Is anybody else doing NaNaWriMo? Where are you at? What are you writing about?
I was going to charge all my solar-powered thingies---the VA wants to try a God-awful experimental thing on me tomorrow, so I like to pack my purse with enough little odds and ends and supplies to invade a small foreign country-----but it's rainy and crappy today. Ordinarily, the whole south side of my house is gloriously bright and sunny.
Seriously, though, I can fix appliances and pick locks with the stuff I have in that bag. And bandage small wounds. Hell, I can inflict small wounds. (The big wounds have to wait till I'm home to be inflicted. Seriously, get a girlfriend for the zombie apocalypse. All I need aside from the contents of my gardening shelves and cosmetics are matches. Add the broom closet and the machetes that I keep buying because I keep forgetting where they are, and yeah, my house is where you want to be when the zombies come. Ah, if only.)
And speaking of shambling brainless monsters, I see the conservatives are out in force on twitter now that Daesh has attacked Paris. This, of course, is exactly what Daesh wants, kind of like how they hate the term "Daesh" being used instead of ISIS.
Daesh wants Westerners to react with hatred and bigotry. That is their dream. They want war. They want Muslims to believe that Westerners hate and fear them. That serves their purpose of making hatred possible, and from hatred grows their army. Don't give them any help.
If you can read this without feeling an ache, I don't want to know you. That broke my heart.
How come the heroes don't get any press? Ahmed Merebet gave his life guarding the newspaper that mocked his religion. Lassana Bathily, a humble Muslim stocker at a Jewish deli taken over by the Charlie Abdo murderers, saved fifteen Jewish people. Manal Kassam stopped in the midst of her wedding to lay her wedding bouquet amidst the memorials for the victims of the Sydney massacre. Adel Termos gave his life jumping on a suicide bomber in Beirut this weekend, an event almost completely overlooked by the mainstream news---but not by social media. Aitazaz Bangesh jumped on a suicide bomber and saved many lives in his school, where both Sunni and Shia students study. "His mother cries tears but he saved hundreds of other mothers from needing to cry," said his dad. And there's Malala Yusufzai, whose dad said, "I didn't do anything. Rather, what is important is what I did not do: I did not clip her wings." I could go on. I could pluck eight names of Muslims who acted nobly, and would that balance out the eight murderers in Paris? If some people can say these eight horrible people represent a billion, why can't I use the same reasoning for the opposite argument?
Well, that came out of nowhere. I haven't written about Paris, but I can't write about it without writing about Lebanon, Baghdad, and Japan, too. All of them suffered disasters or horror this weekend. When we shrug at bombings, it's a kind of false equivalency, the same way people dismiss the Arab-Israeli conflict. Yet during WWII, Muslims risked their lives to save their Jewish friends and neighbors. In French Algeria, the Nazis offered seized Jewish property at a discount to Algerians. Many people did in fact take advantage of this, but the mullahs criticized this from the mosques, and not one single Arab did. In Albania, so many Muslims worked so hard to rescue Jewish people that Albania's Jewish population after the war was higher than before the war. Again, I could go on.
I'm not an elegant speaker, but I do no know this. You don't fight hatred with more hatred. It doesn't work. We fought two wars, and that should be fresh in our minds. Instead, we should reach out and recognized that our Muslim neighbors are experiencing hatred themselves more than they are the purveyers of it. Let the gravestones of the Paris, Baghdad, and Beirut victims be monuments not to the hatred that claimed their lives, but to the love we're all still capable of embracing and expanding.