“Violence is an admission that one’s ideas and goals cannot prevail on their own merits.” Edward Kennedy
The month of celebration, December, started with the tragic incident when fourteen innocent lives ended and 21 were injured in a mass shooting at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California by a couple, “Authorities identified them as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, who were married two years and had a 6-month-old daughter.” Reported by Fox 11 news. They were apparently radicalized by a misguided ideology of violence. From the Oval Office, President Obama signified the shooting as an act of terrorism, the line on which intelligence agencies are carrying on investigation into the shooting.
The incident has happened at the most unlikeliest of places, a treatment center of San Bernardino, which treats patients with developmental disabilities, where staffs were gathered for holiday party. The shooting, including one at Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, has shocked the humanity, the world-over, even hospitals are not safe anymore. They are shooting children in schools, as in Peshawar, 2014; patients & staffs in hospitals and tourists in relatively peaceful places like Paris. How insane the idea is to kill adults to save the lives of “unborn” babies, as it happened in the Planned Parenthood shooting! “I am a warrior for the babies.” Said, Robert Lewis Dear, who killed three innocent people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.
These kind of incidents should be dealt as the crime against humanity; terrorists and their masterminds are against the idea of freedom; radicalized minds, no matter which ideology they follow, don’t understand the fundamentals of free will – the autonomy of choice.
Image Courtesy: www.Fox45now.com
ISIS is a Gestapo-type organization which believes in the ideology of violence and enslaving humans in concentration camps – be it people of their own faith or of any other faith – It’s a group of “Assassins for Hire” earning big money by exploiting the name of faith & God: violence is the first and last means of those who can’t win their argument in a non-violent ways.
There is an urgent need to look into the factors, which contributed in the rise of ISIS – one of the reasons for which Tony Blair, former British PM, has already apologized, was the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Watt, Nicholas, “the use of misleading intelligence and the failure to prepare for the aftermath of the invasion.” The Guardian 25 October 2015. The time has come to rethink American foreign policies, mainly, the policy of Interventionism – Invading, regime change and bombing civilians areas of conflict countries.
“Mankind is a great, an immense family. This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas.” Pope John XXIII
Image Courtesy: BBC
Residents and Communities of San Bernardino came out in large numbers at a candlelight vigil and showed solidarity with the victims and deceased families. Sharing the grief and sadness of the victims, a campaign was launched by “Muslims United for San Bernardino” to raise funds to assist the families with their immediate needs; as of now, they have raised more than US$100,000; it’s the record-breaking venture ever launched by American Muslims. The money will help victims’ families with their immediate needs. “American Muslims raised more than $100,000 for families of San Bernardino shooting victims.” Watanabe, Teresa, Los Angeles Times 8 December 2015.
“We condemn this horrific and revolting attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured,” said Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director, CAIR-LA’s, a Muslim advocacy group. “The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence.”
Image Courtesy: MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS/Boston Globe
Prejudices, racism and hate crimes find strengths from these kind of incidents: Islamophobic attacks intensified post shooting, typical of such incidents. In reaction to the shooting, Donald Trump, one of the trendy candidates for the presidential election of 2016, reacted racially & suggested a complete travel ban for Muslims entering US.
The first causality of such attack is the erosion of privacy and civil liberties. In such a difficult time, Americans need to be aware of and be guarded of their civil liberties. Some political opportunists, who always are ready to exploit such situations to amend constitutions and encroach on civil liberties.
People chose America because it represented freedom, civil liberties and open society – but these incidents are taking away the fundamentals of American values. America is known for Freedom and it must continue its’ founding principles irrespective of the sporadic incident like these; there shall not be encroachment on civil liberties in the name of making the country, air-tight to stop such attacks inland.
“The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy led directly to the passage of a historic law, the Gun Control Act of 1968.” Jeffrey Toobin
Unprecedented in the last 95 years, The New York Times editorial piece appeared on its front page to initiate the needed control on Gun, “it is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency.“
Gun should be in the hands of those who want to protect the human lives, not to take away the precious lives of innocents. As the Gun Control Act was enacted after the assassination of JFK – on the similar line, there should be a legislation to control Gun and its’ lobbies. In the wake of the latest two incidents, it’s imperative, more than ever, to revisit the Gun Policy and amend it to the more controlled level.
Unfortunately, some of the Media behaved irresponsibly and terribly as opined by Erik Wemple, a Media critic of The Washington Post, “this was a story poorly suited to live coverage, without the time and ability to document a scene, determine what’s relevant and provide the filtered product to readers.” To barge into the living apartment of accused were “ludicrous” and “callous and competitive behavior” criticized, Al Tompkins of The Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
Journalistic Ethics were ignored while jumping to capture TRPs: it was irresponsible to highlight the faith of the perpetrators, showing images of the accused’s relatives, especially of mother and belonging of six months baby; instead the media should focus on to raise the awareness on how to tackle such large scale violence. Indulging in sensationalism like painting a system of faith, religion, community and race as an epi-center of violence, media should play responsibly and act as a bridge between institutions and public.
The world should unite against violence, whether perpetrated in the name of ideology or to protect the lives of unborn babies and treat it as a crime against humanity.
Let us come together, in the name of freedom of choice, not of jingoism, fear, racism and hate crime, and make this world a violence free place to live and enjoy.
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