‘Children are among at least 26 people massacred in Egypt and dozens more injured after gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians.’ ~ THE INDEPENDENT, 26 May 2017
One more terror attack, this time not on Western soil, but equally shocking and atrocious.
A word about the spreading phenomenon of killing civilians. Anyone who says that these attacks, from Egypt to the UK, the US and Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, and wherever they may occur — anyone who says that these attacks lack religious connotation better have his or her head examined. Anyone who says that it’s more complicated than that, you bet it is. It’s a mess, one which includes faith gone awry, among other things.
This violence, enough with it, that and the bullshit with which we dress it up when ostensibly dealing with it. We do ourselves great damage when skirting around the issue instead of facing it. People are dying across the world from militant religious fundamentalism, from attacks that have everything to do with religion — an abused and sick version of religion, no doubt, but religion all the same. How else can you brand the killing of a bunch of pilgrims on their way to a monastery? There may have been other factors involved, such as the intended theft of the victims’ money and property, or the need to kill them, a homicidal rage that could have targeted any number of civilians, but who are we kidding? This was not an ordinary crime, and neither was the Manchester attack, and neither were the suicide bombings and truck crashes we’ve been experiencing these past few years. These atrocities were politically and religiously motivated. They were carried out by extremists brainwashed by nefarious organizations using politicized religion as their motivator. They were an act of self-proclaimed divine vengeance. Holy war. The shedding of blood in the name of God and His holy books.
Yes, there were probably more factors involved. Mental illness, for example, or moral frailty, or greed, or rage — factors that reach beyond religion. I acknowledge that. We all do, and our public debates are proof of that. We talk about these variables all day long, shedding light on the problems facing us by analyzing their various facets, looking for answers. We’re exhaustive in our inquiry, turning all stones.
Except when dealing with the aspect of faith, of course. When the time comes to address the religious connotations of these crimes we’re willing to discount faith and religious background completely, skirting the issue. We don’t want to start trouble, as if we’re not neck deep in trouble already.
We fool ourselves, bigly, as the new vernacular goes, turning a blind eye to a major fulcrum behind this situation, all because we’re too afraid to tackle the wrecking ball of faith gone awry.
Part 2 to follow