Who terrorism really impacts … and it’s not the west
In the Western world, people are conditioned to believe things are worse than they actually are. If there is one shark attack, people are suddenly afraid to go to the beach. The chances of being involved in a mass shooting are slim.
Terrorist attacks in Western countries are no different.
The Paris attacks, 9/11 in the United States and the 7/7 London bombings were tragic, and the perpetrators of these vicious assaults on humanity deserved every punishment they received. However, the public outcry and reaction to these attacks was well overstretched.
The happy truth is, Western countries are not that susceptible to dangerous attacks like the ones that happened in Paris, New York and London. It takes years to even emigrate to the U.S. Forget about even getting a tourist visa unless you reside in an ESTA country, are old or are just plain rich.
Unfortunately, Muslims overseas bear the full brunt of terrorist assaults. Since terrorists tend to hide in civilian clothing, finding and killing just one terrorist may actually kill an entire village.
It is terribly pompous to assume that most terrorists even want to steal America as booty for themselves. In reality, they just want to take over parts of the Middle East and, in their own words, fight against America.
While these terrorists are often ruthless and savage, news coverage is terribly biased. The Middle Eastern lives torn apart by terrorism are never discussed. Americans arrogantly assume that unless their lives are threatened by bombs and war, no one else’s will be.
In July, more than 200 civilians in a southern Syrian province were killed by the Islamic State. How many in America were killed by terrorism that month? Zero.
According to Shahzad Akbar, the head of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, "The constant fear and suspicion caused by the drones have led to psychiatric disorders, as people are afraid of being together even in prayer, or gathering for wedding ceremonies or for funerals because the U.S. drones target common places including schools, mosques and marketplaces.”
Let that sink in. The U.S. is targeting schools to fight terrorism. Ironically, studies have shown that increased access to education will decrease terrorism. The U.S. efforts to fight terrorism, that the American government created through multiple invasions and sponsored coups, could cause more terrorism.
And the terrorism the U.S. has caused has very little effect on us, as American citizens, at all.
It can be hard to distinguish between facts and reality at times due to how much terrorism coverage is in the news cycle. But rest assured, there will not be a suicide bombing at Fry’s or at school, ever.
While terrorists who have murdered innocent people absolutely need to be punished, the U.S. should stop giving them what they want — the repeated drone strikes and attacks that may kill a terrorist but also kills kids going to school or people on their way to work.
The only viable way to end terrorism is to increase education and reduce unemployment. These efforts must be undertaken in countries such as Afghanistan and Syria, as years of war and displacement can severely impact one’s potential to complete and further education.
Fighting an idea, like terrorism or drugs, with violence does not save any lives – it destroys lives.
Anika Pasilis is a junior studying Journalism and Middle Eastern Studies. Follow the Daily Wildcat on Twitter