Saturday, November 14, 2015

Because I've always been a Hippy at heart.

I'm as shocked and saddened by the events in Paris yesterday . We always find ourselves asking "why?" and I started to think about it. It's also important to open our perspectives on the situations in the rest of the world; unfortunately this is not a singular occurrence - even for this week-  look at America let alone Beirut. Badness can seem to be everywhere. We are often all to quick to blame something we fear or don't understand - religion is the classic example, Islam even more so. We blame Islam for ISIS yet we don't even know what the Qur'an states the Caliphate is meant to be let alone knowing what a Caliphate actually is. Now we blame religion on things we don't understand whereas religion used to be the reason behind everything we didn't understand. Ultimately, religion - or the lack of it- is not what makes a person good or bad.

We must use these feelings of anger, pain and frustration conjured from the attacks on Paris, Beirut and Baghdad (and the countless before them) and remember these are the same feelings that have been felt by families around the world every day when undue harm has been brought down on their lives whether we hear about it or not. Due to human nature, it is these same emotions which will have instinctively caused a fellow human being to fire hate and blame towards another human being, or nation, whom they believe is responsible. I know that even if there were just two people left on Earth it would still probably result in a war but lets start with trying to not get to the point where there is just two people left! People are doing terrible things but we must find their exact motives; be it revenge, disagreement or heightened beliefs. We can't say the problem is religion and then ask everyone to pray. We need to understand.

Not everybody in an occupied territory is there because they want to be, some are there because it was once, and still is, their home. They will either leave to find safety from what has been brought to their life or stay and defend their right to shelter. Say they decide to stay but a defensive air-strike comes and destroys everything they own? Surely this will make them not intolerant to who kept them there, but to what took that final blow to everything they loved. Now say they leave to a promised safe haven only to have the door shut in their face. It's acceptable to say that the one billion plus ordinary Muslims around the world have suffered the most from ISIS, be it directly or indirectly.

The West can't play the full victim today as our panicked attacks in the Middle East could be seen to mirror those of the past week by ISIS where the victims are decided by where they live regardless of their opinion and arguably fueled the whole thing. As we learned as children, it's important to clean up the mess you've made. However, as ISIS' victims are desperately to try to get our help, we are turning them away - both on their doorstep and on ours.

The attackers may have been misguided from the start but many have been recruited somewhere along the way through fear or anger. War breeds war and we have to make sure our pain and frustration does not turn into fear and anger. We can offer the only empathy we can by saying that we now understand your pain and want to help it heal.

We are all humans.