What's Your Response to Terror?
Paris, November 13th, 2015 !
Overwhelmed and horrified by what happened that night, I asked myself, What is my response to all those terror attacks in recent years, not only in the Middle East and in places “far away”, but also increasingly in Europe?
Will the horror stay with me and eventually leave me in a constant state of fear? Will it affect my attitude towards the world and the people around me, towards Muslims in general as well as towards my Muslim friends, colleagues, students and neighbours?
And will it possibly lead me to a reaction that ultimately feeds into a culture of resentment, distrust and fear?
One thing is for sure, if I let fear grip me, then the attacks have accomplished their purpose in me and the terrorists have won the victory!
This shall never happen!
Fortunately, there is another possible response.
‘Eagles of Death Metal’, the band that played at Bataclan that night, made the following statement, issued in The Guardian on November 18th:
“Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, and all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love and compassion.”
This view opens up for a better response and reminds me of the mission we have as followers of Jesus.
You and I may not be able to stop terrorism and solve all the problems connected to it. However, we can remain the masters of our minds and our faith, guard our feelings and attitudes, care for each other, build trust relationships and cultivate community - Muslims included.
Overcoming fear by practicing love and true humanity.
Taking action for a better world.