Human beings are violent. As a group. As a species. We are violent. There has never been a period where there is not some type of war being waged on this planet.
Some people say that the ‘Muslim world’ needs a reformation, similar to the one experienced by European Christianity. That such reform will bring about an end to the violence. An end to religious violence, perhaps. But not violence in and of itself. Other reasons will always be found.
Nations made up of now supposedly peaceful Christians still find ways to be violent. Economic violence. Violence in the name of ‘freedom’. Communist/Socialist nations made up of so-called Atheists find ways to be violent. The violence of the state. The violence of the ideology. Even a so-called secular nation like India, whose majority practice Hinduism, which is an ostensibly peaceful religion, still finds its way to violence and aggression. Animists. Tribalists. Capitalists. Violence, violence, violence.
I have in my cubicle at work the following by Dr. King:
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiples it. Through violence, you may murder the liar, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence, multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.
We dress up our violence in so many justifications. But we are born from violence. And to violence, we return. I have never had less hope in humanity than I do today.