Paris attack ‘sympathy system’ for dummies

The Paris attack did reveal a lot of people, it must be said. Anyway, my Facebook News Feed was all outraged about people outraging against a terrorist attack. So, thought to have an idiots guide for sympathy system.

1. Why only France? Why not Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, etc.?

Everyone is allowed to sympathise with the victims of terrorism. I was outraged when Ed Brown was killed in America. I was outraged when a Muslim was killed in Dadri for allegedly eating beef. I was outraged when the USA bombed an MSF hospital in Afghanistan. I was outraged when Sri Lanka police attacked university students recently. I was outraged when ISIS terrorists attacked Beirut, so did I when they attacked France.

Now, should I express my anger each and every time? Of course, not. My Facebook is not my life. I get busy with life. Some issues are closer to me than others are.

Remember when you were upset when Facebook changed its Timeline view and you were outraged about it? Yes, when you were outraged about it, thousands of children died without food.
Remember when you were angry that a food was not good as it was promised? Hundreds all around the world died because of terrorism.
Remember when you were outraged that someone said something insensitive? Hundreds were dying without proper medical care at that time.
Remember that you are using the Internet to read this now? Billions of children are without the access to basic education.

So, ask me the question again? Why am I outraged about France, not Lebanon?

Well, Lebanon was being attacked often. There is some sort of unrest or conflict in that country. It was a bomb blast.
The Paris attack was different. It was a direct attack in the capital of France. The people were shot one by one by the terrorists.
I know France more than Lebanon. Many, many of my relatives live there. We all have loved the Eiffel Tower. (Incidentally, my current wallpaper is a picture of the Eiffel Tower. I changed it on Wednesday.)
For non-religious people, France is one of the most secular countries in the world. A vibrant democracy as well.
What do I know about Lebanon? Not much.
In addition, when Paris is attacked, I feel it closer to me than Beirut. Moreover, the manner it was carried out.

It is impossible to show my emotions for each and every incident in this world. And, even if I did to half of them, the Facebook will be like a place to share the eulogy rather than a social network.

2. What about the lives in Palestine, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon?

Read the answer for the first question again. All life matter. Remember, you only care about the Palestinians killed by Israel, but not vice versa?
You don’t care about the secular publishers in Bangladesh, who are being killed often?
The journalists killed by ISIS?
The sex slaves by Boko Haram?

Yeah, no? I care about all life. I voice against them whenever I can. But, do not tell me what should I talk or think.

3. Facebook has its own political agenda. Why flag for France attack and not for Lebanon? Why safety centre for Paris only?

Safety centre – Facebook has explained it. The service was limited only to natural disasters before. The Paris attack was the first-ever time it was enabled for something else.
Flag – Let us not pretend as if we do not know anything.
Facebook is an American company. Its view of the world will be through its eyes. For it, the LGBT rights verdict was a big thing. We had rainbow overlay. To it, the France attack was closer to it. In addition, as the reasons explained in the first question, the Paris attack is more relevant to a Western company. In addition, Facebook is allowed to have its opinions, isn’t it? It did not force anyone to change his or her profiles.

4. You are not going to do anything by just changing the profile photo.
Of course, it is not going to end the terrorism. It is. I am sure; everyone who changes the profile photo knows it.
Facebook itself clearly tells the reason. “To show solidarity”. My relatives in France know that I care about the situation in their country. It is like going to funeral houses. You cannot change anything by just going to the funeral houses. However, you know that going there and showing that you are there for them means a lot to lots of people. And, you know what, changing flags is wayyyyyyy better than praying for France. Praying for France does nothing. Changing flags, at least show that I am with them.

Gopikrishna Kanagalingam

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *