The Mosul tragedy

It was almost a year ago, in June last year, that Indian officials at Baghdad let it be known  that they had lost touch with 40 construction labourers, mostly from Punjab, who were engaged in a government construction project in Mosul. It is only this Tuesday that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed in the Parliament that they had been killed and not only has their mass grave been found out but DNA test carried out on the dead bodies are of those missing since last year. The locals had informed an Indian search team that there was a ‘mound’ about 25 kms from, Mosul where many bodies might have been buried. Once the use of advanced technology established there were dead bodies in the mound, recovering them was easy. It is the ISIS which massacred these unfortunate Indians who had gone to a distant land to earn and feed their families at home.
In the long list of pogroms committed by the ISIS, the butchery of 39 Indians in Mosul will always remain a poignant memory for us. The ISIS is a product of religious fanaticism. Those that belong to the ISIS believe that only their interpretation of Islam and its teachings are true and must be obeyed by all Muslims. People of other religions, in the eyes of the ISIS, have no right to live. Persecution of the ‘heretics’ by followers of one religion is nothing new in history. In the 12th century the Roman Catholic Church in Europe carried out a systematic suppression of ‘heretics’ which is known as the Inquisition.
Heresy is defined differently in different ages. In the 16th and 17th centuries Copernicus and Galileo were persecuted because they proved that it was the Earth that revolves round the Sun and not the other way round. Today the entire world accepts this as proven scientific truth. Religious faith is independent of empiric evidence. Belief is above everything and cannot be questioned. If the believer says that a mythological character of a particular religion was born at a certain place and points out a particular spot where he was born, then that belief has to be accepted unquestionably as truth. Demanding historical or archaeological proof will be heresy. The 39 Indian construction workers never questioned anybody’s religious beliefs as they had gone to earn wages with the sweat of their brow but they were killed just because they belonged to a different religion.  Today the ISIS is losing out despite all the carnage it had done in the name of religion. Religious fanaticism will meet the same fate everywhere.

Tuesday, 27 March, 2018