Following the New Zealand tragedy, much has been said and written about Islamophobia, hate, racism, extremism, etc.
The causes, objectives and modi operandi of the unfortunate phenomena have been dealt with extensively and with different degrees of success by a great many religious leaders, politicians, educators and social activists alike, with New Zealand and its prime minister leading the way.
The discourses transcended the boundaries of race, nationality, religion and culture, resulting in myriads of voices coming out together and in unison condemning all manifestations of hate, bigotry, extremism and terrorism, and their protagonists, while at the same time emphatically preaching and propagating their antitheses: love, tolerance, peace and dialogue.
However, several questions still must be asked, such as: now what in the wake of such an outpouring of emotions and rhetoric, and what is the next step?
Will the world go back to its old ways until something similar, or worse, happens and we then do the same thing again, making thereby in the eyes of Islamophobes and other hate and terror-mongers a mockery of ourselves and the ways we deal with some of the most perilous issues?
Or will the world do something genuinely meaningful and enduringly effective, facing head-on and trying to contain the contagious menaces which, it is no exaggeration to say, have brought the whole world to a historic crossroads.
The Importance of Pragmatism
Whatever the case, long-term comprehensive strategies and policies should overtake impulsive rhetoric, which is normally coupled with short-term actions and programs and aims but to paper over recurring tragic incidents and their devastating consequences.
In the same vein, initiatives at all levels ought to be proactive rather than reactive, and action to be rational rather than purely emotional. Needless to say that before there could be a way, there must be a will and inclusive designs and procedures.
The above questions are legitimately compelling, begging for satisfactory answers at once in theory and practice.
That is so because although life is intrinsically positive and good, man, who possesses propensities for both good and evil, never fails to contaminate and stain it. The Holy Quran reveals that:
…corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by reason of what the hands of people have earned… (Al-Rum 30:41).
Terrestrial existence with man at its helm is a theater of good and evil and their various manifestations as well as effects. Its dynamic unfolding, furthermore, denotes a stage for permanent confrontations between the forces of the two poles, one relentlessly trying to outdo and subdue the other.
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