The last few days have brought shock and sorrow to people all over the world. From Beirut to Paris to Baghdad, the wound is the same. These horrendous acts are not only attacks on these respective cities, but on humankind as a whole.
As I am writing these words, my heart aches. My heart aches for the victims and their families. My heart also aches for the sense of humanity that has been lost by some. The way certain communities are choosing to deal with the issue at stake by pointing fingers at the most vulnerable, at people who do not relate in any way to these barbaric terrorist acts and condemn them strongly, is not the solution nor will it bring our beloved ones back.
During this critical time, when they are using the strategy of “divide and conquer” we must not let them fragment our sense of brotherhood and common humanity. While some are busy blaming a religion and its 1.6 billion adherents, or even the citizens of Middle Eastern countries, we should not substitute our values of tolerance and compassion with the ones of hatred and prejudice.
The world is mourning, but we should not mourn selectively; the loss of life in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Kenya should outrage us the same way the one in Paris did. We need to avoid hierarchizing lives over others, and be aware of the dangerous implications it could have. Victims of these heinous attacks, wherever they are from, had families that waited for the day they would open the door and come back, aspirations and dreams that never saw the light.
Seeing how universities in France mourn the victims with a collective minute of silence confirms one thing: we are expecting others to mourn Beirut while we didn't even make the effort of remembering our victims with a simple collective stance in universities. Keep nagging on social media about how the attacks in Beirut went unnoticed, but you know what? Our spoiled youth are to blame for this, their double standards are to blame. We always choose to point fingers at the international community and victimize ourselves on purpose. Get rid of your inferiority complex: when you start respecting the victims and remembering them, then you can ask others to do so, not the other way around.
Today, let us not be Lebanese, French or Iraqis, let us be human. Let us pray for the people who have lost their lives, but act as well. Act in the name of humanity, act in the name of justice, act to prevent these terrorists from striking again.
Let us rise above the culture of intolerance and discrimination. Let us acknowledge that these acts are not representative of the religion of Islam, this religion of peace and love of the other. “United we stand, divided we fall” is the only sentence that accurately describes the stance we should adopt. Together, we can and we will stop them.