Now that a few weeks have passed, I would like to discuss the terrorist attack that happened in Sri Lanka on Easter in which at least 250 people were killed and 600 badly injured. Several churches and hotels, were bombed, but the New Zealand media only briefly covered the attacks. My thoughts and prayers are very much with the people of Sri Lanka, they are with the Christians in the middle of worship, and with those taking breakfast in the hotels who were targeted and killed.
Sadly, our world remains filled with those focused on death and destruction, yet if the day they chose to kill and maim - that of Easter Sunday - has one message, it is that the light will always triumph over darkness, and evil will never defeat good.
While the tragedy is recent and raw, I feel some comment is needed on how our media and many political figures have handled the situation. It was interesting to note the language - or lack thereof - used by politicians and the media on the left in particular. Specifically, there seemed a reluctance to report it targeted Christians and was carried out by Islamic extremists. It seemed that the words ‘Christian’ or ‘Catholic’ were just a little too difficult to say, or I might suggest, inconvenient to the media and left’s usual narrative.
Retired political figures in America, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s tweets (obviously coordinated) referred to victims only as ‘Easter worshippers’. I found these somewhat representative of comments here in New Zealand. I have never heard of ‘Easter Worshippers’ and I am pretty well-educated on theological matters! While literally incorrect (Christian’s don’t worship Easter) it is also a clear sign of a deliberate and very intentional decision to not identify the main targets of the attack. This is a disgraceful yet sadly consistent tactic by progressives who seek to control and often misrepresent reality.
In fact, as I write, the Prime Minister has recently spoken to the Parliament of New Zealand about the attacks in Sri Lanka and at a synagogue in San Diego. I should start by saying the overall statement was good and right. However, what was striking is that she very carefully avoided mentioning ‘Christian’ at any point in her speech. She was happy and quick to talk about the shooting in San Diego as ‘Jewish’, which is correct, but again, assiduous in ensuring she never said Christian, Churches, or Catholic. I will leave it to readers to judge this observation for themselves.
After the tragic Christchurch shooting, there seemed to be no reluctance to point fingers. There was, rightly, not a moment’s hesitation to say this was an attack on Muslims. There was also no hesitation to label who undertook the attack. I would go as far to suggest the colour of his skin and aspects of his deranged manifesto were eagerly repeated by Green MPs and other radical leftists. For example, Marama Davidson, the Green Co-Leader said that she discussed with victims and survivors the “story of Parihaka and the violent Crown invasion into a peaceful community…” She suggests that the crown of New Zealand, the people of New Zealand, were somehow connected with the actions of a murderous terrorist. The insinuation that the wider population somehow endorses the Parihaka violence and therefore the violence that occurred in Christchurch is disgusting.
In contrast to the Christchurch attack, the perpetrators of the Sri Lanka violence seem to have escaped the intense scrutiny of the left. Instead, there is a concerted chorus of ‘these people do not represent a wider group’. I actually agree with this last sentiment, but it applies to just about every terrorist action and not simply those that suit the left’s disturbing identity politics games.
What we have here, sadly, is another example of the usual contradictions of the so-called progressive side of politics. They are very quick to say one person’s actions do not represent a whole group, yet when it suits, they are more than happy to do exactly that. They are quick to call out and name groups that fit their narrative of ‘oppressor’ and ‘oppressed’, but if the situation is reversed it’s somehow inconvenient and not politically correct to do so. I might add, as it had very little coverage here in New Zealand, but acts of violence are increasing against places of worship as the attack on a synagogue in San Diego a few days ago illustrates.
So, once again, I call on progressives and the left both in the media and in politics, to be consistent. The actions of one person or a group of individuals should never be used to attack a whole group of people.