Tolerating terrorism?


Many pictures circled around social media after the news of the terrorism attacks in Paris, but Beirut did not receive the same amount of attention from the global community. (Photo credit: Fair Use)

Immediately following the recent terror attacks in Paris, news channels began to cover the incidents. Pictures of the Eiffel Tower in a peace sign flooded many news feeds, and hashtags such as #PrayforParis quickly became a worldwide trending topic.  Famous buildings around the world, including the White House, lit up in the colors of the French flag to show support for France and its people.

The media and the public, however, seem to have turned a blind eye toward another pair of ISIS attacks in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.  Two suicide bombers killed at least 41 people and wounded 200 more, yet all major new channels focused on the attacks in Paris and their aftermath.

With 129 killed and at least 350 injured, the attacks in Paris were the deadliest acts of violence in France since World War II. Of course this terrible tragedy deserves to be mourned, but most media outlets do not recognize that Beirut’s suicide bombing was the city’s deadliest since 1990, which occurred during its civil war. While it is generally more shocking, and thus more newsworthy, that ISIS attacked a western country, people should remember that acts of terrorism occur everywhere – especially in the Middle East.

Because we associate the Middle East so often with these acts, we seem to have grown almost tolerant of the terrorism in the region. Perhaps some of this is to blame on the media’s lack of coverage of these events, but are people truly saddened the same way when they hear about the loss of human life from terrorism in Lebanon as well as in France?

No buildings were lit up for Beirut. No pictures about their attacks went viral. Even Facebook is being criticized for activating its “Safety Check” feature during the Paris attacks, but not for Beirut’s.

Without much global sympathy or support, many from Beirut have said they feel forgotten. It is important to remember that any terrorist attack in any part of the world is great sorrow to the world.