Saturday, November 14, 2015

"It Is Not Paris We Should Pray For. It Is the World"

The following reflection by Delhi-based Indian blogger Karuna Ezara Parikh was shared earlier today by my friend Patty via Facebook.

It is not Paris we should pray for. It is the world.

It is a world in which Beirut, reeling from bombings two days before Paris, is not covered in the press.

A world in which a bomb goes off at a funeral in Baghdad and not one person's status update says "Baghdad," because not one white person died in that fire.

Pray for the world that blames a refugee crisis for a terrorist attack. That does not pause to differentiate between the attacker and the person running from the very same thing you are.

Pray for a world where people walking across countries for months, their only belongings upon their backs, are told they have no place to go.

Say a prayer for Paris, by all means, but pray more for the world that does not have a prayer for those who no longer have a home to defend. For a world that is falling apart in all corners, and not simply in the towns and cafes we find familiar.

Related Off-site Links:
Poem Urging Prayers for World, Not Just Paris, Strikes A Chord – Ron Dicker (The World Post, November 15, 2015).
Paris Attacks Highlight Western Vulnerability, and Our Selective Grief and Outrage – Chris Graham (New Matilda, November 14, 2015).
Let's Pray for Beirut the Same Way We're Praying for Paris – Elyane Youssef (Elephant Journal, November 14, 2015).
Media Turn Civilian ISIS Victims in Beirut Into Hezbollah Human Shields – Ben Norton (FAIR via Common Dreams, November 14, 2015).
Paris Terror Attacks: France Now Faces Fight Against Fear and Exclusion – Aurelien Mondon (The Conversation via Common Dreams, November 14, 2015).
Paris: You Don’t Want to Read This – Peter Van Buren (Common Dreams, November 15, 2015).
There Is Only One Way to Defeat ISIS – Charles P. Pierce (Esquire, November 14, 2015).
What I Discovered From Interviewing Imprisoned ISIS Fighters – Lydia Wilson (The Nation, October 21, 2015).
 To Defeat ISIS, We Must Call Both Western and Muslim Leaders to Account – Laila Lalami (The Nation, November 15, 2015).
The Age of Despair: Reaping the Whirlwind of Western Support for Extremist Violence – Chris Floyd (Counter Punch, November 13, 2015).
You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia – Alastair Crooke (The World Post, August 27, 2014).
Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter to ISIS Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology – Lauren Markoe (Religion News Service via HuffPost Religion, September 25, 2014).
Muslims Around the World Speak Out Against Terrorist Attacks in Paris – Nash Jenkins (Time, November 14, 2015).
No, Israel, You Are Not Paris – Michael Greenberger (Forward, November 16, 2015).
Terrorist Attacks in Paris: Can Tragedy Bring Change? – Diana Johnstone (Counter Punch, November 16, 2015).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Let's Also Honor the "Expendables"
Thoughts on Prayer in a "Summer of Strife"


Liam said...

And say a prayer for the grace to keep ourselves from using the misfortunes of others an opportunity for moral preening.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Hmm . . . I don't know, Liam. That's not what I'm sensing is going on here. I think Britto is just trying to expand the circle of compassion. Perhaps for some whose outlook is limited to the "towns and cafes [they] find familiar" and safe, it might come across as "moral preening," yet for those aware of the wider world and its pitiful state, I think Britto's words would deeply resonate.