Saturday, 7 June 2014

Honour Killing: A Most Vile Oxymoron

Social Media is one of the two greatest gifts the Internet has given us.  The other is access to limitless information. It is almost impossible to imagine a world without the Internet.

Thanks to the pioneering work of Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau,  the founders of the World Wide Web, we know carry around smartphones with access to almost all of human knowledge.

Social Media sites are responsible for giving a voice to people around the globe, even those who live in closed societies. And with a voice comes debate, analysis and hopefully, enlightenment.

The more people on the Net, the more likely they will leave religion and discard antiquated cultural pursuits.

The more knowledge available for free, the more superstition and injustice will be eradicated. At least that's what I hope.

The greatest disappointment to me is that the Internet is still limited to only half of the world's population. Just as well the benevolent honchos at Google are intent on changing that fact and are planning to provide a truly global service.

The sooner, the better.

With information-sharing technology comes the daily flood of tragedies and wrong-doings by so-called human beings, to our attention. One particular injustice is "Honour Killing"

Above pictures depict India's crying shame. I must stress this disturbing subject is not unique to India and is reported from many other countries. To those of a delicate disposition I ask not to search Google on this topic, as the content is so abhorrent it is likely to traumatize even the hardiest of men.

These vile acts, often but not always perpetrated against young women, leave me in despair. I simply can't fathom what drives people to such action: to pay for perceived honour with the blood of their own family.

What honour is there among those callous and ignorant barbarians, that makes them kill?

What honour is there among cold-blooded sadistic criminals who have no sympathy or empathy toward their own flesh and blood?

What possible and justifiable honour can there be among those who carry out such vile acts? If they have 'honour' then that word has been hijacked by sick-minded and deluded people.

According to statistics these assassinations are on the increase, or at least as I suspect and hope, an increase in reporting the cases.

The saddest aspect of honour killings is the apparent lack of interest in the part of the authorities of such countries to combat this sickness.

Will the Internet bring education to the remote corners of the world where most of these executions take place? And will it help educate those who commit this most foul of murders?

I certainly hope so.

I can't wait, and neither can all the hapless future victims of this heinous and inhuman 'human value'.


Thursday, 5 June 2014

Fragmented World: And I'm Not Referring To Plate Tectonics

Mass immigration from poorer countries to Europe continues to make daily headlines and to bolster membership of the far-right parties of our continent.

It saddens me to think that those poor migrants risk their lives, day in day out, just to reach our shores and the promise of a better life.

From trying to hitch rides in or even under heavy-goods vehicles on the Ceuta-Spain ferry crossing, to attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in makeshift dinghies, the human tide of despair continues to pound the coast of Southern Europe.

"I have no choice" replied a sub-Saharan young man when asked why he risked his life to get to  Europe.

Another man said  " If I fail tonight I'll try again and again. I'd rather die trying than go back home and wait for death"

It would be good if the whole world took action to help the central African countries that are in disarray, plagued by war, famine and poverty. I know corruption in those states makes it almost impossible to get aid to the needy, but ignoring the problem is not going to make it go away. The West can only stem the tide of  African migration by helping those same countries to prosper and to offer their populations a way out of abject poverty.

A way to help would be to offer more lucrative incentives to European and multi-national companies to set up businesses and production in Africa, as China has started doing recently, albeit for ulterior motives, but that's another story.

Another way would be to provide more direct aid for education and health.  Healthy and educated  populations are much less likely to be enslaved by harmful religion and much more likely to embrace democracy and  justice.

Poverty really is the root of all evil.

And the only winners are the far-right parties whose inadequate and unsympathetic answer is to build more walls,  more segregation and more inequality.  Same old rhetoric.

Extremists of all persuasions, especially those on the far-right, have a knack of never learning from history. For if they did, they'd see the futility of their ideology.

I'd like to ask a neo-Nazi what is the appeal of worshiping someone such as Hitler. A leader who ruled by fear, murdered with impunity and became one of history's biggest losers. He not only lost a war, a country and his wife, but even managed to lose his own life!

Almost the same question I often ask God followers.