Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Intolerance leads to Fratricide

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Intolerance leads to Fratricide

There is a fascinating little story that is preserved for us in Greek literature about Ulysses and the Sirens. The Sirens had the ability to sing so sweetly that sailors could not resist steering toward their island. Many ships were lured upon the rocks, and men forgot home, duty, and honor as they flung themselves into the sea to be embraced by arms that drew them down to death. Ulysses, determined not to be lured by the Sirens, first decided to tie himself tightly to the mast of his boat, and his crew stuffed their ears with wax. But finally he and his crew learned a better way to save themselves: they took on board the beautiful singer Orpheus whose melodies were sweeter than the music of the Sirens. When Orpheus sang, who bothered to listen to the Sirens?
“So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody that is far superior to the discords of war. Somehow we must transform the dynamics of the world power struggle from the negative nuclear arms race which no one can win to a positive contest to harness man's creative genius for the purpose of making peace and prosperity a reality for all of the nations of the world,” these words were spoken by Martin Luther King.
The global wars, which outraged human conscience, inflicted heavy casualties upon nations around the world and led to indescribable pains and sufferings. Streams of men, women and children’s blood seeped and millions of people lost their lives or amputated in the worst possible way. In addition, the violence and carnage unfolded men’s megalomania and evil. Subsequently, the world realized the fact that violence will lead to horrible consequence rather than resulting in peace and prosperity and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was endorsed to alleviate the pain and anguish of human societies and preach the spirit of brotherhood. Based on UDHR, men are born free with natural and inalienable rights and dignity and have to be respected irrespective of their color, caste and creed.
The bulk of violence originated from parochial mindsets, religious intolerance, radical ideologies and racial superiorities. In other words, one was humiliated for his/her racial and sexual background and deemed inferior for nurturing a certain type of belief. It is an unmistakable fact that viewing the individuals from the lens of race or religion will lead to challenges in a society. Therefore, the UDHR declared that all men are supposed to exercise equal rights and dignity on the basis of being human and no one is supposed to trample upon the inalienable rights and liberty of the people.
The hegemony of democracy was accepted in many cultures for paving the way for peace and prosperity. Democracy is based on the policy of nonviolence and plays a constructive role in the society. In democratic systems, citizens have equal rights and responsibilities before the law and natural dignity matters the most. Since democracy originates from liberal idea, it extends tolerance and is likely to form a civil society void of violence and bloodshed, in case of being exercised truly. In a democratic administration, there is no room for violence and ethnocentrism.
However, the individuals’ rights and liberty are violated to a great extent despite the approval of UDHR and establishment of democratic administration. It is needless to say that a number of people, who exercise radical ideology, do not believe in democracy and seek to impose their ideology on others with the barrel of gun. The resurface of men’s megalomaniac and ethnocentric emotions changed many men and women into sacrificial lambs and the ethnic minority groups bear the brunt of the issue. The current insurgency and terrorism, which blackmail the entire globe, root in religious oversimplification and adamant persistence on one’s personal narration from sacred texts. In another item, stereotypical views will aggravate the challenges and breed incessant violence in human societies. The world should be cautious enough not to repeat the history in one way or another.
“Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts”, the human societies will have to respect the unalienable rights and inherent dignity of mankind and strengthen democracy. The destruction and horrible consequence of war is known to all. War has taken its toll on every family in every nook and cranny of Afghanistan and the nation is highly exhausted by it. 
A large number of Afghan soldiers and civilians were killed within the two past years without a positive outcome. After all, the situation deteriorates with each passing day and warring factions, mainly the Taliban and the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) intensify their attacks. War leaves heavy casualties behind but its positive outcome is hardly tangible. Warring factions will have to come to negotiating table and stop violence and bloodshed.
It is believed that if the world respects the United Nation’s Charter and UDHR, the sufferings of people will come to an end. It is hoped that the rights and liberty of all nations be respected around the world on the basis of international instruments so that human societies experience a civil society void of carnage and cruelty.    

Hujjattullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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