As the Kenya Mall savagery continues, the world will soon again ask how such events can be prevented.
Gun control is the common first answer.
“If they don’t have guns, they can’t butcher so many, so fast.”
But most realize that gasoline and a match can be just as hideously effective. It’s just a question of concentrating the victims and dispersing the fuel. Once doused, they’re doomed.
The human creature is at once capable of enormous creativity but also unthinkable cruelty. Preclude one weapon and the creature will soon find another method of killing using commonly available resources such as bags of fertilizer and a rental truck.
Such atrocities persist for one simple reason: They advance the cause of the extremists, they serve their purposes.
Mainstream Islam, along with the rest of the world, is no doubt horrified by such extreme acts. But because they are done in the name of the same faith, adherents are doubly fearful.
After all, the extremists in Kenya this week released some in the mall simply because they were of the same faith. So while members of that faith acknowledge the horror at such acts, there is the feeling that somehow they are safe. It’s not really their problem because they aren’t endangered.
And some say that to condemn some Muslims is condemnation of the faith itself so, therefore, adherents of Mohammed’s teachings may feel they must withhold their voice and not take action, that there is an implicit sanction by that shared faith. Adherents might say that condemning such actions would be condemning the faith but that is, they might say, something the faithful simply cannot do. Worse, in the eyes of the bad guys, such a denouncement might be taken as “proof” that the denouncers are not of the same faith and, thereby, make themselves targets.
It is dangerous to denounce evil.
But as long as such terrible acts continue to advance the extremist’s causes without righteous rejection by those of the same faith, extremists will continue to commit the savagery.
The butchery in the shopping malls and coffee houses and public buildings will continue.
Mainstream Islam must condemn such acts.
Loudly, publicly, in the press and on the street for all to see and hear.
“These are not members of this faith. They are murdering criminals and must be treated as the vicious, cruel animals they reveal themselves to be.”
Mainstream Islam must call the perpetrators what they are, mass murderers. It must cease its silence, rescind its tacit approval and reject, verbally and with physical action in the very name by which such acts are being done, the criminals. And Muslims must also actively and with the tools of the broader society, forcibly stop the extremists with resounding disgust and finality.
It is only society at large and, in this case only with a much, much wider and far more visible participation by the main Islamic community that has so far been mostly silent and idle, that such murderous savagery can be stopped.
Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Manuel Noriega and other monsters were not stopped by bans of the tools of destruction. They already had those weapons, they got more, they built more, they bought more illegally. And they found other tools of mayhem equally if not more savage and effective at killing humans.
Desiring to kill, they will find a way.
Monsters do not honor bans. Monsters do not comply with the wishes of society, and especially not when their own segment of that society silently looks the other way.
It is only the rise of collective society, of the great majority of humanity that ultimately stops such murderous acts. And without the condemnation of the very faith they proclaim as they kill, Islamic extremists will continue as their brothers in faith give tacit approval.
Only when the great majority of adherents to that same faith rise up and reject such actions as unholy and call the perpetrators as the murderers they are will it stop.
Speak Islam because what your silence says is horrifying.
Speak if that is not what you mean.