On Thursday morning, I was scrolling through Twitter to see what was trending. I expected to see some hashtags about the long weekend; what I did not expect to see was a hashtag about an attack on a University.
Garissa University in Kenya was attacked by a terrorist group called al-Shabab. One hundred and forty eight people were killed, targeted because they were Christian. Kenya experienced a tense Easter, Yahoo reported, with armed guards at their churches because of the nature of the attack.
Hearing about attacks like this one make me incredibly shocked and sad. The people killed did nothing wrong: they had every right to freely practice their religion. I wish there was more of a general consensus throughout the world that it is okay to have a religion that may be different than that of your neighbor.
Unfortunately this tragedy goes to show that many people do not share that belief. In recent months, we have seen far too many terror attacks where the perpetrators are driven by their religion to harm people of other religions.
In my English class last semester, we had a conversation about religion. I was amazed at the maturity with which my classmates expressed their perspectives, even when they differed from those of other people. In that classroom, we had so many contrasting views; yet no one raised their voice, and no one put down someone else’s religion. No one tried to assert that their religion was the best one, and no one discriminated against anyone else based on their religion.
Ghandi said “God has no religion.” Many humans do, though. If everyone in the world could act as my classmates did in that discussion, the world would be a much better place. We have a long way to go – the horrid attack on Garissa University shows this.
I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the friends and families of the victims of the Garissa attack, as well as the students who survived the traumatizing experience. I know the attack is not my fault but I will apologize nonetheless.
I am sorry that there are people in the world who see religion as a barrier.I am sorry that in the 21st century not everyone accepts the fact that it is okay to not share the same beliefs. And lastly, I am sorry that 148 families spent Easter grieving the loss of a loved one because of religious differences.
“My religion is simple. My religion is kindness.” These are the wise words of Dalai Lama. Practicing kindness means viewing other religions as equals, not inferior, or threats. It means respecting other religions and other people, and it means extending sympathy to people who now suffer because someone else was not kind. I believe if we all made a conscious decision to abide by those words, we could very well change the world.