Pope Francis in a recent statement has urged Muslim leaders in the world to condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam. He said that he understood the harm caused by the stereotype that linked Islam with terrorism. A “global condemnation” of the violence, he said, would help the majority of Muslims dispel this stereotype.
The pope’s appeal is however partial at best. Rather than asking Muslims specifically to condemn terrorism, the pope should have better asked the world in general to condemn violence in all its forms.
While I have no reasons to doubt his good intentions, I have grounds to question the pope’s knowledge and his selective appeal. It appears the pope, like many others in the Western world, is exposed to the continuous motivated propaganda carried out by them through international media. He seems to have fallen victim to such propaganda.
Why can the people like him not 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 pope also ignores the fact that at the global level, violence as a whole is a predominantly Western monopoly and terrorism as a whole has also a more of a non-Muslim stamp than what it made it to be a solely Muslim doing. Al-Qaeda might not have killed more than 6,000 people in the West, but America’s “war against terror” has killed over two million innocent Muslims.
ISIS is also product of West’s failed policy in Syria and Iraq that paved the way for such outfits.
Hindu terrorism has killed over 40,000 in the last two decades while Tamil terrorism (another Hindu variant) in Sri Lanka killed no less than 100,000 in the last three decades.
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. This is besides uncountable deaths in murders, suicides and induced abortions.
Nearly 180 million people lost lives alone in wars in the last century and more than one billion children have been murdered through abortions in last 20 years. The number of deaths in murders has also been more than 10 million.
The pope should have recognized the fact that the genesis of terrorism has several factors, and one major factor is the role of West in the Muslim countries.
Their support to several brutal regimes in the region, and the deaths caused by Western forces in the Islamic world have played no insignificant role in exacerbating terrorism. — Dr. Javed Jamil, New Delhi