The Point-of-View gun is a genius weapon dreamt up by fiction writer Douglas Adams for his seminal novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
It is probably my favourite book of all time and the movie isn’t too bad, either.
In the story, a super computer tasked with solving all of the world’s problems comes up with the POV gun.
According to the computer, if you shoot someone with the gun, they automatically see the world from your point of view.
So, the gun is used to settle feuds and eventually stops the horde of villains from destroying earth, when they lose the lus for life after a depressed robot shoots them all with it.
Of all the fictional weapons that have been dreamed up, this is the one I would most want to conjure into existence.
One of the places a weapon like this would be indispensable, would be the Middle-East, a conflict that I will admit I am extremely hesitant to address.
And that’s largely because talking about the Israeli-Palestine conflict elicits very emotional and passionate responses from people all over the world.
But these strong opinions are understandably bias and almost always based in religion.
And the hostilities have been going on for so long now, that there’s really nothing new that anyone can contribute to the argument.
Every possible argument has already been made, every nuance thoroughly considered and every side’s claim to rightful ownership of the land, passionately argued for and against.
Much of the debate is deeply rooted in tradition, religious belief and generational distrust and hatred, which makes this conflict impossible to solve politically.
The strange thing is that the followers of all three monotheistic religions use their scripture to lay claim to the land.
Stranger still is that for the most part, the holy text of the Hebrew Torah, the Christian Bible and the Qur’an overlap with each other.
While all three worship the same God, He has seemingly given each a different instruction about who the land belongs to.
It is also seemingly alright to ignore His teachings of compassion, tolerance and brotherly love, and employ violence to defend entitlement.
Can you see now how handy the POV gun would be here?
I don’t claim to have a new non-fictional solution to the age-old conflict.
But I do know that I felt especially sad for Palestinian Muslims, who were forced to spend the last week of the holy month of Ramadaan dodging bullets and rockets in Jerusalem and elsewhere.
It was very hard to watch videos of Israeli soldiers firing stun grenades inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, while the athaan (call-to-prayer) can be heard in the background.
I could literally feel my eyes well up seeing worshippers coming under attack, while in the middle of prayer.
History, our own included, has taught us that one man’s terrorist is always another’s liberator.
And until those men can learn to sit down together and see each other’s point of view, nothing will change.