The dangerous path — Dharm Navaratnam

MARCH 15 — The news today of the violent shootings in two mosques in New Zealand is nothing short of shocking. You may call it what you want but in my mind, it is purely an act of terrorism.

What motivates someone to walk into a religious house of worship and senselessly gun down innocent people? The answer is short and simple. Supremacy and Fear. Supremacy in terms that you believe that you are superior to others in terms of authority, power, status or even race and religion.

Fear in the sense that you are afraid that your so called Supremacy is under threat.

That to me is the crux of all terrorist acts. Looking back in history, that was the core belief of Hitler, that the Aryan race was superior to everyone else and that Jews were a threat to them. It didn’t just stop with the Jews however, other races that were considered ‘undesirable’ were targeted including Slavs, Poles, Serbs and Russians. Some others were targeted for their beliefs and behaviours that included Communists and Homosexuals, and even comprised the disabled. This was the root of the Holocaust that is estimated to have killed millions and millions of people.

After today’s shooting that killed 49 and wounded more than 40, a manifesto written by the suspected shooter was found. In it he claims that he did what he did to stop immigrants (which he refers to as invaders) from taking over the White “Homeland”. He goes on to say that “we must ensure the existence of our people, and a future for our white children.”

In a nutshell, this is nothing short of White Supremacy and fear of losing that supremacy.

An Australian Senator, Fraser Anning, took it to another level when while condemning the actions of the gunmen blamed the incident on New Zealand’s immigration program. He went on further to basically ridicule Islam and caused further consternation by quoting a verse of the bible to justify his beliefs.

Again. Supremacy in terms of race and religion. Pure bigotry. Condemnation of others’ beliefs just because they do not go along with yours.

So yes, Supremacy and Fear that your supremacy will be eroded and so you take action for fear of losing that supremacy regardless of the cost to human life. We saw it with Hitler, we have seen it with so many cases of terrorism over the years. It cannot be denied that so many terrorist attacks over the years and indeed even wars, have been founded on defending race and religion and other doctrines. We saw it again today.

The sad thing is, while this instance may have occurred in New Zealand, we are not as removed from all of this as we would like to think. In Malaysia there is always talk of Racial and Religious Supremacy. Certain political parties use this as the foundation for their support base. They play on the fear of certain communities that their rights or privileges are being threatened. And they are allowed to espouse these hate incited statements without any action being taken against them.

As a society, we are quick to take offense and we seem to be so ensconced in the past that we seem to be unable to see beyond our noses. We still choose to place emphasis on skin colour and religion rather than a persons capabilities. Social media is full of racial and religious slurs, especially against non-Malay Ministers and other Government officials. We seem to be offended by anything and everything. From Beef that appears to be Pork, to plays that have the word Sex in it, to condemning LGBTs, just to name a few example.

This cannot, that cannot. Everything cannot. Every little thing is an insult or threat to someone’s race and/or religion. Can we really then blame politicians for still playing the race and religion card when it appears that we ourselves keep playing it?

We are walking down a very dangerous path.

Please stop advocating Supremacy and stop inciting Fear. We need to realise that we are all Malaysians, regardless of our race or creed. We need to learn to accept our differences and realise that at the very core of our being, we are all members of the human race. All created by God or whatever supreme being you may believe in. All with a right to live in this place we call Earth and with a more microscopic view, to live in harmony in this beloved country of ours that we call Malaysia.

It is time that we retreat from this dangerous path and set ourselves back on the correct path before it is too late. A path that we can all walk down together, hand in hand.

*This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.