In the last few hours, we have seen unprecedented dramas: the innocent people who died in Nice and the coup in Turkey. People are scared because insecurity is growing among people and new terrifying scenarios emerge every day.
The pain for what has happened in Nice is heartbreaking, especially at the sight of tiny bodies torn by the ferocity of a cruel murderer. Children who went out with their parents to see the fireworks and have suddenly ceased to exist. There are many other dead and wounded people, left behind by a trail of horror that seems to be endless.
At present, we live in a West that is imprisoned by terrorist fanatics who have declared an unprecedented war against a Europe that, unfortunately, has not noticed it yet. France is paying a very high price for the many foreign policy mistakes and for its disastrous integration process. Young citizens, naturalized in France, certainly not people who arrived there on dinghy boats, have been nurturing an indescribable bitterness towards Westerners. The hatred of a man who decides to crush and grind people, innocent women and children, driving for one kilometer and nine hundred meters into the crowd without mercy is certainly shocking… A gesture that is not only inhumane, but an action that goes beyond rationality.
We could not have ever thought that human folly could get so far. The massacre in Nice has exceeded the direst predictions and analyzes on the dynamics that have been affecting the West in the last few years. Terrorism, the most dramatic and absurd plague of our times, deeply threatens the legitimate aspiration of every human being to peace, justice, and freedom, denying people the right to civil coexistence.
The commitment must realized also on a pedagogical and political levels: on the one hand, removing at the root the causes of injustice, from which often derive the most desperate actions and bloody; on the other hand, we have to insist on a culture that inspires itself to respect for human life in every stage and in every situation. To understand the tragic events shown by the mass media, it is necessary to go back to the matrices that have generate them: manipulation of religion, economic disparities, lack of political freedom, the gap among the different countries in the world and instances of culture of hatred against the West.
Violence, conflict, and terrorism, as Pope Francis noted during his journey to Kenya, “are nourished by fear, mistrust and despair, which arise from poverty and frustration”. John Paul II, talking about subversive violence, said that “those who kill through acts of terrorism despise the humanity, expressing hopelessness about life and about the future. It does not exploit only the man, but also God, transforming the latter into an idol to be used for their personal purposes.. Darkness cannot be dissipated with weapons; darkness can only be dispelled with light… only love can defeat hatred.”
Let us join the invitation the Holy Father expressed on several occasions, to pray “for the victims of this cruelty”, asking God for help, “to change the hearts of the violent people and the hearts of those who have been blinded by hatred”. If it is true that we are now witnessing a fragmented world war, let us try not to lose hope and avoid the risk of falling in the evil trap of those who speculate on hate among peoples and cultures.