Are We Ankara?

Photo of attack taken by passerby. Sourced from BBC.

Photo of attack taken by passerby. Sourced from BBC.

Will we be Ankara? Yesterday a car bomb killed at least 32 people in the Turkish capital city. Today I have seen a few post about the tragedy on my timeline but Facebook hasn’t offered to change any profile photos in support of the country.

32 people lost their lives in what is likely an act of terrorism but will we be Ankara?

Probably not because Ankara is located in an Islamic country. An American ally but an Islamic country nonetheless and the truth is, the west is not any Islamic nation because our terrorist rhetoric is too steeped in the idea that this one religion is full of bad guys.

To look at this tragedy and say, “Yes, we stand with you, this is not ok,” is to call into question everything about the current “Muslims are bad” narrative. It complicates the over simplified narrative that people who say, “Praise Allah!” instead of “Praise Jesus!” are the problem and not extremist of either religion.

This is a sort of perfect microcosm for the Us vs Them mentality that prevails in the west. In order for us to be them, to stand with them, we have to admit that they aren’t the problem, they are aren’t the enemy.

We should do this. Because they ARE us. They’re people, just like we’re people. Living their lives. People who believe differently aren’t the problem. People who support hate and advocate violence are the problem.

It doesn’t matter if you stand with Allah or Jesus, if you’re calling for harm, hate and fear, you’re the problem.

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5 thoughts on “Are We Ankara?

  1. cihlleonee says:

    Awesome post Donyae. I totally agree with you, the problem is people who support violence over love, not those who praise a “different” God. And it is important to transcend the us vs them mentality–which can only be done when we see the commonality between all us — we are human.
    However, one thing about Ankara is that it is still a secular capital–so though many people still practice Islam, the nation-state is secular in its approach and much was done by Ataturk to eliminate a lot of the aspects of Islam within the govt–changing the script to Latin letters, outlawing religious school and other modes of dress, etc. which may be one reason we more easily accept them as an ally…I’m not sure about that but perhaps.
    Thanks for the read 🙂

    • Donyae says:

      Turkey is an extremely interesting place. It really challenges the views the west have of an Islamic state in that, it’s not far right. It’s a very liberal place. It is NOTHING like the visions of the Middle East that the west holds. It’s a normal country with very normal cities. Only instead of churches, there are mosques.

      • cihlleonee says:

        I would love to. I asked that also though because I wondered if that influenced you writing about the attacks. It’s part of your sense of self. I lived in France for some time and when I came back, the attacks there happened. I was surprised at how close to me it seemed, almost like it was my home.

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