“Peace”: Are Religions the Cause of Peace Disruption in Humanoids? (Part 3)

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 2 May 2022

Prof Hoosen Vawda – TRANSCEND Media Service

Oh, you warring Humanoids, pray to the Lord rather than the religious rituals.[i]

A collage of the atrocities committed on Goaians by the Portuguese in India during the Inquisition, a major Peace Disruptor of the Indigenous people of Goa

30 Apr 2022 – In the previous two parts of the publication, the author highlights peace as defined scientifically by Professor Johan Galtung,[1] by firstly exploring the dictum that if you want peace, you must prepare for war according to the Roman General Vegetius Renatus and how the lack of preparedness resulted in the contemporary destruction of Ukraine, a former state of the old Soviet Union. The second part  discusses the neuro-anthropology of peace[2] and the presence in humanoids of the primitive reptilian brain, in an evolutionary scale whereby, ontogeny, or personal embryonic developmental history recapitulates phylogeny, or developmental history, in a larger evolutionary scenario of the species and forms a neurological basis of peace disruption.  In the present publication, the “labels” and tenets of  the major religions of the world are proposed as the foundational reasons, for universal peace disruption.

Invasion and colonisation of territories take place for two basic reasons and motivation.  The most obvious is imperialistic intent, by the aggressor, in the guise of trading, with a particular state, as was the case of European colonisation of the Indian peninsula, including Britain. This colonization has happened from the time of ancient history with the eradication of ancient civilisations cultures, including language, traditions as well as genocidal extermination of the indigenous people of the invaded territory.  This Portuguese invasion of India, initially settling in the idyllic seaport of Goa under the guise of trading was soon to turn into an official and formal, brutal inquisition of the indigenous tribes of the region called the Goa Inquisition, A.D. 1560 – A.D. 1812, a long period of over 250 years. This was an authorised inquisition, by the Pope at the time  and resulted in the most atrocious torture, killings and conversion of the predominantly Hindu population and in addition of people of Jewish origins at the time between in Catholicism by the priest who flocked in enormous numbers into the newly occupied colony on the west coast of India.  This is often a forgotten chapter of the sordid history of the European colonisation of India and certain a purposefully forgotten holocaust of Hindus and Jews, in Goa.[3]

In order to understand the history of the Portuguese in India in its correct perspective, it is necessary to appreciate the maritime trade of India. Economic factors have often profoundly influenced the course of history and sometimes even revolutionised it. The foreign trade and maritime activities of India, during the 13th century A.D. profoundly changed the course of history, not only of India but of the entire world. Indian ships from Gujarat, Malabar and various ports on the eastern coast of India, brought spices and other costly goods from Malacca, then practically the sole entrepot for China and the Spice Islands. On the west, Indian ships carried on trade with Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and various ports on the coast of East Africa and pilgrim traffic to the Red Sea. The main centre of this trade was Gujarat, but Malabar and Konkan had also a large share in it in the 14th century A.D. as is proved by the detailed account given by Moroccan traveler Muhammad Ibn Battuta [4].  While it not the scope of this publication, suffice to state that the flourishing trade made India and in particular Goa as a point of interests by potential colonisers, of whom there were many, principally from Europe to be part of the commercially successful spice trade.

At the time, the manpower of Portugal was too small to maintain a far-flung Empire and was further thinned by disease, ravages and the demoralisation brought about by the inter-marriage of the Portuguese settlers with Africans and Indians. But their religious fanaticism knew no bounds. Even before the time of Governor Albuquerque (A.D. 1509-1515), priests and monks had flocked in large number to Portuguese India. In A.D. 1538, Goa was made the seat of a Bishop, in A.D. 1557 it was raised to the dignity of an Archbishop and other Bishop seats were created at Cochin and Malacca. The priests displayed great devotion to their duty and did much to spread education. They established at Goa, in A.D. 1560, the hated inquisition which burnt or punished in other cruel way, unbelievers, relapsed converts and all who were dangerous to the faith in the eyes of the priests. They did not give freedom even to the ancient Syrian Christians of the Malabar Coast. The Portuguese zeal for conversion was redoubled after their union with Spain in A.D. 1580. The Synod of Diamper (Udayampura) [The Synod of Diamper, held at Udayamperoor (Kerela) was a council that laid down rules and regulations for the ancient Saint Thomas Christians of the Malabar Coast formally uniting them with the Catholic Church. This led to the creation of the Eastern Catholic Syro-Malabar Church. In A.D. 1599 they tried to suppress completely the Syrian Christianity of Malabar. The chief results of this intolerant policy were a practical denial of justice to all non-Christians and the total annihilation of non-Christian population from Goa and other Portuguese towns.

The Portuguese Indian Church was organised under the guidance of St. Francis Xavier, the Apostle of the Indies, who came to Goa with the Jesuits in A.D. 1542. To St. Xavier is due the conversion of the Paravars, the fishermen tribe who lived on the Coromandel Coast between Cape Comorin and Adam’s Bridge, as well as the Mukkuvas, the fishermen of the Malabar coast. St. Xavier also travelled to Malacca and Japan for this purpose. Before his death in A.D. 1552, he is said to have converted hundreds of thousands of men, who belonged mainly to the lowest classes of the population.

The inquisition forced Hindus to flee Goa in large numbers from Goa to the surrounding regions that were not in the control of the Jesuits and Portuguese India. So much harassment was felt by the Hindus that they abandoned the city in large numbers, refusing to stay in a place where they had no freedom, and were liable to be imprisoned, tortured, or put to death for worshiping according to their ancient tradition. The Hindus of Goa were shocked to see that the God of Christianity was crueler than the God of Islam, or the dictates of Mohammad. Thus, deserting Goa for the lands of the Muslims seemed a brighter future, though they had received nothing but trouble from the Muslims.

The Hindus responded to the destruction of their temples by recovering the images from the ruins of their older temples and using them to build new temples just outside the borders of the Portuguese controlled territories. In some cases where the Portuguese built churches on the spot the destroyed temples were, Hindus started annual processions that carry their gods and goddesses linking their newer temples to the site where the churches stand, after Portuguese colonial era ended.

The proper statistics and data on the nature and number of Hindu temples destroyed by the Christian missionaries and Portuguese government are unavailable. Some 160 temples were razed to the ground on the Goa island by A.D. 1566. Between A.D. 1566 and A.D. 1567, a campaign by Franciscan missionaries destroyed another 300 Hindu temples in Bardez (North Goa). In Salcete (South Goa), approximately another 300 Hindu temples were destroyed by the Christian officials of the Inquisition. Numerous Hindu temples were destroyed elsewhere at Assolna (South Goa) and Cuncolim (South Goa) by Portuguese authorities. An A.D. 1569 royal letter in Portuguese archives records that all Hindu temples in its colonies in India have been burnt and razed to the ground.[5]

Hindus were the primary target for persecution and punishment for their faith by the Catholic prosecutors of the Goan Inquisition. About 74% of those sentenced were charged with crypto-Hinduism, (Crypto-Hinduism is the secret adherence to Hinduism while publicly professing to be of another faith; practitioners are referred to as ‘crypto-Hindus’.) while others targeted were non-Hindus such as 1.5% sentenced for being Crypto-Muslims, 1.5% for obstructing the operations of the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Most records of the nearly 250 years of Inquisition trials were burnt by the Portuguese after the Inquisition was banned.

Hence, the Portuguese colonised Goa and oppressed its citizens until liberation, in 1812.  Unfortunately, the impact of this colonisation and forced religious conversions is still evident today, on the local people.

“The Vatican”  Seat of the Holy See

The “Holy Crusades’ mounted by the Church in medieval times, is another sordid example of peace disruption by religious fanaticism and brutality.  Such was the invasion that the blood of women and children, together with that of the geriatric population flowed through the streets of Constantinople on 17th July 1203[6]  The excesses of the Crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries even led to His Holiness the Poe apologising for their brutality.[7]  Pope John Paul II made many apologies, during his long reign as Pope, he apologised to Jews, women, people convicted by the Inquisition, Muslims killed by the Crusaders and almost everyone who had suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church over the years.[8]

The Grand Mosque in Mecca , Saudi Arabia with the Kaaba as the focal point of Islam

Masjid al-Haram also known as the Great Mosque of Mecca,[9] is a mosque that surrounds the Kaaba in Mecca, in the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia. It is a site of pilgrimage in the Hajj, which every Muslim must do at least once in their lives if able, and is also the main phase for the ʿUmrah, the lesser pilgrimage that can be undertaken any time of the year. The rites of both pilgrimages include circumambulating the Kaaba within the mosque. The Great Mosque includes other important significant sites, including the Black Stone, the Zamzam Well, Maqam Ibrahim, and the hills of Safa and Marwa.[10] As of August 2020, the Great Mosque is the largest mosque in the world. It has undergone major renovations and expansions through the years.[11] It has passed through the control of various caliphs, sultans and kings, and is now under the control of the King of Saudi Arabia who is titled the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, in Mecca and Medina, the City of Prophet Muhammad,[12]  On 20th November 1979, the Grand Mosque was attacked by a group of insurgents, violating the Sanctuary Status of the mosque, as with all places of worship in every religion, disrupting the peace  of the place as well as leading to the death of the pilgrims and devotees.[13]  The attack ended on 04th December 1979 and the insurgents were executed by beheading, by the Saudi Regime[14] The battle had lasted for more than two weeks, and had officially left “255 pilgrims, troops and fanatics” killed and “another 560 injured, although diplomats suggested the toll was higher.” Military casualties were 127 dead and 451 injured.[15]

The Wailing Wall, the centre point of Judaism, in Jerusalem

In Judaism King Solomon initiated the construction of the Temple of God[16] in present day Jerusalem which is the “City of God”, with buildings from antiquity representing the three main Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Islam and Christianity.  Here, the Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in harmony until the State of Israel was formally formed in 1948 to house the Jews who had been displaced, enmass, during World War 11, as well as the survivors of the Holocaust, under difficult conditions.  Jerusalem itself was attached by many invaders , including the Romans. Each invader destroying the sacred Temple, in the process and causing unbearable agony as well as disruption of peace.  The name Jerusalem itself means Place of Peace.[17]  Solomon’s Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the first Temple in Jerusalem, according to the Hebrew Bible. It was built during Solomon’s reign over the United Kingdom of Israel and was fully constructed by c. 957 BCE. It stood for almost four centuries until its destruction in 587/586 BCE by the Neo-Babylonian Empire under the second Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II, who subsequently exiled the Judeans to Babylon following the fall of the Kingdom of Judah and its annexation as a Babylonian province. The destruction of the Temple and the Babylonian exile were seen as fulfillments of Biblical prophecies and consequently strengthened Judaic religious beliefs, beginning the Israelites’ transition from the polytheistic or monolatristic beliefs of Yahwism to the monotheistic beliefs developed in Judaism.

The Second Temple was destroyed by the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 CE. Only the Western Wall has survived to the present days. This wall is not a wall of the Temple, it is the remains of the support structures that were built by Herod the Great to strengthen the Temple Mount. This wall is called The Wailing Wall and it is the holiest place for religious Jews of the entire world. This wall is called the Wailing Wall because here the Jewish people are mourning their destroyed First and Second Temples.  Thus, Peace Disruptions were repeatedly caused by the hatred of the invaders of the Jewish city from Biblical times.

The Golden Temple at Vellore [18]is gilded with 1500 kg of pure gold.

In Hinduism the focal point of peace and prayers is the mandir, is a symbolic house, seat and body of divinity for Hindus. Golden Temple Vellore complex inside the Thirupuram spiritual park is situated at the foot of a small range of green hills at Thirumalaikodi, Vellore in Tamil Nadu, India. It is 120 km from Tirupati, 145 km from Chennai, 160 km from Pondicherry and 200 km from Bengaluru. It is a structure designed to bring human beings and gods together, using symbolism to express the ideas and beliefs of Hinduism.[19] The symbolism and structure of a Hindu temple are rooted in Vedic traditions, deploying circles and squares. It also represents recursion and the representation of the equivalence of the macrocosm and the microcosm by astronomical numbers, and by “specific alignments related to the geography of the place and the presumed linkages of the deity and the patron”.[20] A temple incorporates all elements of the Hindu cosmos, presenting the good, the evil and the human, as well as the elements of the Hindu sense of cyclic time and the essence of life, symbolically presenting dharma, kama, artha, moksa, and karma.[21]

In the Bahai Religion the Lotus Temple in New Delhi symbolises the architectural elements of synchronisation of humanoid made religious structure with nature, resulting in peac, a blossom of inspiring architecture in India.  expressionist temple was completed in 1986 and had become the most popular attraction in the city. It is a Bahá’í House of Worship, meaning that people of all religions are welcome to worship God, since the doctrine declares Oneness of Religions.  This philosophy, typifies universal peace.  The intricate architecture features marble petals, that form a shape of a lotus flower. Lotus has a special significance in Asian culture, representing clarity and spirituality. Nine blue ponds surround the unfolding blossom. The Lotus Temple is one of the most visited buildings in the world, attracting millions of tourists each year.[22]  According to Baha’ism, throughout history, God has sent to humanity a series of divine Educators, promoting Peace,  known as Prophets, with the words of God, whose teachings have provided the basis for the advancement of civilization. These Manifestations have included Prophets Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muḥammad and Bahá’u’lláh, the latest of these Messengers, explained that the religions of the world come from the same Source and are in essence successive chapters of one religious message from God, each one being an upgrade of an essential peace doctrine, enabling humanoids to lead  an existence of Peace, on earth for their pre-appointed term.  Bahá’ís believe the crucial need facing humanity is to find a unifying vision of the future of society and of the nature and purpose of life. Such a vision unfolds in the writings of  the Prophet. Bahá’u’lláh. However, Baha’i denies the fundamental “truths” and tenets of the Abrahamic faiths.

The Bottom Line is that the basic reason for human peace disruption is religion.  This is interwoven with political agenda but religious differences even amongst the people of Abrahamic faith is the eternal cause of inter-religious conflicts, globally.  This is primarily evidenced presently in the ongoing conflict between the states of Palestine and Israel.  Here the heavily supported and sponsored Zionist state by the United States, under different administrations is oppressing the Islamic and Christian Palestinian , often killing them in the process.  Similarly, the emergence of Hindu, religious fervor and nationalism in India, under the discriminatory laws as propagated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Chief Minister Ananditya Yogi, often openly in India, have resulted in persecution of Muslims in the country.  This discrimination is so intense that even the Supreme Court of India ruled against the wearing of the Islamic Hijab in schools, although this ruling violated the constitution.  It is to be noted that and at same time, the teaching of the Hindu Scripture, The Bhagavat Gita in schools is made compulsory by legislation.  Furthermore, the Rohingyas in Myanmar are persecuted based on their religious beliefs, by the Buddhist Government, resulting in the largest mass migration in history, from South East Asia in recent times.  The same situation applies to the reported discrimination of Ughirs in Peoples Reublic of Chins.  Another interesting trend is the emergence of Islamophobia, since 911 and this is widely prevalent in first world countries since then

Essentially, the religious beliefs and practice of a diverse range of religions in the main cause of peace disruption in most of the European countries based on Islamophobia, whilst in India and the near east, the discrimination is generated by religious nationalism stirred up by politicians with personal interests and hidden agenda.

The Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, also known as the Abu Dhabi declaration[1] or Abu Dhabi agreement,[2] is a joint statement signed by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, on 04th  February 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The document was born of a fraternal open discussion between Francis and Tayeb and is concerned with how different faiths can live peaceably in the same world and it is meant to be a guide on advancing a “culture of mutual respect”.[23]

While The Document on Human Fraternity has formalized amiable relations ships between the Head of the Catholic Church and the Grand Iman of Al Azar, in 2019, it has invariably raised concerns from multiple quarters, stalling the inter-religious channels of communications hoped to be propagated by this religious treaty in recent times.  The document has also led to the establishment of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, an international committee, established to fulfill the aspirations of the Document on Human Fraternity.[24] The principles of compassion and human solidarity embodied in this text are the same ones that later inspired the declaration that designated February 4[25], annually, as the International Day of Human Fraternity, as it has been stated by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.[26]

Therefore, unless humanoids cease to pay reverence to rituals and not The Lord, there is no hope, ever, for the attainment of the elusive global peace and wars based on religious diversity, between the different religious groupings, in any country, will continue well into the future.  In fact, as the global economic crisis impacted by SARS Cov-2 pandemic [27]and recently by the war in Ukraine[28], progressively worsens, there is no hope for humanoids to achieve a harmonious  state of sustained peace, unless the religious integrative initiatives are drastically transformed, by the respective religious leaders, globally.  Finally, South Africa, even with its high crime rate, including brutal murders of senior citizens, is the only country in the world where different religious groups are living harmoniously, side by side and religious discrimination has never been an issue in the country, even during apartheid, as well as post-liberation since 1994.  There is total harmony and peace between the members of the different Christian denominations, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, as well as the followers of the Traditional African Religions and the other minority religious groups.  It is trusted that neo-colonialist philosophies, originating in the west will not infiltrated the minds of the humanoids of Southern Africa, in the future and religious diversity, as a Peace Disruptor will not  raise its ugly head in South and in particular, South Africa.

References:

[i] Personal quotation by the author 2022.

[1] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2022/04/peace-the-odyssey-of-the-relentless-pursuit-of-humanoids-of-an-elusive-philosophy-part-1/

[2] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2022/04/peace-the-neuro-anthropology-of-peace-and-the-innate-proclivity-of-humanoids-to-generate-conflict-part-2/

[3] https://web.facebook.com/274921182645831/posts/portuguese-in-india-the-goa-inquisition-a-forgotten-chapter-of-the-bloody-histor/1776885835782684/?_rdc=1&_rdr#:~:text=Portuguese%20in%20India%20%26%20the%20Goa%20Inquisition%20%E2%80%93%20A%20Forgotten%20Chapter%20of%20the%20Bloody%20History%20of%20the%20European%20Colonization%20of%20India%20%2D%20A%20forgotten%20holocaust%20of%20Hindus%20and%20Jews!!

[4] https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/ibn-battuta-1304-1369/#:~:text=Ibn%20Battuta%20full%20name%20Muhammad%20Ibn%20Battuta%20was,exploration%2C%20he%20visited%20around%2044%20countries%2C%20including%20India.

[5] Andrew Spicer (2016). Parish Churches in the Early Modern World. Taylor & Francis. pp. 309–311.

[6] https://www.timelessmyths.com/history/why-did-the-crusaders-attack-constantinople/

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apologies_made_by_Pope_John_Paul_II#:~:text=Pope%20John%20Paul%20II%20made%20many%20apologies.%20During,hands%20of%20the%20Catholic%20Church%20over%20the%20years.

[8] https://www.bing.com/search?q=pope+apologising+for+the+brutality+of+the+crusaders&qs=n&form=QBRE&msbsrank=6_6__0&sp=-1&pq=pope+apologising+for+the+brutality+of+the+crusa&sc=6-47&sk=&cvid=BE73E1BB8D6445E2A9294240522EE34C#:~:text=John%20Paul%20II-,Pope%20John%20Paul%20II%20made%20many%20apologies.%20During%20his%20long%20reign%20as%20Pope%2C%20he%20apologized%20to%20Jews%2C%20women%2C%20people%20convicted%20by%20the%20Inquisition%2C%20Muslims%20killed%20by%20the%20Crusaders%20and%20almost%20everyone%20who%20had%20suffered%20at%20the%20hands%20of%20the%20Catholic%20Church%20over%20the%20years.,-List%20of%20apologies

[9] “Great Mosque of Mecca | History, Expansion, & Facts”. Encyclopedia Britannica.

[10] Quran 3:97 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)

[11] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34231620

[12] https://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/mohammad-bin-salman-moderate-islam-saudi-arabia-reform-news-10621/

[13] https://michaelruark.blog/2018/02/22/1979-attack-on-the-grand-mosque-in-mecca/#:~:text=On%20June%2023%2C%20security%20forces%20in%20the%20kingdom,attack%20security%20forces%20and%20worshippers%20at%20the%20mosque.

[14] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Mosque_seizure#:~:text=Roberts%2C%20Morris%3B%20Roberts,via%20Google%20Newspapers.

[15] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Mosque_seizure#:~:text=The%20battle%20had%20lasted%20for%20more%20than%20two%20weeks%2C%20and%20had%20officially%20left%20%22255%20pilgrims%2C%20troops%20and%20fanatics%22%20killed%20and%20%22another%20560%20injured%20…%20although%20diplomats%20suggested%20the%20toll%20was%20higher.%22%5B37%5D%20Military%20casualties%20were%20127%20dead%20and%20451%20injured.%5B7%5D

[16] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon%27s_Temple

[17] https://www.babynamespedia.com/meaning/Jerusalem#:~:text=The%20name%27s%20meaning%20is%20peaceful%20place.%20The%20Spanish,variant%20form%20of%20Jerusalem%20is%20the%20contraction%20Jeru.

[18] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Temple,_Sripuram

[19] George Michell (1977). The Hindu Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms. University of Chicago Press. pp. 61–62. ISBN 978-0-226-53230-1.; Quote: “The Hindu temple is designed to bring about contact between man and the gods” (…) “The architecture of the Hindu temple symbolically represents this quest by setting out to dissolve the boundaries between man and the divine”.

[20] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subhash_Kak

[21] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_temple#:~:text=George%20Michell%20(1977).%20The%20Hindu%20Temple%3A%20An%20Introduction%20to%20Its%20Meaning%20and%20Forms.%20University%20of%20Chicago%20Press.%20pp.%C2%A061%E2%80%9376.%20ISBN%C2%A0978%2D0%2D226%2D53230%2D1.

[22] https://www.pandotrip.com/the-lotus-temple-a-blossom-of-inspiring-architecture-in-india-12784/

[23] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Document_on_Human_Fraternity

[24] The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity homepage, forhumanfraternity.org

[25] Nations, United. “Secretary-General’s message for 2022 | International Day of Human Fraternity”. United Nations.

[26] Nations, United. “First-ever International Day of Human Fraternity focuses on tolerance | United Nations”. United Nations.

[27] https://www.bing.com/search?q=SARS+Cov-2+pandemic&cvid=658178a01cbe4a6392b6c873646abfef&aqs=edge..69i57j69i59i450l8.11351566j0j1&pglt=41&FORM=ANNTA1&PC=U531#:~:text=How%20to%20Help-,Coronavirus%20(COVID%2D19)%20pandemic,-News%20about%20sars

[28] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-ukrainian_war

______________________________________________

Read: Part 1Part 2 Part 4 

Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.

Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All
Email: vawda@ukzn.ac.za


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 2 May 2022.

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