This article was published by The Eastern African Magazine 2009.

Monday, September 07, 2009


Today, it is quite difficult to distinguish between the primitive and the civilized humanity. History has told us that human tragedies of the past are the same in different ways and means at present. It seems that, down though prehistorical ages and over centuries, humankind has not changed despite of rapid technological and scientific advancement.

Hostilities, devastation, animosities, crimes and murder; are just a few traumas acted by human beings upon human beings. Uprisings of an individual upon an individual; families upon families; tribes upon tribes; race upon race and nation upon nation, are common conflicts.

Is there any way out of the madness of humanity? We have witnessed people making other people commodities and tools in the era of slavery and slave trade, colonialism, World war I ⅈ we have see the hostile tension during the cold war. Yes, we have gone through oppression, discrimination, fantasies, fascism, humiliation and suppression.

While in many parts of the world, civil and territorial wars are ravaging; terrorism and acts of terror are at a peak wiping out unmercifully, innocent people, men and women with their children. When and where, will human beings start to respect value and accept each other as human beings- as colleagues? Is there a chance right now, to heal the wounds of the past and present atrocities and, “let it go” the tragic vengeance, anxiety and fear among us?

By accepting that all of us are responsible and accountable, in one way or the other, for all rampant evils and, though through difficult attempts, forgive each other and be friends- Osama Bin Laden hugging and shaking hands with American? Yes, but only God can do that, one politician commented. He can also do in us if we allow Him and our rivals to be seated at the table of peace for a special dinner. A dinner that will change terrorist and restore them as dignified human beings. The coast of such wonderful reconciliation is courage. The cost of retaliating bombardments is endless bloodshed.

For us in Tanzania, no one could dream of acts of terror just around the corner in the year 1998. Tanzania is a source and a cause of African liberation and peace. No one could think of Tanzania attempting to attack any country. We are of, and for the peace for all humanity. Nevertheless, this is not such true, when it comes to terrorism. Some Tanzanians were fully involved in the strike of American Embassy, in Dar es Salaam. Before 1998 terrorist attacks, none of us could agree that some of the Tanzanians were terrorists.

America has located the base of terrorism in Afghanistan and is determined to disrupt and destroy all networks and training camps there. Is there any geographical location for terrorism? If we agree that terrorism is an offensive act done by any offender to another offender, then terrorism is located in human hearts. It has no geographical location. It is a terrorist spirit. For many Africans, Nelson Mandela is a hero and was a hero even during apartheid regime… a regime that was an offender and terrorist to the back community in South Africa.

The same Mandela was an offender and terrorist to Boers. He was named terrorist number one; only recently his name was removed out of the world terrorist list. Terrorism is a heartfelt negative attitude or hatred of people to some people. The same attitude is heroic to some people. We see here, terrorism is exchangeable heroism. Some Africans are of mind that if terrorism could pull down America, that would be great victory for the third world countries!

Osama Bin Laden is a hero to Afghanistan since his involvement in the 10-year long Afghanistan-Soviet war. Undoubtedly, in the same conflict, he was hero to Americans when he was incorporated in CIA missions against Soviet. However, Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan and America were also terrorist to the Soviet. We remember that, Afghanistan has never tasted stability and peace since 1973 when the King Muhammed Zahir Shah was ousted.

Taliban’s were terrorist who assassinated Shah Masoud and they are still considered terrorists in Afghanistan; As well, America is a terrorist nation to Afghanistan, especially to Taliban’s and their supporters. Where can we draw the line? Where can we locate terrorism? Terrorists are found in the world at large. They are in Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Britain, Germany, China and they are in America too! We do not know when and where their next attack is, and we do not know their next source of weapon.

No one knew that Dar es Salaam could harbor terrorists in 1998; no one knew that mere passengers could turn planes into tragic bombs in New York and Washington. Yes, even more mysterious, no one could think of mail transmitting anthrax. Terrorism is an issue of the heart. Wicked hearts that cannot be detected by advanced technology. It is located in the hearts – not in Afghanistan. Gold, and only God, is able to search the human hearts.

Terrorism cannot be overcome by terrorism. Supplying food and food only ( not food with missiles), to Afghanistan people, who have been unmercifully tortured by Taliban’s, and have not rested since 1973; perhaps would have been a cheap way but with great winsome-winning terrorist hearts.

Uncontaminated generosity and human respect without double standards can certainly end terrorism, not only to American people, but also to us all, as the world is for us all.

Rev. Privatus Karugendo,
E-mail; pkarugendo@yahoo.com
Tel; +255 754 6331 22


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