The Rise of Hate
Ziaus Shams Chowdhury
evil that is metastasising in a lethal fashion across the face of our planet is
the culture of hate. If the spectre of global warming threatens humankind's
physical existence, the rise of hate has become a scourge to the very soul of
exploiting opportunities that a strife-ridden world has presented, a clutch of
leaders in powerful nations have embraced this culture. They have done this
with incredible cynicism. They have abdicated their moral obligations, their
conscience, their compassion for the distressed. Obsessing only with power,
they are turning the world into an inferno of horror and mayhem.
it is normal for politicians to covet power. But if that power is not employed
in the service of humanity, what is the point? If global leaders ignore the
importance of the idea that they need to live beyond their own selves and serve
a higher cause, the world cannot be saved from its present incontinent descent
into a pit of abject misery.
cannot escape the fact that diversities among human beings in the form of race,
colour, religion, and ethnicity are the things that God has created. Our
creator did not do so with the intent that we should be demonising and
dehumanising races and ethno-religious groups different from ours.
recent horrors come to mind when we ponder upon the hate culture.
most recent one is the mindless act of terror in Sri Lanka-which ISIS has
claimed responsibility for-carried out by suicide bombers targeting worshippers
in several churches that killed scores of innocent people.
We, as Muslims, have an urgent moral and spiritual duty to fight and
eviscerate these misguided terror groups. We need to affirm clearly and
forcefully that Islam is a tolerant faith-that its essence is peace.
little more than two months ago, the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New
Zealand, perpetrated by a votary of a white supremacist, Brenton Tarrant, that
killed at least 50 innocent people, convulsed the whole world. In the aftermath
of the shootings, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's compassion and
empathy towards the tiny beleaguered Muslim community elevated her status among
leaders of other developed nations.
third episode that comes to mind is the shooting in the Tree of Life synagogue
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 27, 2018 by an anti-Semitic man named
Robert Bowers. Eleven people were killed. Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf
said: "These senseless acts of violence are not who we are as Americans."
of all faiths, it seems, are under attack. Other than the evident threat of
white supremacists, the fact is that Muslims have been under the world media's
glare because it is our community that has been the most fertile ground for
recruitment of terrorists.
we criticise others, we, as Muslims, need to look into our own soul. We have
let a deranged, fringe group smear and debase us all over the world. In the
name of false loyalty to Islam, they are trampling upon the core tenets of
Islam. These groups, that go under the rubric of "jihadists", have taken to
killing innocent people in the name of saving and promoting Islam.
are utterly indifferent to the harm their acts are bringing on their fellow
Muslims who have nothing to do with their perverse and diabolical ideas. They
are the reason why the vast majority of Muslims get a bad name. Just think
about the grievous harm the 9/11 attacks brought on Muslims living in America
and other western countries.
as Muslims, have an urgent moral and spiritual duty to fight and eviscerate
these misguided terror groups. We need to affirm clearly and forcefully that
Islam is a tolerant faith-that its essence is peace. In the mosques, our imams
need to talk about what it means to be a good human being. They need to talk
about the gentle life our Holy Prophet (PBUH) lived.
Bangladeshis, we can say with humility that our record when it comes to the way
we treat other communities compares well with what is happening in our
vicinity. It was so timely, in this holy month of Ramadan, that Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina made a passionate appeal to the people to cultivate interfaith
goodwill and harmony. "The Creator will decide what is good or bad, and what is
right or wrong. The Almighty did not task human beings with that responsibility," she said.
the violence and insecurity in some of the conflict zones today have triggered
flows of migrants to countries like America and some European countries. In
turn, this has led to the growth of a very aggressive, exclusionary breed of
issue we need to note is that there is a lamentable lack of courageous and
charismatic leaders who can stand up against the hate culture. We do not have
leaders today like Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela who had a unifying
our subcontinent, during the partition era, Gandhi and Jinnah were the main
forces against communalism. Desperate to prevent the breakup of India, Gandhi
got Mountbatten to try out his idea that Jinnah be made India's first prime
minister which he believed was the only way to keep India united. Jinnah's
total freedom from communal prejudice was universally accepted. The plan failed
because of the reservations of several top-ranking Congress leaders. Had
Pakistan followed Jinnah's vision, affirmed in his great Constitutional
assembly speech of August 11, 1947, Pakistan's destiny would have been much
brighter. He said all communities would be "citizens and equal citizens of one
state"-that "Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be
very popular quotation of modern times, usually attributed to the British
parliamentarian Edmund Burke, has never been more relevant than in the context
of today's world: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good
men do nothing."
Ziaus Shams Chowdhury is a former ambassador.