Originally posted on Facebook. Reposted here with a few changes.
Today I had done something without much thought, and for the next few hours that action had been gnawing at me. And as I always do in these situations, I had to talk to Sneha about this after which, she encouraged me to post it on FB.
This is copy-pasted from our private chat (with some corrections):-
So I wanted to get this out of my system
Every single day I watch world news while having lunch. I watch Al Jazeera so intently that I forget I have food in front of me. And I ardently follow the developments in the Middle East + refugee crisis. If you ask me anything about it, I can answer most of it.
This week when the bombings happened in Beirut, I followed those developments sincerely. I watched, read, learned, felt emotional.
Today, with the Paris attack, I saw so many messages on Facebook related to it. And I changed my profile picture to the Peace symbol with the Eiffel tower.
And then I felt like a hypocrite.
What happened in Paris today has been happening regularly this past year in Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Burundi, Turkey, Lebanon, etc. And I felt outraged at all those.
But I didn’t change my profile picture or post anything on Facebook about that.
I did it only for Paris.
Which, not to diminish the seriousness but has lesser number of casualties than even the recent Beirut bombings.
But I did it only for Paris.
And that got me thinking about why I did that. My action of changing my DP was influenced by everybody showing support online. I wanted to be part of this community.
My next question was, why did this community not post their condolences or outrage for the Beirut blasts?
Or the Egypt plane bombing?
Or the Ankara bombings?
Or Hungary’s treatment of refugees?
But more than anything else, I am very disappointed in myself. I felt like I was letting down people from other war-torn countries. As though they had given me the responsibility of taking their story to the world, and I did nothing. Instead jumped on the bandwagon of #PrayForParis.
The same people who’re posting messages upon messages about Paris…. why not for the other terrorist activities in other countries?
And that too these Parisians, not to trivialize loss of any life, are privileged; these refugees escaping war are not- They don’t even have a state that recognizes them.
On top of all this, this one event will majorly feed Islamophobia and Xenophobia. Already some analysts were saying that the next step of the French govt to find the escaped attackers is to raid homes of “known Islamic radicals”, even though ISIS hasn’t officially taken responsibility for it yet*.
This happening in Paris feeds Islamophobia and Xenophobia, but the same thing happens in Islamic nations too. Because ISIS isn’t about intolerance of non-Muslims; it considers itself the harbinger of the apocalypse, which will consume even Islam.
And now President Hollande has temporarily shut down French borders. Now the EU countries that were opposing refugee intake will piggyback on this and even more vehemently oppose refugees and open borders.
Every time something like this happens in a first world country, we bring the roof down and even wage retaliatory wars.
Events like these that happen everyday in ‘third world’/’medieval’ nations are just that- normal, everyday events.
I knew of all this and more, and yet I did it only for Paris.
*ISIS has now claimed responsibility for this