I am in the midst of a last minute move to make way for tenants we did not expect but the completion of a transition that began six months ago. Packing and moving a household with eight days notice is even less fun than most moves, but the best thing I can think to do on day four is to write about what is happening in the world and not my pitifully small issues.
In the New York Times on July 5, 2016 Anne Barnard wrote a powerful piece about the impact of the West’s silence in the face of horrendous terrorist slaughters in the Muslim world:
“In recent days, jihadists killed 41 people at Istanbul’s bustling, shiny airport; 22 at a cafe in Bangladesh; and at least 250 celebrating the final days of Ramadan in Baghdad. Then the Islamic State attacked, again, with bombings in three cities in Saudi Arabia.
By Tuesday, Michel Kilo, a Syrian dissident, was leaning wearily over his coffee at a Left Bank cafe, wondering: Where was the global outrage? Where was the outpouring that came after the same terrorist groups unleashed horror in Brussels and here in Paris? In a supposedly globalized world, do nonwhites, non-Christians and non-Westerners count as fully human?
“All this crazy violence has a goal,” Mr. Kilo, who is Christian, said: to create a backlash against Muslims, divide societies and “make Sunnis feel that no matter what happens, they don’t have any other option.”
Then, heart-breakingly, several instances of ordinary people wondering out loud on the Internet, where the outrage and horror went:
“Why isn’t #PrayForIraq trending?” Razan Hasan of Baghdad posted on Twitter. “Oh yeah no one cares about us…‘More deaths in Iraq in the last week than Paris and Orlando combined but nobody is changing their profile pics, building colours, etc.,’ Kareem Rahaman wrote on Twitter.”
Whether we are American, French, Belgian, school children, African-American, GLBTQ, or the next people victimized by terror, we need to be all-in with our support of everyone who suffers violence at the hands of others.
The world itself needs to stand up and say that terror does not and will not work to create the kind of change terrorists seek. It is the same basic reality whether in a schoolyard, neighborhood, or village harassed and terrorized by bullies, corrupts law enforcement officers and judges, or state officials. Everyone must stand up and lock arms and show solidarity and compassion toward anyone and everyone that has been threatened or hurt.
The only way we succeed in global nonviolent resistance to terrorism is when we see our own destiny as mutually dependent upon the destiny of other people; even far away people. Even if we are entrenched in our own identity group and have little interest in venturing outside it – White, Latino, African American, GLBTQ, Republican, Libertarian, European, African, Asian; and even if we hold discernable prejudices and bigotry toward one or more of those ‘other’ identity groups; we can still lock arms in solidary and compassion, and we must if we are to overcome terrorism on the scale it has now reached.
It is no longer enough to shout, “Boston Strong,” or wear an armband for Sandyhook, or wave the rainbow flag for Orlando. All in, everywhere, for all people, whether we like them or love them or not. We are the world.