As usual, this Friday started like any other day, except that it was Friday the 13th and little did I realize that this day is associated with bad stuff. I don’t believe in myths and when my colleague asked me if I knew it was Friday the 13th,I answered innocently yes and inquired as to why he was asking that. At first I thought I might have forgotten something that has to be done or I had missed a deadline, but then he told me most people don’t like this day because it is associated with bad stuff happening. I dismissed him for believing in myths and went ahead with my day.
That evening I found myself so close to believing in his myth, because my phone kept buzzing with tweets and notifications stating the saddest news anyone can expect on a Friday evening. Some cowardly, heartless creature who can’t get dates with virgin girls felt they had to result to violence so that someone can hand to them 72 virgins when they kill in his name and blow themselves up, and had decided to unleash terror in the name of religion on innocent people going on with their lives. And in a matter of seconds, hundreds of lives were shattered, many more injured, and millions of people around the world left mourning and in despair.
But what followed next was worse than the incident itself. Mankind’s biasness was put on display. The outrage was unanimous around the world, world leaders from Obama to Cameron didn’t mince words condemning the attack. As I was mourning in my own ways, I could not help but wonder and ask why when such atrocities happen in African, Arab, and Asian countries, the same kind of outrage is not seen, let alone being felt around the globe. Does it mean that some lives are more important than others, does it mean that some people are children of a lesser God?
All those question left my blood pumping faster than normal, for once I didn’t know whether to be angry or to be sad that we as human beings had failed terribly, and for once an act that was so unwarranted brought fourth the truth that we have always pretended not to be aware of that we are not the same. The impression that had been sold to us that all men are created equal, and are each endowed by their creator the unalienable right of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness felt as if it was one of many acts of mass brainwash. If that quote holds any truth, then tell me where is the outrage when such incidents happen in Nigeria, Tunisia, Somali, Kenya, Beirut and many other places in the world? Does it mean French are more important than the innocent girls abducted by boko haram or the innocent Syrians dying in hundreds in the sea?
Then the worse came from Facebook, suddenly they had a new invention that activates safety checks and asks people to change their profile pictures to the French flag as a sign of solidarity. We might be fools, but Facebook trying to convince us that it was coincidence that their new invention and the terror just happen at the same time is a little bit far fetched. But the saddest part of this biasness and effect of brainwash became evident when people just did what Facebook asked them to do without questioning. Again, as usual, we had refused to question anything and we just do as we are told, “monkey see monkey do”. This explains why the caliphate is able to spread so quickly, because people don’t like to question as quickly as they are willing to follow.
We have to accept the new reality, and that is we live in a dangerous world full of people who are willing to commit evil acts without provocation, while at the same time we have millions of people willing to mislead and take advantage of gullible people who have become paralyzed by fear. But unless we decide to question every action, whether good or bad, whether well intended or not, and whether been put forth by most holy men or unholy men, we will be in this mess for along time. It’s time we let our guard down and let our curiosity take over and question everything.
Hopefully, next time before you delete your Facebook account because someone asked you to, you will find time to question why?