This morning my heart weeps; the world has again been struck by tragedy. Over 150 victims killed in six separate terrorist attacks in and around Paris, France with IS apparently taking responsibility for these attacks.
As you all know I live in a country that is 98% Muslim. Most Muslims are ordinary, peace-loving people with their own set of dreams and problems and should be treated with the same respect we give to any other fellow human being. I live in a real community where love and support is evident wherever you go. These are not people bred with hatred.
What many of you may not have known (due mainly to the fact that news coverage was nearly non-existent in other countries) is that only yesterday there was two suicide bombings attributed to IS killing 43 people in Beirut. Another incident in Baghdad with 18 victims. Türkiye also recently suffered at the hands of IS with an attack that killed nearly 100 people and injured over 400 more at a peace rally in Ankara. I chose not to write about that terrorist attack in an attempt to fill my feed with only positive stories but I guess I can’t keep myself quiet today. These attacks are not solely being directed at you or at me. These attacks by IS are indiscriminate. We are all targets – Muslim, Christian or other.
Today my social media newsfeed is filled with putrid spewings of hatred from people who I have long considered friends. I have been shocked by some of the statements made. Do you feel that way about all Muslims? What about The Turk? Do you feel that way about him as well? Should he be vilified for his religion. Of course not. To one particular person who wrote on their Facebook that “all terrorists are Muslim” I say this to you – hate is born by people exactly like you. You are no better than a terrorist with your rabid hatred.
Throughout history religion has been used as an excuse, or driving force, for some of the worst atrocities imaginable. From pre-history to modern history, religion is, for many people, just an excuse to kill other people. Not post 9/11. We can go throughout history and talk of religious atrocities. I shall name a few although honestly I shouldn’t need to. We all learnt about them at school. Does the Inquisition ring a bell to you? How about those witch hunts in Massachusetts? All about religion. Let’s go further back in history to Roman times with Nero persecuting all Christians. And what about Jesus? He was persecuted for his religion as well. Maybe we should consider the Aztecs who killed tens of thousands a year to appease the Gods. I could continue but I won’t.
Your religion (if you have one) is only one part of who you are. I cannot understand why we have so much hatred and violence. The perception that people of one nationality, political affiliation, religion, or colour of skin are more superior or inferior than another. We are one people. We are all humans trying to get through this thing called LIFE. It is hard, unfair, and trying – but we all deserve a chance to live it. No one’s life should be taken by another for any reason. No one’s life is more valuable than another’s.
To those in Paris, and those affected by this horrible massacre, my thoughts are with you today.
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