As we speak right now, I am supposed to be head deep in an essay – exploring the literary techniques used by Shakespeare in Othello and that. But my mind is elsewhere.
As you probably know by now, a suicide bomber, now identified as Salman Abedi, struck the Manchester arena at the end of Ariana Grande’s concert on monday night, killing 22 children and injuring several others. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who lost their loved ones and were affected by the tragedy. But listen. In this past week, at least 68 children were killed in Syria when their bus was bombed when they were heading to school. 68 whole children!! In Marawi, Philipines, ISIS have invaded a church and taken people hostage. In Bangkok, there was a bomb attack in a hospital. So please tell me, why has the Manchester tragedy been headline news for 2 consecutive days day and night (and will probably be in the news for the next couple weeks), while the media is silent on Syria and all other attacks.
Why is everyone only sending their love and prayers to Manchester while they ignore the children who experience this type of incident daily in Syria? Why is it only a headline when it’s in the west? I sick of this. Every single day, Syria experiences Manchester style attacks. And almost each and every single day, the world stays silent. Nobody bats an eyelid. I think it I could even go as far as to say that nobody really cares. People in Syria literally wake up to the sound of bombs each and every single day! Thousands if not millions of children have been lost. And the world is silent. But the minute it happens in Manchester on a smaller scale, everyone is praying and sending their love. Politicians worldwide are condemning the events, all muslims are now branded as “terrorists” and it makes headline news for weeks. Now I am in no means taking away from or belittling the Manchester attack, but I think its pretty clear that there is a large-scale problem here that people are refusing to see.
Whats my point? My point is that we are all selective in the things we pay attention to. There are terror attacks that happen weekly across the globe and everyone stays asleep and turns a blind eye to it. But the minute there is one in the west, all of a sudden everybody is alert and ready to help in any way they can. (Once again I am not belittling any attack, but I think you see my point here). Whats heartbreaking is that there is a child somewhere in Syria who is seeing the amount of coverage and support terrorist attacks in the west receive. A child who has probably lost their entire family and all their friends and the world ignored and rejected them when they need it the most. They’ve got it ten times worse and the world is silent. They’re being hit by not only ISIS and other radical groups, but they are being hit by western countries like the USA too. Is that not terror?
Muslims are 95% of the victims of terror attacks. Their religion, Islam, is one that teaches peace, not terrorism. Yet, the minute there is a terrorist attack, you’ll find people screaming “muslims are terrorists” at the top of their lungs while their own country is dropping bombs elsewhere and killing innocent people. Why arent westerners also branded as “terrorists” when they drop hundreds of bombs in Syria? There is a difference between a muslim and a terrorist. Stop blaming muslims for terrorist attacks!
It all goes back to the media. Everytime there is a terrorist attack, the media created a moral panic – a feeling of fear among society that some evil (eg terrorism) is threatening the well-being of society. These moral panics are usually revolve around terrorism – linking it to Islam and blaming muslims. The muslim community is then marginalised and stigmatised because people begin to associate muslims with terrorism.
Then after creating moral panics, the media shows biased coverage. We only see the times when the west is hit with terror. We don’t see the times muslims themselves are hit with terror, and if we do it’s usually brief. What does that do? It upholds the moral panic, and embeds the idea that “muslims are terrorists”, and never the victims of terror..
So now that muslims have been falsely branded as “terrorists” and marginalised from society…. don’t you think that could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Dont you think that may cause some of them to act out in the name of Islam?
Dont you think that could lead them to act like the “terrorist” you branded them as?
When they come to seek refuge in the west because the west is bombing their land, and get rejected… don’t you think that could in some instances trigger serious anger and vengeance? Think about it.
Its a cycle.
Going back to my original point, the media has such a large impact on the way we see things, and if you are repeatedly exposed to certain ideas you begin to believe them. So when the media portrays all muslims as terrorists, that’s what people begin to think. When the media only conveys terror in the west, people think that it doesn’t happen else-where. Please guys and look outside the bias of mainstream media and realise what is happening in the world. Terrorism affects the entire world. Yes, the media will stress those that happen in the west, but know that there are thousands of Manchester-style events that are happening in Syria, Afghanistan etc every single day that people turn a blind eye to.
So don’t only pray for Manchester. Pray and send your love and thoughts to the entire world because the whole world is hurting. Dont turn a blind eye to them. Dont believe everything the media tells you. Wake Up.