The killing of 49 Muslim faithful of different ages, tribes and nationalities in Christchurch, New Zealand is no longer news. That a human being will intentionally attack another human being at their most vulnerable and when they have their guards down shows how low we have gone as a specie.
Even more troubling is the reluctance of the wider media and non Muslim community to accept this act and action by calling it by its rightful name ‘terrorism’. This is because in the world today we have wrongly attached the term terrorism to Islam and are reluctant to give the title to anyone who does not fall into the narrow demographic of Muslim/Arab/nomadic people’s. But, we must accept that a new form of terrorism is silently formenting; one that is sowing seeds of hatred against people of different bend, beliefs and lifestyles.
Look no further than the recently concluded elections in Nigeria and its accompanying commentary and you will see the trend of bitterness, intolerance and hatred that the new terrorism is breeding. This has over time led to the death of empathy to the pains and suffering of those with whom we are not in agreement. We must become introspective and fight this rising internal and societal terrorist bend. This is why today some from the southern part of Nigeria celebrate when Fulani men and women are murdered, raped, killed or faced with some other tragedy or vice versa.
We must remember that before we became leftists, right leaning, biafran, northerners or southerners we were first human, man, woman, boy and girl. The new terrorism feeds on hate and kills people long before a cartridge is placed in a gun or any other weapon is lifted against another. We must hold on to the last vestiges of our humanity and use this as an anchor to keep us from crossing into this new kind of terrorism.
We must remember that Solomon in all his wisdom when called to settle the case of two women claiming to mother a single child, turned to simple humanity to decide the child’s parentage. He simply understood that human kindness and compassion was the one true parameter he could trust in resolving the issue.
In conclusion, our tribes may fail us, our beliefs may fail us, our religion (and religious leaders) may fail us, people will definitely fail us, but after all is said and done, our humanity, our ability to see beyond our differences, is the only thing that can save us from this new type of terrorism.
The new terrorism has many monickers, and while they may be called nationalists, sessionists, opposition, ruling party depending on who is making the allegations, all terrorism is unified in the loss of humanity in our decision making and judgement…
This article was written by Mogbitse Okitikpi.