Time has come to eradicate the cancer that is ISIS

Published December 23 2015

“Baby changes everything,” the song says. How true, especially for a mother. It certainly did not, in any positive way, for Tashfeen Malik, a mass murderer by any definition, who with her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, was responsible for the recent massacre in San Bernardino, Calif.

How anyone can become so insensitive and incensed, deranged and destructive? We will never know for sure. Whatever happened to human conscience, the supreme quality that God instilled in the human brain?

Talking of God and religion, humans give different names to God and come up with different religions. Religion is supposed to be the expression of a person’s belief in a superhuman power recognized as the creator and governor of the universe. Fear of God is supposed to control the conduct of the people to be extremely caring of each other. But humans, in the name of religion, have been destroying each other throughout history.

Does the superhuman God really need the humans to promote his existence and to wage holy wars to convert more people to be believers? Does the merciful God want humans to mercilessly kill each other? Does the almighty God really want us to destroy the earth in his name?

I was told that the holy Quran says “whoever kills a single soul, it is as if he has slain all of humankind entirely.” Does it mean to ISIS that once it killed one person it may as well destroy all of humanity?

ISIS has been compared to cancer by many people, including the president of the United States. That actually is a perfect analogy. As a practicing physician, I deal with cancer patients all the time.

Every cancer needs a cause either from outside or within. Cause for this cancer is misguided ideology, perverted faith and hatred. The best way to cure cancer is to prevent it. The international community, including mainstream Muslims, have failed at this miserably.

The next step is early detection. Failed again. The next step is an immediate coherent and coordinated treatment plan using different modalities like surgery, chemo, radiation, hormone therapy, immuno-therapy, etc., all in appropriate proportions to minimize the collateral damage. The coalition has failed at this, too, by waiting too long to come up with a satisfactory strategy.

All physicians involved in the treatment of cancer patients get together periodically to assess the response and to adjust the treatment regimen. The international community has failed yet again, until it is too late. The cancer has already metastasized to distant and different parts.

There is still hope, if there is a will. Peace will prevail at the end, one way or the other. It always did throughout the history of humankind.

This time, the cancer has to be eradicated without injury to the surrounding healthy tissue.

The sooner the better.

This article was originally published in the Tampa Bay Times:

Rao Musunuru, M.D. Mini Bio

Dr. Rao Musunuru, who has called Pasco County his home since 1981, was instrumental in transforming a 50-bed rural hospital into a 290-bed Heart Institute at Bayonet Point/Hudson Regional Medical Center. He has received numerous awards and continually serves the community at large through education and philanthropy.