Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Tragedy in Mogadishu
This morning I listened to a CBC interview with a medical doctor from Hamilton whose family emigrated there years ago. They were from Somalia and she has returned there to run a medical clinic in Mogadishu, her contribution to an emerging nation. She has become an essential part of the response to the horrific bombing which took place in the city over the weekend. At least 300 people were killed and hundreds more seriously injured. The Islamist fundamentalist militant group Al-Shabaab took responsibility for the massacre which took the lives of street vendors and shopkeepers in the blast area.
Why these groups, including Al Qaeda and Isis feel that killing the innocent will advance any cause, let alone the intentions of Allah is beyond comprehension. Al Shebaab has only a few thousands adherents and they are hated by most people in East Africa yet they inflict such great harm. When will these radicalized haters realize that their acts of terror do nothing to change the resolve of everyday people wherever they strike?
The doctor interviewed this morning had hardly eaten or slept for days. She was emotional as she wondered aloud about the hard questions others have raised about this incident. Why does the international press give less attention to such tragedies when they occur in Africa? Is it because of a veiled colonialism or racism? Is it because the perpetrators identify as Muslims, even though the majority of their victims are Muslims who reject their violent misinterpretation of the religion?
I think it's important for those of us who identify as Christians from so-called Western nations to examine our own biases when it comes to the tragedies and travails of those in developing nations. We can bring the same prayerful and practical compassion to these incidents we do when terror occurs on the streets of London, or in a public square in Los Vegas.