More than 200 innocent Muslims slaughtered in Baghdad a few days ago at the hands of Daesh (This term is considered derogatory by the Islamic State organization), who acknowledged responsibility for the attack. The method was a a truck bomb in the Karrada neighborhood. The motive, apparently was hatred for a group of people ostensibly of the wrong faith. Daesh is dominated by the Sunni sect of Islam. The bombing victims were largely of the Shiite sect. In essence we see a religious hatred at work. This Saturday attack occurred near the end of Ramadan. Some of the victims were families out shopping for new children’s clothing to be worn in the final hours celebrating the close of Ramadan.
On Sunday a second bomb exploded in a market in the Shaab Neighborhood, also a Shiite community. There have been reports of one dead and at least five injured.
Ramadan is a period of prayer and fasting for the Islamic faith. But Daesh finds it a suitable time to launch killing attacks. In my mind this is indicative of an organization of terrorists who care nothing for the essentially peaceful nature of Islam. Daesh is interested only in trying to decimate those whom they declare are enemies.It is clear that Daesh does not care if their ‘so-called-enemies” are also Muslims.
This year the period of Ramada has seen many attacks in various places in the Muslim part of the world. Dhaka, Bangladesh is one such example. The Holey Artisan Bakery was the scene. The bakery was established just two years ago in Gulshan, and affluent neighborhood that includes many embassies in the diplomatic enclave. The death toll included two police officers who arrived quickly at the scene. They met death within seconds of their arrival bravely rushing in to do their sworn duty only to die at the hands of five or six terrorists. Muslim customers were separated from Non-muslims. The Muslims were given a meal so they could prepare for the Ramadan fast. . Non-muslims faced a violent death. When a strike force of commandos finally arrived, “their decisive action resulted in five terrorists dead and one arrested. The commandos managed to rescue 13 hostages. But they also found the bodies of 20 people on the floor: Nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian, two Bangladeshis and one U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin.They’d all been hacked or stabbed to death.” (CNN report)
Another Ramadan attack at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul claimed the lives of more than 40. Three terrorists carried out a suicide bomber style operation. One attackers was identified as a top official in the Daesh war ministry. Turkish officials believe the three entered Turkey about a month ago, arriving from the Daesh held city of Raqqa in Syria.
May 22nd was the date of a violent attack on enlistees for military service in Yemen. Two suicide attacks killed at least 40 and injured dozens more. Here also the motivation appears to be against Shiites by Sunni terrorist groups affiliated with Al Qaeda.
In Jordan a suicide car bomb killed six members of the Jordanian security forces. Jordan reacted by closing border areas next to Syria declaring them closed military zones. There has been no claim of responsibility from any known terrorist group. In northern Lebanon, along the Syrian border a terrorist attack took the lives of six and wounded more than 15 others. The area where the attacks took place is a mainly Christian zone. The source of the attack has not yet been identified.
With these attacks added to the terror attack at Pulse in Orlando, the month of Ramadan has been brutal for Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. It is my opinion that these attacks by Daesh members or its supporters or like minded groups constitute a complete and utter disdain for the teachings of the Quran. I am not an Islamic scholar, but what I know about Islam and what I think I understand about the fundamental teachings these attacks would be considered absolutely wrong behavior by anyone claiming to be Muslim.
By the same token I am not a scholar of Biblical (Christian) teachings. I do know and do understand that a powerful commandment is that we must love our enemies and cherish our neighbors. I believe that means we are NOT to hate all Muslims just because some who have bent notions of jihad seek to do us harm.
I was at a July 4th event last night when the question came up: What must be done to end the terror such as comes from Daesh? I certainly don’t have a good solid answer, but I am inclined to think that we must somehow eliminate such organizations and their leadership in a way that brings their influence to zero. Does that mean try and kill them all? Perhaps it does, but think on this: whenever a strike force goes after these terrorists it seems to be inevitable that innocents are killed at the same time. Such collateral damage seems to tend to cause some of those close to the innocent victims to seek rtevenbge. And the cycle of terrorism begins again.
There seems to be a never ending supply of terror stories from the real world that we all share. For a novelist that is probably a good thing because one can take inspiration form the news reports and bend these ideas into a story full of intrigue. That certainly was the case with my writing of The Chechen’s Revenge. My story of a terror bomb attack on the Toronto regional Go Train system turned out to be closely similar to a real event in Canada when authorities their arrested to would be terrorists who were planning a railway attack. They were captured before they could do harm.
My second novel “A Prairie Vendetta” concerns a threat to an Intermodal complex by a group of home grown terrorists motivated by political ideology. There will be a kidnapping. There will be a murder. There will be an attempt to create economic havoc. Stay tuned. I still have lots left to write before it will be ready for publication. I’ll do my best to keep you all informed.
As always I wish you good reading friends. Thanks for your support.
Ron Stotyn, PhD