127. 127 lives that can never be reclaimed. 127 people gone forever, who had done nothing wrong, nothing other than be in the wrong place at the wrong time. 127 and counting. But this post isn’t about the 127, it’s about the hundreds of thousands that have been affected, it’s about the parents, children, friends, and co-workers. It’s about the rest of the world and how we choose to react.
Videos and blog posts are circling social media as if it is the latest trend to hold some serious stance on the current situation, and whilst I’m glad that I’m seeing social solidarity in action, I’m also worried. It seems to me that a lot of people are forming opinions based on fear and fear alone, I’m not going to lie – this is my blog so there’s no point in doing that – I’m bloody terrified. I don’t want to die, I don’t want to be bombed, I don’t want my friends or family to get hurt, but I can’t ask my country to act in the interest of only my safety.
It is unfair to shut the borders, it is not okay to ‘ban the burka’ and you cannot generalise all muslims as terrorists.
Photos such as this:being shared around the cybersphere have not only helped me lower my Facebook friend count, but have also led to a few interesting conversations, and I don’t think these conversations should end. I think it’s important that we remind ourselves of what is important to us as a community.
I would like to think that if I was running from terrorists that were burning my country to the ground, another country would let me in and understand that I couldn’t just go back to where I’m from. The majority of immigrants that are currently trying to get into our country aren’t illegal, they aren’t going to steal our jobs, and it is incredibly incredibly unlikely that they are going to be terrorists. They are asylum seekers, they are literally individuals who are being physically forced to run from the people we are scared of. The only difference between us and them is that we can protect ourselves, they cannot. Hardly anyone trying to enter our country is going to be a terrorist, so don’t treat them as if they are going to be, and certainly don’t punish them as if they are without giving them any form of chance.
As of right now (23:29 19/11/2015) not all of the Paris attackers have been identified, and so we have no reason to believe that all of the terrorists involved are from outside of France. If we look at the 7/7 London bombings we can see that people are willing to bomb their own country. Shutting the borders will not prevent England from being under terrorist threat, if ISIS or any other such group want an attack to happen, they will find the people needed to do it, they have enough power to do that. It’s a horrible truth, but it is just that, the truth.
One argument I saw against allowing more people into England was that there isn’t enough space and we are ‘overcrowded as it is’. Whilst it may feel this way, England has plenty of room. Don’t get me wrong I love having fields and countryside and I don’t want to lose those beautiful scenic areas of our country but… there is no need to worry at all. England doesn’t even make it into the top 50 most densely populated countries in the world, we have plenty of room for plenty of people who need homes.
The way we respond to this sort of event makes us who we are. In this situation we can bomb them back killing more and more innocent people, we can broadcast hate towards them and show them that they have succeeded. Or we can pay our respect to those who have been unjustly taken, and then move forward with our lives as a stronger world. We can use this to our advantage, work closer together to make ourselves better and prove that we are better than this. It’s like when you’re 7 and being bullied on the playground, teachers always said: “don’t give them the reaction” and this situation isn’t so different. Honour those who are lost and make their lives count, teach children about forgiveness and teach yourself about moving on. This isn’t the first awful thing to happen, and it’s unlikely to be the last.
“We must all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy”