We are Humans, no BeastsBy Mustafa Cerić, Ph.D., Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia
The paradox of our time is obvious: information production is more than ever before, but confusion in the world is more than ever before as well; food production is more than ever before, but hunger in the world is more than ever before as well; medicine has advanced more than ever before, but death from incurable deceases is more than ever before as well; science has progressed more than ever before, but mythical obsession is more than ever before as well; talks about human rights are more than ever before, but might is ruling the world more brutally than ever before; declarations about social justice are louder than ever before, but suffering from injustice and tyranny in the world is more than ever before; peace proclamations are more than ever before, but wars in the world are more than ever before.
Perhaps, we humans down there on this planet earth or up there as we look down at animal species don’t see this paradox because we don’t want to see it or we don’t have time to see it because we are so busy looking up for more information, food, medicine, fictions, rights, growth and peace.
Suppose that someone outside of our planet earth is looking at us right now from up there or from down there. What he, she or it would or could say how we look like?
I know that it would offend us, it would hurt our humanity, if she, he or it would have come and told us that we look like beasts. If she, he or it would have said that we behave like beasts behave in the jungle.
What would be our response? It would be like: – No, not at all. We are not the beasts who kill each other in the jungle. We are humans who love each other on this planet! Here is our proof: we meet and we talk about peace and security as well as economic growth and equality. Here we are united in a big human soul for peace. Don’t you see, our friend? We have come here because we love each other for the sake of our planet, where we like to live in peace like the humans not like the beasts. Thus, we don’t like to be called the beasts. We like to be called the humans, indeed.
But what if our friend, the stranger from the other planet, asks us as we claim to be humans – what if he asks us about the current not one but many wars, not one but many injustices and inequalities in our world which he, she or it sees by his/her naked eye?
What if he, she or it says that these bloody wars among the humans on earth look even worse than the killing among the beasts in the jungle?
What if our friend from the other planet confronts us with the truth that we humans, who like not to be called the beasts – we humans know how to talk about peace, but we don’t know how to stop making wars; we know how to speak about human rights, but don’s know how to control our holy might; we like to look like being just, but we don’t like to do justice; we humans have the idea of right and wrong, but we don’t know how to make the difference between the two; we know the difference between good and evil, but we are not willing to stop evil when it comes.
What if he, she or it from other planet reminds us that there is a big discrepancy between our talking about peace and making our war, between our speaking about justice and our doing injustice?
What if he, she or it tells us that we humans are big hypocrites who don’t know how to tell the truth, but know how to manipulate the lie?
These are hard questions for us all? Aren’t they? So, what can we, the humans, not the beasts, tell to our friend from the other planet who asks us these questions? Each one of us should try his/her best to answer them.
As you know I am coming from the Balkans that have witnessed the worst war since the Second World War. The cry of “Never Again” has failed in Bosnia as you all know it. Once again an intolerable affront to the human conscience has occurred: Genocide! I have lived it. And I have survived it in order to testify before you today that the law is not in the books; the law is in the heart, and the heart is in the soul, and the soul is in the trust, and the trust is in God, the Loving, the Merciful, the Caring, the Good.
Thus, I would like to ask our friend from the other planet to tell us how can we find our heart in our soul; how can we get back our soul to our trust; how can we earn our trust in God, who is watching us as we humans are apparently losing our mind, our heart, our soul, our trust in each other?
Yes, indeed, we desperately need help because we are becoming helpless and hopeless.
We need someone to tell us how to help the little Syrian girl who is crying in tears and blood before our naked eyes!
We need someone to guide us how to give hope to a little boy who is sailing in the ocean for his safety from endless wars!
We need someone from the heaven to soften our human hearts which seem to be hardened like rocks, or worse than rocks. There are rocks out of which rivers gush; there are rocks which split asunder so that water flows from them; indeed, there are rocks which fall down before Merciful God, but some human hearts are harder than the rocks. These hard human hearts make hard wars. They make racial, religious and social discriminations. They have no heart.
But, there are human with good hearts. I see them here in Kiel at this Global Economic Symposium who are willing to be different and to call others as well to be vigilant about the peace and safety of our common planet, to be promoter of justice and equality in the world. An this is why I am here with you. Because I believe that change for better is possible.
And it is time that we start thinking how to change the paradox into the harmony of good will and good action with good heart and strong mind!
I believe that it is possible!
There are humans with good hearts and strong minds!
Good humans with hearts are not bad beasts!
Good humans with hearts can change from good to better!