Today, I awoke to some terrible news like many, once again. I don’t think there has been a day that has gone by without going onto Facebook, and reading recently published posts, updates, or articles, about people who were going about their normal daily lives having been killed in terrorist attacks. The latest news just comes from the UK, where people had been mowed down on the popular London Bridge, followed by stabbings aross multiple locations such as at the Borough Market, and a bustling pub/restaurant.
Here I am sitting down in front of my screen, lost, upset, and scared. Even though I’m not from/in the UK, I have family and friends who live there, and the heightened fear that has just come from the most recent London attacks has made me scared and fearful for my loved ones more than ever. Thankfully, they have marked themselves safe not too long ago after awakening to the terrible news of blood-shed, and fear, that is spreading on their country’s attractions, streets, roads, and whatever place they may have visited in the past, or were even possibly thinking of visiting today, or in the future.
But focusing on the atrocity that has just occured, I cannot even begin to fathom the continued chain of events from one attack to another, and how this could have been anyone going out on a weekend with family or friends. One minute you’re smiling and sipping on cocktails, and then the next thing that happens is something no one ever wishes for, or prays to happen to them. Innocent lives were lost for no reason, and you just don’t think that what occured two weeks prior from similar instances would ever happen to you, but when it does, all hope is gone.
I just feel incredibly shattered, and there are no words to explain the feeling inside me. There is a hole in my heart, tears in my eyes, and disbelief of what has occured.
Before I’m targeted for “you can’t just speak for one situation”, and “why are you only talking about this and not all the other terrorism related crimes happening across the world?”, I just want to make it clear to you that I have been mindful of every event that has happened, but have held myself back from talking about it. Reason being is because people already hear too many of these upsetting updates and stories, and it’s not my wish to add more fuel to the fire. Like many others, I already feel helpless as is because what can we, as ordinary citizens (who still have the chance at life) do? We can only hope that chaos doesn’t strike as we go about our daily lives, and we can only wish to live for many years to come.
Also, my heart already sank to its lowest when I heard about the Bourke Street Mall/NYC tragedy, the detonated bomb killing parents and children at Ariana Grande’s concert, and all the similar incidents involving mass deaths such as at the 2016 Nice Attack (Bastille Day celebrations), November 2015 Paris Attacks, and the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. There are of course many more, but the hate crime and acts committed are all too much for me to even begin talking about.
I speak of these events where multiple, or mass deaths have occured, because these were deadly attacks where people lost their lives in the ordinary course of events (lunch, dinner, work, outings, parties, festivals, concerts, shopping, walking from place A to B, etc). Another thing is, these were attacks committed in the West, places of which “living” was rated or considered to be one of the safest in the past. I suppose (and I’m not differentiating to incite discrimination, or hatred against Muslims, and people from Middle Eastern descent/heritage), that the reason why people don’t focus on the lives sadly lost from similar attacks in Syria, or the Middle East in general, is because we haven’t been phased by it too much. I use the term “phased”, because the terrorist attacks happening in Middle Eastern countries had somewhat always been considered part of everyday life, or to happen frequently and unnoticed. Even still, people turn a blind eye on the innocent lives taken hostage in the countries whose terrorists thrive on war. But when the Western countries were suddenly hit by the same deadly epidemic, it began to get greater world-wide coverage since it was never considered to be something to ever occur, especially as our State structures as a whole has always been a stable one.
Nevertheless, I too, am saddened that we have this double standard where regardless of what country, ALL innocent lives were killed, yet people are devoting more of their love and care into remembering those lost in Western countries. I have many Muslim friends who are one of the kindest, and most thoughtful people you’ll ever meet, and they too condemn these hatred acts of terrorism.
No one ever wants to be a victim of these hate crimes and deadly attacks, but there is not one day that goes by in our society when the fear and security heightens, leaving us with no option but to stay indoors to ensure our own safety. Popular tourist attractions, airports, shopping malls, workplaces, are just a few places to name where security and safety is compromised. I can’t even cross the road when the pedestrian light is green without ensuring that all the cars have safely stopped, or the thought that someone could possibly storm onto my university’s campus at any moment with bombs, knives, or guns, to end the lives of my fellow peers who just want an education. I am not able to proceed with life on a daily basis when all I think about is how I should stay safe from chaos if it were to happen, not to mention that I feel sick when flying because the tension and anxiety of a possible risk occurring is too much for me. Student exchange trips isn’t even an option, nor is travelling, or a future honeymoon in Europe itself.
No one deserved this, and neither did the victims who were targeted. We didn’t make the call to incite conflict or war, and most of all, we didn’t choose hate, we chose love. My heart goes out to all the family and friends who lost their loved ones, and are grieving during this tough time.
In a time of sadness and darkness, we must all stand strong, and remember every innocent life lost to these uncalled for terrorist attacks.
[Photo credit: Thomas Kelley]