I did not post on the #ParisAttacks. Nor did I change my profile picture to the red, white and blue. Not because I don’t sympathize with or support the French. Not because I don’t love Paris, a beautiful city I have been lucky to visit a few times. I do.
Because I think the problem is bigger than what just happened in Paris.
Because I’m sick of the violence of us killing one another. Either with guns, with religion as a justification, or a mixture of both, since time immemorial. This primitive, barbaric urge is one of the most convincing arguments that proves we descended from animals. Not evolved, for that word presupposes a collective enlightenment that humanity as a whole has yet to attain. For if we were all crafted by and in the image of an enlightened God, how could we be capable of such evil? And will we be able to fully evolve, before we, left to our own devices, end up decimating either ourselves or the world’s resources?
Because I’m numb to the selective media coverage. Many others are murdered through terrorist attacks in other countries on a regular basis. For starters, just a day before the Paris attacks, ISIS suicide bombers killed 43 and wounded 239 in Beirut. No worldwide media frenzy, no monuments swathed in Lebanese colors, no #PrayForBeirut hashtag. Is it a crime against humanity only if it involves the lives of certain humans?
Because I don’t believe in prayer being the answer. Those who #PrayForParis do so because it’s their way of dealing with the shock. Or because they really believe it will help. I choose not to, not only because I’m agnostic, but because I hope we focus less on abstract prayer and more on eradicating the poverty, inequality, abject stupidity and other root causes that fuel terrorism. And that applies to both sides of the fence. Donald J. Trump says if Parisiens had guns, the outcome would have been different. Clowns to the left and jokers to the right, each holding their holy book in one hand and a gun in the other.
The sum of our civilization is in danger of being reduced to the lowest common denominators occupying both ends of the spectrum. And we, the ones stuck in the middle, doomed to be dragged down by and with them, headlong into total annihilation.