islamophobia, Uncategorized

multiple tragedies, differing reactions

Not long ago, a military coup killed 294 people, both civilians and military personnel, leaving the people of Turkey devastated by this catastrophic mess that some sources claim to have been staged, with accusations pointing to the government. Although this claim has not been verified, it is unlikely that we will receive any proper clarification as all attention has been diverted to and directed towards Fethullah Gülen, a former imam. The cleric is currently living in exile in America and has unwillingly become the other contender in the infamous blame-game that was quick to follow the declaration that the coup had indeed failed.

Just a day before the coup, another tragedy struck the world, this time in France. Mind you, in the last year and a half, France has been subjected to multiple terror attacks that the jihadists of Daesh(ISIS) have proudly proclaimed to be their achievements. The motives for the attacks are believed to stem from inherently strong anti-west sentiments that have transpired possibly since the start of the war on Iraq. However, the man behind the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France was not found to have been a radical nor were there evident signs of his desire to be a jihadi. Yet, Daesh were quick to claim that the attack was indeed part of their mass terror creating operation. Whether or not the attacker had intended to pledge his allegiance to the Islamic state remains as a mystery for now but in the meantime, allow the media and Daesh to legitimize the claims.

The two attacks that occurred almost concurrently, seemed to have been processed by the masses differently, as any piece of news should be. The underlying question however is why do people seem to show more prominent signs of emotions such as anger, sadness or empathy for attacks that occur in countries like Belgium, France and even the U.S., than for countries like Syria, Yemen, Libya, Egypt and Turkey. The latter mentioned group of countries have something in common; they are confined by their faith where the region is home to the majority of the Islam-practicing Muslim population of the world. Many writers have rightfully brought the egregious injustice in the form of Selective Grief to our attention, urging readers to question if their reactions are driven by a larger intrinsic bias. We are at a stage where the prominence of the terror attacks, that claims to have its roots in Islam, have led to the subconscious association of Muslims with terror and evil, possibly restricting feelings of empathy for Muslim victims. However, it does not take a fool to realise that the actions of a few is not an accurate representation of the billion other non-violent, peace seeking practicers of Islam. The challenge therefore lies in disassociating Muslims with the act of terror, but it must be done. The horror known as Daesh has to be tamed, and it requires for us to put up a united front to oppose their divisive attempts. Scores of innocent civilians whose only fault was probably to demand for peace, are being killed at the hands of Daesh and their own governments, they deserve our empathy as much as our neighbours in the west do.


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