I heard about Paris and I was sickened. I searched for information and I was sickened. Hours passed and social media went into overdrive. Everyone’s thoughts on Paris were everywhere and like everyone else I had a few of my own.
Initially my thoughts were with the mothers whose sons and daughters would never come home. Then I thought of the sons and daughters whose mothers would not come home. Finally I wondered at those who dreamed up the plan who were sons and daughters.
And I wondered why?
Just as I did one beautiful sunny Saturday in August when I went to visit my mother and heard of the Omagh bombing. Someone’s son, in the name of my country, had made a bomb. Someones son, had left that bomb in the centre of Omagh in Northern Ireland, on it’s busiest day of the week and that bomb exploded killing twenty nine innocent shoppers, including a woman eight months pregnant with twins.
Today as I watched so many vent their anger online, I wondered what was the difference in the mind of those who carried out the attack in Paris and those who had killed civilians here in this country in the name of freedom and religion. It is convenient for us to believe that Islamic extremists are alien beings to us but I say, take away the ‘Islamic’ and you are left with extremists. Therein lies the similarity. People who are blinded by what ever cause and filled with righteousness and hate.
For most of my life I believed there could be no end to the ‘Troubles’ and had begun to accept the killings and bombings as a part and parcel of Northern Ireland. I was wrong and thankfully my children have grown up for the most part not knowing anything but peace.
I hope in time I am also wrong and the seeming impossible task of controlling ISIS is achieved. If you think that is impossible just look here and see how many died in this small country of ours as recently as the 1990s and the number of dreadful atrocities which were carried out on such a regular basis. Who would have imagined we could ever live together peacefully? But we do.
Never lose hope.