13 August, 2012

SUFFERERS AND SINNERS

SUFFERERS AND SINNERS

AUGUST 13, 2012

In the devastating Iran earthquake over 300 have been killed and over 3,000 badly injured. That several lakh have been rendered homeless is obvious.

Our condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families. Please use these pages to sensitize us to their suffering.

That leads me to raise a more basic question: Are these sufferers sinners? Or do they suffer simply because of bad geography: a fault land on tectonic plates? And because their house-building technology - unlike in Japan and Hong Kong, for instance - hasn't caught up with these challenges?

Earlier when humans did not know of tectonic activity some labelled this as God's will, clearly in this case a 'punishment'. Since 'God' can't be unjust, naturally, therefore, the victims had to be sinners. Double whammy for them! Sadly some of us continue to live under that ignorance.

On 2001 earthquake a noted Muslim clergyman [Maulana S*****] had this to say about Kuthci Muslims: "what else will happen to a people who indulge, dance, take to music, tabla and thal?"

For 2002 genocide victims, too, some had such unkindly words. Some others believed - just as in the case of that natural calamity, so in this case of man-caused calamity - that the victims deserved this!

Did the Sikhs of the Wisconsin Gurudwara massacre deserve the recent killing?

Was it an act of bad faith when many Sikhs chose to stay away from the Gurudwara until state security presence was visible, and instead felt safer at home?

Doesn't faith cloud simple reasoning, and sometimes lead us to draw inhuman conclusions?

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