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Religious violence or moral monstrosity

Academic Esad Durakovic

By: Academic Esad Durakovic

The world has stepped deep into the phase of religious wars and religious terrorism. It is becoming global. In the Middle East, even though it may not seem to be the case at first sight – there are religious wars going on right now, which in some critical aspects present modernized replicas of crusades. In Bosnia, the nineties were marked by predominantly religious wars. Terrorism, from Nice to New Zealand, is extremely religious...

Most recent verdict for Radovan Karadzic can be observed in the same context as he led the war against Muslims and Catholics institutionally, and his 'political establishment' is founded on, eminently, religious violence. This isn't about the verdict for Karadzic but his doing that is, his establishment or creation, as he acted institutionally. His 'political establishment' or, more precisely, some institutions in it, glorify him and give him awards in a variety of ways. What can we possibly say about perspective for such a society?!

Therefore, the violence that carries our world with a strong force, is becoming widespread and religious, and that kind of violence is the worst one, most dangerous kind as its 'hunger' can be satisfied only by complete and brutal destruction of the Other. Religious wars/violence are most fanatic and the cruelest. Same as religious terrorism. Why?

Acts of religious violence and terrorism aim not only at destroying entire society, as is the case in the Middle East, Bosnia, Rohingyas etc., therefore, the aim is not only to eliminate the Other as a member of another religion, but the actual 'supreme' goal is to eliminate them in the way so their religion is portrayed as something that, allegedly, deserves the ultimate humiliation and devaluation, while one's own religion is presented in its alleged superiority which, as such, cannot stand the 'Otherness'.

The main goal of the religious violence is not physical destruction of the Other, but the main goal is the destruction of their religion as the most supreme content of an individual and his community, destruction of the Idea, of God. Destruction of 'physical entity' of an individual is, actually, only a consequence of the chief pursuit to destroy his religion, which always implicates his group as well.

The world has stepped quite deep into that phase, and that indeed is a horrifying fact and the most sinister indication of the future.

That kind of violence rests on an obvious paradox. A religious criminal (and he is a superhero in his own eyes and the eyes of his community) executes the largest possible violence even over his 'own God', over his own religion. By committing the crime, he demonstrates his complete delusion, his own and that of his group which supports him, he demonstrates complete insanity and blasphemy of the highest level, as there is no God, absolutely, that could forgive destroying other people's lives in His name, with the worst kind of humiliation. Such act is simply incompatible with God as such. It is particularly scary that the offender by his action disputes the right of 'his own' God to judge anybody's faith.   

The believer of any faith – during the prayer or at his house of worship in particular – is in a most supreme state of spirituality. It is a state of most supreme peace, contemplation, positive emotion, dedication to the universal spiritual value. It is an unspeakable state. To kill a human while he is in such a state of supreme reconciliation with himself and with the World represents something impossible to name even as a crime as such an act is a manifestation of complete mental blackout and ethical monstrosity. Try to picture, then, the state of the monster and the message he means to send (we have to use some word for him, although there's no quite adequate word for him) when he barges into any house of god and kills people while they pray to God.

It is against sense, against God... And what could we possibly say about the politicians who instigate such acts, and we elect them and do not dispute them?!

Having said that, these past days, while I was watching a link circling around the internet, showing several thousands of people from New Zealand who, it seems, were not Muslims, how they poignantly, in pain, listen to ezan (Islamic call to worship from mosque), I thought to myself: As long as there are such expressions of empathy, there's hope for this world in its tragic falling.

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