Answering a journalist who had asked him what advice he wanted to leave to future generations, the italian journalist Indro Montanelli said: “When fires are lighten, always stand on the side of the witch, even if it means getting on the pyre with her”.
I have no desire to end up burned. But there are things that scald me more then fire.Things that make me suspect that something is burning around me already: the reason.
The day after the terrible attack against Charlie Hebdo, this Italian newspaper titled: “THIS IS ISLAM”.
The title was the sums of all my fears, and frankly, it appears to be good only in making the happiness of two kinds of people: one is Anders Breivik, the author of the attacks in Oslo in July 2011, which theorized in his delusions a clash of civilizations in the near future. The other is Bin Laden. I’m sure that, somewhere deep in the hell where I hope he is roasting, he had time to laugh reading that article.
The biggest mistake we can commit is to really believe that we are facing a clash of civilizations caused by Islam against Christianity.
I do not want to write all the reasons why Islam is not the one practiced by ISIS, Al Qaeda, or any other idiot who decides to give meaning to his life blowing himself up while screaming “Allah Akbar” . It would not make sense. I know that every peaceful part of the Koran I could post, would be submerged by an equale amount of verses urging to kill all infidels. Stuff like: “Thou shalt utterly destroy them; shall make no covenant with them, nor do their grace”. Wait … no! Sorry, I’m confused! That was in the Bible (Deuteronomy 7: 2).
However, the title on that newspaper raised in me some thoughts that (as usual) I would like to share:
One of the first car bombs in history was blown up on Wall Street September 16, 1920. The terrorist attack killed 138 and seriously injured 143. Investigators and historians are in agreement that the attack was the work of some anarchists of Italian origin, the so-called “Gallenisti” whose gloomy deeds revolts against capitalism bloodied the United States almost up to the eve of World War II (Rapoport: Terrorism – critical concept in political science -).
So, got it? Not only these men were being welcomed in a new country, but they were also protesting, they demanded to change things, and they did terrorist attacks? (I already heard words like those somewhere … and you?).
Yet I am not aware that such a spiral of barbarism, caused by our countrymen, could have justified the publication of an editorial with a picture of this kind:
It has some strange effect to read a caption such as this one, isn’t? How does it feel? Personally, if I would see it on a newspaper, I would be disgusted, offended and, if I were an italian immigrant in the USA, I would have felt scared.
The results of such a climate of terror in the USA of the ’20, were materialized in the killing of two known innocent, the italians Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who were condemned to the death penalty for a crime they never committed (for the record: a week after the attacks in Paris, 15 assaults against Muslims in France were counted).
On July 29, 1994 a Christian extremist killed Dr. John Britton, and shot his bodyguard in cold blood. The murderess, Paul Jennings Hill, never expressed any repentance, because convinced to do the will of God.
On May 31, 2009 Dr. George Tiller, an American doctor who practiced and defended abortion, was killed by Scott Roeder, a terrorist belonging to a movement of Christian fundamentalists.
The list of crimes committed by those kind of “Christians” could go on for pages, but for those interested, I suggest you to watch this documentary, which is quite explanatory.
However, I do not think there ever were any doubts about the fact that such actions were not performed by Christians as it is for example my grandmother, but by people having faith in a distorted view of the doctrine of Christ. Mind you, not a person, but organized groups of people who share a particular, and for us repellent, vision of the Christian faith.
The fact that terrorist attacks in the arab world are now so recurrent to not even break the news anymore, is not enough to make us forget about them. The Muslim world is struggling with plenty of terrorist attacks caused by extremist and directed against the local civilian population.
So, is that also the case of a war between Islam and Christianity?
The worst danger arising from the terrible actions such as those that happened in Paris, it’s just that now, in these moments of fear and dismay, our society end up being prey to a class of intellectuals and politicians who, at best, in other situations wouldn’t be worthy of taking care of a donkey, let alone stand as defenders of our values.
Personally, I believe that raising walls against the Muslim world, celebrate the Crusades, it is absolutely the worst possible solution, at least unless you wanted to enjoy a bloodbath as the one who our grandparents experienced in their lives.
Do you want an example of a place where a war with strong religious connotations, is ongoing between Muslims against Christians? Go to Central African Republic, where a little publicized “new Rwanda” is going on.
If you only like to fight using words, at least watch this video filmed in the same country, and try to understand where the words of hate could bring.
Sociologists and psychologists, carried on dozens of studies that scientifically proved how the division of people into different groups leads to the appearance of the situation of friction between them. The more the difference is underlined, the more it is possible that the conflict becomes likely (for those interested, have a look at the concepts of “ethnocentrism” by William G. Sumner, or “sociocentrism” by Wilson or, at the “Robbers Cave” experiment).
In conclusion, I believe that facing the facts we are living there is no need to give credit to the fear, the easiest impulse to surrender to. We should rather give credit to the noblest part that should characterize our species: the intellect.