Strive for peace

It is a despicable, barbaric and heinous crime to attack worshippers in their places of worship on any day, let alone on their holy days. Those that massacre worshippers — Muslim, Christian or any other — ripping them to shreds with high explosives, stand against the very book they claim to profess.

“Those who have been attacked are permitted to take up arms because they have been wronged, and God has the power to help them. Those who have been driven unjustly from their homes only for saying, ‘Our Lord is God.’ If God did not repel some people by means of others, many monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, wherein God’s name is much invoked, would have been destroyed. God is sure to help those who help His cause. Lo! God is strong and mighty. Those who, when We establish them in the land, keep up the prayer, pay the poor-due, command what is right, and forbid what is wrong: God controls the outcome of all events.” — Qur’an 22:39-41

Suicidal terrorism is an innovation of the worst kind. A crime against humanity; pure banditry.

If you are to fight, it is to protect monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, wherein God’s name is much invoked.

If you are to fight, it is specifically against those who have wronged you, who have driven you from your homes. This is not an ode to pacifism, as enjoined by our opponents, oblivious to the provisions of International Law recognising the right to self-defence.

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of collective or individual self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.” — Article 51,United Nations Charter,  Chapter VII

Pacifism is the belief that war and violence are unjustifiable and that all disputes should be settled by peaceful means. That is an ideal that many of us aspire to — to strive for peace as much as possible — but it is nevertheless just that. An oppressor has no right to demand that the persecuted turn the other cheek, to submit to despotism and tyrants running amok. The right to self-defence is everywhere recognised and understood.

So it is true: we are not pacifists. But neither are we brigands. We are not lawless bandits. We are not marauding fascists. We are not called to create fitna, or oppression, or anarchy in the land. On the contrary, we are called to stand against all of that, and instead establish prayer, give of our wealth to help the poor, enjoin all that is good and virtuous, and forbid all that causes harm.

To attack anyone who did you no harm is itself severely condemned. To massacre worshipers in their places of worship, be they Muslims in a mosque or  Christians in a church, is an utter abomination. Those that perpetrate such evils, whoever they are, stand condemned. Let no imperial decree, or demented whataboutery, convince you otherwise.

There are people in the world striving their very best to establish peace. New Zealand’s present prime minister might be such a person. But, alas, there are others striving their very best to promote conflict, hatred and division everywhere. If you have to choose a camp, let it be the former. Strive for peace.

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