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Attacks on places of worship

It seems the world’s mosques, synagogues, churches and temples are no longer safe. Yesterday’s attack on a California synagogue, combined with the bombing of churches in Sri Lanka and the Christchurch attacks before that, show that worshippers can no longer go to their places of worship without potentially exposing themselves to harm. In Sri Lanka, the situation is so bad that the government was forced to urge Muslims not to attend mosques this past Friday. Eighteen years after the world embarked on a global war against terrorism, hate against the ‘other’ has become so pervasive in society’s around the world that deadly acts of mass murder seem to have become an everyday occurrence.
Who is to blame? There are many who have acted irresponsibly. This includes social media giants who allow killers to live stream their butchery and inspire others, only acting once its too late. Reportedly, the teenage perpetrator of yesterday’s shooting at the California synagogue published a manifesto online in which he praised the perpetrator of the Christchurch terror attack. There is also the fact that our social media accounts are often designed to be echo-chambers that reinforce existing political biases until they metastasize into violent extremism. It is necessary that leaders around the globe take action and regulate this phenomenon if the world is to become a safer place.
But then how can we trust world leaders and national governments these days anyway when they themselves are part of the problem? In the US, President Donald Trump rode a wave of bigotry and racism all the way into the Whitehouse by villainising Mexicans and Muslims. In India, the ruling party has scapegoated and openly threatened Muslims in order to further its political agenda. In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro compared indigenous people to zoo animals during his election campaign. Here in Pakistan, genocidal anti-Shia terrorists are allowed to participate in the general elections.
These are all disturbing trends that have been left unchecked for far too long. If this doesn’t change, the world will become a far scarier place before things start to get better.



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