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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

What price freedom?

What have we got ourselves into?

There was a moment, when we were sitting at the same table as old enemies, allies and all who had come together to free Kuwait from an unwarranted invasion by a bullying, swaggering, overbearing regime led by a man who would have been another Stalin.

Had we grasped the nettle at that moment, perhaps we might have started some sensible discussion over a Palestinian state with Israel sitting alongside Jordan, Syria and Egypt. Perhaps we could have taken an opportunity to mend bridges and put aside the past indignities of crusades that took place hundreds of years ago but which some people of the middle-east still tell as tales of caution even today as if we are still those ancestors who marched into their lands. With such memories, how can we ever have peace with such people?  Yet, there was a chance.

But then we got a taste for being the arbiters of freedom, the world police and went into places where we were not invited, trying to put things right when we had no mandate and in a swift stroke undid all that good will. That failure will be recorded by history because the chances come rarely and we failed.

But none of that could have prepared us for the outpouring of hatred and violence demonstrated by people who profess to belong to and be zealots from a religion that preaches understanding. While all our original religions were written down by men in times when things were different and so need updating, none of them called for such vengeful, spiteful behaviour towards the non believers or towards those who shared the religion except over interpretation or towards those who were from another tribe.

What we have seen today in Paris is another example of disenfranchised men an women who use religion as a cover because they want some cause through which they can express anger, be excited and motivated and be someone. They are the same sort of people who would have been nazis, simbas, beserks who murder and kill under a pretence that it is for their faith and even convince themselves it is so.

I deplore the belief that freedom of expression and freedom in learning can come under such an attack. Those who think they can suppress laughter, creativity, music and free expression will never succeed but we need to see more action to ensure they do not gain ground. They probably haven't thought as far ahead as to how miserable the world would be if they actually got their way in every corner of the globe.

For the sake of humanity and our survival as an intelligent race, this has to be stopped. Parents and elders we look at you to give your children guidance. There are signs of violent extremism across the globe. Find them another outlet through sport perhaps or some other competition where they can channel their energies. It is your responsibility not that of some greater power.

Otherwise, there will be many more dead sons and daughters soon. Victims and Extremists both cut down to soon, their potential unfufilled.

RIP todays victims of senseless acts of violence. We grieve for you.