Dear World: Educate Yourself, Change, and Move On

Over the course of November 2015, we have witnessed many tragedies.  There’s no point in sugar coating it; the world has reached one of its all time lows, and it sucks.  We started off the month strong by remembering our veterans on Remembrance Day; as for the rest of the month, this is where things begin to take a horrific turn.

It all started in Beirut, Lebanon where a double suicide attack left 43 people dead and more than 200 wounded with ISIS claiming responsible.  Because (apparently) that wasn’t enough to satisfy ISIS, the next day, they attacked Paris in seven different locations that left 130 people dead and over 350 injured.  A week later, authorities in Brussels, Belgium put the capital under the highest-level threat alert,since they feared that there was going to be a serious and imminent attack.  Soon after, Mali (located in West Africa) suffered an attack carried out by an al Qaeda-affiliated group which resulted in the deaths of at least 21 people.  There are also the ongoing attacks done by terrorist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram who continuously commit acts of violence in many areas (with a prime focus in Middle Eastern countries, namely Syria and Iraq).  Furthermore, there are the multiple murders of black people in the United States that have been going on since (what feels like) before time even existed.  In addition to all of these assaults on humanity, there are the attacks that I am unaware of and I hate that I don’t know, and I apologize for that.

As one would expect, these tragedies have their repercussions.  First of all, one of the outcomes is the (even more) spread of Islamophobia.  Because ISIS is responsible for many of the attacks that occurred this month, a significant number of uneducated people feel the need to express their racist and oblivious views on social media. In case the million hundred times that I have said this was not enough, I will say it again: ISIS is a terrorist group.  By definition, terrorism is “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of local aims.”  Does it say anything about religion in there?  Nope.  This is because terrorism has no religion (shocker).  In fact, 92% of the people ISIS has killed ARE Muslims, and people still have the audacity (more like stupidity) to call Muslims terrorists?

Another result of these horrific acts is that we can truly see where the priorities of the media are.  Syria has been crippled by a civil war caused by many terrorist groups including ISIS since 2011 and over four million people have fled Syria as of now. Half of them are children.  (Just as a side note to the people blaming Syrian refugees for attacks in Paris; do you not realize that these are the people who they are running from?  Anyway.)  I understand that the Paris bombings were awful, but don’t you think it’s funny how ISIS does this every single day to the innocent people (mostly Muslims) in Syria and Iraq and the media only gives these events a second thought every ‘blue moon?’  What’s even more hilarious is that during the forty-eight hours following the Paris attacks, there have been 15 mosques attacked in France.  And by hilarious, I mean incredibly disgusting and an insult to humanity.

It certainly is difficult to believe that all of these events occurred over the course of the month.  It is also incredibly difficult to believe the number of “Pray for (insert said place)” hashtags that have been created as praying is not enough (although don’t stop; prayers are always helpful).  As the Dalai Lama said, “Humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it.  It is illogical.  God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.”  There are many things you could do, such as you could donate to a charity that helps Syrian refugees. We all know that they certainly need all of the help that they can get.  Or you could easily convince your neighbour why ISIS does not represent Islam.  It’s the simple acts that make a difference and actually change the world, as cheesy as that sounds.  Whatever you choose to do, that is what’s going to make the world move forward, so (no pressure) make it count.