Religion is a chaotically differing subject that everyone has their own unique perspectives on. Whether you’re a believer or non believer, Christian or Muslim, it stands true that no two people view the proposed sanctity of religion in the same way. Yet, there are acts done in the name of supporting or scorning of religion that most people would vehemently disagree with. That act is taking away the lives of others. Two examples of these horrific acts are of two religiously centered incidents that took place last month. In Spain, there were the infamous terrorist attacks and in Nigeria, there was a shooting that took place in a Catholic church. Both of these reprehensible acts have these ‘others’ that are blamed and despised. For Spain, there was ISIS who claim to be followers of Islam and for Nigeria, it’s those that stand violently stand against Christianity. Both of the articles I found detail these events in their own respective ways. In ‘The Advertiser’ (Australia), they seem to praise the attackers funnily enough. Though, they’re certainly not admiring them. From the tone they use, they’re questioning their own courage and faith when comparing it to ISIS who seem to hold the courage to place themselves in reckless abandon. The audience being targeted at this article is definitely those questioning their own determination and courage in their own religious and personal pursuits. As Bolt states, “Likewise with the Manchester bomber. He blew himself up with his victims. Evil, barbaric, depraved – yes. But cowardly?” he’s thoroughly trying to assess the strength and courage that these attackers must possess in order to commit such atrocious acts. In a sense, you can certainly say that humanizing these perpetrators by giving them positive feelings is a way to disgust the general masses into hardening their own steel, their own righteousness. For ‘The Sun’ (Nigeria), they seem to be reiterating a simple lesson that many tell over time. Don’t let your faith be shaken by those who seek to selfishly disrupt it. In fact, they blatantly quote that “In a condolence message to the government and people of Anambra State, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite, described the incident as most disheartening, shocking and barbaric.” Their message is simple yet effective and it’s obviously meant for those wavering in embracing their religious beliefs after such a horrific act. It is completely understandable as even if you weren’t physically affected, the agony it can cause you can become a permanent burden.
Despite the different messages these articles share however, they both share a common social value that’s being affirmed. That social value is the sheer importance of individual liberty. The two articles don’t at all downplay the sheer misery that these attacks caused. In fact, they emphasize it in their own respective ways. The utter despair that comes from having your faith trifled with and used in the name of acts you abhor is meant to strengthen the masses into leaning onto each other. This way, they can reaffirm the values of their beliefs with one another and have their individual voices be heard. It’s quite inspiring in a heart wrenching sense. Funnily enough, a vital ancient man seems to use the term ‘barbarian’ in a different way than how these two articles did. In the Preface of ‘Herodotus on the Persians’, Herodotus states that “What Herodotus of Halicarnassus has learnt by inquiry is here set forth: in order that so the memory of the past may not be blotted out from among men by time, and that great and marvellous deeds done by Greeks and barbarians and especially the reason why they warred against each other, may not lack renown.” With this, Herodotus refers to the ‘barbarians’ deeds as “great and marvellous”. That’s certainly different than the two articles. Even the Australian one didn’t outright praise those they called ‘barbaric’. They held cynicism and baited breath but Herodotus seems almost excited and delighted by the barbarians’ actions and the history that might unfold because of them and the Greeks fighting each other. That, and the Nigerian paper was completely bashing the attackers. It’s severely different in tone of usage. The two articles bash their barbarians but Herodotus almost seems to praise his. Lastly, when it comes to the two articles themselves, they both use the term ‘barbaric’ with much animosity and agony behind it. Neither of them go against the fact that the attacks were gruesome and despicable. There is solely ill intent, nothing more, and nothing less. As seen from the sorrow these two articles emit, religion can just be used as a tool and crutch to lean on for those who are cowardly enough to attack those that disagree with their line of thinking.
Atuma, Uche. “Pope Sad over Catholic Church Massacre.” The Sun News, 9 Aug. 2017, sunnewsonline.com/pope-sad-over-catholic-church-massacre/.
Note: The second article has an issue with its origin site as it is subscription based. I found via the Lexis Nexis directory however, so in order to remedy this, I’ve posted the article information that was provided from what I’ve read there. The URL is there as well but I don’t think it works.
Bolt, Andrews. “IS terrorists aren’t really the cowards in this fight”. The Advertiser, 21 Aug. 2017, http://www-lexisnexis-com.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/hottopics/lnacademic/
Bailey Seemangal, Team 5, Hephaestus