Jhon Paul II and Bin Laden: Peace and war

   Two worldwide news occurred almost simultaneously at the beginning of May. On the one hand the beatification of Pope John Paul II and on the other hand the death of Bin Laden in the hands of an American command group in Abbottabad (Pakistan). After the operation, the US president, Barack Obama, explained that his country was not at war against Islam, but against terrorism. Although these are different, both have many followers.

   In his last years John Paul II a peaceful man of prayer (symbolized by the picture of a dove flying over his head) made 104 trips and visited 130 countries with his doctrine. Bin Laden, political head of the world more radical Islamism, representative of the violence and attacks, in 1999 said in an interview: “You love life, we love death.”

   It has been written very much about their lives because they are two icons of the twentieth century and the beginning of the century in which we are, however, I just want to highlight the work for the peace of one of them or the belligerent character of the other. In a small planet, without the aid of persons guilty of acts of genocide that with their hatred are prone to exterminate their fellow men, its natural phenomena, which we see through the media, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, droughts, floods, etc. produce thousands of dead and misfortunes without human intervention.

   On the one hand, John Paul II (Pope of reconciliation), who led the Catholic Church since 1978, forgave Ali Agca who attempt against his life, pray a lot for the world will save from war and terrorism, denouncing the upheaval by the “bloodshed and conflict.” In addition, he condemned the attack on Iraq and participated in Assisi for peace with the leaders of the religious confessions, claiming that the family had a mission of prime importance for its achievement and cried out: “never again to the war!, because it destroys lives of innocents, taught to kill and also disrupts the lives of those who kill, leaves a trail of bitterness and hatred and makes more difficult the just solution of the same problems that have caused.”

   On the other hand, Bin Laden, whose biography is full of attacks mostly in Islamic countries, directed Al Qaeda to extend the “jihad” around the world with massacres in the embassies of USA, Kenya and Tanzania; carried out the September eleven attacks against the Twin Towers and the Pentagon making him the symbol of global terrorism. He also performed the suicide attack on the warship USS Cole; the attack in an area of bars and nightclubs in Kuta Beach (Bali, Indonesia); putted bombs against the London subway, a bus and a car bomb in Algeria and conducted kidnappings, etc.

   Hamas described his death as “the murder of a holy Arab saint”. Abbottabad the small Pakistani town can become a place of pilgrimage, its baker, Mohamed Asif shows “proud because he was a hero that challenge the United States” and Al Qaeda has expressed revenge to continue its attacks chain in a world that needs more peace than war.

   In these two behaviors that could be so clear for the majority of people with too many misfortunes to support one of them that represents the values of altruism, friendship, kindness, charity, understanding, peace, solidarity, etc. and condemn the other for their values of hatred, war, enmity, intolerance, etc. There are many people who do not cease to attack the Church when disagree with its commandments, while the warmongers protect, hide, justify and mourning the death of Bin Laden.

   Ricardo Gutiérrez Ballarín.

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