As we try to recollect ourselves from both the emotional and physical devastations of this week’s terrorist incident in Manchester, once again, humanity is deranged in hot debates about the efficacy of such heinous acts. These appalling incidents divide us into two; the terrorist groups and their sympathizers who rejoice, and on the other side, the victims and those genuinely concerned are left aggrieved. Most painful is the fact that innocent people have to bear the blunt of the unexpected intrusion into their lives of which they never contributed a thing. When terrorists hit the soft spot, it indicates the expansion of the war base as it shifts from a direct to indirect battle.
According to my observation, terrorism knows no boundaries, race, ethnicity, religion or social class b’se when it strikes, there’s a probability that anyone can become a victim. So it is pretty wrong to assume that only a certain group is the overall target b’se a lot of terrorism incidents have taken place in almost every part of the globe. A few of them which I can recall include the 2010 Kampala bombings, the 2013 Westgate Mall attack, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and this week’s Manchester Arena attacks that claimed the lives of at least 22 people.
From my viewpoint, these sickening acts are carried out by young people – youths who are in their late teens and early twenties and that except the Boston Marathon bombing brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the majority of others had some sort of linkages to Islamic extremist groups like Al-Shabab, ISIS, and Al-Qaeda. Teenagers and youths are very easy targets for recruitment by terrorist groups b’se the current economic and social hardships render them vulnerable to indoctrination by terrorists. To tackle the primary security threats posed by terrorism, concerned authorities must identify the underlying reasons as to why young people have increasingly become soft targets for terrorist groups.
Could it be that governments don’t have effective plans for them? National authorities are well-known for getting their priorities wrong by emphasizing petty issues over meaningful ones. Sometimes politicians under the guise of governments create situations that render the whole system useless to youths such as the high unemployment rates, the high costs of living, and early school drop-outs. Such conditions serve as great opportunities for radical terrorists to recruit desperate youths with fake promises of lucrative lifestyles. Given the ongoing hardships, it’s very difficult for the majority of today’s youths to turn down such offers upon which they assume their lives to change in an instant.
We must also think beyond our own realms. Just because a certain society has been attacked doesn’t automatically shield yours from the repercussions of the incident. It doesn’t matter which race, ethnicity, religion or social class that has been affected, but what matters is that innocent blood has been spilled and that long-term effects will keep overwhelming us. Learning to have sympathy for others can help us come to terms with the calamitous effects of terrorism no matter how far we are from where it happens. If you have concern for mankind, you’ll be moved to shed a tear for all the despicable actions perpetrated by those with egoistic motives, offer your supplications, contribute something and support those affected to rise to their feet stronger and in a better shape.
We can also learn from many worse events that happened in the past where victimized societies that were on the brink of annihilation rebuilt their communities and they are decades later influencing the world in many positive regards. The 1994 Rwanda Genocide and the Holocaust are stark reminders of humanity’s dark history but these never stopped the afflicted societies to rebuild themselves harmoniously. At the moment, Rwanda is one of the fastest developing countries on the globe while the Jewish state of Israel boasts of many innovative technologies that have changed the world, not forgetting the thousands of successful Jewish entrepreneurs.
The famous American musician Michael Jackson through his song “Heal the World“, entreated humanity that “there are people dying” and implored us that “if you care enough for the living”, then you should “make the world a better place for you and for me”. His message was that the destruction of the globe through environmental pollution, racism, corruption, terrorism, selfishness, and hatred has made the world truly sick – and impaired on its knees to the point that a timely and serious healing is badly needed. Observe your environment and thoughtfully notice what’s happening. Doesn’t all the negativity make you sick?
An English singer John Lennon in his song “Imagine“ depicted the kind of world he coveted for. By the time he was assassinated, he surely had witnessed enough badness in the world surrounding him that inspired this touching song. One of the lines goes “Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion, too, Imagine all the people living life in peace”. Isn’t this the kind of world you too would yearn to live in? He went on; “Imagine no possessions. I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger. A brotherhood of man, Imagine all the people. Sharing all the world”. Forty-six years since John released this song, nothing has improved and his imagination of a trouble-free world is something that is assuredly yet to happen.
No one’s safe in this insane world where national governments fail in their duty to keep us secure from the dreadful claws of hatred but this should be an eye-opener for every responsible soul to take action and do whatever is right and necessary to end the ridiculous loss of lives. There’s no need for retaliation to bay for bloodshed but we need to act in deterrence by avoiding association with selfish extremists who have hidden evil agendas and are seeking to take advantage of our dire situations to bring us and our loved ones down.
There has never been a critical time than now to stand up for the right thing as humans. We are more united and timely informed more than ever before to share vital information on suspicious-looking people and their pursuits. The advanced technology facilitates us to reconsider our public movements and also receive timely precautions from security agencies who warn us of any imminent dangers. Let’s make good use of all the resources available at our disposal to embrace humanity and be our brother’s keepers by pursuing whatever is good for building one another up – the critically needed actions that can help us to achieve the kind of world that John Lennon imagined. This is not out of reach for us if we commit ourselves to end all forms of human suffering and pursue the path of goodness.