Death needs no excuse. Well, that has been amply established by the recent mass uprising over a video. One little video has set beliefs cascading into a devious attempt to salvage the last shreds of logic and sanity. A video that mocked Prophet Mohammed has offended the religious sentiments of Muslims from all over the world. The excuse of a humour the artist behind the video has tried to depict in it, and that is the only defence I can possibly think up for him, is extremely crass.
What is the point of religion? Isn’t it there to bring people together, under the canopy of a common virtue? Then why is it that something that was initially meant to induce harmony, has now become a catalyst for revolts and hatred? The anti-Islam video was indeed an act of sheer disgust. But is killing people the answer? After all, no religion is the ‘right one‘. Not only has the video sparked revolts in Afghanistan, Libya and Pakistan in which many innocent lives have been taken, it has also instilled a false consciousness in the whole of the Arab world. The first target to vent their anger at was naturally the USA, omnipresent as they are. The latest preys of the outrage were the foreign embassies, in the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, where millions of college students and youthful outraged minds, battled with not only the embassies but also their own police and military, in an effort to match stick with stone. Consequently the police and the military were labelled ‘disloyal’ for attempting to control violence. There was once a time when one would say love is in the air, now the need of the hour has conveniently replaced love with tear gas and stones.
Although the USA is insistent on their stand that all religions are equal, somewhere they are still associated with discrimination against Islam, the roots of which probably lie hidden in the post 9/11 period or even before that. This time around, the USA did take up a lot of efforts to rectify this though. They spent around $70,000 buying time on television and airing a series of commercials across Arab nations. In these commercials, the president Obama reiterates, “Since our founding the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.” Hilary Clinton also downright obliterates any association with the video. Also, President Obama, being a victim of colour discrimination himself, probably sympathizes more with the Muslims given the scenario.
However, the dilemma still remains that why should such a video by one rotten person spark so much hatred, so many fights and so many deaths? Are people simply incapable of seeing beyond the blinds of what they like to call religion and recognize humanity? Religion is after all a funny tool; it works on a love-hate principle, hate being the protagonist in today’s world.