Fear of Reprisal

I was speaking to my boyfriend about my concerns of discussing and sharing my findings about terrorism. I was worried that it could be misinterpreted but I suppose everyone has the right to share their own views, freedom of speech and all that! I had just fallen down the stairs at work and had moaned about it on Facebook, when I noticed a friend had posted an article about the Tunisian terrorist attack. Before reading the article, I promptly deleted my post – falling down the stairs was nothing in comparison to what these people were going through!

Reading the article for the first time; I had tears in my eyes, I was shocked and upset, not because I knew any of the victims but because I was saddened that this had occurred due to one persons misinterpretation of the Qur’an. The leader of ISIS has interpreted it, in his own violent way and many supporters have followed suit. It was heartbreaking reading the story about the attack; holidaymakers enjoying a relaxing, summer holiday and within seconds were dealing with a massacre.

I’m confused as to how ISIS have misinterpreted the Qur’an? Many Muslims around the world take the time to give up any bad habits and focus on making the relevant changes to becoming a better Muslim. Most do so by praying more or reading the Qur’an. The only similarity between ISIS and Muslims is that they both fast.

Fasting is intended to help teach self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity. Simply reminding them of the poor, who may rarely eat. As I mentioned ISIS also implement fasting however if someone was to break the fast and a leader was informed; they would be publicly reprimanded. ISIS does so by either a public beheading, stonings and crucifixions for those accused of this crime. It does seem extreme that they are being beaten or killed for breaking the fast but it is okay that they kill during this sacred time? Slightly backwards don’t you think?

I think we are all struggling to come to terms with the amount of attacks that occurred on this day; Friday 26th June 2015. Holiday makers caught up in a disgusting killing spree, on a popular beach resort in Sousse, Tunisia. The owner of a chemicals delivery company was found beheaded beside two jihadi banners; he was murdered by one of his delivery drivers. The employee also caused an explosion by driving in to gas and liquid cannisters near Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, France and furthermore, innocent people were killed whilst praying in a mosque in Kuwait.

ISIS have requested that their supporters continue to make Ramadan “..a month of disasters, defeats and disgrace for infidels everywhere,” Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, an ISIS spokesman, said in an audio statement at the start of the month-long holiday. In theory, ISIS has justified these attacks by informing us that they deem Ramadan: the month of war, rather than Ramadan being a time of peace and introspection.

Sadly, it would seem that ISIS has followed through on their plans to massacre more people during the month of Ramadan; as they are to blame for a further 145 civilians killed in the town of Kobani, Syria. Since then, ISIS supporters in Israel have also made threats vowing to slaughter Christians in Jerusalem. In Somalia, the al-Qaeda affiliate group al-Shabaab has called for the killing of Christians in Kenya. And in Yemen, a car bomb set-off by alleged ISIS affiliates killed 10 people on Monday. It doesn’t look like they plan to stop until they have instilled fear in all of us.

Before these attacks occurred; Turkish authorities had advised many areas were deemed unsafe, particularly near the Syrian border. The Turkish government and tourism boards had placed the country on high alert for terrorism due to the increased numbers of attacks. They advised that holidaymakers visiting Turkish beach resorts are at risk of kidnap, suicide bombings, car bombings, rocket attacks and improvised explosives.

As Turkey is a big tourist destination there will be many tourists wandering around and could get caught up in anything. Westerners are always targeted as ultimately the terrorist groups are about attracting attention to spread their ideology. If a British person is killed, it is guaranteed that the British press will write about it and then each article will be copied and transmitted across the world. This is why westerners, particularly British, are seen as high value.

Following these attacks, most countries are now on high alert including the United Kingdom, Tunisia, Spain including the Balearic Islands, France, Turkey and Egypt. I’m actually thankful that I haven’t arranged a holiday this year; as I’m unsure whether I would be willing to travel. I’ve always had a long list of places that I would like to visit, however, I am now worried that I may not have the opportunity to do so if these attacks continue.

I wonder if anyone else has questioned their safety? Wanted to change travel plans? I am grateful that I’ve arranged a weekend stay-cation to North Berwick this year. What I wonder is how long before we will be too scared to travel? Too scared to visit somewhere new? Concerned that we may be targeted? ISIS has had such a high news coverage of the attack – will this instigate another attack at a popular destination?

Sadly, I have no way to conclude! We are not in control of this situation but I hope that in time we can gain control and fight against terrorism now and in the future. I also hope that the Tunisian locals are recognised for their shear bravery; making a human shield to protect other tourists on the beach from being injured, the Tunisian gentleman who stunned the terrorist by throwing ceramic tiles at his head, for the local policeman who risked his own life to shoot and kill the terrorist and for all the support from the Tunisian public, health service, police etc.

Also my thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.

Until next time…

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