I got on my soapbox just a little bit this weekend.
Because of the number of people on social media sharing stuff like this
On the face of it, this cartoon is polite.
But don’t be fooled. The message is “you can stick your prayers… we don’t want or need them… we know how to express sympathy and solidarity – and your way is wrong”.
This was inevitably picked up by those against religion – be it Muslim or faith as a whole – as a way of arguing that believing in God(s) is the source of all evil and the reason for the world’s problems.
Less than 2% of the terror attacks committed in Europe in the last five years was carried out by Muslims. And an FBI study found that 94% of terrorism in America over a 25-year period was committed by non-Muslims.
And yes, if you were to read this article you’d realise there are also terrorists who are Christian, Jewish, Palestinian, and even Buddhist. Religion is one of many justifications used by those who are not sound of mind, to take human life.
But the majority of these senseless acts of killing are carried out by separatists, fighting for political or territorial reasons.
Yet recent events in Paris still prompt otherwise intelligent people to declare religion as evil, telling us not to pray for Paris as the city doesn’t want our prayers.
Do these people speak for an entire city? For all of those bereaved by this atrocity? I doubt it.
As someone who considers herself more spiritual than religious, let me just say that I can understand the overwhelming anger and sadness.
But I also recognise that declaring something evil just because someone kills in its name is over-simplifying the argument.
Far more people kill in the name of love. Do we declare love a destructive and wrong emotion – and encourage others not to seek it out?
A man could fall madly in love with a woman, and convince himself that to prove his love he must kill her enemies. In this scenario, if he takes human life believing that she will reward him, who is evil? Love? The woman?
Pointing an angry finger at those sending warmth and goodness in the direction of Paris makes absolutely no sense to me.
And just because some choose to do so using their faith makes them no more similar to ISIS than I am to a woman who murders her own children through some warped view of motherhood.
Rejecting sympathy and solidarity is not what I imagine the majority of Parisians are doing right now.
So spread the love, I say.
Express it however you see fit.
Hate is what these terrorists want us to feel.