The inherence of good and evil in man has been a subject of religio-philosophical discourse for ages. We continue to ask whether man is inherently good or evil, or there is an equal or unequal proportion of both in the minds of men.
A Grandmother, Mother, Father, and their teenage daughter were killed on Sunday night when 20-year-old ‘Canadian Christian terrorist’, Nathaniel Veltman deliberately crashed his vehicle into a Muslim family as they took a walk. The victims were 74, 44, 46, and 15 respectively with a nine-year-old boy as the lone survivor in hospital with serious injuries.
From 2015 to 2019, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) tracked more than 300 incidents, including more than 30 acts of physical violence. These include a gun attack on the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec on 29 January 2017, which left six dead and 19 injured in one of the deadliest mass shootings in Canada’s recent history.
Recall that in Match 2019, White Supremacist, Brenton Tarrant went to two Mosques and killed 51 Muslims in an anti-Muslim shooting spree in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Muslim Community had received the news with shock. I went through the 74-page hate-filled manifesto written by Brenton and wondered how man can accommodate such degree of hate in his heart.
While we can go on endlessly citing hate attacks against the Muslim community, the world itself is a victim of hate. Many wars have been fought on hate and the supremacy of clan, tribe, race, and colour. The question now is, “When will man get rid of hate?”.
The Rwandan genocide took place between 7 April and 15 July 1994. Infamously one of the deadliest genocide in African history, over 1, 000, 000 Hutus, Tutsis and Twas were allegedly killed. People were killed by their neighbours, fellow villagers, many killed in their own villages. Nowhere was safe, people ran to churches for safety but the same churches gave them to murder, schools were searched and those found killed. Armed with rifles and machetes, it was not enough to be black, it was not enough to be human, it was not enough to be African, you are speared or spared depending on whether you are Hutu or Tutsi.
While International Day of Reflection on the Rwandan genocide is observed globally on 7 April every year, the world seems not to have gotten rid of hate that marked an indelible print in the history of Rwanda.
The World War
The World saw one of the deadliest conflicts in human history during WWI ironically called, ‘the war to end all wars”. Casualties during WWI were estimated to have been about 8.5 million combatant deaths and 13 million civilian deaths while resulting genocides and the Spanish flu pandemic associated with the war led to the death of around 17-100 million people worldwide.
The supposed war to end all wars did not as it was followed by the Second World War (WWII) which was a result of disputes unsettled during WWI. The 20-year uneasy hiatus after WWI largely contributed to WWII. With about 40 million – 50 million deaths, WWII is reportedly the bloodiest and largest war in the history of man as it involved almost all nations of the World.
We cannot discuss WWII without the contribution of Adolf Hitler, the man who resents the Jews and was hell-bent on German-only Germany. Like Brenton Tarrant and Nathaniel Veltmanwho who do not want immigrant Muslims in Europe, Hitler did not just want the Jews out of Germany, the question of who is a real German was to come into play.
Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt, Benito Mussolini, Winston Churchill, and many others who formed the Allied Forces and Axis saw to a war that the World will never forget.
From London to Pearl Harbor to Blitzkrieg to Normandy to Stalingrad to Ardennes to the horrifying firestorm at Dresden that claimed over 25, 000 lives, WWII tells of what evil hate has done to humans. WWII story will never be complete without mentioning the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan when the United States of America detonated two nuclear weapons on the cities on 6 and 9 August 1945 respectively. It remains the first and only use of a nuclear weapon in war to date.
The Second Congo War, The Thirty Years’ War fought between Catholic and Protestant states in Central Europe from 1618 to 1648, The Chinese Civil War, The Dungan Revolt, are a few of the many wars we have unreasonably destroyed ourselves over.
Looking at the deadliest 12 wars in history, Brandon Cerda wrote;
“As John F. Kennedy famously said, “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.” The deadliest wars in history are all a testament to that sentiment — it is a repeating pattern with very costly end results. The last large-scale war, World War II, was responsible for the deaths of nearly 70 million people.
With the ever-advancing technology in the modern world and a booming population, the next war will undoubtedly bring about an unprecedented amount of deaths. Let history be a teacher so that we can avoid committing the same mistakes, and put an end to conflict once and for all.”
From stones, we have continued to invent weapons of destruction, swords, guns, tanks, Nukes, etc., and we never get satisfaction. Those who do not know the cost of hate and those who make profit from the proceeds of war from China to America to Iran to Russia to North Korea, even to the secessionists of Nigeria, the belligerents of the ongoing Tigray War in Ethiopia (Genocide looming, worst hunger crisis in a decade), peace cannot be too expensive. We can only tell of the beginning of war, no one can ascertain its end.
No race is superior on account of their colour or region, all blood flows red and we are one human family.
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman