I was going to write about blackberry picking today but somehow, with the events of the last 24 hours, it isn’t uppermost in my mind. Yes, another beheading; this time it was a man who was just trying to help, an aid worker if you will. Undoubtedly a very brave man, a man who believed in what he was doing, a man who risked it all and lost. Do I admire him? Well, I do and I don’t. I do because he stood up to the bullies and tried to help the needy. I don’t because the risks and consequences were always far too dangerous. Perhaps he believed too much. Perhaps he thought that it wouldn’t happen to him. I can understand that.
Now, with his brutal killing, the world is yet again outraged and uproared as it should be. People call for our government to ‘stop being soft’, others try to whip up hatred of Muslims regardless of who they are or what they believe, there are calls to send in the troops again to stop ‘them’ taking over. It’s almost as if we have played no part at all in this terrible mess.
Let’s not forget that we have been fiddling with this area throughout history or that we went in and destabilised the region very recently based on political lies of ‘weapons of mass destruction’. I’m not saying that the actions of
ISIS are justified and I’m certainly
not saying that they are right. But let’s not pretend that our own actions have
not contributed to this mess. There is blame on our part too.
War is always terrible, terrorism unforgivable. But young men are easily persuaded and evil men are good persuaders. Rebels without causes are just that, young blood will always find a cause to fight for socialism, freedom, even their country and gladly go into hell with god on their side. What do we do? I don’t know. It isn’t as simple as ‘walk away’; the problem is with us in our own country – albeit not to the extent that some might want us to believe.
That is the thing with this new, much smaller, world we have made. There is no isolation, we really are interdependent, almost too close to each other, and that – more than anything else – is the problem I fear. Each of our actions touches another; even a comment on Facebook can incite big emotions; as I know to my cost.
With this in mind I say this: it is for each of us to keep our own calm in the face of these atrocities. It is for each of us to remember that we are all involved and that our actions and words have an effect. There are seven and a half billion people in the world, all but a very, very few have never decapitated another person or ever would. They are of all races and religions and a proportion is Muslim, just as a proportion is Christian, Buddhist, or has no belief at all.
Most people in this world are good, but evil exists in pockets everywhere - it isn’t the province of a single group or religion. Most are disgusted with what is taking place, but it is easy to forget that and set the dogs running.