Monday, November 16, 2015

World, My Heart Is Heavy

World, my heart hurts for you.

I'm sure by now, everyone knows about the terror attacks in Paris.  Most also know about the attacks in Beirut.  We are all hurting and saddened, with no clear picture of how we can change this mess.  May I first suggest that we stop the infighting?  It seems like every time I go on Facebook, I see posts along the lines of, "Sure, you care about France, but what about Beirut?"  As if we can't care about both at the same time.

I looked up the Wikipedia list of terror attacks this year.  There were far too many for me to post here, so I'll just stick with the November ones:

  • November 1:  Palestinian rammed his vehicle into Israeli soldiers in the West Bank
  • November 1:  Car bomb was detonated on a hotel in Somalia, opening it up; perpetrators then starting shooting and throwing grenades; Al-Shabaab
  • November 3:  Palestinian stabbed 3 people in Israel, including an 80-year-old woman
  • November 3:  Palestinian stabbed a 71-year-old man in Israel
  • November 4:  Sulemain Shaheen rammed an Israeli border patrol officer in the West Bank
  • November 4:  Suicide car bomb near the Police Officers Club in Egypt; Wilayah Sayna, affiliated with ISIL
  • November 5:  Suicide bomber attacked Qalamoun Clerics Association in Lebanon
  • November 6:  Unknown sniper shot two Israelis near Cave of the Patriarchs
  • November 6:  Baraa Issa stabbed an Israeli in the West Bank; member of Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
  • November 6:  Palestinian shot IDF soldier in the West Bank
  • November 7:  Multiple bombs set off across Baghdad, Iraq; ISIS suspected
  • November 9:  Sulemain Shaheen rammed his vehicle into a hitchhiker station in the West Bank
  • November 9:  Palestinian woman stabbed Israeli guard in the West Bank
  • November 9:  Two Palestinians stabbed Israeli in a shop in the West Bank
  • November 9:  Two suicide bombers detonated in a village in Chad; Boko Haram suspected
  • November 9:  14-year-old suicide bomber detonated at a mosque in Cameroon; Boko Haram suspected
  • November 12:  Suicide bomber detonated in Lebanon; when crowds gathered, a second detonated; ISIL
  • November 13:  Gunmen ambushed & shot a family car with 7 passengers in the West Bank
  • November 13:  Attacks targeting Shiites in Baghdad, Iraq, including suicide bombing; ISIS
  • November 13:  Series of attacks in Paris, France; ISIS
This is the official list from Wikipedia.  I searched each terror attack in an attempt to verify these incidents.  Some look like the dates are wrong.  I've linked the articles I could find.

Some of these might not seem like much.  A shooting here; a stabbing there.  What's important to remember about all of these is:  The attackers had no personal issue with the individuals they attacked.  All the victims were merely members of a hated group.  Shiites.  Israelis.  Police.

Hate is in the world, and it's real.  Fighting amongst ourselves about which terror incident is worse, or who cares more about the tragedies, or whether or not we should do a French flag overlay on our profile pictures, does nothing but cause division.  It separates us instead of uniting us.

Mourn for the Paris victims.  Mourn for those in Lebanon; for the Shiites in Baghdad; for the family attacked in their car; for those in Cameroon; for the villagers in Chad; for all those caught in conflict in the West Bank; for the police in Egypt; for the Israelis; for those in Somalia.  When their stories are told, don't trivialize them by saying, "Yeah, but do you care what happened to this other group?"  All these attacks are important.  All are tragic.  They should not have happened.  It is not wrong to mourn one group at a time.

Let's stand united on this.  Terror is real, and arguing will only further its cause.