Saying intolerance is on the increase in the world is an understatement. Its true of Sri Lanka as is it of many other countries worldwide. People who decide to speak their minds on issue that others chose to ignore are killed, threatened, witched haunted and are forced to flee their countries and live in hiding.
Two shocking incidents that I read about within the past two weeks are particularly disturbing. First is the killing of a Somalia comedian named Abdi Jeylani Marshale who was shot dead while he was heading home from work in the capital city Mogadishu.
It is not clear who was behind the killing but last year he was threatened by militant group al-Shabab as he used to make people laugh by impersonating Islamist fighters. So it seems his crime was that he made people laugh.
The other new comes from Morocco where the editor of the Al-Ahdath Al-Maghribia daily newspaper, Moktar el-Ghzioui, is living in fear for his life after he expressed support for pre-marital sex during a local television debate. Soon after he expressed his views, a cleric had released a fatwa that he should die because of what he said.
These are just two incidents but every day on the news, from different corners of the world, we hear of such happenings. It seems unfathomable for me that a person should die for just speaking his or her mind. While words should be countered by words, what these unfortunate souls have had are death threats and bullets used to silence them.
Depressing as these stories are, I believe in the ability of the human spirit to face up to such cowards who can’t look a person with an opposing view in the face and confront them by way of a counter argument.
The two men I mentioned, whichever continent or country they come from, deserve our highest gratitude, admiration and salutation. It’s because of human beings like them that sanity continues to prevail in the world and refuses to bow down to the evil intentions of a few.