November 15, 2015

Time for a Change

An olive tree in Sbaniyeh, next to the Mar Frem Monastery, overlooking the Beirut River Valley
 

A positive result, as far as I am concerned, of the attacks in Paris, is the stark realization among many that there’s a difference between the west and the rest of the world.
When people are blown up in Paris, we all change our Facebook profile picture, and Obama tells the world that this was not just an attack on Paris, but an attack on all humanity. Seriously now.
What about us?
 
Because when they are blown up in Beirut, or Syria, or anywhere else in the Middle East, it’s not even news.


Not much is known about the monastery. It was abandoned in 1860, after fights between druze and christians resulted in the monks being killed. It was partially restored some years ago, but is not in active use.

 
And that’s exactly why they’re being blown up in Paris. Because the west does not care what happens to people in the Middle East.

People in the Middle East already knew this. But many westerners who somehow have a link with the Middle East, are confronted with it now. Pray for Paris. But nobody prays for Beirut.
 
 
The western world does care about their interests though.
And if this involves supporting oppressive dictators who eliminate opponents without a process, regimes that do not allow women to drive cars, or countries that stone women on adultery charges, then so be it.
If it results in entire regions where people live in abject poverty while their elite own Lamborghinis by the dozens, or in entire populations being removed from their land to live in futureless conditions in cramped camps for many generations, then so be it.

Because it does not touch you. They're not your people. It's not your back yard.
 
 
And now our colonialism is coming back to haunt us.
Fundamentalism and radicalism do not spring from religion. They have their roots in poverty, injustice and a future without hope. This graph is a clear indication of that. Religion is all they have left, and so they cling to it with a vengeance (Research here and here).
 
A new bell tower.
 
Now they’re calling for a war on ISIS. I thought that one was already on. More bombing and ground troops.  It will only alienate more. You cannot bomb away poverty, injustice and a future without hope. What we’re doing right now, is obviously not working.
It’s time for a change. And so I leave you with the beauty of Lebanon. 
 
A beautiful Volvo

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the reaction of someone who is not religious and does not understand the influence of religion and/or ideology. Of course socioeconomic factors, colonialism, imperialism, zionism, every other "ism", coupled with hypocrisy blah blah blah, are partial causes of some of these actions.

It doesn't explain why an educated young man, raised in a comfortable family in London, would leave all to cut off heads for ISIS in Syria. Or well-educated comfortable young men from Saudi Arabia and Lebanon would decide to fly into office buildings in Manhattan. Or young men raised in France would decide to assassinate people for drawing cartoons. Or other young men apparently born in France would commit massacres and suicide bombings on an industrial scale against totally random fellow citizens.

Do not discount belief and religion and ideology in governing people's actions irrespective of affluence and education. Religion is as religion does.

Richard

Anonymous said...

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/marginoferr/2015/11/14/another-terrorist-attack-the-same-faulty-arguments/

Anonymous said...

A-MEN!!! Wonderful post Sietske.

Anonymous said...

I love that sexy volvo. I wonder if the owner would think of selling it.

Sandra Issa said...

Well said indeed

Emie said...

Mooie blogs op 14 en 15 november!

Anonymous said...

http://www.nrc.nl/handelsblad/2015/11/16/waarom-is-beiroet-geen-wereldnieuws-en-parijs-wel-1560031

Elie Touma said...

The horrible explosions in Beirut were very quickly forgotten together with our garbage problem and all eyes were focused on Paris. Shame!!

Anonymous said...

When we were colonialized , we had a very nice train.

Sietske said...

Hahahaha, good one. Yes, indeed. We did. This one got me laughing.

Sietske said...

True. That's why maybe we shouldn't pray for any of them :)

Sietske said...

Thank you!

Sietske said...

No! I already asked. Owner is an elderly man, he's the first owner.

Sietske said...

Thank you

Sietske said...

Bedankt!

Sietske said...

Heb m gelezen.

Sietske said...

Read it. I partially agree.

Sietske said...

I know. We're still stuck with that problem.

Sietske said...

Well, these comments certainly are organized differently on my phone.

Anonymous said...

Some clear thinking on the issue of extremism:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IchGuL501U

"Religious extremism is not caused by poverty. Poverty is caused by religious extremism."