Following the atrocious and tragic events in Paris on Friday, I have been trying to decide if, firstly, I should write a blog about what has happened and my feelings about it and, secondly, if I did write, what I should actually write.
Well, as you can see, after reading all the social media posts over the weekend, I have decided that I can’t stay quiet but that I need to say something. I am not a politician or a business leader or anyone special, I am just a middle-aged disabled woman who likes to write about the things that are of concern to me and my family but I feel that I have to add my voice to the millions voices around the world shouting ‘Enough’. As a result, this blog may be a little bitty but please forgive me, I’m doing my best to say what I want to say but my thoughts are still somewhat fragmented.
The first thing that hit me was the number of people on Facebook and Twitter who were saying they were afraid to go out and dreading having to go to work today or to visit bigger cities for their regular shopping trips. Well, as far as I am concerned, what we really need to do to show that we are not beaten is just carry on. Be vigilant but carry on. Not going out, not going to work, not carrying on as normal is exactly what the terrorists want. They want us to be too terrified to leave our homes. They want to paralyse our economies, our businesses, our countries so everything grinds to a shuddering halt. They want us to stop living our ordinary, peaceful lives as we want and deserve to be able to continue to do.
We must not let that happen.
We need, as much as we can, to continue with our daily lives as usual. That way they can’t win whatever they do.
The second thing that got to me this weekend happened yesterday, when I was watching the Andrew Marr Show. One of the guests was the French Ambassador. She said something that got me thinking.
She referred to the terrorists who committed the atrocities in Paris as ‘Daesh’ and not ‘ISIS’.
When Andrew asked her why she did this she said it was because the terrorists were neither true Islamic people or coming from a State. So I looked it up and she’s right.
Daesh is an Arabic word in its own right (rather than an acronym) meaning ‘a group of bigots who impose their will on others’ That it can be ‘differently conjugated’ to mean either this or ‘to trample and crush’ One of the words in the acronym also means ‘to trample or crush’. Not only that but, apparently, the terrorists hate being called Daesh and not ISIL.
As a result I will now always refer to the low-lives that commit these atrocities as Daesh.
Apart from that I have also been horrified by the vitriol that has been hurled around concerning ordinary Muslim people. People who have lived in our communities for many years, people who have raised their families here, people whose children have attended the same schools as our children, people who are our neighbours. Suddenly these decent, caring people are being seen as suspicious and frightening and as possible Daesh sympathisers. Well, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many other people, they aren’t. They are as scared of and as appalled by what is happening as the rest of us. They are being spat at and cursed and abused just because they are being seen as different. They aren’t.
I reckon that the best way for us all to defeat Daesh is to all stand together and work as a team. If we splinter off into different factions dependent on our differing ethnic backgrounds and religious allegiances then the terrorists have won. If we work together then we can stop it spreading any further. We need to be strong and carry on together. Only then can we beat the fear and hatred and stop this horror going any further.