If you watch television reports of current events or read social media, it would be hard to avoid seeing coverage of the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on Friday, November 13. In fact, it would be almost impossible.
The following Sunday, every single morning news program gave extensive coverage to the story.
I do not dispute that this, and any story involving terrorism, needs extensive coverage to pay homage to the victims and their families, and to identify all of the facts and contributing factors that led to the attack and hopefully, avoid or allay future attacks. But the media has the obligation to deliver responsible coverage, not sensationalized coverage that fires the fear factory and pits one group of people against another. When the media jumps on the hate-mongering, fear-firing bandwagon, no good can come of this.
Since the Syrian war broke out in 2011, more than 250,000 people have died. Over 11 million have fled their homes, losing everything, and risking their lives to escape. People do not willingly leave their homeland, unless the most egregious conditions exist in that country, brought about by a tyrannical and evil force. The people who are leaving their homeland – whether Muslim, Christian or other religions, are not the terrorists. They are the terrorized.
Let us not allow the coverage distributed by some irresponsible media outlets pervert our –call them American, call them Christian, call them humanitarian — ideals and allow us to turn our backs on people in need, simply because they share the same religious ideological foundation as the terrorists who seek to defile that religion through radicalism and terrorist actions. Let us not fall victims to the same ignorance and prejudice that drives terrorism.
P.S. For an inspiring story about how open arms and a spirit of generosity can bridge divides, read Gate A-4. I guarantee it will make you smile.
Feature Photo credit: UNHCR / D. Kashavelov, used under creative commons license.
#notinmyname photo credit: Payfu.fr/blog
This editorial was written by Carol White Llewellyn and does not necessarily reflect the views of the RCTV Staff, Board of Directors or Members.