Dnipro and Grozny: What does history teach us?

Russia’s attack on an apartment building in Dnipro has been the focus of world attention in recent days. As a result of this barbaric act, 40 people have already died, and the number continues to rise as new victims are found under the rubble. There has been much debate as to whether this was a deliberate missile attack on the building or whether it was shot down by Ukrainian air defenses and crashed into the building. In essence, this does not change anything, as the shooting down of missiles by air defense is quite natural, but the targeting of even non-residential objects in residential areas or nearby, especially when there is no fighting there, by definition targets the civilian population and inevitably leads to such consequences.

Anyway, these images reminded many of our readers of bombed houses and whole neighborhoods in Grozny and other cities in Chechnya, and for some, in Syria. And in this context it would be interesting to reflect on something.

The natural reaction of many Ukrainians to this barbarism is to say, «We will never forget, we will never forgive. But the experience of Grozny and Chechnya shows that «never say never». After all, only 30 years have passed, and some descendants or relatives of those whose homes and loved ones were destroyed by Russian bombs and rockets are now fighting for Russia against its new victims, or even defending it to the death.

Most likely, Ukrainians will object and say, «No, that will not happen to us. But millions of Ukrainians once served the empire after it destroyed their ancestors in tsarist or Soviet times and unleashed real genocides like the Holodomor.

What does this say? First, it speaks to the imperfection and weakness of human nature, whether Ukrainian, Chechen, Arab, Sumerian, or any other. «Mankind is at a loss,» our Lord says in the Koran, and this should prevent us from national self-aggrandizement. Secondly, it confirms the truth of the ancient Roman saying «vae victis», which means «woe to the defeated». For when you are defeated, all you can do is clench your fists and jaws and say that you will not forget or forgive. And sometimes revenge and retaliation do come out of it, but often nothing comes out of it but impotent malice.

So what is the point of all these reflections in the midst of human sorrow and the smoking ruins of a house in Dnipro? They lead to the realization that one should not rely on eternal memory and guaranteed retribution (in this world). YOU MUST WIN, even to take this revenge. But most importantly, so that all these sacrifices do not become meaningless, and so that those who suffered do not have to hope that future generations will avenge them.

No more passing this burden on to future generations. This evil must be destroyed here and now, with the permission of Allah Almighty.

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