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Periphery

a record of mundane things that have stuck in my mind, and what they may mean.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Beslan

I don't know what it means. All I know is that I can't help crying everytime I think of it. I prayed.

Is there any lower mankind can go? I know about the aweful things the Chechens had to go through. Couldn't they have reacted differently. Could all this be post traumatic stress syndrom? Is there a way out?

Haroon Mugul:

It shocks, it confronts, it upsets, it panics, it causes despair. Is this the work of Muslims, and if so, what has caused us to fall so far? It seems doubtless that Muslims were themselves involved in taking the hostages and were, typical Russian incompetence aside, responsible for the deaths of many of them...

Not the least of which were visited upon Chechens. Time and again, these hardy mountain people were subjected to cruel indignities and punishments. They watched other isolated, mostly Muslim peoples not only humiliated, but erased. The Russians have removed languages from existence. Erased peoples. Cleansed pasts. And in the face of such enormities, can one not understand the fear, hatred and pure viscerality by which this conflict is fought? Of course, it cannot be justified morally. But then again, I have not been where they have been, and I have certainly not been heir to the past that Chechens are all too aware of. While the world might strut about in pride, and complain about the dark heart of Islamist terrorism, I just wonder...

In the end, then, I have learned: Never listen to George Bush. Vladimir Putin. Osama Bin Laden. And so on. For they have their goals and they have their means, and together, they have helped make an often ugly world quite ugly indeed. One wishes one could run and hide in the corner, but there are no corners. The world is round. At some point, we all have to face each other, and realize: we stand on similar grounds.

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