The most feared enemy on the planet
This planet still has wonderful, peace-loving people of all colours and ethnicities in just about every country, who awake each day dedicating their lives to making the world a place where people could be free to worship as they choose, and to express themselves on matters they deem to be golden principles for living peacefully as citizens of the Earth.
Many of these people are not headline-seekers or in search of fame and fortune; they go about their lives sharing and helping one another, which is a basic formula for good community life in any society.
Sadly and tragically, the world still has people so drenched in hatred for anyone who chooses a life outside of their doctrine that they are willing to use themselves as weapons to inflict horrendous horror on innocent lives to promote an ideology that runs counter to every decent principle connected to democracy, and its true meaning in upholding freedom for all.
The world has a long history of people hating others simply because they are different, and despite gains throughout parts of the world to eradicate hatred and racism, the world’s most feared enemy continues to cause havoc, as they often strike without concern as to who the victims are.
The Manchester tragedy in Britain, where a suicide bomber targeted a concert as people were leaving the facility claiming more than 20 lives and leaving many seriously injured stunned the world, and left many wondering what, if anything, could be done to prevent such barbaric acts that leave a trail of broken lives and emotional pain.
After so many days, the news cameras depart from the scene for other stories, but the people of Manchester who believe in freedom and justice know that true healing will involve standing firm against those who think they can destroy freedom with violence.
On Saturday, Britain suffered more heartache, the third terror attack in the UK in three months, when three men went on a rampage in London that resulted in the deaths of seven people and left almost 50 in hospital requiring treatment.
The free world needs to speak with a louder voice in condemning hatred and violence that has forced many to perish on the high seas trying to escape a life of terror and hopelessness.
Recently that deeply rooted hatred struck again, this time in the city of Kabul in Afghanistan, using a large truck as a bomb. While the driver was not able to penetrate the tightly secured area that housed embassies and other important facilities, the explosion left some buildings in rubble with more than 90 killed and hundreds wounded. Although Afghanistan is accustomed to such violence, this latest incident was said to be one of the worst ever. One man weeping openly by the roadside told a reporter that his brother was sleeping in his car near by. There was no trace of him or the car after the blast. The face of hatred had once again left its deadly mark.
Amid the dust, blood, tears and carnage when these incidents occur, the reality that there are good, peace-loving people in Afghanistan can easily be overlooked because living peacefully with respect for decency and freedom is seldom a headline story anywhere. An official there warned that terrorists groups are likely to be planning even more attacks.
Much of the world shares the concern that terrorism could be the most feared enemy on the Earth. Making use of modern technology, terrorist groups seek to recruit the vulnerable, and once a mind is wired to their twisted objectives, the next step is to find ways for them to inflict as much harm as possible to those considered enemies of their ideology.
In America, a man enraged with hatred for people who did not look like him killed two men and wounded another when they attempted to stop him from assaulting two black girls on a train in Portland, Oregon. Hatred had struck yet again many miles away from Afghanistan in a country where freedom and respect for all people is supposed to be a key element in the nation’s constitution. The men who died trying to defend that principle were declared heroes by all peace-loving people in that country.
No place on Earth is totally free from hatred in some form, but when it becomes an excuse to destroy the lives of others, it is a concern for everyone who cherishes the right to live in an atmosphere of respect and freedom.
In Bermuda, we have much to celebrate in having the freedom to express ourselves on any issue, as long as it is with respect for dignity for those with a different viewpoint. We know emotions run deep at the mere mention of a General Election, but we must remember that victory for any political group is shallow if all of Bermuda is not a part of that victory.
Our island community is too small to allow divisiveness of any type to keep us from our full potential as a diverse society that is still growing. No amount of hatred will ever stop the global march for freedom and justice for all. In other words, hatred will never win.
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