Finding our humanity in the face of terror

The emotion one cannot help but feel is pain with every terrorist bomb that explodes, but I have to say the overall state of my mind is confusion on how we deal with the mass migration of people to Europe from Syria. The humanity in me says of course: the suffering these people are enduring is beyond compare. Care for them both emotionally and physically before their lives are taken either by the violent arm of Islamism, in its name or by the ironic bombs that will rain down on them in retaliation (or provocation, depending on where your confused mind sits).

But, it is evident that in opening up our hearts and homes to refugees, there is a clear and present danger that infecting their hapless throngs is a group of cancerous, verminous vultures preying on the very essence of our humanity. A cancer eating away at our emotions shifting us away from all that is right, all that is good and all that offers our generation the opportunity to prove that we are truly are the first generation citizens of the world and in to the clutches of self-preservation, isolationism, border entrenchment and right wing extremism of our own that echo the state of the world 80-100 years ago.

That is not a world I would like us to be again.

The terrorists are out to destroy the world we’re in by imposing so-called Islamic State’s hardcore interpretation of Sharia law. Their view is that there will come a Judgement Day. It is certainly too far fetched to envisage Western ideals and all other forms of religion ever being in the appalling position where this would become reality, but I will say this. The day of judgement is nigh. It will not be a pitched battle somewhere in the Syrian desert, but in the hearts and minds of each and every one of us. Do we continue in the pursuit of making the world a better place or do we shy away from it to supposedly protect ourselves?

It’s easy to look to the politicians we elect (or don’t in the case of the EU) to take care of this dilemma. However, they as human beings are posed with the same complex battle of emotion and the tried and trusted pillars of our democracies and constitutions are designed around rational thought, not emotions – and this is allowing for the rise of the Trumps, the Le Pens and the Petrys in countries where the learnings of the lessons of the past really should be entrenched in the conscience of citizens. The rise of the ‘us and them’ bandwagon is a victory for ISIS. It validates their atrocities and will only serve to create more. I already find myself wondering why I emotionally care more about a bomb that goes off in Brussels or Paris than I do about one that goes off in Turkey. I despise this feeling and it is a feeling that islamic extremism has placed there and I want it gone.

There may be no negotiation we, or they, are prepared to entertain – and it may be in this case that the only solution is an escalation of hostilities on the ground to push ISIS’ momentum back to where it was in the last century. However, we should be doing that in the name of the world, not nations. We should be doing it in the knowledge that in doing so, we will only foster that hatred of the West and all it stands for among Islamic extremists, whether they are above or below the ground for the foreseeable future. But let’s make it ‘The World’ rather that the West and let the world stand for good.

So, the answer is this. Embrace the refugees in their millions. Facilitating this will not be easy or at all comfortable. It will cost money. Money you have either earned or are entitled to. It will mean refugees taking homes built by national taxpayers, for citizens of that nation. It will mean them benefitting financially at the initial expense of those who unquestionably need that support locally. Frankly, this embrace will suck for many millions of people across the world – it may very well leave many homeless and hungry. It will not stop the terrorist bombings in the short term, or forever, so we will have to sacrifice non-military lives to make this happen, which is beyond frightening. And all of these arguments will be driven home by right wing politicians until, I’m sure of it, they are elected to lead some countries to provide further validations of extremism. But it will make the world we live in, both emotionally and physically, human again and it is that essence that must remain in all of us or else, frankly, what is the point? What do we fundamentally leave behind for future generations?

Demonstrate the love and the warmth that we are fortunate enough to have in the part of the world which we are lucky enough to inhabit. Shake off the effect of terrorist bombings. Move forwards, not back.


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