Even though extremist and terrorist movements are ongoingly killing hundreds of civilians across the globe, we don't hear about it on a daily basis. The media isn't publicizing the ongoing horrors of the middle east, and that has given us the luxury to not consider all of deaths in places like Syria or Afghanistan from the ongoing battles. However, it is ongoing, whether we think about it or not.
To put it into perspective, so far this year there have been 544 terrorist attacks across the globe, resulting in 3704 fatalities. Because we don't really hear about these daily bombings and deaths, we don't really think about them either; it's out of sight and out of mind for us and we are generally pretty comfortable with that scenario because, let's be honest, it is easier to just not know. That is until the threat starts to move a little closer to home, that's when we pay attention. When people from our own country are dying, then suddenly our heads are turned and our concerns of a possible threat becomes very real and very personal and our thoughts start to ponder our own safety, and for many the question is raised - who should be held responsible for these acts of terror?
It has become increasing difficult to ignore the threat of insurgencies like Al Qaeda and Isis and their extremist terrorism tactics, but we cannot allow their behaviours to dictate our common sense and our decency. We must not only remain vigilant to stamping out these oppressive regimes, but we must also remain sensitive to the pressures that these types of tactics place on muslim communities in general; and the difficulties that arise for muslims on a day to day basis as a direct result of these extremist attacks.
Just the other day I was being taken by taxi to collect a rental car, my driver was a muslim gentleman from Pakistan. He had opted to wear a beanie instead of his turban on that morning because it was the day following the Ariana Grande concert attack in Manchester. He said that he, his friends and his family were all concerned about the backlash that they may be facing in light of recent events. He said that the pressure and prejudices are always very intense for them after these types of things happen, and now that the public are aware that most of these western attacks are being undertaken by western muslim extremists, then that pressure on them is even higher again.
It is most certainly a time to present a united front against these terrorist groups, but our fight must not be misguided or misdirected, we cannot let our fear become our undoing, we cannot let hate in, and on that front I do worry. I worry because fear makes people irrational and desperate for someone to blame, but we must remember that this recent rise in westernised terrorist attacks is not just a western problem, it is a global problem, it always has been, and we must find a way through it on a global level.
Now more than ever, it is the time to open our doors to the oppressed and the beaten down people of this world and to say that we will together fight this tyranny. It is the time to share in compassion and empathy, to build bridges not walls, to share our resources and to not let the hate of these terrorist minorities spread any further than it already has. It is time to hold true to our humanity, stay strong in our dignities and determinedly reinforce our common ground. That is the only way that we can truly defeat the extremists that we are all facing in the world today - without the fear that they so desperately want to strike upon us, but by standing tall- side by side -together - as one.
Release Date: 2016
Rating: MA 15+
Running Time: 40 mins
Directed by Academy Award nominated director Orlando von Einsiedel and produced by Joanna Natasegara, this Netflix original short documentary will completely move and inspire you.
Set between Aleppo, Syria and Turkey; volunteer rescuers known as 'The White Helmets' attempt to save lives and rescue trapped civilians from the destroyed remains of bombed buildings. Whilst the war rages on around them, these hopeful souls push on under the most difficult conditions and also deal with constant concerns about the welfare of their own families when they are away for mandatory training.
This harrowing snapshot of what life is like for ordinary Syrians is incredibly sobering. This film will shock you, both visually and emotionally, but the endurance of the human spirit is the overriding message here, and it is impossible to ignore. Everyone should see this film, even if they don't fully understand the context of the conflicts in Syria, because they will certainly understand the need for incredible people like 'The White Helmets.'
FINAL SAY: To save a life is to save all of humanity.
4 Chili Peppers