I am writing this post, as news organisations are learning more about what happened in London just hours ago. Reportedly, there was at least 3 shots fired at the Westminster bridge, as a car mowed through pedestrians killing at least one women on its way. Moments later, the car rammed through the fence of the parliament building. A police officer was said to be stabbed, before the alleged perpetrator was finally shot to dead by authorities. Of course the Information is still very limited, and we’ll get clearer details about the attack and what exactly happened. For now, we can only hope that the injured can be recovered and that there will be no further attacks.
There are, as far as the news knows, no information on the attacker. His/her motives, background or even physical traits, are still unknown as authorities are focusing more on the casualties, evacuations and are still gathering reports from eyewitnesses.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville
As concerning as this news is, one of the most alarming thing that I saw, has instead came from Twitter.
If you scroll to the top trending page, you will come across some conservatives users (mostly Trump supporters) that used this horrible incident as a justification to condemn Islam and argue against accepting refugees. Again I must reiterate that we have no information (yet) that the attacker is Muslim. Even if he/she is Muslim, I don’t think we can use this attack as a reason to antagonizes Muslim anyway.
These people has also somehow managed to blame this attack on Sadiq Khan, merely because He is Muslim, and (even more astonishingly) claimed that the mayor is behind this attack (or at least attracts it).
They have also blamed the “leftist” or “liberals” for allowing this to happened. They argue that their fight for freedom and to distinguish Islam from the act of terrorism as a doorway to this sorts of attack.
To be honest with you, these tweets concerns more than the attack itself. You see, a united community is easier to be protected, as long as they trust each other. But evidently, we no longer are. Fear driven xenophobia has (as far as our history can tell) only lead us into conflicts.
What I saw from those tweets are hatred created by fear, perpetrated by anger, and translated into blinded judgement that generalize millions of unique individuals into a group of radical terrorists.
I have no idea, whether this sorts of fear has been there for quite a long time without me knowing it, or whether this is the product of “Us against them” mentality created by groups of populist leaders across the world. One thing that I know for sure is that these people has become more and more visible.
Exactly a year before this attack, three suicide bombing happened in Brussels, and some months before, deadly attacks also killed hundreds in Paris. That was only around 14 months ago, and if my memory serves me well, the reaction was not as polarized and hate filled as it is now.
All I want to say is that we cannot easily label this attack as the responsibility of certain religion, nor do it should justify our hatred towards that religion and certain political decisions.
These sorts of attack are done by radicalized individuals, not because of a religious teaching. Sure, we can say that religious teaching can be misunderstood, but in that case, it is wrong to just look at Islam, because evidently Christian religion can also be used by KKK or other white supremacist to do different forms of violent attacks.
At the end, we can’t let this sorts of attack scares us and pressures us into believing misguided assumptions that will only polarize the society.
We cannot bow into pressure, and let this fear driven hatred govern our humane nature. Allowing us to make unreasonable justification to discriminate others, especially if that fear was mainly driven by individuals who created this trends, just to score some political points.