Pray For...?

November 15, 2015


To be really honest, I'm not entirely sure where I am going with this blog post. I just have so many thoughts and emotions swirling around in my head that I need to get them out or I feel like I'm going to go mad.

First and foremost, my heart is saddened beyond words. Paris is a city very close to my heart and I have visited a number of times with my husband. In my mind, it is the only other city outside of London that I would consider living in. What happened on Friday shook me to my core and my heart goes out to everybody who has been affected by this tragic event. 

I could write a post purely around how sad I am but that would be pointless. I could write a post based solely on conspiracy theories, but the timing would probably be insensitive. I could write a post on the dangers of Islam and the need to close borders, but that would just make me a prick.
The truth is, I don't know what to think. I have so many questions and at the same time am seeing so much contradiction both around and within me that I just want to throw some of these questions out there and see what responses come back... to start a discussion if you will. 

1) #prayfortheworld. I have seen and agreed with this so much over the last couple of days but in the back of my mind wonder whether replacing #prayforparis with #prayfortheworld is in the same vein as replacing #blacklivesmatter with #alllivesmatter.
We all know that all lives matter, but in the current context, many (including myself) feel that black lives don't seem to matter and the world needs a little reminder that they do. In the same way, of course we should pray for the world, but in this moment, some people want to pray for Paris. Is this so bad? I mentioned contradictions within myself as in regards to this, I am conflicted. I disagree with black people being silenced by #alllivesmatter but still feel now is the time to #prayfortheworld. The hypocrisy of this has not escaped me. 

2) Leading on from this, I wonder how many of the people now saying #prayfortheworld were doing so before Friday. Honestly. Were the people of Syria and Lebanon and Kenya and Nigeria and Iraq in your prayers, or have their plights just been added to the agenda now to go against the mainstream?

3) The flag over the face on Facebook. A beautiful act of solidarity and support. But is it also a reminder of the hierarchy we place on the value of lives? As a friend pointed out, I see no Syrian flags on faces, or Kenyan flags on faces. Do some faces garner more sympathy than others? 

4) Why do we call on Muslims to condemn and apologise for ISIS? Really, why? And the ones that have... Why? Surely by apologising on their behalf you are accepting that they are acting in your name, when from what I understand, they are not. We do not ask this of any other religion or race and it baffles me how lack of condemnation immediately equals complicity. 

5) When are we going to talk about why ISIS exist in the first place and the responsibility that Western governments must take for this?? 

6) So we should close all borders and to hell with those being killed every day by these lunatics? 
"I see humans, but no humanity."

7) At the same time, are we being naive to disregard the idea that some of those seeking refuge may actually be looking to cause harm?

8) Bomb Syria? What is the likelihood of this being effective? You can kill people but you can't kill a belief. Two of the attackers were French nationals, meaning this has gone beyond the stage of containment.  

9) What now? What happens now? I'm not a politician, or a foreign policy expert. I don't claim to have all the answers -  I have no answers. Just questions and fears. And most of all, sorrow. Part of me feels like this world is beyond repair. Like evil has reached such an extent that there is no going back. But then again, to lose hope is probably exactly what the perpetrators want. 

"There is only one way in which one can endure man's inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one's own life, to exemplify man's humanity to man."

Ekaete x

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