Freedom, as they say, is the right of individuals to act as they choose. Our freedom is taken away when terrorism strikes. Terrorism implants fear in people’s minds and disrupts our everyday actions.
An example is the Resorts World Manila incident that showcased what is wrong in our society. Social media swelled with speculations and dumbfounded judgments sprayed against the authorities who were trying to do their job. Unbelievable!
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Our social media crowd seems to be a fertile breeding ground for terrorism. We attribute every unusual disruption of basic services, deaths and other crimes to Muslim extremists. And we believe their claim as instigators of lawless events much to the disdain of the authorities who usually end up doing the harder job of convincing the public that what happened is an ordinary crime.
The media portrayal of fundamentalist groups as formidable enemies that can do damage at will makes them unstoppable icons of violence. And they are grinning with pride.
Those showing their promotional videos of atrocities and circulating them to arouse hatred are mistaken that it is a winning move. It gives the opposite result of fear and adoration of strength that they want. We let them win by dancing to their music.
Terrorism has been used in societies where grievances can be expressed freely. Too liberal democracies are now feeling the pain and trying to survive the backlash by continuously condoning peaceful ways of keeping order and handling disputes between its members without violence.
Media practitioners are helping them in the same light of liberalism mainly because of the idea that a “burning” headline sells. Opinion shapers and reporters seem to project that they possess transcendent experience way above the grasp of public intellect.
This incongrous motivation darkens our society’s adherence to basics like “law enforcement” and good old basic police work. And then we say there goes the neighborhood as we do nothing to save the same neighborhood.
And media claim that we are part of the widening geographical map of terrorism. A serious case of self-flagellating mindset it is.
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Most terrorist groups in the past have been local or regional in their organization. After 9-11, terrorists showed their migratory capability.
The modern Islamic terrorist movement no longer operates in a limited old-fashioned way. Defying national boundaries, Islamic terrorism has apparently struck out a war on all fronts against any ideological enemy. By and large, this has meant attacks on the West and the East. Because Western interests are strewn around the globe, Islamic terrorist organizations attack targets throughout the world. And by our absurd speculatory view on things, we enthusiastically open our gates and become a natural breeding ground for extremism. And we fault our government for this ugly status wholesale.
And to rub more salt to the wound, we tend to trivialize this issue instead of portraying terrorism in its fundamental crassness, stupidity and inhumanity. We faithfully accept the role of a player instead of a banker on a card table. And we hope to be lucky in every deal.
The fact that we are a democratic state that embraces openness and one’s freedom limits the amount of control by the state which is contributory to making us a haven or training ground for terroristic mischiefs. And we cry in chorus when the government declares martial law, we call it unjust and abusive while the tears obscure the view of our fallen soldiers and victims of violence.
Generating sentiments like this only sustain the fundamentalists’ mask of grandeur and success without challenging or subverting the warped glamor.
Add to these the didactic messages of the opposition pontificating on human life valuation.
I am no Trump fan but Germany’s Angela Merkel and her allies should not mix global politics with personal dislikes as if she is the Empress of EU. If she cannot respect the US leader, at least respect the country and its people. She should remember that the power she is wielding now as head of the most prosperous country in Europe came into being after hundreds of thousands of British and American soldiers gave their lives to free Europe from the deadly grip of the Nazis. It was an American President and a Russian President who broke the Berlin wall and poured so much money so that Germany can stand up again. Even your former Axis ally Japan was duly rehabilitated in no time at all. Forget Trump but never forget the country that waged a war to defend the democratic principles that you are enjoying now.
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It seems that nowadays, mistakes, lapses, errors in judgment are all justified as long as one can explain why these things happened. The word “sorry” is fast disappearing. In due time, it will be gone and replaced by the word “because.”
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Sometimes it makes me wonder why man finds it easier to believe lies. I just thought that it is probably more painful than hearing the truth. And that is probably the reason why we always struggle in seeking God’s company, oblivious of the fact that He is just beside us watching our every move.
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There is a symbiotic relationship between terrorism and the media. Terrorists’ manipulation and exploitation of the media is shown to play a crucial part in their propaganda war.
Voluntary self-restraint and self-regulation by the media are the best policy options for a democratic society in regard to the media’s response to terrorism. The mass media need to work harder at devising measures of self-restraint that are both appropriate and effective.
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Life is full of colors, and I am just sad that sometimes we see it as black and white. Dear sky, let it rain once in a while to let us see the blooms while we bask in the glory of your rainbows.
Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.