Terrorism Has No Religion

paris

 

Today I was accused of essentially being discriminatory towards someone because I didn’t accept their opinion. Which has happened before, despite my very public stance against discrimination of any kind, but it never really bothered me before as it was never about anything that really mattered to me. Their opinion was a hateful one, a racist one, a xenophobic one, you could even say that some of their actual wording could easily be mistaken for words we often see in our media, attributed to terrorists. You’re damn right I am being discriminatory. I don’t accept that hatred towards anyone because of their skin colour, their religion, their gender, their sexuality or their DNA as being a valid opinion to hold. I don’t believe that anyone has the right to believe in other humans as examples of lesser beings because of the God they pray to, or because of the pigmentation of their skin. I do not accept that these people have a right to hate, just because they believe themselves superior. And I never will accept anything like that, nor will I call anyone my friend or a member of my family if they believe such a hateful opinion, even a righteous opinion, to hold.

 

This morning we sat our daughter down between us on the sofa, our six year old daughter, someone who is still our baby, we sat her down and we had to find the words to explain to her what had happened in France yesterday. I didn’t want her to find out by overhearing people, I didn’t want her to find out by reading the front page of a newspaper or catching something on the news, I wanted her to hear it from us. Somehow we found the words, and although she got scared, and thought she got sad, she took it in as best as she could, she asked some questions, and after digesting things, chances are she now won’t mention it again this weekend. Do you know what the most important thing that we said to her was? It wasn’t which religion the people who carried the attacks out claim to represent, not what language they spoke, or what country their ancestry belongs to. The most important thing we said to our daughter was, don’t ever hate like that. Don’t hate someone because they are different from you. Do not hate someone because they do not believe in the same God as you do, or they do not love the way you love, or because their skin colour isn’t the same. Do not hate like they do.

 

I know it’s hard to see hundreds of people being murdered and injured in terror attacks and not feel hatred. Feeling hatred towards those who commit terrible acts is completely understandable, but when you let your hatred spread to every single person that follows a certain religion, or has a specific country’s name on their passport, the understanding I have for your hatred completely disappears. It also makes you incredibly stupid, and I apologise for the simplicity of this word, but it is the word that best fits. Part of the aim of an extremist organisation is the same as any other warmonger,  to divide and conquer. They want us to push people out of our society, to make them hurt, to make them feel alone and hated, to make them feel like the only people they have to turn to are those that hate us the most. Young people especially are incredibly vulnerable to be recruited as a result of this. So I beg you, all of you that feel fear, hatred and disgust, do not turn your back on an entire people because of the actions of a few, because by doing so, not only are you aiding them, in the long run you let the terrorists win.

 

Those people that are seeking refuge in Europe from Syria, the very vast majority of those are people who are trying to escape extremists, people who are tired of seeing their families tortured, abused, shot and blown up, people who want nothing more than to return to their own country to find peace, to find the family members they had to leave behind still there waiting for them. We have no right to hate them, we have no right to make them into lesser beings than us, just because they are running from the same people who are now punishing us. With only days having passed since Armistice Day and less than a week after Remembrance Sunday are we all just going to pretend that the World Wars never happened and that Europe once wasn’t full of people on the run from threats from people  of a different race and religion all together? It’s been just over 4 years since the massacre in Utøya, have people forgotten that one of the largest terrorists attacks in Western Europe in latter years was carried out by a Nazi? Do we pretend that yesterday ISIL didn’t bomb a predominantly Shia area of Beirut and murdered more than 40 people, because it doesn’t fit the agenda when Muslims too are being murdered and are victims of terrorist attacks, by the very same people that are attacking Western Europe?

 

Religion isn’t evil, people are evil. People do not care about a God, they care about their cause, they care about power, they care about destruction and they care about doing anything that they can to create a world where their skewered visions are the norm. There are tragedies that happen around the globe on a daily basis, not just in our backyard. Some are caused by nature, some are caused by humans, none of them are the fault of a God or religious scripture, and NONE of them are an excuse to hate an entire people. When we used the actions of the few as an excuse to hate and discriminate, that is the moment that our opinions become no better than those of the terrorist we profess to hate.

 

 

2 Comments

  • Newton says:

    great article. stop on..

  • Mike Spalding says:

    Wise words Sil beautifully concisely written! I spoke to my Parsien associate this morning who stated the very words written. Nation divided gives the terrorists a place to hide. Sadly France is a nation very much divided, forcing many on the fringes of society, the very people that if felt included would of certainly reported an information they new to the authorities. Hate divides! And creates mistrust. France needs to be inclusive and embrace all their citizens. This may just prevent attacks like Friday in Paris!

    Well done Sil 😉 x

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