Todays Daily prompt is a free write for 10 minutes so here goes.
For the past 24 hours my news feed and television screen have been filled with comments on the awful tragedy that took place in Ottawa Canada yesterday. The murder of Nathan Cirillo, the second such killing in a couple of days is as senseless as it is futile. It is yet another tragedy, for Corporal Cirillo’s family, for his unit, for Ottawa, for Canada and of course for every right thinking person on the face of this planet.
Once again this atrocity seems to have been carried out by a so called Muslim extremist. It does seem that, at least in the media, every act of this sort seems to have been committed by someone who is a radicalised Muslim terrorist. Whether the media coverage given to these atrocities is an accurate reflection of the facts or not is in many ways immaterial. What we are constantly fed via our media is the concept that radical Islam is a threat to our way of life and a threat to world peace.
Now I don’t for one second try to play down the tragedy of Cirrilo’s murder, but I wonder how many murders were committed in New York, Washington or Los Angele’s yesterday? What I do know is that none were reported in the UK media. It seems that the murder of one soldier by a Muslim extremist is much more newsworthy. Of course the fact that the gunman entered the Canadian parliament building and was shot dead by the Sgt-at Arms and that elements of the story were captured on video does add considerable drama to the whole thing as does the fact that Ottawa is by-and-large a very peaceful city.
I do wonder if much of the reporting of this and similar incidents isn’t secretly welcomed by the politicians because it allows them to more easily justify their actions in the Middle east. Canada’s Prime Minister Mr harper was quick to get himself on television to state:
“We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated”. “In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts… to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe.”
Mr Harper stressed that the perpetrators “will have no safe haven” in Canada. , but admitted the attacks showed that the country was “not immune to terrorist attacks”.
It seems to me that I have heard those (almost) exact words from the last two american Presidents and the last 3 UK Prime Ministers on numerous occasions over the last decade or so. The fact remains that terrorists seem to be able to carry out their attacks all too easily and that western policy in the Middle East serves only to further radicalise the people of that region and worryingly this radicalisation seems to be spreading increasingly to our own populations.
Something has to change. I am neither clever enough nor influential enough to say what needs to change, but things cannot be allowed to continue as they are.
As a final comment spare a thought for the friends and family of Nathan Cirillo and for every family touched by senseless slaughter in the ‘War against terror”