Sunday, 15 November 2015


Feeling the world as deeply as I do, I am devastated about the carnage those disaffected, misguided and violent men who make up ISIS have wreaked upon us all in recent days. The murder and havoc in Baghdad, Beirut and Paris in particular. I've been active on social media this morning and wish to share my thoughts wider than my circle of friends, and their friends. So here I am, sharing some of my beliefs, thoughts and refections.

Reflections about peace, tolerance, harmony, good people overcoming those who would do damage. Forgiveness and a view of people as people, individuals with families who love each other, parents who want the very best for their children. No matter their culture, race, religion, no matter where they live in our world. The extinction of 'other'.

'Other', the 'them' and 'us' mentality, feeds the people who are ISIS. The more we are 'we' and learn about and celebrate our similarities and differences, the greater chance we have of defeating violence and terrorism. Tolerance will take away the recruits. Tolerance and an understanding of each other should mean that young men are not so able to be disaffected because they are understood and honoured for who they are. Not just young Muslim men, young men everywhere.

I think of the many peaceful people in the world as 'us'. The people who conduct mass shootings in the USA in the name of Christianity; people who kill in the name of Islam; those who supply the arms that enable both to happen, governments who profit from war. They are 'them'. I wonder if people forget in these times that the peaceful 'us' is very much the majority.

I read somewhere that there are around 31,000 people fighting as ISIS. Given there are over 1.6 billion Muslims in our world, it would be a stretch to say these people represent the majority. Indeed, how could 0.0019% of the world's total Muslim population represent all Muslims? Certainly not the lovely, peaceful families I know personally. Families with aspirations for their children that are far removed from losing them in this devastatingly violent way.

Then there seems to be the belief that Muslims are required to apologise for the havoc this minority cause, the belief that all Muslims are responsible, even those who are fleeing to escape the indiscriminate violence in their own countries. Leaving all they know, their homes and economic bases to find peace with their children. Where are the apologies from other world religions when a non-Muslim kills in the name of their religion, the apologies from governments who make war on civilians and the arms dealers who profit from all of this?

What if all the arms in the world were destroyed or there was no profit in war? Wouldn't that be a world we could all enjoy.

The media play a role in perpetuating the drama and hate, especially these days with such instant coverage and the sensationalising that happens. The media being controlled as they are to show part of a story. To feed the cult of the other. There has been terrorism from a variety of causes, including religions, internationally and within nations, for generations. The crusades were religious terrorism, the persecution of Jewish people, the PKK, the Basque unrest. Too many to mention here.

I do hope those wanting their homelands free of oppression, being able to rule themselves and live in peace, may have their causes are highlighted when they fight against ISIS. I do worry that other news is being pushed from the public's consciousness, such as the atrocities and terrorism perpetrated by Israel on the Palestinians. What a world we live in, when will it settle?

This evening I feel sad, watching the stories on the news, only from Paris. Lest we forget Baghdad and Beirut where families are also suffering. Families who want just what families want all over the world, a better life for their children. Lets work on that. All of 'we'.

Somewhere over the rainbow.....

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