Tuesday, 22 March 2016


Brussels has long been one of my favourite cities in Europe. I've had the pleasure of spending many hours wandering about the old centre of the city, exploring the shops and parks, driving around the ring one way, yet ending up going another while still finding my way back to my hotel. I've also spent many hours in the Brussels Airport, and at the train station, either catching the train to Ghent or Antwerp, and once to Paris. I've stood where the bombs went off today; I recognize places in the pictures.

Today is another one of many sad days in our history where people who seek to damage and control others use religion as their excuse. It's not just religion, however. Others have brought misery with them in their quest to destroy the capitalist system, the communist system, the democratic system, the dictatorial system. It doesn't matter the reason, the system, the time, the place; throughout human history, people have used terror to get what they wanted.

With today's example of man's inhumanity to man, there are once again calls to root out the trouble makers, to take potential terrorists, or people who look like they might be terrorists, or people of Islam because it's the cause of all this problem. Yet those very calls ignore the most simple issue in all of this. Terrorists blend in. They look like you and me. They might be your neighbour, your teacher, your bus driver, your doctor. You can't tell by looking at someone if they are a terrorist.

Nor can you tell by their religion if they are terrorists. By this measure, all Irish Catholics should have gone to prison during the 1970's. Religion doesn't turn someone into a terrorist; it simply gives someone with a desire to stamp their views on all of us a reason, a casus belli, a rationale for their violence. You can't identify a terrorist by their colour, their race, their mode of dress, their language or any other external element. You can only determine a terrorist by their actions, often too late to stop them.

So what do we do? We demonstrate peace, tolerance, understanding. We show freedom, opportunity, a reason to live in peace. We deal with these crimes as just that, criminal acts. We find those who did them, those who helped do them, those who plan to do them, and we prove these crimes in a public court of law. We do what a responsible society does. We will not vilify, or demonize. We will not sow hatred. We will get back to the business of life, of living, and honour the victims by not letting fear drive us to return terror with terror.


  1. It's a sad world we live in. Your writing is fantastic, and while I agree with your premise, I don't think it's going to be so easy. We have a man running for president that has historically good poll numbers and he is advocating some not so nice stuff.

    1. I am fearful for the US in this climate of politically induced hatred. I am with Winston Churchill with this. "America will ultimately do the right thing, after they have tried everything else."

  2. As an American I am saddened by every terrorist attack and believe the world needs to heal but unfortunately something extreme needs to happen before the world can heal. Our current leadership has been a disappointment .

  3. Yeah it's sad how we religion politics, police, and anything we can to control others. The sooner we realize it's all media and an illusion, the better off we'll be as one.

  4. Well-reasoned and stated. Thank you for sharing Churchill's quote; I love my country and hope we find the answer sooner than later.