Pune, India – On the auspicious day of Easter (April 21), a hushed shocked silence followed serial blasts as Sri Lankan churches and luxurious hotels suffered deadly suicide bomb attacks by extreme religious militant groups, resulting in hundreds dead and wounded.
As the smoke cleared and realization of what had happened dawned on people, there came the stupendous task of calculating the number of casualties. The Sri Lankan authorities stated that it is difficult to calculate the death number as it was not possible to identify the body parts. It is clear by now that the motive of the attacks is purely religious and against Christianity, as the notorious global outfit Islamic State (IS) claimed official responsibility for the attacks. There are dozens of suspects arrested and an investigation is ongoing.
Sri Lanka minister of defense, Ruwan Wijewardene said that the initial investigation has revealed that the attacks are a retaliation for recent attacks on Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. National Thawheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) along with a local group, Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim (JMI) are the prime suspects in the attacks. United States and Indian intelligence agencies had provided the information of such attacks on churches few days in advance to Sri Lankan agencies, but Sri Lankan agencies failed to act and could not stop those attacks. Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando has given his resignation for the intelligence failure. The catholic church of Sri Lanka suspended all services of the churches in Sri Lanka. The entire country reeled under the uncertain circumstances as fear gripped with threatening clouds of repetitive communal violence. There are already reports of Muslims in the country facing a backlash amid mounting fears of revenge. In the aftermath, the Sri Lankan government blacked out social media sites to stop the spread of rumors and disinformation.
Typical reactions from the rest of the world appeared immediately after the attacks as umpteen number of statements from heads of states and others said: “We condemn the coward attacks and we are with the Sri Lankan Government”. The typical news of any event ends here.
But the real question is, for how long? How many innocent people are going to die in the future? Where we are heading? We need to accept the reality that we are already in the zone of global religious warfare. Every other day we are reading the news of such attacks in some part of the globe. Today’s era is of a Global village, whose people are fighting for religion. Surprisingly every religion teaches peace and well being of every mankind and animals but people are fighting for religion.
The post globalization era has seen unavoidable migration of people from one country to another for business, job and a better lifestyle. It introduced various religions, cultures, and values to each other. Rather than adapting the other religion’s better values, the owners of the religion thought it is a threat to their religion. It further led to the creation of religious insecurity and false pride. Such insecurities and inferiority created extremists in almost every religion and they declared themselves the saviors of their religion.
While some extremists find this as an opportunity to convert the entire world to their religion, there are others taking the path of violence. Religion has become the leading industry in the world now. Social media has added the fuel to this war and extremists are using it widely to misguide the youth by fake news, fake content, artificial pride of religion and converting a common man to the ways of extremism. Most religious extremists do not like change and stick to their orthodox way of life. In reality,however, they are observing the change in lifestyle in their hometown, and they blame other religions for those changes. They are resorting to violence as the only remedy to enforce their insecurities. Since the change is unstoppable, such attacks are also unstoppable, unless some concrete actions are taken at global levels.
The time has come to establish a global level intelligence agency, similar to Interpol, dedicated only to addressing religious attacks. Maybe an international council for addressing religious terrorism, with participation of all countries, can lead to the establishment of a global code of conduct based on the moral values of the religion and belief systems, powers and methodology of joint operation. Since most of the attacks are at international levels, an international counterpart agency is a must. It can easily identify the provoking posts on social media and so on.
On a concluding note, the precautionary solution to prohibit further massacres is difficult but not impossible, rather it has become a necessity for the mankind.