Monday night in Manchester brought yet another terror attack on innocent civilians enjoying an evening of entertainment – many of them children. The typical social media chaos followed the news of the horror. Some people expressed prayers for peace, some people were angry, and some people made crass jokes that should get them fired from their cushy media jobs forever.
Some people, however took the opportunity to self-righteously lecture anyone who dared to connect the issue to past terror, unchecked illegal immigration and weak, politically correct policy that encourages the growth of terrorism in the west.
They accuse people of being shallow or callous for expressing anger at the political realities of the problem of Islam in the west. They elevate their own selves above the rest of us for being “mature” enough to simply mourn without judgment.
“Don’t politicize tragedy!” they shout at us from their ivory towers.
As a writer it is my job to use descriptive and complex language to weave a tale, but my response to anyone suggesting that I’m some kind of partisan monster for connecting the Manchester terror to politics is exactly this:
Spare me your self-righteous, weak-brained lectures. You damn well better believe this is political and it’s high time we start acting like it is.
Are we not told over and over and over again that Islamic terror is not a religious problem? That Islam is the “Religion of Peace”, and those who commit terror in it’s name are “perverting” a peaceful religion? No, the problem isn’t Islam, it’s ideology, we are reminded, and we must be careful to treat it as such. Except when there’s an actual terrorist attack. In that case it’s not religious or political or ideological. We’re not supposed to mention ideology at all because then you’re just as bad as the child-murdering terrorists. Ideology is political and is what Islamic terrorism is based on…
…but don’t you dare politicize a terror event.
We are at the point in western history were these types of incidents are now labeled “these types of incidents” because they happen so often. What was unthinkable 20 years ago is now right in our faces and it doesn’t just have a little to do with politics, it has a lot to do with politics. Maybe everything.
How we respond to terror abroad directly affects how we deal with terror at home. When we take the fight to where the terrorists are we engage them on their own ground. They have to fight us where they live. When we flout weak foreign policy by weak leaders (like Barrack Obama), refuse to directly name terrorism and who is committing it, and use our military as humanitarians instead of what they are meant for (breaking things and breaking bad people) we are directly emboldening those who wish to do us harm in our own back yards.
Yes, this sure as hell is political. You can bet your life on it.
When children – CHILDREN – are massacred at a pop concert is it not more than appropriate to be angry? Your sadness is like a clanging cymbal without some sort of rage behind it. It’s loud and pointless. You should be angry that children died at the hands of a terrorist. You should be questioning how this could have been prevented. It should bother you that the man in custody right now for the Manchester attack has been “known to authorities” for a while but left to plot his evil plan because politicians are more worried about the label “Islamophobe” than they are about dead citizens.
Don’t politicize this so soon? Some of you need to start getting political immediately. Let me reassure you that the human brain is capable of holding two thoughts at the same time. One can mourn the tragedy of violence while at the same time be angry about the lack of conviction and action by our world leaders that allowed for the violence in the first place. One can question the efficacy of the current western policy toward radical Islam while praying for Manchester. They can all be done at once, and dammit – they should be.
Children are dead. Let’s stop playing language games. Terrorism is a political act and it should be treated as such.
Lives depend on it.