…I can’t stop thinking, in fact I’m sure there’s so many of us who’ve got images of this week burned into the back of our eyelids.
Kids. They targeted kids. And yes, I’m aware it’s not the first time, and no, I’m not naive enough to pretend it isn’t happening all over the world in a lot of other countries: being upset about what happened in Manchester doesn’t take anything away from the constant sorrow I think we all feel for children being hurt in the name of war, terrorism, proving a point, and whatever other justification these bastards give.
Kids. They weren’t even all kids. There were families, friends, people out for what’s supposed to be fun. Concerts are usually these inclusive little bubbles where for a few hours you meet people with the same interests and get to share their lives, side by side, singing along, before parting again. It’s supposed to be fun, happy, and it goes without saying it isn’t supposed to end in bloodshed.
To the familes and friends of anyone caught up in this, I hope you feel our collective outpouring of love, because you’re in our thoughts, and have been all week.
We’ve also had the attacks that led to Martial Law being imposed in Mindanao, Philippines. We’ve had the hospital bombing in Bangkok, we’ve had countless other things happen that haven’t appeared in my Twitter feed and I’ve only learned about in passing. This week, so much blood has been spilled, and it feels like there’s just not enough love to give back.
But we have to, more than ever now, we have to give love back. Every time one of these things happens we have an outpouring of outrage, calls for retaliatory strikes that historically have proved to be little more than a cheap bandage over a still-bleeding wound. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t; how long does it take to stop a war? How much violence, how many deaths must happen before people actually talk about ways to stop it? How can we not learn that counter-attacks don’t work, ever, can’t hold, can’t work, can’t fix the mess that is us?
You can practically feel the Islamaphobia rising, just by scrolling through social media, and watching the news. We can’t… we can’t let these terrorists win like that; they are trying to divide us, making this an us and them situation and it isn’t, it really isn’t. It’s just feeding the flames, and they’re winning if we believe even for a second that any faith is responsible for such barbarity, because it isn’t.
Every time someone claims to have carried out a terrorist attack in the name of Islam – or more accurately ISIS – people start pointing fingers. All Muslims are like this, they all want us dead, on and on, and much worse things are said. But think about this. Every time we who aren’t Muslim do that finger pointing, blaming, and again, much, much worse, these terrorist organisations that are butchering that faith… they win. Because the more we show that fear and hatred by blanket statements of all Muslims are like this, well. Aren’t we adding fuel to the flame? People who are Muslim must be so tired of the rest of us constantly blaming them for things beyond their control, or saying stupid stuff like… why can’t you do something about it? Tell me, how can the average person go up against a terrorist organisation alone – how can these terrorists not point to Muslims and say see? Other faiths hate us, this is why we’re ‘fighting back’? If we choose Islamaphobia, we’re helping with that constant hatred.
Faith is not about terror. Those that choose to carry out terrorism in the name of a faith are, frankly, cowards. How dare you hide behind a religion to justify your hatred, and in doing so endangering not only the people you are trying to kill, but also those you claim to share a faith with by alienating them like this?
I’m saying nothing new here. I’m suffering, as I’m sure so many are suffering, with I guess a form of weltschmerz. There is too much pain and anger in the world, and this week has taken away any kind of eloquence of words that would get my point across better – this has been written three times over now, and still doesn’t feel right.
I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to feel. But we’ve got to… we’ve got to do something, haven’t we?
Love, love, and love. It’s all I can think right now.