Extremists who call Irma hurricane a punishment

Mamdouh AlMuhaini

Published: Updated:

Thousands of years ago, priests and imposters used natural disasters and phenomena to serve their own interests and to remain in power. They pretended to know when lunar eclipses would happen so they told ignorant people that this was god’s wrath.

They claimed they had magical powers and that they could intercede with the gods to restore the moon to its shape. This fake influence enhanced their status within societies and allowed them to get the prettiest women and the best food after saving their tribe from horrific tragedies.

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The human mind developed and people realized that no human is capable of dividing the moon or trigger rain. However, priests did not easily give up their status. They had their own interpretation for destructive natural phenomena and disasters, other than the scientific interpretation as proven by experience.

To them, volcanoes and tornadoes were god’s wrath and threats that only they could decipher. People who feared these disasters thus had to submit to their vision and doctrine.

The advancement of humanity ended the old understanding of the world, which was based on ghosts, evil spirits and mysterious conspiracies

Mamdouh AlMuhaini

Harvey and Irma

This happens with every natural disaster, just like what is happening these days with the Harvey and Irma hurricanes striking the US. We have heard some sick interpretations of the causes of these tragedies, which target everyone regardless of their age, religion or race.

Instead of showing empathy, those who promote hate speech said that what happened was a collective punishment that does not exclude infants and orphans.

Although they claim to know why these disasters happen and say they are godly punishments, they do not answer simple questions like: Why are children included in this alleged punishment when they have not done anything? Why do disasters target those who have the same religion and sect as theirs? Why do natural disasters happen in certain areas? You will not get any answers whatsoever because these people’s mind is simply not functioning.

Also read: One million evacuated as Hurricane Irma lashes Cuba

Few years ago, an earthquake struck a small and quaint town killing some of its people. As people buried the dead, an extremist said these particular people were killed because of their many sins.

According to this man’s flexible laws and childish approach of understanding the universe, he concluded that the earthquake avoided all the loud cities across the world, where people are always partying and staying up, and struck a town whose people sleep at sunset.

Causes of natural disasters

Scientific advancements have helped us understand the causes of natural disasters. There is no need to attribute these disasters to mysterious interpretations. We now know the causes of tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanoes and when they will happen and end.

The advancement of humanity ended the old understanding of the world, which was based on ghosts, evil spirits and mysterious conspiracies, and it is now replaced with rational modern thinking approaches that got us rid of diseases, which were viewed as curses in the past even if they targeted children.

This modern perception of the universe made people realize that they share one fate and that the best way to confront these horrific disasters is not to turn them into occasions to propagate hate and sow divisions but into an opportunity for unity based on human empathy and deep-rooted morals that go beyond religions, sects and identities.

Also read: Hurricane Harvey strengthens, threatens record flooding in Texas

Will those propagating hate speech stop repeating these interpretations that lack the slightest forms of sympathy? Of course not, because these disasters are an occasion to spread their inciting ideas. They exploit people’s fear to confirm their social presence and status.

They resist modern scientific interpretation because it deprives them of their last weapon to use natural disasters to serve their extremist ideological aims and impose influence. The priests of ancient centuries aimed to fill their bellies while the priests of modern times aim to make money and gain followers, even on virtual platforms like Twitter!

This article is also available in Arabic.
Mamdouh AlMuhaini is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabiya News Channel’s digital platforms. He can be followed on Twitter @malmhuain.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.