Hatred has taken over the world. In Ukraine, Haiti, the Gaza strip, Yemen, Sudan or even Nigeria, the gory images of the slaughtering of innocent men, women and children, is no longer shocking. It has become an everyday thing. It has almost become normal. Human life that is irreplaceable has become so cheap that it can be snuffed out without a thought.

‘Unknown’ gun men are running riot across Nigeria, killing and maiming at will. Nothing is sacred anymore and no one is off limits. Even soldiers are being slaughtered by civilians. The world seems to have gone back to the dark ages, only that it has done so with precision weapons and killer drones.

Six months ago, the perennial carnage between the Palestinians and the Israelis erupted again, this time with a big difference. It used to start with the Palestinians, young men and women, throwing rocks at the Israelis across the fence that divides them and small-sized bombs exploding in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Not this time.

On October 7, 2023, the unthinkable happened. The Palestinian Sunni Islamist group known as Hamas, who consider themselves freedom fighters whose sworn objective is to liberate Palestinians from Israeli domination, shocked the world. Without notice, they unleashed very well coordinated attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip. More than 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals were killed.

Before October 7, Israel was considered about the most fortified nation on earth, with top notch intelligence and security. On October 7, 2023, the Israeli invincibility was shattered.

What we have seen on television since then are the images of an Israeli military machine that seems to have run amok, indiscriminately levelling every structure in Gaza with never ending bombing, killing thousands of Palestinian men, women and children who have nowhere to run to. The gory images of the starving and wounded Palestinian children who had no hand in what happened on October 7, must touch every human being who still has a heart.

Some have said that what is going on in Gaza is not a war but genocide. Some argue that it is ethnic cleansing. Do they have a point? I consider a war to be a struggle between two parties with reasonably equal strengths. In Gaza, only one side has the bombers, jet fighters, drones, artillery and well drilled soldiers with sophisticated armaments supplied by America. The other side is made of homeless and starving women and children and some men hiding in tunnels.

Meanwhile, the people responsible for this massacre in Gaza and their friends justify this horrific killing field. They explain it with a lot of grammar especially at the United Nations. Those who have the big guns also own the big loudspeakers and the sophisticated propaganda specialists. So, they activate their propaganda machinery to dominate the narrative. Nothing is true or false anymore. It is all a matter of how you coin it and spread it.

It does not matter that the innocent women and children so brazenly murdered are some other person’s ‘people’ and also children of God. We live in a world in which might is right. Some of the children of the slaughtered old women and the brothers of the murdered children, who manage to survive the carnage, will somehow grow up and eventually turn themselves into suicide bombers and explode themselves on the world. And the cycle of blood continues.

I have written before that every crazy group in the world unleashing death on everyone around them can justify the killing. It is usually based on an ‘us against them’ mind set of some spiritual, tribal or political leader hungry for power, or control or real estate, who drums up the immense bitterness fuelled by some ancient bigotry or hatred that eventually turns the young, jobless, frustrated and restless into destructive machines.

Talk to any members of the vicious Boko Haram group or ISWAP that have unleashed fear and death across Nigeria or the other ethnic separatists that are emerging everywhere in Nigeria and they all have religious or tribal justification for their senseless killing of innocent men and women. Members of the Al Shabab gang who have gunned down many innocent people in East Africa are sure that they are doing God’s work. Whether it is Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram or even the IRA that kept Northern Ireland in commotion for many years, they all beat their chests and assert justification for the innocent lives they have taken. Check out their justification and it is based on some skewed cultural, religious or political beliefs or some real or perceived injustice done to their ‘people’ today or in times gone by. A lot of my Nigerian friends who support the madness going on in Gaza will tell you that it is right because the bible has foretold it!

Nothing frightens me these days more than the seemingly unstoppable spread of fundamentalist religion, tribal and cultural hegemonism being spread on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms and creating fanatics of all kinds. The digital media was supposed to bring all of us together. It has also given a big megaphone to merchants of hate to market their hatred.

Contrary to popular notion, this terrifying development is not limited to the Middle East. All over the world, there are self-styled prophets in religious and political garments indoctrinating masses of people who they will unleash on the world and who would become cannon fodder in their war to rid the world of those who do not agree with them. There are politicians and wanna-be leaders deploying the same template.

All of these ‘men of God’ and “leaders” of their people, preach love but the love they preach is not love for all children of God but love only for the people who think like them, pray like them or love like them. If you think differently, you are vermin which must be exterminated to create their pure world. They have convinced themselves that they are holy warriors fighting God’s battle and that they have the right to kill in the name of God.

But who are these people supposedly fighting in the name of God and killing the children of God? Who told them that God needs their help? Who informed them that they are more effective than God, the maker and giver of life, who if he chooses, can wipe out whole nations in a twinkle of an eye? How can a war be holy in which innocent children of God are slaughtered?

Who will stop the madness going on in the world?


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