Between us, Man Haron Moris and Charlie Hebdo: The language of peace (?)

It is almost the end of 2015’s second week and the world could not be less stable than this. Following an overhyped siege by Man Haron Moris in Sydney, the world is now forced to antagonise Muslims even more with the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris.

I do not at all try to undermine the scale of importance in which both the Sydney siege and the Charlie tragedy is to the world and the security of our beloved human community on the earth. But the scale in which these two incidents are being covered is mind bogglingly high.

As a media student, I of course understand that a tragedy of this scale is important and will attract attention. The way the media choose to cover more of this tragedy than the Syrian crisis is similar to how Indonesian media choose to pay more attention to the AirAsia accident rather than the burning ferries in a sea near Greece. It matters.

The Syrian crisis has represented enough of its message, so does the Iraq and other Middle Eastern war. Its purpose will then be redundant because no matter how many people dies every day in that living hell of a place, the message has already been transmitted to the world. A message that says war is for peace, collateral damage is required and the Muslims are dangerous.


War is one of the biggest businesses on earth, it involves not only the war for natural resources but also the many projects on keeping troops alive such as weapon making, life supports, and vehicle manufacturing. What needed, then, is a purpose, and incidents such as Sydney siege or the Charlie hebdo incident is the perfect one.

I am not saying that what they are doing is acceptable, of course not. But the beheading of a reporter is no guiltier than the public celebration of the death of Osama Bin Laden. Again I am not supporting Osama (so please don’t misunderstood me as a future terrorist or something), he is a horrible man and he deserves to be punished, but his death (for me) is no different than the death of Katrina Dawson. They are both victims of the war industry. And it is only a matter of time before we are.

Soon after the confirmed death of Man Haron Moris, my friend posted a triumph post of happiness and victory over terrorism. He celebrated the death of a fellow human. Sure he is a horrible person who may or may not kill Katrina Dawson during the siege (we are yet to hear a statement on whose bullet kill the two victims), but we never know what exactly happened to him, what kind of world he lives in, what struggle he underwent and ultimately, what makes him decide to do the siege.

I believe that no man (or woman) are born evil, and every time someone do something horrible, I always try to think what they have been through that makes them such a bully. It can be bad parenting, child abuse, drugs, or (even worse) religious propaganda.

Now when we celebrated and condemned the death of those terrorist, doesn’t it make us the same as them? And wouldn’t it just create sides? Us between them, west and east, the religious and the modern and so on. The more we resist, the more they will attack. It’s just our nature isn’t it?

Now the media are only doing their jobs, presenting facts and selling something that they know will sell. Our job then, is not to buy every single thing that they sell. Or at the very least, to not take it literally. To not hate. Because every single post you share of how evil the Muslims are, how what the terrorist doing are the words of Quran, or whatever it is, will only create a gap between our society. It is natural that every single one of us goes through different process in life that may lead to killing or helping. And sharing those posts, condemning one or the other to be wrong, or hating will only create a social gap that will lead to killing rather than helping.

Someone I know dearly always said that human being is different than primate despite of evolution. We have something different that is indescribable, that is deep in our heart, which is better than the primal instinct that we inherit. Acceptance and compassion might as well be those points of difference. Maybe, just maybe, if we speak the word of peace with the attempts of understanding, respect, and tolerance instead of hate we can actually achieve peace.

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding” – Albert Einstein

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