March 22, 2016 (Brussels Bombings)

This was the first "blog post" I wrote. Seems a bit dramatic now but was fitting at the time. Taken from my (deleted) Medium page.

To bomb Belgium or France is to deliver a small taste of the terror one experiences in their own community to  those who participate in the very same act unbeknownst to themselves. It is a method of communicating that Your wars bring Our deaths. That there is a gross inequality in the quantity and value of Your bombs and Our bombs, Your bodies and Our bodies. Retaliation only perpetuates the growing cycle of violence that creeps steadily into our lives, however it also serves as a method of communicating one’s adversity. And we should take it upon ourselves to understand the adversity we often force down the throats of Muslims in Europe and the Middle East. We should attempt to understand why these men chose to communicate their rage by interrupting the peace and quiet of life in the West through the brutal act of disregarding a person’s right to their body. The aim is not to sympathize with Them, but to give justice to the victims by understanding why this happened and how to respond. This starts by immersing ourselves in a feeling that Muslims in Europe and the Middle East experience on a regular basis: that one’s body is dispensable, and that most basic right— the right to your body — is constantly under threat. We must attempt to understand the sensation of having our minds occupied by an outside force that prioritizes its desires over ours.

The cycle of violence is complex and cannot be simplified to the traditional Us vs Them mentality, but without Us it is incomplete. This cycle is one where We, afraid of our Muslim brothers and sisters, turn our fear into violent retaliation. By criminalizing and ghettoizing our neighbors who, at the moment, are more concerned than We are, because They will inevitably be forced to suffer twice. We bomb neighborhoods far away from here where the organization claiming responsibility has embedded itself with innocent people who have been given no choice but to participate in a civil war co-opted (desecrated) by major world powers and other opportunists. This cycle of violence is one where those who use Their religion as a vague method of gaining power seek to benefit from the violence We will inevitably force upon Their people.

Belgians have every right to express rage, fear, and sadness without having their emotions exploited for political gain. Whether that means turning fear into attacks on civil liberties, bombing campaigns, and the further marginalization of thousands of innocent people, or belittling it for the sake of comparison to the countless other tragedies that occur on a daily basis in this world. We must learn to break from the cycle of violence by understanding it, and by refusing to respond to Their bombs with Our bombs .

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