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The shadow of terrorism and world safety

In some countries almost every day there is an explosion resulting in bodies everywhere, and cries of anguish, mainly because certain groups are obsessed with a deep hatred for anyone who chooses to have a different view about peace, freedom and dignity.

For centuries, millions have perished in major wars and conflicts, to settle differences, and the innocent have always paid the ultimate price. Even in a world where science and technology was able to place a man on the moon, and bring him safely back to earth, evil continues to take a fearsome toll in many parts of this earth, despite efforts to make the world a safer place.

Since the horrible terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Centre, our world has not been the same. While there are always debates, and bitter exchanges, over reasons for this ongoing carnage, people of all races and creeds, wonder whether world safety is under threat as never before.

When people are slaughtered as part of one group's way of getting even with whoever they consider their enemy, without consideration of the innocent, including children, no one on this earth is really safe.

The long dark shadow of terrorism has reached just about every corner of the earth in one form or the other. The day at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, started without a hint that a nightmare of violence was about to shock that country, and the world.

As customers strolled about inside the elite shopping centre, a group of terrorists linked to an extremist group in Somalia, burst through the main entrance and launched an attack on the facility that left dozens dead and many wounded.

Bermudian Joanne Ball-Burgess in the mall at the time, managed to hide with others before escaping in the midst of gunfire that cut down others.

Hundreds ran in all directions to escape the bullets, and grenades, that turned what was normally a pleasant atmosphere, into a war zone. Although much of the world was focused on this terrible act, it was not the only story of the day involving terrorism.

In Pakistan two suicide bombers entered a Christian worship centre and detonated explosives they were carrying, and when the smoke cleared close to 80 people lay dead.

In Iraq there are so many suicide bombing incidents that sadly some of the stories hardly make the headlines.

This has led many people around the world to express growing concern about safety as terrorists seem to stop at nothing to inflict heavy loss of life as some form of a statement to create fear with those they view as the enemy.

It takes great courage to stand up to people who are prepared to use weapons without a second thought as to who they hurt in the process. Their main goal is power at any price.

In the midst of these uncertain times when terrorism unfortunately is a household word, we tend to forget the many heroes of the past who suffered under evil regimes but never lost their faith in the human spirit for good.

Their names would fill any library, but what they stood for was more powerful than any weapon. People like Dr Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandella, and Ann Frank are just a few who carried the torch of hope while caught up in the storms of life where hatred was the order of the day.

Dr King's dream of justice for all, is yet to be fulfilled, and Mr Mandella never lost his faith despite being imprisoned for seeking the same goal. Ann Frank spent the golden years of her young life hiding from the Nazi regime, but still had love for all, and that included those who wanted her dead.

At times it seems evil people with guns rule the day, but the light of justice and peace will cause that shadow to diminish. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen as long as good people stand up for values that always overpower those who seek to rule by the gun.

That little girl in Afghanistan, who extremists tried to kill simply because she wanted an education in order to help others, is a reminder how vicious these groups can be in creating fear. That brave little girl survived her terrible wound, and today is a shining light for other young people. That progress takes courage.

There will probably be more violent acts in various parts of the world by those who would rather kill than promote peace and harmony. It will be up to all those who value freedom around the world to make it clear that, that precious freedom will be protected.

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Published September 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 25, 2013 at 6:51 pm)

The shadow of terrorism and world safety

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