[symple_box] Sabeet Raza is a young Pakistani who aims to bring an end to the way his compatriots pessimistically view the Pakistani society. He is the founder of the Religion Humanity Initiative, an NGO working to bring an end to religious intolerance. [/symple_box]
Hollande, the Premier of France has declared a national state of emergency and tightened borders after at least 130 people were killed in a night of gun and bomb attacks in Paris. The attack has triggered multiple social media trends ranging from “Anti-Muslim Slogans” to “Rest in Peace Humanity hashtags”.
A national day of mourning was held in Lebanon after two suicide bombers on motorcycles killed at least 50 people and left more than 200 injured in an attack in a predominantly Shia Area of Southern Beirut.
Baghdad was also left in shatter after a suicide attack took the lives of at least 20 people and left around 50 injured. The responsibility for all these acts of terrorism were taken by none other than the infamous organisation, ISIS.
This is not the first time that such an attack has taken the city of love by surprise. Same goes to be the case for the other two cities. These attacks are now becoming so commonplace that people even tend to skim past them as if they are of no significance. The colossal nature of these attacks goes blatantly to state that we are at fault, some place or another.
Flags will fly at half mast, like the WTC a few other major building will raise up a French Flag, a social media trend (as it already has) will cause a major uproar in societies, a couple of protests and handholding rallies will flood Paris, we’ll all be activists for a few weeks, a month at its best and eventually, this attack too will be forgotten.
We do this almost every second month. We mourn an attack. We cry, we hold vigils, we raise some slogans, some come out to protest but always, we forget and move on. Before you leave this page and assume that I ask of you to stagnate your lives, I implore you to hear me out fully.
Firstly, as has developed a trend in our societies, we consider ourselves great global citizen for showing some empathy towards occurrences like this. Our inner selves are satisfied by this facade that we have unknowingly built around ourselves. We, as a whole global village, need to get rid of this trend. I couldn’t care about the indifferent or hypocrites, but I can not let myself be one of them. Hence, I ask of you today to understand the reality and the severe nature and consequences of these events. Do you honestly believe that a watermarked Facebook Display Picture or a hashtag condemning ISIS intimidate the Leader of this nefarious organisation? Please, open your eyes people. We’re trapped in an unjust world but it is unto us to make it just.
Secondly, I hail from a part of the world that is infamous for its corrupt politicians, notorious for its martyred leaders and cases of polio, and even more renowned for the attacks of terrorism it goes through every second day of the week. We vote like the French, and the Iraqis and the Lebanese. We do have rights but eventually when we go through an attack such as that in France (e.g. the murder of more than 200 students at a Secondary School) we stand up for ourselves. We do not go around feeling content by just saying “#IStandWithTheVictim”. We ask our government, we inquire, we force them to change. Indeed, we fail but we do leave a mark. That is what I request of the French to do- Ask their government for their rights. For us, we have such a gigantic number of problems that it becomes easy for our politicians to successfully neglect such issues. We are a developing country being pushed down by multiple issues but for a developed country such as France, I believe that given the right amount of pressure, the French Government would definitely improve its efforts to protect its citizens from issues of the like.
Thirdly, I’m not a genius but it doesn’t take one to figure this out. We’ve turned into a world where terrorism is not as appalling as the city where the strike takes place. I support the French, as a normal person I empathise and feel bad for them. But when it comes to those beyond the victims and their families, I am somewhat disturbed by the absurd nature of how we show empathy. I recall the attack on Army Public School, Peshawar, Pakistan and how it was followed by an attack in France (Charlie Hebdo Incident). The whole world and more than 50 world leaders were more passionate to stand for the right to free speech than for the basic RIGHT OF LIFE. Despite the major difference in death toll and age of those who died, the whole world, mass media was more “Scarred” by the attack on a satirist than the death of more than 200 students between the ages of 8 and 16. This series of attacks too, follow the same pattern. There’s millions of hashtags in French (some people even don’t know their meanings but put them on) yet barely anyone was affected by the attack on Beirut the night before France went through this traumatic experience. Except a few Lebanese teenagers and activists, barely anyone felt hurt but when it came to France, apparently the whole world is in shatters. I don’t mean to poison anyone against empathy, I just ask of the world to be equal towards the world. There is after all a reason that the public of Middle Eastern Countries feel left behind when it comes to global support.
Furthermore, France will now close its gates to refugees, at least limit their entry. This is just what ISIS needs. It is as if we are playing right into their hands and hence we need to change this. Their plans are working perfectly despite their ancient and brutal tactics and we, despite our genius and organised minds are failing to save eradicate this threat to humanity.
I’m sorry but thats not all. For now, many have other issues to worry about but in a few days, Islamophobia will again plague the west. Before any one of you go out, judging the book by its cover, I implore you not to do so. Muslims make the second largest religion in the world (1.6 Billion People) and believe me, if they were all the same- I would not be writing this today (probably be sleeping an unending sleep alongside thousands in a shared grave). I ask you all not to act as if all Muslims are guilty of this, I ask the French not to do what the United States did after Pearl Harbour of 9/11. Please don’t kill or mock thousands of innocents for the crimes of a few animals!
I won’t log out of my computer today expecting the world to be a better place tomorrow, nor do I expect ISIS to be merely a part of our past tomorrow but what I do hope for is to wake up to a more human, sensible and compassionate world. I hope that we don’t feel content by just a few hashtags or a handholding ceremony or vigil. I pray that we unite and defeat this inhuman organisation run by nothing but brutes, savages, criminals, and pigs. Please don’t let my words leave merely an ephemeral affect, please do try to change.
Bon courage, France – Bon courage, World!