difficult to penetrate, is indicative of a new phase in this war.
First, it pinpoints the success of ‘war on terror’ as the focus of terror groups now shifts from cleansing of ‘infidels’ to their own Muslim brethren. From Iraq to Turkey to Russia is the innocent Muslim populace who is subject of the wrath of terrorists now; may be they are being punished for being silent majorities who are refusing to support the degeneracy of militant extremism.
This new expanded war of militant extremists recognizes no ideological restrictions; it places ‘innocent people’ of any belief on the one side and manic extremists, out on a global spree of fanaticism, on the other. The suggestions that these were ‘black widows’ of Chechnya exacting revenge over the lost lives of their dear ones are complete fabrications.
The planners of global war on terror need to execute broad scale operations; unable to penetrate the hard targets, they have now moved on to soft targets. Putting their hands on 1200 school-going children and their parents helps make global news with a bang, it is not important if they believe in the same Allah! It is naked terror with an all-out display of its poisonous fangs.
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Who could be softer targets than their own cousins, the ‘Ossetians,’ whose only crime is that they were the only Caucasian ethnic group that voluntarily petitioned the tsar (in 1774) for their territory to be absorbed into the Russian Empire. From the 18th century they came under strong Russian influence, and between 1801 and 1806, all of Ossetian territory was annexed to Russia.
We are now witnessing the making of a new low in depravity and wantonness. Origins of the nineteen million Muslims, the second largest religious community in Russia, who have over 800 parishes and mosques, mostly in Bashkortostan, Daghestan, Kabarda-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Tatarstan, Ingushetia, and Chechnya can be traced directly to the conversions of the Golden Horde from shamanism to Islam.
The course of history would have been different if Mongol defeat at the Syrian town of ‘Ayn Jalut’ (where the Mamluks of Egypt beat the Mongols) had not rolled back the Mongol invasion of the heart of Islam. Reasons for the Mamluk victory included the superb training of the Mamluk forces, the absence of forage for Mongol horses, and most of Hülegü Khan’s hordes departing Syria due to the need to elect a new Great Khan. (Since the Great Khan controlled the distribution of booty, the question of who was in charge was more important to the average Mongol than was the maintenance of a minor campaign in Syria.) Within 60 years of this defeat, Özbeg Khan of the Golden Horde converted to Sunni Islam.
The irony is that notwithstanding wide popularity of vodka in present Muslim dominated regions of Daghestan, Tatarstan, Ingushetia, and Chechnya, it was ‘alcoholism’ within Mongols warlords’ siblings that swayed their decision to become Muslims. Considering Christianity and Judaism, the leaders of the Mongols decided for Islam and main motivation included a desire to reduce drunkenness among their sons — of all the great religions, only Islam prohibited alcohol.
Freedom fight is not about killing children in schools. This is a flagrant violation of basic contract of ‘mutual human trust’ that allows us to live on this planet as human beings. It is for this reason we don’t have armed guards on doors of our schools; it is for this reason that our daily life goes on as usual since it is taken as granted that that our long-held dictum of ‘live and let others live’ is respected.
Medievalism and ideological extremism helps justify savagery and inhuman crimes against humanity, however, today the world should realize that the salient feature of this unwritten moral commitment amongst us that ‘life of other human being has to be treasured’ is under peril..
This brand of extremist senseless killings has parallels in Islamic history. The word ‘assassins’ owes its origins to an extremist cult. An imam named Hasan ibn al-Sabbah established the occult branch of Sevener Shiism, known as the Nizaris, in the mountains of Western Iran. The Seveners believed in a doctrine of seven sinless spiritual leaders who shared characteristics with God Himself. Because of this heresy, Sunni Muslims reviled Seveners and persecuted them accordingly. In response, Seveners frequently engaged in acts of assassination. Due to hashish-laden drinks that Nizari leaders supposedly gave their followers before sending them out to commit assassinations, the Nizaris are better known by the Syrian name of hashshashin, or hashish-takers.
The Nizaris are also remembered for providing Islamic literature with its stories about Aladdin, the daring young thief who could open magic caves (and women’s legs) simply by crying, “Open, sesame!” The times have changed; instead of hashish-laden drinks, the extremists’ faithful today are laden with ‘ladenism’ brand of ideological intoxicant. These fringes are an aberration within history; they have remained so, and will meet their innate end. But appeasing them in any way only helps to encourage their atrocities.
We humankind at large, irrespective of our ideological moorings, have to denounce this and fight this ever-increasing animalistic tendencies with collective vitality. There can be no ‘moral equivalence’ drawn between hostage-taking and freedom-fights. From time immemorial, the principles of war excluded innocent civilians as legitimate targets; the rewriting of this notion today is the bin-Ladenism brand of medieval extremism, which we need to stamp out with collective effort.
Some people do not seem to progress, they are stuck in time and hence, although breathing, they are brain dead. We are living in the era of ‘fossilization of living entities.’ Ideological zombies have acquired the capability to incapacitate human’s most important virtue – that of living and love.
We are witnessing the unraveling of the most disgusting manifestation of man; however, I am very optimistic that this is the beginning of the end of this kind of mind-sets. Any reasonable person from any ideological backdrop cannot remain aloof to these developments. We have seen during the course of history many a group with manic tendencies out to destroy mankind with extreme lunatic displays but they all have failed. With all their hatred, mankind’s natural goodness and ability to recuperate has won over these challenges.
The reason we see so much of venom of hatred is due to the fact people worry too much about ‘life after’ than ‘life here.’ Look at the genesis of all these hostilities and you will trace them to arguments involving the realm of God on earth. The inclusion of the Divine in affairs of the world is at the root of many of these uprisings. The need to turn to ‘celestial’ is a constructive, positive ingredient and should only be reverted in building bridges amongst people.
The moment the ‘license to kill’ is sought in the name of God the results become incredibly lethal. All what we are seeing around us is primed by people who think that in holy wars the basic social contract that has helped humans to be what they are today is to be significantly altered.