Friday night my phone was on charge upstairs. When I came up around an hour after the attacks had begun I couldn't sleep. Harps and I stayed up until after midnight, tracking the terror as it unfolded, finally sleeping just after the death toll had been confirmed at over 80. Saturday morning when I woke it had risen to over 120. Yesterday morning I searched the news for updates and a sinking feeling etched through me as I clicked onto Facebook. I knew what was coming. Understandable fear and prayers flooded my newsfeed- solidarity the main theme. Scattered amongst these though were comments of hatred. "Close the borders. We don't know what we're doing letting refugees into Europe. We don't know who they are or what they want." Was one to name a few. As you can imagine, more racist, derogatory, religion-bating posts, likes and shares were also there. From people I deem as friends. It scared me.
I feel quite passionate about sharing my views this morning. They may not be quite the same as yours and thats ok. I really do understand the fear that our world feels. Facebook prompts the world to show solidarity with Paris by changing our profile photo to the tricolore, of course I did this to show my support. But Facebook didn't offer to change the settings for the bombing in Beirut which killed 41 just a few days ago. Or how about the four in Thailand in the same few days? I feel that the western media is something that pokes at our deepest fears when it suits them; disguising the scale of the actual problem when it isn't at our doorstep. In my opinion, by doing so it spreads the fear only when it's applicable to us and isn't it time that we looked at humanity as a whole?
Unable to sleep again on Saturday night, I lay and thought about my future. A future for Harps and I includes the plans for starting a family. But what kind of world will we be bringing a child into? I spent a few hours debating with someone that I'd consider a family member who was of the opinion that 'All religion should be made illegal.' What a sad view that belief should be policed, erased and destroyed. Isn't belief something that makes humanity so unique, that makes life and freedom so special? How can we carry on in a world where people now suggest that all refugees are a danger to our homes? When these people have witnessed their own homes, villages and families be destroyed by the very same people; not in the name of any kind of religion but in the name of hate. How can we continue to wake up only when it suits us?
I fear we're on the brink of a whole new world war. I'm almost typing that as a whisper. How much longer can the dictatorship in North Korea continue before the world makes a stand? How much longer can Russia hide their brutal political system, evident of homophobia, missiles and corruption before the world takes a stand? How much longer can Australia hide their horrific prisoner systems before the world takes a stand? How much longer can America hide their mass surveillance, corrupt powers (and lets face it the list goes on) before the world takes a stand? How much longer will the UK do almost all of the above before the world takes a stand? And finally, how much longer will we keep fearing the good before we start fighting the bad?
I don't believe that the people who's comments angered me yesterday or racist or horrific people in any way (I don't associate myself with those I would consider are or course). But fear and anger spreads and the 1.8 billion muslims in this world are NOT the less than 2% of people who commit these acts. Nor are the over 6.5 million refugees fleeing exactly the same hatred that we fear coming to our shores. Pray for Paris please, but at the same time pray for Beirut, Thailand, Baghdad and the rest of the world.
Love Sophie. Xx