Beyond Coincidence: Exploring the Troubling Factors Surrounding the Kerala Blasts
By: Special Rapporteur Joseph Bonner
Joseph Bonner provides human rights legal recommendations to the United Nations and U.N. member states as it relates to religious freedom and women and children rights.
The recent act of terrorism carried out by Dominic Martin in Kerala, India, has unleashed a wave of anger and disbelief among the nation and the world. This despicable act of terror has left 50 individuals injured, many of whom are currently fighting for their lives with severe burns and respiratory symptoms. As if that weren't enough, the death toll has now risen to 4, including the heartbreaking loss of a 12-year-old girl named K P Libna, whose body was ravaged by 95% burns.
Libna, a bright student attending SNDP Higher Secondary School in Malayatoor Neeleeswaram, had her life brutally cut short by this senseless act of violence. The school, upon hearing the devastating news, declared a holiday on the following Monday, as Libna's classmates were left inconsolable. Her teacher, Bindu, shared fragments of a heart-wrenching letter that Libna had drafted on behalf of her class, published by the Times News Network. In her letter, Libna expressed her deep affection for her teacher, acknowledging the tough love she received and the understanding that it was for their own benefit. Libna's classmates expressed their immense love for their teacher and their fervent prayers for her recovery.
It is beyond comprehension that an innocent, sweet girl like Libna had her life snuffed out by the hands of a monstrous individual driven by extremist ideologies. The shockwaves of this heinous act have reverberated through the Indian community, leaving everyone stunned and outraged. How can anyone fathom the depths of depravity required to harm innocent children, to shatter the dreams and aspirations of young minds?
Martin’s claims, made in a video before his surrender, attempting to justify his actions, are both misguided and dangerous. It is crucial to condemn such acts of violence and debunk the claims made by individuals like Martin. Terrorism has no place in society, and any attempt to justify it based on personal grievances is unacceptable.
In the face of such acts of violence, it is imperative that the world condemn them unequivocally. Terrorism, in all its forms, has no place in society. It undermines the very foundations of peace, security, and mutual respect that we strive to uphold. Acts of terror against religous miniority groups create an atmosphere of fear, division, and mistrust, tearing at the fabric of society and leaving lasting scars on the affected communities.
Misguided Claims and Grievances:
Martin's claim that he conducted the bombings to bring attention to his grievances with the Christian group Jehovah's Witnesses is deeply flawed and misguided.
By engaging in acts of terrorism, individuals like Martin not only cause irreparable harm but also undermine the principles of justice and compassion that form the bedrock of our societies. Their actions perpetuate a cycle of violence and retaliation, exacerbating existing tensions and making it even more challenging to find peaceful resolutions to conflicts.
Debunking the claims made by terrorists is essential to prevent the spread of their toxic ideologies. It is vital to expose the fallacies, distortions, and manipulations that underpin their justifications. By countering their narratives with facts, reason, and compassion, we can challenge the allure of extremism and prevent the recruitment of vulnerable individuals into the ranks of terrorism.
Claim 1: Martin claimed "Jehovah's Witnesses asks adults to not vote and avoid joining military services."
The claim that Jehovah's Witnesses ask adults not to vote and avoid joining military services is partially true. Jehovah's Witnesses adhere to a strict neutrality policy based on their interpretation of biblical principles. They believe that their allegiance is solely to God's Kingdom and that participating in political or military activities would compromise their neutrality. However, it is important to note that this is a voluntary choice made by individual Jehovah's Witnesses based on their personal beliefs and conscience. The organization does not enforce these decisions on its members but provides guidance and encouragement to maintain their neutrality.
The stance on voting and military service is based on their understanding of biblical principles, such as Jesus' statement that his followers are "no part of the world" (John 17:14-16) and his command to love their enemies (Matthew 5:44). Jehovah's Witnesses believe that their primary role is to preach the message of God's Kingdom and to remain separate from worldly affairs.
Claim 2: Martin claimed "They teach that everyone in this world will perish, and they will continue to live."
This claim is not accurate. Jehovah's Witnesses believe in the hope of everlasting life for both themselves and others. They base this belief on their interpretation of biblical teachings, such as the promise of a resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous (Acts 24:15). According to their understanding, faithful individuals who have died will be resurrected to an earthly paradise, where they will have the opportunity to live forever in perfect conditions. Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses do not teach that everyone in the world will perish but rather that there is hope for eternal life through faith in God and obedience to his principles.
Claim 3: Martin claimed "The group demeans people by calling them names such as prostitutes and doomed, while adding the group urges men to not join hands with others."
This claim is not supported by the teachings or practices of Jehovah's Witnesses. The organization strives to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who taught his followers to love their neighbors as themselves (Matthew 22:39). Jehovah's Witnesses are taught to treat all individuals with respect and dignity, regardless of their background or beliefs.
The use of derogatory language or demeaning terms is not condoned by Jehovah's Witnesses. They are encouraged to promote a positive and loving attitude towards others, even if they disagree with them. The focus of their preaching work is to share their beliefs and provide hope for a better future, rather than engaging in derogatory name-calling or negative behavior.
Regarding the claim that the group urges men to not join hands with others, it is unclear what is meant by this statement. Jehovah's Witnesses believe in the importance of cooperation and unity among their members and with others. They actively engage in humanitarian efforts, disaster relief, and community services to assist those in need, regardless of their religious affiliation. They strive to be peaceable and law-abiding citizens, respecting the rights and freedoms of others while maintaining their own religious convictions.
Martin's allegation that the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses are anti-national is baseless and unfounded.
Jehovah's Witnesses have a longstanding policy of remaining politically neutral. This means that they do not participate in political activities, such as voting, holding political office, or engaging in political campaigns. This stand is based on their interpretation of biblical principles and their understanding of Jesus Christ's teachings.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that their allegiance belongs solely to God's Kingdom, which they believe is a heavenly government ruled by Jesus Christ. They view this heavenly government as the only true and just authority and believe that all human governments are temporary and flawed. They strive to follow Jesus' example and teachings, including his statement that his followers are "no part of the world."
By remaining politically neutral, Jehovah's Witnesses seek to prioritize their spiritual goals and maintain their identity as Christians separate from worldly affairs. They believe that involvement in politics can distract them from their primary mission, which is to preach the message of God's Kingdom and make disciples.
It is important to note that Jehovah's Witnesses' neutrality is not based on an opposition to any specific government or nation. They do not engage in political activities regardless of the political system or country they reside in. They respect the authority of secular governments in matters that do not conflict with their religious beliefs or conscience, such as obeying laws, paying taxes, and being law-abiding citizens. They also actively promote peace and respect for all individuals, regardless of their nationality or political affiliations.
Therefore, the neutrality of Jehovah's Witnesses does not make them anti-national. They are encouraged to fulfill their civic responsibilities, contribute to their communities, and be law-abiding citizens. Their focus on spiritual matters and their commitment to God's Kingdom does not diminish their love for their fellow human beings or their desire to live peaceably within the societies they belong to.
Investigation and Connections:
The investigation into the Kerala blasts is indeed ongoing, and it is crucial to consider all relevant factors before jumping to conclusions. However, there are certain circumstances surrounding Dominic Martin's actions that cannot be ignored and raise legitimate concerns.
One such factor is Martin's 15-year stay in Dubai, a muslim country. While it would be unfair to assume guilt based solely on his residency, it is essential to thoroughly investigate any potential links or associations he may have had during his time there. The authorities must leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of truth and justice.
Furthermore, Martin's decision to settle in a highly Muslim-populated region for two months before carrying out the terrorist act cannot be overlooked. This raises suspicions of potential coordination with religious extremist terrorist groups that may be based in Kerala. Such connections need to be thoroughly investigated to determine the extent of any involvement or influence from these groups.
It is essential for the investigators to remain diligent and unbiased in their pursuit of truth. The focus should be on gathering concrete evidence, analyzing it objectively, and following proper legal procedures to ensure a fair and just outcome. No innocent person should be falsely accused or punished, but at the same time, no guilty party should escape accountability due to negligence or complacency.
It is only through a comprehensive and meticulous investigation that we can get closer to understanding the motives behind this act of terror and identify all individuals and groups responsible. The safety and security of the people should be the top priority, and that includes uncovering any potential networks or support systems that enabled Martin to carry out his heinous act.
While we must avoid jumping to conclusions prematurely, we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the evidence that points towards potential connections with extremist groups. The authorities must act swiftly and decisively to ensure the safety of the public and bring all responsible parties to justice.
The people of Kerala deserve answers, and they deserve a justice system that is diligent, impartial, and unwavering in its pursuit of truth. Let us not allow political correctness or fear of backlash hinder the investigation. We must demand transparency, accountability, and a relentless pursuit of justice to ensure that such acts of terror are not repeated in our society.
The people of Kerala are looking to the authorities to deliver justice and restore a sense of security. It is time for action, not just empty promises. Let us stand together in solidarity against terrorism, extremism, and those who seek to harm innocent lives. Our anger must fuel our determination to root out these threats and protect our communities from any form of violence or radicalization.
Ultimately, the investigation should strive to uncover the truth, provide closure to the victims and their families, and contribute to the prevention of future acts of terror.
Condemnation of Terrorism on Social Media #KerlaBlast
The attack on Jehovah's Witnesses has left a bitter taste in our mouths, and now we have to witness the disgusting hashtag #KerlaBlast flooding Twitter, courtesy of numerous accounts. What do these accounts show? Muslim prayer sessions in Mecca, Dubai. Coincidence? I think not. It's time to face the harsh reality that Martin, the perpetrator of this heinous act, recently spent 15 years in Dubai before making his way to India to carry out this attack. It's crystal clear that Martin was nothing short of a Muslim extremist, using nationalism as a pathetic ruse to target innocent Christians.
But let's not stop there. We have a bone to pick with social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. These platforms have a moronic responsibility to monitor the use of hashtags closely and ensure that users don't have the audacity to encourage, flaunt, or mock terrorism by religious extremist groups. It's their duty to protect us from such vile content!
Yet, what do we see? Hashtags like #KerlaBlast spreading like wildfire, promoting a sickening ideology of hatred and violence. It's as if these platforms turn a blind eye to the very real dangers of extremist ideologies. They are complicit in allowing these toxic ideas to fester and infect the minds of impressionable individuals.
We demand action! Social media platforms need to wake up and take responsibility. They must actively monitor and moderate the use of hashtags, swiftly removing any content that promotes or glorifies terrorism. It's high time they realize the immense power they hold and start using it for the greater good.
If they continue to allow this abhorrent content to spread, they are contributing to the destruction of our society. We need a safer online environment, free from the influence of extremist ideologies. It's time for social media platforms to step up, show some backbone, and put an end to this madness. Our lives and our future depend on it.
A Call To Action
Martin's claims, made in a video before his surrender, attempting to justify his actions, are both misguided and dangerous. It is crucial to condemn such acts of violence and debunk the claims made by individuals like Martin. Terrorism has no place in society, and any attempt to justify it based on personal grievances is unacceptable.
Let's be clear: there is no justification for terrorism. No matter the grievances one may have, resorting to violence and targeting innocent people is never the solution. It is a cowardly act that only serves to further amplify hatred and sow the seeds of division. Martin's attempt to rationalize his actions only reveals the twisted logic of a deranged mind.
Terrorism thrives on fear and intimidation. Its goal is to disrupt the fabric of society, to instill terror in the hearts of innocent people, and to undermine the values we hold dear. By targeting religious minority groups, Martin not only sought to inflict physical harm but also aimed to create an atmosphere of fear, division, and mistrust within our communities.
We must not allow such acts of terror to achieve their objectives. We must stand united against hate and extremism, regardless of our religious, cultural, or ethnic backgrounds. We must reject any attempt to justify or normalize violence in the name of personal grievances or ideological differences.
It is the responsibility of governments, communities, and individuals to take a strong stance against terrorism. We must work together to dismantle the networks that breed hatred and radicalization. We must ensure that our security forces have the necessary resources and training to combat this menace effectively. We must foster an environment where individuals feel included, where dialogue and understanding replace hostility and prejudice.
In the face of such heinous acts, we cannot afford to remain silent or complacent. We must actively challenge the narratives of hate and bigotry that feed into acts of terror. We must educate ourselves and our children about the dangers of extremism and promote values of tolerance, respect, and empathy.
To the victims and their families, we extend our deepest condolences and stand in solidarity with you. We share your pain, your anger, and your determination to seek justice. We will not forget the lives that were lost, and we will continue to fight for a world where no one has to live in fear of violence or discrimination based on their beliefs.
Martin's attempt to justify his acts of terror should be met with resounding condemnation from all corners of society. We must reject his twisted ideology and reaffirm our commitment to peace, unity, and the protection of fundamental human rights. Only through collective action and unwavering resolve can we hope to overcome the scourge of terrorism and build a safer, more inclusive world for future generations.