Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Aujourd'hui, moi aussi, je suis français

I lost a friend today.

She wasn't someone I'd ever met in person; I only knew her over the net. But we'd been talking for a long time, remotely; she'd shared a lot of herself with me, and I with her. I knew she was pretty right-wing, but it didn't matter all that much. We were close.

Then came the Paris attacks. In the aftermath, it all came spilling out of her: how she blamed the Syrian refugees for everything; how all Islamic people were to blame; how mad it was of President Obama to be welcoming ten thousand refugees into the USA.

I told her that, actually, I favoured helping Syrian refugees in any way possible. She told me that France should nuke the lot of them.

I said goodbye.

She was still swearing and typing insults at me as I unfriended her and set a block so that I wouldn't hear anything from her again. But that wasn't what disturbed me the most.

What really disturbed me, and still does, is that her attitude…her blind, unreasoning hatred of Islam, her eagerness to see them all slaughtered or nuked…is exactly the same—exactly the same—as the attitudes of the terrorists themselves.

My friend, and ISIS…I can't tell the difference. That bothers me. Actually, it terrifies me.

I'll pray for her. Somehow, somehow, this hatred has to end. On both sides.