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Just don’t

  • Published at 12:00 pm May 26th, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:02 pm May 26th, 2017
Just don’t

Imagine a concert at the Army Stadium in Dhaka with the crowd being made up of thousands of teenagers. Then imagine that a terrorist blew himself up there and took the lives of a hundred such kids.

Next day the names of the dead and wounded scroll down your social media feed  -- Shahjahan Hossain, Mahmood Khan, Jinnatunnisa Patwar -- and similar ones; and then, you see the name of the suspect: Paul Kanti D’Souza. You also find out that this Paul fellow was part of a secret group of Christian holy warriors whose aim was to establish Biblical rule in Bangladesh.

Be honest, close your eyes, and ask yourself: How many Christians and Christian churches will be left in Bangladesh after that incident?

And then, go back to the hypothetical incident at the Army Stadium and assume that that was the 10th such incident in the country.

Do you honestly think that a single practicing Christian would be left alive in Bangladesh or that there would be any church left standing?

Spare me the historical lessons and root causes and obsession with the Middle East conflict.

The answer to the question is well known in your heart; you’re just too ashamed or too proud to admit it.

Under siege

That is precisely the feeling in many parts of Europe and the United States today as the carnage of the massacre in Manchester is being tallied.

The strength of civic tolerance, democratic pluralism, and the rule of law in those countries has prevented the wholescale backlash against local Muslims or those who appear to be Muslims, and largely limited such fallout to stray incidents and individualised bigotry.

How long this backlash can be contained is an open guess. The rage of a public that feels under siege from an identifiable segment of the population and has seen massacre after massacre at the hands of that segment can be contained only so long even in the most civilised societies.

Someone’s wife, mother, husband, brother, or friend was just blown to smithereens; all that person needs to hear is condolence and a resolve to avenge the murders, not your explication of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Against the backdrop of the same kind of murderous adversary who targets women and children in the middle of peaceful cities year after year, the mitigating factors like logic, historical context, geopolitical explanations, and avoiding stereotyping eventually go out of fashion.

At the most basic level, we are humans with an instinct to be vengeful.

Root causes

Many Muslims -- and the West’s doctrinaire Left -- are not making things any better with the typical worn out narrative in response to such atrocities.

The tone deaf narrative, almost without fail, starts with expressing sorrow, moves to paeans to how “no true Muslim” could do such a thing, and concludes with some lame advocacy of removing “root causes” of terrorism.

Such “root causes,” again almost without fail, involve blaming Israel/America/Britain/the West for everything from Iraq and Palestinian misery to the price of oil and the failure of the BCCI bank in the 1990s. I am pulling a short cut here, but you get the idea.

The whole narrative comes across as insincere to more and more people every day with yet another jihadist driving a truck into pedestrians in a European town or one more suicidal Sharia-peddler blowing up a café.

It ain’t working, folks

Donald Trump’s election is partly a reflection of that reality; as are the elections of Orban in Hungary and the stunning performance of Le Pen in France.

There is more to come on the electoral front. The Europeans and their American cousins are fed up and are sending a message. It is translating into policies of greater restriction, more walls, and more surveillance, and nobody in a logical frame of mind should blame them for it.

More such policies will be in the pipeline, I am afraid. Unless, that is, Muslims in the West and their often naïve Leftist allies, gain the ability to stop diluting their condemnations with infuriating explanations and self-serving contextualisation.

Someone’s wife, mother, husband, brother, or friend was just blown to smithereens; all that person needs to hear is condolence and a resolve to avenge the murders, not your explication of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or your history lesson about Saudi oil or a theological treatise on the meaning of Quranic verses. Just. Don’t.

Condemn. Mourn. And pledge to avenge those who are victims of Islamist terror.

Leave the explanations to some academic seminar somewhere else.

Or else, someday, the built up rage will be of a magnitude that no court and no law would be able to turn back even in civilised Europe and North America.

Esam Sohail is an educational research analyst and college lecturer of social sciences. He writes from Kansas, USA.

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