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The roots of violence


Violence is the dominant theme of the daily news around the world. Libya, Syria, Somalia where hundreds are dying and thousands are starving to death because of violence driven by ideological extremism. In the Philippines a mini civil war is underway, mass killing is the preferred method of crushing dissent and subduing opposition and the struggle for freedom and equality. In the Philippines Al Qaeda linked groups’ battle for the ideal of Islamic “freedom” which can be more oppressive that what went before.

Other right wing groups in the Philippines have death squads that go about their bloody business on the many nods and winks of their political and military masters assassinating social justice priests & pastors, social activists, human rights workers, journalists and political opponents. In their morally twisted and corrupt minds it’s a terrible yet necessary work to eliminate the leftists in order to preserve the supremacy of the privileged ruling class. And so we get massacres of political opponents and journalists as in the mass killing of 59 people by a political family in Manguindao. Mindanao, 23 November 2009.

What is going on in Syria is similar but on a national scale. One dynastic family of Bashar Al-Assad, of a small religious sect (12 percent of the population of Syria) The Alawites a minority Shiite sect are oppressing the majority Sunni through massacres and war against their own citizens in what is becoming to look more like genocide and crimes against humanity.

That kind of violence is driven by the lust for total political power, hatred of opponents who threaten that power and the fear of loss of the money that it brings through corrupt practices to the political ruling family. A sense of impunity from prosecution fuel’s the imperious order to have the people killed.

When the police arrived over an hour too late on the small Norwegian island not far from Oslo a few weeks ago, they confronted a calm well armed 35 year-old Anders Behring Breivik surrounded by the scattered bodies of the dead and dying youthful victims, almost 65 of them. They were the children of labor party stalwarts on a political education summer camp. It was “grotesque but necessary” he said. This a few hours after he had set off a gigantic car bomb in the middle of Oslo, killing seven and injuring many more. He told police that he had his reasons and would tell them to the world from the platform of the court. What lies behind such horrific acts of terrorism and violence may be seen in his document of justification.

His “reasons” for such horrific atrocities lie in his manifesto, 1500-page long, posted on the Internet only hours before he set out on his murderous mission are basically racist, anti-Islamic and an extreme right-wing ideological motivation peppered with his own mixture of fundamental religious rhetoric. He wants to wage a war against those liberals, like the Norwegian Labor politicians whose children he targeted and murdered whom he accuses of allowing Muslims into Norway and Europe. They betray the Nordic race and their policies of multi-culturalism makes them traitors to the purity of the “Nordic genotypes” whom he fears are being driven to extinction. He wants to expel all Muslim from Norway and Europe and decries what he calls the colonization of Europe by Islam which the political elite of Europe are to blame whom he brands as “Cultural Marxists”. He describes himself as a kind of knight fighting for the purity of western civilization from the contamination of “Islamic Imperialism”.

There is a strong undercurrent of this kind of feeling in Europe and America, the counter-jihad movement is mostly non-violent. In this, he is a Western kind of Crusader, a holy warrior and weirdly not unlike the Jihad’s or holy warriors of the extreme Islamic of Al Qaeda. They too are fighting a violent war against the “West” and against their own governments who allow the contamination of pure Islam with western decadence and depravity.

In all of the above some extreme ideological or political motivation drives the violence and if that is lacking, greed and the lust for power is abundantly present. A peaceful loving caring society where all are respected and treated equally and the leaders serve the people is the ideal of the Kingdom. We just have to do all we can to promote peace, non-violence and live and promote the values of the Kingdom of justice and truth to make it happen.

By Fr. Shay Cullen

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