A tragedy rocked the world this week when several attacks were made in Paris, with over 120 deaths and over 300 injured it’s a time for mourning. Yet this wasn’t the over all reaction that spread across my Facebook page. There was a lot of anger.
The first thing that surprised me was the anger towards the hashtag Pray For Paris. I saw posts saying “Why would you pray to a God who did nothing to prevent the attacks” and “praying won’t solve anything, why don’t you all do something useful instead.”
I understand that religion isn’t something that everybody believes in, but who are you to say that the coping mechanisms for other people are wrong? How do we know that there aren’t families who have been effected by these attacks who want people praying for them?
You shouldn’t be putting people down for doing what they believe is the right thing, yes by all means encourage people to help in other ways. But nothing gives you the right to belittle another persons belief.
The second thing I noticed were people getting mad that people were upset about the attacks on Paris. I know this seems beyond foolish, but it is happening. People are saying that we shouldn’t care about Paris because of attacks that had happened earlier in the week in Lebanon. They claimed that the media was brainwashing us by not reporting on these attacks. This got me a little upset firstly, do not negate the pain people are feeling about Paris because of another tragedy, the reason that this particular attack would be in your news feed and not the Lebanon attack is that it is more likely for your loved ones to have loved ones in Paris at the time rather than in Lebanon. This doesn’t mean one was a greater tragedy than the other, it just means you have a predominately Western newsfeed. The other point about the media is wrong as well. A quick google search showed that every reputable news site had reported on the Lebanon attacks, from local community news such as 4zzz, through to National news with ABC and international news with the BBC. I don’t believe shows such as A Current Affair and Today Tonight would have reported on it because it was fear mongering enough for them. So don’t blame the media if you aren’t getting information, you need to expand the places you get your information from and decide for yourself which news sites and shows are the best.
And thirdly, and this is what terrifies me the most, is the threatening backlash on the Muslim community. Thankfully no one on my personal news feed has been blaming the Muslim community for the attacks in paris, but I have seen that channel 7 has once again given well known racist bigot Pauline Hanson a platform to inject fear into the hearts of Australia. She tried to blame the refugees who are fleeing this very conflict for being the ones behind the attack. I personally believe we need to stop giving her any more attention.
Martin Luther King Jnr once said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
This should not be a time to let hatred sit in our hearts for anyone. I know that in a situation like this, it’s hard not to let the fear turn into hatred. As Yoda once said “Fears leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” So let’s not allow this fear to turn into anger or hate, instead cast your love out into the world, acknowledge those who are trying to do the same, and only then will we see real change.
My prayers go out to anyone who is in need of them, along with my love and support for anyone who needs it in this time.