Who is responsible for the conscienceless crimes of ISIS? How is it possible, that such inhuman ideologies could spread to such an extent so rapidly? And where do Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab and Boko Haram come from? Like mushrooms they shoot out of the ground and destroy the lives of millions of people.

Kurt Beutler

In recent history, genocides have often been accompanied by the preparatory dehumanization of victims. In 1994, in Rwanda, for example, the Hutu interhamwe labelled the Tutsis as “termites” or “cockroaches” before they killed more than one million (mainly) Tutsis. Similarly, before World War II, the Nazi regime in Germany often featured illustrations of Jews in cartoons and other propaganda materials looking decrepit or sub-human, and forced Jews to wear yellow stars saying “Achtung Juden (Warning: a Jew).” In other cases, such as in the predominantly Ibo region of Biafra in 1961, the northern Nigerian military used terms such as “gwadai gwadai (mosquitos)” to refer to the Ibo, who suffered up to one million deaths as a result of the military’s putting down of the rebellion.

Jacob Zenn

On 10 April 2014, the UN Security Council unanimously decided that a peacekeeping mission would be sent to the Central African Republic in September 2014. This is a remarkable step, one which until recently was considered implausible. What is even more extraordinary is the role played by the National Interfaith Peace Platform, from efforts to restore the social fabric of the country to persuading the Security Council to take action.  Efforts by religious leaders to salvage national governance are ongoing.

Rebekka Fiedler

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Prof. Dr. Christine Schirrmacher
Phil Parshall
Dr. Tony Maalouf
Bert de Ruiter