By Farweez Imamudeen –
Four Muslim youngsters had brutally assaulted an innocent Sinhala Buddhist youngster in Teldeniya; a town that is situated nearly 20 km away from Kandy. A few days later the innocent victim succumbed to his injuries at the ICU in the Kandy Teaching Hospital. The crime is despicable and inhumane, not only because it’s a murder, but because it’s a murder that’s uncalled for, unjustified and ruthless. No doubt the criminals have to pay for it, and this is the time we should stand united as one nation with the innocent victim, late M.G. Kumarasinghe and his family for the sake of truth, justice and humanity.
But is it fair to unleash the hounds of hatred and racism against an entire people for the heartless actions of a few?
It always begins as a private conflict; a bitter altercation, an ugly brawl or at the extremes, a senseless murder.
But the premise leads to an unreasonable conclusion; a Muslim challenged a Sinhala Buddhist, therefore the entire Muslim community, including women, children, and all those who have not even a remote share in the crime, ought to be taught a lesson; a lesson that some certainly do not require, yet the fact that they bear the same names, wear the same clothes, share the same faith is a good enough reason to be taught the lesson.
Some argue that the conclusion is fairly reasonable, for they contend, that every member of the untaught community, by virtue of being a member of that community, shares the same evil traits, qualities, emotions, attributes and characteristics of the convict (the plethora of scientific facts that are against this theory do not apply to this particular scenario).
So the innocent victim asks the fanatic,
Are we not human then? Are we not flesh and blood? Do we not bleed if you prick us?
The fanatic replies,
NO! you are beasts ! you can never be civilized. You need to be hammered down to submission with iron rods; your livelihoods torched and torn apart with your independence; and if you live, you should be driven out of your homes with nothing but your women, infants and the sick wailing behind you. That should teach you a lesson.
Thus, you pay for the crime of one.
Why women, children and the sick? asks the bewildered innocent victim
The fanatic growls,
“The women bore the filth, the children are the future devils, and the sick…..the sick….they are just crippled monsters”
The innocent victim attempts yet another rational approach,
But the criminals are a mere negligible minority; the predominant majority is innocent. They don’t have a criminal past do they?
The fanatic prods his prey mockingly with his iron rod, and scoffs,
It doesn’t matter. You people sprout from the same seed; follow the same scripture, and worship a God that incites hatred and violence against the non-believers. Therefore, you rats should die.
The innocent victim opens something that looks like a book, and pleads while pointing at it,
How can you say that? Have you even read this scripture; the Qur’an?
The fanatic grins a disapproving grin, and snarls,
No! But I’ve heard! Which world do you live in? Aren’t you on Facebook?!
With all attempts to reason and logic failed, the innocent victim finally tries to make sense,
How do you think killing me can solve the problem?
It won’t. But you are the message that will be delivered, wrapped in blood; the fear that I’m going to cast in their hearts; the revenge that I’m going to grant my people.
With that, the racist villain drags the iron rod behind him, and moves closer to his target.
Trapped, scared and forsaken, the innocent victim turns to his final, and only hope of light at the end of a dark and dreary tunnel; the State.
He stumbles on his back tracks and slumps on the floor, and clings on to the left boot, and stares a dark stare at the blank face that glares chin up.
“Sir! Can you protect me?” He implores.
The State stands proud; unperturbed.
He pulls desperately by the State’s garment, beats with his bare arms on its legs, and yells at the top of his voice.
“SIR! CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME!”
The villain sneers and swings the iron rod over his head.
As the wrought edge of the iron rod swishes down with a thundering blow, a final thought crosses the innocent victim’s mind;
“Should I die for what I never knew, for what I never did, and for what I shall never do?”