The past few days – barely three weeks into the New Year – have seen a series of ‘small’ global terror attacks, which have affected people from all corners of the global and all walks of life, right across the world, from Jakarta to Ouagadougou to Istanbul.
What’s more, many security experts and international authorities fear this is just the start of bigger and graver things to come in 2016, that 2015 – a year which will be remembered more for its global terror attacks, and the terrifying surge in popularity and ‘power’ of terror groups, IS in particular, than anything else – was merely a practice run, a trial session… A rehearsal, even.
According to france24.com, an unnamed leading French counter-terrorism official was quoted by AFP as saying: “Unfortunately, I think 2015 was nothing… We are moving towards a European 9/11: simultaneous attacks on the same day in several countries, several places. A very coordinated thing. We know the terrorists are working on this.”
With this chilling warning in mind, we are once again reminded of the fact that the world is being terrorised as a whole now, for it no longer seems to matter where you go, who you are or even what you are doing…
In the past year, terror attacks have taught us that concerts, football stadiums, cafes and restaurants, holiday resorts and beaches, schools and universities, hotels, old city squares and even shopping malls are no longer safe but that, above all, nothing is sacred and nothing and nowhere is safe… and no set country, no single person is free from these growing terror threats.
This is what terror organisations and extremist groups like IS, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab and Al Qaeda want: to strike terror into the hearts of every nation and people, irrespective of their races, creeds, genders and religious- and cultural- practices.
This is no longer a war aimed at the West… It’s a War (with a capital W) aimed at the World.
Up until now, the world has not shown any real solidarity in the fight against terrorism. It essentially turned a blind eye after 9/11 and carried on much as it always had, just with heightened security and mistrust… It watched as London, Spain, Bali, India, Pakistan and many other places and countries besides, not least of all Nigeria in recent years, endured terror attacks, mass abductions, hostage killings, shootings and bombings.
As for Syria… Let’s face it, no one really gave a damn that an entire country and thousands of innocents were being left at the mercy of people incapable of exhibiting any kind of humanity, of ruthless murderers and assassins who think only about how best to kill, maime or destroy… Love and mercy do not exist in their cold, senseless minds.
Oh, sure, the world is pretending to care now… It’s trying to help Syrian refugees almost three years after their country and their lives were being destroyed for good. There is no going back for them – and sadly, there is no going back for the world as a whole anymore either.
We’ve let things slip too far… We have let evil fester and grow, spread to every inch of our earth and only now because it is directly affecting the West, that the terrorism has reached North America, Africa, Europe and Asia alike are the world’s leaders and armed forces beginning to grow fearful and to set a watch for the world as the darkness penetrates even the most unlikely of places.
The World is trying to take back the control… but shouldn’t we have started a little sooner?
Photo Credit: Getty Images
I understand the full force of the horror and pain felt by France on the fateful Friday night on November 13, 2015 as best as I can from where I am currently and I, too, feel the deepest sympathy and sorrow for each and every single person whose life was either taken, damaged or permanently scarred by the attacks that occurred around Paris that night… but what I don’t accept, what I cannot fathom, is why, if a car bomb goes off in Pakistan, killing 12 people or a city is destroyed or claimed by extremists in Syria, no one sets temporary Facebook profile photos with the national flags of those countries or really and truly says that, as a world, we must show support for them.
Am I missing something here? Is one human’s life less valuable because of their current location or their promixity to Europe? Or their religion or race? Or should we only be concerned about First-World countries in the meanwhile?
Terrorists and militant groups don’t appear to discriminate against any of that – at least not anymore… They’d like to kill all and sundry who do not make up their ‘followers’ or who do not hold their same, so-called ideologies – and yes, I grant you, perhaps their hatred is greater for certain people who fight against them in countries where they otherwise have a vice-like grip or for nations like America, Britain or France, who seek to oppose or actively fight them through: strong words and actions, ground forces, police raids and world-wide manhunts and above all, air strikes…
Photo Credit: Google Images
Yet, despite all these facts, I personally don’t think they really care whether they kill a German retiree in Istanbul’s cultural and historical heart, Sultanahmet Square, so near to the world-famous and century-old Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, a concert-goer at the Bataclan, Paris, a school or university student in Pakistan or even a French-Canadian teacher and mother of two at a cafe in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou… they simply wish to annihilate and murder innocents.
It doesn’t matter if we are black or white, Muslim or Christian, an African or a European… we are all potential living, breathing targets, whether we go to school, work or the shopping mall.
So why then did it require an act of hate in the famous ‘City of Love’ for us to show we have a little heart left in us even now… that an attack on one country, on one city, is an attack on us all? Why do we forget about Nigeria or Turkey but we can light up our national monuments and world-famous tourist attractions, the pride and joy of our specific cities and countries, for France?
Photo Credit: Google Images
It doesn’t matter where the next terrorist attack or mass killing happens… whether it happens at an end-of-year staff party in the U.S. – or a university in north-west Pakistan as the case was today… It simply matters that there is an unacceptable loss of human life and it is tragic and we should mourn for the victims and vow to ensure that, though they may have died needlessly, mercilessly, inexplicably, they will not be forgotten, nor have they lived or died in vain. Not while we’re still here.
We who live on in this world must continue to fight… but we can’t do it alone. I think it’s taken a ridiculously and somewhat appallingly long time… but perhaps at last, as a world, we are beginning to see that it is not just about the Western World – it’s about the whole World and each and every single person who forms part of it.
We belong. We exist. We fight… Not as any set faith, any singlular race or gender or any one district, city, province/state/county, country or continent… but as a world. We’d do well to remember that in 2016… and maybe, just maybe, it isn’t yet too late for us to start.
Many thanks to http://france24.com, nytimes.com and www.theguardian.com for the additional information and quote used in the compilation of this post and to Google and Getty Images for the additional images pictured herein.
[Please note: All opinions and views expressed herein are entirely my own and do not reflect upon any person, institution or place other than and beyond myself. Thank you.]
Posted from WordPress for Android by T.A.Ryan