Within a period of around 24 hours, three different episodes of shootings and siege were reported in the world media. But the reactions to each one of them by the police and the reporting in the media were in sharp contrast to one another.
The first was the takeover of a Café in Sydney, second was a hostage taking episode in Belgium and third was a shooting at Pennsylvania in the US.
The media coverage of the Sydney episode continued in the international media throughout the whole period of the drama with a deadly end leaving 3 people dead, and has continued since then with live reports on various aspects of the incident – the responses of the family members and Australians, the possible fallout and the memorials.
Belgium incident received international coverage for several hours till there was a suspicion of the hostage takers being “Islamists” but as soon as it became clear that the crisis had nothing to do with Muslims, the coverage abruptly stopped. When this writer tried to find out the latest position through Internet, he could not find the latest situation, with one website giving the last report as follows:
“Live coverage finished
Our live coverage of the Belgium hostage incident has now concluded.
Four gunmen took a man hostage in an apartment in the Belgian city of Ghent earlier today.
Officials said there was no initial evidence linking the assault to a jihadist organisation.”
The Pennsylvania incident leading to the killing of the six was hardly reported in the world media with albeit a very brief coverage. Mass shootings in the US have become by far common than the terrorist attacks, but US media hardly scrutinise what is turning so many Americans into serial killers.
Though BBC reported about the identity of the culprit as follows:
“Montgomery County police are seeking the suspected gunman, whom they named as Bradley William Stone, 35. They say he may be armed and dangerous and told residents to remain indoors. The suspect killed his ex-wife Nicole Stone, her mother, her grandmother, her sister, her sister’s husband and 14 year old daughter.”
There was also a news item about GM Switch deaths which have consumed the lives of 48 people. The news, of course attracted the little attention.
The three episodes ended very differently. The lone gunman who killed six in Pennsylvania is still absconding and the police have not been able to catch hold of him.
The fate of the Belgium hostage takers is still not known, but it is clear that no extraordinary efforts have been made by the police to take hold of them, and the most likely course of action will be a few years’ imprisonment for them. GM switch victims would of course receive some compensation in dollars, and there is no likelihood of the persons responsible facing any criminal charges of murder. The Sydney episode ended up with the killing of the lone gunman together with the death of two hostages and injuries to several others including a policeman.
This sums up how the world powers and the international media is bent upon turning the Muslim community all over the world as suspects in the eyes of the authorities as well as the fellow countrymen. If Sydney lone culprit had not been a Muslim, the most likely course of event would have been a silent and peaceful end to the drama. As the reports have suggested, the “terrorist” was no member of any terrorist organization, and had a long history of criminal tendencies. He was like the many shooters in the US.
It is also not yet clear if the two other persons were shot by him or by the Police. In case, they were killed not by him but by the shots fired by the police, it would also prove the inaptness of the authorities in dealing with a situation where a solitary gunman aged 50 with a shotgun, kept the hostages under his control for more than 18 hours.
But the Sydney drama provided an opportunity for Islamophobes to spread hatred against Muslims in general, and the organizations they think dangerous. This overreaction every time there is suspicion of “Islamists” involved, helps their political agenda and the global game plan to perpetuate hegemony in the world. They always need a villain, and the latest villain is ISIS and they are using it to vilify Islam and demonise Muslims.
They forget to tell the world that ISIS is their own creation, and its members were considered “freedom fighters” till they were fighting the Syrian regime. Their “brutalities” were never highlighted then, and their killings were never counted as “terrorist” deaths. They were the recipients of the Western money and weapons, and their threats were downplayed. As soon as Assad regime succeeded in finishing the West-supported revolt, and ISIS moved in Iraq, they became the most dangerous terrorist organization of the world.
While debating the events, Australian government would also better reconsider its strategy of going along with the US, come what may, as if it is not an independent nation capable of taking its own decisions. It should realize that by becoming part of America’s war on terror, it has in fact aggravated the chances of greater violence, and if it sends its planes to bomb other nations, more likely than not it would have to face its ugly repercussions. It should convince its Boss and its allies that if peace has to prevail in the world, they will have to reassess their own role in the genesis of violence, and they will have to give up their attitude of ruthless domination over other nations.
How long will the sordid categorization on the basis of political motives continue? How long will the killings of the millions of innocent human beings go without any attention, and a few deaths reported day and night, just because the former are committed by the “International Guardians of Peace” and the latter by their enemies? How long will the people of the world take in recognizing the truth that every single act of violence against an innocent is to be condemned, irrespective of the identity of the victim, the identity of the killers, the place of the killing and the motive and the method of killing? How long will the denizens of the world know that the Muslim World is more the wronged than the it is the wrong-doer? How long will West take to realize that if it wants peace to prevail, the best policy would be non-interference in the affairs of other countries?