Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, November 28th, 2020

Radicalization and Civilian Casualties

Civilians have nothing to do with war. However, armed militants inflict sufferings on them in one way or another. The Taliban’s recent escalated militancy leading to heavy casualties of civilians is highly outrageous and against the humanitarian law. The Taliban fighters feel no iota of guilt in killing non-combatants, including women and children.
Civilians are targeted or radicalized not only in Afghanistan but around the globe. To see or imagine the blood oozing from the wounds of civilians, who fell victim to terrorist fighters, fills me with an outpouring of grief. The human catastrophes continue unabated in the wake of fundamentalism and lead to indescribable tragedies. Noncombatants, mainly women and children, bear the brunt of radical ideologies and men’s cruelty under the nose of international community. As a result of widespread violence and bloodshed, the tragic scenes and human casualties are given cold shoulder by the public.
In other words, children’s sliced throats, women’s bloody corpses, and men’s riddled bodies by bombs will hardly ever shake the conscience of contemporary men. Being killed, mourned and buried has been changed into normal story in many warn-torn countries. 
I remember vividly when I watched the video of an abducted woman by terrorist group held out against going home in Nigeria in 2014. In a three-minute video released, a woman claimed to be Maida Yakubu, one of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014, refused to be rescued as part of a recent swap deal with the Nigerian government. Flanked by three other women clad in black, she proclaimed her loyalty to Boko Haram, the group that killed more than 20,000 people since taking up arms against the Nigerian government in 2009. Perhaps, she was forced to claim her loyalty to the group for a video recording to hunt for simple individuals to join them. But what if she has been radicalized?
Killing and radicalizing people are the normal practices of armed groups. Their ideology is likely to be: die or accept the belief. So, there is no third choice – no matter who you are, what you believe in, or which language do you speak! Some are humiliated and tortured to accept their warped minds but others will die instantaneously.
To be honest, the spurious claims and inhumane practices of fundamental groups make me feel nauseous. It is self-explanatory that their ideology, in case of having, is based on no religious tenets, ethical code or social values. Women are raped or killed and children are murdered on the grounds of their caste, color and creed.
We live in the world of cruelty and barbarity. In the world where life and dignity have turned extremely cheap. The heart-wrenching stories no more outrage the collective conscience. No more tear is shed over the riddle bodies of terrorist victims.
According to humanitarian law, the rights and dignity of noncombatants will have to be protected. Civilians have nothing to do with wars and conflicts and must be safeguarded against violence regardless of their racial, religious or linguistic backgrounds. Besides civilians, detainees and wounded soldiers should not be tortured or humiliated. Warring factions must act on the basis of humanity and ethical code – for being human – if not religious tenets. Killing civilians will do nothing other than revealing their barbarity.
Martin Luther King has aptly said, “Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”
This commentary is a voice raised against violence and flagrant violation of human rights and dignity although I know that it will fall on deaf ears. The tragic stories and outrageous acts of violence unfold men’s barbarity. Perhaps, one will hear my voice and feel my pain and then raise their voice against cruelties – this will keep the cycle of hatred of fundamentalism and terrorism running which is the commentary’s objective. It is hoped that the individual hatred of violence will awaken the collective conscience. Don’t you think that if the world strengthens the spirit of brotherhood, violence and bloodshed will be mitigated to a great extent?
The world and the international community have to engage actively and constructively in paving the ground for peaceful coexistence and narrowing the room for radicalization. Regarding Afghanistan’s issues, Afghans hope that regional and global stakeholders will engage in the peace process so as to put an end to the ongoing militancy in the country.