When I woke up to the news of the terror attacks in Paris yesterday, I was devastated. My heart ached for the victims and I prayed for the city along with the rest of the world, showing my support through Facebook posts and tweets. When I woke up today to several posts talking about the atrocities happening around the world, I realised how wrong I was. It is not just Paris that we need to pray for, it is the entire world, it is humanity.
The deaths of the victims in France are a tragedy. I believe that with every part of myself. I believe every death brought about by violence is a tragedy, no matter what.
Yes, the world is hurting; we have lost so many lives in the span of 24 hours. There has been an earthquake in Japan, a suicide bombing in Baghdad, deadly blasts in Beirut (Lebanon), and perhaps many, many more lost lives elsewhere due to disasters (natural or man-made) that I may not even be aware of at this time.
What is more, I cannot even imagine what the people in these places, be it Beirut or Paris or elsewhere, are experiencing right now. Nothing I do or say can even begin to solve this crisis, but I’ve felt restless and unsteady ever since I heard the news. As one of my friends put it, “So much has been lost, and for what?”
In times such as these, is it right to mourn for one and not for another? Do these places, these people, deserve this? Were they not all innocent lives lost? Does the larger impact of one outweigh the smaller impact of another? Is the value of one lost heartbeat lesser than that of ten? In the end, does it matter who is suffering where on what scale, if they’re suffering at all? Is it justified to pray for one and not for another?
(while it is oh so beautiful to see the world come together like this, it is so very sad that it takes a tragedy like this to make it happen)
Since an (unverified?) news surfaced that the ISIS is behind the attack(s), I have seen anti-Islam sentiments spread like wildfire across the Internet, and even in people around me, and that makes my heart ache. I have numerous Muslim friends, I live in a place where many of my neighbours are Muslims, and they are all such good people. The idea that they, along with others like them from around world, are being subjected to hate for something senseless and cruel committed by one terrorist group is sickening.
When the world is hurting so much, would it really help anyone to point fingers? Would violence rectify violence? Would hate cancel out hate? These are questions I ask myself as I see blame everywhere, when all I (and hopefully many others) want to see is love and support.
Really, the violence and inhumanity around us frightens me. I am a pacifist at heart. I do not understand violence. It is Paris today, was Gaza yesterday, and could be Delhi tomorrow. There is always some form of suffering somewhere in the world; those of us who are not able to do much, can at least refrain from pointing fingers and causing blame, and instead stand united and stand strong to support humanity.
In the end, all I’d like to say is, I refuse to just pray for Paris, because I pray for the world in which countless cities, places, and people burn in suffering and pain. Because it is my world, my home, and my people, regardless of race or religion.
(and I hope one day we all stop hurting)