From Mass To Massacre

The Sri Lanka tragedy still pervades my whole senses today, even invades my mind despite attempts at meditation using the ideas recently introduced by a friend who follows the Theravada principles.

Why do animals kill? Usually for food. But, there are some that kill their own, be it from cannibalism, infanticide or simply aggression. Urghhlings are violent, but how do we compare with other animals? About 8% of hyenas are devoured by their own species, mongoose 10%, and the cute lemurs are the worst killers of their own, at 17%, according to National Geographic.

Humans however are the only species I know that commit the extermination of a group of its own species. Genocide, the deliberate massacre of a particular group of people, be it race, culture or religion. The Sri Lanka Easter Sunday terror attacks were waged on high-end hotel guests who were having their breakfast, and on Christian worshippers celebrating mass. Massacred whilst praying in three houses of God, in the name of religion against another religion. The Islamist militant group National Thowfeek Jamaath has been accused although at the time of writing, the Sri Lanka government has not produced any evidence. Refrain from looking at the photos, you’d spew at the blood-spattered pews and unrecognisable body parts. We ought to respect the dead.

Are humans the only animals that torture their victims, before killing them? Unfortunately, we cannot measure emotions of other animals to decide on whether they have sadistic tendencies and we cannot know if they derive sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on others.

I contend there are no other species in the animal kingdom can surpass Urghhlings as the most vile, indiscriminate and effective in “mass killings” to which I include a war as one. Our history is littered with many horrendous examples. Citing highest estimates, the European invasion of the Americas top the list at 138 million dead, WW2 at 118 million dead. China, during the Taiping Rebellion, lost 100 million lives. Mao’s Great Leap Forward cost 56 million lives. Pause a bit. These are not just numbers. These were once upon a time people who breathed, worked, had personal goals, had places they called home, people who loved and were loved.

Urghhlings still rule the world. There is therefore still a great disturbance out there…….

Resurrection, Then Insurrection

Happy Easter! Joy to the world, Jesus rose from the dead, and mankind’s salvation is assured. As long as we believe. I woke up with renewed vigour from this beautiful message of hope and redemption. Why would anyone not want to believe?

Early morning news came in. I was not having breakfast. For an Intermittent Fasting follower, break-fast does not happen till almost noon. News of insurrection in Libya, Tripoli was under heavy rocket fire. Fighting on Tripoli’s outskirts has killed at least 220 people and wounded more than 1,000 others, 25,000 residents have been displaced. A lot of deaths. Too much misery.

My mood was soured after reading the headlines in Aljazeera News. Suicide bombers and fighters attacked the communications ministry in the centre of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, killing two people in an hours-long assault that destroyed weeks of relative calm. Today has become just another ordinary day. Hopes of a new beginning dashed. Deceiving, despairing, numbing.

Later in the day, there was more bad news. More than a hundred and fifty people are dead and four hundred injured after eight separate bombings at three Catholic churches and four hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. There will be many prayers, for those grieving for their loss and for the injured. Jesus’ Resurrection to me again seems in vain, many today have not remembered the significance of his miracle, instead choosing today to maim and kill. These attacks on religious buildings come only 38 days after the Christchurch mosques shootings by a white supremacist. The urghhling live-streamed his massacre of fifty Muslim devotees and injured fifty more, on Facebook.

A friend asked, was today’s massacre tit for tat, in retaliation for the Christchurch shootings? Another religious war? Or a continuation of the first religious war? The Crusades started it all, in 1095. Pope Urban II militarily supported the Byzantine Empire and its Emperor, Alexios I, who needed reinforcements against the Turks over the control of the Holy Land. Were there no religious wars before the creation of monotheistic religions? Did polytheistic civilisations wage wars on other religious beliefs? Or were they more accepting and tolerant, the more gods the better for them?

As the day becomes night, darkness sets in. So has my mood. The wonders of the miracle of Resurrection have long disappeared with the sun.

Destroyed by urghhlings.