Persecution: Bullying versus Civilized Behavior
Bullying as a factor in persecution began with the origins of civilization. Recorded accounts of persecution by bullies can be discovered in the Gospel and the tenets of religious practice that forcibly change the faith of groups from their origins to another, usually by another faith. In modern times, bullying by parents or other adults has resulted in cases of suicide.
Definition of Persecution
Recently, the definition of persecution means bullying will constitute arrest, detention, torture and or execution. It also may refer to the destruction of property. Bullying promotes privation in individuals. The very word “persecution” can generate vivid images of hiding in terror of pursuing, implacable foes; of being found and resolutely facing the excruciating pain of torture meant to cause renunciation of cherished beliefs; and finally following faithful resistance to every constraint to deny their faith. Brutal suffering, harassment, imprisonment, fear, or pain are all factors that can establish a pattern of persecution in which the bully is the conqueror, victim, and confidante.
A common practical understanding of persecution and its relation to bullying rests on how it is defined. The most well known forms of persecution are religious persecution, ethnic persecution and political persecution. The events that unfold in these cases usually contain some act of bullying. Regrettably, gays are frequently subject to humiliation and intimidation in parts of the world. Increasing amounts of bullying has also led teens to commit acts of terror and destruction as witnessed by their praise of the actions of Jihadists online. Even so, not all suffering will necessarily establish a persecution definition. To define persecution, one will have to prove that suffering is a result of some continuous form of ill treatment employed by barbarians and the like. Establishment of domestic and international laws to protect children and adults from attacks by school bullies, cyber threats and other nascent repressive political movements has removed from the archaic understanding of persecution the belief that “the suffering experienced by the victim must be sufficiently severe.”
The Holocaust, a Jewish persecution of religion
After the mass slaughter of Jews during World War II, a trenchant persecution meaning was formulated. Everyone was aware of Hitler’s conduct, however, little if not anything was known about the laws or lack thereof meant to protect the human rights of individuals universally considered as the Jews of Europe. A standard for an accounting of what such a definition entails has since been set at the Trials of Nuremberg where Nazi war criminals were brought to justice, tried and hanged. Countries of the world today consider any and all persecution as also an expression of bullying to be now regarded as a human rights problem. The definition of persecute is embodied in the bullying and persecution of the Jewish people when they are driven out of supposed friendly kingdoms of Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The persecution of faith by capture and eviction
Historically, the Romans were one of the greatest bullies of their time. Their wrath was suffered by the early Christians who fought lions in the coliseums of Rome. Christian persecution continues today as they are exploited and persecuted in many parts of the world. In the two thousand years of the Christian faith, about 70 million believers have been killed for their faith, of which 45.5 million or 65% were in the twentieth century according to “The New Persecuted.” 200 million Christians are vulnerable especially in war-torn Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries and parts of Asia.
True to a persecuted definition, Muslims have also been victims of bullies in various parts of the world. The first Christian Crusade was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II, with the stated goal of regaining control of the city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslims who had captured them from the Byzantines. The crusades by the Seljuk Turks saw the end of Arab rule in Jerusalem and their mass exodus from the region.
Religious Hindus have offered to be arbiters of bullies given their experiences have afforded them with enough evidence to define what is persecution. Hindus routinely refer to the persecution in their homeland by Islamic rulers. The religious persecution of Hindus is what ultimately led to the partition of India in 1947. The leader of the Muslim League Mohammed Ali Jinnah declaring his vision of a secular Muslim state in the subsequent creation of Pakistan initiated one of history’s worst atrocities which was the partitioning of the Indian subcontinent. Post-British India could have been, or at least attempted to be, an equal and united country shared by followers of all religions, caste or creed which was the Indian Independence leader Mahatma Gandhi’s vision. His methods for non-violent rule and a united India were summarily dismissed by the Indian Muslim League who insisted on portioning India wherever Muslims formed the majority. This despotism took hold in areas where Hindus lived for over 5,000 years. Partition claimed approximately one million lives and created an estimated twenty million refugees. Fundamentalism and religiously related bullying such as the random formation of hate groups have made the existence of bullies realistic and potent. Intellectuals can no longer assume their acts as a thing of the past.
The question that remains above all others is why do bullies persevere? The reasons are varied and it is best to take one individual or groups’ account on a case by case basis. In the instance of the Roman Empire, their bullying permitted only polytheism as a religion. Monotheistic religions such as Judaism and Christianity formed a deadly threat. Roman conquests resulted in capturing and persecuting any region’s faith through brutal means well known to bullies. Rome felt cornered by the Christians because of their rapid rate of growth. The Romans also had a hand in persecuting the Jews another monotheistic group in the conquered territory of Israel. The Jewish people insisted on practicing their faith, which had no room for compromise with polytheistic beliefs. This fact resulted in uprisings and constantly simmering discontent and meant the Jews were always a thorn in the side of the Roman Empire. Eventually the Romans got tired and removed all Jews beginning in the 1st century AD. Bigotry and bullying can be acceptably understood as forming the foundation of any persecution.
Medieval bullying and persecution of atheists
Religion is not the only bane of persecuted people throughout history. Atheists have also suffered persecution in lands both native and foreign to them. In-fact this persecution resulted in cases where they were bullied by those who held different views primarily religious ones. Many Muslim nations consider those who do not belong to their faith as infidels to be punished and removed from their societies. Atheists have had their beliefs mocked when they tried to lay the foundation of the world on a scientific setting. The scientist Galileo’s sentence for questioning religious authority led to his death. Nicolas Copernicus had similar run-ins with the ecclesiastical authority of his time when he aspired to defend his new vision of the planetary system.
In his system, earth could no longer be considered as the center of the Universe. Such discoveries have since afforded atheists a hallowed position in society. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that science and religion contain important differences which need to be respected. For one thing, it is hubris to claim that science is better than religion. Science deals with the world as humans experience it while religion deals with life as humans experience it. Logically, these two modes deal with two different things and neither should be persecuted for their understandings. Religious people and atheists should take such differences into consideration before planning an attack on someone’s beliefs.
Loss of life due to persecution and bullying and a possible remedy
Historical and current bullying as a form of privation has claimed thousands of innocent lives. Bullies start young and create their personalities into majestic characters as they grow older. If bullies are punished, then a moral code has been applied. There needs to be a functioning standard to judge all human conduct that result in bullying and its more pernicious form, persecution. An understanding of moral conduct of people is a contender. The difficulty here remains in creating a suitable definition for specific cases of bullying and or persecution