From Lahore to Brussels to Baghdad: A Plan to Fight Back

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar

What is starting to hurt me almost more than the continuous terrorist attacks—which make it seem as though the whole world is on fire—is seeing how we are becoming numb to these attacks. When bombs went off at the Brussels airport and in the subway in March, it was the first time I heard a commentator say the equivalent of “Well, we expected that." People have come to view attacks in Baghdad as almost a daily event (maybe dropping back to weekly if the terrorists are on vacation). The reaction to the Easter Sunday bombing of a playground in Lahore, Pakistan, was similar. It seems to me that the media have a template that they use whenever they report a terrorist attack. They just change the name of the city and the date, and they think they are saying something new.

But between those who say these attacks have nothing to do with Islam (and who paint all those who have any criticism of the religion as motivated by racism or bigotry toward minorities) and those who say that we should ban all Muslims from coming in and put the ones who are already in the West under surveillance, there are a few signs of hope that there are actually some people capable of holding nuanced opinions. When such a one appears in the media, I share his/her interview hundreds of times on social media. It helps to keep alive the hope that one day we will be able to put these dark, sad days behind us.

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