By Khaled Aljenfawi
January 06, 2014
It is very difficult to separate the spread of particular kinds of violence in some human societies from the social, cultural and ‘moral’ roots of that violence. In fact, it is illogical to ignore the apparent willingness of more than few members of a particular society to commit violence, while at the same time interpret this general behavioral tendency toward acts of cruelty as only individual cases.
Each human culture produces its own brand of culture of violence, however; the most violent societies stand out.
Moreover, violence does not come from out of space, nor is it necessarily always imposed by foreign elements or executed by incontrollable supernatural forces: violence tends to originate in the quintessential predominant mental archetypes common in a particular human environment: sometimes violence derives from the fundamental social concepts of a particular society, from its established customs, its common individualistic behaviors and from a society’s usual reactions toward the outside world. For example, there are human societies which tend to be rather humane, more compassionate and more accepting toward difference.
There are certain societies which seem to be rather inhumane, uncompassionate and more rejecting toward racial, religious and cultural differences. Of course, one cannot generalize about a society’s social and psychological norms, however; when beheadings, suicide bombings against innocent people become gloried ‘heroic’ propensities; violence becomes a conspicuous cultural characteristic for some societies. No sane, compassionate and true Muslim condones suicide bombing, beheading of innocent victims. Such acts of savagery may not always originate in misinterpretation of some Quranic verses. Such barbarity derives from some individuals’ criminal inclination to cause as much harm against human civilization as possible.
For example, it is becoming extremely necessary to re-examine the roots of violence in some Islamic cultures. True Islam does not condone, nor does it endorse the destruction of innocent human lives. Yet, it is also becoming rather very simplistic to blame the spread of violence on misinterpretation of the Quran. The holy Quran is very clear about its objection of murder and carnage: it dictates that: “whosoever kills a human being, except (as punishment) for murder or for spreading corruption in the land, it shall be like killing all humanity; and whosoever saves a life, saves the entire human race” (Al-Ma’idah 32).
Therefore, if the basic values of Islam seem to advocate tolerance, peace and the protection of human life for Muslims, Jews, Christians and all non-Muslim innocent individuals, why then do some Muslims continue to call for the destruction of other innocent non- Muslims?! Unless, there are other hidden causes for the quite accurate predictability of religious or sectarian violence happening in some Islamic societies, nothing different can be proven.
We as Muslims need to re-examine the causes of what constitutes a historical propensity among some of us toward violence.