Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Do not We Live in a Dystopia?

We live in a real dystopia. The blood gushing from sliced throats, the tears rolling down the cheeks of rape victims, and the smell oozes from amputated limbs of war victims will fill one with a strong sense of sorrow and hatred. One will be appalled at untold sagas making headlines around the world. The genocide in Myanmar and human fatalities in Syria and Afghanistan as a result of conflict and militancy will numb one’s feelings. The tragic picture of a 3-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi – whose image made went viral after he drowned on 2 September 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea – was highly outrageous. Similar incidents continue around the world on day-to-day basis.
With a spate of gory incidents, people approach the issues in callous ways. With the view of a body riddled with a militant’s Kalashnikov, one simply contorts their face in a sad appearance or passes with a grimace. Then, this act is vilified by the media and condemned by political officials – however condolence and condemnation have been changed into daily clichés. Only the flabbergasted families of victims mourn with indescribable heartache. Public apathy toward carnage is the great tragedy of our time.
On the other hand, religious fundamentalists who operate under a sacred façade seek to spill as much blood as possible, no matter where and how. That is to say, religious radicals show no mercy to civilians, mainly women or children. They neither respect humanitarian law nor religious tenets or moral values.
Afghan people bear the brunt of militancy. The Taliban guerilla fighters have intensified their attacks in recent months. Notwithstanding their religious claim, the Taliban shed streams of blood and degrade the rights and dignity of all individuals. Their cruel practices against combatants and non-combatants have vehemently outraged the public conscience. The Taliban, who were reputed to practice upon Islamic Sharia in the beginning of their regime, ushered in massacre and sectarian violence to the detriment of their reputation. They exercised dogmatic beliefs and terrorized people through their violent acts, which besmirched their character at international level. Their acts of terror continued despite the collapse of their regime.
Violence has been particularly desensitized in Afghanistan in the wake of escalated insurgency. Hearts are void of sympathy. There is no shoulder to cry on. People are phlegmatic to the pain and supplication of sufferers. One is hardly mortified by their sanctimonious demeanor, which is hidden under the veneer of humility. The peaceful and amicable life of the past remain a nostalgia for modern men. 
In case of bloody incidents such as terrorist attacks and suicide bombings, a number of people play ostentatious role – i.e., post the pictures in social media and condemn the heinous act of militants. Perhaps, a handful of people will do it with bona fide intention to sympathize the nation. Nevertheless, posting the shocking pictures of war victims in social media put a pernicious effect on people rather than healing their wounds.
Moral values are moribund in human societies. If one practices upon moral standard, they will empathize the people beset by any sorts of vicissitude. Generally speaking, men of principle will seek to allay the sorrow of a sufferer and pursue peace and salvation for the entire society. They will uplift human rights and dignity. Nonetheless, the vacuum of spirituality and moral principles is strongly felt in our dystopian world. In his Nobel Lecture on December 11, 1964, Martin Luther King aptly said, “Modern man has brought this whole world to an awe-inspiring threshold of the future. He has reached new and astonishing peaks of scientific success. He has produced machines that think and instruments that peer into the unfathomable ranges of interstellar space. He has built gigantic bridges to span the seas and gargantuan buildings to kiss the skies…. Yet, in spite of these spectacular strides in science and technology, and still unlimited ones to come, something basic is missing. There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually”.
In fact, indifference to public suffering is the great malady of our time. Human societies will have to revive moral principles and enhance the rights and dignity of mankind. To change our dystopia into utopian world, we must fill the moral vacuum and the rift between nations. Inequity should come to end. If we do not ameliorate the current trend, life will remain as cheap as ever and Thomas Hobbes words that “man is man’s wolf” will be an impeccable theory in contemporary world.